Amanda Bell and business advisor Debbie Simpson
Sarah Spence

Member Article

Artist to stars made up with business support

An award winning makeup artist, who counts Sienna Miller and Sir Ian McKellen as former clients, has returned to her native North East to set up her own business after a glittering career in London.

Amanda Bell moved back to Durham with her husband with the hope of starting a family, and following the birth of the their two children during a two year career break she is now preparing to return to the work of makeup, delivering a high-end service to the North East which will primarily target local bridal and fashion markets.

Born in Seaham, Amanda joined Lancôme in 1999 after studying beauty therapy and theatrical specialist makeup at South Tyneside College where she won several Student awards. She worked as a makeup artist in the fast paced and cutting edge environment of Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge and then as a Senior Make Up Artist in Selfridges Oxford Street before being promoted to National Makeup Artist and Trainer in 2006.

In 2003 she was awarded the Lancôme Make Up Artist of the Year Award and travelled to Paris to train with Fred Farrugia, Lancôme’s International Creative Director at the time. Amanda trained in Paris many times over the years and worked with the industry’s elite. She has also worked alongside celebrity hairdressers Nicky Clarke, Andrew Barton, Guido and Charles Worthington and created make up looks for London Fashion Week and editorial shoots.

More recently, Amanda was head makeup artist for the BAFTAs for several years running, which involved preparing numerous celebrities for the red carpet, including Sienna Miller, Jessica Biel, Goldie Hawn, Juliette Binoche, Emily Watson, Pierce Brosnan, Jude Law, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Helen Mirren and Gillian Anderson.

Amanda said: “As a makeup artist I find great pleasure in finding out the needs of women concerning their makeup and beauty routines, whether it is for an everyday work look, a blushing bride or a red carpet event. Now that I’m back in the North East I’m really looking forward to making the wealth of experience I’ve acquired and the skills I’ve developed available to people in the region.

“The service I’m offering will bring a totally high-end experience for my clients and a holistic approach to makeup. They will be able to experience first-hand what it’s like to be a celebrity and have their own, personal makeup artist and have access to my advice through the whole process.

“A bespoke makeup personal shopping service I’ll also be available for a number of makeup services including one-to-one coaching, running make up workshops, creating catwalk looks and to work with corporate client events.”

After deciding to develop her own enterprise, Amanda approached the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), where she was appointed Debbie Simpson as business adviser. Together they have worked on the business plan for Amanda Bell - Elite Makeup Artist since January.

Debbie Simpson, business adviser at the North East BIC said: “Amanda is so modest and down to earth, but her experience is really breathtaking. When I first met with her I could barely hold my excitement as she clearly has a very strong business case, and undoubtedly has the ability to tap into a high-end market at a level which is virtually unexplored in the North East.”

The North East BIC offers a wide range of products and services to support the needs of anyone who wishes to start a new business, and assists over 150 enterprises in getting off the ground each year.

To find out more about Amanda’s business email or to contact the business support team call 0191 516 6149 or email

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sarah Spence .

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