Get To Know Aoife Nolan, Our MUA Of The Year

From juggling beauty and school, her inspiration and future plans.

In March, we launched our first-ever national search for Ireland’s best beauty star. The KISS x Essence Cosmetics MUA Of The Year search took place over on Instagram, where hundreds of talented teens entered their best looks.

This was then shortlisted to 10 finalists who all showed off unique stand-out looks. The 3 top judges, Aideen Kate, Serena Cleary and Ellie Kelly selected their favourites along with votes from enthusiastic followers who could share their fave by tagging them in their Instagram stories.

There could only be one winner though, and that was the amazing Aoife Nolan.

The 17-year-old impressed judges and fans with her creative looks which were floral, striking and totally show-stopping.

Aoife was crowned our first ever MUA Of The Year and won prizes, a takeover and we just had to interview her about her talents and future plans.

Let’s get to know her a little better, we just know we’ll be hearing this name for years to come…


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by (

How do you feel about winning the KISSxEssence MUA Search?

I honestly can’t believe it! I entered it hoping and praying I would be picked but I never actually thought I would be. I feel so so grateful to know people like my artistry and my work enough to crown me as make up artist of the year. I will be forever grateful.

How did you decide on which looks to enter?

I chose my top 10 looks that I had did that I thought would give the judges a taste of what style my work was. I chose a mix of looks which included full-face, creative, soft glam and cut creases.

Your looks are unique, where do you get inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from a few things, I mainly get inspired by other artists, the weather, flowers, plants or ornaments, I could also be sitting down to do a look and an idea could just pop into my head and I would just go with that it, so all depends really!

Have you always loved makeup? Can you remember when you first had an interest in beauty?

I never thought I would see this as my job and for my to hold it as my career. Back 3 years ago I started practising on myself and a few models just for fun then I became to really enjoy doing make up so I then went and got qualified a year later, ever since then I could never imagine myself not painting faces and showing my art.

Tell us about your beauty journey?

I studied at VanityX makeup academy in Dublin city centre. I did that part-time as I was 16 and still in school. I chose VanityX as I had seen so many amazing artists being qualified at VanityX and nothing but good reviews for the academy. When people ask me if I would recommend it, I would never have a doubt, it was definitely an experience every artist should get to experience. I didn’t even feel like I was at college because I was doing what I loved while also getting a qualification!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @aoifenolanmua

What’s it like balancing school and your passion?

I am currently in 6th year studying for my Leaving Cert, it’s not as bad as you would think! I do most of my content on the weekends and if I get spare time after school I would sit down and get a look or two done. I also do a lot of my content when we get mid-term breaks or holidays. I don’t struggle really with getting content done as I like to plan my weeks ahead of what content I have to do.

Who is your beauty icon?

This is a hard one! I have so many, but my main few would definitely have to be Mitchell Halliday, (@mmmmitchell), Keilidh Cashell (@keilidhmua) and Stacey Marie (@staceymariemua).

These three artists have inspired me from the start of my make up journey. To me it’s so important when an artist is real towards art and the followers. These three artists have amazing ideas towards make up and looks. I always go to one of these every time I am stuck for an idea for a look. I also look up to these as they all have their very own make up lines or collections, I hope to have my own collection with a brand or my own brand one day, so seeing these come from scratch with brands/ collections gives me so much hope and inspiration to keep going!

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future is definitely to keep doing make up! Hopefully working on sets of films, runway, and fashion shows. I have always dreamed of working on set so I’m going to push this dream to become a reality. I am definitely going to grow my Instagram platform more and to maybe travel with make up for a few months/year! I am not too sure as of yet but once I finish school I am going to start planning and go make up dreams become realities.

Thank you so much to the amazing, I’ll be forever grateful for this opportunity.

You can follow KISS ( and Aoife (@AoifeNolanMua) on Instagram