IT'S NOW COOL

MAKE UP ARTIST // MAX MAY

Behind the Scenes | Feb 14, 2019

Behind every epic shoot. Before the camera flashes. Before the magazines print - there is a man who lays down the foundations. A man who takes any gorgeous face & turns it into something pretty wild & dreamy. Fierce, flirty, bold & always beautiful.

The man of the hour is Max May @maxmade. A good friend of It’s Now Cool, a friend to the incredible collection of models & celebrities he works with & a legend within this industry.

You’re all in for a treat! It’s time to unravel Max’s expertise & get a glimpse into his favourite go-to products, his personal tips & most excitingly, we’ll discover more about the man himself. Working with premium talent such as Montana Cox, Georgia Fowler, Elyse Knowles & Elle Ferguson, this is an interview you are not going to want to miss out on. 

Hello Max … 

Let's talk skin. You work with so many models & profile figures... you must see an array of skin conditions. When it comes to those with that gorgeous glowing, plump skin - other that lucky genetics, do you notice any similarities in the lifestyles of those women? 

Absolutely! There are a few main things that contribute to the “ultimate glory skin,” which has become one of the biggest trends of our era. The first one is a good skincare regime, which includes regular treatments. Girls have started to realize that it’s not enough to just moisturize your skin. You need to clean the skin properly, keep it hydrated, nourished and protect it from elements such as the sun. 

The second is a diet & sleep. Good skin starts in the gut and with what you put into your body. If you eat well & become aware of what your body needs, your skin will shine!

Sunshine & a hit of Vitamin D is everything! But then of course, faux tan is the healthiest way to a glowing complexion, all year round. Which self tanning brands/products are you loving at the moment?

I’m obsessed with my friends Elle Ferguson’s tan, The Elle Effect. I love that I can layer the product depending on the skin tone I’m working with or depending on the depth of tan I desire. It blends beautifully and has one of the most divine smells I’ve encountered.

For a red carpet shimmery glow, I love Charlotte Tilbury’s Red Carpet Glow. It comes in an amazing roll-on applicator that makes it easy to apply & leaves the skin with a beautiful glow. If I want something cleaner, I use Jergens Dry Oil. It makes makes the skin look plump with a natural glow.  


Any tips when it comes to using a tanning product on the face? i.e. should we be using a darker shade of foundation when wearing a tan?

I don’t really like using self-tan on the face. It can be so drying on the skin & very aging. I would advise using a bronzing gel to lift the overall colour tone of your face (The Body Shop have a brilliant one), or add a bronzing liquid illuminser into your foundation. A great example of a bronzing liquid is Giorgio Armani’s Fluid Sheers. They come in an array of colours ranging from gold, to copper, peach & bronze – all of which are designed to amp up the colour or your foundation & glow factor without making you look muddy! 

Beauty wise, this summer what are five or so products everyone should have in their makeup kit?

  • Body Shop Honey Bronze Drops of Sun
  • Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster SPF 50 – the best sunscreen under makeup!!
  • Nude by Nature Contour Palette & Beach Glow Liquid Highlighters
  • Cinch Face Cheat Moisturiser - gives your skin an instant glossy shimmer! No makeup required!


Bright lip colours during summer make any outfit look divine. Dry lips during these hotter months is also super common. Save us! How do we combat this? 

Use more of a tinted lip balm rather than a lipstick, or even a gloss. Some great one’s include lip LUMA’s A Touch of Lip & Cheek Tint or Charlotte Tilbury Superstar Lips. The Superstar Lips have ingredients that will nourish and protect your lips from drying out. 

A hangover here & there is sadly inevitable, especially during this time of year. Is there anyway to cover up a tired eyes & lifeless skin? Or are we doomed. 

There is nothing wrong with having a good time & nursing a little hangover. Water is key and lots of it!! Before you sleep and throughout the next day, water it vital. My other trick is to use a concealer that doubles as a skin highlight. The NARS Creamy Concealer and the Charlotte Tilbury Re-Toucher are two favourites of mine. Becca also have a fabulous product, the Skin Love Glow Glaze Stick. Applied to the top of your cheekbones and/or to the top of your eyelids, the sticks give your skin the most radiant & energizing glossy glow! 

Your resume lights up with international magazines titles, celebrities & top models. Max, you have built a spectacular career. Can you remember your first few big breaks in this industry?

Thank you... it has taken a lot of blood sweat and tears. Dedication is key in this industry as nothing happens over night! One of my first big breaks was given to me by a former stylist & editor, who I met during a go-see I attended. I didn’t have much in my book but I showed enthusiasm to learn and follow direction, a passion for what I did and a general good attitude. 

Soon after that & after many days of long hours, hard work and limited sleep, I secured my first Vogueshoot and cover. There were many other small things that happened along the way but these were two breaks were what really set the wheels in motion. 

You came from a background of hair styling! Where did you learn everything you know about makeup & skin? You're an absolute natural. 

Makeup, like anything creative, comes from within. It’s a vision. You can learn the basics such as the colour wheel & what products go where but when it comes to the creative side of things, this is something that either comes naturally or it doesn’t.  

It's a competitive industry! Can you handball off a few tips to any new & upcoming hair & makeup artists? 

Work hard, assist as many artist as you can, listen and be nice. 

QUICK Q'S TO FINISH - DISCOVERING MAX 

Coffee order + best local coffee spot?

An Ice long black with a dash of milk in summer and a piccolo in winter. COFFEE Bondi Beach. 

Bar order + best local wine spot? 

I’m a tequila (Cafe Patrons) or Rosé man. The Shop is my definitely my go-to hang.

You're lashing out on a holiday - where are you flying too?

Any tropical island where the sun is shining and the water is warm. I hate cold water.  

Three models you'd adore to work with?

Ashley Graham 

Bella Hadid

Elsa Hosk

You seek new ideas & techniques from ...

Art! Books and life. The things I see in my day. I also draw from the people of meet and see. I see colours and shapes in people’s faces that trigger and inspire ideas. 

The product/s you thank god you discovered? 

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

Cinch Face Cheat 

Becca Shimmering Perfector in Moonstone

Mecca Banana Bake Powder

Nude by Nature Contour Palette

Paula’s Choice Blush Palette 

Your personal signature scent?

Santal 33 by Le Labo

Which hair products are you currently using on those golden locks of yours?

I scrunch TRESemmé Styling Mousse Extra Control in while it’s wet and let it naturally dry. 

Favourite Instagram account/s to stalk?

That changes weekly. Right now it would be the photographer Ben Hassett. Others include;  

Marc Forne - for style

The Artist Edit - for makeup inspiration

Drinksforgayz - for memes 

Luxenomad - for travel

Thommyjean - my mums designer pet bed business 

What irritates you the most? 

Bad drivers. 

Are you an introvert OR extrovert? Your perfect Saturday in a nutshell involves ... 

Hmm... I can turn it on if I have to but I’m definitely an introvert. My perfect Saturday is anything that involves my own company.