Donegal makeup artist is leading the way in beauty industry

A NEWTOWNCUNNINGHAM woman who is MAC’s youngest manager and an online influencer is preparing to host Donegal’s beauty event of the year.

Aoife Dowds (24) is a make up artist, influencer and the Accounts Manager for MAC Cosmetics UK in the Derry store but is actually the youngest manager in the whole company – which is an achievement in itself.

Aoife is currently putting the finishing touches on her major event ‘The Beauty Bash.’


The Beauty Bash is taking place on Sunday, April 2 from 1pm at An Grianan Hotel, Burt and it is set to be a day filled with all things beauty, fashion and fun.

There will be Prosecco on arrival with some local businesses setting pop up shops, a makeup demo, afternoon tea, a fashion and styling segment with McElhinneys, Get That Trend, Tokyo Boutique and The Sequin Cinderella finishing up with a something special with Simone Ferguson, the owner of Filtered Aesthetics and Medispa.

It is going to be a jam packed day with goody bags worth over £150 plus for everybody attending, however, there is very limited tickets left for the event so act quickly if you want to attend.

Speaking to the Donegal News, Aoife said she is looking forward to the event and meeting so many new people.

“I absolutely love organising events,” said Aoife.

“It had all started with small events for MAC but as they grew so did my love for putting on events. I had experience selling products but selling an experience is completely different so I find it extremely rewarding seeing the reactions of the audience.

“I am very lucky to have made so many contacts within the Beauty Industry with amazing brands who want to support my events,” said Aoife.



From a young age, Aoife has been passionate about make up. She started taking appointments from her kitchen table when she was just 16 and then worked in salons in both Letterkenny and Derry.

She said her time in the salons taught her some ‘very valuable lessons.’

“It’s a hard industry to be a part of and building clientele. I studied for my degree, Business Management in ATU but I took a year out between my third and fourth year and this was when I returned to the beauty industry as a MAC Artist.

“I worked full time for a year before the pandemic hit and finally graduated in October 2021 and took the position as the Accounts Manager of MACs Derry Store in the newly opened Frasers in September 2021.

“I combine my love of makeup artistry along with the business knowledge that I had gained while studying but working with big names in the beauty industry was always a dream, especially MAC because everybody knows the brand.

“I am now four years with the brand which is crazy.

“I am always open to any opportunity that comes my way.

“My advice to anybody who is thinking about a career in makeup would be to start with a counter.

“The real beauty about makeup is that you need zero qualifications, as long as you have a flair and believe in yourself you can go far,” said Aoife.

Along with being busy at MAC, Aoife has built up a major following on Instagram and has become quite the influencer, working with brands like ASOS, Pretty Little Thing and local business such as BALI and Get That Trend – although she said she still finds it strange and is taken back when she is classed as an influencer.

She explained that her following took a real hike in lockdown on TikTok and Instagram.

“I started showing my daily outfits, where they were from, the price and the size.

“Daily vlogs then followed and I then incorporated my travelling on my socials.

“I literally show my day to day life and everybody loves it.

“I don’t think anything will prepare you for when you’re out and somebody recognises you. I’m very lucky to have such an amazing following who are very supportive and want to attend my events.

“I am extremely grateful for everything that has come my way,” said Aoife.



However, she admits there are lots of challenges of social media and putting your life online for everyone to see.

“I don’t want to jinx myself but I am very lucky I haven’t experienced any trolling but my biggest challenge of all is time.

“Posting constantly, creating content and keeping up with trends takes up a whole lot of time especially when I have a full time job.

“For me though the positives outweigh the negatives.

“I enjoy beauty and fashion and people enjoy watching me do it!

“I have made so many contacts in the industry who have been an amazing help and believe in me.

“My favourite part of all is that I get to meet so many amazing people from all walks of life who follow me.

“Without them I wouldn’t be in the position I am today,” said Aoife.

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