I grew up in a small town of Monaghan – I always joke that it was the back of nowhere. I’m a real country thug. I was really a tomboy growing up, always out playing and looking for trouble, which I think is a big contrast to who I am now in my glamorous life! I still feel a great connection to the outdoors, it’s like an escape for me. I am the eldest of a family of five children. So I feel like I’ve had children four times. There are three girls and two boys. Between my siblings and my cousins, there was never really a quiet moment growing up.
One of my earliest memories is doing a photoshoot with my sister and bringing her to life trying to make her laugh. I used to always have this pencil with me and the photographer gave it away because he wanted me to get rid of the pencil but I refused. I used to draw all over the walls with this…instead of walls, I draw on faces now.
I think I was put on this earth to create, I think that’s my calling. I get a lot of satisfaction from the things I create. I know people think makeup can be such a superficial thing, that it’s just a mask that you wear, but it’s so much deeper than that. It’s your way of expressing yourself. I love creating tutorials and helping people put their makeup on and making them feel confident and beautiful.
Biggest challenge I’ve faced? The last two years. I think the pandemic has completely changed our whole world and we are all still adjusting to it. It affected people so much socially. And for me, it brought a whole bunch of worries that I never had before. I feel like I was almost robbed of my 20s. I went into the pandemic 23, and I’m coming out of it 26. Even though I created my own brand in that time, I look back and think about where those scary years went. I think as women we have this ticking time bomb in society that men don’t have. So there is additional pressure as well.
The person I turn to the most in my life is my boyfriend Darren. We have been together since we were babies, it will be 12 years this year. We basically grew up together. He knows me better than anyone. He probably knows me better than I know myself sometimes.
My proudest achievement is my own brand, KASH beauty. It is the ultimate goal of any makeup artist to create their own products. The fact that this has become a reality for me so soon is crazy. I’m involved in absolutely every process, from the creative side to the manufacturing of the products. I think it’s very obvious when someone just types their name on [a product], compared to someone who puts everything into it. People see through inauthenticity, they detect bullshit. That’s not how you create a lasting brand and it wouldn’t be a brand I would be proud of.
My greatest quality? I don’t know how to answer that… I think as Irish we don’t like to elevate ourselves. It is embedded in us. My boyfriend says how open-minded I am. No matter how educated I am on a subject, I always try to hear the other side of the story. And I’m very caring.
The life lesson I would like to pass on is to not let anyone stop you from being who you want to be. We get a life and living it based on other people’s opinions is such a waste.
I wouldn’t change my past. I think everything happens for a reason, to teach us a lesson that will prepare us for later in life. That’s how I like to see it anyway. If something bad happens, I think ‘what is this trying to teach me?’ Of course, there are situations where it seems like there is no lesson to be learned but in order for me to be able to handle things, I try to find a reason or a lesson.
What amazes me in life is how many things I have manifested that have come true. This shouldn’t surprise me, because I truly believe that if you put positive energy out into the world, you’ll receive positivity in return, but it does surprise me…there’s one specific thing that I can’t get over never. I was on stage at one of my Masterclass gigs a few years ago and someone asked me what brand I’d like to collaborate with. I remember saying; “Well, Morphe obviously but that will never happen.” A year later, I got an email from Morphe saying they wanted to collaborate on a palette with me. Me! Keilidh of Monahan! It’s crazy.
What scares me the most in life is having regrets. The thought of not being able to do the things I’ve always wanted to do freaks me out. I was in Rome recently and was walking around, enjoying it so much and this thought came to mind… my grandparents have never been to Rome before and they probably never did well . It scared me a little. I hope that I will not leave this earth without having done the things that I want to do. I would like to be remembered as someone who lived my life to the fullest.
If I had taken a different path, I think I would still have found myself in a creative field. When I was doing my Leaving Cert, I had several options, I wanted to do makeup or be a tattoo artist. If I had listened to everyone who told me that makeup wasn’t a real job, I think I would still have found my way here. I think we’re all put on this earth for a reason – and I’ve found mine.
- Keilidh Cashell is a makeup artist and founder of KASH Beauty. Follow her on TikTok, Instagram and Youtube @keilidhmua