Ken Boylan one of Ireland’s leading and favourite celebrity make up artists . He shares his thoughts for our #BeYourself campaign. As the part of the #BeYourself campaign, we have highlighted various members of the LGBT+ community who demonstrated the courage to be their unique selves and hopefully inspire others to express and be themselves.


I think I must be one of the lucky gays!

I say this because I was always happy in my gayness…. I never wanted to be any other way! Yes I did have the odd dalliance with girls but I always new I was gay and really happy to be so.

When I was a kid, say around 5 or 6 I used to walk around my road in my mum’s cork platforms with her handbag in one hand and a girls world in the other! Before my mum got Alzheimer’s I asked her once when she knew I was gay… she told me it was around about this time, she said I was always fascinated by watching her get ready for hunt balls or a party of some sort.

However, at the same time I was always good at sports, I was and still am a good tennis player and we lived on a golf course for a lot of my life so I am good at that too. At school I was not your typical gay boy, I was always picked in and around the middle for hockey or running or whatever. I also loved school both primary and secondary. I went to Newpark comprehensive in Blackrock – I was never forced to be academic there. I think Newpark helped me on my way in life. I had my first gay kiss there and it was there that I came out at 15/16 and thankfully no one really cared! Just like at home it was no big deal.

The only time I was ever bullied was by a girl in first year who used to call me faggot and puff on the way home. This lasted for about a month until she just stopped. I heard from this girl years later on (of course) Facebook and she apologised to me and told me the only reason she called me names was she had a crush on me and it was her way of letting me know!

I grew up on the gay scene in Dublin. I went to my first gay bar (Hurray Henrys) when I was still in school! I was lucky enough to be part of the amazing club scene in Dublin clubs like Shaft, Sides and Chocolate bar and, of course POD! I made some of my best friends at this time and they are still my friends today. It was such a great time to be shaped as a young gay man, we always practised safe sex or at least tried to – AIDS was very much part of my gay upbringing, it was always there in the background – you sort of grew to respect it in a way…

I have had 4 great loves of my life who I am very happy to say are all still very good friends of mine to this day I love them and their partners. I am very lucky to have Fabio as my Husband, we have been together 11 years of which married 6. He looks after me and I look after him I love him today as much as I ever did. He is the complete opposite to me – he is an academic Dr. I can’t even spell! He is a complete nerd and I am not! But we work really well together even when we are fighting, which is a lot!

My career path has been a journey. I came to make up artistry by chance as I wanted to be an actor and went to Drama College. Soon I realised I was a terrible actor! So I found a course in make up and I have never looked back. I now have my own make up brand Make Up/Play and I am lucky enough to work in fashion doing lots of shoot with great people – gay and straight. I also have my shop situated inside Zeba Hairdressing and Mimi’s Beauty Rooms. I am surrounded by gays all the time and each one has a different story to tell. My life is great most of the time and a big part of that is my homosexuality – I am a proud and happy gay man!

Learn more about Ken at