If you’re lucky enough to be going or throwing a fabulous party later, you’ll be looking for perfect make-up to complete your look. It does not cost the earth to create classic, timeless glamour.
Preparation, preparation, preparation
For a flawless finish you need a good base. Exfoliate your skin, use a toner and decent moisturiser. Allow the latter to absorb before applying any make-up. Remove excess grease by dabbing a tissue on the skin, especially around the T area of your face, across the forehead and down the nose. And did I say dab? Don’t rub!
Tried and tested
Try not to be seduced by the latest ‘it’ foundation on the market without a proper trial first. Stick to a foundation you know works well with your skin. It may be boring but it is the key to a good base for the make-up artistry you’ll layer on top of it!
Less is more but more is more
It’s often the case that when people refer to ‘too much make-up’ they are not talking about the number of products someone has put on their face but more about the colours or depth of tone. For a truly classic and polished look, you may be looking at using 5+ products on the eyes, 2 on the cheeks and 3 on the lips. But if you stick to shades which work with your natural skin tones, some critics would be none the wiser! For eyes, a base, 3 shades, a liner and mascara
Try and try again
Decide what kind of look you want to achieve before you start applying. Blend colours on the back of your hand to check they work well and check you’re using the appropriate brush size for the shape you are trying to achieve. Allow enough time to correct any mistakes or even take off and start again. One make-up artist said to me it’s what he enjoyed the most, the ability to wipe off and re-create….
Tips and tricks
Bright eyes: to open your eyes out and make them look bigger, use a light shade on the lower lip along the eye line, in the corner socket and underneath the eye. If you have white kohl pencil, gently apply on the lower lids. Use a neutral tone in the eye lid crease, nothing too severe or dark.
Drama-free smokey: I always find a good quality soft eye pencil, blended with a brush the perfect understated smokey look. For good definition, pull the lid taught and apply close to lashes on upper and lower lid. Blend with a clean small and slightly stiff brush. Only use a small amount of blusher, blended soft and wide. Nothing beats plain lips, I often just use a clear lip balm for the final touch.
Liquid liner and strong lips: this is truly timeless working well with the Little Black Dress or even using a lip colour which is featured in your outfit. The key is ensuring your foundation is well blended, any dark circles are treated and a good base is applied on the lids e.g. a cream light to neutral tone. Then slowly and carefully follow the contour of the top eye lid. Although the ultimate aim is for a fluid, neat and bold line, rushing this with one movement rarely achieves it. For strong lips, use a lip brush to line the lips, fill in the colour, blot and repeat.
Some common problems solved.
The ski tan: blending foundation between the jaw line and neck is not easy. Mix two shades together is you have them to blend out down the neck. I use a make-up sponge, professionals will tell you to use a brush (which I find trick). Use loose powder to blend until the tones match your skin colour around the neck.
Panda eye: try not to use too many oil-based products around the eye. Make sure any moisturisers or eye creams are fully absorbed before applying make-up, blot away excess liquid with a tissue (again don’t rub! DAB!). Carefully coat the lashes with loose powder without destroying your eye make-up. Use a waterproof mascara and a clear mascara on your bottom lashes.
Disappearing lipstick: use Lipcote. The end.
Fading eyes: to hold the shades in place use an eye base, such as MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots. If you don’t have those in your bag, use cover up, blend well, blot to remove excess oils. Tap excess powder from brush before applying. Remove excess shadow before applying another layer of colour.
Clogging mascara: if you have a comb, use it on the lashes before and after applying mascara. If you don’t have a comb, you can use your clean, oil-free, fingers or even a moistened cotton bud to shape lashes but it is trickier.