This week I want to share my top tips to help you to ‘up your game’ and become your own makeup artist so that you can achieve a much more professional effect with your own makeup.
I’ve been working alongside lots of different makeup artists since we opened our Wimbledon shop, in October, in order to give many hundreds of women makeovers. It’s been so successful that we have now decided to stay open until the autumn when we’ll see if it makes commercial sense for us to be there permanently. And (watch this space) we are in negotiations to open another shop after Easter in a new location.
I know that many of you can’t come to see us in person, so we will keep giving you as much help, information and support as we can on our website and in blogs like these to help you in your quest to look fabulous forever.
Becoming Your Own MUA: My Top Tips
Give it Time and Attention: I think this is the greatest barrier to success with makeup for we older women. We’re busy people. We’ve been brought up with notions that vanity is bad and that we shouldn’t spend time on ourselves. We may think that it doesn’t matter too much what we look like anymore because hardly anyone notices us anyway. So making an effort becomes a five minute ‘dab’ of a few bits of manky makeup loitering in the bathroom cabinet. Think how much better you could look with some decent products and some time to apply them carefully. In a makeover, we give you our time and full attention for a whole hour, so try giving yourself some time and attention and reap the rewards of looking tons better!
Think Creatively: Makeup Artist - the clue is in the job title. Makeup is paint which has been brilliantly developed and formulated over 100 years to enhance your natural looks. You are the artist and your face is your canvas. Our videos are there to give you an almost ‘paint by numbers’ accuracy. We show you what works, how it works, where it works best to colour, shape and define your face. Have fun with it, try different techniques and never think there is only one way to achieve fabulousness. Be prepared for some surprises and many delights.
Mirror and Light: You have to be able to see what you are doing. I apply my makeup at my dining table facing the biggest window in my home in natural daylight as the last thing I do before I go out. I have two makeup bags, one for face products and one for eye and lip products. I keep my brushes in a brush roll and I have a round mirror on a stand which I can flip between normal and magnifying. By applying my face in the most unforgiving daylight, I know that my makeup will pass muster wherever I go.
Use the Right Tools: Along with those manky bits of old makeup come the clogged up old brushes! Makeup artists often have 30 or 40 brushes in their kit. I’d say you need around 8-10 to do a really good professional job. I have made a video explaining why each of our 8 brushes works so brilliantly. In my brush roll, I have all of these, plus a couple of extra eye shadow blending brushes to bring the total to around 10. Of course, you can use your fingers to put your makeup on, but think how horrified you’d be if a painter was applying paint to your walls with his hands! He might reassure you that the paint will look perfectly fine but you’d be thinking ‘why on earth does he not use a brush?’ I also keep my brushes scrupulously clean by using our Brush Cleaner. This is a beautiful fragrant cleaner which dissolves the makeup quickly and without a mess, leaving brushes soft and restored to their former glory. See here how to use it.
Blend and Polish: Brushes allow you to refine, to buff, to blend and to polish your makeup. Take your foundation and primer. The challenge is to use these two wonderful products to create a smooth and flawless effect so that your skin looks even in tone without looking like a mask. Most women who come for a makeover request that they end up looking ‘natural’ rather than ‘overly made-up’. I do understand this, but I would argue most people do look better (and dare I say it healthier) with some kind of base colour on their skin. My own bare skin does not look promising when I look in my mirror in harsh daylight. Five minutes later it looks 100% better because I have mixed Face Prime with Base 02 and used my foundation brush 3 to thoroughly work both products into my skin. I just keep swirling and buffing until it looks even. Then (extra top tip) I take a big fat brush 01 and ‘polish’ my whole face for a final thorough blend, taking the brush over my jawline and down to the base of my neck.
Eyes - Think Light and Shade: When I am doing a makeover I shape the person’s eyes by using shadows. In this way, I can make them look bigger and draw attention away from problem areas. I can also add subtle colour with our Eye Shades and Lid Colour to add brightness. A beautiful eye will have clearly defined lid, socket line and brow bone, framed by well-shaped brows. Lids and brow bones need to be lighter and the socket line needs to look darker. If you have hooded eyes you can create the illusion of a socket line, watch the video to see how to do this. If you have bulging eyes with a prominent eyeball you can minimise with a darker shade. If you have deep set eyes you can reduce the depth of the socket by adding a lighter shadow. Check out our very many eye makeup videos for more ideas.
Be Bolder: I believe that a good makeup artist will listen to you carefully and also try to help you to be a little bolder in your choices. There’s no better way to do this than with a pretty lip colour. This is instantly flattering and brings out all the colours you have added as eye shadows and the Blush you have added to the cheeks. I know that not everyone wants a really vibrant ‘look at me’ colour on their lips, preferring something akin to their natural lip colour or a ‘nude’ shade, but something like Soft Plum if you are cool toned or Russet if you are warm toned has enough ‘oomph’ to lift the whole face.
I’ve just listened to an episode of my favourite Radio 4 soap, The Archers. In it 80-something matriarch Jill Archer who had been feeling a bit drab, has just had a professional makeover.
Despite dreading that she’d look like Dolly Parton, Jill is absolutely delighted with the result and the makeup artist tells her ‘The base is the crucial part, with a small amount of concealer with the Peach Cream Blush to give a hint of colour on the cheeks.” It was just as if the script writer had been watching one of our videos! So to all of you, including the lovely Jill, my final top tip is ‘be a bit braver’. Getting stuck in a rut and always doing the same things, in the same way, is a recipe for dullness and boredom, and, like Jill, you too can be more fabulous!
P.S. Happy Mother's Day!
As it's Mother's Day here in the UK, we are running a Mother's Day competition giving you the chance to win your mum flowers, LFF skincare & a makeover! Enter by clicking on the button below. Entries close today at midnight.