Last week I was invited to attend a Valentine’s make up master class with the lovely ladies at Athena Beauty Boutique and Academy in London’s ultra trendy Brick Lane. More about the masterclass experience later, today let’s just discuss 5 of the simplest and most fantastic tips I learnt. We were a small group, so we had a lot of time each to spend with the incredibly talented make up artist, Sandra. We got to practice with the makeup and really pick her brain for the best tricks for pretty faces. Or, in my case, the best tricks for getting rid of demon face. Here are a few simple pointers for all you face painters out there!
1. Long brush strokes
When putting on concealer (or foundation) use long, fluid brush strokes across your face; not short, scratchy ones in all directions that will leave you with an uneven finish.
2. Try doing your eye shadow from the top down
This was a revelation for me. Maybe I’m the only idiot who has been doing it the other way around, that wouldn’t surprise me. When experimenting with multi-toned blended eyeshadow looks, it can be easier to start with the highlight under the eyebrow, then add the next colour and blend, then finally add the darkest lid colour and blend. It gives you more control and ensures you don’t take your lid colour too high. If I start with my lid colour I always end up blending the lid colour too high into the next colour and start seeing a drag queen staring back at me. Frankly, I do too much walking to pull off the daily platformed drag queen look, so I had to find a solution. Remember, blending is your friend, and nice side to side strokes are key to non-scary eyeshadow.
BONUS TIP: You don’t need to buy an extra ‘eye primer’ unless you have something really special going on with your skin. For most skin types a base of concealer and loose powder will be just as effective at keeping your eyeshadow in place without any nasty creases.
3. Use a brush to determine your eyebrow arch
If you have sparse brows especially it can be difficult to tell where they should begin, end and arch. Put a make up brush at the corner of your nose and line it up with the inside corner of your eye (red line). That’s where your brow should start. Line it up with the outer corner of your eye (purple line). That’s where your brow should finish. Look straight ahead and line the brush up with your pupil (blue line). That’s where your brow should arch. See the diagram above for clearer instructions!
BONUS TIP: If you have an especially round face you might want to let your eyebrows drag on for a little longer, just to balance things out a little. Stop when it starts to look scary. If you hit your ear, you’ve gone too far. Put the brush down and seek professional help.
4. Mark your arch points underneath your brow, then fill in
Maybe you already knew tip number 3. Well, there is a second part that isn’t so commonly screamed from the rooftops. When you’re marking out your eyebrow arches, beginnings and endings you should always mark them underneath your brow. I was just plonking the markers anywhere in the brow area, like an idiot. If you put them just underneath the brow you can then use your brush to start painting your brow powder up into your brows, thus making it easier to avoid the terrifying overly browed surprise demon look. If you do go overboard, feel free to soften the look with a small, soft eyeshadow brush without any make up on it that will remove the excess and dull the harsh lines.
5. Use circular motions to blend
Blush is your friend. But blush needs to look natural and blend in with the rest of your face. (This cartoon may have over blushed, but we’ll forgive her because I like using magenta in my illustrations). Nice, natural circular motions help you to blend in the colour naturally and avoid the racing stripes look. Remember to blend in your contouring this way too, especially the contouring around your face that should blend onto your neck. No one wants a big tan line neighboured by a scary white neck!