As I mentioned yesterday, last week I attended a special Valentine’s edition make up masterclass, hosted by the lovely folks at Athena London. They’re a beauty boutique (they’ll do your hair and makeup for you) an Academy (they’ll teach you how to do your own damn hair and makeup) and a photographic studio (they’ll take stunning photos of you, proving to the world that you did actually sort out that hair and make up thing). I arrived early one dark and dreary Thursday evening into London’s East End, more specifically, the fantastic Brick Lane, where you’ll find everyone that’s cooler than you. My invite promised that I would “discover my perfect red lip and how best to work it with a vintage twist”. I was as intrigued as a weasel that goes pop. The lovely Athena ladies, all goddesses in their own right, greeted me with bubbly and led me downstairs to the make up rooms where all the magic happens. I was introduced to three other bloggers and Sandra, our make up artist who was doing a demonstration on one of the girls.
I took one look at her. Sandra’s eyebrows were clearly licked on by Jesus – or if not by him then by whichever deity is in charge of eyebrows. I’ve never really been a church-going person, so I probably missed that important teaching. The key thing to take from this is that I felt supremely confident in Sandra’s abilities as her face was so damned on point.
She did her demonstration, made us laugh, giggle, elicited understanding facial expressions from us and taught us the things I wrote about yesterday. Then she let us loose with a bottle of make up remover, a few colour palettes and a jar of brushes to prove that we’d actually learnt something and hadn’t just been smiling along because of the bubbles. I did have some trouble. Of course I did – if I was perfect at make up already why would I bother showing up? The list of techniques we were to follow did not include a full face of foundation. Sandra herself doesn’t wear a full face of foundation as she has skin that glows like a beacon in the night. She hadn’t figured on my pasty visage of splodge central marching into her life with its various nonuniform skintones and the fact that my face is staging a full frontal patchy rebellion against my many years on the pill. Concealer doesn’t cut it. I need something more serious. As soon as I explained this though, she was incredibly accommodating and helped me make some slight tweaks to the process. If you’re interested in perfecting your own makeup, Athena have a variety of courses available covering many popular make up looks. They even have 20% off if you book in February!
Seeing as I’ve now done one, I should probably let you in on what I would recommend to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck. Well, if you’ve recently travelled down a birth canal, or you just don’t know much about make up you will probably be fine to use the supplied palettes and creams. But if you’ve battled for years to find products that won’t slide off your face at the first gust of wind and now have a small and cherished collection of products you trust and can’t live without, you might be best to bring your own. I think I would have felt more comfortable using my own makeup. As soon as put their concealer on, I knew it wasn’t as good as my usual Estée Lauder Double Wear and I began to feel self conscious. Did I mention my face is splodge central? If you have something freaky going on, bring your saviours with you.
It would also be a good way to show your makeup artist what you usually do at home. No point in learning tons of nifty new tricks then going home and doing 17 terrible things that counteract your new found knowledge because you don’t know they’re wrong. If you’re going to successfully learn how to do your makeup I think it means being a little vulnerable in front of the artist. Seriously. You need to pull out your eyeliner and start drawing whiskers on your face, so the artist can casually pull you aside and explain that it’s actually the cat eye that’s a big eyeliner trend right now, not the whiskers. You need to show them your favourite foundation so they can advise you that it might be a little too heavy for your skin type and a shade too light for best effect. That way you know, you learn and you stop wasting time and money on products that aren’t helping you to achieve your true pinnacle of gorgeous. The ladies at Athena have a fantastic density of knowledge. They know their stuff. They know tricks, they know trends, they know which products are worth spending money on and which ones you can pick up in Superdrug. If you want a seriously stable foundation in giving good face, go see them. They’re all about that pretty.