Beauty School – Class 1: Face

This week I will be entirely focusing on make-up and sharing my tips from the trade on finding your perfect look whatever the occasion.

Creating the perfect face with make-up, like everything else, needs the perfect foundation to build upon. These are my simple steps to creating the ultimate blank canvas…

Preparation – Make sure your skin is cleansed and moisturised before you get started

Primer – This acts as a base to your foundation, filling any pores, removing any grease and will allow the foundation to stay put for longer

Primer isn’t essential for your day time look, but it really can make a difference to the finish so great for evenings when make-up is slightly heavier. Smashbox are renowned for creating the best primers, created as professional make-up by a photographer (Max Factors grandson no less) to always give a perfect studio finish. This brand has only recently come over to the UK and is now available to buy in Boots

Foundation – Decide the level of coverage you need by working out how uneven your skin tone is and wear the lightest foundation you can get away with, it is important not to use foundation as a form of spot cover up or a solution to a tanned look, this is not foundations job!

As you will all know, make-up can be very expensive, so do not risk buying anything that you are not 100% on otherwise it will only sit in that dusty box along with the other failed experiments from a few years earlier. I would also recommend NOT relying on the counter girls to advise you on your face products, with the harsh lighting in these big department stores they can’t ever be sure either (never mind how convincing they are!). The only way to find your perfect foundation is to trial it. Next time you are in John Lewis or House of Fraser, ask the girls for as many samples as you can get your hands on! Lancome offer a 7 day trial to ANYONE who asks for it, (not that they widely broadcast it). Once you get home, start applying and use with your regular make-up, it won’t take long to realise which is the right one for you.

TIP: Choose a colour that matches your skin tone, DO NOT try going darker for a tanned effect.

Some that I have tried and liked are as follows:

Benefit Hello Flawless, it’s a really light foundation and leaves you with a fresh dewy finish as well as illuminating your skin for a healthy glow, this one is best applied with a brush

I have recently sampled the Liz Earle Signature foundation and thought this was lovely, not at all greasy and gave an extremely natural finish. Perfect for day time make-up

My sister raves about Laura Mercier foundation, as a photographer she believes this to photograph beautifully whilst still giving a gorgeous natural look away from the camera

Application varies, some artists will tell you the best way to get an even coverage is with your fingers – the heat and friction will blend the products better and you are unlikely to miss any areas, others will say the only way is with a brush. If you opt for a brush (as I do) invest in the MAC 190 Foundation brush (it’s the best at avoiding streaks) and make sure you stroke away from your face starting from the middle going right into the hair line, touching the ears and of course, passed the jaw lines so there is no obvious end to the foundation

Concealer – To be used under the eyes to remove any signs of tiredness and dabbed on any red areas or small spots

Touche Éclat by YSL is my favourite cover up tool, dabbed on to spots it won’t dry them out and give that horrible crust we have all experienced! Dab under the eyes as opposed to sweeping with the brush and then dab again with your finger so it doesn’t absorb into the skin. Repeat this around the nostrils and on your eye lids to give the perfect base for your eye shadows

A cheaper alternative is the L’Oreal Paris True Match Concealer which I always have in my hand bag!

Bronze & Blush – Depending on the shade of your bronzer, this can be used all over the face or just to sculpt and shape across features. Go as natural as possible with blusher, nothing worse than the puppet doll look!

As I have said in my beauty cheats, my favourite bronzer is Soleil du Tan by Chanel, it is light enough to use across the entire face (only when applied with a very large bronzing brush – try the Chanel Le Petit Pinceau) so you can leave the shaping to the blusher. I use NARS Orgasm and only apply a small amount to the top of my cheek bones up to the sides of my eyes

Highlight – Finish with subtle highlights to accentuate your features. The top of the cheek bones (slightly higher than the blusher), along the brow bone, a slight sweep down the length of your nose and a tiny dab on the end of your chin. I use the Arbonne Sheer Glow Highlighter because it is so subtle, it highlights brilliantly without the metallic shine

There are various powders you can use as well as liquid foundation or as an alternative, but in my experience these can make your skin look too matte and I always opt for a more healthy and dewy glow to my finish. It is also rarely used on professional shoots as it can highlight any hairs on your face, (this line alone was enough to put me off…)

If you want to go all out – get the MAC Mineralize Charged Water, it feels and smells lovely and will set your foundation at the same time as giving you the dewy finish


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