‘I no more think that you should use a lipstick, powder, deodorant or hairbrush in public than you would take a bath in public’
– Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn appreciated the power of keeping beauty secrets)
As a big fan of make up I am more than aware of the THOUSANDS, perhaps even MILLIONS, of articles like this that are out there. All we need to do is google ‘Make Up Tips’ and in less than a minute us women become armed with the knowledge of how to contour our face like Kim Kardashian, attain Angelina Jolie cheekbones, perfect a Keira Knightley pout, and draw on Megan Fox eyebrows.
Whilst I am regrettably unable to teach you how to magically transform your face into that of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s with just a few effortless brush strokes, I can let you in on a few beauty secrets of my own 🙂 I mean, I don’t want to brag (or maybe I do), but everyone always comments on how good my make up is (by everyone I mean my mum….), so I’ve decided to do the unthinkable, and share some of my easy tips on how to achieve a very fresh, simple look with your make up.
1. First thing’s first, ALWAYS make sure you face is CLEAN ! That goes without saying really. Never ever use soap to wash your face – it will strip your skin of all its natural oils and leave it feeling extremely tight and dry. Instead, I use Olay Total Effects Cleansers: Self-Heating Skin Exfoliation. Normally, I would recommend you only exfoliate your face once a week, but with this one you can use it every day as you please. You can actually feel the cleanser heating up on your face (if you close your eyes it feels like you’re at the spa….), and it leaves your skin feeling smooth and smelling beautiful !
2. Remove all the left over dirt and make up that accumulates on your skin throughout the day. For this, I use L’Oréal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Solution. All you need to do is dab a little onto a cotton pad (you may need to use two) and sweep across the face, repeating until there is no dirt left on the pad. Proper skincare will ensure your face has a natural glow to it, which means less make up is needed !
3. MOISTURISE ! You would think that would be obvious, but not many people do actually remember to moisturise their face, not to mention their neck or décolletage (both of which also benefit from a bit of moisturiser !) Of course, everyones skin is different so it’s very important to find a moisturiser that suits your specific skin type, and once you find a good one, stick to it ! After filling up yet another drawer full of forgotten moisturisers that didn’t quite meet my expectations, I have settled on using Olay Instant Hydration Skin Serum. It’s technically an anti-wrinkle serum, but it’s never too early to start preparing for the inevitable ! Moisturiser does not only ensure your skin is hydrated, but it also acts as a primer to keep your make up in place throughout the day. WIN.
4. FIND A GOOD FOUNDATION ! I am a firm believer in investing in a good, reliable foundation – once you have a decent base, everything else on top will look flawless. I’ve been through more foundations than I have McDonald’s Drive Throughs (i.e. quite a few), and have ended up looking both like a tangerine and a ghost. I have learnt from my horrendous teenage years and have become somewhat of a foundation aficionado. Thus, I highly recommend Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow; it really is WOW and not as expensive as you might think. I advise applying foundation with a foundation brush, dabbing onto the nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead, then blending it all together with both the brush and your fingers.
5. Highlighter really is your best friend, and nothing can compare to Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat. It is literally a miracle worker and an absolute god send. Never EVER use anything but this when it comes to highlighting. Not only does it add definition to your cheekbones when blended across the tops of your cheeks, but it also reawakens tired eyes when dabbed under and around the eyelids, slims down a perhaps-slightly-larger nose when brushed right down the middle, and plumps up thinning lips when applied around the lip line.
6. Use bronzer, not blush. This may outrage those of you who prefer a pinky hue to a bronzed glow, but I’m only stating what works for me ! Bronzer is definitely more suitable than blush if you have darker, olive-type skin like I do. A lot of make up artists recommend sweeping bronzer all over your face, but if you’re after a more defined look then my advice is to sweep your bronzer in the hollows of your cheeks and upwards towards the temples (you can build up the colour as you please). You can also sweep the excess powder under your chin, along your forehead, and on your brow bone. Like foundation, I have gone through many many bronzers – matte bronzes, glittery bronzers, expensive bronzers, cheap bronzers – but the one I always come back to is Dior’s Diorskin Nude Tan Bronzing Powder. Just to add, I always apply my bronzer AFTER highlighting, never before. Some people do it the other way around but I found this way has always worked best for me.
7. Only apply one coat of mascara. Again, I’ve always heard and read that you should apply between 2-3 coats of mascara, but if you have a decent, reliable mascara then this is not necessary. If you end up applying too much, the price you pay for slightly longer, darker eyelashes is black smudge on your brow bones when you blink, and very unnatural looking eyelashes which resemble the legs of those really hairy garden spiders that always manage to find a way into your bedroom just as you’re about to turn the light out. It’s a little expensive but I always use, and highly recommend, Chanel’s Le Volume De Chanel. It lasts forever as you only ever need one coat, and the brush separates each and every one of your eyelashes to make eyes appear much larger and somewhat almond-shaped.
8. When applying lip gloss or lipstick, just go for it ! So many women try and apply their lip colour perfectly the first time, but I say just aim for the general lip area and go for it, you can always tidy up any mistakes and imperfections afterwards with a cotton pad or a cotton bud. To be honest, I don’t wear lipstick or gloss that often, but if you are a lipstick lover then I advise investing in a good one – with cheaper lipsticks, especially glosses, I always find that your hair ends up getting stuck in it whenever the wind blows ! The only lipstick I ever use is a red one that I got a while ago from Yves Saint Laurent and I’ve heard very good things about most of their lip colour range ! Although saying that, I’ve also had good experiences with Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain. If you can, always apply your lip colour with a brush – the colour lasts longer.
9. Eyeshadow isn’t just for eyes. That sounds weird, but if you’re on a night out and fancy contouring some high cheekbones for yourself or maybe a stronger jaw line, I find that taking a small eyeshadow applicator and a brown eyeshadow (the shade of brown should be slightly darker than your skin tone) will do the trick. Simply dab the applicator into the powder, then sweep the colour from the end of the thicker part of your eyebrow, then down the side of your nose (both sides), then blend. After this, apply a small line of powder just above the hollows of your cheeks (where the bone is), and, again, blend blend blend ! Do the same along your jaw line if that’s the look you’re going for – it’s all about blending ! This you can do with either your fingers or a make up sponge. With eyeshadows, I don’t think it really matters whether its expensive or a bit cheaper as in my experience they’re all pretty much the same ! Although I do recommend Benefit Longwear Powder Eyeshadow in spiced brown shade.
10. Use loose powder to lock everything in place ! As I said before, moisturiser will do this for you, but powder not only extends the wear of your make up, but also enhances everything else, giving your face an all-over subtle glow. Loose powder is more of a luxury than a necessity to your make up kit, but if you do require it then I recommend Dior’s Diorskin Nude Rose Powder – it is costly but very worth it ! It’s a very luxurious product, so it’s a pleasure to put on really 🙂 As with the mascara, it lasts forever as you only need a tiny bit – too much and your face will end up looking very Geisha-like, not to mention it will obscure any bronzer or blush that you may have put on beforehand. Just dab a large blusher brush very lightly into the powder, and very gently sweep across the forehead, nose, apples of the cheeks, and jaw line. This powder will also stop your face from looking too shiny and keep your make up from sweating off if you’re dancing the night away on the weekend ! Disgusting I know, but it does happen from time to time !
Katie’s Extra Special Beauty Tips
1. If you are fair headed, like I used to be a very long time ago, use BROWN mascara. Only wear black mascara if you are dark.
2. To achieve a very sultry, tousled look, apply all make up as normal and then take a hot shower or bath – the steam will sink into your skin and soften up your make up.
3. Follow the beautiful Audrey Hepburn’s example and separate each of your eyelashes with a pin after applying mascara – it will give them an even fuller look.
4. Keep it simple for a daytime look – foundation, a little bit of bronze/blush, and a lick of mascara is all you need. If you must wear eyeliner, wear brown, not black.
5. If you’re going for a strong look with your eyes, keep the lips looking pale and subtle. If you want a strong lip colour, keep eye make up very simple. NEVER do both !
6. Use liquid liner for the tops of your eyelid, and either a crayon or even eyeshadow for the bottom lash line – it gives a much softer, less harsh look.
So that’s it really ! Hopefully you’ve all learnt something today, and will perhaps try some of these tips yourselves, and maybe even invest in some of the products I’ve mentioned ! Like I said, you won’t end up looking like Scarlett Johansson, but you will enhance an even more beautiful YOU 🙂
Love Katie xx