You’re not alone! So here to help you save face are these insider tips from the pros
After spending so much time at home, bare-faced, I’ve recently had a raft of women telling me they don’t know how to apply their make-up properly any more. And they no longer seem to be able to do it quickly. To top it all off, we’re still wearing face masks and dealing with all their associated problems. Yes, it seems that many of us have lost our make-up mojo.
So to help you get your skills and routine back in shape, I have asked three of my favourite make-up artists (below) to share their essential tips, as well as any tricks, about how to easily update a look.
Hannah Martin, the make-up pro who created Princess Eugenie’s wedding look
Ruby Hammer MBE, pioneering make-up artist and brand founder
Justine Jenkins, ethical make-up artist and author of Sustainable Beauty
FOR A FLAWLESSLY ‘NATURAL’ BASE
If you find your foundation goes patchy, Hannah Martin blames thirsty skin. ‘When skin is dehydrated it will drink whatever you put on top of it, including the moisture in your foundation, so consider more hydration.’
Hannah loves By Terry Hyaluronic Global Face Cream (4, £60, spacenk.com) ‘as it is full of hydrating hyaluronic acid but light’.
A mistake that Ruby Hammer sees is the way people apply foundation. She says, ‘It’s a myth that it needs to be everywhere. Look at your face and figure out which areas need covering. Usually it’s under the eyes, around the nose, sometimes the chin.’
For those of us struggling with texture or shade matching, Hannah suggests a lighter formula. ‘Tinted moisturisers are more sheer than matt foundations. And they’re richer in emollients (which soften and smooth) so they give a more hydrated, healthy finish.’
Hannah’s picks: Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF30 (3, £30, bareminerals.co.uk) is ‘dreamy but barely there’. Delilah Time Frame Future Resist Foundation SPF20 (1, £34, delilahcosmetics.com) is ‘beautiful and lightweight’. Erborian BB Crème Nude (2, £38, spacenk.com) is ‘heavier but gorgeous’.
FOR PERFECTLY DEFINED BROWS
Justine Jenkins says avoid blocking out the brows with product: ‘Use micro pencils or powders, and fill in using small feathery strokes.’ She likes Zao Eyebrow Powder (1, £17, greenerbeauty.com) as it’s not only refillable, but doubles up as a handy eyeshadow.
Ruby also favours brow powders. Her product of choice is Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo (3, £24, cultbeauty.co.uk) which comes in a multitude of shades to suit every colouring, including redheads.
Justine and Ruby agree that a spoolie (a brush designed for eyebrows) is your brows’ best friend. Ruby uses one (pictured above left) in her Ruby Hammer Magnetic Brush Set 02 (4, £28, cultbeauty.co.uk) to brush up hairs to look ‘awake’ without the need for colour, while Justine uses hers after applying brow powder to blend.
Hannah agrees it’s important not to lay too much colour on to the skin behind the hairs, and favours tinted brow gels as a ‘nice segue back into shaping and filling in brows without feeling too heavy’. Her newest favourite is Beauty Pie Arch-ology Tinted Eyebrow Sculpting Gel (2, £7.21 for members, beautypie.com) to quickly help brows look thicker.
FOR A HEALTHY POP OF CHEEK COLOUR
To avoid applying too much blush, there is one resounding sentiment from all three make-up artists: never go too near the nose. Starting a finger or two away from the edge of the nostril, blend up the colour from the apple of the cheek towards the top of your ear, ensuring there are no hard edges.
Hannah likes to dip her Beauty Pie Pro Angled Contour Cheek Brush (2, £6.30 for members, beautypie.com) into the blush before pushing the head of the brush into the palm of her hand, rather than tapping the excess off which causes the pigment to fly away. She says, ‘If you press it into your hand you’re pushing the pigment from the tip of the bristles into the head of the brush. Then when you apply the colour you won’t get a whopping pile of pigment sitting on the end; it’s all in the brush and you can work it on to the cheek gently.’
Ruby’s pick: Vieve Sunset Blush (3, £23, vieve.co.uk) is ‘a powder formula that melts into the skin’. Hannah’s pick: My Beauty Brand Pure Power Blush in Samiya Rose Pink (1, £18, mybeautybrand.com) is ‘a muted pink with a hint of brown, neither flat nor super bright’. Justine’s pick: All Earth Mineral Cosmetics Lips, Cheeks and Eyes Tint (4, £16, allearthmineralcosmetics.com) is ‘a cream texture that’s easier to control than a powder’.
FOR LIPSTICK WITH STAYING POWER
The right formulation and foolproof application are key to lipstick that lasts and can hold up to wearing a face mask. Justine says: ‘If you never wear lip liner, now is the time to introduce it into your routine.’ Using a soft-textured lip pencil such as Nude by Nature Defining Lip Pencil (2, £14, boots.com), she lines the lips before filling in across the whole lip for extra staying power.
Ruby favours Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Pillow Talk Liner (3, £17, charlottetilbury.com), while for a seriously longwearing liquid lipstick, Hannah likes Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick (1, £18, feelunique.com). She says the trick lies in not being too heavy-handed. ‘A light application, press the lips together, allow a minute to dry and you should get at least eight hours’ wear. Apply too much and it will feel tacky, plus it won’t last as well.’
If you’re worried about smudges, this is where tinted lip oils and balms come into play. ‘A sheer moisturised look is the most current and modern way to dress your lips, and an oil can even be worn as a topper to revitalise a longwear liquid lip,’ says Hannah. Her go-to is My Perfect Pink Lip Oil (4, £19, mybeautybrand.com), from her collection in collaboration with My Beauty Brand which has a foolproof ‘doe-foot’ sponge applicator that won’t deposit too much product.
FOR ACCURATE EYE FLICKS
The most important thing with winged eyeliner is what works best for you. For a small flick with a subtle finish, Ruby opts for a pencil as this has a softer pay off. Simply hold the pencil flat along the upper lash line, tilting upwards as you reach the outer corner.
Justine recommends mapping out a basic structure: looking straight into a mirror, place a tiny dot on the outer corner of the eye where you want the flick to end. Start by lining the top lash line a third of the way in from the inner corner, before joining up with the dot to create a flick you can fill in. ‘This gives you the chance to get a rhythm going before attempting the tricky bit,’ she says.
Hannah also does the lash line first. Her trick for a perfect feline flick is to imagine it follows the trajectory of your lower lash line to match the shape of your eye. For the more nervous, there is a cheat’s way out – The Quick Flick eyeliner stamp (2, £19.99, superdrug.com) comes in four sizes so you can print a flick before joining it to your lash line with the liner pen included.
If any mistakes are made, simply clean up smudges like the pros with a cotton bud dipped in Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (1, £1.99, superdrug.com). With an estimated 1.5 billion cotton buds thrown away every day, Justine loves Ecoslurps Reusable Cotton Buds (3, £7.99 for two, ecoslurps.com).