Expert make-up advice makes all the difference in the world

ImageA rather unfortunate experience involving some filming, no make-up artist and hastily improvised maquillage using someone else’s kit compelled me to up my game and get some professional guidance (not to mention some kick-ass new products). I’ve been lucky enough to meet some really great make-up artists over the last few months and it dawns on me that a derm/make-up artist collaboration has to be one of the most natural synergies.

My journey starts with a couple of glasses of bubbles with the delightful Jo Gillingwater, who’s worked with all the supers and regularly does big campaigns for M and S and River Island. What really helps is to have the benefit of a fresh pair of (aesthetically gifted) eyes to guide an image update and perhaps more pertinently, give advice on what will look great for camera (my natural no-make-up look just won’t cut it). She shares some amazing tricks-the ‘proper’ way to create a feline eye-liner flick- ultra-fine stiff brush from Shu Uemura, Ink Liner from Lancome in a luscious chocolate-y hue) and some truly wonderful gloss/stain lip colours from YSL (I think I’m finally a red lip convert). She also showed me how versatile a product MAC Shell Cream Colour Base is-where have you been all my life? I feel like a 12 year-old girl discovering make-up for the first time.

Next I meet with the legendary Ariane Poole, who has been at the top for more than 20 years and has worked on a multitude of film and tv productions. I tell her I need to perfect the base-skin on camera has a habit of looking flat and lifeless, due to too much powdering to get rid of shine which develops as you ‘cook’ under the studio lights. She tells me the key is to skip moisturiser and use an oil-free primer in the t-zone, sparing the under-eye area. She likes my Smashbox Photo-Finish Oil-free Primer, but also rates Laura Mercier. She then uses a foundation brush to apply a sheer, porcelain foundation from her own range. A  touch of concealer on the cheeks (Vichy Dermablend is my preferred product and Dunja Ghag  agrees) to keep high colour at bay and a fine veil of Laura Mercier Hi-Definition Invisible Translucent Powder and I’m ready for my close-up. And the good news is this combination lasts. Nars Orgasm applied lower on the cheekbone than I usually would gives definition and health, without too much distracting shine.

Finally, I turn to twitter-I’m still not absolutely convinced that I’ve found the base of my dreams. I’ve loved Lancome Teint Miracle since Jo McGarry at Stylist recommended it to me by, but it doesn’t give quite enough coverage for camera. Celebrity make-up artist Alex Babsky rates DiorSkin Nude and tells me to beware products with too much shine-which can look greasy on camera. How right he is.  Oonagh Connor, who made me up very beautifully for a Daily Telegraph shoot reminds me that she used a fabulous Givenchy product-Photo’Perfexion in Perfect Sand. That’s it! I remembered how good the pictures were, and how it felt like I was barely wearing a thing. Its only sold at Debenhams and Harrods, so I braved Oxford St on a Saturday. And I’m very glad I did-its simply perfect.

So what I’ve learnt from this whole process is that make-up is as transforming as it is fun. Work hard to perfect the complexion, then go ahead and gild the lily because it’s a joy. And never underestimate the value of getting expert advice. It’s invaluable.

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