Pro Tip: When to apply concealer?

When does one apply concealer? a) before foundation; or b) after foundation?


City Girl Shoot ~ Photographer: Lucko Prawito, Stylist: Sam Gan, HMUA: Mural Beauty, Model: Brooke Settle from Red11 Models

Imagine you’ve just concealed around your nose, chin, under your eyes, and your blemished areas and are about to go in with your foundation… By applying foundation on top, you’re going to move the concealer around and by the time you’ve finished applying your foundation, the concealer would have disappeared! You’ll end up having to go back in with your concealer after to ‘touch up.’

Step 1: Your foundation is your foundation – It’s the base of your makeup, so it goes on first. Doing it this way means you’ve already taken away most of the uneven skin tone and will only be left with those larger blemishes or darker spots that foundation couldn’t hide for you. Then it’s time to go in for that extra coverage!

♥ Step 2: Conceal the last of those blemishes – To do a good job concealing you should really have two kinds of concealer in your makeup bag. The first one should match to your foundation shade in order to cover up those blemishes or spots around the nose and chin. The second concealer is what will step up your beauty regime. A concealer that is the opposite undertone to your foundation AND half a shade lighter than your foundation. For example, if you have a cool undertone foundation like MAC NC30, then you will need a warm concealer in the shade NW25. If you are like me and suffer from dark under eye circles, then this trick really makes all the difference.

Pro application tip – When applying concealer, use a small stippling brush or a domed blending brush and work with a small amount of product to start with (you can always build it up as you go). Lightly press and pat over the blemish so the concealer blends effortlessly into the foundation 

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Honeymoon makeup bag essentials!

Your honeymoon is all about relaxing and spending time with your new hubby or wifey, the last thing you want to be worrying about taking stacks of makeup with you!

Whether you’re traveling through Europe or enjoying the white sand beaches of the beautiful Pacific Islands, you’ll be set with these three beauty products:


#fijifeels Last thing I wanted was full coverage anything!

♥ Tinted Moisturiser (with SPF)

Skip the heavy coverage and go for a no-makeup makeup look, whilst still protecting your skin with one of these tinted moisturisers:

Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum, $95 – If you’re looking for a dewy, glowing complexion, this anti-aging foundation with SPF 30 is easy to apply and will give you that barely-there makeup look. Yes I know technically a foundation – but it’s called no-foundation foundation, so we’re still good!

MAC Cosmetics Lightful C + Coral Grass Tinted Cream SPF30, $74 – This product has colour correcting properties as well as oil control for us shiny girls! Perfect for brighter skin as it has Vitamin C in it, so over time your skin should appear brighter and fresher.

Mecca Cosmetica In a Good Light SPF30+ Tinted Moisturiser, $44 – This is a goodie for the girls who love and need hydration! Leaving a dewy cream finish and natural radiance, it is the perfect little pick me up for those days lying on the beach!

♥ Waterproof Mascara

The last thing you want to be worrying about on your honeymoon is whether or not your mascara is running. That’s why these long wear, waterproof mascaras are essential to your packing list!

MAC Extended Play Lash Mascara, $40 – This lightweight waterproof formula creates beautiful defined lashes with a petite brush. Claiming to have 16 hours lasting power, this a perfect day to night product. Who has time for touch ups on their honeymoon anyways?

Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara, $36 – If you’re a fan of this cult fave mascara, you’ve got to get the waterproof version! It has all the same benefits of the original formula with the added bonus of not smudging.

CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Waterproof Mascara, $23 – This high volume, smear-proof formula will give you full lashes, plus it’s budget-friendly!

♥ Tinted Lip Balm

Depending on where you are going, you may be about to experience a sudden change in temperature. If you are anything like me, a sudden change in weather wrecks havoc on my lips, so why not have something super moisturising but still gives a little hint of colour.

YSL Volupte Tint-In-Balm, $66 – This product is a little more luxe, but once you feel the product on your lips and the see the beautiful packaging you will know why it’s one of my fav’s! With adorable little lips in the middle, you get an instant radiant colour with all the care of a nourishing balm!

Benefit Cosmetics Lollibalm Hydrating Tinted Lip Balm, $34 – The sweetest smooch! With a buildable colour and all the goodness for your lips, you can pop a layer on for the day and build up a colour for your night out – I’m all about that 2-in-1!

Maybelline Baby Lips, $4 – With an SPF 20 and shea butter, you can’t really go wrong! Plus with that price point, you can afford one for each handbag!

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Pro tip: Does makeup expire?

You open up your travel makeup bag, ready to pack for your next holiday and you find that lipstick you forgot in there from your trip last year. Do you (a) think “Yaasss! Makeup packing complete” or (b) *Eww* and chuck it straight in the bin?

One of the questions I get time and time again is does makeup expire? The short answer is yes! One thing to be aware of though is there are so many kinds of makeup products with different compositions (cream v powder), which varies the shelf life of each product.

It’s super important you keep track of how old your makeup is as you can have a reaction to expired makeup. Below are the guidelines we were taught through my training, along with some other tips I’ve picked up along the way:

💛 Primers & Foundation – General rule of thumb is 12 months for liquid and cream products. It doesn’t matter if your primer or foundation is water or oil-based, you shouldn’t keep using a foundation past the 12 month mark. Liquid and cream products are less hygienic than powdered products and build up bacteria and other nasties faster.

Pro tip: Always shake a foundation before using it to ensure the pigment and other minerals in the product are well mixed together to ensure a smoother application. 

💛 Highlighter / Contour / Blusher – Just like with foundations, cream based products will only last 12 months. However, powder based products will last up to 2 years. Personally these products don’t last me 6 months as I use them so fast – who doesn’t want that glow!?

💛 Eyeshadows – We all have an eyeshadow palette lying around from 2015. Don’t bother denying it. The question is, can we still use it? Pressed eyeshadows last up to 4 years! So yes – we can still safely use our Original Urban Decay Naked palette, which we found again last week! Cream eyeshadows are a little different – they generally last up to 12 months assuming you take good care of them. Once they dry up they are a little hard to revive. Check out my previous post for the magic spray that assists with bringing dried cream products back to life again.

💛 Eyeliner – Cream or gel eyeliners face the same issues as cream eyeshadows so 12 months is their maximum life, assuming care has been taken. For eyeliner pencils, these can last up to 2 years. There is added protection with the coating on the actual product of pencil eyeliners. However, don’t forget to pop that lid on after you’ve finished!

💛 Mascara – Alas mascara’s are the things that expire the quickest and also the product you need to take the most care with. Discontinue use of a mascara after 3 months, regardless of whether it is finished or not. Mascara wands pick up all the bugs off your eyelashes and they fester in the mascara tube whilst awaiting your next application. I try not to think about it too much. Whenever you are getting makeup services provided, always insist on a disposable mascara wand being used. No exceptions.

💛 Lip sticks – 3 years! Thank goodness for that – cos we all know we have too many to get through!

💛 Lip liners – Much like eyeliner pencils, these can last up to 2 years. If you do leave the lid off the pencil and it dries up prior to the 2 year mark, try giving it a good sharpen to see if you can revive the product. If this doesn’t work then it’s RIP lip liner.

Another important tip I’ve found is to make sure you know why your products smell like and feel like. When I first purchase a new product I make sure to smell it and become familiar with that smell. That way if I smell it later on and it has a tinge of something off then I know it’s time has come. Also knowing how your products feel is also important. If you eye shadow is feeling a bit more chalky than it originally did then the pallet may be nearing the end of it’s useful life.

The guidelines above are just that, guidelines. You can’t expect your cream eyeshadows to last the full 12 months if you leave the lid off. You need to take care of your products and know how to treat ’em right ☺️

As a makeup artist, I go through a fair bit of product. However, I still have a spreadsheet where I keep track of all my makeup and other inventory. I have the expiry dates by the products so I know exactly when it’s time to ditch the product if I still have it hanging around.

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Bridal touch up essentials for the wedding day

When I was a bride, I wanted to make sure I was on top of absolutely everything. Including any beauty emergencies which may have hit!

Having a bridal beauty touch bag is an essential part to ensuring your makeup stays camera perfect all day and all night long! I would recommend to my brides to consider investing in some must-have products for their beauty bag.

The Must-Haves

♥ Blotting Paper – These are great for a quick shine touch up. They are super easy to use during the wedding day. If you have combination or oily skin, I cannot recommend these enough – No one wants a shiny face in photos!

♥ Lipstick / Lip gloss – Lipstick is usually the first to fade on a makeup look due to eating, drinking and all those kisses brides end up dishing out to guests. If you want to touch up before photos and between meals, I would definitely invest in a full size lipstick of your colour choice. This way you will always have the lipstick colour on hand as well for your future anniversaries.

♥ Lip Liner – If you are wearing a brighter or bold color on your wedding day, having the matching lip liner is a must (especially with a red). Lip liners makes lipstick last far longer and when reapplying, you can get that razor sharp line which a lipstick by itself just can’t achieve.

♥ Pressed Translucent or Blotting Powder – My go-to is setting powder is the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Power for my initial makeup application. I would avoid a loose powder for your bridal beauty bag as the last thing you want is loose powder all over your dress! For touch ups when you have your dress on, I would recommend the MAC Blot Powders – they have hardly any pigment but can tone down any shine and keep that flawless finish for hours. I would recommend using the blotting paper first if you are quite oily to remove the excess oil and then top off with the blotting powder to really set and mattify.

Facial Spray – If you are dry skin prone, having a refreshing facial spray will help keep any dryness at bay. Or if you are getting married in a hot summers day, a spritz of spray can make you feel rejuvenated! My go-to facial spray is MAC Fix +. If you want to know all the versatile ways to use this beauty check out my blog post on 10 ways to use M.A.C Fix+. Another spray I love is the Mario Badescu Facial Spray.

♥ Tissues & Q tips – These are great to have in your touch up bag for happy tears. Q tips are amazing for cleaning up the inner corners of your eyes where there is a likelihood of makeup build up by the end of the day. Also q tips are an easy way to clean up any makeup smudges – you will be surprised at how smiling so much can cause creasing!

♥ Compact Mirror – This is must in any bride’s beauty touch up bag. You can always check to make sure you look great even when you are on location for your photos!

♥ Mints – Mints to freshen the breath are discrete and great to have before your lip touch up.

I like to help all my clients feel pampered so with every makeup application I do (not just bridal), I provide a little top up kit containing a voucher for your next appointment, a top up of your lipstick applied on the day, a lip applicator, blotting paper and a cotton bud. This all comes in a small silk pouch that can easily fit in your clutch or makeup bag.

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Pro tip: How to use a paint pot

A go to pro product for all makeup artists are the MAC pro longwear paint pots. When working with my clients I often get asked what this product is and how to use it. To be honest, until my makeup training I too had no idea what this product was, how to use it or the power it has.

Paint pots are versatile and can be used on their own and in conjunction with pressed eye shadows or loose pigments. They are often described as a pigmented cream eye shadow that truly last all day long.

Personally, my favourite way to use paint pots are as an eye shadow primer. I have such confidence that the eye shadow on top will last the full day so I use this product on every single client. My go to shades for eye shadow primers are “Painterly” and “Groundwork.” I also have some darker shades for a super quick smokey eye or to enhance my mauve and burgundy eye looks.

Application tips

The most important thing that people tend to forget with this product is that is it SUPER fast drying, so you need to work quickly and ensure you blend it properly.

♥ My favourite brush to apply a paint pot with is My Kit Co. 1.23 All Over Shadow. The easiest way I have found is to work the product with my brush and then I blend blend blend across the eye lid where I want the colour.

♥ You only need the smallest amount of this product to get the pigment you need and remember, you can always apply more! A light handed approach is always best.

♥ Once you have blended the paint pot out – you are done! Boom – it is that easy! If you want to wear the paint pot as an eye shadow primer, simply apply and then proceed with the eye shadows/loose pigments of your choice.

For me, I can’t do a clients makeup look without these babies! I have the utter most confidence that my brides eye looks will stay put all day long and my event makeup girls cut crease will look amazing!

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