Chanel bronzer – healthy glow-bronzing cream

Makeup questions answered – Part 1

“So, what do you do, Sharon?” This is a common question I get asked here in the Algarve when meeting people for the first time.

When I tell them I’m a makeup artist, the majority of the time I will get a wee beauty question thrown in for good measure.

Even with friends or family, I get so many questions like “what’s the best foundation for my skin?”, “Why does my mascara always smudge?” or, the ever-popular, “how can I get rid of the lines around my eyes?” (Ah, no magic makeup potion or cream can help, unfortunately!)

I am dedicating this article to some of these questions. I have asked some clients for more questions and the feedback was fantastic. In fact, I will dedicate a few articles to this alone as there were so many good questions. The answers are just my opinions from my experience and knowledge, and I hope they help. So, let’s get started!

My foundation always looks so cakey. Where I am going wrong?
Good makeup starts with good skin. Are you using a moisturiser? It will help hydrate and smooth the skin. And secondly, are you using a foundation specifically for your skin type? Knowing your skin type is half the battle when it comes to your makeup routine. Is it oily, dry, a combination of both, or are you a lucky lady and have normal skin? And don’t be forgetting your primer, ladies.

I’m 50 plus vat. Can I have some makeup dos and don’ts?
Nowadays, 50 is not old. Look at J.Lo! My advice would be to stay away from anything with too much shimmer and glitter. Always prime before your foundation. Fill in your brows as they are now starting to get thinner. Try to use more cream products and less heavy powders. For example, a cream blush and bronzer.

At the moment, I’m using an amazingly velvety cream bronzer by Chanel called ‘Les beiges crème ensoleillée’. This mega lightweight cream-gel face bronzer gives a beautiful sun-kissed glow. I pop it on where the sun would hit my face, so the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. I like to use with a dense angled brush. You can even use this as an eyeshadow. It comes in two shade options, and I picked mine up at where it’s on sale at the moment from €43.50 to €34.80.

How do I pick out the perfect red lipstick for me?
We ladies are always on the prowl for this. If you have pink in your skin or super fair skinned, opt for a cooler red tone with a bit of a blue tone to it. If you are olive skinned, a warmer orange-red tone works best for you.

Does my makeup and skincare go off?
Every makeup container has a wee symbol either on the back or at the bottom of the product that will tell you how long you can use it before it expires. The clock counts down from the second you first open the product and air hits the contents inside.
Now, will you crook if you use this expired makeup? Gosh no, however, the product may not work in the same way. Or if you have sensitive skin, you may get breakouts. Please see the diagram to show how long each product can last for.

How often should I be cleaning my makeup brushes?
For your own personal makeup brushes, I would advise once a week. I know this seems a lot and I know a lot of girls perhaps do it a lot less, but dirty brushes collect bacteria. Now, I know it can be a pain, but think of me in the summer wedding season. I wash about 95 brushes per night, every night, without fail. Fun times!

What is the proper order of applying my makeup?
Always start with your eyes and brows. Then the foundation, eye correction and concealer, powder, bronzer and blush and highlight. Or if you are using cream-based products, these all go on before any powders.

Always use a finishing spray. A finishing spray helps prevent your makeup from sliding, smudging, creasing and fading quickly.
I cannot do a makeup in the Algarve without using this bad boy. They prolong the life of your makeup. Sometimes, I even like to spray it after each makeup application (i.e., after base, eyes, blush etc.).

Now, I love, love, love my Charlotte Tilbury and Urban Decay setting sprays that I have talked about before here, but if you want one that is a little cheaper and value for money, I adore the NYX matt setting spray. It has a gorgeous shine-free matt finish and comes in a 60ml bottle. It reduces shine and leaves the makeup looking fresh. Priced at €9.45 at

To be fair, we need all the help we can get here in the summer months in Portugal!

By Sharon Phillips
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Sharon Phillips is a well-known, fully qualified makeup artist from Ireland. She has been working in the makeup industry in Portugal for nearly a decade and specialises in bridal makeup, editorial photoshoots and film and television. Her passion is helping women feel and look fabulous through makeup.