Smokey Eye
Smokey Eye

Makeup questions answered – Part 2

Do I really need a primer, or can I skip this in my makeup routine?

If you’ve got a little extra shine in your t-zone, or your makeup always looks a bit messy by the end of the day, a primer could be just the thing you’re missing in your makeup routine.

Primers are basically the photoshop of the makeup world. They’re used underneath eyeshadow, foundation, tinted moisturiser and mascara to create a smoothing effect that enhances makeup coverage and helps your makeup stay on longer – all while targeting concerns like oily or dry skin.

Some products are silicone-based primers, which can irritate your skin based on the harsh ingredients. Opt for more natural primers that include ingredients you know to ensure you’re putting the best products on your face.

Almost all of them blur out large pores, smooth unwanted texture, and correct discolouration. They even improve fine lines and hyperpigmentation from sun exposure. Sounds pretty magical, eh?

Nars Pore and Shine Primer
Nars Pore and Shine Primer

My favourite primer for oilier skin types is the NARS Pore and Shine. I use this a lot on my brides getting married on those really hot days, so it helps maintain the makeup’s longevity on the skin. This lightweight formula is really worth a try, it’s mattifying and oil-free. It really diminishes the look of pores instantly and controls that dreaded shine that can appear during the day. It can be bought in Sephora for €38.90. A little goes a long way and it is really a game changer on how your makeup sits on your skin.

How do I apply foundation over acne?

Before you apply your foundation, consider some colour-correcting tricks to help neutralise your blemishes. If you have a pimple that is very red, neutralise it with a green colour corrector. Use a small, stiff brush and tap the product directly onto the blemish. Then apply your foundation on top and finish with a little powder. Et voilà! This is also good for anyone who suffers from rosacea on their cheeks.

How can I make liner in my eyebrows look natural?

Repeat after me: “I will never put black in my eyebrows.” So many women make the mistake of using black liner in their eyebrows which ends up giving them the angry look instead of the fierce one they are probably going for. For a natural-filled brow, always use powder and a shade of brown that is one tone lighter than your natural eyebrow colour. Make sure to apply with a thin angled brush. This will give you a softer natural look.

Kiko Milano palletes
Kiko Milano palletes

1. How can I do an easy smoky eye? (Actually easy)

There are different types of smoky eyes. The ones that fade light to dark are probably the most difficult to achieve. If you are still a beginner in smoky eyes, using a single base colour is the best way to start. A smoky eye can be achieved with any colour, so pick a solid dark colour and cover your entire lid.

Next, pick a light beige or cream colour and place it right under the brow line. Last, you will need a shade of brown or beige that is one or two tones darker than your skin colour. Place this between the brow colour and the lid colour directly under the brow bone, this will allow for an awesome contoured look.

Finally, take your favourite blending brush and blend until you cannot tell when one colour starts and the other one ends. You will have a fabulous smoky eye within minutes. I call this a blown out smoky eye.

You can’t go wrong with an eyeshadow palette that can be used both for day-time and night-time. I recently picked up a little gem from Kiko Cosmetics that actually fits in my smallest of handbags. It’s called Glamour Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette, has nine colours, and I find them really bendable.

I’m a lover of browns, beiges and golds, so I have the No2 shade. I can do a neutral eye in the day and jazz them up and intensify, if going out in the evening, with the darker colours. It also has a handy little mirror and oh, it’s only €13.99. A wee bargain!

Charlotte Tilbury Bronzer
Charlotte Tilbury Bronzer

I’d like to try a little powder bronzer, but I’m not sure where to apply it?

Though bronzer is one of the quickest ways to warm up your complexion, if you use it incorrectly, it can make you look as if you’d had your face lightly coated with fine sand, rather than spent a relaxing afternoon at the beach. To avoid the former, start by sweeping a blush brush across the bronzer and shake off excess. Apply it to the apples of your cheeks, making circular motions toward the temples. Dust a bit over the bridge of your nose.

Maybe you’ll want to stop there. But if you’re feeling bold, brush a bit across the top of your forehead, just below the hairline. My go-to bronzer is Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Bronzer. It has won many beauty awards and is hyaluronic acid-infused and has a pore-blurring matt effect. It costs €50 on her website. I find it blends like a dream and looks like a natural sun-kissed look (perfect for living in the Algarve!).

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.