Back in the day *ahem*eight years ago*ahem* when I was a glamour model, I was pretty accustomed to having a professional make up artist turn me from the girl next door into drag queen for photoshoots with mountains of blusher, lipgloss and false lashes that left my skin unable to breath and very caked looking, but that’s exactly what’s needed for harsh studio lights. Fast forward to today, two children later and not a drop of sunshine in sight on this dreary cold afternoon and it’s safe to say that I could do with a bit of a sparkle to make the most of my natural pasty facade.
My relationship with makeup ranges from one extreme to the other, day to day I wear only a little concealer to even out my skin tone mostly for convenience and sheer lack of time and a splash of eyeliner on my upper lids; when going out I always ensure I apply an extra layer of concealer, a touch of lipgloss and a bit of eyeshadow to boot but never feel that I look done-up enough if that makes sense. I would love to be able to find the perfect foundation to suit my complexion of rosy cheeks, dark under eye circles and the odd breakout of spots at the wrong time of the month. I’m also keen to learn a way to better accentuate my eyes and improve my skin tone without looking too made up for a daytime look, yet professionally polished for the evening as opposed to cakey and fake, as I strongly believe that less is more. Having my lesson today with a professional makeup artist has left me brimming with enthusiasm for what can be done.
Pulling into the car park of the Belmore Centre which was clearly signposted from the main Stoke Mandeville Hospital road, I was pleasantly greeted by the friendly and welcoming staff at reception before being shown to a beautiful white stone waiting area filled with beauty products, soft lighting and soothing music. A few moments later I was greeted by Lauren, my therapist, and shown to a peaceful, cosy and quiet treatment room upstairs which was furnished with beautiful white and purple materials and sumptuous soft fluffy towels. After answering a few questions about my health concerning the procedure that I was about to have, Lauren showed me to the bed where I laid back at an incline and the one hour lesson began.
Lauren started by removing my existing makeup before cleansing and moisturising my face. I then had to wait around five minutes for my skin to absorb the moisturiser before my foundation could be applied. Lauren mixed two shades of foundation and applied it with a soft makeup brush starting at my jawline and working her way across my face. She explained that the reason she had started at my jawline was to ensure an accurate colour match to my skin as testing makeup on the back of my hand would be too different from the tone of my face. She applied a small amount of liquid foundation to the brush at a time and spread it across my face in small strokes with a ‘less is more’ approach, adding extra to the areas that needed it after my entire face was neutralised.
I’ve always had dark circles around my eyes which I detest but realise there is very little that I can do about them other than hide them with makeup. Lauren explained that adding a small amount of concealer in the inner corner of each eye and gently working it out towards the outer edge would give a far better finish than applying concealer across the entire length as this can leave a white ring around the eye that looks different to the rest of the face, like a panda eye in reverse!
The next step was to finish with powder which I always thought was a form of foundation that you choose between liquid, moose or powder, but this one was different. The powder Lauren used was a translucent finishing powder that set my foundation and had no real tone in itself so it wouldn’t affect the colour that was already on my face but instead keep it more even and in place for a longer duration. To do this she shook a small amount of translucent powder onto a cotton pad and pressed it onto my face before running a fluffy brush all over to remove any lose remnants. Having never normally used powder I was instantly impressed with the results as it left my skin looking porcelain fine, with flawless coverage and a soft natural skin finish as opposed to either shiny or powdery looking that you get with foundation.
Next Lauren moved to my eyes and advised as that as they are blue then the best colours to suit me would be natural earthy browns, smokey blacks and possibly plum if applied correctly, otherwise I’d be in danger of looking like I had a black eye. She took three colours from a palette one a pale shimmery cream, one light gold and one cappuccino brown. Holding up a mirror as she showed me the areas of my eye she explained how the lightest pale shimmer cream should be used on the inner corner or my eyes and under my eyebrows to illuminate, the light gold should cover the entire lid of my eyes as a base colour and the cappuccino should go along the crease in my eye which is the eye socket to give definition, which should widen out at the far edge of each eye. She then used a medium brush to sweep across my eyes and blend in the three different colours so instead of being in blocks they looked soft and natural and merged together seamlessly. The same cappuccino colour she used along my socket was then applied with a small padded brush under my bottom eyelid as a powder eyeliner to give a more natural look. Lauren finished my eyes with a coat of black mascara to my upper and lower lashes and my eyes looked a million dollars.
Lauren then explained that because my eyes had been given colour and mascara that I should also add colour to my eyebrows to ensure that they don’t look pale next to the definition of my eyes, so using a padded brush she applied a small amount of brown powder through my eyebrows which gave them definition and shape. She then used a light peachy blusher on my cheeks starting in line with my pupils and working the large brush in small circles upwards and outwards towards the tops of my ears.
Finally she finished my daytime look with a pearlescent rose coloured lipgloss and my transformation was complete. I was absolutely amazed by how flawless my face looked. My makeup was precise yet minimal, it wasn’t heavy or cakey but smooth, soft and delicate; and to take my look from daytime to evening I’d simply have to choose three darker shades of eyeshadow to use and perhaps a stronger colour for my lips. I love how Lauren gave me such a perfect daytime look that didn’t make me look too overdone, which wouldn’t look out of place whether I be on the school run or out to lunch. I’d never have thought of using powders as an eyeliner but it really works and I love the three complimentary soft natural eyeshadow shades which make a difference from my usual single colour lids or dark black liner.
The Makeup Lesson for me has been priceless in correcting my makeup faux pas, and afterwards I was able to purchase the same Clarins products used so that I could recreate my look at home. Having an expert to answer all of your questions, to give advice on your own unique face shape and skin tone is absolutely amazing. Before this I’ve only ever seen looks in beauty magazines which never look the same when I try to recreate the look myself. Like when choosing clothes where you take into account your shape, height and age, makeup is just the same and everybody is unique. I now have a flawless makeup routine that I’m confident and comfortable with that I can adapt to suit my daily needs and know that it’s been perfectly tailored to suit me.
The Belmore Centre also do wedding day and special occasion makeup to cover all of your cosmetic needs and in a few years time when my daughter is old enough to wear makeup I’ll be giving her a gift voucher for a makeup lesson so that she can bypass any embarrassing makeup disasters and start her adult makeup life looking naturally classy as opposed to over the top and trashy! If only I’d had this Makeup Lesson ten years ago!
Thankfully beauty vouchers are available, and for just £34.00 it’s a one-hour must have that makes the ideal gift for loved ones.
You can visit the Belmore Centre’s website here and watch me having my makeup lesson in this video: