Hair & Beauty

5 Pro Tips For Flawless Makeup

By Jessica Pridmore - 23 Oct 2015

Fresh off the plane from Paris Fashion Week, and in town for her makeup Masterclass at James Street RESORT festival, we caught up with Mac Cosmetic’s Senior Artist for Australia, the legendary Carol Mackie, to get some serious pro tips on all things face and insider advice on how to nail the latest trends.

For anyone whose makeup bag is the most precious (read: heavily invested in) item in your wardrobe, this will be the best read of your life.

#1 How To Contour Without Looking Like A Hot Mess

For makeup brush virgins, contouring can be oh-so intimidating. With so many brushes, colours, techniques and products flying around the beauty world, it’s easy to think that contouring is for pros-only. ‘Always follow the natural lines of your face’ Mackie says ‘you’re wanting to work with and enhance the shape of your face, especially the hollows just under the cheekbones’.

For a natural finish, apply product to the brush—Mackie suggests Mac’s 316 contoured angle brush(5) for super easy application—then remove excess product by blotting your brush into a tissue. The aim of the game is to build up the level of colour, not overdo it (‘you can always build the depth of colour you’re after,’) then, using a sweeping motion, blend down from your ear below your cheekbone. This naturally enhances the highest part of your face, your cheekbones and acts as an illusion to slim the face. Neat huh?

#2 Big Brows: How To Achieve The Perfect Look

Though standout Brooke Shields/ Cara Delevigne-style brows have been a main stayer on practically every runway for a number of seasons now, Mackie has noted a ‘return to a straighter brow, with a soft and fluffy appearance’ rather than harshly filled in and shaped.

For the ultimate brow de jour, Mackie suggests using a 219 shadow brush (3) (trust us!) and choosing a product one shade lighter than your natural colour to gently blend into sparse areas of your eyebrows. To set the brow (and to create that sought-after ‘fluffy’ look) use a brow gel such as Clear Brow Set (4), to brush the hairs in an upward motion into position, creating a fluffed up, undone look.

#3 Applying Foundation Like A Pro

Nothing says ‘polished’ like a flawless finish to your makeup, but for some of us, achieving a natural but ‘done’ look using foundation can seem tricky. ‘Flawless skin is always on-trend’ says Mackie, ‘the right foundation is (the mix between) skincare and makeup, making skin look it’s absolute best’. She describes the ultimate foundation application as a looking like ‘sheer stockings—it’s there but it’s not there’.

To achieve this, Mackie likes Mac’s 316 brush (yes, the one for contouring—these brushes are built for multi-tasking!) for a smooth, streak-free application. Starting from your T-Zone blend outwards without overloading on product (if you like extra coverage in certain areas, work concealer onto the skin using the 217 brush(1)), then take the 187 Duo Fibre Brush (2) to literally buff the product into the skin, to the edges of the face and down your neck. This gives a very natural finish and eradicates those tell-tale tide marks.

#4 Strobing… What Is It And Why Should I Be Adding It To My Makeup Regime?

Strobing, the buzzword of the season, is a sort of ‘Berocca for the skin’ (best Carol Mackie quote ever?), and is essentially highlighting the face where light would naturally hit, giving off the illusion of naturally glowing skin.

The key is to highlight only certain areas of the face, we don’t want to overdo it here; down the middle of the nose, cupids bow, cheek bones and a little on the chin, providing a similar effect to contouring, except using light vs. dark to highlight high planes of the face. Fancy dabbling in strobing? Mackie loves using Mac’s Cream Colour Base in Luna or Pearl for a subtle sheen. Wanting something a bit more dramatic? Mac’s infamous Strobe Cream gives ‘amazing glow’.

A hot tip for a dewy look? Mackie suggests adding a drop or two of Mac’s Strobe Cream into your foundation or tinted moisturiser before application. Who says five-a-day is the only way to achieve glowing skin?

#5 How Not To Suck At Putting On Eyeliner

It goes without saying that practice makes perfect when it comes to perfecting winged eyeliner, but, Mackie says the number one mistake people make when applying is not putting enough product on the brush. ‘Don’t be afraid to load up your eyeliner brush with product (Mackie likes the 266 angled brush with Fluidline liner pot), dragging the brush across the eye area without enough product on is the quickest way to mess up a clean line’.

Mackie advises to start from the corner of the eyes and sweep to the edge of the eye. Then for a perfect flick, flip the brush 180 degress so the angle is upside down and start from the point of your flick and sweep inwards, meeting in the middle. Voila!

New Trends To Try

We couldn’t let Carol leave without getting her thoughts on upcoming makeup trends, and seeing as she’d just come back from Paris, we had to ask: ‘What’s big for SS/’16 in Europe’?

‘Perfect skin is huge! Practically every runway look focused on great looking skin’ says Mackie. ‘Lips were red, but in deeper burgundy and rusty hues’ and eyes were lined in ‘jewel tones, dark blues and black’. Mackie noted the return of playing with colour on the runway with ‘desert hues, jewel tones, and sepia shades seen across all the runways’, but with designers asking artists to create ‘undone, and lived-in looks on the models’. Ladies, maybe it’s time to invest in a new lippy and get ten minutes extra sleep a day—we can def do ‘lived-in’!

Feeling inspired to get your brush on? Check out MAC's range online now!

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