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Zoe Clarke

Zoe Clarke

Zoe Clarke

If you wear spectacles, the right make-up is essential to complement your choice of glasses and enhance your eyes and face. Zoe Clarke, one of Ireland’s leading professional make-up artists, who runs personal and professional make-up courses, shares a few tricks of the trade.

Zoe, who has worked with Irish and international celebrities ranging from Amy Winehouse to Nigella Lawson, says that “glasses should not be seen as something that hinder your make-up and most of the normal rules apply”.

Here are ten of her top tips:

Keep it natural – Don’t overcompensate by piling on loads of foundation. Your glasses make a statement already so don’t compete with that. It’s probably best to keep your skin matte as makeup can be smudged as your glasses slide up and down, especially near your eye and nose area. Aim to draw the eye to the cheeks with a peach or pink brush.

Focus on brows – There should be a major focus on your brows as they frame your face. Glasses emphasise them, so ensure that they are groomed and shaped. Your face looks instantly polished with groomed brows. Simply choose your eyebrow product of choice and fill in any sparse areas, leaving a nicely defined brow. Zoe recommends using a slanted 266 brush from Mac which is a “great little angled brush, fine but not too thick”. She recommends the following colours, again by Mac ... Omega (for blondes); Concrete (if you are dark) and Cork (if you are auburn). “Eyebrows can totally transform your whole look”

Accentuate your eyelashes – If your lashes are long, use a waterproof mascara. “The trick is to put a little bit of mascara on your top lashes before curling them and then work from the bottom up and through from the root. Apply some liquid eyeliner close to the lash edge. A great Irish product is Face 2 liquid eyeliner from Annie Gribbin’s Make-Up Forever”

Concealer can go a long way – Glasses can cast a shadow under the eyes, so try a light reflecting concealer which can really help. If you have dark circles or eyebags, apply concealer but also add a layer of loose powder on top to set it.

Think about your frames - When choosing your make-up think about your frames. If you are wearing heavy frames, a natural look is best. If your frames are lighter or your glasses are frameless you can experiment with a more dramatic look.

Opt for colours that flatter - The usual rules of eye make-up apply. Opt for colours that flatter your eye colour and skin tone. “You do not have to match your make-up to your glasses! Tread carefully with colour under glasses,” says Zoe.

Invest in a good mirror – This is essential so that you can see your face properly without your glasses. “A mirror that can tilt backwards, so that you can look closely is the best. Invest in one with lighting or use kitchen strip lighting to get the best results,” she says.

If you’re long sighted – Eyes appear bigger through the lenses. It’s best to use darker shades on the lid to give the illusion of smaller eyes through the glasses. Use one colour all over the lid and apply dark eyeliner. Avoid highlighting the inner corner of the eye which only makes eyes appear bigger. These tips will make your eyes appear deep set and help offset the magnifying effect of your lenses.

If you’re short sighted – Eyes appear smaller behind your glasses. It’s best to line along the top lashes and use a lighter or brighter shade on the lip to give the illusion that they eye is bigger through the lenses. Highlight the inner corner of the eye. You could try wearing some taupe or white liner on the inner rim of the eye. “A great product is Benefit Eye Bright in ivory”, says Zoe.

Lips – If you want to look your best, finish off with some dramatic lips.

Zoe’s Best Look For December 2011 – “A slightly fifties look is in. Glasses are very on-trend. Work on your eyebrows to give a lovely frame to your face. Go for liquid eyeliner and add a bright red lip for that ‘sexy secretary’ look, or for the less brave, go for soft pink on cheeks with pink lips”

Zoe’s Best Recession Tip – “Instead of spending a lot of money on make-up brushes, why not use little paint brushes? One I use all the time is from Daler-Rowney and can be found at any good stationery shop. It’s the aqua fine brush number 2 and gives great results,” she says.