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Louise McSharry: ‘Here are my little tricks for making my makeup look more impressive’

Less is more when it comes to perfecting a MUA-level face

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Our beauty writer's pick of the products that will raise your makeup game

Our beauty writer's pick of the products that will raise your makeup game

Glisten Cosmetics Wet Liner

Glisten Cosmetics Wet Liner

MAC’s Mineralise Skinfinish Highlighter

MAC’s Mineralise Skinfinish Highlighter

Mac 217S

Mac 217S

Charlotte Tilbury Quick & Easy kit

Charlotte Tilbury Quick & Easy kit

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop

Charlotte Tilbury’s new Quick and Easy kits (€69 via CharlotteTilbury.com

Charlotte Tilbury’s new Quick and Easy kits (€69 via CharlotteTilbury.com

Vieve Eye Wand in Camel

Vieve Eye Wand in Camel

Bellamianta Luxury Back Applicator

Bellamianta Luxury Back Applicator

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Our beauty writer's pick of the products that will raise your makeup game

I get a lot of compliments on my makeup. I don’t say that to be boastful, but it’s true. The reason I mention it is because I don’t think I’m particularly highly skilled. I’m not a makeup artist. I’m not professionally trained. I didn’t grow up in the YouTube democracy of knowledge. I got ‘good at makeup’ by practising as a teenager when I didn’t have a lot going on socially.

As the years have passed, and with less time to practise and play, I’ve noticed my skill level being surpassed as more and more people learn detailed and challenging techniques online. Sometimes, I wish I had the time to dedicate to learning intricate new skills, but mostly I’m okay with this. I still get the compliments, and I have my little tricks for making things look more impressive than they are. You want to know the tricks? Well, okay!

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Glisten Cosmetics Wet Liner

Glisten Cosmetics Wet Liner

Glisten Cosmetics Wet Liner

The first trick in my arsenal is colour. A bright colour always gives the impression of bold confidence and distracts from anything that might not be so perfectly applied. It’s also quick and easy to apply, whether it’s a wash of colour over the eye, a bold liner (I like Glisten Cosmetics Wet Liners, €8.25 via beautybay.com) or a bright lip. I know a lot of people are scared of bright makeup, but if you use it in just one location on your face and keep the rest of your makeup fairly neutral, it looks sophisticated and chic. No clown faces to be seen!

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Mac 217S

Mac 217S

Mac 217S

Keeping it simple is a good general strategy when it comes to great makeup without MUA-level skills. One eye crayon can give you a full look — just apply it all over the lid up to the crease, and use a clean blending brush (like a Mac 217S, €25 via arnotts.ie) to soften the edges. A warm brown looks great on everyone. Vieve’s Eye Wand in Camel is perfect for this (€27 via brownthomas.com).

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Vieve Eye Wand in Camel

Vieve Eye Wand in Camel

Vieve Eye Wand in Camel

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When it comes to blush and highlighter, cream products are easy to use and hard to mess up. If you use your fingers to apply them via gentle tapping motions, you’ll never run the risk of applying too much (always harder to take away than to put more on) and you won’t end up with harsh lines. Charlotte Tilbury’s new Quick & Easy kits (€69 via charlottetilbury.com) include an eye colour, a lip and cheek colour and highlight, all in cream stick formulas. They are incredibly straightforward and perfect for using with the previously mentioned techniques. I recently brought one on holiday and needed very little else.

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Charlotte Tilbury Quick & Easy kit

Charlotte Tilbury Quick & Easy kit

Charlotte Tilbury Quick & Easy kit

Finally, make your product work for you. Concealer will be more likely to stay where you want it if you let it set for a while before you blend out the edges. Blush will lift the face if it’s applied higher on the cheekbone rather than on the apple of the cheek. If you’re contouring, blend the product upward to lift the face and avoid it looking muddy. A little bit of highlighter on the inner corner of the eyes will make them look brighter. Less is more when it comes to applying products in areas where they’re likely to crease (where you have lines).

You don’t need to be a professional makeup artist to look good — you just need to know a few tricks!

Buying Irish

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Bellamianta Luxury Back Applicator

Bellamianta Luxury Back Applicator

Bellamianta Luxury Back Applicator

I was recently impressed to hear of a friend who’s trained her six-year-old daughter to apply her fake tan, but for those of us who don’t have an in-house assistant, Bellamianta’s Luxury Back Applicator will do the trick. This long, soft band of fabric has two loops on the end so that you can hold it and rub tanning product into your back, reaching every trick patch with ease. Bellamianta was founded in Belfast in 2015 and now has a full range of tanning products, as well as cosmetics.

Something old…

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MAC’s Mineralise Skinfinish Highlighter

MAC’s Mineralise Skinfinish Highlighter

MAC’s Mineralise Skinfinish Highlighter

Mac’s Mineralise Skinfinish Highlighters (€32 via brownthomas.com) have been a staple of many a makeup artist’s kit for more than a decade now. This range of product is finely milled and buttery, leaving the skin with a beautiful glow. It comes in five shades, with a range of undertones from peach to pink or gold. For a natural effect, it’s best to choose a highlighter with the same undertones as your natural skin tone. The ultimate aim of a highlighter is to make you look flawless and lit from within — so a clashing tone will betray that illusion!

... Something new

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Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop

Last year, beauty fans were devastated to learn that makeup brand Becca was wrapping up. The brand was responsible for a couple of iconic products, loved by professionals and amateurs alike. Fortunately, Smashbox stepped in and announced they would be selling Becca’s beloved Undereye Brightening Corrector as well as Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop (€38.25 via beautybay.com). Now, Smashbox has announced they are expanding the Shimmering Skin Perfector range to include Opal, Moonstone, Rose Quartz and Chocolate Geode. These highlighters are adored thanks to their finely milled, almost creamy texture, which leave the skin looking beautifully luminous.


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