Towards the end of last year, multi-award-winning Irish artist Paddy McGurgan celebrated being awarded the UK franchise of iconic French make up brand MAKE UP FOREVER. I was so personally pleased for Paddy, because quite a few years ago, just before he started his Belfast make up studio and retail adventure, I travelled to Paris with him to meet with the MAKE UP FOREVER people at their amazing HQ in the centre of Paris. I was both his translator and guide as well as just a buddy on a #roadtrip and we had some nice times there.  Paddy has come a long way since – with many accolades under his belt as well as, I’m sure, volumes of stories from his make up journey. Having just worked with Paddy again last week under Charlotte Tilbury for Max Mara and again next week as Paddy’s team joins us backstage at FASHIONWEEK for KARAJA, I am delighted to be collaborating with such a talented guy.

But for now, back to the launch, where I was invited into the MAKE UP PRO store to have my make up done with a selection of the MAKE UP FOREVER products, and I finally made it in at the beginning of February, when I had my make up done for a magazine and blog shoot in my office.

Here’s the scoop:

Any good make up artist worth his or her salt will always start with a primer, and Ellen (Belfast - Head Artist at Make Up Pro Store)  gave me THREE!. She kicked off with a Smoothing Primer by MAKE UP FOREVER (£25.50) which can be applied with your fingers but she used Make up Pro Store Duo Fibre Brush No.1 (£15.00) because it optimises the product application and helps to smooth out any open pores, taking away fine lines, and giving the wearer a smooth base. Then Ellen applied Base Eclat by MAKE UP ATELIER (£22.50), which is an amazing product applied under foundation to give a kind of a glow from within; this is ideal for anyone who finds their skin dry and dull and would like to inject some dew and life back into their skin again, without the designer price tag.  Next up was the MAKE UP ATELIER HD Airbrush Blush in the shade Naked (£14.00). It is a more intense primer to what the Base Eclat is, so they are more or less the same but really brighten up certain areas such as the top of the cheekbones giving them a radiant shine. So finally, after 3 layers of primer (am I really that bad?!!) she went in with the MAKE UP FOREVER Lift Concealer in the shade Number One (£19.95)  which is amazing for brightening underneath the eyes. It lifts and brightens underneath, and is especially good for anyone who is conscious of fine lines or wrinkles under the eye , as it is a lightweight liquid product so does not sit any fine lines or porous areas.

The foundation used was natural beige MAKE UP STUDIO in Face it Light (£24.50) which gives a really full coverage, especially if you want something nice and soft. Then the MAKE UP STUDIO Contour Palette (£37.50)  gave some shape before the powders.

To set the make up underneath the eyes, Ellen used the super matte loose powder by MAKE UP FOREVER powder(£32.50)  because even though we were going for a dewy look, we still needed to make sure that under the eyes don’t crease. This was applied by using a large powder brush and pressing the loose powder to set the foundation, then, very lightly, using the top of the brush buff the powder onto the skin in light circular motions, so to allow the skin to appear flawless.  

For the smoky eye effect  Ellen  started with a transition colour MAKE UP FOREVER Eyeshadow Refill M-720 Apricot £14.50)  just to find out where she wanted to go with my shape. The transition colour is what takes the eye from my natural skin colour into heavier, smokier lid. It’s the base colour; and the colours recommended to me for my eye colour and for the occasion (a blog shoot at my office) were warm brown or cream eyeshadow colours. Then, some dark brown or black was added to the base of the lid to give it that real smoky effect, blending upwards with medium browns, to finally the lighter colours on the lid.  It takes a lot of blending and careful wrist twisting to get the look just right – I was on the make up seat for a good hour on this occasion (she was definitely perfecting her look!!) When I asked Ellen what brushes she recommended or that she used on me, she said her go-to brushes had to be a mixture of Zoeva Eyeshadow Set £75.00 and a few Make up Pro Store No.19 brush (£11.50)  

Finally, for the nude lip, we went with a dark lip liner, MAKE UP FOREVER Aqua Lip Liner in shade 5C (£18.50) which I loved. This is a real handbag must-have as it is waterproof, lasts longer and can withstand an all day wear!  I usually wear dark brown or a dark pink (Oak OR Stone by MAC are among my faves) and follow it up with a nice light gloss. The gloss we used on this occasion was the MAKE UP FOREVER Plexi Gloss (£19.50) because it’s got really strong pigmentation which makes the nude stand out.