What make-up artists really think of you

You’re definitely wearing the wrong foundation


Why is Instagram full of worldies who miraculously know how to do eyebrow shading, contour like Kim K and have the most flawless complexion imaginable? They were either born with an innate gift, or they actually pay attention when they go to MAC for a new lippy.

For those of us who have absolutely no idea how to make our foundation last all day without it going patchy, popping to the make-up counter is a very intimidating experience. Why is the lighting so bright in here? How do you look so good? How do I extract everything I could ever need to know about doing my make-up from you in the five minutes I’m sat on your magic chair? Award winning make-up artist, Kristy Prince, has worked for pretty much every make-up counter you could dream of: from Benefit and Estée Lauder to Bobbi Brown and Lancôme, the Londoner reveals her top tips for getting the most out of your makeover.

Make conversation

Yes they might be all up in your face and you’re suddenly extremely self-conscious about the chicken tikka sandwich you had for your lunch, but there’s nothing more uncomfortable for either party than a customer who just sits there in complete silence. Kristy advised: “Definitely make conversation. When you go into a department or a make-up store, you want to be greeted by someone who’s really friendly because our job is to  gain your trust. We want you to come and have an amazing experience with us. As a customer, if I walked into a store and the staff weren’t friendly I’d just walk out. You need to go out of your way to make that person feel nice and that’s usually by chatting and making them feel comfortable.”

Their job is to make you feel at ease - just don't talk when they're doing your lip liner

Their job is to make you feel at ease – just don’t talk when they’re doing your lip liner

Brave it and walk in make-up free if you want the best experience

Make-up artists have ambitious targets to hit, and in busy stores like Selfridges, time is extremely precious. Girls on the counter won’t always have time to remove your current make-up to try their products on – especially if you go at a weekend – so you’re best to go in completely make-up free if you want to make the most of your visit.

Kristy said: “Ideally it’s much better when ladies come in without make-up on. On the shop floor we have really limited time we can devote to you, so if you just came up to me on the counter for a new foundation, I’d have to take off what you’re wearing to try a new one. A lot of people hate going out without make-up and even though I’m a make-up artist I find it really sad. You’ve got to love yourself, if you can’t look at your own face in the mirror without make-up that says a lot.”

You’re probably wearing the wrong foundation

You're best going in without any make-up on to start with

You’re best going in without any make-up on to start with

“The biggest faux-pas in the majority of women’s make-up is they’re wearing the wrong foundation,” Kristy said. “A lot of times when ladies run out of make-up they just run into Boots or Superdrug and grab the nearest bottle similar to theirs because you’ve just got to have something. Another reason a lot of ladies wear the wrong foundation is because they colour match it on their hands, but your face is a totally different colour. Your skin changes throughout the year. We’re in winter now, we’re all pale, we’ve not had any sun for six months so the foundation you bought in July might not be the right foundation for you today, or if you’re somebody who travels quite a lot you might find you need to change your foundation or have a couple of bottles which you can mix. Those who have a warmer skin tone tend to go a little too dark because obviously they like to feel tanned, but rather than get that from your foundation you should get that from your bronzer. Don’t go too dark – the worst thing you can have is a foundation line round your neck like a mask.”

If you want to know what you actually look like, take a picture in natural light

Benefit 3

Too often has make-up been rushed in the dark, only to catch sight of yourself a few hours later and find you’re 10 shades darker than you initially thought. “Always take a photograph in natural daylight of your make-up so you know it looks good. I’m sure we’ve all got pictures from a few years ago and your make-up just looks weird. Luckily, thank god, the make-up’s got better and so have cameras,” said Kristy.

There’s no point spending loads on make-up if you don’t invest in skincare 

There’s more to a flawless finish than a primer and decent foundation: it all comes down to the condition our skin is in. Kristy recommends letting the skin breathe by going make-up free occasionally, and sticking to a good skincare regime. She told The Tab: “I don’t wear make-up every day. I love make-up, I adore it, but I really don’t see the need to wear it every day. I like my skin to breathe: I’d rather invest in really, really good skincare. If you feel you need to wear something every day, I would always say please make sure you look after your skin. If you don’t look after your skin you can wear 55 products and your skin is still going to be bad underneath. Drink loads of water but always make sure you take your make-up off and cleanse, tone, moisturise and have a little treatment now and again.”

Good make-up is wasted if you don't look after your skin

Good make-up is wasted if you don’t look after your skin

Yes, you do have to pay if you want your make-up doing properly

Time is money, and there’s nothing professional make-up artists hate more than girls who have no intention of buying a product after being dolled up for half an hour. Kristy added: “If you want a booked appointment – which can be up to an hour or a make-up lesson – in a sense you do pay because they take a deposit, but you usually get it back if you buy a product. The majority are about £25 to £30, but for that you do normally get 45 minutes to an hour. A lot of people ask if they need to pay or book in, but I suppose it depends how quick they want it done. Some of them might just be on their lunch break. The thing is, if you’re a make-up artist with a target of £600 and you’re not busy, of course you’re going to do someone’s make-up. Your manager’s not around, it’s always good to look busy. If you don’t buy a product you won’t get your deposit back, but you probably are going to walk away with something.”