Kay Montano Answers The Most-Asked Beauty Questions
Kay Montano Answers The Most-Asked Beauty Questions

Kay Montano Answers The Most-Asked Beauty Questions

In this series, we ask industry insiders to answer some of the most frequently asked beauty questions on Google. From how to thicken up sparse eyebrows to the best way to find your correct concealer shade, this time there are nine for renowned make-up artist and CHANEL ambassador Kay Montano to tackle…
By Rebecca Hull

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What Is The Easiest Way To Thicken Up Sparse Brows?

“There is practically an industry for eyebrows now. Just when you think they’ve thought of everything, more products pop up, so it can be confusing. If you suffer with sparseness or gaps you want to fill, invest in a brow treatment serum. I used to use RapidLash, which I’d collect at Boots, but now it’s called UKLASH. I use this on my brows where there are gaps and it absolutely works. Providing you have a follicle there, you’ll see results within weeks – you just need to use it regularly. 

“As for make-up, I still swear by brow pencils above any other product as there is a softness and control to them that I love. Brow pencils are now so sheer you can’t go too wrong with them, but they’re also very precise, allowing for natural but impactful results. As you apply them, focus on the areas that need filling the most. Don’t draw on the actual line of your brows – this will make the line look harsh. Instead, put the pencil either side of your brow line and gently create definition with deft, upward strokes where fullness is needed. My final note on brows is: if you want to thicken them up fully and naturally, you need to choose the right colour. It’s personal preference, but I suggest going for a slightly lighter shade than you’d imagine – you can always darken it. Dark brows can be very ageing and harsh, so always avoid dark tones unless it feels like a perfect match.”

How Can You Ensure Foundation Doesn’t Crease Or Slide Throughout The Day?

“There are a few answers to this. Firstly, you need to assess your skin type: is it dry or oily? You need to work this out then find a foundation that matches this. If your skin is dry and you’re wearing a matte texture, you’ll only exacerbate that existing dryness. Similarly, if you’re using oil-based skincare – which is often better suited to older skin types – your foundation is more likely to slip and slide. 

“Foundation also won’t last if you’re wearing too much. Always apply your foundation in daylight to ensure you’ve got the right amount on – fake lights mean you end up using too much and this will only crease throughout the day. I recommend just adding a few drops into your moisturiser and rubbing that on with your hands – it’s what I do and it’s more than enough for a day’s coverage. If you’re worried you’ve applied too much, take a tissue and separate the plies, then use one to pat your skin. It takes off excess immediately, so you won’t cause pilling of product. It’s a simple tip Barbara Daly taught me years ago and it works well with skincare too.

“Finally, focus your application carefully. The nose and chin are often our oiliest areas, while our eyes are prone to dryness as there are no oil glands here. With that in mind, focus coverage around the less ‘slippy’ areas of skin and the sections which need more moisture.”

Top Tips For Perfecting Eye Make-Up Application?

“We all have different eyes, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach here. It comes down to your individual shape, and trial and error. That said, one tip which works for everyone is to ensure you have concealer underneath and around your eye when applying make-up in this area. It’s a fact that if you don’t conceal the darkness here, any make-up will just accentuate the dullness. That doesn’t mean you need a thick layer of concealer, just a sheer formula that sits smoothly and brightens. My final tip is to play with light and dark. If your eyes are close together, try to use darker pencils and shadows that bring them further out. If your eyes are round, avoid putting shadow underneath them as this will only enhance roundness. Finally, if your eyes are very small, don’t put eyeliner inside your waterline as this will shrink them further. Thinking about what you do and don’t like is where you start with eye make-up.”


Are There Any Colours That Suit Individual Eyes Best?

“I am a big believer in playing with whatever colours you like – obviously if you have pink skin, you may find pink eyeshadow doesn’t work for you, but generally, have a play and experiment. I can say that certain warm colours do enhance blue and green eyes. That includes purples, lavender and anything on that aubergine spectrum. Corals and terracotta work nicely, too. These tones enhance lighter eyes. For brown eyes, in my experience there aren’t many shades that make a huge difference. Lovely as brown eyes are, you can’t really darken them or make them look richer, whereas green and blue can be made to look brighter.”

Any Advice Around Finding The Right Shade For Under Eye Concealer?

“Concealer for under your eyes needs to be ever so slightly lighter than your foundation and any other concealers you’re using. This is because the skin around your eyes doesn’t produce sebum, so it’s drier and therefore duller than the rest of your face. It’s why there are dedicated under eye concealers in the first place and why they need to be a little lighter to brighten up the entire area. I have found the brands who understand this best are by make-up artists. In terms of application, I recommend dabbing from the corner of your eye and sweeping a little up to the outer edge of your brow in a half-moon flick. This lifts your eyes and lightens them, pushing the skin out. It’s a fun application hack that gives the illusion of fullness where collagen may have depleted. CHANEL's Colour Corrector in Peach is excellent for neutralising blue and grey tones around the eyes on medium skin tones. Apricot perfect for darker tones.”

What’s The Best Texture When It Comes To Blusher?

“I always say don’t powder your cheeks. It’s the one area of your face where you don’t want a matte finish. Anything you lighten or add sheen to will pop out, whereas anything matte will flatten and darken skin, pushing it inwards – you want to use bronzer for this. Following that as a guide will help you to look at your face to work out where you want to go in and out. CHANEL's Lip to Cheek Balm in Ardent Brick (+many to choose from for darker skin tones) has the perfect creamy glow to enhance cheekbones, plus the ideal rose tone to give a natural flush of healthy colour. With blush, you want to give the skin a ‘plump’ effect as it’s a sign of youth and freshness when the apples of your cheeks pop out. It’s why I recommend using creams and liquid blushers. Both textures create the optical illusion of health.”

@KayMontano; @tomtakesphotoss

If You Feel Your Face Looks Dull & Lifeless, How Can You Bring It Back To life?

“Key products to look perky include lash curlers – they really lift your face – and luminous
skincare. Anything luminous exudes health; it impersonates someone who does sport, who
drinks lots of water and so forth. Look for skincare with light-reflective particles inside, like
the Hydra Beauty range from CHANEL, which instantly hydrates and gives you a more
radiant look. Don’t underestimate cream blusher either. I recommend a good sheer skin tint
too and one that is bright in pigment. These can put people off, but as they are so sheer
they never look OTT;, instead they just add brightness and freshness. Finally, use your
fingers to apply make-up like this. It helps the products become at one with your skin for a more natural, realistic finish that looks healthy.”

How Can You Subtly Enhance The Definition Of Your Lips?

“Lip liner has also come a long way and I always say one of the best products you can own. Invest in one that’s the same colour as your actual lips for natural definition. Draw slightly over the line and master that technique. Your lips shrink over time, so this is worth practising as it can make a huge difference. I also recommend a product called Lip Coat. It’s one of the cheapest products available at Boots. You paint it on, and it helps your lip liner and all lip make-up to last. It sets everything and keeps that fullness intact.”

Finally, What Is The Best Way To Refresh Tired, Puffy Eyes With Make-Up?

“I like to keep under-eye gel patches in my fridge overnight and apply them come morning. They do make a difference and temporarily brighten the area. Eye creams can be divisive but, if your skin is dry, applying them can plump up the surface of your skin and make it look more rejuvenated. If your complexion and eyes look tired, it’s probably because they are dehydrated. A mid-term solution is lots of water, but a hefty dose of skincare will help too – especially this time of year when central heating is drying out our skin. 

As for make-up, white eyeliner is often recommended to reduce puffiness, but your eyes and skin aren’t white, so you should instead use a cream tone. This helps to open eyes and push redness down, but I would say use it carefully – it can make you look more owl like. Everyone, however, can benefit from a tone like this, or a creamy highlighter dabbed into and around the tear duct. It looks pretty on everyone and lifts the eye and your iris immediately, helping you to look more awake.” 

For more beauty tips & ideas, follow @KayMontano


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