18 Questions With A Professional Make-Up Artist

18 Questions With A Professional Make-Up Artist

With access to some of the hottest products around, not to mention a wealth of experience behind-the-scenes at everything from shoots to fashion weeks, make-up artists are a true wealth of beauty knowledge. And Charlotte Cowen is no exception, having worked with the likes of Gucci, Burberry, Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. We caught up with the beauty expert to discover the tools, products and tricks she couldn’t be without.

1. What are your personal make-up bag essentials?

I always feel better when I have a bit of colour in my face and couldn’t be without Ultraglow’s Original Pressed Powder – a little goes a long way and it adds a healthy warmth to the face, chest, arms and even legs if needed; it’s genuinely a miracle product. I’m also a big fan of a smoky eye – go-tos include MAC’s Eye Khol, Bobbi Brown’s Camel Eyeshadow and Charlotte Tilbury’s Dolce Vita Eye Palette. If I want a red lip, it’s always Chanel’s Pirate Lipstick.

2. What about skincare?

I swear by Filorga’s Serum Hydra-Hyal Intensive Hydrating Plumping Concentrate, and once I’ve done my make-up, I like to set it with a mist – I really rate Andalou’s Age-Defy Toning Face Mist.

3. And for the body?

You can’t beat a little bit of fake tan when it comes to the body – I love Lancôme Flash Bronzer, but if you’re after something a little more natural, try Lavera Organic Self-Tanning Lotion. I don’t believe in using a separate fake tan for the face – it’s absolutely fine to use the same for both.

4. Ultimate brow tip?

Invest in a really good eyebrow pencil – preferably a slanted one – that has a comb brush (aka a spoolie) on the other side so each time you apply pigment you can brush it into the hairs for a more natural look. Always follow with a clear eyebrow gel and opt for an ashier shade of pencil for a more natural finish – you can’t go wrong with Charlotte Tilbury’s Brow Lift.

5. What’s your view on contouring?

Avoid heavy contouring at all costs – keep it natural and remember that make-up is supposed to enhance your natural features and deep contouring can do the opposite. If you are a contouring fan, remember to blend, blend, blend – you should never be able to see where shadow lines begin and end.

6. Best tip for applying mascara? 

Brush in as much as you need and don’t worry about clumps – just use an eyelash comb after to perfect it. 

7. How can you give your lipstick staying power?

Look to your formula for added staying power – anything with high pigment will do the trick; try Kiko’s Long-Lasting Colour Lip Marker, or Stila’s All-Day Liquid Lipstick.

8. And your foundation?

My ultimate trick for getting your coverage to last all day is to use a subtle foundation that isn’t too thick, applying only around the eyes and nose and finishing with a dusting of Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder. Mist with a face mist and powder again for a final time.

9. What tools do you need to invest in?

Eye brushes are the thing to invest in – MAC’s 217 and 219 blending and eyeshadow brushes are some of the best on the market. Aside from a thick, good-quality bronzing brush, the rest you can do with your fingers.

10. Any make-up tips for more mature complexions? 

Avoid thick foundation and powder, which can accentuate fine lines. Instead, opt for a lighter coverage and opt for a fresh, modern shade when it comes to lipstick and always take the time to do your brows.

11. How to refresh a tired complexion?

Start with a good cleanse and moisturise, taking the time to massage both products into the skin. Swap your usual foundation for Burberry Fresh Glow Fluid Base in Nude Radiance, before covering dark circles with your favourite under-eye concealer and a wash of bronzer. Always finish with a mist – Natura Bisse’s Diamond Mist is great for boosting radiance.

12. Top tips for dealing with breakouts? 

If you have a breakout try to avoid perfumed products as much as possible for a few days and try to go make-up free if at all possible. Avoid touching your face, steer clear of dairy (this is a common trigger for many people) and use Skinceutical’s Phyto Corrective Serum, which is enriched with botanical extracts to help cool, calm and hydrate irritated skin.

13. What beauty products can you afford to buy cheaply?

Good-quality skincare is worth every penny (the same also goes for foundation and eye kohl) but you can get away with spending less on nail varnish and mascara. Collection 2000’s eyebrow gels and liquid eyeliners are great, as are the majority of Maybelline mascaras.

14. What hair products do you rely on?

I can’t live without Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Body Booster Mousse, which is a must-have if you’re after volume and a bed head look. Kerastase Nutritive Sérum Oléo-Relax Smoothing Sérum is great for drier hair types, and Batiste XXL volume dry shampoo is a high street must-have.

15. Top anti-ageing tip?

Moisturise twice a day and don’t forget to use a serum underneath. Spritz Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir on your face throughout the day to top up moisture levels and keep the skin looking dewy.

16. Ultimate cult beauty buy?

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream – if you know, you know. It really is the best multi-tasker around and can substitute for some of the best highlighters and glosses around. 

17. What’s the secret to taking off make-up correctly? 

Use a good cream cleanser, such as QMS Medicosmetics Deep Cleansing Cream, with a cotton pad, or a great foaming facial wash such as REN Rosa Centifolia Foaming Cleanser.

18. Finally – if you could use one brand for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

Charlotte Tilbury is the ultimate all-rounder.

Visit CharlotteCowen.com

Shop Charlotte’s top beauty picks here...

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