My Most Asked Beauty Questions: Make-Up Artist Zoë Taylor
My Most Asked Beauty Questions: Make-Up Artist Zoë Taylor

My Most Asked Beauty Questions: Make-Up Artist Zoë Taylor

In this series, we ask top industry insiders to answer the questions they’re asked most often. From flattering contouring tips to the easiest way to apply eyeshadow, Chanel make-up artist and SheerLuxe beauty contributor Zoë Taylor shares her insights.
By Rebecca Hull

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What’s The Most Flattering Way To Contour?

Answer: “Contour can really enhance your cheeks – it’s just about using the right light and dark tones to emphasise what you already have and make it look real. Start by warming up the outer edges of your face with a shade deeper than your natural skin tone – you can use either a darker foundation formula or a bronzer. Apply it under your cheekbones, buffing it upwards into the temples. Finally, use a small brush to pick up the deeper shade, before sweeping it down the sides of the bridge of your nose and over your lip line. Finish off in the hollows of your cheeks – make just the tiniest stroke here, as anything more will look messy. Don’t forget to add in some light with a good highlighter where needed.”


What’s Your Advice For Cleaning Make-Up Brushes & Sponges?

Answer: “I’m a bit obsessed with cleaning my brushes and sponges. I always spritz them with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) after every use, before shampooing them with a gentle baby formula at the end of the day – something I recommend everyone do from time to time. This really keeps the hairs soft and hydrated – using IPA alone can be very damaging and cause the bristles to fall out. Remember to let your brushes air-dry naturally and away from heat so you don’t damage them. To clean my sponges, I use the BeautyBlender Cleanser Solid, which is simple but very effective.”


Any Tips For Powder & Cream Eyeshadow Application?

Answer: “This comes down to how you feel. Some people prefer to apply eyeshadow with their fingers, but I think the best way is to use a brush. Start by pressing a cream eyeshadow evenly over the eyelids, creating the colour you would like, then take a small, fluffy brush and blend the edges until they melt into the surrounding skin. With powders, always do your eyes before your skin. That way, if anything drops, you can clean it off before you apply your base make-up. I like to use a fluffy shadow brush to apply powder straight onto the lids. The important thing is to never go in too heavy – opt for light layers of colour and build them up to the intensity you would like. Also, concentrate your deepest colours into the socket and around the upper lash line to enhance the thickness of your lashes. You can also apply a cream shadow as a base – like Maybelline’s Color Tattoo 24-Hr – to pump up the colour of any powder applied on top.”


How Should Highlighter Be Applied?

Answer: “In my opinion, highlighter makes a look and really brings skin to life. If you’re opting for a shiny highlighter – think translucent and creamy – I recommend applying it down the bridge of your nose, but not at the tip, then running it over the highest points of your cheekbones. Dab it onto the apples of your cheeks after blusher, but never any lower. This gives skin a healthy, dewy look – I love Chanel’s Baume Essentiel Stick. For something more shimmery, try Vieve’s Skin Dew. I prefer cream formulas as they feel more skin-like. Easily worn under make-up or over it, Skin Dew adds light to the areas that need brightening. Apply just a small amount to the inner corners of the eyes, around your brow bone, on your cheekbones and on your cupid’s bow.”


What’s The Secret To A Good Brow?

Answer: “For total precision, it has to be a pencil – preferably one that is retractable with a small tip. Kevyn Aucoin’s pencil in ‘Brunette’ keeps strokes sharp, enabling you to mimic the look of real hairs. Another tip is to know where to apply the product. Follow the line along the edge of your nose upward to get the correct starting point and to find out where your brow should end, measure from the edge of your nose to the outer edge of your eye, marking the point it finishes. Add a little arch at three quarters of the length of your brow. If you have darker brows, Glossier’s Brow Flick in ‘Noir’ is one of the best products I’ve tried. Whichever method you choose, remember to set your brows, too. Once you’ve nailed the shape, use Anastasia Beverly Hills’s Brow Freeze to lock the hairs in place. It looks cleaner and more natural than a tinted brow gel.”


Is There A Right Way To Shop For Mascara?

Answer: “When you choose your mascara, it is important to think about your hair type – not just the look you want to achieve. Everyone wants thicker, glossier lashes, so a nourishing formula is key. My go-to is Sisley’s So Volume Mascara. It makes lashes look thick and healthy, and lasts all day without clumping. Another favourite is Chanel’s Le Volume. It has a light texture that can be built up for more drama. At the affordable end of the scale, try L’Oréal’s Air Volume – lightweight, it doesn’t weigh down fine lashes, so you can really layer up for a high-impact finish. Above all though, curling lashes is key prior to mascara application. It may sound boring, but nothing works better to open up the eyes.”


Can Make-Up Ever Minimise Your Pores?

Answer: “To smooth out your pores, you need to focus on your skincare and make-up prep. Cleanse as normal and use a toner – like Barbara Sturm’s – alongside a moisturiser. In my opinion, you can get all the benefits of a primer from your skincare and SPF, with the latter always worth investing in. Ultra Violette’s Queen Screen SPF50 is my go-to. Not only is it luminous, it gives you the perfect base for make-up and never leaves behind any white residue. If you’re prone to oiliness, try SkinCeuticals UV Defense, which is great for mattifying. Finally, apply your concealer pre-foundation. It’s the secret to a flawless finish.”


What’s A Summer Version Of A Smokey Eye?

Answer: “A daytime or summer smokey eye is best done using warm, brown tones and lashings of mascara. Start by applying your brown tones deep into your eye socket, buffing them in there and along the lash line. Don’t be afraid of a slick of black eyeliner in the waterline – it works well with brown and taupe. Your mascara should be black and layered up on both the top and bottom lashes. Keep the rest of your face natural and lips neutral – you have to offset the eye. Make sure your lips are smooth for a lighter shade to work – use the Tinker Taylor Lip Kit to keep them hydrated and soft.”


How Can You Disguise Dark Circles?

Answer: “Dark circles and pigmentation around the eye area is mostly hereditary, but the good news is, it can be effectively covered with the right product. Start by using a colour corrector – something with a peach tone. Chanel has a brilliant shade range and the formulas are richly pigmented yet easy to blend. Next, apply foundation with a damp sponge so the finish is consistent. Then, carefully apply your concealer around the eye area, where you need extra coverage – I love the creaminess of the Hourglass Vanish Concealers. Once you are happy, use a translucent powder to set everything in place. Dust it on while you look upwards, so it never falls into fine lines or creases.”


Do Setting Sprays Really Work?

Answer: “Setting sprays do work – they are worth the money. Once you have finished applying your make-up, mist one over your skin to help everything stay put. Urban Decay’s new Vitamin C All Night Spray is my favourite. Not only does it hold everything in place, it keeps skin looking fresh without being sticky. It’s great if you need to apply a bit of make-up on your legs as well – or anywhere on your body  – where you don’t want make-up to rub off.”

For more beauty advice, tips & tutorials follow @ZoeTaylorMakeUp

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