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Tips and tricks, tried and tested by professional MUA’s

Tip's & trick's tried & tested by pro MUA's.

Tired of not knowing whether what your reading has been written by an actual credible person within the makeup and beauty industry?? What if you spend all of your precious time reading tip’s, trick’s, technique’s and tutorial’s that are actually all incorrect??  Well fear not my makeup obsessed companion.  For we have an entire post dedicated to you!!  Read on for techniques all used by professional’s within the industry, along with some well kept trade secrets!

Today you are going to get your hands on some of the tips and techniques used during my time assisting at a makeup masterclass. The class was hosted by celebrity makeup artist Lynne Mills.

Who is Lynn Mills, and what’s her credability?

Lynne Mills is a very well established makeup artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has quite the portfolio. Her work has been featured in some big magazine’s, such as Vogue (you can’t really get any bigger ), Cosmopolitan (or can you?) and OK.  The massive spread featured in OK magazine was actually part of Boyzone’s, Ronan Keating and his then fiance’s wedding day.  She made sure that the soon to be Mrs Keating was a picture of perfection during her walk down the isle.  She has also worked with the entire  Great Brittish Bake Off Team (if you are not familiar with the show, it was a massive cooking show, which was watched religiously by most of the British population).  She also owns a company or two.  One of which is a team called Eyecandy Pro Expert Team, it’s a collective concept of MUA’s from across the UK who are on hand to host masterclasses, and attend weddings.  

Attending weddings is what Lynn is passionate about.  She asked 100 brides to be what they thought was the most daunting part of applying their make up on their own. Applying eyeliner came out on top.  So, Lynn set to work making her clients big day all the easier by creating a line of false lashes which included a dark line along the lash line with a slight flick on the end which gave the perfect flick.  That creation along with her line of brushes has made her makeup artist royalty.  And for the sake of the length of this post I have not even bothered listing her awards.  Her EyeCandy Pro Team of MUA’s have won 3 alone!

Foundation tips:

Every makeup artist loves to begin with a smooth, blank canvas.  So prepping the skin is always an important part of the application process in order to ensure a flawless finish. 
During the prepping of the skin, a flat top foundation brush was used to apply the primer.  Using a brush to apply the primer as well as the actual foundation improves coverage and is more hygienic than using your fingers.  Lynn also used hand sanitizer before every application which I can guarantee made her clients feel better. The product of choice was Illamasque primer.

There is a technique Lynne swears by and it’s called the crosshatch technique.  This technique was used during the application of her clients foundation. The technique goes like this.  Apply a little foundation on the back of your hand, “and I really do just mean a little. It’s always better to build your foundation up rather than applying a whole lot in one go.” says Lynne in a clear, friendly manner.  There is a whole group of girls here for this masterclass today, Lynne picks a different person for each part of the application process and she gives off a big sister like vibe when she addresses the crowd. She carries on with the process. Dip foundation brush into the foundation. Starting with the forehead apply, strokes in a diagonal fashion, then in the opposite direction. You can see that the strokes are crisscrossed. 
After using the crosshatch technique take a flat top foundation brush for blending which should have, tight fibres and a flat top. Then blend the foundation using circular motions for an extra airbrushed look.
Apply concealer after foundation, Foundation (after primer) is the base, concealer is for the finishing touches. Applying concealer first then foundation, will just wipe the concealer away while blending the foundation. 

Undertones pointers:

You have more than likely heard of many different ways on how to decipher which undertone you have.  There’s the vein thing where if your veins are blue or green your warm toned or cool toned or something along those lines.  Well, this is how each of Lynne’s Pro Makeup team find which undertone their clients are.  For the team, this is a very important factor, as Lynne’s girls are mostly called out to weddings. And because most brides wear white, getting the foundation with the correct pigment in it can dramatically change a washed out bride to a flawless youthful bride.

Hold a white t-shirt or top against yourself, then do the same with an ivory coloured t-shirt or top. If you are suited to the white better then you have warm undertones, if you are more suited to the ivory then you have cool undertones. Knowing this will help when picking foundation shades.
Always test foundation shades at the corner of the mouth.  Not on your wrist or jawline, and always make sure you are standing at a window where there is natural light so you can see what the shade actually looks like.  The big lights in department stores can make a foundation look like its a perfect match but when you get home its totally wrong.  And that’s also why you will see girls complaining that they have had their foundation professionally matched by a makeup assistant at one of the big makeup stores like benefit or MAC. Then got home looked in the mirror only to be horrified by what they see. It’s the unnatural light in those stores.


Contour and Highlight:
Highlight is to bring forward.
Contour is to take back.
Contour shade is to be 2 shades darker than your normal shade.
Use foundation for contouring as opposed to powder.
When contouring the cheeks you should create a triangular shape with the widest part being at the jaw line.
For the appearance of fuller lips shade just under the bottom lip, where a shadow would naturally be cast if you did have full lips.
For the highlighting use 2 shades lighter than your normal shade.
Also use foundation for this part, a highlighter can be used after the foundation application to give more of a, glow from within kind of look.
The areas that are most commonly highlighted and that suit any face shape are as follows: Above cheek bones. In the centre of the face such as, down the centre of those nose, and on the cupids bow again to create fuller lips. This would be where light would naturally hit the lips if you had full lips
Only ever highlight the chin if the chin is delicate. Remember, highlighting is doing just that, it highlights all of you good parts, all of the bits we like. Contouring shadows what we do not like. So, if we do not like that we have a strong jawline then do not highlight it. And if you love your strong jaw then show it off by highlighting it. What ever your happy with highlight.  A happy girl = A true beauty.
After applying your contour and highlight, firstly blend with a beauty blender. Apply a little warm water to the blender to ensure flawless blending.  The warm water just melts everything in. Press the beauty blender against the skin, do not run back and forth as this will just rub off all of your hard work.
Secondly, take a flat top foundation brush, and buff, use a circular motion, with upward movements.

Top Tip: When blending or buffing a part of the face that has what I like to call peach fuzz (Fine Hair) then used downward strokes, not circular as this helps smooth the hairs downwards making them less noticeable.

For the natural brow:
I know there are many products out there to choose from when it comes to our face framers. Powder was the recommended product to use to create a natural looking brow. The recommended product to achieve a beautifully natural brow was from Sigma Beauty Brow Powder Duo.
Use an angled brush, it should be narrow with tight fibres
choose a colour closest to your natural colour, saying that, it really is personal preference, as I am blonde and when I use the lighter colours from most eyebrow palettes I find that my brows tend to look ginger. That is not the look I am going for so I always opt for the second shade in a palette which is normally a light brown as opposed to a beige.  So, which ever your happiest with.
Apply a little colour to the brush, remember and pat the brush off your wrist to shake off any excess powder.
Gently brush through brows starting at the arch and paying close attention to the top of the brow, try and follow the natural line of the brow.
After each application of powder, brush a spoolie through the hairs, brushing the hairs upwards.
I personally like to apply a little of the a lighter shade just to the start of my brow. It makes the brow look less harsh but this step is optional.  That’s the incredible thing about makeup.  You can take all of these professional tips and tweak them to suit you, your routine and how much time you have.

HD Eyebrows:

This technique is for the more defined eyebrows that you see absolutely everywhere.
Start with your spoolie and brush the hair upwards.
With HD eyebrows they are meant to be a wow factor so you can have some fun with this and go a slightly darker colour than the one used for the natural brow. You can also use the same colour, again this is personal preference (remember there are good ways of doing things but makeup does not have a rule book, its meant to be fun, personal, and unique = personality)
Use a pencil for this, in your chosen shade.

So, listen up.  Pay attention because for me this technique was a life saver.  Not just for doing killer brows but also for plucking!

Now, draw a line from the bottom corner of the beginning of the brow, to the highest point of your arch.
After that, get your spoolie and brush the hairs downwards
Now, draw a line again but this time from the beginning of your brow but from the top to the highest part of your arch.  You should have two lines, they may resemble a triangle shape, the point ending at your arch.
Now draw a light line along your natural brow hairs to create the end or your brow.

Top Tip – always check your brows from the side too.

Fill in your triangle shape with fine hair like strokes.
Be very light handed at the start of the brow, getting heavier at the arch.  
The recommended product for this was Benefit goof proof pencil, which is a personal fave of mines too.
This technique can also be used for plucking. After you have drawn your lines just pluck away any hairs that are outside the triangle shape for beautifully defined brows.

Always use eye primer. Eye primer is created to deal with the extra oil that our lids create. The recommended product used during the lesson was an Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
Use an eyeshadow applicator brush. Which is a flat brush used for packing on colour.
Use the brush to apply your eye primer.
Then take a base coat Ivory or Beige.
Stop the base colour just before the brow.
Now take your fluffy blending brush and grab a nice mid-tone colour, a light brown.
Go back and forth on the crease with your blending brush, gently build the colour.
Do not go past the centre of the eye with the mid-tone shade.
Take your flat eyeshadow brush, used for packing on colour and apply a darker shade just at the outer corner of the eye.
Now take your blending brush and blend the colour.

Top Tip: When applying colour to the eye, another technique that can be used is creating a C shape at the outer eye. Use a mid tone all over with a Darker C shape. Then use a darker colour again and go back over C shape.
The entire technique can be re-done if you want your eye to be even darker.

I have given these techniques in a step by step format as U want to give you guys the exact routine that was used during the masterclass.  I was assisting at the class but I also took a notepad, I just knew I would end up forgetting a lot of it as the class really was packed with information.  I did not want to miss one single thing as I know that Lynne is a credible makeup artist who has been in the industry for years.

How to spot a good blending brush:
When squeezed together a good blending brush should create a dome shape. It should also have loose fibres that are not to tightly packed. The bristles should be short at the side and longer in the middle. This is what gives this brush its amazing blending capabilities. By squeezing the bristles together you can clearly see the dome shape that is created. The lesser the Dome shape, then the less it will blend the colour together.

The recommended product used here was Illamasque precision ink. Lynne did also state she found it easiest when using  a gel liner as opposed to a liquid or pencil liner.
Lift the eye slightly.
Lynne also used a tiny pointed eyeliner brush from her brush kit rather than using the applicator that came with the liner. The brush used was similar to a synthetic lip brush, very small and pointed for precise application.

*Trade secret*
The secret!!! This was the most interesting and most amazing piece of information from the entire class. The aim is to get right in to the base of the lashes. Now, where your lashes sit, the skin curls round, yes, the skin actually curls round in to your eyelashes, try this!! After you have applied your eyeshadow gently lift your eyelid and look right at the base of your lashes, you will actually be able to see where the skin folds round as it will be bear. Where you have not been able to get your eyeshadow. Every time you apply your eyeliner from now on make sure you lift your lid and get in to this area, the difference is amazing. Your line will be straighter, lashes will look thicker and it also  prevents gaps in between blonde lashes.  I have really blonde lashes, they are so light that without mascara I look like I do not have any eyelashes at all.  So this was THE best tip that I took away from this class.  The difference in the appearance of my lashed and the overall shape of my eye is totally outstanding.  I am not over-exaggerating here, seriously, you have to try this.

Another Quick Tip:
If you encounter a bumpy line and you are in a hurry, just smoke the line out with some black eyeshadow.

You can use black eyeshadow to prolong your eyeliner, just use your tiny lip brush to pack eyeshadow along your eyeliner ensuring you keep it in line with the gel liner.  Its just like baking your face to keep your concealer in place.
Always start from the outside and work inwards.
If you are not to good at drawing a straight line, then use dots, if I asked you to draw a long straight line, then this may be difficult, if I were to ask you to join the dots to create a long line then drawing a shorter small line would be easier right?? This technique actually comes from artistry as this is how some artist get a long, sleek, straight line.  They do not go direct from A to B.  They use a line of very small dots and join them up. Use this theory when applying your liner and draw a line of  very small dots along the lash line then join them up.

As for the perfect flick.  The best way to get it is to imagine a line starting from the corner of your lower lash line going up to the outer corner of your eyebrow.  Then use the dos theory and draw a dot on the outer corner of your lid, then another where you want your flick to end, join them up.  Now draw a line from the middle of your lid to the dot you drew where your flick will end.  You will now have a triangle, just fill that in and voila!


What is it?? I hear you ask.  I know that’s what your thinking because it’s exactly what I thought.  Tight-lining is the application of eye liner on the water line of the upper lashes.  This creates full looking lashes and an extremely defined eye. It adds a whole lot of drama to the eye area. But it can be tricky to pull off especially when applying it on yourself.

Look down, then take your thumb and push your lashes up. This will expose the upper water line.
Apply gel waterproof eyeliner to this area. 


Ah, a word I actually recognise.  I think we all know this one.Pull bottom lid away from the eye.
Apply gel waterproof eyeliner to this area.  I would recommend using a bright coloured eye liner.  Neon is forecast to be a top trend in 2020. So use a bright coloured gel liner for a flash of cool colour, very on trend.  


You know that question that every cheesy interviewer asks the interviewee during a stale, mundane question time.  The “If you were on a desert island and you could only have one item of makeup with you, what would it be??” question.  Mascara would be my answer to that (if I was ever important enough to be interviewed by someone other than the police…..ha, just kidding).

Start with applying mascara to the bottom lashes instead of the top, this prevents smudges.  But, again it’s a matter of preference.  I have very light lashes so I need mascara.  Even though they are light and are non-existent without mascara they are actually pretty long.  So when I apply mascara to my bottom lashed they end up looking ridiculous, like I have big spider legs half way down my face.   If you prefer to leave the bottom lashes then do so.

Wiggle the brush at the base of the lashes, concentrate on the base more than the tip.  If you get a good amount on the base it makes the lashes look fuller and thicker as well as hold a curl.  Really wiggle the brush so it gets right into the lash line. 
Zig-zag the brush as you bring the brush to the tip of the lashes. You can also roll the brush up the lashes which is what works best for me. Coat both sides of the lashes
Top Tip: If a smudge does happen do not try and wipe it off when its wet or this will just smear it across your beautiful face and destroy all of your labour. Wait until it is dry and flick it off using a q-tip, or your finger.

Blusher should go in between your highlight and your contour.
Another little tip from Lynne that I tried and adored was how to apply on top of bronzer for a beautiful pop of colour.  This is now a part of my daily makeup application routine, it gives such a healthy, radiant glow.
When going from office to evening apply a brighter shade of blush on top of your normal shade to really wake your skin up.
When selecting a shade, pinch your cheeks and try to select a colour that is most similar to that.
Or, you can play it safe and sensible, go for a pale pink.  A light pink is a universal color and looks equally amazing everyone.  If you are a pale blonde like myself then pale pink should be your personal preference as it does wonders for your flat complexion.
Top Tip: The darker the skin tone the more of an orange tone of blush should/can be used.  For example olive skin with a pop of bright coral on the cheeks looks stunning.  

Always carry your blush in your handbag as its the first area of makeup which begins fading as you go about your day.  


Round Up

Why Am I Spilling All The Tea I Could Just Keep All This To Myself And Just Promote The Class Instead.

Being a fellow makeup obsessive myself,I have read my fair share of blogs, and articles relating to makeup tips and how to’s.  I found that most of them were short, included re – used articles, told me stuff I already knew or told me information that was untrue and incorrect.  I refuse to let my work be anything but informative, and exciting.  I have packed this post with everything that I had the privilege of  witnessing throughout this 2 hour masterclass.  I have created this post in this format so that it’s easier for the reader to view and follow.  I didn’t want my reader’s to take one look at the amount of words within this post and click on to something they could quickly skim over with ease.  I hope I have managed to give an article full to the brim with accurate, easy to read, easy to follow information.

How Did I Get The Opportunity To Assist At A Masterclass. (I know I Got Access To All This Pro Info For Free! Awesome Right?)

The class was held at a very prestigious venue in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The venue was named “The Dome” and was held in one of the many very spacious and well presented conference rooms. I landed the opportunity to work alongside Lynne by total chance.  I was reaching out to professional makeup artists in my area for some information on how to get in to the industry. I had also just applied to go to college to do a two year beauty therapy course with the hopes of doing a makeup artistry course in my third year.  I reached out to Lynne via Twitter and she kindly replied with some information for me.  We kept in touch, we messaged each other at least twice a month just to say hi. We regularly shared each others content and commented on things that we had in common.  Then one day I had some kind of eureka moment when I was reading an article on how to break into the industry and number 3 on the list was to reach out to others within the industry and ask for info on any available small opportunities.  I did just that and Lynne invited me along to assist her at her masterclass.  I have now helped out at around 50 masterclasses and photo shoots, all for different artists. 

If I Can Create Great Opportunities Then So Can Anyone.

If you really want it, go for it, you can do it.  You know exactly what will happen if you don’t try. Nothing, yep, nothing will happen.  Everything will stay the same. But, who knows what will happen if you try. Isn’t the very thought of not knowing what opportunities may fall in to your hands if you just go for it just exhilarating?? Go for it girl you got this.

Useful Links

If you would like to check out Lynne or her team, or if you wish to take a look at her line of makeup brushes I will leave links so you can do so.  There is now a Girl Meets Brush (Girl Meets Brush is the name of her line of makeup brushes) academy which runs different makeup courses that you can access online.  You know that your going to get great value for money if you take one of Lynne’s courses, her knowledge and experience is something that cannot be bought or taught.

Click here to check out her team of MUA’s. Pro Team EyeCandy

Click here to go to the Girl Meets Brush website where you will be able to check out the line of professional brushes as well as the all new Girl Meets Brush Academy.



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