last week sarah and i got to spend a few very girlie hours playing with one of our favourite make-up brands, smashbox, at their headquarters in london.
sarah fell in love with the brand during her time in los angeles, where the company is based, and has been waxing lyrical to me about their miracle primer ever since trying it at the smashbox uk launch party earlier this year.
i’d heard of the brand, but never got to try it out for myself. so when my partner in crime informed me that we’d been invited to spend a miserable rainy evening last week playing with the products, being treated to makeovers and learning how to apply make-up like the pros (with champagne, candy canes and popcorn thrown in), i was there with bells on.
make-up artist extraordinaire janine showed us how to achieve the perfect smokey eye. turns out, we’ve been doing everything wrong.
here is how the experts do it: start with an eyelid primer. a good one will prevent your eye shadow and liner from wiping off and stay put throughout the day. i’ve been testing out smashbox’s eyelid primer the past few days and am seriously impressed with the results. my liquid liner used to be sliding down my cheeks by elevenses. now it has staying power.
smooth out any creases or lines on your lid with the primer on your finger tip.
contrary to popular belief, you don’t start with the lighter shade of eye shadow as a base. have you been doing this, and then adding the dark afterwards? so have we. a rookie error, janine tells us. the lighter colour will simply wash out the dark, muddying the impact. ah. that makes sense.
so, start with your dark, smokey shade. black, charcoal or as we used during our smashbox session, an on-trend deep plum.
take a rounded stubby brush and press the colour on. don’t do the ‘windscreen wiper’ brushing on method (like we have been) – this will ensure most of your shadow will end up on your cheekbones. not economical. pressing it on results in the shadow ending up on the eyelid (winning!) and a more high-impact finish.
now for the lighter colour. you’re allowed to sweep this on in a brushing movement with a big fluffy brush. now go over the lighter shade with the smokey one, swirling the brush in a circular movement to ‘fuzz out’ the colour.
take a round smudgy brush and ‘fuzz out’ the smokey shade on the bottom lash line to get a good ‘slept in’ look.
janine added a plum lip, and showed us her sneaky trick to give the colour staying power: separate a tissue so you have only one sheet, and press over the lips. now brush some powder lightly over the lip area. some colour will come off onto the tissue, but the lipstick left behind will be really long-lasting. now add the second coat.
another trick we were shown was applying a highlighter pencil around the outside corners of the bottom lips and the centre of the cupid bow, to create a more ‘3d lip’. this is especially great for girls lacking in plump. i’ll be doing this trick from now on.
after our tutorial janine treated each of us to some good lips of our own, before we had a little fun playing with the products.
one of our favourites is the ‘try it kit’. a little box of the brand’s hero products, including the famed photo finish foundation primer and my new love, the lid primer, along with their eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss, for just £19. and they’re good-sized minis too – enough to give you a real chance of deciding if the product is for you before taking the plunge and going full-sized. we see christmas present written all over this one.
UPDATE: the lovely ladies at smashbox have just informed us that you and your bff can take home a ‘try it kit’ free! whaaaaaat?! book you and your best gal in for a make-up session at any smashbox counter at boots during the month of december and both of you will be sent a ‘try it kit’ of your very own. see smashbox for more details and conditions.