Make this your beauty mantra: less is more. Nobody needs a 25 step Kimmy K. contouring regimen (in fact, it won’t do you any justice unless you’re willing to dedicate a great big chunk of your day to blending. And life was for living, remember?) But there are a few (alright, quite a few!) simple techniques that are well worth taking on board if you’re keen to master the makeup basics. Here are some of my favourite anyone-can-do pro tricks:

  • Shimmer shadows are delightfully pretty in a palette, but matte is far more flattering with age (sadly, shimmer highlights lines).
  • The opposite is true for lips. Matte lippies tend to be drying, so opt for a moisturising formula if you’re at an age where fine lines are creeping into your complexion.
  • Primer is magic. It helps foundation glide on more easily, improves a base’s lasting power and helps hide fine lines or imperfections. There’s a primer out there for every skin type.
  • Concealer always comes after foundation. Most women forget to apply it in the darkest area (near the corner of the eyes, towards the bridge of the nose), and around the nose (to disguise redness), which makes an immediate difference.
  • Remember that concealer is really for brightening. If your dark circles really need disguising, use a colour corrector first (it needs to have an orange base to counteract the blue).
  • If you’re attempting to cover a blemish, make sure the concealer is the same colour as your foundation – if it’s lighter, you’re actually highlighting that pesky pimple.
  • A highlighting shadow applied in the corner of the eye (where it meets the nose) instantly opens up the eyes. This is the only place where shimmery shadows will never fail to flatter.
  • Dark lipstick shades will visually shrink the size of your pucker. Bright lipsticks will make them look plumper.
  • Dab some lip gloss just on the centre of your pout. It’s the biggest part of the lips and, when it reflects light, it creates the illusion of a fuller, perfect pout.
  • Apply blush high on the cheekbone – too low and it’s instantly ageing.
  • Blend bronzer just on the hairline and near the temples. It gives your complexion a lovely sun-kissed glow, adds definition and makes your eyes really stand out. Make sure it’s totally matte. And go lightly.
  • Brush brows down before applying product – that way you can see exactly where the gaps are. Fill them in where needed (use putty if you’re in a rush, powder if you have time), then brush the brow hairs upwards again.
  • Wiggle the mascara wand back and forth at the base of the lashes to make them look fuller and to give eyes extra definition (it almost looks like you’re wearing eyeliner if you nail this technique).
  • Think beyond black eyeliner: often brown,charcoal, plum or even navy is less harsh and more flattering.
  • Check your complexion in the car rear-view mirror – the light is awesome. You know you’ve got it right if you can’t see a drop of make-up.
  • The best makeup remover is oil. Jojoba is my favourite, but any plain old oil will do the job.
  • Everyone needs blush. Period.

Like to learn how to apply these techniques to your daily routine? Book a beauty masterclass here