My Beauty Secrets with makeup artist Ciara Allen

Makeup artists Ciara Allen shares some of her top tips to help you look and feel amazing.

I have always been a firm believer that when it comes to makeup, there is no right and wrong. Makeup is all about self-expression and should be as unique as the person wearing it.

If you like to do your makeup a certain way and it makes you feel good, then that is the right way regardless of what others think. From working on so many different faces spanning the last few years, I have noticed a pattern. A lot of women do their makeup a certain way purely because they don't know how else to do it. Makeup doesn't have to be overly complicated and once you get the basics right, you're on your way. At the end of the day, if it doesn't work out the first time, you can just wash it off and start over.

Here are some of my top tips to help you look and feel amazing.

Skin:

I know we have all grabbed a makeup wipe at the end of a long day, but cleansing your skin properly takes the same amount of time and it is so much better for your skin. Keep it simple with an eye makeup remover, a cleanser and, most importantly, a moisturiser. If you only do one thing to your skin, promise me right now you will moisturise your face.

If you don't (and yes this is the fear tactic) your skin will look dry, scaly as well as ageing prematurely. I have seen countless women in their 30's who don't moisturise look like they should belong in the 40-50 age box.

Eyes:

Before you start thinking about eye shadow, it is always a good idea to conceal and highlight the skin around your eyes first.

Concealer:

Using a concealer around your eyes will cancel out any darkness and conceal any redness. I would always recommend using the Long-lasting Softening Concealer from Lancôme. I swear a tube of this will last you around 2 years. All you need to do is apply a small amount of this product under your eye right up to the lash line and on your upper eye lid. You will look fresh as a daisy.

Highlighting:

Ok the skin around our eyes is now beautifully concealed so now we want them to sparkle. Here is where the YSL Touché Éclat pen will become your best friend. World famous for all for the right reasons, simply apply a small amount of Touché Éclat on top of your concealer on the darkest points of your eyes. Then just set the product with a translucent powder - which I will chat about in a second. You will instantly look like you just came back from the best holiday of your life.

Primer:

Ever noticed that when you first apply your eye shadow it looks great but then after a few hours, you end up with a pretty unattractive crease in your socket line? The solution to this problem is so easy and it is by using the Eye shadow Primer Potion from Urban Decay. By just adding a small amount under your eye shadow, it will prevent any creasing and will make the colour of your eye shadow stronger. This has been one of my favourite products for as long as I can remember and I think everyone should own one.

Eye shadow:

My advice is if you aren't sure, a warm shade of brown is the safest bet. We have all ended up with washy shades of glittery greens, silvers and pinks in our makeup bags but colours like this will just wash you out. Using matt shades usually work best and these are the eye shadows with no shimmer/glitter. Keep it simple with three shades: beige, taupe and a brown eye shadow will do you perfectly. You can also build up these colours for going out to create a more dramatic look.


Face Powder:

I have noticed a lot of women are clueless when it comes to face powder.
For me, it is one of those products I just couldn't live without. By applying a small amount of powder all over your face, it will set your makeup as well as taking away any shine.
My personal favourite is the Prep & Prime powder from MAC which is translucent so it has no colour and it looks really natural on.

Blusher:

Blusher has the power to either make you look like a fresh-faced beauty or a bit like Olivia Newton-John in the 80's. Nothing wrong with that but it isn't the most desired look. In general, a matte peachy/pink blush will really warm up your complexion and will give you a beautiful youthful look.

Focus on applying your blusher on the apples of your cheeks as that is the place your skin would naturally blush. Start off with a small amount and build it up as much as you like but remember - less is more.
 

Lips:

A lot of women suffer from dry lips and there is usually one main cause: using Vaseline a few times an hour; Instead of moisturising your lips, with excessive use Vaseline actually dries them out.
I personally love Elizabeth Arden’s 8 hour cream and it works amazing on dry lips.

Now one of my favourites: Lipstick!

Red lipstick has been known throughout history as a morale booster during difficult times.

Current day is no different with red lipstick sales increased during the dreaded recession.

Some women tend to go for metallic baby pink lipsticks which are very difficult shades to wear.

They have a slight futuristic look to them and can age you instantly.
Like with your blusher, I would always stick to warm shades of lipstick like peach, warm pinks and red.They will warm up your complexion and give you a beautiful overall look.