For Christmas I had been given a £50 MAC gift card. With this, you can have a 1.5hr make up lesson with a MAC make up artist - or rather, you book a 1.5hr MAC make-up lesson for £50 which is redeemable against products in store on the day. These can only be done at 'proper' MAC stores not concessions within House of Fraser etc. I booked mine in with Tabby at the Kensington Church Street branch, who I would definitely recommend.
Tabby asked if there was a particular part of my make up that I would like help with - I said my eyes as I have quite hooded lids and small, down-turned eyes which I would like to appear bigger and brighter. We discussed what kind of colours I liked, and which brushes I already had at home so she could try to work with those so I could recreate the look on my own. She explained that she would be doing one side of my face, and I would do the other. If it looked un-even at the end she would sort it out - phew!
I told Tabby that I wanted a look that was suitable for bright evenings - i.e. made up but not too ott for the sunshine - I personally prefer much fresher, less made up looks for the warmer days, but wanted something that I could wear when meeting friends in the evening but was still light. Tabby first suggested pinky tones for my eyes, but I said I haven't really got on with the pinks I'd had in the past and would prefer to go down the gold-toned route (figures as most of my collection falls into the gold/nude/brown category!)
This is what we ended up with:
Tabby started by taking off my existing make up using MAC wipes and Cleanse Off Oil, she then used the Complete Comfort Cream as a moisturiser which is good for sensitive skin, and then added a layer of Prep & Prime using the 130 brush in circular motions.
I had told Tabby that my skin was dry in patches, gets shiny throughout the day and is prone to spots. I was after a foundation that didn't look too cakey but had enough coverage for my skin, which is red in places and has old scars (I sound such a treat, don't I!?). She picked out Studio Sculpt foundation in NC25 which is medium-full coverage and buildable but with a satin finish. This was applied using the same 130 brush, but what I was really surprised at was how little product was actually on the brush. Tabby stippled on a small amount, then wiped off the excess before using small circular motions on my face to apply the foundation. She then used it much more lightly to get rid of the lines that had been made. I felt this was too sheer for me so we did 3 coats in this way.
She then used the 209 brush, which is actually a very fine-tipped eyeliner brush, to apply my concealer - Select Moisture Cover in NC20. She used the very tip of the brush to dot the concealer on to any blemishes, then used the 224 fluffy brush to smooth out the edges.
Using a 187 brush she put a fine dusting of Mineralize powder in Medium all over my face to set the foundation and make it a little less glowy, making sure to leave out the cheek area as she felt that its nice to have that part a little 'glisteny'.
Tabby used a 116 blush brush to pick up some Give Me Sun bronzer, which I really liked as it a flat colour, similar to Hoola by Benefit. Shimmery bronzers have their place, but so do flat ones. She showed me the area below my cheekbone and applied the bronzer in the corner near my ear. It looked rather scary at one point, but she then blended it down underneath the whole of my cheekbone and then up my temple a little as well as a small bit under my chin / on my neck. She then applied a very fine layer of it all over my face.
For the blush, we used Sunbasque which is a terracotta toned colour - I'd say it was in the same family as Stereo Rose which is what I use most often (and guess what? it's coming back again this year!). Tabby got me to smile, then applied it to the apples of my cheeks in circular motions.
Once the face was done, I was sprayed with Fix+, which is another MAC product I love, for setting my make up. When I had seen just the founation with concealer I have to admit I was a little scared, wondering if Tabby had 'got' me - it just didn't look very nice and loads lighter than I would normally wear. Once we had got to this point, I was far more pleased - it had all come together perfectly.
Next were the eyes! We used a Paint Pot in Soft Ocher as a natural coloured primer. This took out any pigmentation from the eye, helps the eyeshadow to be its true colour, and helps it to last longer where it's meant to be! We applied this just over the eyelid using a 239 brush.
We then used All That Glitters all over my eyelids using the 239 brush. Tabby showed me to pack the shadow on to both sides of the brush - using one side do one side of your eye, then using the other side of the brush do the other side of your eye - this is for maximum colour and coverage. Using the same brush we used Naked Lunch for a bit of a 'pow pop'. We drew a line of this right down the middle of each eyelid, then used the 224 fluffy brush to very gently buff away the edges of the line. We also added a little of it to the inner corners of my eyes, near the tear duct, to open them up more.
The next part was slightly tricker - I was a bit scared to do my side, but it turned out fine! A great tip that Tabby told me, is that when you do your eyes, tilt your head up slightly - this helps you to see the definition in your crease and whole eye shape and will make things easier to apply, especially when contouring. Using the tip of the brush we put Cork eyeshadow into the corner of my crease, and down into the 'V' of my eye, then blended it using the 224 brush. We brought the crease line quite far over when blending, probably to the middle of my eye. For a little more oomph we brought in another shade - using the same technique as with Cork, we applied Handwritten in the crease but not so far over.
We then used Technakohl eyeliner in Brown Border in the lower corners of my eyes, at the bottom, then went over the top of the line with a small amount of Handwritten on a 219 brush. We also put a bit of All That Glitters under the eye before the darker part, so it didn't look too stark. As a highlighter, Tabby applied a small amount of the concealer under my brows.
I cheated and got Tabby to do the eyeliner on both my eyes! She used a 208 angled brow brush to do my eyeliner, with Bootblack liquid liner, which I wish I had purchased now, as it's just so black and lovely! Lifting my lid slightly from above, she started at the outside of my eye, going in in small lines. She then went over the lids with one line to give the lines definition and smoothness. She then drew a flick by looking where my eye naturally goes upwards, drawing a small dot, then joining that dot to the rest of the eyeliner. The flick looked rather long for me, but using a 212 flat defining brush and Fix+, she got rid of a lot of the eyeliner on the flick to make it much more defined, thinner and flickier! We finished off the eyes with the Wonderwoman Haught + Naughty in zig-zag movements, which to be honest I wasn't overly impressed with - it didn't make my eyelashes as fat as I normally like! To clean up any smudges Tabby used a dry make-up sponge which is another fab tip I picked up!
Tabby first brought out a combination of Lady Gaga Viva Glam 2 and I <3 U for my lips, but I told her I didn't really want a gloss and I wasn't particularly keen on the Gaga shade... so she came back with Cherished, which is a nice peachy brown colour, probably darker than I would normally choose but nice nonetheless.
I was given a sample of Prep+Prime and I spent my £50 on 2 eyeshadows - All That Glitters, and Mulch, a 239 brush and a Select Cover-Up concealer.
I tried taking a pic on my phone quite soon after but was quite conscious of the passers-by thinking I was taking photos of myself! I also realise I look like I have a spam-head in this pic, but it's the best one I got, trying to do it inconspicuously!
I did have an evening out after this and received lots of compliments on how I looked, one man on the bus asked if I was on my way to a film premier! I took this pics once I got in - the foundation has gone a bit shiny, but the eyes are still looking good - I love how she lined them! (I'd added lip gloss by this point)
All in all it was a wonderful experience which I feel I have learned a lot from. Tabby made me feel comfortable the whole time and I wasn't made to feel stupid for asking questions. I think next time I know I want to have a big MAC spree, I will pre-book one of these, it was really interesting. I thoroughly recommend anyone to do it!