Makeup Tips From A Pro

Friday, 11 December 2015 | Tags: , , , , ,

Makeup application is a bit like cooking. That is, I've got a few tricks up my sleeve and I can do a smokey eye as well as I can pull off smokey spare ribs. But just when I think I've got it (mostly) all figured out I run into a Michelin starred make-up artist and it reminds me how much better the pros can do it.

This is what happened earlier this week while in Toronto appearing on Global TVs Morning show and I was lucky enough to have my face made up by the oh so talented Jessica Haisinger. Jess worked with us on Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag before moving to Toronto and we’ve been friends for years. She has helped me look my best hundreds of times over for small screens and big galas.

We got to talking about makeup missteps, techniques and favourite products and I figured that given that it’s party season, I should share Jessica’s suggestions for getting the basics right.


Jessica: “How important are brows?! THE MOST IMPORTANT! It’s like when you go into a friends house to use the bathroom, if it’s clean you don’t notice, if it’s a mess, you cringe and make a toilet paper seat. That’s like brows. If they are good, you think “wow that woman is gorgeous” if they are a mess you think “I wonder if she’d notice if I turned her into an internet meme.”

Jess says any brow novice must start with a trip to a reputable professional who will follow the generally accepted guidelines for brow shape, which you can find here.

As for colour? I was surprised to learn the way to go is a shade lighter than my natural shade, which helps avoid the “Groucho Marx look”.

Product recommendations:

  • eyebrow pencils by NARS and MAC
  • eyebrow gel by Makeup Forever
  • eyebrow satin by Maybelline


Jessica: “I’m not a fan of tinted moisturizer. Which I know is a broad stroke, and I’m sure someone somewhere will write me to tell me how they LOVE their specific brand, but, I personally think it’s a bit of a scam. You are basically buying a lightweight, do nothing moisturizer with a smidgen of foundation in it. Why not buy your favourite moisturizer that suits your specific skin needs and a fantastic foundation? Then you can use each on it’s own for occasions that call for it, and mix them together yourself on days when you just want a bit of coverage.”

Product recommendation:

  • Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation


Jessica: “Everyone needs to be curling their eyelashes. And I mean EVERYONE. That’s the number one question I ask my clients and I’d estimate about 75% say no. I told one of my beauties yesterday that I curl mine at least once a day and she laughed and said “People do that!?!” Yes, people do. People like me anyway!”

” Also, if your mascara has a tendency to travel (i.e. smudge), I suggest using a tubing mascara. The original Kiss Me mascara is a good one, but other brands have hopped on the bandwagon and so these days it’s a little easier to find at your local drugstore.”

Product recommendations:

  • Dior Show Mascara, in Blackout
  • Maybeline (for those who prefer a smaller brush for precision work)
  • Shu Uemura eyelash curler


Contouring is the exercise of highlighting areas of the face like the brow line, cheeks and nose and made popular recently by the Kardashian girls.

Jessica: “People have been contouring forever. The Kardashians did not invent it. For the novice, try using a light bronzer and avoid contouring your nose. I promise you, you have a nice nose, leave it alone. Cheek bones and jaw lines are the easiest place to start.”

Product recommendations:

  • Soft and Gentle by MAC (apply sparingly to the top of your cheekbones. This has a dramatic “wow” effect in low light.)
  • Film Star by Charlotte Tilbury
  • Sun Club Matte Bronzer -by Essence


Jessica: “The one thing that I notice over and over that people get wrong, is not taking their eyeliner all the way to the outside corners of their lashes. If anything, the liner should slightly extent past the eye and slant upwards. Like a teeny tiny cat eye. A trick to achieve this is to drastically over line your eye and clean up the mess with a q-tip dipped in makeup remover. Picture an imaginary line from the outside of your eye to the end of your eyebrow. Clean up everything below the line.”

“When you are lining under the eyes I recommend keeping your black eyeliner nice and tight to your lashes and use an eyeshadow to bring it down. You can really bring it down as low as you want, as long as you extend it up and out an equal distance on the outside edge of the eye.” (See photo below)



Product recommendations

  • Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in Black Ink
  • MAC Engraved pencils


For more tips and inspiration and if you happen to be in Toronto and want to book the best make-up artist in the city, check out www.jessicahaisinger.com


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