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Celebrity Make-Up Artist Secrets with Emily Clarkson

It's safe to say our make up bags have been neglected this year, and although our skin is grateful for it, we've missed getting spruced up now and again. Sales of skincare have sky-rocketed since the start of the pandemic but we feel we need re-acquainting with our makeup. So with the country slowly starting to re open, we've asked Professional face painter Emily Clarkson to give us some of her top tips. If like us, your lips haven't seen anything but more than Lip Balm for months then read on...


We all know that good makeup starts with a great base, but with the choice of skincare products becoming increasingly overwhelming we asked Emily what her Holy Grail products would be.

"That's a tricky one... I'm such a huge lover of skincare so I totally understand how people get reeled into buying new products all the time. I'd probably say my moisturiser never really changes, I absolutely love First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. I've got super sensitive but quite dry skin. This is a really hydrating cream without being too rich, so you can wear it under makeup, which is great as it's bank balance friendly!"

This just goes to show, your number one product doesn't have to be anything overly fussy.

Now lets pretend we're heading to a desert island, after the last year I think we'd all be grateful to be dumped on a beach wouldn't we? But desert island or not, a summer holiday is hopefully on the cards for some of us so we want to know what products are absolutely essential in Emily's travel bag.

"Okay, so first things first, surely it's got to be SPF! Again, with sensitive skin it's taken me a long time to find one that doesn't make my eyes stream and doesn't cause breakouts. La Roche Posay is definitely the one for me!"

For anyone over the age of 25 this should be a no brainer. One thing that all skin care and makeup professionals agree on is that sun protection is key. (And not just on holiday but every day). Theres no time like the present to start upping your SPF game.

"I'd also pack Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream for pretty much everything from lips to glossy cheeks, to dry elbows and nails. My other would be Pears Soap, again for everything, but also to glue those eyebrows up. (Can you tell i'm trying to think of all multi use products?)"

Low maintenance ladies rejoice, what a great idea for space saving, especially if you're travelling with just hand luggage and need to narrow your products down to the bare essentials. Scrap the unnecessary extras and find yourself something that can multi task.

"Lastly, I cannot live with without my signature favourite red lip duo, Cherry Lipliner and Relentlessly Red lipstick from Mac are just the best!"

Lips are a biggie on holiday aren't they - sun kissed holiday skin doesn't need much else? We know that a statement lip isn't for everyone but we definitely want to give that red combo a go after seeing how good it looks on Emily!

Emily has perfected her skills thats for sure, but having worked in the industry for so long, we're sure she has seen her fair share of makeup no no's. We asked her what the most common mistake is that people make with their makeup.

"I tend to find the most common mistake is to just wear everything all of the time... full foundation, concealer, contour, blush, highlight. Not because they particularly like it, just because they feel like they have to. There's no right or wrong when it comes to makeup, it's just about finding products that give you confidence and don't hide your natural beauty. Some days it's nice to just to wear a light base with a cream blush!"

Now that we can get on board with, minimal effort but enough to give us that confidence boost. We're sure many of you agree that the older we get, the more we want the "less is more" approach. Emily has the no makeup-makeup look down to a T! We all learn the hard way through trial and error though, even the pros...

"The biggest mistake I made myself when I was younger was wearing a full coverage foundation over bad skin every single day, it just looked 100 times worse and sat in all my dry skin! I'd go back and wear a breathable BB cream and spot conceal where it was needed"

Imagine if we could go back in time and correct all of our beauty faux pas. Patchy bronzer anyone? If only we knew what a base was then...

Whilst we're on the subject of faux pas, we asked Emily to reveal her biggest makeup pet hate.

"For me it's got to be that real build up of foundation around the face. Makeup all around the hair line being really visible and not blended right down the neck. So easy to fix too, just always start by applying makeup to the centre of the face and then work outwards so that your brush has the least amount of product on it when you get to the outer areas of the face. (The irony that I am so guilty of all these things I hate now but wore when I was younger is hilarious!)"

She's not alone there, if we'd been armed with that simple information back then we could have avoided years worth of tide marks. We live and learn. But as we mature does that also mean so does the cost of looking good? Makeup and skincare can be expensive but we all have those products that we love so much we're willing to splurge on come pay day. So we were dying to know what that looks like for a professional like Emily?

"Just before lockdown I discovered Goldfaden MD skincare. It's on the pricier side but their Doctors Scrub exfoliator has really changed my skin - it's so important to remove those dead skin cells. I'm really lucky that in my job I get sent some amazing brands to try out but i'd definitely buy this product over and over again!”

Not all makeup has to be costly though. There are lots of brands now offering cheaper alternatives who have gained respect in the industry for the quality and performance of their products. We want to know which of these items warrant us to splash the cash and which we should save our pennies on.

Makeup brushes?

" A few years ago I'd have said splash the cash but there's so many great brushes on the market now that are equally as good, just without the price tag! Save your pennies."

Lip colour?

" Splash the cash! Once you find your perfect lip colour it's so hard to find a similar shade with the same texture, that lasts the same. I still absolutely adore Mac for lipsticks."


"You can get so many high end duplicates these days that you wouldn't even know the difference! I'd say save your pennies. I always google what's a similar product to something expensive I like, more than likely there'll be someone who's found something really similar. I think L'Oréal and Maybelline have really upped their game with foundations over the last few years. The True Match by L'Oréal is a staple in my kit"

So there we you have it. We hope you find these tips useful next time you reach for your makeup bag. Check out Emily over on Instagram for all the makeup inspiration you could ever need - @emmyclarkson

Love Jo, Rachel & Emily



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