I am the first to admit that I am not good with make-up. Usually it takes me three or four minutes to slap on a bit of foundation, eye-liner, and lipstick. Obviously, I spend more time if I am going out to dinner or going somewhere important, if you follow my drift. Then I add eye shadow, eye-brow pencil, mascara and blusher. But it is all still a bit slapdash.

The stylist daughter (who can be very critical) bemoaned my lack of expertise and frequently told me to go and get a lesson. She was fed up being called home to ‘fix’ me.

So when Emma Farrell, creative director and owner of EF | Creative Studios, offered me a lesson, I jumped at the chance.

Emma, who has a lovely studio in Ringsend, has a thriving business and offers one-to-one and group consultations. With ten years’ experience and many awards under her belt, she is highly regarded in the industry and she and her highly skilled team work with some high-profile names in fashion, TV and the media, as well as being in demand for weddings and special occasions. Her latest venture is ‘Ageless Beauty  – feel FABULOUS over 40’. Naturally I was keen to try it out!   First up was a look at the make-up I was currently wearing and I was pleasantly surprised to discover (after she had a rummage through my bag) that she approved of practically all of my choices. There is very little in the bag to be fair! I had made a special effort that morning and spent twenty minutes on my make-up, probably silly, considering where I was heading, but I was travelling by DART!

Clara Hooper Photography

Clara Hooper Photography

Anyway, my face was thoroughly cleansed and Emma explained the colour wheel and we discussed what would suit me.

Clara Hooper Photography

Clara Hooper Photography

Funnily enough, my eye shadows were spot on. And that’s where she begins….with the eyes. First tip of the day…eyes first, foundation after. It makes sense, I guess. Any product can be wiped off easily.

Clara Hooper Photography

Clara Hooper Photography

Then we went through the eye procedure. Emma made it seem simple and following her guidance, I did my left eye myself. Which brush to use, where to highlight, where to darken, how to soften the under-eye line: all techniques were learned.  The most difficult part was using the eyelash curler, but I could see the difference, particularly when I applied mascara.

Clara Hooper Photography

Clara Hooper Photography

 

And then to the face. Primer was produced and I hastened to explain that I didn’t like it, that I felt it accentuated my lines and wrinkles! Emma explained how primer is particularly important at my age. As well as smoothing the surface of the skin and helping to diminish lines, it is a good base for your foundation and helps it last longer. Emma used Elemis Pro Radiance and I am now a convert. It is hydrating and illuminating and not like others I have tried.

Clara Hooper Photography

Clara Hooper Photography

We used my own foundation Revlon Photoready Skinlights (clair naturel) and then moved on to concealer, another new product for me and again I could see how it helped with dark circles under the eyes and covered redness, particularly on my chin.

Then, the importance of powder was emphasised. Again, I demurred (too drying) but Emma converted me to Mac Mineralise Finish Light. Now my foundation will stay put, I am told.

We used Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow (which I had already) to contour my square jaw and highlight the cheeks. Again, I learned all about the application, the correct brush and where to apply.

One of my pet hates is lipliner; the lipstick wears off and you are left with an obvious line so it is feathery and accentuates your wrinkles. Again, Emma had a solution – L’Oreal Clear Magique lipliner, which gave my lips definition in a subtle way. I really liked this and will buy it.

Clara Hooper Photography

Clara Hooper Photography

Finally, we used my own lipstick, also L’Oreal, a pretty pink 266.  A little blusher and I was done!

What I liked about the lesson was that I actually had to work. Emma showed me what to do and I copied her. I had wanted a natural, daytime dewy look and that’s what I got.  I now know how to use the different brushes (can’t promise I will always use them) and I particularly like the tip “the denser the brush, the fuller the coverage; the looser and fluffier the brush, the more airbrushed the finish.” I like fluffy! The older I get, the less I like heavy make-up. I think we need to adopt the mantra “Less is more”, in this case anyway.

I can recommend a session in their attractive studio with a gang of girlfriends or you can participate in a group session held once a month. Competitively priced at 95 euro, it lasts from 10 to 4. Or if you prefer, you can have an individual consultation like I did. Go and have a look at their website http://efcreativestudios.com/about-us and see what they offer. You won’t be disappointed. I learned lots and I had fun also. The photos were taken by the lovely Clara Hooper who made me feel like a VIP –  it’s not often I get photos taken by a professional. See her work at http://www.clarahooper.com/

Clara Hooper Photography

Clara Hooper Photography

I wish I had gone for a make-up lesson years ago!