10 things I learnt from makeup extraordinaire Max May

He's the sensation behind Max Made and has worked on the faces of Rose Byrne and Lara Bingle.

I seriously fan girled when I heard he was coming to Canberra and soaked up his wealth of knowledge at his makeup kit masterclass at the Canberra Centre.

A big of background - Max May started out as a hairdresser and expanded his skills to makeup because of his love for painting and drawing. He is self taught - outrageous!

You might have missed out on seeing and hearing from the man in person but you should not be denied his extensive wealth of knowledge.

Here's what I learnt from the man himself.

1. The canvas, aka your skin, must be prepped properly before you apply any makeup. Max's product of choice is Glam Glow, Glowstarter mega illuminating moisturiser. Massage in your moisturisers before you apply makeup. It gets the blood flowing and brings up the natural contours of your face. 

2. Max blends foundation with his fingers which for so many makeup artists is just not done anymore. He says when you use your fingers it warms up the product and helps it blend and look more natural. He uses a brush to apply the foundation first, starting in the centre and working outwards, before blending.

3. Max usually picks a brow colour one to two shades lighter than the person's brows to contrast against their hair. He loves a brow gel because it gives you have more control.

4. Don't contour with a shimmer, even though it's easier to blend. If the bronzer is shimmery it defeats the purpose of defining certain parts of the face. His recommendation is Nars sea side.

5. When it comes to highlighting, start under the cheekbones, then move to the temple and along the jaw line. To blend and make it look more natural, create a number 3 shape moving between the temple, cheeks and jaw line.

6. Max hates powder. He's all about the radiant factor but if someone has oily skin or needs some extra coverage, he'll mix loose powder with bronzer.

7. An eyelash curler is essential because curling them opens the eyes and lengthens the lashes, even before putting on mascara.

8. Choose your mascaras based on the brush - a dense brush is always good and expensive doesn't mean better.

9. If you have dark under eye pigmentation (that's me), concealer isn't always your magic wand. Use blush to add colour and a little shimmer highlight to the inner corners of the eye, to help mask the pigmentation.

10. To clean makeup brushes, Max uses Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo. He says you should never dry your brushes upright because the water falls into the glue of the handle and can make the bristles fall out. He also opts for synthetic brushes and says with how advanced brush technology is, you don’t need to use ones made of animal hair.

Now before you go practice everything you just learnt, here is some serious inspiration - some of Max May's impressive work.