What a makeup artist does differently to us

When you come across a makeup artist who has travelled the world and mixed it with some of the most influential artists around, you pay attention to everything she says and does.

That’s what I did when attending a makeup workshop hosted by the exceptional Zoe Krahe, the lead makeup artist and one of the directors at Canberra’s Zaija Studio.

It’s been designed as an “urban retreat” and a one stop shop for all your beauty needs from hair and makeup to manicures, waxing, facials, eyelash extensions and massages. They have treatments for men too.

I went to Zaija for the first time on my hens day where my ladies and I were pampered and the champagne flowed. We were so well looked after and whether we were getting manis, pedis or a full face of makeup, it was all perfect.

So, when I heard about this makeup contouring workshop, I had to be there. I’m also a sucker for knowledge and knew I’d gain a whole lot by listening to Zoe who had some interesting tips to share.

She doesn’t use makeup wipes to prepare the skin for makeup because they leave a film on the skin. (Click here for more info on alternatives to makeup wipes.)

After applying a hydrating moisturiser – that helps blend the contouring layers together –  Zoe applies a “light layer” of concealer on eyelids rather than choosing an eye primer because she doesn’t think it stands the test of time and causes creases.

Next up are brows and working with an individual brow shape is crucial.

“The only line I draw when I’m doing brows is along the bottom because I like to work with people’s natural shaping throughout the rest,” Zoe says.

Instead of brushing powder through the brow, she flicks upwards, allowing the product to disperse itself.

That’s just part one of the brow process which Zoe returns to later.

“Brows play a massive part in eye makeup,” she says.

“People’s eyebrows start bringing everything together.”

Next is eyeshadow and Zoe works from the outer part of the eye inwards (I used to do the complete opposite).

She says when you blend your eyeshadow, never use a perfectly clean brush, because this will actually take product off.

“When I’m blending, I always blend with a shade one to two shades lighter than the eyeshadow colour,” Zoe says.

To add a bit of drama, Zoe uses a highlighter on the inner corners of the eye, before layering the eyeliner.

“Liner can make or break a whole look. There is such thing as too much,” she says.

Now it’s time for foundation and a synthetic brush is used to apply liquid foundation.

“Your foundation is pretty much the most important step when it comes to contouring,” Zoe says.

“Take your time with your blending because if your foundation is not perfectly blended, once you try to start contouring, it’s not going to happen for you.”

She also says you should brush down with your foundation and definitely use a brush.

“Beauty blenders aren’t application tools, brushes are.”

“If you use a blender you’ll get wastage and it’ll take longer.

“Foundation oxidises out the bottle so don’t dab it on each part of the face, then blend it, focus on one spot at a time.

“And don’t use too much product under the eye.”

Now it’s time to contour, starting at the cheekbone at the top of the ear, creating a soft, diagonal line before dabbing it into the skin.

“I don’t push very hard, I just want to very gently work it in with the rest of the foundation,” Zoe says.

She also contours around the hairline, before applying powder with a brush on top to set it.

Zoe uses a highlighter on the high points of the face and through the middle of the forehead, on the top and tip of the nose and the edges.

Then it’s mascara, lip liner and a nude lipstick and the smouldering smoky look is complete.

If you’re unsure about anything, check out the video I made from the workshop.