Friday, 11 April 2014

Must read beauty tips from a Japonesque make up expert

A few weeks back I went to a brilliant little event at John Lewis in Cardiff, introducing lots of lovely new brands and products they've got in store. We heard from Liz Earle, Miss Selfridge (find out how the Selfy ladies are working this summer's biggest trends in this post) and had an absolutely amazing presentation from Japonesque.

Japonesque is a bit of a new brand for me: I'd heard of them but never really investigated what they were doing. So, boy was I surprised by what I heard! Not only are they a bargain brand for the high product quality - Luminous Foundation retails at around £24 - but they are behind a lot of big name favourite brushes too. Japonesque make private label brushes for Illamasqua, Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel, AND their own name brushes are used on the set of True Blood *swoon*. So when you buy their reasonably priced brush range, you actually get top brand quality.

Kim from Japonesque has worked with The Saturdays, Tulisa and David Beckham (who apparently was sweet enough to make her a JD and coke!) so it's safe to say she really does know her stuff. And her number one priority when it comes to making up a good face is using good brushes. You can buy the best product out there but without a good tool to apply it, you're fighting a losing battle.

I've put together some more of Kim's invaluable advice on how to get the best from your beauty drawer below. I'm slowly trying out every single one and have to say, as a bit of beauty novice, it's redefined my routine!


Using a slanted brush, like the brand's 150 degree square design is best. Start from the centre of your face and blend outwards, applying all over your face, including your eyelids.

Try a tapered brush for better coverage. The angled bristles will fit around your nose and eyes and help the product to blend over blemishes and spots. Kim recommends using very little concealer - a caked on product will only draw attention to any marks. 

Use a soft brush: the softer it is, the less product it will pick up, meaning you can build cover to the level you want.

Always curl your eyelashes (with a decent double spring curler) before applying your top liner. But don't just curl them once, go for a pulsed action, squeezing about seven times to get a perfect stay-put flick.

Go for a light, sheer colour first and apply it to the whole lid, up to your brow. It works as a good base for dark colours or blending, and can work by itself everyday to wake up tired eyes. When applying a second colour, make sure you tap any excess colour off and blend up and out, around the socket; start from your lashes and push the colour upwards.

Don't worry about it being perfect, just use a smudge brush to correct any little mistakes. Kim said, "I can't live without the smudge brush. If you want to work like a make up artist, get one!"

When applying the first layer, make sure the wand covers the entire lash length, from root to tip. Then, when it comes to doing a second coat, only brush the middle segment of your eyelashes to boost volume and length.

The best way to do your bronzer is to use a fairly small brush, using the product to define your features. "Bronzer and blusher are for an overall, defining, contouring effect - not just to be plonked in the middle of your cheek," said Kim. Put a dash along your forehead/hairline, cheekbones and jawline in a '3' shape.

For a slight hint of colour, use your ring finger to smudge the product on your lips. If you're after something more intense, use a good lip brush to layer the product. For a lacquered look, use a little clear gloss on top, concentrating it in the centre of your lips

Keep it clean
Ideally you should wash your brushes once a week using a gentle shampoo or professional product (take a look at this post for how I keep my beauty tools clean) to stop products and bacteria building up.

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