Celebrity makeup artist, video tutorial queen and general all-round awesome person Lisa Eldridge is one of the world’s foremost beauty experts, having spent over two decades working on countless magazine covers and with everyone from Cindy Crawford to Kate Winslet, so it's no wonder she's a treasure trove of beauty information.
Here are some of her best tips, which we picked up when we met her recently.
1/9 How to do a basic smokey eye.
Lisa’s quick but effective smoky eye consists of a creaseless cream eyeshadow, an eye pencil and mascara. “You can make it really messy”, she says. “Because that’s the thing with smokey eyes, a lot of it is the blending afterwards.” If you’re in a hurry, buff in the shadow all over your lids, apply messy eye-liner on top, and small dots on the bottom, then buff and blend away. Finally, curl your lashes, apply mascara and you’re done!
2/9 Gentle exfoliation
Excessive skin scrubbing isn’t doing you any favours! “If you’re oily, it increases the oil. If you’re dry, it increases sensitivity. If you’re sensitive, it gives you broken capillaries.” Lisa recommends Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant, containing lactic acid, which dissolves dead skin cells without the need for ferocious scrubbing!
3/9 Effective cleansing
Proper cleansing of the skin is super important, and again, make sure it’s gentle. “You just want to thoroughly cleanse your skin and take all of your make-up off, you don’t want to affect the balance of your skin” says Lisa. “You don’t need to strip to the point where it’s tight and shiny.” Lisa recommends cleansing your face twice, once to remove the make-up, and again to really cleanse the skin.
4/9 A good base
The better your skin, the better your make-up will look. “If you don’t have a good base, you can’t put make-up over the top of bad skin that’s either really dull, dry, flaky or spotty, without actually doing good skincare.” Remember, every skin is different, so really get to know your skin and find out what works best for you when shopping around.
5/5 A 5-minute face
If you’re in a hurry and have 5 minutes for make-up, spend longer on your biggest concern. Bad skin? Spend 4 and half minutes on your skin, and the last 30 seconds applying mascara and lipgloss. If your skin is fantastic but you have small eyes, spend 4 and a half minutes ‘really curling those eyelashes, putting on some liner, and blending something into that crease to really open up those eyes’, says Lisa.
6/6 Pushy sales assistants
Don’t let sales people fool you! “Make-up is so marketing heavy these days, it’s all about the new palette, and the new this and the new that, and actually, there’s the basics of make-up which is to do with knowing your own face and learning what works for you." When shopping for products, express things like whether your face is darken than your chest, or whether you’re keen on making your eyes look bigger.
7/9 Have fun with make-up
Lisa believes that make-up reveals ‘the best you’ and applying false eyelashes or a neon pink lip can be fun. “I think the neon pink lip only looks good if the foundation looks good.” Once your foundation and concealer is blended properly and looks fresh, you can then have fun by adding bright colours and extras.
8/9 Trendy trends
Instead of following trends, focus on what suits you. “I think they’re just fun, I don’t think trends really mean that much, having been around for 20 years.” Not all trends will suit you, like the blue eyeshadow, for example, which has seen somewhat of a modern revival from the 80s. Just have fun with them!
Hydration is key when preventing fine lines and wrinkles, whether you have dry or oily skin. “I always use a really hydrating serum on my skin," she says. “They work well on lots of skin types. Hydration in the skin is so important, even if you’ve got oily skin.”
Lisa Eldridge photographed by Komal Basith at her home in London. © Komal Basith