Adele’s Make-Up Artist Shares His Must-Know Tips For Holiday Beauty Looks

Adele, Party Makeup, Michael Ashton
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Celebrity make-up artist Michael Ashton on how to achieve lavish-looking shimmer and avoid unwanted shine

The man responsible for Adele’s iconic feline flicks, make-up artist Michael Ashton, knows a thing or two about perfecting party make-up. Between beautifying his A-list clientele (Penelope Cruz and Lila Grace Moss were just two of the last famous faces he painted), Ashton works as the global artistry ambassador for Marc Jacobs Beauty. At the brand’s holiday collection launch, we caught up with him to get his ultimate party make-up tricks and tips. Try these hacks for your next night out.

Do your eyes first

“I always like to do eyes first – I think most make-up artists do. If it gets messy I wrap a face wipe over a flat-tipped cotton bud and clean up under the eye. Do the base after.”

Avoid chunky glitter

“It might be very obvious but I do love a little bit of sparkle for festive makeup. If you’re taking your makeup from the office to the party, and you don’t want to start all over or do a whole smoky eye, a bit of glitter or a metallic shimmer is great. Sometimes with glitter, it’s too chunky – which can look a bit cheap. If the particles are too big they will end up sitting in fine lines and creases. So the finer the particle the better.”

Look for refined pigments

“The new Marc Jacobs Beauty See-Quins Glam Glitter Eyeshadows are amazing. They look like a translucent veil of glitter on the eyes, they have a very expensive feel. To apply to take your finger or a compact eyeshadow brush and dab the glitter in a wash across the lid, so it creates a sheer veil. Or just add some to the inner corner of your eye to open it up.”

Use an eye primer on the eyelids and under-eyes

“If you have an oily eyelid a primer is great. I like the Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Eye Primer because even when it dries down it has a nice slip without feeling tacky, so anything you put on top adheres to it. I also like to apply it under the eye for a slight blurring effect, and it helps prevent concealer from sitting in eye lines.”

“Sometimes I actually prefer doing the lashes first, and then doing the liner, because mascara automatically lifts the shape of the eye and then you can just do less of a wing than you might have thought you needed. The trick is to lay the tip of the eyeliner horizontal at the roots of the lashes, before sketching out your shape. Press it into the roots in little sections, and then follow it out to do the flick.”

Do brow gel pre-pencil

“I also like to do brow gel first, and then eyebrow pencil while the gel is drying. I find that the eyebrow gel gives something for the pencil to adhere to, and it helps you to achieve full natural looking brows. If you do it the other way round, when the gel wets the pencil formula it can sometimes look too heavy. Gel first exposes the gaps, and gets the brows in place so you can see what shape you’re working with.”

Find a foundation with coverage, but without a matte finish

“With a full coverage base, you then need to bring back the architecture to the face, with contouring and highlighting, because a lot of foundation can take out those natural dimensions. So I love a foundation with coverage, but without a matte finish, [like the Marc Jacobs Beauty Shameless Youthful-Look 24H Foundation] which leaves the skin with a natural texture and life. For a natural but flawless look use a minimal amount of foundation and conceal where you need to – redness, blemishes, under the eyes.”

Don’t save bronzer for summer

“I love bronzer all year round. But it’s about finding the right tone of bronzer for your skin colour. For example, if you’re really fair, don’t go for a deep terracotta – you want something neutral, almost yellow-toned that will look natural on the skin tone. Bronzer is a great alternative to contouring. It’s a really easy product that can instantly pep up the face and make it come alive again.”

And don’t forget your neck, scalp and neck

“I tend to apply bronzer with an angled blusher brush. Make sure it’s blended down your neck and seamlessly into the hairline. If you’re bronzing the face and your scalp is very pale at your parting, apply it there too and really buff it in. I always make sure I do the earlobes too, and if you’re wearing your hair up, do the front and back of the neck.”

Layer your lip products

“If you really want your lips to last, I recommend filling in the entire lips with a lip liner and then doing a lip crayon or lipstick over the top, blotting it off, doing another layer and blotting again. This way, as the lipstick starts to wear off you’re left with a nice stain. If feathering is a concern, use your eye primer on the lips first; don’t forget the lip liner, and stick to matte formulas – don’t go for a gloss or anything too creamy that will settle into the fine lines.”

In a pinch, blot shine with a kitchen towel

“For parties, you will likely need to keep a blotting powder or blotting papers in your bag to keep on top of any shine. A great trick is to use kitchen towel if you don’t have any blotting products because it’s really absorbent but doesn’t leave little lint particles as tissue can.”


From Harper’s Bazaar UK

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Adele, Party Makeup, Michael Ashton
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