Complete Makeup Tips Advent Calendar

Makeup Tips Advent Calendar

As a qualified and experienced Makeup Artist, I like to think I know a thing or two about makeup. I wear makeup every working day and I’m lucky enough to spend time with some of the best makeup experts in the business, but there’s still a lot to learn. Here are the tips and tricks I pass onto my clients and which will help you achieve a more professional makeup look, whether you’re a total makeup obsessive or simply a bit of mascara and go girl (or boy).

As an aid to help my fellow makeup lovers out there, for the last 24 days I have been revealing a different makeup tip each day following on from questions which have been asked during my 1:1 makeup lessons. Here is the full advent calendar in one blog post.

Advent Calendar Day 1: BLUSHERDay 1 - Blush

If like some of my clients your blush gradually disappears during a night out, I suggest layering a gel/cream blush under a powder to extend the wear time. Be careful not to add too much powder blush on top of the cream, as you don’t want to look like a doll. I use a dual fibre brush to give a light dusting a lock in the colour.

Day 2Advent Calendar Day 2: FOUNDATION

So, you’ve found your perfect shade and brand of foundation. But what do you do when you’re having a great skin day or just want a lighter coverage? I advise mixing your foundation with a small amount of your favourite moisturiser. It’s the easiest way to lighten the coverage and have a bespoke consistency. Added bonus, you are keeping your skin moist and hydrated whilst still wearing your favourite product. No more having to buy tinted moisturisers 😉

Advent Calendar Day 3: MASCARA 🎅💋💄eye-makeup

You can guarantee that on the night of a big Christmas Party your mascara will suddenly be dry and clumpy. There are two ways to extend the life of your mascara, 1) add a few drops of saline solution to the tube and swirl the brush around. Leave for a couple of minutes and you’re ready to go. 2) Whilst applying the rest of your makeup, place your mascara tube in a cup of hot water (Tap hot is OK, no need to boil the kettle) This will reinvigorate the product and when you’re ready to use it, swirl the brush around and away you go!

If you’re in a rush, liquid or gel eyeliner on a spoolie can be used as a mascara.


Advent Calendar Day 4: RED EYES 🎅💋💄

So, you’ve had a few late nights over Christmas and have red bloodshot eyes!!! To get rid of this quickly, use moisturising or refreshing eye drops. Eye drops contain ingredients that constrict the blood vessels in your eyes, therefore making the redness go away. This same principle applies to pimples or other redness on the face as well. Just saturate a cotton swab with some Optrex Eye Drops and dab it onto the specific area. In a few minutes, the redness will be gone.

Advent Calendar Day 5: LONG LASTING LIPS 🎅💋💄Matte Lips

There are few things worse on a night out than having to keep nipping to the loo to re-apply your lipstick. The key to making any lipstick last is to layer. Start by lining and filling in your lips with a nude lip liner or one that matches your lipstick. Then, apply a light layer of lipstick. Hold a split tissue over your mouth, blot the colour, and dust a light layer of translucent powder over top. Repeat the process one or two more times for lip colour that won’t budge. Have fin kissing, drinking and singing the night away with lips that will last as long as you do (nearly).

MAC Face OilAdvent Calendar Day 6: DRY SKIN 🎅💋💄

Cold weather is enemy number one for your already-dry skin; even those who don’t normally struggle with flakiness tend to encounter it during the winter months. At this time of year I use my two go to dry skin products on all clients: face oil and a beauty sponge.

I always dab a small amount of face oil on top of the moisturiser with a beauty blender, especially any problem areas. This gives your foundation a smooth base and ensures that you have flawless foundation.

Advent Calendar Day 7: LIPS🎅💋💄

Add texture to your lips this Christmas rather than having the same gloss or matte finish, why not try velvet???  To add a velvety texture to your favourite lipstick, just dab your finger in a bit of blush or eye shadow; then pat it over your lips. So much easier and more interesting than full-on matte. To add a bit of Christmas Sparkle, why not add a touch of shimmer or gold/metallic eye shadow to bring back a touch of Glam? Don’t forget to set with a makeup setting spray!

applying eyeliner with an angled brush

Advent Calendar Day 8: LASHES🎅💋💄

If you love a big, voluminous, Bardot-esque lash look, you might be tempted to look for a full, thick false lash—don’t. These extra thick lashes can look really false and cheap as they have much thicker bands at the base. You’re much better off stacking two lighter, thin false lashes on top of each other. Just make sure the bands are thin to keep things looking natural.

Advent Calendar Day 9: BROWS 🎅💋💄 beautiful eyebrows

So, you want to have Insta worthy brows but when you try they just look like you’ve drawn them on with a Sharpie marker!  The mistake is filling in your eyebrows with just one colour. Whether you’re blond or brunette, your eyebrows will be naturally darker at the tail and lighter towards your nose. Choose two cool shades of taupe and brown which complement the colour of your brows. I fill the entire brow with the lighter shade, then fill in any sparse areas, and accentuate the arch and tail with the deeper shade. Finally comb through with brow gel or a clear mascara to blend it evenly.

Advent Calendar Day 10: ON TREND EYE MAKEUP💋💄modern eye makeup

Whether you want to create a full on Insta worthy eye makeup or a more subtle version (like most of us), there are two key tips: blend, blend, blend and your edge and wing must be as straight as the edge of a business card.

When creating your straight edge, line up the corner of your eye with the end of your eyebrow using micropore tape. You can buy this at any chemist. This will allow you to create crisp and clean eyeshadow lines and a liquid eyeliner wing. When you’re done, just peel it away.

Advent Calendar Day 11: LONG LASTING MAKEUP 🎅💋💄

This old school beauty trick is one that myself and many other professional makeup artists use on clients for events. When it comes to getting your makeup look to last, use a puff instead of a powder brush to apply your finishing powder. This puff presses the powder into the face, minimising the appearance of shine and adding longevity. Finally add a spritz of MAC Prep+Prime Fix+

EyeEnvy Corner LashesAdvent Calendar Day 12: LASHES 🎅💄

One of the most popular questions I have during makeup lessons is “How can I apply false lashes easily?” I have a couple of tips for this problem: 1) Trim the lashes to fit your eye. Most false lashes are too big for the general eye and so the end needs to be snipped off to ensure a perfect fit. 2) If you still can’t get those pesky little things to look good: don’t use a complete strip of false lashes. Cut strips into small sections and apply individually. It’ll look a thousand times better and more natural than a strip which is applied wrong! And look for lash strips that have an small thin band at the base.

Advent Calendar Day 13: Foundation 🎅💋💄

It’s almost impossible to find a foundation shade that perfectly matches your skin: that shade just doesn’t exist, especially not from just one bottle. I always advise my clients to have two shades, one darker for summer and one lighter for winter, then mix them together in spring and autumn to create your own custom shade. This way you will always have a foundation that matches your skin tone.

Advent Calendar Day 14: EYELINER 🎅💋💄Eyeshadow Palette

When clients are out dancing they don’t want to have to worry about their eyeliner smudging across their face with the heat. I always ‘Smudgeproof’ their eyeliner for events. I achieve this by setting the eyeliner with a little powder eyeshadow in the same colour over the kohl to keep it from moving.  Works a treat and means that you can dance the night away without your smokey eye running down your face!

Advent Calendar Day 15: LIPS 🎅💋💄

Do you suffer from chapped lips in winter? Well you’re not alone. Many women do, and the cause could be our favourite lip balm! If your lip balm has petroleum jelly as an ingredient it stops moisture entering your lips and acts as a barrier. If you can’t live without your lip balm, apply moisturiser to your lips before applying your balm. This way you will lock in hydration for your lips.

If you already have chapped lips, don’t worry, either use a lip scrub or rub a balm onto your lips and gently scrub with an old mascara wand or toothbrush. Once your lips are smooth as a baby’s bum, add a moisturising balm before applying your lip pencil etc.

Bobby PinsAdvent Calendar Day 16: HAIR 🎅💋💄

Do your hairpins keep falling out and your gorgeous hair style turns into a hot mess on the dance floor? A trick I use for all of my clients for events is to spray the hairpins with hairspray before using them. This gives them additional grip and ensures that they don’t slide out of even the finest of hair. (I spray my hairpins in bulk on a piece of kitchen roll before putting them into my kit. Its easier to do this way and takes less time)

Advent Calendar Day 17: DRIED OUT PRODUCTS 🎅💋💄

Do you ever have an amazing gel eyeliner or cream eyeshadow/paint pot that is that dry that you can’t use it anymore? Firstly, to stop your product drying out, when you take the lid off, keep the pot upside down on your work surface to stop the air from drying it out. As soon as you are finished, replace the lid. Its that simple.

If your product has already dried out, take the lid off and pop it into the microwave for a few seconds. When the product is soft again add a couple of drops of saline solution to the product and mix with a makeup spatula/tooth pick. Flatten the product and use as normal.

Advent Calendar Day 18: EYEBROWS 🎅💋💄Eyebrows

So, you’ve created a perfect eyebrow and you’re feeling great however the weather is windy and rainy, and you just know that your brows won’t last the day/night. So how do you keep your eyebrows in place? After you fill in your eyebrows, help keep the hairs in place by spraying some hairspray on a spoolie or on an old mascara brush that’s been cleaned and then brush through your brows. Alternatively, you can use a clear mascara to set your brows and keep them looking perfect.

Advent Calendar Day 19: FIX BROKEN POWDER How to fix broken makeupMAKEUP 🎅💋💄

We’ve all been there; we’ve dropped our favourite powder, highlighter, blush or eyeshadow and its broken into pieces. We want to keep it as there’s loads left but don’t want to put it into our makeup bag/handbag as it’ll cause a mess. Makeup artists have this problem too and here’s how we get to keep using our damaged powder products.

With a makeup spatula or small teaspoon, crush the rest of your product into a fine powder. Next, add a couple of drops of IPA (isopropyl alcohol) and mix it with the broken powder. As the IPA starts to evaporate, flatten the product down with the back of the spoon so that it is flatter and looks more like it used to do. Now leave the lid off for a couple of hours until the IPA has completely evaporated, and the powder has set. It won’t look perfect but who cares when you get to keep your favourite product?

Dewy SkinAdvent Calendar Day 20: SKIN 🎅💋💄

So, the party season has started to take a toll on your skin. We all know that the best way to attain healthy, luminous skin is by drinking water, but if you’re slacking on your H2O consumption, have no fear! A makeup artist trick is to use a brightening primer or illuminator such as MAC Strobe Cream to get the same effect. Pat the product onto clean, dry skin before applying your foundation or for a dewier effect, mix a small amount in with your foundation and you’ll look like you’re glowing from within.

Advent Calendar Day 21: PRIME YOUR EYES 🎅💋💄

Just like you prime your skin, you should prime your eyes. This is one of those must-know makeup tips for ladies who love a smokey eye or wear glitter shadow. An eye shadow base is a must if you’re planning on wearing eye shadow all night long to all your Christmas and New Year parties. Primers will make your coloured shadows pop more, as well as making colour and glitter last longer without creasing or fading. I like to use MAC Paint Pot in Barely There, but you can just use the same primer that you use for your face.

Colourful EyelinerAdvent Calendar Day 22: COLOURFUL EYELINER 🎅💋💄

On the days when you just want a soft look, take an angular brush and use eyeshadow instead of an eyeliner on your upper lash line. It gives a natural and soft look, absolutely perfect for colourful smokey eyes. For more definition and deeper colour, spray your brush with a fixing spray then dip it into your favourite eye shadow colour. Now you have a colourful eyeliner without having to fork out for lots of different gels or pencils!

Advent Calendar Day 23: ENHANCE YOUR BOOBS WITH MAKEUP 🎅💋💄

Are you wearing a low-cut dress and want a little bit more in your chest area without stuffing your bra? Well the answer is use Makeup. This is a makeup artist and drag queen secret that can enhance your assets without resorting to ‘chicken fillets!’

1.Using a flat brush, use a cream color about two shades deeper than your skin tone to draw your first breast. Follow the shape of an underwire bra and simply make an “over wire.” Taper the line to be thinner as it goes up and stop at about the 11 o’clock spot on your breast. Do the same on the other side.

  1. Now dip your brush in the next deepest shade. Apply this at the bottom curve of your “cleavage,” where a shadow would naturally happen and blend the colour inwards. Continue blending up and over, until you have more of a shaded look rather than harsh lines. If you feel more comfortable using a makeup sponge for this part, that works too! Just gently tap the sponge against your skin to blend.
  2. Don’t forget to set your makeup with a translucent powder and fixing spray.

Advent Calendar Day 24: FALSE LASHES 🎅💋💄

As most of you will be out celebrating or staying in with friends and family I’m not expecting people to be reading this post on Christmas Eve and so todays final Advent Calendar Tip is for the morning after a night out.

How to clean your false eyelashes: in a ramekin or small bowl, add some of your IPA (isopropyl alcohol). Submerge your lashes and leave them for 5 mins. With your fingers and a cotton bud, gently rub the mascara off your lashes. By this point the glue will start to separate from the lashes. Gently pull the glue away from the band and discard. Place your lashes on some kitchen roll to allow the IPA to evaporate and replace your lashes into their box to keep them looking beautiful for their next use.

I hope that you’ve had an amazing run up to Christmas and enjoyed all of the tips and tricks in my Digital Makeup Advent Calendar on Instagram (@makeupbyclaire01)

Follow this blog for more tips on makeup, hair and beauty, info and tutorials. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give step by step tutorials on, please email me at

Don’t forget to check out my website –

See you all in 2019!

Claire xx


How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes without damaging them. 

Updated 2018

makeup brushes cropped

Why clean your makeup brushes?

Who’s got the time to clean their makeup brushes? There are three big reasons for doing so:

Dirty Makeup Brushes

The first reason is that dirty makeup brushes don’t perform as well. When your blush brush has so much powder on it that you don’t need to put any more on when you apply …well, that’s no good. It can cause your makeup application to turn out looking very different than you expected: darker, more intense, or just plain muddy.

The second reason to wash your brushes is that dirty brushes can transfer bacteria from our skin to our makeup products and back again. Cleaning your brushes regularly will ensure that you not only get rid of excess product but also bacteria and oils that have been transferred to your brush. This can help prevent breakouts and other nasty skin complaints that are caused by germs.

The final reason is to care for your brushes. Cleaning them actually helps them to last longer. Brushes are a big investment, especially these days with many big brands brushes averaging £25 each, so we should be doing our best to protect them. I know that I cant afford to change my brushes every year!

Cleaning our Makeup Brushes

makeup brush

Optimally, we should wash our brushes once a week; I think I speak for most of us when I say that usually doesn’t happen. As a Makeup Artist I wash my brushes at the end of every working day however my personal brushes don’t get the care and attention that they deserve!  A realistic goal is to wash your brushes at least once a month.

Below is how I clean my work and personal makeup brushes.  Today is the first of the month, so let’s try to make a goal together to wash our brushes on the first of every month.

Remember to love your brushes and they will love you back!

How to Clean Your Brushes

I like to use Sigma’s brush cleaning mitt however at £31 they are a bit pricey for personal use. I’ve found a great alternative that I recommend to my clients Silicone Makeup Brush Cleaning Glove  and at only £2.49 its a bargain. As a shampoo, over the years I have tried most of the makeup brand’s brush cleansers/shampoos however I find that I prefer to use Carex Complete Antibacterial Aloe Vera Hand Wash. Not only is this hand wash gentle but it is also effective in helping to prevent the spread of germs. There are many hand washes on sale but my advice is that you ensure that it is antibacterial too.

How to clean your brushes – Step by Step

  1. Use warm water to saturate the brush hairs only. Be sure not to soak your whole brush as this will ruin it.
    Step 2
  2. Place a pea-sized amount of hand wash, or your chosen shampoo, into the palm of your mitt and massage the cleanser into the damp hair using a swirling motion. Do this until the cleanser has been completely dispersed among the brush hairs.
  3. Turn your mitt over onto the rinse side and sweep the brush back and forth against the RINSE texture under running water until the water runs clear.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for a deeper clean on brushes such as Foundation and concealer which require more cleaning.
  5. Squeeze – Gently squeeze brush bristles to remove excess water. (Create a ring with
    Step 5
    your index finger and thumb and pull the brush through the fingers while applying gentle pressure to remove excess water and maintain the brushes shape.)
  6. Place on a towel and lay flat to dry. Never dry your brush in an upright position as this will loosen the glue that binds the brushes and lead to hair loss.

Cleaning Tip: Clean all of your natural fibre brushes first. These will have been used with powders. Next clean any of your brushes which you use with emollients such as foundation or concealer. If you clean your brushes in this order you don’t run the risk of having any leftover emollient products on your mitt and transferring it to your natural fibre brushes.

I hope this shows how easy and cheap it is to clean your makeup brushes and also shows the necessary reasons for cleaning them regularly.

If you have any other useful tips that I can add to this post, please post a comment or comment on this post on my Facebook page. All additions will be credited.

Follow this blog for more tips on makeup, hair and beauty, info and tutorials. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give step by step tutorials on, please email me at

Don’t forget to check out my website –

Claire xx

Note: This blog post contains affiliate links from eBay. If you use them, I might be rewarded a small commission of the sale. You will not be charged extra. Please note that I only recommend products and tools that I personally use and love, and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart.

9 Makeup Artist Tips and Tricks to Steal

Updated 2018

As a makeup artist, I am constantly helping clients to look their best and make the most of the products they own. The more you know how to utilise your beauty tools, the more fun you can have (not to mention, the more money you’ll save). Here are some of my favourite simple tips and tricks that anyone can do, that’ll make you feel like you’ve had your makeup done by a professional Makeup Artist.

1. Make your favourite lipstick Matte or Metallic

Matte Lips

If like me, you cant stand the feel of matte lipstick, here’s a little trick you can use to turn any lipstick matte: Add a small amount of powder blush or eyeshadow on top of your lipstick to remove the shine.

Application: Apply lipstick, blot with a tissue, and pat the powder on top with your finger until it’s fully matte. This is a perfect way to have a matte version of your favourite lipstick while utilising products you already have.

extra tip: This trick can also be lovely for nights out and holidays by adding a touch of gold/shimmer eyeshadow to the centre of your lips for that metallic glow.


2. 3 Types of Foundation in One

Diluting your Foundation is a trick which I use often to give different coverage without carrying the weight of different types of foundation in my makeup kit.

Sometimes your favourite foundation provides too much coverage, yet your tinted moisturiser doesn’t offer enough. On holiday and summer evenings out with my husband I want a medium coverage but don’t want to 2-3 foundations in my makeup bag.  To use my favourite foundation (MAC Studio Fix Fluid) in my perfect shade but with different levels of coverage, I add a bit of facial moisturiser, drop by drop, to my foundation. I do this on a palette (if I am working on a client) or on the back of my hand if I am using the foundation on myself. By diluting the foundation gradually, you can custom create the perfect amount of coverage for your preference (with the added bonus of hydration). Lighter for daytime and holidays and heavier for evenings, whilst still wearing your prefect shade.

3. Double Duty Mascara 

applying eyeliner with an angled brush

There are many occasions when I don’t want to carry lots of makeup products with me; on set for touch ups, when I’m going out or when I’m travelling.  Due to being a ‘lazy girl’ I like my products to have double duty such as above, using an eyeshadow to change the texture of my lipstick and using a mascara as an eyeliner.

Application: I like to apply eyeliner with an angled brush whether it be on a client or on myself and so, I pick up some of the mascara from the wand onto my eyeliner brush and apply to the lash line as normal. I then finish with a couple of coats of the same mascara on the lashes. This is a great tip for travelling and to save you having to carry many products around with you.

Extra Tip: This works will all shades from black, brown and blue to more vibrant colours. Have a go and save save in your makeup bag/kit.

4. Instant Brow Lift 

If like me you want lovely brows without looking like they’ve been drawn on with a sharpie marker, then I have a little trick that not only defines but lifts your brows, creating a perfect frame for your face.

After filling my brows with either a pencil, powder or gel, depending on the look that I am trying to achieve, I then highlight the brows with concealer and blend with a small flat foundation brush. By placing concealer around the brows and blending, you add shape and lift.

I also highlight under your arch with a soft cream coloured eyeshadow (not too shimmery) and apply the same colour to the inner corners of my client’s/my eyes to give the effect of looking more awake.

beautiful eyebrows

5. Cheeky Fix!

As you are well aware by now, I love products which have multiple uses and save me space in both my makeup kit and my personal makeup bag.

This next tip is one that I use often, especially on holiday as I dropped my eye and cheek palette onto the tiled floor on holiday and smashed all of the powders. If I was at home, this wouldn’t have been a problem (see Tip 6) but as I was abroad this meant that I had lost all of my lovely eye shadows and blushes in my beautiful palette. As a small tear fell onto my cheek, I looked into my makeup bag and realised that I had a solution, Lipstick!!!!!

lips, eyes and cheeks - one colour

Lipstick can double as a cream blush and cream eye shadow when you’re in a fix. This is especially handy on holiday as we tend to use more soft peach or pink lipsticks rather than deep reds and so the colours can compliment not only your lips but also tie in your eyes and cheeks into your colour theme.

Application: This is easy, blend the lippy onto your eye lids or cheeks with your fingers instead and voila: instant cream blush or eye shadow!

Additional Tip: This tip works well in winter with metallic lipstick used on your lips and also matching on your eyes! Try silver, gold or metallic lipsticks for a pulled together modern look.

6. A death in the family!

When you make the fatal mistake of knocking your favourite pressed powder makeup product onto the floor and it turns into dust, don’t despair. It happens all the time to makeup artists and here’s how we bring our highlighters, eyeshadows, blush and stetting powders back to life!  The miracle product here is IPA (isopropyl alcohol). IPA can be purchased at larger chemists or online.

You’ll Need: Your broken powder, a tissue, a cotton bud and IPA in a small spray bottle.

  1. Break up your powder compact (even more) into tiny pieces using a cotton bud.
    How to fix broken makeup
    Spread them out across the compact so they’re evenly distributed.
  2. Place a tissue over the broken pieces of powder, and press down with your fingers to flatten your product and shape it back into the compact. Lift up the tissue to see where you need to apply more pressure to flatten down all the pieces.
  3. Now spray your powder with the IPA until it is the consistency of wet sand. Leave to dry in a safe place with the lid open and the IPA will evaporate.
  4. Clean up the edges of your makeup container with your tissue, and you’re good to go. Your powder obviously won’t have the pretty design that was imprinted in it before you dropped it, but your makeup will certainly be brought back from the dead.

7. Say ‘No’ to HD Powder

I never use HD powders or products containing a lot of silica to finish or set my client’s foundations or other makeup unless they are on a TV/film set. These products were created specifically for film and the ingredients in these products can reflect light (specifically a bright flash in a dark room or at night) and create the illusion of a white powder on your skin.

It’s the “amateur” move that even a lot of professionals have mistakenly made. You can see it below on Kristen Stewart’s makeup where the HD powder stands out with the flash of a camera. This could happen you you even with the flash of a mobile phone camera.

bad celebrity makeup

To ensure that you don’t look like the ‘powdery ghost’ in your group photos or selfies, why not try a product such as Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Finish powder or MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder (my two current favourites).

8. Spritz Away

If you’ve finished your face and you find yourself looking a bit too made up (or cakey), try spraying a finishing spray like MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ lightly over your face. The spray penetrates the foundation and helps to create a skin mimicking look. Basically, your skin will look more like skin and less like makeup plus, your face may stay in place a bit longer, as an added bonus.

9. Stack your lashes

Eye Envy 303 Lashes

Last but not least, if you love a big, voluminous, Bardot-esque lash look, you might be tempted to look for a full, thick false lash, most of which have tick unnatural bands and look truely false (not to say hideous)

I prefer to stack better quality lighter pairs of lashes onto of each other. Just make sure their bands are thin or invisible to keep things looking natural. I also prefer to trim the upper set slightly shorter than the lower set so that I can offset them slightly giving a more natural look. At the moment I’m loving EyeEnvy 303 False Eyelashes.

I hope this encourages you to look at using your products differently and hopefully getting more uses out of one product as well as some interesting tips which you can use in the future.

If you have any other useful tips that I can add to this post, please post a comment or comment on this post on my Facebook page. All additions will be credited.

Follow this blog for more tips on makeup, hair and beauty, info and tutorials. If you have any ideas on what you want me to write about or give step by step tutorials on, please email me at

Don’t forget to check out my website –

Claire xx

Note: This blog post contains affiliate links from eBay. If you use them, I might be rewarded a small commission of the sale. You will not be charged extra. Please note that I only recommend products and tools that I personally use and love, and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. eBay just has some great deals!!!