pro make up tips


Michelle Lee Senior Pro Mac Make Up Artist

I was lucky enough to get some of Michelle-Lee’s time to give us an insider into her make up world, some tips and tricks and her fav products. I love following other make up artists and see what makes them tick and what products they can’t live without and what they recommend. I first saw Michelle-Lee in action last year at the trends technique workshop where make up artists, bloggers and beauty editors were invited to see what the new trends were and what key products were used. Michelle not only heads up the fashion show make up teams in SA but she also gets to go to the international shows and work amongst celebrity artists like Charlotte Tilbury.

So here is the Q&A:

1) What is your favourite part of being a make up artist?

The freedom to create and inspire others through transformation. Being a Pro Make Up Artist means Michelle has the opportunity to grow and shape aspiring or new make up artists skill level and hopefully elevate their make up journey. The feeling of making someone feel beautiful is a super power for me, this emotion ripples through both you as an artist and the client it can affect so much more than their appearance. Essentially I get to play every day and call it work.

2) What are your top 5 products that you can’t live without?

Mac Pro Long Wear Concealer because you can sheer it down with Mac Strobe Liquid or Luster drops to create a foundation.

Mac In Extreme Dimension Mascara because it literally does to your lashes what its name suggests.

Mac Black Track Fluid Line as its a long wearing eyeliner or eyeshadow and essential accross the board.

MAC 217 Eye Blender – I have 20 of these!

Mac Prep and Prime Face Protect SPF50 PA++ this primer grips to your make up like no other primer does with an added SPF of 50.

3) What backstage tips and tricks can you share with us from Fashion Week?

Less is more when it comes to skin. Apply foundation like a veil, sheer and natural, spot conceal the undesired blemishes. The base face is never a trend.

Powder precise hot spots only (oily)

Brushing the inner brows up and then gently defining the tail is a must – set with clear brow set.

4) What is your favourite trend look and what are the key products to recreate?

I am loving the Reb-elle AW14 look it will be big for this upcoming season. The look is rebellious, artistic and slightly anarchistic. All carbon and punchy rather than traditional pretty. Think black or blackened emeralds, plums and charcoal, I am obsessed with Mac Super Slick Eyeliner in On the Hunt. Apply this liquid patent finish to the entire lid for a high shine intense black attitude driven eye.

5) How do you prep a model’s face before applying make up?

My forever starting point will be the Mac Fix +, to hydrate and soothe the skin. I then cleanse the models with Mac Lightful Softening Lotion to remove excess residue and restrict pores.  Michelle says this is often a neglected step and makes a big difference to foundation application.

Her next step is to massage the Essential Care Oils into the skin. Depending on dryness and dehydration I may then follow this step with moisturiser. Mac Mineral Charged Water Power is my favourite right now for quick absorption and maximum moisture.

6) What is your skincare/make up routine?

Michelle says she is very indulgent in her skincare routine. So here are her favourite products to get the amazing skin that we always see her with.

I am smitten with the Mac Marine Bright formulations for defying dull complexions. For cleansing I use the Softening Lotion, then a spritz of refrigerated Fix +, the chilled temperature works wonders on restricting pores too! Mac Marine Bright Essence is my serum of choice for brightening and is complemented by one of my obsessions Mac Essential Oils to add clarity and radiance to my skin. Mac Prep and Prime Face Protect SPF 50 is a must to ensure make up lasts all day.

For make up here are Michelle’s key steps:

Using a Mac Contour Brush in 168, I apply a small amount of Mac Sun Rush Lustre Drops to the high planes of my face, cheekbones, brige of my nose, under my eyebrow and the excess is brushed down the centre of my neck and my collarbones. I then take a pea size of the lustre drops onto the back of my hands and apply the Pro Long Wear Concealer next to it and then mix the two together with the 168 brush, and buff into my face starting at the centre. I then use the undiluted concealer to conceal any areas that need more coverage around the nose and under the eyes and on any spots affected by pigmentation. I am all about highlighting and adding dimension to my face so my Mac Prep and Prime Highlighting pen in Light Boost is drawn under my eyes, centre of my forehead, bridge of my nose, cupids bow and the centre of my chin and then buff it all in with the 168 brush.

I set the centre of my face with the Mac Prep and Prome CC Compact (launches in March) in Neutralize with the 168 Brush.  Natural Bronzing is a new addiction for me. Mac Give Me Sun Mineralise Powder is then dusted along my hairline, under my cheekbones and along my jaw line. This adds subtle definitions and slims my face. Finishing touches to my prime look are my highlights with Mac Cream Colour Base in Hush. A backstage must and an everyday essential for me.

Here is a video tutorial featuring Michelle-Lee on Contouring and Highlighting:

So there you have it a great insight into Michelle and her key products. Of course I have the majority of these products in my kits and thanks to Michelle to sharing with us.

I will be going backstage in July to meet with Michelle and see her working backstage so watch this space.

I hope you enjoyed the post.

Shahnaz x

I Love Chanel Spring 14 Collection

At the recent Chanel launch for the new Spring 14 make up collection we got to have a look at all the beautiful colours and textures and got to take 4 products away with us. I took the pink’s because its a current trend now but was also a trend in SS14 shows. The collection itself is beautiful with pinks, reds and plum shades so perfect for all skin tones and where looks can be taken from day to night.

I got my hands on the Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick in Diva a bright pink shade, the lip pencil in Sonic Pink, the bright blush Chamade which is a pink/red shade and the Illusion D’Ombre in Impulsion which is a pretty light pink shimmery eye shadow.

So here is a pretty look which encompasses all things Spring and Summer:

I Love Chanel Spring 14 Collection

For the lips I applied the lip liner and lipstick, I applied the blush with my fingers onto the apples of my cheeks you only need a tiny amount and for the eyes I applied the Illusion D’Ombre in the inner corner of my eyes just to give a little pop and not take away from the pink lips. As you can see I kept the rest of my face really clean and contoured and lots of mascara.

As you all know I love all things Chanel. I love the packaging especially the lipsticks and I absoloutely love the quality. Yes it is expensive but its Chanel right? With me I know I am not going to be let down by the quality and I will get the finish I need. The products are also amazing to use on a shoot and look beutiful in front of the camera. There is something really special when you pull out your Chanel products and I know the models are always happy to see me using it on them too.

The rest of the collection consists a 4 eyeshadow palette which is R645 and a duo palette at R485, 6 beautiful lipsticks in different textures priced at R395, lip glosses are R335, an Illusion D’Ombre eye shadows in a deep purple they are R380, 3 nail polish colours at R290, 2 cream blushes at R440, and a finishing powder to illuminate the skin at R510.

Chanel Spring 14 Collection


Out 27th January 14 in selected Edgars stores so if you love Chanel then you need to get your hands on the collection.

Hope you enjoyed my post.x










The collection launches 27th January 14 so if you love Chanel as much as I do then you will want to get your hands on some of the beautiful collection.

So as you know if you have been following my blog I am always looking at ways to look younger (yes I am 37) and to have glowing skin. But not only for myself but to be able to find new products to really make the models skin look unbelieveable on a shoot. I am a strong believer that before you apply any make up you need to have a good beauty regime. Before putting on any make up on the models before I start the make up I fell what their skin is like and decide what to apply. For me its about radiance products when it comes to skincare and using make up that will give the girls a radiance.

In the picture of me  I have used a few great products to really make me skin glow. So here is what I used. For skincare I have been using the Ren Hydra Calm range which I already blogged about that already gives me a great foundation even before I start. I went for certain products at Mac that really help give the skin a glow plus a few other products. So here are the steps that I used to try create a youthful glow (at least I hope I look younger).

  • Prep skin (Ren Skincare)
  • I applied the Mac Fortified Skin Enhancer in Adjust all over my face with a foundation brush.
  • I applied the Mac Prep and Prime Highligher in Bright Forecast under my eyes, down my nose and on my smile lines and blended in using a Mac 217 Buffing Brush.
  • I then applied the Maybelline Fit Me foundation all over my face using my fingers.
  • For my cheek bones I applied the Topshop Glow Highlighter in Gleam.
  • For my cheeks I mixed the Mac Mineralise Skin Finish and the Blush from the Topshop Cheek Duo in Desert Blush and sweep up along the apples of my cheek bone.
  • I lightly contoured under my cheek bones using the bronzer from the Topshop duo dusting off any excess before I buffed in as I wanted it to be really subtle.
  • To finish off the skin I spritzed the Mac Fix + to give the extra glow.
  • I applied on my lashes Mybelline The Collssal Volume Express Mascara and on my lips Maybelline Whispers Lipstick in no 15.

Youthful Glow 1

Remember you don’t have to use the products I used there are a lot of brands that have illuminising products and shimmer blushes. You can use a BB Cream instead of a sheer foundation or if you suffer from oily skin take a product like Mac Studio Fix. Always try test before you buy to make sure the product suits your skin. For dark skin tones stay away from icy colours go for deep bronzes when it comes to highlighting.

Hope you enjoyed my post. x





[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/HU_1MQ3PYxc”]

I was recently asked about creating a video on eyebrows. There are so many products on the market for eyebrows and it can be very confusing on what to use. In the video I discuss a few products available from brow kits, pencils, brow gels and eyeshadows. A beautiful full brow is very much on trend, can really complete your look and so easy to do!

In the video I use the Gosh Brow Kit and a Mac 263 Angled Brush and then I set the brows with the wax so that the product will last. Plus I talked about the Mac Brow Pencil and how to apply.

Here are the products I talked about:

  • Benefit Browzing Brow Kit available in 3 colours from light to dark and has a cream and powder. 
  • Mac Brow Pencils in Fling and Lingering are key in my pro make up kit.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel its a great product for filling and setting the brow for a beautiful full brow.
  • Catrice Brow Filler my budget pick and great for a natural full brow.
  • Soap and Glory Arch De Triumph Brow Pen and Highlighter a great product for filling brows and highlighting under the brow.
  • Bobbi Brown Eyeshadows in Sable and Espresso.

You don’t necessarily have to invest in a brow kit or pencils if you are on a budget you can use an exisiting eyeshadow. However, there are so many good budget products now available so go and test them out and see what works for you.

Hope you enjoy my post. x



So yesterday I did a road trip vibe shoot and the reference was a natural look. I am always being asked on how to use certain products or how to create easy looks. The look I did yesterday was so quick and easy I thought I would share the products I used and how to re-create the look:

  • Moisturise or prime first before applying your foundation
  • I used the Georgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation and buffed into the skin but you can use any liquid foundation that you have.  Apply all over your face into the neck either using your fingers or a foundation brush.
  • I concealed using Mac Pro Conceal and Correct Palette. You want to create a seamless look so use a blending brush like the Mac 217 to apply the concealer under the eyes and to take away any redness or pigmentation on the skin.
  • For the contouring I used my favourite Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder in no 30 but you can use any bronzing powder I just love the expensive stuff! Contour under your cheek bones, on the top of your forehead and down the bridge of your nose.
  • On the eyes I buffed in Mac Cream Colour Base in Tint Frost. This product does crease so you will have to reapply through the day. For dark skin tones this colour will most likely not work so go for a darker colour like Mac Cream Base like Fabulush.
  • Fill in your brows to make them appear fuller and complete the look. I used the Mac Brow Pencil but for a cheaper option you can use one of your eyeshadows..
  • You don’t want too much mascara for this look because its a more natural look so apply no more than 2 coats. I used the Benefit They’re Real Mascara but again you can use one that you already have.
  • For the cheeks as I wanted to keep this look really natural I applied cream blush from Mac in Lilicent but this will also need to be reapplied in the day so you may want to opt for a light peach powder blush if you are fairer to medium skin tone and for dark skin opt for a deep pink blush.
  • I highlighted above the cheekbone using my new favourite product The Celestial Powder by Kevin Aucoin (not available in SA). But there are lots available to choose from like Topshop cream highlighters or Catrice Highlighting Powder great for a natural look. For the darker skintone apply a little of a deep gold colour to make it pop.
  • For the lips I used a nude tone as the model had very fair skin. I used this is Autumn from my Mac Fall 13 Forecast Lips Palette but again you can use a nude colour you have already.
  • To complete the look set the foundation with a finishing powder I used the Chanel Healthy Glow Powder in no 20 but again you can use a cheaper option.
  • As the look is very natural you can pair the look with dark nails.

Hope you enjoyed my post. x