There are tween girls that know more about make up than me. I’m ashamed to say that my make up bag is full of free samples I got on the front of magazines. I don’t own eye shadow. And I only recently discovered eyebrow pencil. In fact, I’m so unconfident with applying make up that I’ve kind of given up on trying anything at all (although I watch with envy when other people experiment, have fun and look GORGEOUS). But enough is enough. Because although I’ll always lean towards the natural look, I want to be able to make the most of my features, and I don’t want to always be this clueless. I’m nearly 40 for heaven’s sake.
Enter Lauren Schoeman, i.e the Lauren Amy Studio who approached me a few weeks ago with a really interesting proposition: she’s an experienced make up artist who wants to use her skills to offer ordinary women the chance to learn some tricks in a private make up workshop at your house, where you do it all yourself! Because how many times have you been for a makeover (and you look amazing), but then the next day when you try to recreate it all, you don’t have the tools and you don’t have the skills, so you just give up?
A private session with Lauren is so great because she arrives bare-faced herself and then shows you what to do by doing it on her own face, and you then copy her. She starts off by giving you a booklet that you can use to draw stuff and make notes, and then she takes a look at YOU: the unique shape of your face, your skin type and your colouring. Lauren also takes a look at the products you’re using and can advise whether they suit you, what to do with them or some alternatives you might want to try.
She told me I have a heart or round shaped face and that my skin colouring has a yellow undertone, rather than pink (because this apparently influences some of the products you buy). She also gives you a few colours for your wardrobe that suit you: for example light grey and light navy are more my thing (darker neutrals wash me out!), but I also suit bright colours like coral.
My eyes are my best feature, so I’d told Lauren beforehand that I wanted to focus on them. This is probably where most of my make up investment is going to come in, as I don’t own a single eye make up brush or product. I have an eyeliner pencil and an eyebrow pencil and that’s it!
The reason you start with eyes and not your face? Debris from your eye shadow can fall on your skin so it’s best to do eyes and then make sure your skin is clean before continuing with foundation.
Anyway Lauren started by mentioning eye shadow primer and I was honest and said I probably wouldn’t be buying that! That’s what I liked about her, she doesn’t try get you to do something that you know you’ll never do again. Here’s what we did on my eyes:
- We used Mac paint pot in “groundwork” as a base all over my eyelids.
- Then we put Mac “darkest brown” on the outside corner and slightly in the creases.
- Then we put a pale shadow over the paint pot.
- Then we put Mac “haux” on the eyeball for a pop of colour to bring out my green eyes.
- Instead of an eyebrow pencil we used Mac “charcoal brown” to line my eyes with a small angle brush on both the top and bottom eyelids (apparently a brush range from Clicks called Real Technique is really good).
- We used my Mac lingering eyebrow pencil to define my brows.
- Because my eyes are so sensitive, Lauren suggested the Clinique Chubby Lash mascara and it worked beautifully.
The other thing Lauren told me is that you can use bronzer on your eye lids – what?! I’ve tried it the last few days and it really works a treat. And that is that! Eyes that POP.
After moisturising, we started off my skincare with a primer and I was all confused about primers and what they are for?! Well apparently they are especially good for ahem maturing skin, as they smooth out fine lines and large pores and help your foundation appear more even. They also help to keep your foundation in place for the whole day. Basically they make you look more glowing!
I’ve never owned one before but Lauren used the Bobbi Brown vitamin enriched face base on me – it’s pricy but she also recommends ones from Smashbox or the Benefit range. After that, Lauren told me I could combine my Mac foundation with my Bioderma fluid (SPF 50 – recommended by my dermatologist), in order to make a foundation that still has a high SPF in it. Why did I not think of this before?! After covering up some blemishes, and patting with a bit of powder, we were ready to go.
So it turns out I’ve been using blusher that was way too pink for my skin and bronzer that was far too dark. Um? Anyway, Lauren showed me where exactly to put it in order to try and give myself some cheekbones (“follow the hollow”!), plus how to apply blusher on the apples of my cheeks. I’ve just been applying blusher and bronzer on the same place all these years! You can also apply strobe cream on your cheeks as an illuminator afterwards.
I tried out the Mac ‘velvet teddy’ colour, which I loved, and I’m going to be buying it! It’s a lovely neutral sophisticated colour.
And voila! Quite a magical transformation I think you will agree.
Lauren says that the SA market doesn’t have as much of a variety (at reasonable prices) of cruelty-free beauty products, like they do overseas. But some options to look out for would be The Body Shop, Urban Decay, Smashbox, Essence, Catrice, Inglot and Dr Hauschka. However it’s important to check the actual product itself as some of these brands belong to larger companies who are not always cruelty-free.
Lauren charges R850 for a 2 hour session like the above, but if there is a group of you (i.e a hen party or group of friends), the cost will be less per person. The cost includes coming up with one day look and one night look, however you can arrange something specific beforehand with her if you something else in mind. This was a really empowering experience and has completely changed my beauty routine for the better (!), plus Lauren has given me the confidence to have fun with some make up options. Lauren is so down-to-earth and easy to chat to, and she gives you really practical solutions – plus she was great to hang out with! This would also make a great gift for a friend if you all clubbed together.
If you want to find out more, Lauren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Thank you for all your wonderfully kind comments on the post I wrote about my Mom. I have read each one, even thought I haven’t had time yet to respond to them individually – it means so much.
P.P.S This service was provided for free in order for me to review it.
*Please note that I am not a beauty journalist and these were merely the cruelty-free brands relayed to me.