Behind The Scenes With Make-Up Artist Michelle Kinsella

Behind the scenes at our Prints Charming shoot (April 2015), it was all about super-clean, glowing skin and big, bold brows (our fave!). Make-up maestro Michelle Kinsella talked us through her inspiration...

Michelle’s must-haves

L’Oreal Double Extension mascara in carbon black. I don’t leave the house without mascara.

I like glossy lips with a bit of a tint – so the db Face glosses are really nice. They’re not drying. The H&M glosses are €3 or €4, I’m always picking them up and when it comes to lipstick, the pigment in MAC lipsticks is hard to beat.

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder or MAC Face & Body – very often, either one of those, with a bit of concealer or powder, is perfect.

This shoot is all about the skin – glowy, healthy, radiant skin. If you look at any catwalk show, it starts with gorgeous skin – it’s the building block of any look. You rarely, if ever, see a full-coverage face on catwalks. If you put the time and effort into having beautiful skin, it always looks nice.

To start, I used the Pure Hyaluronic Serum by Pestle & Mortar. Just a few drops on the skin, followed by Charlotte’s Magic Cream, by Charlotte Tilbury. It’s so quenching for the skin. It creates a lovely base without being greasy or heavy. It’s really moisturising but doesn’t affect the makeup afterwards.

Maria’s quite pale, and I love natural skin, so we embraced that.

For foundation, I used MAC Face & Body in C1 – Maria’s quite pale, and I love natural skin so we embraced that.

After that, I applied a small bit of Air-Brush Flawless Finish, a finishing powder by Charlotte Tilbury. It’s not chalky, like a normal powder. It’s really nice on the skin. We’re looking for a nice dewy fresh look, so I just used a tiny amount.

For contouring, we used the Dylan Bradshaw db Face bronzer in Congo and Kenya [sadly discontinued – bring it back, db!] followed by MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle for highlighting.

People buy ridiculously dark contouring kits – it’s not supposed to look like a stripe!

When you’re contouring, skip the cheekbone and focus on the soft part beneath, where the natural hollow is, and then go into the temple, around the hairline to another temple. Again, lift the brush – skip the cheekbone – and go into the hollow. Then sweep around the jawbone. Don’t go too much darker than your skin tone. People buy ridiculously dark contouring kits. It’s not supposed to look like a stripe! Then blend it – you should see a shadow, not a line.

For eyes, I literally applied a soft wash of peach cream eyeshadow – a shimmer around the whole eye – with a couple of coats of black mascara. The brows are the real focus. They’re tousled and messed up with a bit of clear brow set or a clear gloss.

[But, we asked petulantly, what if we just don’t have Maria’s deadly brows?!] You can use a sharp pencil, use really light feathery strokes, make sure it’s sharp and thin at the tip. Apply with really light strokes, then brush through it with a clean mascara wand.