It’s not often you meet someone whose career began with applying lipgloss to an international Supermodel. A spur-of-the-moment encounter, Rae Morris fell into makeup artistry when the paparazzi burst through the door while touching up Naomi Campbell’s lips.
That was when she was only 19.
Since then, the Brisbane-born makeup maven has only gone onwards and upwards. Working on fashion shoots for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as on famous faces such as Pink, Jessica Biel and Miranda Kerr, Rae has since released her own world-renowned line of makeup brushes, and most recently, became Priceline Pharmacy’s Makeup Director.
With a wealth of well-travelled beauty knowledge, we asked Rae to give us a lesson on navigating the everyday makeup game. From beauty hacks to tricky trends, here’s your personal tutorial in Makeup 101:
LESSON 1: GET YOUR GAMEFACE ON
Whether you have five minutes or thirty, the first place to perfect is the face. Just make sure you get it right! Add bronzer and blush to compliment your natural tones, not overshadow them. “Bronzer is great for people who already slightly tanned, but don’t use bronzer on pale skin – it will not make you look more tanned!” Rae says. “The first tip for bronzer is not to make your face more tan than your body, it looks silly. The best place to apply bronzer is around your hairline, because that’s how you tan naturally. And if you want Victoria’s Secret skin, put hint of rose blush on first, then bronzer.”
Keeping those cheeks rosy can also be tricky, but can wind back the clock if applied in the right place. Learn from the expert: Rae says “Blush should go above your contour line. Imagine you have really strong cheekbones – like Angelina Jolie – you’d have a shadow under the cheek, and an indentation from the corner of your lip to the top of your ear. Why would you ever put blush below the line? The only time blush would ever go lower is if you’re older. So to keep yourself youthful, apply blush higher up.”
And what of that tricky trend that’s all over the faces of Hollywood’s finest – the cream contour? “This is my favourite. I only use a cream contour as it blends beautifully,” Rae says.
Here’s how to make it work for you: “When doing cream contouring, you need to first apply liquid or cream foundation, do your cream contouring, and then powder your face. Once you have powdered your face, you can then only use powder to contour. There aren’t many cream contours on the market, so I usually go and buy really dark foundation and use that instead. Anyone who has a cheekbone has a shadow under their cheek, and this is what you want to emulate. Use a good thin brush and apply product from the top of your ear down to the corner of your lip.”
LESSON 2: LIPS, LIPS, LIPS
I have a saying about lipstick, which is “too much on the moth goes south!” Rae says. Keep your lipstick in place by obeying the first commandment of effortlessness … less is more. “You want a lipstick that gives you the desired colour with one application – as lipstick is a wax, the second you put three or four coats on, it melts off.”
We’re all guilty of the backhand swatch when looking for that perfect pout shade, but take a tip from the master when shopping for your next lipstick: “I don’t recommend testing lipstick on the back of your hand, but instead on your finger tip. Your fingertip is the same colour and skin tone as your lip so you’ll get a true reading – when you go to buy lipstick, do one, maximum two, strokes on your finger. If that’s the colour you want, buy it! If you’ve got to do more than two strokes, don’t. You’re better off getting a stronger pigment which needs just one application.”
For the perfect lip application every time, go back to basics and apply atop of silky-soft lips. Rae recommends putting a lip balm on while doing the rest of your make up, and when it comes time to do your lips, wipe it off and apply your lipstick as normal for the best result. “It’s also not good to apply a layer of foundation on your lips before applying lipstick, or you’ll end up with a big ugly white crust around your mouth.” The more you know!
Right on trend for Autumn/Winter is the bold lip look. Before jumping right in, take Rae’s advice on how to balance a dark lip to look less vampire and more 20s movie star:
“There’s dark and there’s dark… If it’s looking black, you need to be careful. A good way of not looking too dark is to apply a lighter colour lipstick in the middle part of your lips. Take a photo with and without flash before you go out to see how you look and make sure it’s not too dark. And to pull off a dark lip, you have to have perfect and even skin.”
LESSON 3: IT’S IN THE EYES
When we’re too busy to eat breakfast, let alone put on a proper face of makeup, it’s easy to focus on the skin first and neglect the eye area. Stop what you’re doing, now! “Do your eye makeup first,” Rae says. “Usually, women only have 10-20 minutes to do their makeup, and they spend all this time doing base and face and then only have 5 minutes left to do their eye makeup. Foundation you can do on the train/bus/at traffic lights, just get a big brush to apply with!”
Word from the wise also when you’re in a rush: Don’t go for a really hard eye look. “Do something like mascara with a bit of sheen on your eyelids and a glow on the cheek. And don’t go for smoky eye and red lip when you’re in a rush, that’s just crazy!”
In the best-case scenario that you do have an extra 15 minutes on your hands, nailing that tricky trend of cream eyeshadow doesn’t have to be hard according to Rae. “Cream eyeshadow is the easiest and best type to work with, as it gives you play time when applying – you just have to move fast.”
“Sometimes when you go straight from pot to eye, it can stick, so you need to go from pot to brush, back to pot, to the back of your hand, and blend, blend, blend! Once cream eyeshadows are blended and finished, they dry and don’t move. When you’re putting them on, use a pointed brush with synthetic bristles, as real hair won’t absorb the shadow.” Time to invest in some new brushes, we think…
HOMEWORK: RAE MORRIS’ TOP FIVE TOOLS
1. A good foundation – “such as the L’Oréal Lumi Magique Light Infusing Foundation, as I like to have glow to my skin, and I don’t like to look too matte. I also carry the L’Oréal BB Powder which I apply to my t-zone when required.”
2. Tweezers – “I always have these on hands for any stray hairs!”
3. Hand cream – “I can’t stand shaking hands with someone who has dry hands, so I always carry my People for Plants Hand Cream.”
4. A brow pencil – “the Rimmel Brow Pencil is my absolute favourite, it is an essential.”
5. Hand mirror – you cannot do your makeup without a mirror! “Manicare do some great compact ones.”
“And always remember to drink through a straw when wearing a bright lip.” Class dismissed!