Make-up Tips
The Expert's Advice


Advice From The Experts

Three professionals (two are Australians) offer us many of their top tips.

Rae Morris's makeup tips for mature women

As most of us do not get out of the closet until middle-age or older, we often make the mistake of trying to recapture our lost youth and make many makeup mistakes. This list by the esteemed Australian makeup guru, Rae Morris, give many useful tips for us mature girls.


  1. Match eyeshadow to your eye colour and only use matte shades, because matte eyeshadow will erase wrinkles.

  2. Blend eyeshadow - use an eyeshadow brush and really work the colours together

  3. Get eyelash extensions.

  4. Keep lips and cheeks natural and rosy; think of a youthful teenage girl. A rose-coloured lipstick is essential.

  5. Have a couple of different shades of foundation, one for each season as your skin tone will change, and that beautifully covers pigmentation and veins.

  6. Get eyeshadow colour right.

  7. Shape eyebrows correctly.

  8. Remove all stray hairs around the mouth.


  1. Don't over-arch or over-pluck your eyebrows.

  2. Don't use really strong lipstick colour, especially if your lips are drooping on the sides.

  3. Don't overdo the powder because it can make skin look flat and dead. In fact, Morris recommends not using powder at all and says liquids are much more flexible on the skin.

  4. Don't smile when applying blush because your cheeks lift. When you stop smiling your blush will be closer to your jaw.

  5. Bin all bright frosty eyeshadows.

  6. Don't use pinky-beige foundation colours because they are ageing.

  7. Don't test foundation on the back of your hand.

  8. Don't use heavy eyeliner under your eyes if your eyes are beginning to droop - it will accentuate the droopiness. And don't use eyeliner only a third away across - go either all the way across or not at all.

  9. No heavy lipliner with a different colour lipstick.

* Timeless Makeup by Rae Morris is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $39.99.

Rona Berg's Top 10 Makeup Mistakes

Source: This article

The sexiest makeup is the application no one notices. Is clumpy mascara, caked foundation or sloppy lip liner keeping you from looking your best? Rona Berg, Lifescript Beauty Expert, shares the top 10 makeup mistakes and how you can better apply your favorite products...

Women apply cosmetics to look better, to enhance their beauty - not detract from it. "Your makeup should never enter the room before you do," says Rona Berg, author of Fast Beauty: 1,000 Quick Fixes

Makeup Mistake #1: Dark lip liner and light lipstick

Along with spandex and big hair, Berg says, "this is one look that should have stayed in the 80s."

Choose lip liner in a shade close to your natural lip color, she says.

Line and color in your pucker, then top with sheer gloss.

If you use dark liner, like a red or berry shade, fill in your mouth completely, and then top with clear gloss, not a light lipstick.

Makeup Mistake #2: Lip liner extending beyond the lip line

What you learned in kindergarten still holds true: Coloring outside the lines is sloppy.

To fake a bigger pout:

  1. Hug your lip line with the pencil.
  2. Line just the border, but not beyond.
  3. Color in your lips and apply a lip-plumping product.
  4. Finish with a dab of clear or light gloss on the center of your lower lip; it will reflect the light and make your lips appear fuller.

Makeup Mistake #3: Drawn-in eyebrows

Women with lush, full brows should skip any added color; all they need are tweezers for stray hairs and some brow gel.

To plump up sparse brows, dip an angled brush into brow powder, says Ashunta Sheriff, a makeup artist for Christian Dior, who has worked with Alicia Keys and Hilary Duff.

Move the brush along the natural line of the brow, extending it to the edge of the eye.

If your brows are super-thin, Sheriff recommends making short, feathery strokes with a pencil, then topping brows with powder.

Makeup Mistake #4: Eyeliner drawn way past the outer corner of the top eyelid

The "cat-eye" (or Cleopatra) effect is sultry, but not if you go overboard.

Use a pencil if you're a beginner; liquid liner is more glamorous but requires skill and a steady hand.

Here's how to create a perfect eye:

  1. Draw a line along the root of the lashes from the inner to outer corner.
  2. At the outer edge, subtly slant the line upward.

Extend the line no farther than a quarter-inch past your eye (or just a tad bit farther for a more dramatic look).

Use your eyebrow as a guide: Don't take the line past its edge.

Makeup Mistake #5: Clumpy mascara

For long, clump-free lashes, follow these tips from Berg:

  1. Before you apply, wipe the mascara wand against the opening of the tube to get rid of any excess mascara.
  2. Wiggling the wand from side to side, from the base of your lashes to the tips, is the way to avoid clumps.
  3. Before the mascara dries, comb through your lashes with an old toothbrush or an eyelash comb to separate them and get rid of the gunk.
  4. If you want, apply a second coat, then comb through again.

Makeup Mistake #6: Obvious line of blush

Toss out the dinky brush that came in the compact.

A bigger brush will distribute the color more evenly.

"After you dip the brush into the blush, knock it gently on the back of your hand to get rid of excess powder," Sheriff says.

Smile and apply the blush in short, upward strokes on the apples of your cheeks, blending up to the hairline and ear.

"It will give you a flushed, natural glow," Sheriff says.

If you apply too much, tone down the color with a light dusting of translucent powder.

Finding your best blush color may require some experimentation... or a visit to a makeup counter.

But as a rule of thumb, bright colors are a don't. When in doubt, stick with a pinky/peach hue with a soft shimmer.

Makeup Mistake #7: Bright blue mascara

Teal or cerulean mascara is young, punkish and more suited for rebellious teens. Indigo and navy, on the other hand, are polished and chic for 20-somethings and beyond.

Dark blue mascara can brighten up the whites of your eyes, which is especially useful when you're tired or your eyes are bloodshot.

"It's pretty on all eye colors and flattering to everyone," Berg says.

If blue still seems too outrageous, go for a more subtle look by applying regular black mascara and just tipping the edges of your lashes with blue, Berg suggests.

Makeup Mistake #8: Caked-on foundation

Suffocating your skin with a heavy cover-up will only draw attention to the problem you're trying to hide. Instead, try these tricks:

For fine lines: Mix in a little moisturizer with your foundation, which will prevent the formula from seeping into the lines.

For blemishes: "Mineral makeup can give great coverage for pockmarks and acne," Berg says.

Berg also recommends gel foundations, such as those offered by cosmetic company Chantecaille: "It's expensive, but it works. It looks like real skin."

Makeup Mistake #9: Foundation line on jaw

To avoid a telltale foundation mask, the first step is to select the right shade.

Here are Berg's tips:

  1. Ask a salesperson at the makeup counter to pick out several shades, then test a few on your cheek.
  2. Step outside into natural light and use a hand mirror to see which shade looks best on you.

Our necks are often a different color than our faces and chests, says Sheriff.

That's why it's important to blend foundation down into the neck for a uniform color. Use a makeup sponge to create a seamless edge.

Makeup Mistake #10: Lining eyes only halfway

A strong, hard line all the way around your eye can make your peepers look smaller and closer together, but lining them only halfway looks silly.

The solution?

"A softer line can make your eyes look bigger," Berg says.

Here's how to achieve a softer line:

  1. Line your top and bottom lids at the inner edge of the iris and extend the liner to the outer corner of your eye.
  2. Then, gently smudge the line toward the inner corner of your eye to create a softer look.

Candy Nahnsen's Make-up Tips for Seahorse Members

Candy is one of Seahorse's Sponsors. She gave a makeup demonstration at a Seahorse Social meeting in April 2015.

Here are her notes for us all.

Clean and moisturise your skin

Twice a day (morning and night)

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate.

A thing or two about primers

They are silicone based products so I do not recommend them for everyday use as they can clog pores, cause skin irritations and pimples. For a special occasion where you want your makeup to last longer and create a more smooth, even finish than a primer is useful. BB creams are just the same as primer except most have colour and are also loaded with silicone - the Garnier Perfect Blur 5 sec Smoothing Base Perfector is an affordable option and only a pea size amount goes a long way.


Green neutralises redness,
Salmon neutralises Brown undertones normally found corners of eyes, nose and mouth,


neutralises Purple

Orange neutralises Blue.

Always mix concealers with small amount of foundation if the concealer is too strong against your skin tone. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer yellow concealer works well under the eyes and not too heavy when applied - comes with a great sponge tip application. If you can get your hands on a matte orange lipstick this will cover deep blue undertones on a man's face and neutralise the 5 o'clock shadow. I recommend using Kryloan concealer wheel which is what I used on Imogen when I conducted the demonstration - it has all the colours you need and a little goes a long way, item available on their website at this link.

Makeup tip:

Dab don't but wipe.


Matching the right foundation should be done in natural light if possible and it should match your neck so place a little on the cheek and neck next time you are looking for a colour match. If you have oily skin, look for a cream or liquid which is oil free. Revlon Colourstay liquids or mousse foundations are fantastic and the coverage medium to full. NYX brand from Target also Try to find oil free foundations for oily skin - Revlon Colourstay is very good either in liquid form or mousse depending on the level of coverage required. NYX makeup from target is also very good value and foundations come in stick, cream and powder form.

SPF in foundations

This is OK for every day use but be warned the higher the SPF than the greater flash back you will have when photographs are taken of your face at night.

Sponges, fingers or dense kubuki or stipple brushes

Theses are the best to apply wet foundation. Flat foundation brushes are harder blend and seem to wipe the product over the face instead of buffing into the skin. The denser the sponge, the better it is slightly damp as it does not absorb as much product.

Tip: wet/cream products and concealer is best applied with synthetic brushes and dry products with natural bristles like sable and goat hair.

Links to affordable brushes online keep changing all the time if you do a Google type search you should be able to locate a source for:

  • Waterdrop-Sponge-Powder-Puff-Makeup-Clean-Blender-4-Colors-Selection
  • Kabuki Brushes
  • Pro-8 15 pcs Kabuki Makeup Brushes


    Translucent powder is your friend; it is colourless and doesn't change the tone of your foundation.

    Bronzer is great for contouring

    You can either use cream or powder; make sure you find one without shimmer or sparkles and is not too dark or pink. If you have very dry skin and want to avoid too much powder, than just use a foundation 2-3 shades darker for your contour and apply to the cheekbones after foundation and blend well. I like to use L'Oreal true match crayon concealer in a darker tone.

  • Lipstick

    Match lipstick with lip pencil - after lining lips with pencil, always fill in the lips with the pencil to create a good waxy base to ensure your lip colour stays and lasts longer. Gloss can be applied afterwards or for more moisturised lips, than I highly recommend lucas' paw paw ointment instead of the sticky lip glosses that your hair sticks to when the wind blows. NYX brand from target have some great lips sticks and Essense and Prestige brands from Priceline are great affordable lip pencils to have in your makeup bag.

    If you have hardly any eyebrows

    I highly recommend a brow powder to shape your eyebrows using an angled brush - again matte shadows work the best. Prestige brand have various brow powders you can pick up with the angled brush in the palette from Priceline. If you prefer using a pencil, I found Revlon's Colourstay eyebrow liner which is waterproof and very light on colour so you can apply in feathery strokes to create a hairlike appearance and it comes with a little shaping brush.


    Again try to stay away from frosty, shimmery shades. The more matte the better for mature skin on an everyday makeup look however for a night out there isn't anything wrong with some glitter on the lid but it is good to balance it out on the eye. Best shadows I found are from the NYX range sold in Target - they are highly pigmented and on par with MAC eye shadows.

    Eyes before face

    Especially for smoky eyes, do your eye makeup first and then continue with foundation/concealer on the rest of your face. Why? If you are applying heavy eye makeup, chances are the shadow will fallout onto your cheeks so it saves time as you can just wipe away the mess and then finish with the rest of your face makeup.


    My favourite liquid is Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner in black but requires a very steady hand and lots of practice, NYX Black gel eyeliner is also a good buy and applied using an angled brush or for pencil, I recommend the very creamy Rimmel scandaleyes waterproof kohl in black (great for waterline) and a pop of colour, try the soft glide eyeliners from Savvy in Priceline - I have purple, green, silver and gold in my kit.

    Makeup tip:

    Blending is key to all makeup.

    False lashes

    The best eyelash glue is Duo waterproof eyelash adhesive or Priceline Ardell Lashgrip Eyelash Clear Adhesive is pretty good. If you have a latex allergy than the Ardell Brush-On Lash Adhesive is best. Remember to wait until it is sticky before applying. If you wish to buy a good set of strip lashes, than the Ardell Natural range from Priceline are lovely and you can reuse them as long as the glue is cleaned off the lashes after use using Isocol rubbing alcohol (available at most chemists).

    Makeup Tip:

    Clean personal brushes at least every 2-3 weeks. Isocol alcohol is great for a quick clean in between use, antibacterial hand wash cleans them well and ivory soap is good to remove stains from brushes/sponges.


    The best mascara I found doe snot break the bank and does not clump - Covergirl clump crusher (green bottle) which is not waterproof but great for everyday use and is what I personally use. For waterproof mascara which I always keep in my kit and use on all clients is Covergirl Lashblast Volume (orange bottle) or Covergirl Lashblast Lengthening (Yellow bottle) - remember to replace your mascara every 2-3 months.

    Did you know....most makeup has a use by date?

    Where to find this on a product. Look for the use by symbol which tells you how many months shelf life it has once opened. Eyeshadow is the exception, as it can last for quite some time with the proper care. Every few weeks, I spray my eyeshadow with Isocol alcohol which I have decanted into a little travel size spray bottle.

    Final Makeup Tip:

    Practice makes perfect - less is more and lighter application the better - slowly build up coverage and colour intensity of your makeup if you just take your time.

    Some useful links and books

    1. Videojug's makeup tips:
      Excellent short informative videos.
      Tons of excellent articles.
    3. Cross-dressing Guide by Jamie Yang:
      Very detailed and well-presented. Downloadable at a reasonable price.
    4. The Lazy cross-dresser
      A witty book on short-cuts to cross-dressing by Charles Anders.
    5. Alice in Genderland
      Autobiography by Alice Novic, a Californian cross-dressing psychiatrist. Has a good "How-To" chapter.
    6. Timeless Makeup
      An excellent Australian book by Rae Morris is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $39.95.

    Christine's Final Tips

    The big take home message should be: do not pile on the makeup heavily. Keep it light, keep it simple. Experiment by all means, but not on the night that you are going out. The aim should be that you want to look that you are not obviously wearing makeup.

    When you first start applying makeup, it may take you up to an hour to get it right, but with practice, you can achieve the final result in 20 minutes or less.

    If you are going out for an evening and you want to look a bit more dramatic, then go for highlighting EITHER the eyes OR the lips with more striking colours, but NOT BOTH.

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