Tried and tested: Designer cosmetics

A make-up tutorial from the experts at Bobbi Brown.

An artist from Bobbi Brown Cosmetics works on a model at the Dubai Mall branch.
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WHAT I TRIED A Bobbi Brown make-up tutorial with a Bobbi Brown make-up artist, Dubai Mall.

WHAT I WANTED Smoky eyes, pouty lips and bronzed skin. Inspired by those strutting down the international catwalks, I wanted to know the secrets of creating a polished yet natural look, or at least some tips on choosing the right foundation that isn't three shades different from my face.

WHAT HAPPENED I spend a small fortune every month on make-up that, once I've left the shop and gone into the light of day, turns out to be completely the wrong colour. So I decided to save face (and money) with a make-up lesson. After selecting from eight tutorials lasting from five to 45 minutes such as "Instant Pretty" "Smoky Eyes" and "Lips and Cheeks", I opt for the "Pretty Powerful Makeup Lesson", Brown's signature 10-step tutorial.

After cleaning my face I hop into the chair, which is surrounded by every make-up colour, brush, bronzer and lipstick imaginable. The store's professional lighting helps my artist, Elianjo, read my skin's texture and hues. He makes suggestions and offers hints (always use a brush, never your fingers, to apply under-eye concealer, so you can get it right under your lashes; for balance, make sure your blush colour matches your lipstick), noting products that will work for my skin type. Then he applies, handing me a mirror after each step. Under his guidance I then try everything myself.

THE VERDICT As expected, the "bare" face look is far from effort-free, but thanks to Elianjo I leave with great tips that really do take only five minutes to follow. Having one-on-one contact with a professional makes applying my own make-up easy, leaving the hard-to-follow "simple smokey-eye" tutorials on YouTube far behind. I now have the confidence to recreate looks I wouldn't have tried before and the best thing is, like YouTube, these tutorials are free.

Jemma Nicholls

Bobbi Brown make-up classes are complimentary but you must call the particular shop beforehand to set up an appointment. Bobbi Brown, Dubai Mall, 04 330 8151 and elsewhere