Can anyone master the tricks of the beauty trade? Jenny Hewett attends a make-up masterclass to find out.
Learning how to apply make-up is one of those life skills that every woman should familiarise themselves with, but it’s also an art that many struggle to nail. Like many things, cosmetics have the ability to go pear-shaped in the wrong hands. With the same ease that make-up can transform you into a pretty-faced prom queen, a heavy hand can undermine everything that cosmetics stand for in the first place. There are few things more off-putting than a naturally-beautiful woman caked in ill-suited foundation and swimming in bronzer. Piling on the goop in such poor fashion goes against the purpose of make-up, which is to help us feel comfortable and confident in our own skin and enhance what is unique. You don’t have to be Picasso to master a make-up brush, either. Mishaps can easily be avoided, with a little insider knowledge and advice.
According to Eirini Hannah, co-founder of small Dubai-based make-up tutorial business My Make-up Moments, a common experience for many women is being sold the wrong advice and products. ‘A large number of our clients express their disappointment in being misled by beauty advisors in retail stores and as a result they have spent small fortunes, unnecessarily,’ says Eirini. ‘What the average consumer does not know is that despite the retailer’s best efforts to please them, they are mostly trained in selling their products, so there is a big risk in trusting all expert opinions,’ she says.
Having launched My Make-up Moments in January this year, Greek-born Eirini and her Indian business partner Nitasha Saxena now run one-day and two-day customised make-up tutorials, as well as private sessions for women of all ages. Having met in Dubai while heading up the team for US make-up brand Kryolan, the beauty-obsessed duo wanted to provide a service for all. ‘We saw a gap in the market for the average consumer, who is very interested in beauty but at the same time is feeling confused about the right product choice,’ says Eirini. ‘We focus on each one of our client’s issues and we provide advice taking into consideration their personality, lifestyle and budget,’ she says.
We attend a two-hour Beautiful Basics workshop one afternoon in a (fittingly) basic space in JLT filled with natural light, ideal for the task at hand. The session is for beginners and focuses on essential techniques and products. It kicks off with a Q&A. ‘We get asked loads of questions but the most common ones are how to make products last longer, how to choose the right shades and textures of certain products and how to cover problem areas. Everyone also wants to know how to achieve the perfect smokey eye,’ she says. Eirini and Nitasha then demonstrate a daily look and a smoky eye on models, which takes up most of the class. They cover useful tips for darker skin, such as how to disguise colouring under the eyes. As informative as it is, we can’t help but feel like we want to put into practise the techniques right there on the spot, but there are no resources for that just yet, it’s all about watching and learning.
‘Our classes don’t have an overload of professional make-up techniques, just the basic tricks and guidance as they are aimed at the everyday woman, of any age group, who wants to look their best but doesn’t know how to achieve this,’ says Eirini. While the group classes are kept small with no more than eight women, those interested can also opt for a personalised session. ‘We offer customised tutorials for those who want to take their skills further or those who just want to have a more personal experience,’ she says.
Taking that concept one step further, next month, My Make-up Moments is joining forces with Dubai-based charity Friends of Cancer Patients to launch a new series of Colour My World events, a first in the UAE. The workshops will kick off during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and are aimed at women undergoing chemotherapy, who would like to regain some of their confidence through make-up tips and tricks.
‘This new programme supports female cancer patients struggling with the side-effects of the disease, with workshops that will show them all those pro techniques to help improve their self-esteem,’ says Eirini. For the rest of us, any final advice from the cosmetics counter? ‘Demand samples and avoid purchasing unless you have tested the product at home under different light.’
Dhs750 for a two-day masterclass. My Make-up Moments, various locations, www.mymakeupmoments.com (056 675 9601).
Three more make-up classes to try
London College of Make-Up
Dubai-based courses that cover everything from creative make-up to Asian and Arabic make-up.
Unit 304, 3rd Floor, Block 17, Dubai Knowledge Village, www.londoncollegeofmakeup.com (04 454 7686).
The French fashion institute offers short courses in make-up.
This JLT-based studio offers professional 20-day courses, workshops and lessons.
402 Forture Executive Tower, Cluster T, Jumeirah Lake Towers (050 872 8374).