MAC: I wanted my green eyes to pop before heading out into the Dubai night, so I asked my make-up artist to give me a smoky look. After my skin was cleansed and primed she started mixing orange and black eye shadows. The colour combo scared me at first, as it looked potentially garish, but it worked well once it was on my face. The eyeliner she applied was lighter than I would have liked, but otherwise I was sporting a sufficiently sultry look. Next she moved on to the rest of my face, applying foundation to areas I’d normally leave bare, but this resulted in my skin looking thoroughly flawless.
Dubai Marina Mall (04 434 2729). Dhs200 with a free mascara.
Faces: Once Cindy, the make-up artist at Faces, finished my make-up, there was no doubt that it was the best my face had looked in… well, I don’t know when. She used products from the Benefit line, using a range of beautiful colours that she expertly blended to match my outfit. Plus, when I was done, my complexion looked flawless. The only problem was that it took her 90 minutes to do the job. It was worth it, but it’s a good thing I wasn’t pressed for time. Still, she gave me some very useful tips and samples, which were offered for free.
Available at Faces, Ibn Battuta Mall (04 368 5594; www.faces-me.com), and locations throughout Dubai. Make-up application is free – just call to make an appointment beforehand. Free skincare sessions are also available.
Harvey Nichols: Harvey Nichols in Dubai has an exclusive Chanel make-up studio. As passing shoppers looked on I perched on a stall and let the expert work his magic with the prestigious products. He must have been a well-practised magician as it only took him 20 minutes. The look was quite natural, with soft peachy tones, but my bright glossy red lips added glamour. A good choice if you just want an in-and-out spruce up.
Mall of the Emirates (04 409 8888). Free upon purchase of a Chanel product.
Paris Gallery: For the best makeover at Paris Gallery, head to Festival Centre. That’s where Roy, an official make-up artist for Bobbi Brown, works his magic. He’s used to pretty-fying models and actresses, so you know you’re in good hands. Just tell him where you’re going and what you’ll be wearing and he’ll do the rest. Our makeover took about 40 minutes and, while it’s hard not to feel a bit like a clown after being caked in cosmetics, we must say the overall look was quite natural – smoky eyes, flawless foundation and pink lips. Roy’s also full of good advice. ‘There are three people in life you must never annoy,’ he told us. ‘Your make-up artist, your stylist, and your chef.’ We’ll bear that in mind.
The Dubai Mall (04 330 8289). Free, with the expectation to purchase products. Make-up lessons are Dhs500 for two hours.
Sephora: All women with a lust for cosmetics adore Sephora. I am no exception. Having one of their professional staff members do my make-up is, granted, a great credit-crunch indulgence. If you’re a counter connoisseur, you can pick out the colours you want from any of the numerous brands that line the shelves. I’m not that expert, so I decided to let the knowledgeable therapists talk me through my options and advise where necessary. I wanted a daytime look, and my therapist applied a light application for using Stila and Benefit products picked to match my skin tone. The whole process took 30 minutes and I left the store with a natural glow.
The Dubai Mall (04 339 9828). Light make-up application costs Dhs50. Dark make-up application costs Dhs75.