Laura Mercier's Quickfire Make-Up Tips

She's the woman who's made up Madonna, Julia Roberts and Sarah Jessica Parker, and she's one of the first contemporary artists to launch a cosmetics brand, packed with hero products. Laura Mercier's eponymous line began in 1996, and season after season, she continues to innovate. Here, Mercier shares what she knows.

IF YOU ONLY HAVE FIVE MINUTES?Take inspiration from French ladies and focus on your key feature. Pick one thing, and make it great. Maybe you want colour, so that's a bright lip; maybe you just want to look awake and alert for work, so then it's your mascara. Take the time and make your statement.


YOU SHOULD HAVE A FEW DIFFERENT LOOKS?But your make-up shouldn't be distracting - what you wear to?the office is different to what you'd wear to a gala. Have fun, experiment and keep learning.

FOUNDATION SHOULDN?T?BE A COVER-UP?Don't apply'so much product that you block out?pores and get a heavy, one-tone look. Perfect skin as needed - a bit of concealer, a bit of foundation, a bit of?highlight. Work around the face as you need, don't simply cover it all.

LIP LINER IS BACK?It adds definition, shape and colour, but there are different ways to make it work for your look. Think of using it more at the sides of the mouth, with a lighter touch in the centre, or use it to fill?in the full lip area for greater colour pay-off and to make lipstick last longer. The colour you ?choose will also affect the look of your lipstick. For example, a nude will cut any blue tones in strong shades.

YOU NEED THE RIGHT BASE?For your make-up to apply evenly, not cake, and stay put. Primers on the eyes and face will serve you well.

I CAN ALWAYS TELL A SMOKER BY LOOKING AT THEIR SKIN?And those who eat a lot of sugar. To supplement a good skincare regime, I take omega 3, borage oil, and grapefruit seed extract.

AT THE MAKE-UP COUNTER?Attend the special events to see how the artists work, and how they use products,?but then use the opportunity to book in and return to the counter at a quieter time to get good one-on-one instruction to really own your products; see how they feel, listen to the artists. I would much rather a client buy a lipstick, or one item they love and use, rather than a drawer full of things that just sit there. Spend time getting educated - it will pay off so much more in the long run.


Laura Mercier counters are at Brown Thomas Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway

The image newsletter