We all know that when it comes to applying your make up it can be tricky.  From finding the right foundation to applying your make up properly, we all manage to get stuck in a rut.  We have put some common make up queries to some of the most talented celebrity makeup artists to get the insider tips to make your make up flawless.

Celebrity makeup artists Jan Ping, M’chel Bauxal, Dimitri James, Joanna Simkin and Amy Hollier and her business partner Sarah Uslan have all worked with numerous A-listers, and have an impressive combined list which includes Sean Connery, Kevin Costner, Goldie Hawn, Barack and Michelle Obama, Dakota Fanning, Lauren Conrad, Whitney Houston, Anna Lynne McCord, Minnie Driver, Denise Richards, John Travolta, Mischa Barton, Nicole Sherzinger, Nicki Minaj, Solange Knowles and Estelle amongst many others.

M’chel with Michelle and Barack Obama

Let’s face it, if there is any group of people who know about make up and how it is to be applied, it’s this lot!

Women often find it hard finding the right foundation, what do you suggest to make this process easier?

Jan – When shopping for foundation, take a swipe of the foundation colour and put it on your face, then look in the mirror to see if the colour matches your neck.  You’ll want to buy the foundation colour that best matches your neck – that will make the foundation colour look more natural and right for you.

Bright and bold lipsticks are ‘in’ this F/W, how is the best way to apply lipstick without ‘the bleed’?

Dimitri – First separate a tissue into one ply and place over lips.  Using a flat brush press powder through the tissue then apply an invisible lip liner and apply lipstick, repeat tissue and powder process.  Your lipstick will last all day!

Many women start their make up regime with concealer, light reflecting products for under the eyes, highlighter, foundation and powder.  What is the best way, and order, of putting these on?

Joanna - Concealer should never be first, unless it’s all you need.  If your skin is flawless lucky you, you may just need concealer and a bit of powder on your T-zone.  But if you’re like most of us, the foundation should go on first then after that apply concealer.  I prefer creamy textures to dry and it’s best applied with your ring finger, patting rather than wiping.

I sometimes use a very bright or highlighting foundation first, to counteract darkness, then a colour that is closer to the skin tone over it to blend.  Afterwards powder, but sparingly.  Set the under-eyes, and the t-zone, but unless you have very oily skin, I prefer not to powder the cheeks.  The key is to keep luminosity to the skin!

Do you really need to prep your skin before applying make up? If so, how?

Sarah – Prepping the skin is important and can mean simply washing your face and applying moisturiser or also including a primer.  Some primers are silicone based, which can potentially dry the skin a bit, so I often skip primer unless I have an important day or evening and want to look extra flawless.  Also, using an SPF is vital in order to protect your skin and should be used prior to foundation unless your foundation has SPF in it.

Joanna applying Selita Ebank’s makeup

How can you make sure when applying mascara it doesn’t clump together?

Dimitri – Powder the lashes first by brushing a matte powder over them before applying mascara.

What is the best way to cover blemishes?

Amy – Blemishes are best covered using a stick or cream concealer that is a full-coverage formula.  The colour should match the skin in the area you are applying it (eg. sometimes the forehead is a little darker than the neck).  The trick is to apply your normal foundation or tinted moisturiser first and then “spot conceal” only where needed to avoid looking heavy all over.  I use a  tiny brush like an eyeliner or lip brush for precision, then a small eyeshadow brush to dust with translucent powder to set the concealer.

Is it true that only certain skin tones can wear certain colours? If so, what skin tones can wear what?

Joanna – Anybody can wear almost anything but you have to be sure to choose the correct tone for your skin tone.  For instance, I happen to love blue on brown skin, but not just any blue.  Avoid powdery sky blues and go for a deep navy smokey eye, it’s stunning! Conversely, we all love a golden glow but the right level for your skin tone is key.  Lighter tones should go with champagnes, Olive tones can go for gold, Deeper tones should stick with bronze.

M’chel’s work on a model

Is it really important to have the right brushes and tools, or can we really do just as good with cheap tools and/or our own fingers?

M’chel – Absolutely important to invest in great brushes and/or tools to apply your makeup.  It makes blending, placement and evenness much easier for application.  Invest in at least 8 brushes; foundation, concealer, powder, blush, flat angled and three different shadow brushes.

What is your favourite make up product?

Joanna - YSL Faux Effect Cils Mascara – it finds every single lash, and my favourite beauty tool is the Beauty Blender.

Sarah – It is hard to choose just one favourite product, so I would have to pick a tool.  My favorite tool is an eyelash curler.  I feel that most women must own one and keep it on them.  With a little more curl to the lashes, one can look much more awake and naturally beautiful.

M’chel – Makeup Forever HD (high definition) foundation.

Dimitri – Orchid Gel mattifying primer in regular or tinted

If you could give one industry insider tip on applying make up what would it be?

M’chel – Use a black waterproof liner (pencil or gel) in the “upper” waterline of your eye.  This gives shape to your eye and makes the roots of your lashes look thicker.

Amy – Do your lips before your eyes, and you will see that you don’t need a lot of eye makeup.

Jan – When applying false lashes, individual or strip lashes, allow the glue to dry for a few seconds  (like 15 seconds)  before applying the lashes.  That pause lets the glue get tackier, to help keep the lash from slipping out of place.

‘Always apply a liquid with a foundation brush; the foundation is more evenly applied and you use a lot less product.’ – M’chel

Are there any make up myths that really are not true?

Dimitri - lighter concealers than your skin color do not conceal better! Choose a yellow or yellow – orange shade instead to neutralize blue tones, also large pored skin always looks better in matte make-up NO ILLUMINIZERS!

What is your favourite ‘budget’ product?

Joanna - Cherry Chapstick! It is a great item for a hint of color both on the lips and the cheeks! I’ve done beauty shoots with perfect skin, brows and lashes, and my only “colour” item was Cherry Chapstick.  Gorgeous, natural, and a flattering rosy glow! Plus, it tastes and smells yummy.

Amy - Maybelline Great Lash in the Waterproof formula.