The Make Up Crew Masterclass- Gill McCann


Saturday's weather was horrific but there was no containing my excitement!!

Not only was I spending some much needed quality time with my mum but we were on our way to The Make Up Crew for a Masterclass. A couple of months ago in the midst of my mad Facebook competition entries, I stumbled across The Make Up Crew's amazing brush comp. The plan was simple as with all competitions, it involved liking and sharing. What I loved about this comp the most was it was not only one brush set but three were up for grabs in this one prize.

As I started this blog, I realised I had never invested properly in brushes so this was one I really wanted to win. Not only for me but for my sisters too. They're twins you see, both 22 and love make up just like me. So off I went liking and sharing the like page each and every day and commenting when I had done so. I also roped in the twins so get sharing too. I figured if they wanted them, they should help too. I feel a bit mad looking back now we must shared the page each and every day sometimes twice a day... there was no way anyone was beating me haha!!

Low and behold the wonderful Annie picked us and we had won the fab brush sets. I have posted about this win before but will include a pic of the set in this post. I love the brushes, they are so soft, I use some of them almost every day and the lip brush is my fave which is so handy to pop into my bag for a night out.

Anyway back to Saturday.... After winning the comp, I was sent a voucher for me and a guest to attend the workshop on the 14th of December. It just so happened both my parents were coming to Dublin for the Leinster rugby game so I invited mum and in we arrived at 2:20pm. We were greeted by the lovely Annie and I insisted on taking from row seats with my mum. Annie had given me their course brochure and we discussed attending the June bootcamp which I am really hoping to do. She told me that our MUA for the day would be Gill McCann and that she is excellent... well she is!!

Picture taken from Gill's FB

Gill started with handy us each a glass of bucks fizz and chatted to us about her experience in the make up industry. She has worked for some of the biggest brands and you can check her out at;
We then went around the room introducing ourselves and saying what we wanted to learn from today's masterclass and Gill  promised to answer as many of our questions as possible. Gill then asked for a model and Emma, who just happened to be four months pregnant and glowing took to the hot seat and we got to work....

The best and only place to start when wanting good make up is.... skin care.
If there is any advice I have gotten lately ladies, sort out your skincare. Call into a department store, get talking to someone and get the right products for your skin. I know that sometimes it can be expensive but if you want your make up to look it's best, you need to invest in keeping it healthy. Drinking plenty of water and a good balanced diet will also help you loads but this is deffo not a diet or food blog :)

A tip from Gill was, if you can put on your make up in the morning and if only by lunchtime you need to touch it up then you most likely have normal- dry skin. If you are only getting up to 3 hours out of your make up then you are normal-oily skin. This is of course not fact but it's something to keep your eye on, if you are not sure yet what type of skin type you are.

If you have oily skin then using fluid products may not be the best idea as fluids can run off oily skin. For this, you can use oil free foundation and oil free ranges.

Using eye cream on your face is also a very good idea from your mid-20's on. Keep it in the fridge to really freshen up your eyes in the mornings.

If you have very dry skin, you can use a serum or an oil to ease this.

Primers: It was so interesting hearing how people use or don't use primers on Saturday. Now I was not an expert on this by any means, I used never use a primer and then when I did, I put loads on all over my face thinking it would make my make up last longer and stay looking really fresh.... well it didn't!!

Primer is used to cover larger pores, smooth out lines and wrinkles and it can also control shine and dryness. There are different types of primers so again ladies take the time to see what will actually suit you. I am now using the Benefit Porefessional primer, I find this suits my skin better than the Smashbox Light I was using. I now only apply primer to my t-zone which can get oily and I leave my cheeks alone as my moisturiser is enough on them. You do need to leave enough time for your moisturiser to soak into your skin before your apply your primer so if you don't have this time, be sure to pat dry with tissue your face. Another primer which Gill mentioned was the Estee Lauder oil free primer. I have not tried this as yet but I am hoping to soon.

For example: I have normal to combination skin. I do get an oily t-zone but I have no real dry sections to my face. I am currently using the Clinique Anti-Blemish range but I do think this may be a little too strong for my skin. I have recently been under a bit of pressure with the move and changing job so not exactly eating the healthy way, I have gotten a few spots lately and they are driving me mad. I am quite good with my skincare routine, I cleanse, tone and moisturise each morning and evening, if I use facial wipes it's only every to get off the start of the make up and then I go back in with my usual routine. I do have a spot treatment gel but this can be very severe and almost feel like it burns the spot so I only use this in the night time.

Baby wipes and facial wipes do NOT clean your skin ladies, Gill explained to us, they can dry out your skin, make the skin redder than usual and are not sufficient enough to cleanse your skin. Please take that advice and be sure to clean your skin properly!!

The next thing we looked at were correctors. Correctors are not exactly the same as concealers but very similar. A corrector is a ore tacky substance which can come in a number of colours. For example, you may use a skin coloured corrector for blemishes before or after your foundation. A green coloured corrector you can use to neutralise redness in the skin. A purple corrector is a brightener and this would be used on coloured or Asian skin. Benefit do a corrector called Lemonaid and this will work on redness on the skin. You can get a palette of correctors from MakeUp Forever. If you are not overly used to these or want to try them out, I have the Catrice palette which I got in Penneys for less then €6.

A brand which Gill had on the day was Nivea. We discussed their two in one cleanser and toner and also their double effect eye makeup remover. I am certainly interested in trying this as I am running out at the min and I usually use no.7 eye make up remover. Nivea has also released an express hydrating primer which again I think I will invest in as my Clinique moisturiser is running out.

In your make up routine, Gill suggests priming and then correcting your skin before you apply foundation. This again do not mean you can't go back in with concealer but correctors are slightly different.

We then moved onto foundation: For today's look Gill had brought with her MAC Face and Body. This has quite a liquidly consistency. I do own this product and I find although it is build-able, I tend to set my face with my mineral make up foundation such as Bare Minerals or Glo Minerals. A good tip to remember from Gill was, foundation can take up to 20-30 seconds to make the heat in your skin so when you are choosing a foundation colour maybe go a shade lighter.

We asked Gill the golden question on MAC foundations... what is NC and NW.... C is for cool (pale) and W is for warn (sallow) it's not overly important which you think you may be its more important to actually get a foundation that suits you perfectly so don't worry about what you might be, visit the store, ask them to try it out and then get a sample... you need to know it's the right shade before you go spending money!

When thinking about applying your foundation you should divide your face into three sections, forehead, middle section and chin area. Start with your middle section (nose/cheeks) then work down onto your chin and jaw bone (you do not need to apply foundation to your neck, it's for your face) and then up towards your forehead. Be careful of your hair line, lightly apply foundation all the way up to the hair line and be sure to blend it properly.

If you want to add more light/beam to your face you can mix in a pea sized drop of MAC Strobe cream into your foundation. This will brighten your foundation so be careful when mixing with a very pale colour as it is. Another product which can be used for this is Benefit High Beam. I haven't tried either product but it's something I will deffo consider investing in soon.

Gill applied the Make Up Forever HD Foundation Emma had brought with her with a flat brush. After you use a flat brush for foundation, you can then buff out the make up with a duo fibre brush. Gill suggested Crown Brushes as a great brand and we all know about my love for real techniques who have a duo fibre set.

When using a liquid product foundation, bear in mind it can take two applications to get it to the coverage you like. It's probably not that you're applying it wrong, you just need to re-apply and buff it out! :)

Onto concealer: A liquid concealer needs to be a shade lighter than your foundation. A pasty substance like studio fix is more for blemishes as described before but a liquid concealer such as MAC Select Cover, Estee Lauder double wear concealer or collection 200 concealer (which I love) is perfect for your under eye area. You can also apply concealer onto your chin to highlight that area, and also in the smile lines around your mouth. Tap on the concealer with your finger onto your own face but if applying to someone else use a sponge.

*A great lesson from Gill on the day was to be sure to always dab off your eye lid. This was key to our masterclass on Saturday, if you have too much product on your lid such as foundation or concealer, you can sometimes find a crease and this can make applying eye shadow very difficult. Dab off your lid with a tissue or a sponge to ensure it's dry. If you don't have an eye primer such as the Urban Decay Potion or the Inglot eye primer, don't worry... you can dab off your foundation and then set with powder and it will have the same effect.*

Cream blush: This was something very new for me... Gill applied a small amount onto Emma's skin before she had set it with powder. You could see this instant glow on Emma's cheek which was beautiful and she looked very dewy. It was flawless.

To use a liquid highlighter, again before setting the face, Gill used MAC lustre drops in Pink Rebel. I had never seen this product before but my god it was fantastic. Emma's cheekbones just lit up and looked so healthy. Gill applied this product just onto the cheekbones with a small flat brush. You can also apply to the bridge of the nose if desired.

Setting the face: Loose translucent powder is the best product to set the face and preferably use a no colour powder. A pressed powder is what you bring out on a night out to touch up your skin but not really to set your face. Gill used the MUD Zero powder which is available in The Make Up Crew in Zero, this has no colour.

Make Up Forever also do a colourless HD powder- this creates a silky feel to the skin.

Brows: Now ladies, I will say this time and time again but I am so passionate about brows... A defined brow frames the eyes and can enhance a look so much. Even if you are fair, there are plenty of products available to you, frame those brows ladies!! Brush out your brows first and this will tidy them up before you begin to apply products. (Now is the time to check your eyelid for the creasing again)

Powder blush: Apply to the apple of your cheek. I think at times we have all been guilty of adding too much blush to our cheeks but it is essential to get this in the right place. The apply of your cheek is where you should see the colour. Your highlighting and contouring frames your cheekbones so just the apple is enough. Always use a little product, there is no need to lash it on, you can build colour if you need to. Although you are applying a powder colour over the cream colour you will find it actually makes the colour stand out more. Place your hand along your cheek bone to ensure you don't stray with your blush.

Powder highlighter: On Saturday, Gill used MAC skinfinish in soft and gentle. This is a beautiful product. It gave Emma a fab glow onto her skin with a little shimmer. You can tap on your highlighter to the top of your cheekbone and in a V above your nose to brighten your face.

Powder contouring: Gill used benefit Hoola on Emma to contour her face. Hoola is a bronzer but any type of darker matte powder can be used as a contour. A good tip for contouring is to remember the figure 3... from your forehead to your cheekbone and onto your jaw line. Be careful with contouring ladies, use a good brush with a tiny amount of product and if unsure blend it out with a clean fluffy brush.

Back to brows: We had already brushed out the brows after our liquid applications so now it was time to shape them out more. A brow eye shadow can be a great brow powder so all you need to really invest in for the perfect brows is an angled liner brush. These help give a beautiful shape so just be careful when choosing the shade, you want to match your brows or maybe slightly darker... Nobody likes permanent maker brows!!

*A great tip from Gill... Highlight under and above your brow to make them really stand out. This can be done with a white or cream liner and blended out with a cotton tip.*

Unfortunately ladies this is all I have for you from my brilliant masterclass with Gill in The Make Up Crew. Myself and my mum needed to leave early to catch our train to the game but hopefully this will help you create the perfect base to then add a fantastic eye and lip look. If you are using loose pigment and shadows be sure to do your eyes first so that all that wonderful base work is not lost when there is fall off from eye shadow. 

Gill McCann is a wonderful make up artist, so relaxed and really knowledgeable about the world of make up and products. It was a pleasure so meet herself and Annie and visit The Make Up Crew. I cannot wait to come back in June for the course, it's gonna be amazing!!!

Check out The Make Up Crew on;
Instagram: themakeupcrew

Find Gill on:

If you have any questions feel free to mail me on
Twitter: @emmajcsheehan
Instagram: emmalvsapose

Stay beautiful,

Emma x

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