Nikki Quinn is one of the *glammest* ladies I know. She also happens to be a seriously talented and experienced makeup artist and trainer for one of the leading cosmetics companies.
Nikki helps Irish ladies look and feel amazing every day with her makeup wizardry, but unfortunately, none of us happen to have a Nikki waiting in our bathroom for us every morning, and apart from a really big event or wedding, rarely get our makeup done properly.
I grabbed a few minutes with Nikki to pick her brains and get her best tips and tricks on how we can all take our makeup game to the next level. After all, we’re not getting any younger so our daily war paint is no longer an indulgence but a real necessity.
1. It obviously helps to work with the best canvas possible so having great skin to start with is half the battle. What’s the BEST tip you could give any lady to improve her skin/complexion?
My mum told me to start wearing an eyecream in my early 20′s and i really feel it has made a difference to how my skin looks and feels around the eye area. I also suggest taking a little more time for the prep work. We’re all usually in a rush and we sacrifice prepping the skin for makeup and rely on a foundation alone to do all the work for us. I honestly believe that a quick skin preparation routine before applying makeup is essential. A good cleanser, serum, moisturiser and primer followed by a mattifying eye cream and a lip conditioner will set you up for success every time. It may seem like a lot but it lays the foundation for foundation!!!
2. What’s the biggest complaint your over 30 clients have about their skin, and how can make-up help?
The under eye area is a common issue for most women and men in their 30′s. We can have discolouration, textured skin, fine lines, puffiness…. the list goes on! My top tip is to correct the colour around the eye area using a colour correction cream. I recommend MAC prep and prime highlighter pens in ‘Bright Forecast’ and ‘Light Boost’ depending on your colouring. Once this is applied a concealer can then be used.
3. Come on we’re all dying to know – what’s the biggest makeup faux pas that us Irish ladies are ALL making?
I think Irish women know more about makeup techniques than ever before and have some serious skills. It’s the maintenance of your makeup brushes!!!! Your makeup will never perform at its best without some good tools. You don’t need a lot: a decent foundation brush, a blush or bronzer brush and 2-3 eyeshadow brushes should do it for you and wash them at least once a week.
4. We all use foundation every day – but we’re all terrified of buying foundation – what should we look for and what questions should we ask the sales assistants in store?
Knowing the difference between texture and coverage. We all want flawless skin but it doesn’t mean wearing a full coverage foundation. Ask them to swatch a few samples on your jawline for the right colour match. Do not try on the back of your hand as this area is a totally different tone and texture to your facial skin. Think about the texture you would like… A natural skin look, a dewy glow or more of a matte look. Always ask to take a few samples home and try them for a few days. Foundation can be an expensive purchase so its important to get it right. And remember you can have a few different foundations that suit different makeup looks… you don’t have to be stuck with one brand or one product! We wear our skin everyday so why not have a wardrobe of foundations to pick from.
5. Small kids/a busy job/ a long commute equals a quick make up job in the car for most of us. What are the best short cuts for quick make up jobs on the go?
MAC Strobe cream for a moisturised and highlighted skin. A mineralise powder foundation for less mess and easy application, a lash curler and defining mascara again to avoid clumpy lashes and messy amounts of product. And a cream blusher for cheeks which can also dab onto lips is a great multitasker. And be careful if you’re driving!!!!
6. Glam in 60 seconds – what’s the one thing a lady can do to add a bit of WOW for an evening look to make a change from the everyday nude/natural look?
A glamourous lip colour can change a look from day to night so quickly. Use a lip pencil to outline the lip and give a defined shape and apply a strong colour for some va va voom! Go bold or go home on this one!!! And if you’re feeling brave pop a bit of clear gloss on the centre of the lips for some extra pout.
7. As women get older they need to start investing in quality make up products and tools. What’s the best investment for the make-up bag?
A quality serum and primer are essential. A serum will hydrate the skin, treat any aging signs, brighten the tone of skin and even out texture. A primer will smooth out the surface of the skin and support your foundation in performing better. A variety of lip pencils are a must as the lip line starts to fade as we age so this will ensure we maintain a fuller looking lip shape and a lash curler to make the most of your lashes.
8. Which celebrity is the most requested “look” you get asked for?
I always get asked for the JLO glow or the Gwen Stefani red lip and liner look. Both stunning woman and true make up inspirations. Its great to be influenced by celebrities makeup styles and trends but remember the filters!!!! No one really looks like that.
9. Should we be changing up our make-up routine for Winter versus Summer or using different products? If so, what?
We can feel so different in every season so yes I’d say have some Summer shades that work for you and your wardrobe and then some winter ones too. Your basics should stay the same i.e. foundations, powders, concealers etc. but have some fun with eye colour, lip colour and blush.
10. And finally, who is your personal style crush?
I have quite a few actually…. I loved Miley Cyrus’s look with her cropped blonde hair, immense lashes and vibrant red lip. It was so brave and bold and quite the contrast to her Disney image. I think Gwen Steffani is timeless and looks unreal at the moment. In terms of style, I love Olivia Palermo’s style – so elegant yet bang on trend. On Irish shores, I think Glenda Gilson looks fab lately on Xpose. I love her casual approach but she always looks classic yet comfortable. My ultimate goal!!
Nikki Quinn is a makeup artist and trainer and has over 15 years experience in retail, fashion shows and wedding makeup. You can contact Nikki and find out more about her personal makeup services or group makeup lessons on her website www.makeup4u.ie