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Tips to create an Arabic makeup inspired ‘peacock eye’ look

A few days ago I was invited to a makeup lesson by the talented makeup artist, Paula Durance. Paula is based in Leicester and I have worked with her on many occasions in the past, always impressed by her knowledge of makeup. So, it’s no surprise that she now gives lessons on a one on one basis! (These can be booked via her Facebook page  or website ).

Paula is a trained makeup artist who has worked for reputable brands like Guerlain and MAC – this is obvious to me, seeing how her techniques are fine tuned to understand what works for a particular face. Every since we conversed about how skincare is essential to a good, natural looking foundation base, I knew we would get along!

Paula’s office is based in the AK Fitness Centre in Leicester. As I walked through the standard looking building corridor, I was excited to begin the lesson, to pick up expert tips and techniques. However, ‘standard’ suddenly became sleek as soon as Paula led us into her office. The room was warm, comfortable and chic, with loads of uplifting, natural light.

1Cosy sofa where students or guests could relax

2The workstation

3Monochromatic colour scheme with the pop of red in Marilyn’s dress!

4Cute accessorise placed around the room can make such a difference to a space

5Paula’s clientele come from all ethnicities; since she’s based in Leicester, she does a lot of Asian bridal looks for women

6The snack cupboard!

7Paula chatting with my sister. She’s friendly and listens closely to what you want from a look. I believe that is a must for a good makeup teacher, because we all have our preferences for how we want our makeup to look.

8It’s obvious she loves what she does!

9Examples of Paula’s work above the sofa

10Gold mine of makeup! Haha. Plus, the obligatory tea and chocolates…

11 A sea of colours

12Eyeshadow pigment stash

13Picking out products and colour combinations. I specified what I wanted to learn from the makeup lesson: an “Arabic smokey eye” with peacock colours. However, for my own face, I’m not a fan of the intense smokey look that is usually done with traditional Arabic smokey makeup, so I asked for a toned down result. What I love most about Paula’s style is that she adapts it to be inspired by certain looks whilst still considering what suites certain facial features.

14 Learning about different kinds of makeup brushes and what they are used for

15The lesson is taught based around Paula doing each step on one side of the face, whilst I copy on the other side. She also explains why and how to apply products. We began with a cream base on the eyelids: the Inglot 87 SML Gel Liner. One eyelid is to be covered with the gel, with the edges blended out before moving on to the other eye. This is because the gel dries quickly and must be blended whilst wet.

16Apply eyeshadow with the lightest in the inner part of the eye, medium shade in the middle, and the dark along the outer corner of the eye. For this we used ‘Shimmer Moss’, ‘Teal’ and ‘Bottle Green’ by MAC. A light shade is used to highlight the inner corner of the eye. Then a black eyeshadow (by Illamasqua) was used to deepen the crease of the eye. In this photo you can see the 4 eyeshadows we used at the top. Later, we added eyeshadow pigments to concentrate colour over the eyeshadows.

17Here I am, copying what Paula did on the other eye, building eyeshadow over the gel base.

18A flat, synthetic brush is ideal to pack on colour on the eyelid. All edges were blended out by a soft, dome brush by MAC.

19A key tip to blend the edges of colour by the crease is to use a light, matte shadow. I used one from the Urban Decay ‘Naked’ Eyeshadow palette.

20These are the pigments we used over the eyeshadows.

21To line the eyes, we used the L’oreal gel eyeliner. However, to deepen the black and make the line more crisp, Paula’s tip is to use a liquid eyeliner. Her fave for this is the Rimmel Glam Eyes. To line the lower waterline, we used a navy eyeliner pencil by MAC.

22Blending out the navy just below the lower eyelid waterline. For lashes we used the one by Red Cherry (no. 1).

23Foundation time! After the eye makeup is finished, we ‘cleaned up’ the face as pigments are eyeshadows can create fallout. It’s better to do the base makeup afterwards, to avoid having patches of blue and green in your foundation! The foundation we used was the Supercover foundation, with a stippling brush that was sprayed with the ‘activator’ spray. We used number 4 on my face, and mixed it with number 8 (more pinky) to neutralise any darkness around the eyes. To ‘set’ the foundation, she used MAC Minderalise skin finish in the shades ‘light’ and ‘medium plus’.

24After foundation, we contoured the face. Paula prefers to use natural contour colours as she believes contouring is different to bronzing and must be very subtle. She actually recommended that I use a MAC paintpot in the colour ‘Groundwork’ to contour! This was definitely a new trick I’d never heard of before.

25Contouring my cheek bones with the paintpot. For the cheeks’ highlight, we used the Shimmer Brick by Bobbi Brown in the shade ‘Sandstone’.

26The finished look! Paula used the lipgloss ’860’ by Guerlain. She finished off by spraying a ‘fix’ spray by Skindinivia.


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