Meet The Expert: Makeup artist Kim Brown

Gather round beauty obsessives and those that love makeup and skincare because boy have I got a treat for you. Below make up artist Kim Brown shares her insider secrets and top tips to get you looking gorgeous for the festive season and beyond.  Excited? you should be! This is a woman who has worked with everyone from David Bailey to Josh Olins. Her work has featured in every cool magazine imaginable and she has artfully plied makeup onto the famous faces of Cate Blanchett, Rosamund Pike and Yasmin Le Bon to name but a few.

Whenever I’m on shoots with her I love to pick her brains and have a good old riffle around in her makeup bag. Despite the mega CV there are no diva tantrums where Kim is concerned, she’s only too happy to oblige. Yep you’ve guessed it she’s super nice and VERY funny.

Kim talks me through her Christmas makeup look, how to rescue skin that’s partied too hard and the top ten products she always keeps in her makeup bag.

In short, I am copying everything Kim does and my shopping basket is fully loaded.

Tell me about how you got your start in the makeup industry…
I started off doing special effects in film and then that led to meeting photographers on film sets and I started working with them. It snowballed. I would do small things for The Face and Dazed and Confused and it built up. Then I met fashion designers Preen and started doing their shows and a few others. As the photographers I was working with grew, I grew with them. I still work with the same teams now. I also am working for Glass as beauty director.

 Glass is a luxury art, architecture and fashion magazine that comes out four times a year and has a really big eight page beauty section which is so rare these days. It’s silly not to give more space to beauty in magazines as people are really interested in it because it’s something they can do themselves on a small budget. Plus if you’re wearing a scrappy old pair of jeans and your makeup and skin looks amazing you’re always going to look damn good.

Is there a look or style that you’re known for in the industry?
I love to specialise in glowing flawless skin with touches of colour – that’s my thing, that’s what I love.

Cover by Liz Collins, Make up Kim Brown

So with Christmas coming up, my thoughts are turning to party time and creating a ‘look’. What do you think is a really successful party look?
I always think that most people would suit a shade of red and it just livens up your face so much. It brightens your skin and instantly makes you look more put together even if you don’t have another scrap of makeup on. Good skin and red lipstick. Nars Red Square is my go-to. There’s an orangey red I like also from M.A.C called Lady Danger and M.A.C also do Ruby Woo which suits nearly everyone I’ve ever met. Tom Ford do a really good plummy red that’s really good for dark skin tones. Christmas makeup is all about prep for me. It’s about mixing a luminiser with a moisturiser before your base so you’ve got glowing skin and you look really well. If your skin looks great everything else will. I like Becca in Opal which generally suits most skin tones and there are also darker shades for black skin. Copacabana, by Nars in a liquid form can be put on with your moisturiser. The stick version is really good on brow bones and cheek bones when you’ve finished your makeup. It’s not too pearly and glittery, it gives a nice sheen.

 Normally when I am doing a red lip I just leave everything else, curl the lashes and put a bit of mascara on. It’s nice to have not too much on but you still need a boost or a little bit of luminiser across your brown bone and eyelid and it’s such an easy, quick going out look.

Oil on your cheekbones is an alternative to a luminiser. So if you’re a bit scared of luminiser or highlighters you can put it on your finger tips and dot it onto your cheekbones and brow bone and it gives you that nice highlight. It soaks in a little bit but gives you a nice glow. It makes your skin look healthy.

Above images: Chloe Mallet, Dan Smith, Jason Hetherington.  All make up by Kim Brown

And how do you go about rescuing post party skin after the office do?
Bee Yü face masque! Do it as a quick treatment or sleep in it. It has bee venom and high grade manuka honey. And I use other things like cold cans from the fridge to de-puff. Get a cold coke can or beer can or anything tinned in the fridge and roll over your face. It really works!

As someone who specialises in incredible skin, talk me through your skincare routine…
I’ve always really looked after my skin and have started really getting into cleansing balms. They’re brilliant because they don’t strip your skin and you don’t need other products like eye makeup removers. There’s one by Frances Prescott which is brilliant. It almost looks like a deodorant stick that winds up so it’s really easy to travel with. It’s full of essential oils that don’t strip your skin and coat it gently.

I always use rose water and the one I prefer is by Zarvis. She’s this amazing woman that has a shop in Portobello Arcade and she trained in Aveda in the ’60s and her rose water is just beautiful. It’s so pure and calming so just before bed it’s a really lovely thing to do. I spritz it over my face after you cleanse it and I use that morning and night. 

I use my essential oils –  I’ve been using the Bee Yü night cream mixed in with frankincense which is very healing. I also sometimes use lavender essential oil mixed in which is very calming. And rose oil is amazing. 

I use the Environ eye cream with is mega and I love Baume de Rose By Terry, if i’ve got dry lips. I quite often sleep in Olaplex for my hair. There are three stages, you have it with your colour, then as a treatment as soon as it’s dyed and then a stage at home which you can use once a week as a hair treatment. It makes it really strong and strengthening – for anyone with thinning hair or bad condition it’s amazing.

What are your top ten products you’d recommend:

1) Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Formentera, £30
It adds a tint to the skin that doesn’t look like makeup and is also dewy and not powdery.

2) Vita Liberata Body Blur Instant HD skin finish, 100ml, £29.95

It doesn’t come off on your clothes and makes your skin look flawless.

3) By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur pour les Lèvers, 7g, £35.50
Love it. I use it for everything, as a highlighter, for a glossy eyes or any patches of dry skin.

4) Nars The Multiple in Copacabana, £29
It’s the right amount of highlight without being sparkly.

5) Becca Shimmer Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter in Opal, £30
Mix a small pump in with your moisturiser before you put on your foundation for really dewy skin.

6)Chanel les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder, £40
These add warmth without any shimmer.

7)Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil, 50ml, £18
Because it’s not too greasy but makes the skin look and feel beautiful.

8) Benefit BADgal BANG! Mascara, 8.5g, £21.50
Because it has the best brush that adds length and separation.

9) Red lipsticks
Ruby Woo by MAC, Red Square by Nars, it’s a soft big pencil so is super easy and you can be precise. 
Chanel red lip powder – it’s blue/red and is really amazing. It’s a really velvety lip. I like soft edges so I don’t use a liner. I use a brush, apply it once, blot and apply again. If I did want a really precise lip I’d put the lipstick on first and then do the lip liner, not the other way around.

10) Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick, £32
You can build up the coverage using it as a really light tinted moisturiser wafting it around your face with a brush and it evens out skin tone. The colours are brilliant, there’s a colour for everyone. And if you need coverage you can build it up. It’s cream based but for me it’s the colours more than anything that make it special. It’s yellow-y based and you don’t get that horrible pinky-orange tone that you do with some foundations. These stay put too. I use very very little powder to get good skin as it always makes it look dry. If you’ve got shinny skin, the Chanel loose powder is really good and even blotting papers are really good, they take away grease without looking powdery.

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