This Saturday just past, I had a pretty exciting appointment – with Bobbi Brown’s head make up artist, Alphie Sadsad!
Taking a professional make-up lesson has been in the back of my mind for some time now so when the assistant at the Bobbi Brown counter at my local Myer store told me that their national artist Alphie Sadsad was coming for their Feature Artist Event and asked me if I wanted to sign up for a 45-minute make-up lesson, I said yes right away!
I had two things in mind – I wanted to know how to contour my face and define my eyes.
When I arrived for my 4pm appointment, the Bobbi Brown counter was bustling with make up artists and other girls who had signed up for the demo. Each of us were assigned a make up artist each, plus Alphie would spend some one-on-one time with each of us.
My make-up artist, Charlize, started off by removing the make-up I was already wearing with Bobbi Brown hydrating face tonic. She then applied some hydrating eye cream under my eyes and Bobbi Brown vitamin enriched face base.
While we waited for Alphie, Charlize darkened my eyebrows using the Dark Brow Kit. I’ve never actually bothered colouring or defining my eyebrows in before and it was a bit of a surprise. I’m not used to my eyebrows looking so fierce but Charlize said it would help open my eyes up.
Alphie came over at this point. I told him I wanted to learn about contouring and he had me pull my hair back behind my ears. He studied me for a second, then said, “You don’t need contouring!” I was pretty pleased to learn that from a professional artist! Instead, he decided what I needed was some brightening, which I totally agreed with. In fact, now that I thought about it, part of the reason why I wanted to contour my face was because I felt it needed some brightening, though I never really knew how to explain that until now!
First, Alphie tried a few swatches of different foundations on my face to determine what was best for me. We ended up using a medium to dark BB cream, but as he pointed out, he only used very little as my face didn’t really require foundation. Then he applied Retouching Powder in white under my eyes, followed by Retouching Powder in Peach and Rose under the eyes and along my cheekbones. He then swirled a brush around the Shimmer Brick Compact – Bronze and swept that over my cheekbones. All the while, I noticed that he never used much of any of the powders or bronze, choosing to apply a very light dusting.
I mentioned to him then that I wondered if I was being too heavy-handed with my blush at times. He told me to apply less and added a very light dusting of blush to my cheekbones (I forgot which shade he used but it was a sort of dusty rose pink). I noticed that when he added the blush, he only swept some onto the apples of my cheeks, but never went further up towards my temples the way I would use to. Lesson learned – blush only on the apples of the cheek!
My time with Alphie was over and Charlize then took over to show me how to do my eyes. She dabbed all over my eyelidss in Bone, right up to the brow bone, then chose Metallic Long Wear Cream Eye Shadow in Mercury for my lower lids, followed by some more dabbing of Sparkle Shadow in Bone on the crease. She then lined my eyes in long-wear gel eyeliner in Jet and smudged the liner in little short strokes over my eyelids with a smudge brush. I had mentioned earlier that I often had trouble keeping my eyeliner from smudging and she assured me this gel eyeliner was waterproof and smudge proof. Finally, she finished off with a couple of coats of Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara. Alphie came over to inspect and reminded her to fill in the spots between the upper lashes with liner to prevent any gaps. I quickly filed that away in my memory to remember for later when I was doing my own eyes!
My favourite, however? A surprise pick by Alphie for my lips – Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Colour in Blue Raspberry. I have never thought of using that shade for my lips and it turned out really well! It had a lot more colour than my other nude lipsticks or pale pink shimmer lip glosses and it really suited my skin tones.
I’m really pleased to have been able to learn about the different make-up available from professionals as well as which shades would suit me best and how to apply them. Much of the time, I find the sales assistants at make-up counters unfriendly and not very unhelpful, much of the time, you have to wait to get their attention, they’d be rushed and helping other customers, or – as in one case – they’d try to push the completely wrong shade on you! I found this was the case with the M.A.C counters in Perth which really disappointed me – part of the reason why I really got into M.A.C. in Malaysia was because the sales assistants back in KL were really professional and helpful, often finding shades that suited me which I never really thought about before and showing me how to apply them properly. Not so much in Perth though. I would, however, give a big thumbs up to the assistant who originally helped me at Bobbi Brown and who first told me about the make-up appointments – she was very nice and helpful – and that makes a big difference when it comes to the make up brands I choose to buy from! At the moment, I find myself moving away from M.A.C. and more towards Bobbi!
One thing I would say about the make-up demo, though – everything moved really fast and while they kindly wrote down what make-up was used on my personal make-up chart, I have a hard time still remembering exactly what they put on which part of my face and how it was applied. I wouldn’t mind getting a refresher course in learning how to put on the retouching powders again as I’m not quite sure now where the peach and rose would go and how much to apply or brush techniques (in circles, dusting up and down, etc???). Also, as I had to keep my eyes closed while getting them made up, I had to make do with trying to take mental notes as she applied the eye-shadows, liner and mascara.
On to the make up – I’m pretty keen to try my hand at the retouching powders. I took some photos with a friend later (but I’m not putting them up, though, sorry – the lighting wasn’t that great!) and was pleased to find that the white powder used under my eyes did NOT give me a greyish-whitish-ashey cast as many white/translucent setting powders tend to do. (M.A.C., I’m looking at you here). I did get a tad bit of under eye smudge much later in the night though, but I’m not sure if that’s due to the gel liner or the mascara.
The make-up I ended up buying: the Vitamin Enriched Face Base (it did heaps in helping my face to brighten up), the Retouching Powders in White and Rose plus a brush to apply the powders, and the Jet Gel Liner. I was a bit worried that I might have a sales assistant trying to push the merchandise at me throughout the make-up appointment but that wasn’t the case at all – they were all really nice no matter what I choose to buy or not. And when I asked Alphie which powders I should buy as he had used quite a few make-up products on my face, he didn’t bat an eyelash and suggested pairing the White and Rose to start off with. Happily, I took his advice!
Charlize also threw in a few samples as she rung up my purchases – extra bright advanced foaming cleanser, extra bright advanced moisture lotion and extra bright advanced serum. There are still a few more things I’d be interested in getting – like the dark brow kit (if I can get used to the idea of such fierce eyebrows!) and definitely the Blue Raspberry lipstick, but I’ll wait until my next paycheck before I get around to it! I had already spent quite a bit (plus the $85 I paid to book the appointment, which could then be used to purchase make-up after the appointment). One thing I must say, though, I don’t mind spending a little more for quality make-up and though some of the products, like the powders, come in relatively small containers, it seems that they’re meant to be used in very small quantities and therefore will last longer over time.
All in all, I was pretty happy with my make-up appointment and I’m looking forward to playing around with my new purchases and applying what I’ve learned to my daily beauty routine!