10 Questions You’ve Always Wanted To Ask About Makeup For Work

Getting your beauty look right for the office can be A TRICKY BUSINESS but award-winning makeup artist and owner of EF Creative Studios EMMA FARELL gives a lowdown of her products and looks perfect for WORKING WOMEN


1. What would you suggest for a makeup look that can take you straight from work out to dinner?

A natural brown eyeshadow look with muted tones, a brown liner blended close to the lash line such as MAC Teddy Eyepencil, paired with a natural blush. This is a universally chic look that can be easily dressed up for the evening with a slick of red lipstick and swipe of black liquid liner. I particularly like L’Oreal’s Superliner as it’s really easy to use.

2. What kind of a makeup look would you suggest for important meetings?

Focus on enhancing your eyes as you want people to make eye contact with you. Try and avoid too much lipstick in case of any distracting mishaps. We have all been there, someone has lipstick on their teeth or smudged on their face and all you can think about is the makeup rather than what they are saying.

3. What would be the best long wear products you would recommend for women who work very long hours?

MAC Blot Powder is great for mattifying the t-zone and ensuring your foundation stays in place. Estée Lauder Double Wear is one of the longest lasting foundations currently on the market. Air hostesses are known to wear it as it lasts so well on long haul flights. If you have dry skin, I recommend you stay away from the powders and opt for a fixing spray and primer instead. Smashbox Primer is still one of my favourites and I love Urban Decay’s range of fixing sprays.


4. What would be your biggest beauty regime tip for women with limited time in the mornings and evenings?

Do the basics like foundation, concealer and mascara. Then choose one feature to enhance and stick to a few key products to do so. For eyes, eyeliner is super quick and has high impact. For lips, a slick of tinted lip balm will not only give you hydrated lips, it will also quickly brighten your overall look. Also it’s important to invest in a good skincare routine. A lot of women are stuck in air conditioned offices all day which can really dehydrate the skin and lead to premature ageing. Clarins Multi Active Day Cream is fantastic as it isn’t too heavy, but will help to nurture the skin.

5. What kind of looks and products would you recommend avoiding for business women?

Red lips and false eyelashes are not suitable for a busy business woman. They take time to perfect and can easy go wrong if not done correctly. Another one to watch out for is instant tan, especially in the summer when it’s easy to get caught out in a summer shower.

6. What are the products you would recommend every business woman have in her arsenal at work? Are there any great multi use products you love?

I am always exulting the virtues of lipstick. A good lipstick can also be used as a cream blush and even an eyeshadow. A good foundation, concealer and mascara are always essential. Armani Luminous Silk foundation is a classic, but still a great foundation. Clarins Instant Concealer gives the eyes an instant lift and Estée Lauder Sumptuous Waterproof is hands down my favourite mascara as it adds serious volume the lashes without flaking or smudging.


7. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in starting your own business? 

My biggest struggle is maintaining a balance between life and work. I often find myself working crazy long hours, not getting enough sleep, exercise or down time. However I wouldn’t change it for the world as my hard work continues to pay off. From its conception, the studio and business have been lovingly designed and every aspect from the NY loft style decor, to the hand crafted furniture, to the loyalty cards have been meticulously thought out. Myself and my team worked really hard making sure everything was perfect from the get go. From the late night painting sessions to blagging palettes from the local hardware store to upcycle furniture we did everything we could to make the studio perfect. I even rescued a chair from an alley way and drove to Mullingar to get new legs and upholstery. It now sits pride of place in our studio for use by our clients.

8. What is the most common problem professional clients come to you with, and what would you suggest for it?

The main issue is lack of time. Clients want to learn tips to quickly achieve a groomed look, without spending hours contouring and blending etc. Contouring is the number one thing women want to learn how to do when they come in for our bespoke lessons. We teach clients how to create a look that will be easy for them to do at home, that contours their features in a way that best suits them.

9. What are some great products for ‘refreshing’ a look halfway through your day? What would you recommend for tired eyes?

Mac Cream Colour Base in Hush is a great product that allows you to quickly add a dewy, highlighted finish to your overall look. It can be applied to the lips, eyes and cheeks to freshen you up and get you through that midday hump.

For tired eyes, L’Oréal Visible Lift CC Eye Concealer works wonders for fatigue correction, de-puffs and adds colour to underneath the eyes. I also love The Body Shop Vitamin E Facial Mist for hydrating the skin and refreshing your foundation.


10. What kind of a beauty look would you recommend for interviews?

For an interview, less is definitely more. To even out your skin tone and cover blemishes, Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream will give you a great, natural looking base. Like clothes, you should adapt the style of your makeup according to the environment in which you are interviewing. A law firm would be much more paired back than say a beauty business. If in doubt, stick to classic neutrals with hints of colour on the lip or cheek. Opt for a lipstick over a gloss as the shine can be distracting.

Emma Farrell is a design-led, award winning make-up artist and is the owner of the funky, New York loft styled EF Creative Studios on South Lott’s Road in Dublin. 


In conversation with Hannah Popham

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