Lisa Armstrong – makeup, celebrity and beauty hygiene
How did you first get into the makeup artist industry?
So, I first got into the makeup industry after a career as a popstar from a pop group, which is actually hilarious to think about now. Makeup was always an area of the business that I had my eye on and I always knew if, and when, the band split that makeup was an area I was wanting to explore. In total I’ve been in the industry for about 25 years and in makeup predominantly for 20 years now.
Is it a hard industry to break into?
I think the makeup industry is a really hard industry to break into because sometimes it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know and being in the right place at the right time. It’s about getting that lucky break. Once you’ve got that lucky break obviously you do need to be good and skilled at your job, you’re only as good as your last job. And that is what is going to forge your career.
When it comes to day-to-day makeup, what are the biggest mistakes people make?
When it comes to day-to-day makeup, I think the biggest mistake that people make is applying too much – a little goes a long way. Also, it’s just too full on sometimes. Less is more and you should let your natural beauty shine! Not priming before application too is a common mistake, you need to find the right products to suit your skin type.
Lisa Armstrong - award-winning makeup artist
Lisa's tip - prime skin before makeup application
What are your top 3 tips for makeup application?
My top three tips for better makeup application would be:
To apply the makeup on clean, fresh and primed skin. There is nothing worse than rolling out of bed and putting your makeup on straight away. Your skin needs to be primed first; a good primer will also benefit you by helping your makeup stay put.
Another tip for makeup application is making sure you’re wearing the right colours to suit your skin tone. Check your foundation shades on your jaw line rather than the back of your hand, as that’s not where you’re applying your foundation!
Lastly, don’t be too heavy handed with your brushes and the application, it’s far easier to add and so much harder to take away, it will just make a mess of things.
What are some of the celebrities and clients that you’ve worked with?
Throughout my career I have worked with lots of different people, to name a few I’ve worked for hundreds of incredible people on Strictly including the likes of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, to Kimberly Walsh from Girls Aloud to model Abby Clancy. Anastasia the pop singer and Michelle Visage. It’s been a real array of people and they’ve all been an absolute delight to work with.
What is the most inspiring aspect as working as a makeup artist?
I feel like the most inspiring aspect as a makeup artist is actually changing somebody’s confidence within themselves. Often, they sit into the chair not feeling very confident and by simply applying the tiniest bit of makeup, adjusting the shape of their brow, or using a bold lipstick, can make the world of difference – they almost appear to walk out of the makeup chair feeling six foot taller. It’s such a rewarding thing! Changing someone’s mindset of how they feel about themselves is part of the role of a makeup artist that I absolutely love.
How important as a makeup artist is a hygiene routine?
A hygiene routine to a makeup artist is one of the main things. You cannot, absolutely in no circumstance, have a kit that is not immaculate. Clean brushes, clean beauty tools, clean sponges. Everything needs to be 100% clean, sanitised and sprayed to an inch of its life!
Obviously, for hygiene purposes, but you also don’t want a client to sit in your chair and see grubby makeup. It wouldn’t make me confident in having my makeup done by the artist! Cleaning all products used after each person sits in the chair to have their makeup done, is part of our role, ensuring products used are totally clean and bacteria free. A makeup artist should always clean their hands between every client and the same principle should be applied for your makeup and tools.
Quick Dry Brush Cleaning Spray .... a beauty hygiene game-changer
How important is your beauty hygiene at home as well as with clients?
At home with our own makeup bags, people can get a bit lacklustre at cleaning things. It is so important to stop the spread of nasty bacteria. For example, eye infections can be transferred from mascara wands or unclean lipstick can cause infections on the mouth. Again, the same with your foundation brushes. You are putting these things onto your skin, why would you not want them to be clean. You wouldn’t want to run the risk of nasty infections and breakouts by using bacteria-ridden brushes or sponges! Having clean makeup and tools is so important and we need to educate people on how easy it is and how crucial it is. It’s an absolute must.
What is your favourite product in the Beauty Hygiene Plus range and why?
My favourite product in the Beauty Hygiene Plus range is the Quick Dry Brush Cleaning Spray. In my job hygiene is so important and we have a quick turnaround of people coming in and out of the makeup chair, so you must have your brushes clean, bacteria and virus free for each client. And the product is super easy to use which is great! You spray it directly onto a makeup brush from 20cm, wipe excess product off with a tissue (until brush is clean) and leave to dry for two minutes. It’s a beauty hygiene game-changer! And it’s not just antibacterial, it’s antiviral too.
What are this season’s top makeup trends?
For this season’s top makeup trends, everyone is going for a really graphic eye. As we enter the summer a more colourful vibe is definitely trending. I’d recommend trying out a double line flick in a nice bright coloured eye pencil, connect right to the socket line for a really bright and bold look. All the celebrities and all the stylists are doing it. Just to let you know, I started that off last year on Strictly Come Dancing! I used a bright green, for this look. We’ve all been inside for so long, it’s time to come out and go a bit crazy with your makeup!
What products are in your handbag?
My go-to products that I keep in my handbag are my Jo Malone perfume miniature. My Lisa Armstrong by Avon lipstick in the shade Clarey. I have my hand sanitiser and my Beauty Hygiene Plus Quick Dry Makeup Sanitising Mist because for us girls on the go, we have to sanitise our makeup before we apply. This product is great as it kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses and you can use it across all different products; palettes, pressed powders, cream blushes, lipsticks and pencils. These can all be sanitised with one product. It’s so versatile and it gives you the confidence in knowing that whatever makeup you’re putting on your skin its now much cleaner and safe.
What are your travel must-haves?
My travel must-haves are my neck pillow for the plane, a total must. My Clarins hydrating mist, you always need to rehydrate on a plane, my And Other Stories lip balm, no cracked dry lips before you arrive on your holiday and obviously my Beauty Hygiene Plus Essentials Kit as it has the whole Beauty Hygiene Plus range. What I love about this kit is that you have everything in one little clear bag (biodegradable plastic too), and you know that throughout your trip your makeup, makeup brushes, tools and sponges will be squeaky clean! It’s a great way to test all the range too and helps you create a daily beauty hygiene routine with the simple to use four product hygiene system.
What is your go-to party-season look?
For my party-season look I have to go with a smokey eye. You can do it in so many ways and can transform the colours within your smokey eye, so can get really creative. My go to is a nice smokey eye with a feathery lash.
I think the reason people sometimes find a smokey eye difficult is because they go in with the darkest shade first, remember with a smokey eye it is about it being buildable. You start with a lighter colour along the lid, then you add a deeper colour along the lash line and in the crease of the eye. It’s about building it up slowly. You can keep adding to it until you achieve the look you want. Focus on accentuating the eye and making it pop, rather than weighing it down.
What are your most important tips and tricks of the trade?
There are so many tips and tricks of the trade, however I think that when doing a makeup look, such as my smokey eye, I would advise that you always start with the eyes. When I do it at work, or on a new client, sometimes they think I’m mad because I haven’t started with their face. By doing the eye makeup first, any fallout or mascara spillages that may happen are easy to clean up before you put your primer on and start with the face make up. It allows you to make a beautiful base with no marks or smears, allowing you the most flawless finish!
I have to highlight again that using a primer is so important and a setting spray at the end of your application is a great way to ensure your look stays in place.
A tip to ensure a harmonious face would be to use your lipstick as a cream blush. This helps tie in all the tones that you have applied to your face, through your makeup. It also means you have a 2 in 1 product and its one less extra item you need in your handbag! Take that lipstick out with you and you can just run your finger across the bullet of the lipstick and dab it across the apples of your cheeks. Don’t forget to use the Beauty Hygiene Plus Quick Dry Makeup Sanitising Mist to make sure the lipstick and any other makeup is sanitised before use, especially when topping up on the go!
In terms of the natural look from the shoot, what are some tips and tricks for the natural look?
For the natural look the main advice I can give is to use your foundation sparingly, you don’t want it too look to ‘caked’ on and you want to show off your natural beauty! I would also advise that you use the Beauty Hygiene Plus Deep Cleanse Sponge & Brush Wash at least twice a week to ensure your product is going onto clean brushes, it’s so important that your tools and brushes are absolutely spotless! Otherwise this can really impact your application. To make a clean, soft and natural finish you must have clean brushes to start with! And don’t forget to clean and sanitise your brushes daily between deep cleansing with Beauty Hygiene Plus Quick Dry Brush Cleaning Spray. It’s a dual system and you need to do both! The wash really gets deep into the bristles where oil, germs and pigments lurk.
With regards to the lashes, I used individual disposable applicators, so that I didn’t transfer anything from the eye, into the bottle of the mascara and then to the brush. This is another way to ensure germs are at bay! Like I said before, less is more and that’s what makes a clean light and beautiful look.
For the glam look
With our glam look, our most important tip is to start with the eye. Such dark colours can cause droppage onto your face and this allows you to clean it away with a Q-tip and some cleanser, these can then be immediately disposed of.
I used the Quick Dry Makeup Sanitising Mist on the bright lipstick to prevent bacteria and viruses being distributed and I also love this mist as it helps extend the life of your makeup. It’s a win, win!
When it came to doing the lashes, I used a range of tools, such as eyelash curlers and tweezers. To prevent germs and viruses spreading I made sure to use the Beauty Hygiene Plus Quick Dry Beauty Tools Sanitising Spray. It’s super quick and easy to use, but also gives you the confidence that your tools are then clean, super-safe and ready to use! Just remember, not to use the brush cleaning spray on tools and vice versa as they are different formulas for different tools.
For the fashion look
For the fashion look it was experimental and colourful. We used so many different pencils, so the Beauty Hygiene Plus Quick Dry Makeup Sanitising Mist was a must have! I could spray directly onto these pencils, leave to dry for a couple of minutes and then get to work, which was great!
In terms of a tip, I’d say always make sure your pencils are sharp to create nice clean lines around the socket of the eye.
I also used the Beauty Hygiene Plus Deep Cleanse Sponge & Brush Wash before using the sponge for the foundation to ensure this was clean and ready to use. Also, by the sponge being nice and dewy it allows you to really stipple the foundation onto the base, which creates dewy beautiful coverage!
I used the same colour on the eye that I used on the lips, as this helps really tie in all the colours used throughout the makeup. It’s so important though to make sure this is sanitised so that any bacteria from the eye isn’t crossing to the lip. This is again where the Beauty Hygiene Plus Quick Dry Beauty Tools Sanitising Mist comes into play and makes it super safe to cross these products onto both areas.
To achieve a really bright lip, use a pencil to line the lips beforehand as this helps to keep it in place and then you can apply your lipstick, with a disposable brush. Press the lips together to ensure the lips are fully covered and then use a setting spray to make sure all of that stays in place.