A-list make-up tips you need to know

Vimi Joshi, M·A·C’s Senior Artist for the Middle East and India, tells us how to create a four-dimensional make-up look that wows

Having worked with A-listers including Salma Hayek Pinault (“she’s so funny and has a great understanding of how to play with the undertones of make-up”), Vimi Joshi is one of the most sought-after make-up artists in the region. Here, she guides us on creating a glamorous evening look by sculpting your features (it’s better than contouring) with some easy-to-learn application techniques, as demonstrated on entrepreneur and influencer Zahirah Marty…

Step 1: Blend your base

The aim is to create ‘4D celebrity skin’; sculpting the face by applying make-up in a way that brings the features forward. In turn, this animates your face, helping you appear younger-looking and more polished. I always layer matte base textures, in order to avoid shine, using a soft brush to buff it into the skin. The first dimension is the base, and it is vital to pick a shade that has the correct undertones for your skin. Our Studio Fix Fluid SPF15, for instance, comes in 64 shades, with varying undertones so you can get a great match.

Step 2: Conceal any flaws

The second dimension is to layer on a concealer to bring light to the dark. As a rule of thumb, you should go two shades lighter than your base. Apply in places where you need extra coverage, such as under the eyes, around the nose and across the temples, and buff well.

Step 3: Sculpt your features

The third dimension is sculpting, which is like scooping out the features you want to lift. For this we need to apply a foundation that’s two shades darker than your base, applying around the hairline and under the cheekbones – it’s important to stop half-way under the eye for maximum effect.

Step 4: A dusting of powder

Powder can easily slide in the Dubai heat, so only powder the areas you’ve highlighted with concealer. This will set the wet foundation, giving it longevity. On the sculpted areas, you can use a slightly darker shade of powder. I rate Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Give Me Sun!, which will make you appear naturally sun-kissed. Plus, as it’s pressed, you can pop it in your handbag for easy retouching.

Step 5: A pop of blush

The art of applying blusher in exactly the right place is to smile, and then simply apply directly to the apples of your cheeks. I start off strong – because this is the first place that make-up melts – building it up in order to push it down into the skin. Next, I apply a think veil of foundation over the top, so it appears as if the glow is coming from within.

Step 6: Colour wash the eyes

Use a kohl to line the lower rim and the inner rim of the upper eye to create definition. For natural glamour, a shimmering brown shade suits all. First, take the eye pencil all over the eyelid up to the crease to create a base colour, and then apply eyeshadow over the top. I used Dazzleshadow in Dreamy Beams. Plus, we pre-applied the natural-looking 7 Lash false lashes for a slightly wispy look.

Step 7: Define your brows

Your eyebrows are sisters not twins; their beauty is in their asymmetry. When defining them, always go a shade lighter than the hair and add more strength at the thickest part of the arch. It makes a subtle but huge difference.

Step 8: Add a lick of lipstick

Due to the heat, glossy lips don’t work in Dubai. Choose a matte formulation instead and the colour will endure. Taupe is a staple shade that suits almost everyone.

Step 9: Seal it

Ensure the hard work doesn’t go to waste by finishing with a spritz of Prep + Prime Fix+ Mattifying Mist setting spray, which helps control oil and is suitable for all skin types.

The verdict

Zahirah (, says: “I have a yellow undertone to my skin and, as a long-time M.A.C fan I thought I knew all the best shades for me. However, Vimi has opened my eyes to a few new ones that look great against my skin tone – especially the bright pink blusher that I wouldn’t have thought of using until now. So while I’m usually doing my make-up in the mornings while rushing around after my energetic toddler, these tips are a clever way for me to look more polished.”

Vimi on…

… social media. Instagram is such a powerful platform. For me, however, it’s all about content: there are some very established make-up artists who create beautiful content on a daily basis.
… keeping up with trends. Until the digital age, it used to take around a decade to transition between trends. Think of Marlene Dietrich’s bee-stung lips in the 30s and Audrey Hepburn’s winged eyeliner in the 50s. Now, beauty mavens can see the trends from the catwalk shows almost instantly, and they are in a constant state of evolution.
… her most surreal career moment. Being on tour with Aerosmith was probably one of the craziest experiences of my life.