Belfast Telegraph

Can a £10 make-up kit really work wonders?

Make-up artist and Weekend magazine columnist Paddy McGurgan puts a budget beauty buy to the test.

It’s the time of year for putting on the glad rags and donning the full make-up for all those must-attend social occasions. But in these recessionary days value for money is also important. We asked top make-up artist Paddy McGurgan to find out how to look a million dollars on a budget.

For his palette he chose The Academy of Colour Look Book from Gordons Chemists, costing a mere £10, and used it to give model Jenny Curran a full make-over.

So what was his verdict?

The set contains 15 baked eye shadow colours, two eyeliners, liquid eyeliner, two eye shadow dust colours, six lip-gloss palettes, two-tone blusher and two nail polishes. Buying all these products alone from various big brand names could cost in excess of £150.

Paddy says: “On Jenny I wanted to play about with the shape of the makeup around the eyes, from more of a conventional smokey eye to an extended eye with a seductive party look with smouldering eyes and gorgeous pink pouting lips.

“I began by using the blusher and apply a little to the apple of the cheek, blending upwards along the cheekbone. For the eyes choose three tones in order of lightness blending them into the crease of the eye lining.

“As you apply darker shades apply less across the crease of the eye keeping the really dark tones to the outside corners creating a really open eye. Remember that you don’t always have to go dark across the entire lid of the eye.

“To complete the eyes, add mascara ensuring to shake the brush between lashes getting the mascara right into the root of the lash as this will help when adding the eye pencil.

“Apply the pencil liner above the eye aiming for the root of the lash as having already applied the mascara it will help you aim for the lash line more accurately guiding the pencil as close to the eye line as possible.

“A good lip liner is essential in the process of highlighting and defining your lip contour and size. It can significantly enhance the size and overall appearance of your lips, also helping your lips to better retain the lipstick and prevent any bleeding of colours.

“The colour of the lip liner should match the shade of your lipstick. It should not be darker in colour than your chosen lipstick, so that if the lipstick fades, you don't walk around with only the outline showing. Lip liner is used to define the look of your lips. Start lining your natural lip line starting from the centre of your upper lip to the outer edge of your lips.

“For applying the colour, stretch the lips and starting at the centre of the lip, glide the colour to the corners of your lips. Lip brushes help you to give better finish to colouring your lips and avoid the application of excess colour.”

And the end result?

Paddy says: “The Academy of Colour look book might be a bargain but it’s perfect to create an on-trend look on a budget.

“There’s a great selection of shades to choose from so you can blend in colours depending on colour of eyes and hair. There’s an amazing selection of colours so this is an essential beauty buy that can be used time and time again and there’s great scope in creating a look for any occasion.

“There’s a handy step-by-step guide in the look book too, so you don’t have to be an expert, just follow the instructions or my guide and you’ll have the look mastered in no time.”

Karen Smyth of Gordons Chemists says: “We’ve worked closely with our suppliers to source the beauty items women want in the look books. The Academy of Colour make-up look books are appearing to be a hit already with consumers as they recognise the great value as a gift. From creating smokey eyes, pouting lips or the full look, the books come in various sizes to cater for all budgets and styles.”

The Academy of Colour collection available from Gordons Chemists which has 52 stores throughout Northern Ireland or online at

Paddy’s top tips

  • Try to get a good skin care routine to suit your lifestyle so it is easily maintained
  • Always invest in a good brush
  • Use a foundation primer to keep make-up in place
  • When applying make-up the objective is to use the least amount of make-up for maximum impact
  • A good natural shaped eyebrow makes it easy to give eyes perfect definition

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph