Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Features

Make-up Masterclass: 5 tips for the perfect Fresher's look

Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts and every week he tells you everything you need to know about the latest make-up techniques

By Paddy McGurgan

With the arrival of September, the kids are all back to school and university students are embarking on their higher level education journey. As a new student, you're about to make a lot of new friends in the libraries and classrooms - so here are the best products to achieve a day-time lecture look for your new university year.

Luckily, the mass majority of 18 to 22-year-olds tend to experience few to no skin issues, apart from perhaps a touch of dry and dehydrated skin due to the repercussions of Freshers' Week.

For this I recommend using a day and night gentle exfoliator to rid the skin of dead skin cells. Opt for Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm (£20). This is a gentle cleanser which is suitable for all skin types, polishing skin and adding radiance. A trio of shea, mango and cocoa butters that are rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins plump and nourish the skin.

balance me

If your freshly dropped student loan is burning a hole in your pocket, I highly recommend investing in a high quality, long-lasting foundation. This will really add value and longevity to your make-up routine. I always recommend getting a full complexion consultation from the brand you are buying, as your foundation is one of the most important parts of your make-up, especially for a day-time look.

I adore working with Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation (£33, Make Up Pro Store) as it is a gel-based foundation and sits naturally and evenly onto the skin. This foundation offers a huge variety of shades, so I really do recommend getting a full complexion consultation to ensure you are happy with the colour, tone and coverage.

Skin Base

I cannot express enough how important a loose setting powder is. I often have clients come to me with issues about their foundation's staying power and my first question is "Do you use a setting powder?" to which I usually get the answer "No". This is so important as it sets the foundation in place, matifies the 'wet' appearance that a cream/liquid foundation tends to have when it is first applied and allows your make-up to stay on for a maximum length of time.

I recently repurchased the NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder (£27) and remembered why I loved it so much. The consistency of the powder is exceptionally fine, so I can use it on all clients. I loathe thick, talc like powders as they sit in fine lines and totally change the appearance of my foundation. This invisible silky powder is infused with photochromic technology to diffuse light and adjust to new sources of light throughout the day. Fine lines, wrinkles and pores optically fade as skin is visibly smoothed. Soft, silky and luxurious to the touch, this weightless formula applies evenly and blends effortlessly. Ideal for touch-ups, it helps regulate shine and seamlessly sets foundation. It is paraben-free and fragrance-free.

Nars setting powder

You will achieve a naturally bronzed and glowing complexion perfectly if you use a powder bronzer. I definitely recommend you try Autograph's M&S Bronzer (£9.99). I love this entire range but I particularly love this bronzer. It is so affordable but the pigment is rich enough to sculpt and create a bronzed base and has a beautiful buildable colour so it can suit a multitude of tones of clients.

Autograph's M&S Bronzer

For blusher - to add an extra pop of colour onto the cheeks - I love using Benefit's Benetint (£22.05). This is a product that can be worn not only as a blush, but also as a lip colour. It's a beautiful light red stain and stays on your face or lips all day long.


If you are having an early morning lecture and are running late, it is important to utilise your time in areas that you need it. Eyebrows are one element that can be sped up by using a tinted eyebrow gel, which will build structure into the brow and create a soft fluffy effect with a gentle tint of colour to frame the face. Try NYX Tinted Brow Mascara (£6.50).

I recently tried the new Fuschia Make Up Eyeshadow Palette - Paradise (£25). I adore the pigment of these shadows as they blend so easily on the eye. The colours are bold but so wearable when used with other dark tones, and I adore the red eyeshadow in the palette.

Fuschia Make Up Eyeshadow Palette - Paradise

Add the finishing touches with Make Up Studio's lipstick in No.75 (£16.50) and Urban Decay's All Nighter Fix it Spray (£23.50) and you will be equally ready to hit lectures and Freshers' Week.

Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray

5 tips for a day to night Fresher's face

1. Remember - your student loan is not bottomless, so invest in areas of your make-up routine that are important for skincare, such as foundation and powder.

2. Hit the drugstore. For your mascara, brow products and lip product, shop around and try drugstore alternatives.

3. Late nights and early mornings will play havoc with your skin, so please look after it by doing a deep cleanse every night to remove all dead cells and make-up. This will lessen your chances of suffering breakouts, blemishes and skin issues.

4. Drink water. This will not only increase your brain power but will also hydrate your skin. It has been proven to remove dark circles and pigmentation and deter not only the early signs of ageing but boost the skin's youthful glow.

5. Finally, enjoy playing with your make-up and creating exciting eye looks. University is the optimal place to find people who have similar interests, so if you love strong eye make-up, then do it!

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph