A Bobbi Brown makeup lesson with Pro Artist Hannah Martin

We've all been there - a sales assistant applies a product to your face flawlessly, you buy the lovely products, then you go home and try (but fail) to recreate the look. Thankfully, now you can eliminate step three with a handy in-store makeup lesson from Bobbi Brown.

Held at all Bobbi Brown counters in Fenwick, these lessons give you valuable one-to-one time with a makeup artist who will talk you through what they're doing in thorough detail, share their expert tips and tricks and fill in a face chart for you, detailing everything they used and where they used it.

Being a self confessed beauty junkie this sounded right up my street, so I headed to Fenwick Bond Street for a lesson with Bobbi Brown Pro Artist Hannah Martin....

bobbi brown makeup hannah martin 2

Known for her beautiful work at Kate Middleton's royal wedding to Prince William, Hannah is a whizz with a makeup brush and her enthusiasm and warmth eases me comfortably into my seat; a situation that somebody as awkward as me would normally find intimidating.

After a chat about the kind of look I'm after (smoky eye, all day, everyday), Hannah pulls out the gorgeous Long Wear Beige Gold Eye Kit, a beautiful must-have collection exclusive to Fenwick. The kit contains a Mini Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Beige Gold, a Mini Smokey Eye Mascara in Black, a Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Espresso Ink, a Mini Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush and an Instant Long-Wear Makeup Remover; meaning you're set for a variety of looks.

Hannah doesn't waste any time and gets straight to work, proving that I'm in more than capable hands.

BASE

bobbi brown makeover base

I'm already wearing foundation, which Hannah powders along the T-zone to prevent potential oil slicks. We then turn our attention to concealer. Hannah points out that the concealer I'm currently using adds a slight tinge of grey to my under eye bags. With a quick pat of the brand's infamous Corrector, the product instantly knocks out any signs of blue-toned late nights and simultaneously shoots up to the top of my must-have list.

BROWS

bobbi brown makeover brows

“I’m just going to use the Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in ‘Bone’ under the eyebrow,” Hannah says, sweeping the product along my brow bone. Doing this adds an instant ‘pop’ around my eyes, taking away any kind of sullen appearance. Next, Hannah uses the Eyeshadow in Mahogany to fill in any sparse areas along the brow. Doing this gives me a strong brow that frames my face and will balance the upcoming smoky eye.

EYESHADOW

“So this is the star of the show; the Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Beige Gold,” says Hannah, showing me the gorgeous gold-tinted product. As the product is cream-based, Hannah assures me that we don’t need a powder and gets straight to work.

bobbi brown makeover eyeshadow

“I always use a finger to slick away any oil from the lid," she says. "Oil naturally jumps into the skin so I find a finger is better to get rid of it than a brush. Then sweep it all the way over the lid straight from the bullet. You get this gorgeous soft shimmer and you can take it right up to the crease of the eye. Then simply blend it out all gently with your ring finger.”

And it's honesty as easy as that. The result is a gorgeous soft and light eye with subtle shimmer.

“Bobbi talks a lot about layering, not blending,” says Hannah, as she colours and blends my other lid. “I think a lot of women still have this preconception that a smoky eye has to be five shades blended expertly together. Bobbi believes if you have the right tones, you simply need to layer them on top of each other and you’ll get a really gorgeous naturally blended eye.”

EYELINER

Next, Hannah moves her attention to my eyeliner. The Long-Wear Beige Gold Kit comes with a Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner and Mini Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush, allowing you to create clean and winged liner or smudged liner for a touch of drama.

The Mini Ultra Fine Liner Brush is one of Hannah’s favourite products to create the perfect eyeliner look. She says: “It has synthetic hairs so that it doesn’t fold the gel liner too much. Instead, it helps it to glide on to the skin much better. We’ll use something like the smokey liner brush, which is made from natural hairs, to buff and smudge the liner out after.

“[With this kit] there are so many options; from an intense smoky eye to a sparkly gold lid and a flicked thick wedged liner.”

bobbi brown makeover eyeliner hand

I notice that Hannah starts to put her gel liner on to the back of her hand and begins to dab the brush into the product, reminiscent of a paint palette. “I find putting it on the back of my hand really helpful because then you can get it all over the brush head – the brush gets saturated but also nice and flat. Saying that, with your own pot at home, you could easily do this on the lid of the pot.

“I like to apply the gel liner straight along the lash line, pushing it right into the tear duct and right into the root of the lashes to fill in any gaps there may be. That’s how you get your defined liner, but now I’m going to buff the gel with a smoky liner brush while it’s still wet.” 

bobbi brown makeover liner 5

As Hannah begins to smoke out my eyes, I reveal that this is where I usually end up with a look that’s comparable to panda eyes. “When you’re doing it to yourself, I always recommend tilting your head back and looking down your nose,” advises Hannah. “If you tilt your head down and pull up the corner of the eyes to make your skin taut, it can look like a completely different shape when you let go.

“Keep your eyes open and look down. Then you can use the brush to get in right at the roots of the lashes.”

LOWER LINER

bobbi brown makeover liner 3

“Bobbi suggests that when you’re doing a smoky eye, it’s a good idea that whatever you used on your eyebrows matches your bottom liner. If you use what you’ve applied to your lid, it can look a bit heavy,” Hannah explains while creating a thick underline along my lower lash line. She then smudges it out slightly using a brush to make the eyes stand out and appear balanced.

MASCARA

Now that my eyes are shadowed and smoked, Hannah picks up a trusty eyelash curler and I know the look is about to completely change. After curling my lashes, Hannah goes in straight away with the Bobbi Brown Smoky Mascara, available in the Long Wear Beige Kit, so that the lift doesn’t drop. 

bobbi brown makeover lash curler

As Hannah begins to coat my lashes, I can see her excitement that the look is now coming together. “A good curled lash and a good amount of mascara really does finish an eye look - and that’s something Bobbi always says too,” she says, swiping the mascara wand through my lashes. After a good few coats, my lashes appear lengthened, fanned out and incredibly dramatic; perfect for a smoky eye. 

“What I love about this mascara is that you can have it in its handbag. If your mascara get dried out during the day, rather than brushing new mascara through it, get a good amount of mascara on the wand and press it into the top and bottom lashes,” she suggests. 

bobbi brown makeover mascara 1

For Hannah, lashes are one of the most important parts to the look and she strongly recommends taking your time here – an extra few coats can make all the difference. 

TOP AND BOTTOM LINER

bobbi brown makeover liner

To fully complete the eyes, Hannah goes in with a Pencil Liner in Jet to tackle any gaps at the roots of the lashes. Instead of doing the entire waterline, I tilt my head back and she targets only the areas where skin is on show. This is a step I wouldn’t think to do, but the effect makes the eyes look stronger in a subtle way.

She then goes on to line my waterline to give the eyes a deep and intense finish.

bobbi brown makeover under liner

LIPS

Hannah ponders over whether to go for the whole shebang and doll me out with a strong autumn lip, or whether she should go for something slightly more muted. In the end, she reaches for a Lip Gloss in Aubergine. 

bobbi brown makeover lip gloss

“Your lip colour will look really pretty against a stronger eye, so let's do a sheer gloss in a deep tone. Then you’re getting a hint of it without it being too strong.

“I think that’s a better way to go; a darker natural version of your lips.”

Applying the Lip Gloss with a Retractable Lip Brush, Hannah tells me to rub my lips together and the look is complete.

bobbi brown makeover finished look 2

BOBBI BROWN MAKEUP LESSONS

So what can you expect if you book in for a lesson? “Hopefully to leave feeling more confident, that’s what Bobbi is most passionate about,” says Hannah. “Feeling confident and feeling confident that you can re-create the look yourself at home.

“I think makeup can be really daunting for somebody, especially if they’re not an avid wearer. Even a beauty hall can be intimidating with glamorous people everywhere, but actually, once you’ve sat down with an artist and they’ve gone through what they’re doing step-by-step, showed you techniques and filled out a face chart with the colours you’ve used, where you’ve used them and the tools you’ve used to create it – Bobbi wants to give women as much information as possible – you’ll feel confident to do it yourself at home. 

“So that’s the key; confidence that you feel good and you look good - and confidence that you can do the makeup yourself just as well at home.”

The Bobbi Brown Beige Gold Long-Wear Eye Kit is exclusive to Fenwick. Bobbi Brown makeup lessons are available at Fenwick Bond Street, Canterbury, Kingston, Newcastle and Tunbridge Wells

By Hanna Ibraheem