Your beauty questions for one of the world's top makeup artists: Terry Barber for MAC

Terry Barber, director of makeup artistry for M.A.C, has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry - Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista and Grace Jones - as well as on Alexander McQueen's catwalk shows.

Terry headshot

All images courtesy of M·A·C Cosmetics

Down-to-earth and jargon free, he is one of the few international beauty experts who makes achieving incredible makeup as effortless as it looks. We asked you to send your beauty questions for Terry – here are his answers. You will wonder why you didn't try them sooner.

And why not head to the new M.A.C makeup department at our Fenwick of Bond Street store

1. Trends

Which trends do you see taking off this year?

Sarah Harrison, Newcastle

“It’s going back to being ultra-feminine. Strong eyes, red lips, super-fresh illuminated skin. Some seasons we see more of an androgynous look but the real woman is back in a very modern way. There is not a lot of makeup and a lot of translucence.

There has been a revolution in skin products, now it is all about skin radiance, and not being too heavily covered. Something like a BB cream is amazing and we have all skin colours, it's not just one shade. It’s also about being accurate with concealer - which I think is more important than foundation - adding radiance and cleverly using highlighters to bring a natural glow.

It's everything you can use which makes skin look beautiful without being too heavy and dense. A makeup artist encouraging women to wear less product - that must be a first.”

2. Lipstick

Is there a shade of red lipstick that suits every skintone?

 Caroline Braithwaite, Leicester

"I think red lipstick can often scare people. It was a big trend the season just gone but I like the idea of wearing much more wearable reds - bricks and terracotta rather than neon bright – it’s more complementary to the skin.

There is a MAC lipstick I love called Chilli - it is the most wearable red you can find, it's very flattering - you wear it, it doesn’t wear you.

And I’m really not a believer in lip brushes for real women, the kind of precision you see in magazines is unrealistic.

Put it on straight from the tube and tap it with your finger to ease it into the edge of the lip."

3. Skincare

What one item of makeup should you spend the most money on? 

Lucy Clarke, London

"I would say good skin products - good moisturiser, good primer and good quality concealer. Once you get those right, everything else falls into place.

You can 'do' your skin and not do anything else. To create a beautiful look all you really need is concealer, BB Cream, mascara, great lip balm and gel to the eyebrows. Modern beauty is not about having a full face. It’s about choosing makeup that makes you look better rather than transformed."

4. Concealer

Is there a quick way to disguise under-eye bags? 

Karen Beazley, Manchester

"Women are realising they need to be more accurate with concealers and using a different one for blemishes and under the eye. We have a Pro Conceal and Correct palette that allows you to navigate around the different areas of the face – so a yellow tone for redness and blemishes and a peach for under the eye.

You can use a soft eyeshadow brush to apply it - I like to almost fluff it into the skin rather than forcing it too hard so it looks dry and cakey.

Warm the concealer first on the back of the hand so that it becomes creamy and easier to apply."

5. All-over coverage

Is there a full coverage for your skin that is light enough to wear when you are really pale and freckly?

Sarah Clarke, Cheshire

"My first piece of advice would be don’t try to conceal your freckles because they're amazing. I love freckles - we were faking freckles with eyebrow pencils at the spring/summer Preen show.

At MAC the skin palette goes from the palest to the darkest - you will find a porcelain colour that won’t look too dense and will perfectly match your skin.

There is a new product called Waterproof Pro Longwear foundation that gives a fresh coverage, the NW15 will suit super-pale milky skin."

6. Eyelashes

How do you make the most of your mascara? And what do you do if your lashes are poker straight on top and scant underneath?

Therese Brian, Cardiff

"A bit of a makeup artist trick is to warm up your eyelash curler, either with the hairdryer or in hot water and dry it, before you use it as it gives you a stronger curl - think of it a bit like a curling tong for your lashes.

Choose a formula designed to curl (like Extended Play Gigablack Lash mascara) and really go into the root before you start brushing through the hair. And push upwards as you apply it through the lashes to give lift and definition.

If the lower lashes are very sparse, rather than highlight them with mascara, dot some eyeliner pencil in between the hairs and smudge with your finger as it gives great definition."

7. Eyebrows

How do you draw on eyebrows so they look natural? 

Emma Chandler, Essex

"Not everybody has Cara Delevingne’s brows so you have to cheat it. The trick is to brush brow hairs up first and instead of filling in the whole eyebrow, just do little upward strokes with an eyebrow pencil (like MAC Brow pencil in lingering) so you are creating hairs in between hairs - then finish with a brow gel to get a natural bushy look.

You need little upward strokes imitating the hair to have a defined brow without it being really drawn in. You want to create a fuller, more natural and textured effect.

What is not a trend is making them look like a drawing - too dark or too severe – and don't make them too square or too pointed at either end."

8. Eyeliner

Is there a secret to applying eye-liner? And can you still do flicks at the corners if you have crows feet?

Lizzie Dron, London

"Yes you can. Usually if you have crows feet it wouldn’t be at the corners of your eyes – it would be at the temples - just keep the line shorter if you are worried. Women think they can only go for a liquid and flick look – if you are unsure make it neat and tailored.

But it’s not the only way to line the eye. I love a smudgey pencil, especially on older women, as a sharp line can be ageing.

Use a pencil liner (like Mac Technakohl liner) and smudge it out. I think it makes eyes more beautiful. This one has an intense colour and is long wearing so it will give you a good day-to-night look. Another alternative is to use eyeshadow and a sharp angle brush.

There is a great brush called the MAC 219 Pencil brush, that's great for smudging. It's almost like the brush version of using your finger, but it's more accurate, you can push the dark colour into the lash line, and it’s much more sexy." 

9. Primer

Is there any point to primer? 

Rebecca Griffiths, London

"People get confused by primers, they can’t really see the effect, but they work almost to refine the skin. We have a primer that has a little bit of gold or pearl luminescence through it called Prep + Prime Natural Radiance in yellow, it makes skin look glowing. It's about giving a beautiful quality to the skin without any visible product. Sometimes it’s nice to use a concealer and primer and skip foundation altogether. The problem a lot of women have with beauty is that they are addicted to coverage and they don’t need it. 

For more mature skins there is MAC Mineralize Timecheck Lotion - it is a blurring primer rather than a cover up - it blurs out lines. It softens out the look of the skin and makes lines less visible - you can't beat it.  Of course any age can wear it – then you can put a BB cream on top. I really like the science behind makeup now – the technology enables women to wear less makeup, and that’s the goal."

10. Contouring

How can you create killer cheekbones if you have chubby baby cheeks? 

Louise Smith, Tunbridge Wells

"All the stuff you see on Youtube on contouring is mostly much too complicated. Imagine a line from the top of the eye and the outer corner of the lip and follow it with your powder or your bronzer - that's your contour line.

MAC has a Mineralize Natural Skinfinish powder that is great to use. I would choose a colour that is two to three shades darker than your skin – if it looks too grey or brown then it is probably too dark.

Opt for a natural golden bronzer rather than dark powder, which looks great on TV and photo shoots but for every day can look quite grubby."

Pro Conceal and Correct palette, £35, MAC

Lipstick in Chilli, £15.50, MAC

Brow Set gel in clear, £13.50, MAC

Brush 219, £21, MAC

Extended Play Gigablack Lash mascara, £14.50, MAC

Eye Kohl Eyeliner in smoulder, £14, MAC

Foundation bronzing powder, £21, MAC

Lip Conditioner SPF15, £11.50, MAC

Prep and Prime Beauty Balm SPF35, £24, MAC

Studio Moisture Cream, £25.50, MAC

Full Lash Curler, £16, MAC

By Claire Brayford