Remember a little while back I told you about an event I went to to celebrate the launch of Amanda Bell Elite Makeup Studio? Well, it’s been a few weeks since the grand opening of this insta-perfect makeup studio and I was invited back in to take part in The Essentials group masterclass with Amanda Bell herself. The class promises to deliver the basic essential makeup techniques to get the best out of your complexion, eyes and lips, with a focus on achieving a naturally enhanced look. Sounds promising.
I was asked to bring along my makeup, brushes and skincare, that’s right voyeurs, you use your own kit for this class so that you can master YOUR essentials, techniques and tricks that will work for you every time you come to apply your makeup. I arrived with bags and bags of makeup, the associated paraphernalia and a bare face ready to hit the ground running. You’ll remember from my previous post that the studio itself is on the attic floor of a building located on the super pretty high street in Norton, Teesside and it has some serious insta style credentials, from the silver and white decor to the illuminated mirrors, the scope for pictures to inspire envy in your followers is endless.
Back to class, we’re greeted by Amanda and her trademark laid back style, we’re allocated a dresser each with our own illuminated mirror and small pots of things like q-tips, cotton pads and spoolie brushes, it’s very well thought out, not surprising given Amanda’s 20 years in the industry.
Amanda takes us through some skin prep before we begin, we double cleanse, tone and moisturise before we talk primer. After looking over our products and talking about the benefits of different types of primer, we get to work creating a flawless base for our makeup to sit on. Once we’re clean and prepped we begin….
Foundation: we learn about the different types of coverage and what skin types they match with, I’m not a fan of anything heavy and usually stick with a light tinted moisturiser or BB cream. My current favourite is one by Creme de la Mer and it blends seamlessly with my skin, Amanda tells me it’s a perfect match for my skin and I mentally assign myself one star. The great thing about this class is that nobody is left behind, I’m pretty confident in applying my makeup but for anyone just starting out or looking to really hone their skills and increase their confidence, it’s a safe environment and you’re hand held through each stage. At each change of product, Amanda uses one of us as a model and applies the product to half of the face whilst talking through why she adopts a particular technique, before we try it ourselves and the model matches the other side. Amanda checks over everybody regularly offering tips and advice depending on your choice of product and chirps up with a “gorge” as her seal of approval.
She talks about concealer and how she prefers to skip foundation over the eyelids and uses concealer instead as the perfect eye base. Although I buy it, I never use concealer so I’m particularly interested in this part and luckily for me, I’m selected as the model. Amanda blends an Armani concealer around my nose, under eyes and eyelids and when I look in the mirror it’s completely invisible but one side of my face looks fresher, where the other reflects my true tired state but I manage to match it up pretty well.
When we move on to contouring, she tells us that it’s a trick that can be used to create pretty much any visual effect as long as you go easy. The rest of the class use a variety of powder contouring palettes whereas I favour the Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate kit and that’s the beauty of this class; there are no products dictated, nobody tries to sell you anything, but if you’re not entirely happy with your own products, then Amanda is happy to make suggestions to help you achieve the best finish.
We’re guided through every aspect of creating the every day face, one step at a time and when we cover eyes everyone had a slightly different preference. Amanda maintains that the principles are the same; colour should be used sparingly and built up rather than slicked on in one heavy stroke and we’re reminded to always tap excess powder off our brushes before applying anything with colour to avoid a potential strobing disaster. With the class at two and a half hours long, Amanda factors in time to work with everyone on an individual basis and offers advice on the shades that best suit a certain eye colour, it’s a completely relaxed environment and the class is made up of women of differing ages and backgrounds, there’s no one set person type that the class is aimed at.
The idea of mastering The Essentials is that you take away new techniques to add to your arsenal, new ways of using your products to get the best out of them for your skin type or tone. It’s as perfect for teenagers looking to learn how to get to grips with makeup as it is for someone of my age and beyond, there’s something that everyone can take away from this class and use time and time again. I’ve used the concealer trick since I took the class and I’ve even worn mascara a few times, something I don’t usually do due to my insanely long eyelashes and the mess it creates on my eyelids.
If you feel you’ve got The Essentials down then there’s a full suite of classes available, from beginners to advanced and there are also bespoke packages for those who have a particular look they’d like to recreate. With the studio also available for private hire, you have the potential to score some serious brownie points in the way of birthday and bachelorette parties, I have two younger sisters who would crawl over each other to host an insta-worthy makeup party here with their squad and they’d be the talk of their class the next day. It’s well worth checking out Amanda Bell Elite Makeup Studio and Amanda’s credentials are extensive so you know you’re in good hands.
To book a place on any of the group Masterclasses which start at £75 per person, or to book a party or private session with Amanda Bell, email firstname.lastname@example.org