A very Belfast makeover

Published Thursday, 20 December 2012
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Makeup artist Paddy McGurgan has made over everyone from top celebs to Northern Ireland's well-known faces, and now he's opened up his toolkit to share his "hero products" with the Belfast's shoppers.

Make Up Pro Store opened in the city earlier this month in partnership with award-winning photographer Khara Pringle. The premises and photography studio are chock full of cosmetic and skincare brands making their debut in Northern Ireland - and some even in Ireland.

Paddy McGurgan and Khara Pringle, pictured with models, at their business launch

It's staffed by fully trained makeup artists - many of whom have trained at Paddy's own Make Up Academy and they've been instructed to leave women feeling empowered about their appearances.

There are some fantastic colours throughout the store, from shimmery eye shadows and deep lipsticks to just about every hue of foundation you can imagine - great news for those of us who can never quite find the perfect shade!

The brands have been sourced from LA to the Netherlands, with products Paddy had tried and loved during his travels, but was frustrated not to be able to find at home.

"But it's not a case of now just because I stock four or five different brands of makeup that they're the only brands in the world. I would be very naive to think that, because there are wee hero products out there that I still use in my kit," says Paddy.

So if you're in need of some inspiration to brighten up your usual look for the party season, in Paddy's expert opinion, you've got to start with the lips.

But there's a bit of preparation involved as the cold weather and air conditioning can take a toll on skin, so Paddy says you'll need a moisturising lip balm.

"That'll create a smoother application when you're going for a bold red or even a nice mulberry colour. They both suit well with a lot of the brocade fabrics and dresses that are in the shops at the minute," he explains.

And Paddy says it's time to throw out the old rules of going for a smokey eye or statement lipstick - this winter, you can pull off both.

"I think when you do eyes and lips, as long as you keep the complexion muted," he explains.

"By that I mean nicely contoured, no real blush or flush of pink. Sculpt the face, so at least you're letting the complexion sit back a little bit, allowing the eyes and lips to come forward."

And if you're feeling a little less brave, a tiny touch of glitter could be key to a festive look.

"There's glitter that's so fine it's almost like a dust and I find myself doing flashpoints like towards the tear ducts, just to give a wee bit of sparkle because it's Christmas," he says.

I would sit you in the chair, and I would do your makeup and leave you fabulous!

Paddy McGurgan

But whether it's a red lip or a dark smokey eye - or both - Paddy says the most important part about makeup is that it embraces your personality.

"We want you to push your boundaries a little bit by placing your trust in an artist and seeing a different perspective of what you originally have, but our main aim is to always have the person walking out of here comfortable and confident.

"If you don't have the confidence when you have your makeup professionally done, then the artist has let you down.

"You're always going to be mindful that it is a different look, but you have to love it," he added.

© UTV News
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Sara Neill
Sara Neill

Sara Neill joined UTV's Webteam as an online journalist in 2011, previously having worked for radio and print outlets.

She has covered a range of topics, from the Saville Report to the Royal Wedding or new sounds on Northern Ireland's music scene and fashion shows.

In her spare time, she likes to read poetry and 1960s American literature and blog about all things makeup, hair and beauty.

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