PRIMPED: What are your top makeup tips?
Max May: First up, curl your eyelashes. I do it twice. I go in really close to the lashline, as close as possible, and then I go back in again but slightly above. The effect is a really rounded shape rather than a kink. How long you hold the curler there really depends on lash thickness but I usually count to 10 or 15 seconds, then have a look at the curl to see if I need to go in again.
My next tip would be to apply mascara in two stages. First, I apply mascara just at the base of the lash line, zing-zagging it along – but not up – so I create a kind of tree-trunk effect around the base of the hairs. Then I sweep the mascara up to the ends. If you concentrate the mascara at the base, you’ll get a more defined look, yet lashes won’t droop as they can if you deposit too much product on the ends.
My third tip is to always apply nude lipstick with fingers. It can look cakey and trashy if it’s too thick. I find that the fingertip warms the product up, helps it go on evenly, and gives the illusion of softer, plumper lips. You can also use this technique for darker colours of lipstick if you’re after more of a stained look.
PRIMPED: If we peeked inside your makeup kit, what products would we find taking pride of place?
Max May: MAC Face & Body, $60, M.A.C Cosmetics. It’s a classic. You get sheer glowy coverage, and it mixes really well with thicker foundation if you need more coverage in places, or you want to blend it with a shimmer lotion. The colour range is spectacular too – there are both pink and yellow bases so it suits everyone.
Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer, from select David Jones. I love the shades Golden Beige and Beige. These are what I mix into my foundations if I want a more luminous, dewy effect, It gives a summer glow without it being obvious.
La Mer Radiant Serum, $500, La Mer. I love it. It does exactly what it says it does. Skincare either takes time, or it’s then and there. When I’m working, I don’t have time, so this works for me. No matter how dull a model’s skin is, this works.
PRIMPED: What makeup tools should every woman have?
Max May: Definitely an eyelash curler. I use shu uemura’s Eyelash Curler, $39, from selected David Jones. Also, an angled brow brush – M.A.C has some great ones. You could possible also buy a foundation brush, although I prefer to apply base with my fingers.
PRIMPED: What are your classic makeup buys?
Max May: YSL Touche Éclat, $55 from department stores, is always in my kit. I use it more as a highlighter than concealer. While it does conceal, it’s more about reflecting light than covering up, so I usually put it on what I call the flat areas of the face – under the eyes, across the cheekbones, the brow bone, ridge of nose, bow of lip – for a pick-me-up. It’s also great in the corner of the eyes.
I also love Nivea Body Rich Nourishing Body Lotion, $5.40, from supermarkets. It’s really thick and it has almond oil in it, so it gives the body a great high shine. And it’s cheap.
Oh another budget classic I love is Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, $15.95, from supermarkets. I find that most mascaras only really last a few weeks before they go chunky and heavy. This one doesn’t because it’s smooth and silky so it doesn’t weigh the lashes down.
PRIMPED: What are the best makeup buys of recent times?
MAX May: Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate, $100, from select David Jones. It’s a compact duo featuring a creamy caramel or cocoa colour for contouring, and a high shine for highlighting. I’ve been using it on swimsuit shoots lately, because it doesn’t make the models look like they’re wearing makeup – just that they have great skin.
I’ve also been using Becca Cosmetics Beach Tint, $42, Becca Australia, a lot. The Watermelon shade is nice, but I’m loving the new plumy one, Raspberry, which is a great way to carry the current winter trend for blood-red or burgundy lips through to a summer stain.
PRIMPED: What’s next on your makeup shopping list?
Max May: I have a She Uemura eyelash addiction, so it’s almost time to stock up again. I also need to buy more YSL mascara.
PRIMPED: You’re Lara Bingle’s friend and makeup artist – how would you describe Lara’s makeup look?
Max May: See question one! I love working with Lara because she loves wearing makeup and trusts me with any decision I make. She wears a lot less than she used to. It took me a while to blend her look down and convince her that she doesn’t need to wear too much. For me, makeup is about enhancing natural beauty, and contouring and highlighting are ideal ways to do this. Then occasionally I add in a lip or eyeliner.
PRIMPED: What have been your favourite Lara looks of late?
Max May: For her birthday, she wore Tom Ford Lip Colour, $65, in a deep plum red. And at Manning Cartel’s Fashion Week show, we went a little retro and took her back to her old days with a super-bronzey base and a pastel pinky-nude lip.
PRIMPED: What if we want to get Lara’s look – what products do we need?
Max May: See question three! I also use Nars Bronzer in Laguna, $55, Mecca Cosmetica, and Becca Mineral Bronzing/Highlighting Duo, $68. And the nude lipstick is thanks to M.A.C Lipstick in Shy Girl, $36.
PRIMPED: And what tips do we need to know?
Max May: I always contour Lara with bronzer, applying it with a brush under the cheekbones, through the temples, and along the base of the jawline. Then I go in with my fingers to warm it up and make it sink into skin, so it looks completely natural. Unless I do a red lip on her, I never want her to look like she’s wearing makeup. Even if I powder her nose to take away shine, I go back over it with my fingers to soften the look.
PRIMPED: Any final words of makeup wisdom?
Max May: Less is more!