We’ve Uncovered Benefit’s Best Kept Beauty Secrets

Posted by in Makeup, Experts, Skin Care

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Having worked at Benefit for the past 10 years, Lisa Potter-Dixon, Benefit Cosmetics’ Head Makeup and Trend Artist has graced catwalks, YouTube, TV screens and has even published two amazing how-to makeup tutorial books that every girl needs on their bookshelf/ makeup vanity.

Her incredible personality and passion for makeup shines through her beautiful Instagram page, her YouTube channel and her demonstrations on QVC. A true cheerleader for everything Benefit, she’s always getting ahead of the trends with her favourite makeup essentials.

I had the opportunity to interview Lisa and get her to spill her best-kept beauty secrets and recommendations for 2017.

What was the defining moment that drew you to a career in cosmetics?

Well my mum was a model in the 70s and throughout my childhood I was surrounded by makeup. I would apply makeup on myself and others in school plays, I was also a champion disco dancer so I was always surrounded by makeup, being creative with it and face painting. At that age you never really it as a career, so it wasn’t until after uni that I really thought about becoming a Makeup Artist, but mostly it was when I began working as a Boutique Manager at the Covent Garden Benefit store. There were so many opportunities to learn and there was nothing on the creative side - job wise - at Benefit, they didn’t have a Head Makeup Artist, nothing globally at all, so I created the role for myself. I had to prove myself first on the shop floor, running a team and after 5 years I took a risk and have been their Head Makeup Artist ever since.

As Benefit’s Head Makeup Artist, do you have any tips for aspiring makeup artists?

When I first started, there was no social media - no Instagram, no Twitter, so becoming a successful makeup artist in the fashion industry, the tv industry, takes a lot of hard work. It’s not about coming in and starting at the top, like any career you always start at the bottom. My advice would be to gain opportunities to assist people, do work for free but most of all, start working for a brand. You’ll work on 10-15 different faces per day on a makeup counter - working with real women who have different skin dilemmas, different eye colours and you get to build up your kit through discounts and freebies. You’ll learn on the job and it will teach you more than you think.

The industry has changed so much since I started, it’s become saturated, I was lucky as I got to build up my profile before, but there’s always room for people as there’s always so much work. Assisting is a really good way to start - when I was starting out, I would look through magazines and look at the shoots to find out who the Makeup Artists were and get in contact with them to work with them. With social media so big now, you see just about anyone adding ‘MUA’ to their name on Instagram but to get success, Twitter a really good platform - even though Twitter is losing people and Instagram is the up and coming platform - when running or creating a business, Twitter is key. Follow the right accounts, look out for Makeup Artists requests as it’s a great way to build contacts. Make sure you’re really social media savvy as everything, including portfolios is digital now.

A lot of people always ask me what makeup courses they should go on when starting out as a Makeup Artist. If you want to go on a course, that’s fine, there are a lot of makeup courses but they often cost thousands and thousands of pounds and it might not be the right thing for you. Do all of the above before committing to a course, work for a brand, assist on shoots, work for free. From not going on a course, I have created my own style. When you’re taught by someone you’re copying or imitating their style, their way of doing a particular look. Don’t invest immediately without knowing for sure that it’s the right thing to do. Getting a job and succeeding in your career is all about life experience now rather than what you’ve studied.

Winter has destroyed our skin. What tips can you give us to help get a dewy glow like Kim K

Coconut oil is something that I swear by, we’ve heard so much about it over the last 2 years, but I’ve been using it in my kit forever. It’s such a great fix for fashion week if a model’s skin is dry. Putting loads on your skin, hair, body, nails and everywhere at night will really help, it has such a hydrating element so it’s a great thing to use in winter. I love the Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Moisturiser, it’s a-mazing and is such a rich cream, it’s beautiful. Even using a face mask once per week will get your skin dewy. I am in love with all the face masks by fresh. too, the Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask is amazing. Glamglow Flashmud Brightening Treatment mask is so good as well, I’m so glad they’re now in the UK. If you really love sheet masks, Starskin have some great ones. By adding masks into your routine, or having a sunday skincare session, you’ll notice such a difference in your skin.

To get perfect skin, make sure you only change 1 thing every 6 months in your skin care regime. If something’s going wrong and you’ve changed too many aspects of your regime, it will be hard to know what’s the cause, or what’s indeed the solution. I’ve even set an alarm in my calendar to remind me to change up my skincare.

SS17 catwalks saw some interesting and bold makeup looks, what was your favourite?

I love neon freckles. Fashion week is amazing, I’ve been doing shows for about 9 seasons now so I’ve seen how it has changed. There’s been a massive switch this spring/summer and it’s all about personal preference now. There’s not just 1 or 2 trends that you have to choose from, there’s now 15-20 trends which you can really pick and choose from. This spring/summer, there’s the disco brow, neon freckles and some more consistent trends like fabulous brows. Everything’s about brows at the moment, there’s feathered, bold, angled and straight brows, alongside the obvious summer dewy skin. Fashion week trends are the complete opposite to instagram trends now, you don’t have to feel pressured into following trends as there are so many to choose from. ** They're Real Mascara was the most popular Benefit product last year, what do you think will be 2017’s hottest must-have?**

They’re Real Mascara is THE number 1 best selling beauty product full stop. The blue one is best and as Benefit have taken over the brow category and own over 50% of the market after the huge launch of brow products last summer, it will continue to be a bestseller. There’s something coming this summer too which will be a huge seller. There’s a definite need for it. Women have started to realise the difference good brows make to your face. It used to be that women wouldn’t leave the house without mascara, now women won’t leave without their brows on.

Do you have any beauty hacks no one would ever have thought of?

A really amazing beauty hack people always like, is to put eyedrops in mascara when it dries out. Of course you have to throw away any mascara from any brand after 3 months as there’s so much bacteria that builds up. But adding 2 drops of regular eye drops in the tube will loosen the dried up product and makes it as good as new. Plus you know it will always be safe for your eyes.

Check out my Top 10 Beauty Hacks video on YouTube, there’s such good hacks on there.

If you had to work with just 3 products, what would you choose and what look would you create?

I would definitely use my Precisely, My Brow Pencil to create a feathered brow and also use it as a soft eyeliner too. The great thing about these products is that they a dual uses. Second would be the Hoola Bronzer Powder and use it as a bronzer and an eyeshadow. I would create a blown out smokey eye by really buffing it over the eye. It would look amazing with the Hoola and would add real warmth to the skin. Dr. Paw Paw Sparkle Balm has so many different uses too. You can make your eyelashes look glossy, add to your lips for a dewy lip and also use it as a highlighter. It’s so easy to create a full look with so few products.

I’m getting married this year, are there any beauty tips you’d give a bride hoping to do their own makeup for the big day?

First of all, congratulations! I’ve actually done a Dos and Don’ts video of wedding makeup, make sure you check it out.

Really, you just want to be the version of yourself. Don’t change up the products that you love, you don’t need other foundations, just stick with what you know and love. If you’re doing makeup yourself, watch some YouTube videos to learn eyeshadow techniques.

Get your brows shaped and tinted and lash extensions in 3 days before the big day. Also get them done a few times in advance to make sure you like them, can get used to them and most of all, you trust the person doing them. Bronzer always work on the eye too, it’s soft and enhances eye colour. Give your bridesmaids your powder and lipstick to keep safe during the day. Those are the two thing you’ll need to top up, and don’t be afraid to put a touch of glitter and a brighter lipstick for the evening as it changes your whole look. Don’t wear a sticky lipgloss and set your makeup with Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray to help it last all day.

When you’re getting ready, your dress is the last thing to put on. When applying your makeup, wear a t-shirt that’s the same colour as your dress as it will reflect on your makeup and make it look balanced. Once your look is complete, take a selfie inside and outside to make sure you look good in all lights.

What 1 product would you recommend that women shouldn’t live without?

The 1 product I would use,is one that once you start using it, you cannot go back. If you have sparse brows, Gimme Brow is what you need. It’s the quickest product to use and makes the biggest difference. Brush it away from the brow to coat the whole hair. If you’re going to have a no makeup day, always put your brows on as it makes such a difference.

Do you have any exciting launches coming up you can whisper to our readers?

Well my second book is out in April. It’s an exciting makeup manual for real women, there’s no BS. Makeup is always made out to be so complicated. With fashion week, shoots, I’m always doing creative tough looks. Real women want accessible makeup and confidence to try a new look. The whole book is going to be easy looks you can create at home.

In terms of Benefit, that summer product I mentioned is coming out. Everyone has always loved our Dandelion range. There might be a highlighter powder version coming out… It’s called Dandelion Twinkle, it’s so amazing, it’s a powder highlighter that works perfectly. You’ll absolutely love it.

Be sure to check out her YouTube Channel as there’s tonnes of tutorials and Q&As on there to answer your every beauty question.

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