From British reality show My Transexual Summer on Channel 4 to becoming a make-up artist, Drew-Ashlyn has learned a lot about looking her best – now she shares her top tips
I used to think I knew about make-up but becoming a make-up artist has changed my views forever.
I look back at old photos of myself and even shots from My Transsexual Summer and, my gosh, it was terrible. Yet back then I thought it looked amazing and so did a lot of viewers.
So since becoming a make-up artist for Illamasqua I’ve learnt a few tricks and tips I’d like to share with all you makeup lovers. So sit back and enjoy.
The best thing to use to create her famous contour look is concealer and powder.
Highlighting above the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, cupid’s bow and chin will automatically give you more of a sculpted look. Do this before putting your foundation on if you want a more subtle contour. Or you can do it after for a more full-on, highlighted look.
Use a peach or salmon colored concealer as this will help counteract the blue undertones in the dark circles under the eyes. Again, apply this this before your foundation. It also helps cover up any 5 o’clock shadow for people who are going through transition or drag queens.
Another thing you could do is also use red lipstick on the shadow area and dot it on, then blend and put foundation over, this also counteracts the blue tones.
Always prep the skin before doing your make-up. Cleanse to get rid of any dirt and exfoliate to remove dead skin cells. Tone to close up pores, you can also rinse your face with cold water as this will also close the pores up.
Moisturize, whether you have oily or dry skin in order to control the balance of oil and dryness –moisturizer really helps the skin.
Then use a primer before applying foundation. Not only does it help your make-up last longer, but it also helps control oil if using a matt primer, and control dryness if using a satin primer.
When applying foundation always blend down the neck, not only will it get rid of any foundation jaw lines but also it will help you see if the color matches your skin tone.
Another great tip to get perfect skin is to use a foundation brush such as the highlighter brush by Illamasqua. It helps buff foundation into the skin and gives you more of an airbrushed look.
Look at your eye color to help determine what shades will bring out your eyes more.
Blue eyes: Try rich browns, golds, warm taupe, soft peaches, lavender, lilac and fuchsia. They really bring out the blue tone in the eye and make them pop. Also switching a black eyeliner to a brown will really help make them pop.
Green eyes: Violet and plum eye shadow shades are best for green eyes. Warmer colors like deep purples, mauves, lilacs, and medium pinks are good choices. Browns will also look nice with green eyes. Try bronzes, golds, coppers, deep greens, peaches and apricots. Avoid cooler colors like silvers, blues, whites and pastels. These can give you a washed out look and be unflattering.
Brown eyes: These are the easiest to compliment! You can get away with all of those bright colors. You can use greens, golds, browns, pinks, blues, grays and purples. Earthy colors look great with brown eyes. Any shade of blue is going to work wonders. Cooler tones contrast well and make the eyes stand out. Choose a shade lighter than your eye color for a more natural and clean look. If you choose a shade darker, you will appear more dramatic and sexy. Black eyeliner will work nicely with brown eyes. It will give you a dramatic look and really make the eyes pop.
Hazel eyes: Pale pink and light purple look great with hazel eyes. Hazel eyes stand out with deep greens, lavenders and shades with soft yellow undertones. To bring out the gold in your eyes, choose golden-based eye shadows. To bring out the green specks in your eyes choose a brighter green shade like emerald and apply in three different intensities. To bring out the blue specks in your eyes go with purple in three different shades. To highlight the brown base of your hazel eyes stick with natural shades of brown.
Have fun, experiment and enjoy creating different looks. Don’t worry if it goes wrong, you can always wash it off.
Some of my fave products to use are Illamasqua matt primer and Illamasqua lip gloss. I love their Number 14 lashes as well.
My favorite foundations are Illamasqua rich liquid shade 215 and also Gosh foundation in golden and sunny shades.
My fave blush is anything with a peach tone in it. I love mosaic blush as they add dimension to your cheekbones.
I like to use a pale powder foundation. And I love using fake tan and would recommend, St Moritz if you’re on a budget or Xen Tan.
My top perfumes are Britney Curious/Radiance. Katie Price Besotted and Avril Lavigne Black Star.
Drew-Ashlyn Cunningham won hearts and won over minds against prejudice across the UK when she was one of the stars of Channel 4 show My Transsexual Summer. Read her previous GSN column here.