Fiona Tanner - Talks Makeup & Beauty Secrets

Image: Fiona doing a dancer's makeup
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We interview professional makeup artist Fiona Tanner to find out about her favourite makeup looks, products and beauty secrets.

What is your personal beauty regime?

The most important advice I can give to anyone is a good diet, regular exercise, drinking your 2.5 litres of water per day, exfoliating regularly and applying the correct moisturiser for your skin type.

Which skincare brands do you like best?

Brands like Ren and natural products like Yon-Ka Paris.  I have recently come across this African brand called Yess Essentials which I love – it's reasonably priced and is an amazing base for anyone who has skin on the slightly drier side.

What are going to be the popular makeup trends of spring 2011 and what should we be wearing?

Metallics, neons and a spring palette of gold and fresh blossom.  For natural hues think pre-raphaelites, soft new romantic, gothic and Gustav Klimpt.  

For the rock chick a modern take has been taken on the 60's look of pale lips and strong eyes. For girls who like colour, brighten up a dull spring day with a crisp glam 80's palette – think Joan Collins meets bond girl.  La Dolce Vita returns with a modern twist. Strong gothic has made a return for the brave and bold among us and there is also a nod towards the orient with a bold yet soft array of blossoms and rose pinks.

Which makeup eras and genres inspire you most?

I love looking at old paintings for makeup inspirations.  I love vintage makeup and with the current craze, I'm doing a lot of it at the moment.  I also adore taking inspiration from different cultures and from history; to be individual you have to not only have inspiration but develop ideas through research.

How do you keep makeup looking fresh and last all day on models and brides?

Using a primer prior to makeup application and gel based and waterproof products.  My airbase foundation is waterproof and very long lasting so perfect for brides.  A water spritz is my secret weapon for keeping skin hydrated and youthful when applied during and in between retouches.

You give makeup lessons. What is a common mistake that women make with their own makeup application?

Being impatient and having the wrong products in their kit.  Long-lasting products sound like a great idea for instance but often make skin look dry and even crusty.

What is a favourite recent beauty buy of yours?

I keep on going on about it but its got to be my airbrush – it takes years off if applied correctly!

Which makeup products are always in your handbag?  

My Smoulder and Carbon eyeliners from MAC Cosmetics, my Jo Malone Vitamin E Gel and a False Lash Effect Mascara from Max Factor. I also love my Chanel red lipstick for instant glamour.

Can you reveal one of your top beauty secrets?

A facial spritz which keeps skin hydrated and improves its appearance along with the right cleansing and moisturisers!

Do you have any DIY cosmetics tips?

Yes – take your favourite lip balm and mix it with a little scraping of an old blush and you instantly have a fantastic new lip colour.


Fiona Tanner is an award-winning makeup artist, her work includes TV, theatre, celebrities, private clients and weddings. Visit her website for further information about her services: www.ftmakeuplondon.com