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My First Makeup Lesson!

10 June 2013


Last week, I attended an 1 hour, private Makeup Lesson run by Napoleon Perdis, courtesy of Red Balloon.

What I liked most about the lesson was that it was like a personal trainer showing you makeup techniques on your own face.

Sure you might watch lots of online tutorials, but there’s nothing like being able to talk and interact with the person applying the makeup to YOUR face, specially customised to your skin colour and complexion. Plus you get to decide what you want to learn.

You can ask to learn the complete basics for putting on a “going out, night time look”.

Or if you don’t go out that much, you can ask to learn a more stylish “everyday natural look”.

For me, I already have a basic “everyday natural look”. But I only use two “going out looks” – 1) The “winged eyeliner look” and 2) the “smoky eye look”. So I wanted to learn another style of eye makeup for a more “sophisticated night time look”.

I also was looking for a new lip colour. And I needed some new finishing powder, because I was about to run out.

The other thing I liked about this experience was… the makeup lesson cost $95, but you get to redeem $95 worth of products. So in a way you’re buying $95 of products, but getting a 1 hour long, personalised, one-on-one, step-by-step, real life tutorial and advice for free.

Makeup Lesson by Napoleon Perdis

This is me, at 10am in the morning, about to start my makeup lesson!

My makeup teacher for the day was Lisa. She wiped off my existing makeup (which was just tinted moisturiser and a bit of powder) and she cleaned my face.

Makeup Lesson by Napoleon Perdis

On the left, Lisa put some Napoleon Perdis Pre-Foundation Primer (which I already own and use) on my face. Then she applied some concealer (which was really nice!), some tinted moisturiser with a stippling brush (which I’ve never used, but I liked the effect), and she powdered my face.

The finishing powder that I have been currently using at home (for the last year or so), also happens to be by Napoleon… but I was using Shade 3. Lisa matched my colour today and it was the same product, but Shade 1! OMG I can’t believe I was using a powder shade that was so much darker than I needed! Hence my silly face in the mirror. How embarrassing.

I must’ve had a tan when I bought the earlier powder :P

On the right, she applied a bronzer on my cheekbones with an angled contour brush (which I didn’t like much, because it looked too dramatic) and she added some pink blush on the apple of my cheeks (in a really nice colour).

Before and after each step, Lisa showed me the brushes and the products she used, and explained why she was doing something and what kind of effect it would have.

I asked lots of questions and made mental notes about which products I liked and felt good on my skin.

After that, she filled in my eyebrows using a brush and brow colour. I usually use a Chanel eyebrow pencil at home. But I really adored this brushed brow style…  it looked much more natural. I made a note on the type of brush she used.

Makeup Lesson by Napoleon Perdis

For my eyes, Lisa suggested the “classic eye look”. I know what it looks like, but I’ve never tried it on myself, because for some reason I just thought it wouldn’t suit my Asian eyes.

I told her, “I only ever use blacks, greys and blues. I don’t like using browns, because I think it looks a bit old fashioned and it makes me look and feel older. What are the most popular eye colours for people with my skin colour?”

And she said, “Um.. actually, browns!”

So I said, “Haha ok just use browns… and I’ll see how I feel about it at the end!”

I was a bit hesitant about the browns, but I decided to trust that she would give me a “modern classic look”.

She applied my mascara, eye primer, base colour, shadow, eyeliner, everything. I stopped her a lot… to take photos and to look closer at where she applied the shadow, so I could try it myself at home.

On the right was my final, finished look. I really liked it!!

The browns (and a bit of bronze) looked pretty good too… and it wasn’t very BROWN at all. More like black and dusty grey.

Plus I loved the colour she chose for my lips.

Makeup Lesson by Napoleon Perdis

In the end, I looked at the makeup table and saw ALL the products and brushes she had used.

I was both impressed by all the great products she used… and equally shocked by how many were needed for a nice face of makeup. Us women are crazy, I tell you! :)

Makeup Lesson by Napoleon Perdis

These were the products I eventually chose:

From the left –
Precision Angle Sable Brush Eyes ($25)
DéVine Goddess Lipstick – Colour Andromeda ($35)
Camera Finish Powder Foundation – Look G1 ($65)

My total value for the products was $125, but since my course allowed $95 of redeemable products, I paid $30. Also they had an in-store promotion, if I spent more than $120, I received a complimentary 3 piece bath and body pack hehe.

Overall, it was an excellent learning experience. And I completely recommend it :)

It is just fantastic for someone who is looking to polish up their makeup skills (like me!), or for someone who is a complete beginner, or someone stuck in a beauty rut and need some inspiration, or someone wanting to try some new products and colours (like me!), or just someone wanting a new and fresh look!

It also makes a lovely gift for a girlfriend, sister, wife, or mother.


The team at Red Balloon are offering my readers a special promotion!

Receive $30 off when you spend $129 or more on ANY experience.

To redeem: Visit and enter the promotional code REDKC13 at the checkout to receive your discount.

Terms and Conditions: Offer valid until 31/12/13. Promotional Code can only be used once per person. All purchases are subject to RedBalloon T&Cs, for full details read here.