Five minutes with: Claude Defrense

What do you like about being a make-up artist?

I’m a big fan of fantasy. I also like to use make-up as a tool to make women feel better. I feel proud when I succeed in making a woman feel more confident in her self. It’s a gift to be able to do so.

Is it true that you test all the Clarins make-up on yourself before it goes on sale?

Yes, every product. You can’t talk honestly about a product if you don’t feel it on yourself. I have a little mirror in my office which allows me to check my impressions. Some people that don’t know what I do get a fright when they walk past me and see me with lipstick and mascara on. But it’s the only way that we can give feedback about the application and the texture of the product.

What is the biggest make-up mistake a woman can make?

Not choosing the right shade of foundation. Because women want to look youthful they have a tendency to apply foundation that is too dark and heavy which can make them look dull and fatigued. You should test foundation on your nose not on your jaw line – when it disappears into your skin you have the right shade.

What is your favourite Clarins product?

The Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch. It’s a magic product – instantly fine lines will disappear and your skin will be smoothed and radiant. With Clarins all our make-up is designed to promote a perfect complexion due to the light reflecting pigments we use.

Clarins is available at selected beauty therapy salons, pharmacies and department stores.

Five minutes with: Jane Iredale

This Jane Iredale’s The Skin Care Makeup brand celebrates its 15th anniversary. The company was formed in 1994 by current president Jane Iredale and was the first mineral line to emerge in the market. The line began with just five loose mineral powders and one employee – Jane herself. Today, the company boasts more than 120 employees and distribution in 40 countries.

“It’s been 15 years of fun, learning and making a difference,” says Iredale. “It couldn’t have been more exciting or rewarding. And I intend to keep the momentum going for the next 15 years. The greatest reward has been the sense of satisfaction I get when customers tell me what a difference our products have made to their lives. The emotion is so genuine that it spurs me on to do more and more.”

Iredale chats to MiNDFOOD about what sets her products apart from other mineral makeup brands.

What are the benefits of mineral makeup?

The micronized minerals we use offer a natural, healthy alternative to conventional cosmetics. There are no chemical dyes, or preservatives and the inert minerals give remarkable protection from the sun. Our PurePressed powder for example is rated SPF 20.

Our products contain no fillers, like talc (which is often used to stretch product further) and are completely free of sensitisers like perfumes. They are also non-comedogenic, which means they allow the skin to breathe and function normally.

Why did you start your mineral makeup range?

I was originally involved with film and television and saw the damage that constant makeup retouches under hot lights was causing to the actors’ skins. Once I started researching the ingredients used in standard makeup, I realised that was the culprit. I set out to develop a line that would be as good for the skin as the person felt wearing it.

That was 15 years ago and we now have a huge line of products which I am very proud can say are beneficial for women’s skins and a true extension of their skincare.

What is the point of difference with your products?

Every ingredient in our makeup enhances the health of the skin or the efficacy of the makeup. We always try to bring out products that have some kind of benefit for the skin. 

For example, our under-eye concealer not only conceals but also treats the skin with ingredients such as vitamin K and avocado oil. There are a lot of companies marketing their brands as mineral makeup, when actually there are very little minerals in them or they are packed full of talc. Consumers need to check the back of the label under “may also contain”. The Jane Iredale range is 100 per cent minerals.

What are the most common makeup mistakes that women make?

When people first start using minerals they can make the mistake of using too much because they are not used to pure pigment. Another no no is wearing too much mascara or blush. As we get older, less is more – piling on heavy mascara and blush can age the face instantly.

What is your personal favourite Jane Iredale product?

I use PurePressed Base in Warm Sienna every day. It’s like brushing my teeth. I also wouldn’t be without the Jane Iredale Lip Drink.

What are your top 5 beauty tips?

1 Always use good skincare products under your makeup.

2 Make sure you have the correct mineral match for your skintone.

3 Well-shaped brows frame the face.

4 Spritz with one of our hydration sprays to seal the minerals.

5 Use a matching lip pencil to define lips and as a base for a gloss or lipstick.

What is the best way to match foundation to your skin tone?

Test the colour on your jaw line – make sure you are standing in a natural light. If it disappears, it’s the right shade. If you can see a mark between your face and your neck, it’s wrong. Ask someone to help you and remember to allow the minerals to settle for a few minutes to blend with your skin.

Any makeup advice for non-users?

I hear over and over again that women don’t really know what to do with makeup and are intimidated by it. My advice to them is to educate themselves by getting professional advice. I don’t mean department store advice, I mean going to a spa or salon and seeking out a makeup artist who can spend time analysing their look and choosing colours that are right for them – because they will find makeup to be rewarding and helpful if they can just come to grips with it.