I love transforming real women as much as celebrities and models. You get more appreciation from everyday women. Beautiful make-up can bring such a positive change and the transformation can be life changing for them in terms of confidence. If I create exquisite make-up on a woman and she loves it – she walks taller, even talks differently and starts getting cocky and confident.
When doing make-up you always want to keep the soul of a woman’s face. You don’t want to transform someone so much that they don’t look like the same person. You want to tweak but not completely transform – a subtle, realistic and accessible transformation.
I like to make someone look better but not heavily made up – brighter but not theatrical. I can make any woman beautiful with make-up but there’s a difference between beauty and prettiness. Some women aren’t comfortable in a lot of make-up.
Make-up artists perform tiny tweaks that aren’t necessarily visible. I use tiny seamless tricks like putting mascara just on the edge of the eye in a certain way.
My signature make-up tricks are to work with certain features. A stronger cheekbone without making it stripy; a longer eye without making it look drag queen; a fuller lip without it looking too nineties.
It’s modern to have make-up only visible in certain places. Choose one or two statement features. You might have a standout lip but keep the rest of the make-up quite clean or a dark eye with not too much colour on the face. It tends to be elemental - choose a statement feature and don’t do everything.
The biggest make-up sin is too much foundation. Heavy foundation is a dangerous addiction, women just add more and more to cover up. Another make-up sin is trying to change your skin colour and make it more tan with a darker foundation. There’s a way of using bronzing powder to add a subtle tan that can be very sophisticated.
I’ve worked with some iconic sex symbols — Pamela Anderson and Dita Von Teese – the opposite extremes. They are women with a strong, well thought out imagery and sexuality. Pammy is very clever with her look. It appears very random, been up all night, very rock’n’roll but it’s very specific.
My favourite make-up eras are the seventies and the twenties. I love the seventies Diva with groomed brows and glitter and also the delicate 1920’s Great Gatsby look. I wouldn’t mind that really thin, plucked brow coming back. But the boyishness of the natural brow trend at the moment is appealing too.
Make-up trends have returned to the 1960s but in a monochromatic minimal face. A strong eye, strong lash but a little bit grungy and smudged. Do it carefully and pull it apart for undone glamour. Choose chunky sixties lashes that are obviously fake.
Another favourite trend is what I call Blown Out Beauty. It’s very seamless make-up where there’s no lines in it. Not careful shading around the eye but beautiful stains really smudged around the eye. Use creams like M.A.C Paint Pots. Eyes are softer, not about dark sockets and heavy, technical corners with lots of shading — think of finger-painting instead.
Brushes or fingers? “Brushes for accuracy and fingers for smoosh factor” says Barber.
Red or nude lips? “Red has never gone out of fashion — it just has lots of different personalities,” says Barber.
Urban City Red: a red lip on nude face and very, very chic.
The High Sophisticate Red: a more gothic, rouge noir red with a lacquered Studio 54 finish.
Global Traveller Red: a spicier plum, suede red from a Moroccan palette of chilli and paprika.
Terry Barber Must-Haves
M.A.C Smolder Eye Kohl. It’s an intense black and I love creating dark eyes with pencil very carefully then blending it in for a lovely, waxy finish. “It looks like you’ve been dancing all night,” says Barber.
M.A.C Ruby Woo lipstick. “It’s my all-time favourite red lippie – it’s a cherry red and not too formal,” explains Barber. “It’s the original M.A.C matte lipstick and so dense and matte you can just go for it from the tube. If you have a strong lip ensure you go sheer on the skin and soft on the eye – it’s all about balance.”