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10 makeup must-knows: Ali Price

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Ali Price’s fascination with makeup started when she was tall enough to climb onto a bathroom stool to reach her mother’s beauty cabinet. After attempting to go for the “sensible route”, working in Human Resources & Industrial Relations, Ali eventually got pulled back into the beauty industry, undertaking a course at the Canberra Makeup Academy eight years ago.


Ali Price walks the runway with her model.

Since then she hasn’t looked back and has worked on some famous faces in film and television around Australia, as well as countless weddings. Ali also worked her magic on our “15 Women to Watch” series and has won many awards for her work, including the 2014 Modern Bride Face2Face Award.

Laura Edwards sat down with Ali to find out her ’10 makeup must-knows’ – beauty hints and tricks for this season (and was even lucky enough to score a makeover herself!)

Laura Edwards - before, during and after the Ali treatment.

Laura Edwards – before, during and after the Ali treatment.

What are the top makeup trends for Autumn/Winter 2015?

Autumn/Winter is a chance to create a sense of warmth as the cool weather sets in –  this reflects in our colour choices for hair, makeup and wardrobe. Shades and hues of purple are a must for lips, eyes and nails. There’s a colour in this spectrum to suit every age and complexion. Many of us tend to stick with browns to be safe, but soft plums are just as natural looking and often add more sophistication to your look. Current trends are still seeing a pared back approach to foundation, so skincare is vital and foundations that are hydrating and light in texture are popular.

What are some of the most common makeup mistakes made by women?

I like to see individuality expressed when it comes to makeup, so there’s room for originality; however, I would suggest that eyeliner, particularly under our eyes, be blended out and down. Most of us are concerned this will create “panda eyes”, but done correctly it opens up the eye more than a straight application of eyeliner. 

Foundation has to be the most difficult aspect of makeup to get right. Choosing the right texture, tone, weight and finish is overwhelming. My advice is to choose a couple of foundations to mix and match throughout the year. It’s ok to experiment by combining products – and always colour match to area of skin showing the most – if this is your chest and shoulders, then match your foundation to this colour.

Eyebrows have been a focus for a few seasons now and this is an area I’m passionate about. It’s tricky to perfect, but a good rule of thumb is to use a colour one shade lighter if you’re dark haired or one shade darker if you’re blonde. And feather stroke the product in rather than block colour your brows to stay on trend.

Can you give us the down-low on airbrush makeup? 

Airbrush makeup describes the method of application. An airbrush gun mists the product (usually a silicone based foundation) onto the skin, creating a pixelated layer that should be light and barely discernible. I love it, but having learnt from a master airbrush artist (Hendra Widjaja in Perth) a light handed approach is imperative and often a combination of both traditional and airbrush techniques produces the perfect result. If you can see the product layered on the skin, then the benefit of the technique is lost. Remember that makeup needs to look great in person as well as in photographs. 

Airbrushing is ideal for: skins that flush and produce heat; skins where standard application results in foundation sliding off and breaking up; creating beautiful dimension with highlights and contours; and people that have a little more time for equipment set up and cleaning.

It’s not so ideal for complexions that have soft downy hair (the product can sit on top and draw attention to the hair); mature skin (may draw attention to expression lines); and, for times where you may accidentally disturb the foundation while it’s drying. Unlike traditional makeup application, airbrush foundation can be difficult to fix if disturbed during the drying process.

Finally, I get asked a lot if airbrush lasts longer than traditional makeup. My advice is to choose the foundation finish that’s best for you, first. I’ve used traditional methods for years and have always had great feedback on longevity. Airbrush makeup can be worn for any event. Having worked extensively in TV, some presenters like it and others prefer traditional methods – it’s all down to personal preference in the end. Have a chat to your makeup artist next time for their opinion.

What are some necessary steps to take to properly prep skin before applying makeup?

Having a background in beauty therapy means I’m focused equally on skin and brows even before I pick up the foundation bottle. Exfoliate and hydrate any way you can, but both steps will dramatically improve the way your skin looks with or without foundation. 

Having recently moved to Canberra from Perth, I can see a dramatic increase in the levels of dehydration here, so this simple two step process will have your skin thanking you. There are a lot of great products on the market varying in price, so there’s something for everyone. I’d always recommend a professional skin consultation at least once a year to service your skin’s needs.

The lovely Angie, before and after.

The lovely Angie, before and after.

Could you name some basic beauty products every Canberra girl should have in their makeup drawer?

The must haves include:

An exfoliating treatment, whether it’s a traditional physical scrub or a chemical exfoliant.

A moisturiser for your skin type – I like using facial oils followed by a hydrating mist on my clients.

A sunscreen – always, always, every day. There are many on the market that don’t feel heavy. I like Priceline’s SUN SPF 30+ or Clinique’s City Block.

A lip balm (you can use a gentle lip exfoliator like the Body Shop’s or use a little sugar in your lip balm, to clear away dry skin first)

A BB cream which is a gutsier tinted moisturiser. I like the Artdeco range.

Tell us about your time working on TV – how different was it compared to working on weddings?

There are actually a lot of similarities between wedding and TV makeup. Both are technically tricky, subject to time constraints, dependent on the location and lighting. Where they differ is that presenters know exactly how they want and need to look as they’re always on camera, whereas brides are often wanting advice and rely on your expertise. In addition, TV makeup requires you to be able to style hair as well.

There’s a misconception that TV makeup (like wedding makeup) needs to be heavier. The focus instead needs to be building dimension and contrast into the makeup. Heavy makeup will look heavy on TV particularly with HD broadcasting. And most networks opt for a more dewy relaxed approach these days anyway.

The days of completely matte makeup are almost non existent. TV brings you into the personal space of public personalities and celebrities who value their down time. So it’s imperative that a makeup artist is relaxed, efficient and completely discrete.

So unlike weddings you don’t need to converse – your presenter may be on the phone, prepping for an interview or simply taking time to zone out for a while. Brides often need reassurance and a relaxed chat is welcome.

In terms of weddings, do you recommend brides opt for eyelash extensions or full stick on lashes?

I love well-applied eyelash extensions when eye makeup is minimal. However, I find if I’m using eyeshadow shimmers, colours and doing a lot of blending, then I personally find they collect product which needs to be wiped away.

Find an experienced lash extension specialist for your wedding day, which ever way you go. I’ve seen some beautiful extensions but I’ve also seen too many that detract from bridal beauty. False lashes are an affordable, no fuss option and can be very easily individualised. 

Are there any trends you are noticing for brides in 2015?

Brides are definitely experimenting more with bold lips. With a range of longstay lip products on the market, a bold lip is much easier to maintain too. Reds and Berryies are the most popular requests.

I’m also finding brides are backing off from deep spray tans, opting instead for a spray tan that evens out skin tone rather than changing it. Brows and lashes bring focus to the eyes, and brides are well researched and often know the importance of these to the overall look. 

Gemma models some of Ali's work.

Gemma models some of Ali’s work.

What has been your “most unusual” makeup request from a bride, if any? 

No really unusual requests, however, sometimes I’m asked to do a style that I feel is outdated. Part of my job is to advise, but I’m also there to give my client what she wants. What is unusual one day is on-trend the next – so I constantly train and keep on top of the latest trends.

What is your approach when working with extremely stressed brides?

A makeup artist has an incredible opportunity to positively impact on the bride’s crazy flow of adrenalin. As soon as a bride sits in the makeup chair you have their focus, and can provide a space where they can take a big deep breath and close their eyes for 45 minutes – often for the first time in days.

It’s all about the bride – you do whatever is in your power. A reassuring word, ensuring your brushwork is controlled and relaxing, redirecting questions to the head bridesmaid, and – with experience – being able to fix falling hair pins, attaching veils, fixing tears in dresses, fitting shoes – it all happens.


Ali loves brows. She’s offering HerCanberra readers an Ultimate Brow Package for just $70. The package includes customised tint and reshape PLUS an opportunity to try the newest advance in eyebrow enhancement, Sleek Eyebrow Extensions, exclusive to Ali Price Makeup and Brow Studio.

For more information on Ali, click here.

the essentials

What: Ali Price Makeup and Brow Services
Where: Suite 18, Level One, Deakin Court, 27 Hopetoun Circuit, Deakin (above Double Shot)
When: By Appointment Monday to Saturday
Phone: 0414 747 346
Email: info@alipricemakeup.com.au
Web: www.alipricemakeup.com.au

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