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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and it’s the perfect excuse to up your make-up game. We asked make-up artist James McKnight to share his tips on how to create three utterly gorgeous beauty looks for the most romantic day of the year.



BEST FOR: Date night or an evening out with the girls

GET THE LOOK: A slick of red lipstick can make any face look instantly elegant. If you plan to wear this statement shade on Valentine’s Day, keep the rest of your make-up pared down, which will give you a modern and chic look.

To get the perfect red lip, it’s important to do some prep work. “Your lips must be smooth and well exfoliated – this will create a smooth surface and prolong colour wear,” says James. “Use a fine sugar scrub or soft toothbrush to buff away dry skin from the lips. For a long lasting base for your lipstick, line the lips using a pencil such as i-shape, which has a smudge proof formula. Then apply your lipstick directly from the bullet or use a brush, for a more precise finish. Finish by blotting lips with a tissue and repeat the step once more,” adds James.

Try i-pout in Ruby Red – a super feminine shade with a demi-matte finish.

“Pair this romantic red lip with a natural eyeshadow, soft cheeks and a coat of mascara,” adds James.


BEST FOR: A first date or cosy night in

GET THE LOOK: Glistening skin, flushed cheeks and a pale lip is a simple look that works equally well for a romantic evening out or cosy night in.

For an ‘un-touched’ make-up look, go for soft, subdued shades that are close to your natural skin tone.

“For a fresh and flawless base, try mixing a tinted moisturiser and foundation together,” says James. “The foundation will give you coverage and staying power, while the tinted moisturiser will sheer out the finish and leave skin looking dewy and hydrated. If you have dark circles, redness or blemishes, use a lightweight concealer like i-conceal, to spot treat problem areas. For the rest of the face, keep the make-up soft and well blended. The idea is for the make-up to look like it is part of the skin and for this effect, cream or mousse textures are ideal, because they blend beautifully.”

Try i-colour Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow, which blends on effortlessly.

“Fair skin tones should opt for soft cool shades, such as Twilight, medium skin tones will look great in golds, like Crystal Quartz, while darker complexions can carry deeper tones like Chocolate Opal,” James says.

Give cheeks and lips a gorgeous glow with the multi-tasking i-crayon, which has a creamy formula that glides on with ease. “Use your fingers to pat it onto the lips and apples of the cheeks. Fair skin tones should opt for i-crayon in Rosy Glow or Pink Fancy, while Brown Sugar imparts a sophisticated nude hue to medium and deeper skin tones,” advises James.



BEST FOR: Late night dancing or an evening dinner date

GET THE LOOK: You can’t go wrong with a smouldering smokey eye on Valentine’s Day. “For a fast and easy to create smokey eye, start by blending i-smoulder in Charcoal over the eyelid, taking it right up to the crease,” says James. “Then soften any harsh edges with your fingertip. For more drama and definition, line the upper and lower lash line with the creamy liner pencil.”

If you prefer to use power eyeshadow, try i-shadow in Aspen, which contains four complimentary tones.

“Blend the mid-tone over the entire lid up to the crease, then use the darker shade through the crease and at the lash line to create definition,” adds James.

Smokey eyes should be the main focus of this look, so when it comes to the rest of your make up, keep it simple.

“A flattering nude lipstick or gloss, a sweep of subtle blush and a softly defined brow is a all you need,” says James.