3 women share their lockdown make-up journeys

Whether under lockdown or not, these three women share how make-up has been their secret weapon of choice

It's all about the lashes, according to these three women.
It's all about the lashes, according to these three women.
Image: Unsplash/Kim Carpenter

Lisa Samuels, photographer 

As lethal behind the lens as she is in front of it, Lisa’s undeniable skill, creativity and ability to get the best out of anyone when it comes to photography, is complemented by her cool-girl energy and hidden hair and make-up skills.

My relationship with make-up:  I’m not typically one to wear a full face of make-up every day and would only use it if I had important meetings or felt like I needed to be more presentable and professional with a client I’m working with. Depending on the client, I’ll decide how minimal or extra my make-up needs to be. If I know it’s something they have an interest in, it opens a door to a conversation and possibly new business opportunities.

During lockdown: I would put on make-up when shooting a self-portrait or when I felt like I needed to get myself out of a slump. It’s such a therapeutic feeling and allows me to create in other ways. I’m able to experiment with colours that I wouldn’t typically use, without walking out the house and possibly looking like a clown.

I would usually sit for 45 minutes to an hour before lockdown but now it’s no more than 20 minutes. I used to spend between R400 and R600 on key items every other month and would splurge on unnecessary items, while also limiting myself to buying quality products that last throughout a day.

But I haven’t bought anything make-up related since lockdown started. When it comes to make-up, there are a few products you can’t skimp on, especially when you have a darker complexion. Some stores just don’t cater for the brown skin girl market correctly.

Go-to everyday make-up look: If I do attempt a look, it’ll be a soft natural brown-toned eye, with a winged liner and dewy skin. I try not to use make-up too often while being under lockdown. I want to allow my skin to breathe and glow on its own. A good face mask, moisturiser and the oils of life serum to keep the skin hydrated are my go-to.

Zoom meeting secret weapon: A winged liner is something I swear by! No matter the occasion, it solves everything.

Under lockdown I’ve been practising ... experimenting with bold colour, understanding how colour pigments pick up differently on my skin tone than the next person, or a picture I referenced. Understanding the “canvas” I’ve been given, and knowing that it’s possible to achieve something even if you thought it wasn’t possible.

Make-up products I swear by: Rimmel liquid liner and Fenty Beauty Ma’Damn lipstick — use that combination and you’re taking over the world. It gives you such power and confidence that you can do anything. I’ve probably secured most of my jobs when I meet someone wearing either one of those make-up products.

Siwe Lawrence, creative strategist and photographer  

Multifaceted and never short of creative juices to let flow, Siwe is a force in the advertising and photography space. When she’s not laying down the strategic direction for some of the country’s most noteworthy commercials, she is dabbling in bold eyeshadow colours, a power lip and can never say no to a little glam or a lash.

My relationship with make-up: It has changed in two ways. First from a maintenance point of view, it was initially a “love-but-don't-care” relationship. I loved it enough when I needed to make an effort, but didn’t care when I didn’t have to go out or make an effort. Since then, making an effort is actually what gets you to “show up” to your day, so I try applying the bare minimum every day. Second, I think lockdown has given me time to really sit with the concept of make-up and be inspired by looks and others’ experimentation. I’ve always been low-key obsessed with time-lapse make-up videos. My birthday was during lockdown and I got inspiration from my sister’s live tutorial to do an eye look for my birthday, which also inspired the outfit I bought for my birthday.

During lockdown: Applying make-up has become tricky during lockdown because of our masks, especially if you are lazy on that particular day. Why wear make-up that no-one will really see and that the mask will smudge anyway? I definitely apply less make-up, and because I’m at home, I’m more comfortable with being barefaced and letting my skin breathe. On average, I spend about R200 on make-up, mainly for foundation and concealer, and it hasn’t changed much since lockdown. Time wise, I have spent more or less the same time on doing my make-up. It really depends if I’m feeling extra or not, then maybe 10 minutes more.  

Go-to everyday make-up look: After a thorough cleansing routine I apply foundation, blush, lip liner and Vaseline lip balm. On days I feel extra or want to shoot content, I’ll play about with eye shadow.

Zoom meeting make-up secret weapon: My video is usually off ... because data. But on the rare occasion that it’s switched on, after grabbing my wig, it’s a lippie and some blush.

Under lockdown, I have been practising ... I am now a strip lash application pro! I used to be so terrible at it.

Make-up products I swear by: The Catrice 3 Blusher Palette in 010 Bronzeclat. It has a bit of shimmer in it so it acts like a bronzer at the same time. It lifts my face before a Microsoft Teams meeting or when I’m really looking to make that effort.

Raine Tauber, make-up artist and LMDA Ateliers agency director 

It’s hard to forget Raine once you witness her innate talent for make-up; unmistakably vibrant hair and unique nail art. Known to love a splatter of glitter and bold editorial looks, she is never without her signature red lip, dewy skin and standout lashes.  

My relationship with make-up: Pre-lockdown it was loads of meetings: as head of design for fashion week, I do a lot of press so I always wore a significant amount of make-up to look good on camera. During lockdown, I haven’t worn much make-up, which has been so amazing for my skin. Now I only apply make-up if I’m shooting campaigns for Instagram or going live or for Zoom meetings, so it has been really nice to have an excuse not to wear anything.

During lockdown: I am a 30-minute-face girl. I don’t really spend much longer than that doing make-up ever unless it’s a really big event. My daily look usually consists of my skincare routine, foundation, concealer, blusher, highlighter, maybe a bit of eyeshadow or pencil, loads of mascara and either a red lip or nude gloss.

Go-to everyday make-up look: I’ve been doing loads of face masks, all the sera and all the steps in my skincare routine, which has been really lovely. If I am going to pop on a bit of make-up or go to the shops, I just put on some mascara. If my skin is feeling or looking a bit dull or uneven, I add a smidgen of concealer.

Zoom meeting make-up secret weapon: Lashes and lips — I put on a red lip and layers of mascara. We are all benefiting from the fairly low camera quality on the Zoom call so you can get away with pretty much anything.

Under lockdown, I have been practising ... I’ve just been enjoying the freedom to take inspiration from a multitude of things and see where that goes without any pressure. If it’s not for a shoot and if it’s not for on set I just take any inspiration that resonates, play about with a concept and see what techniques get born out of that. I have experimented with some foiling on lips actually — it’s not the easiest thing to do. I have also been playing about with different glues that have different tackiness and see what works best.

Make-up products I swear by: I am living for the Chanel Baume Essentiel in Sculpting. It's quite subtle, more glossy than shiny and it works for cheekbones and lids and gives my skin that really luxe, balmy look.