Last Updated on 1st March 2010

With a reputation as one of the industry’s leading make up artists, Nadira V Persaud is recognised for her unique style and her ability to create beautiful, flawless skin. We pick her brain for top tips and practical advice…

Nadira, you’ve been working in make up for more than ten years , I’m sure things aren’t the same now as they were when you first began. What has been the biggest change for you, in the way we approach make up?

Make up has gone through so many changes and one of the biggest changes is from film to digital and hdtv.  As a make-up artist I have had to adapt my kit and styles to suit these mediums by using Airbrushing and mineral make up.  I am open to change and find it quite a challenge, but my style has always been to keep skin beautiful and enhance natural beauty rather than going against what is already there.   In terms of the beauty industry we haven’t changed much, but technology has and more beauty products have a scientific theory behind them so they just keep getting better and better. 

Have things reverted to how they were? Going full circle like fashion does?

Indeed! Beauty trends come and go and come back again and that is the exciting part of my job; inspiring new looks from past decades.  I am loving the 90’s nudes come back at the moment, which was distinctly Bobbi Brown’s influence when she launched every possible shade of nude. This season we see many brands capturing soft, sumptuous nudes tapping into her innovation.

Recently beauty trends have moved away from the caked look, and make up is a lot more natural than it used to be. A fresher face can be a lot more beautiful than heavy eye make up first thing in the morning. What is the best way to achieve this?

There is no need to use cakey make up for a strong look because textures have become more fluid and weightless.  Giorgio Armani captures this so well with their sheer foundations and so do products like Fluid Sheer and Face Fabric where you can see the skin delicately peeping through.

Looking at your portfolio, the most striking thing about your models is their skin. Although I expect clear, flawless skin on any model, their skin seems to radiate light creating this iridescent feel to the photos. Is this something that is very difficult to achieve?

Flawless skin is easier to achieve than you think.  I never use much foundation, this is key, as I want the skin to come through.  Even with uneven or blemished complexions I can create near perfection by concentrating on the areas that need it the most.  Concealer is my secret weapon for this and using mineral foundations such as Lily Lolo make skin always looks natural and radiant. 

Most mornings I eat breakfast on the train, cereal bar in one hand and thermos mug in the other, so spending twenty five minutes in the mirror every morning creating the illusion of flawless skin isn’t an option for me. In fact I’ve perfected a 6 minute make up routine, which on some days can be done on the train! What would you suggest for girls like me, who just haven’t got time for a full face of foundation? Can this beautiful illuminated skin be translated to my six minute window?

Beautiful illuminated skin can be translated in minutes for girls on the go just by choosing the right products. On well moisturised skin, apply a creamy concealer such as Bobbi Brown’s under the eyes and onto any blemishes, use eyelash curlers then apply a smudge-proof mascara onto the top lashes only, then sweep on you favourite lipcolour or gloss preferably with a pink tone as this instantly brightens up the face, then if necessary a cream blush to finish.  I like Becca’s Beach Tints.

How do you cope in the mornings? Are you a full face kinda girl? Or beautifully naked one?

I am not a full make up kind of girl at all and I only aim to achieve good skin. I alternate between Caudalie, Ilcsi and Dr Alkaitis skin care, which are simple and plant based, so contain no harsh ingredients.

Winter is the worst , because the wind and cold dry out the skin, it leaves it dry, dull and lifeless. Moisturiser goes without saying, but it often leaves a greasy residue. What do you do to make sure your skin stays sparkling?

During long days working outside on TV jobs, I have discovered my skincare ‘holy grail ‘is to keep my skin looking natural, glowing and well hydrated.  I use Dr AlkaitisOrganic Replenishing Serum then apply the Organic Day Cream as  this absorbs well, yet protects the surface in cold weather and lasts all day.

Top dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe, has advised against using exfoliators during winter time, because they dry out the skin even more. Do you agree with this?

I would still advise using an exfoliator in winter months as skin can get congested, but I would suggest using a hydrating one less frequently.  I find Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm the perfect remedy for winter skin as it leaves a nourishing finish and brightening effect.

Without a daily dose of St Ives how else should we be looking after our skin during winter? What is your skincare regime?

I have always looked after my skin and I like to practice what I preach!  My regime entails a good diet, lots of water and as much sleep as possible, which I know we all struggle with.  I have regular Caci facials by Sima – 07723338011, a non surgical lift to tone and increase circulation, boosts hydration boost and a deep cleanse.  I often feel like I’ve had a face lift and I would highly recommend it.   The cold really affects me and Sima recently introduced me to Pressure Therapy to help my weak immune system.  This Lymphatic drainage massage is all about air and pressure and rids the body of toxins.  It can also decrease varicose veins but most of all it is the best treatment for well being.  

This week, we had our first day of sunshine! Woop woop! As we’re moving away from winter and into spring, how should our make up regime be changing?

As the weather is getting warmer we feel more compelled to add a bit of colour to our make-up regime, so for a quick and easy revamp change your lipcolour to something more punchy like Givenchy Printed Lips for maximum impact.  Palettes are an economic way to try experiment; I love Becca Showgirl with eyeshadows and liner for subtle but sexy feline eyes.  The creamy blush is a soft pop of colour to lift sunless skin and the pale pink gloss adds a neutral pout so that nothing is over the top, yet it is an ideal transition from Winter to Spring.

Models are a class of their own. But what make up do you use on your skin? Do your products change from season to season?

I use little make-up on myself, but do like to change products often and try different looks.  I would never go out without using my Shisedo eyelash curlers and a waterproof mascara which is currently Max Factor False Effect, then sometimes I use Clarins Waterproof eyeliner in Black to emphasise my eye shape.  For lips,  I tend to like my Decleor Lip balm or I like a subtle pink for an understated look by using Chanel Rouge Allure 76 and finally to avoid looking flat, I achieve a pinched cheek effect with Bourjois’s Mini Blush, which is a hint of pink with a bit of shimmer.

Finally, lips or eyes? Or both?

Never both, it can look aging and dated, always one or the other.  As we get older I would focus on the eyes and eyebrows or at least that is what I shall be doing!


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