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Express Makeup

Express Makeup

by Rae Morris, Steven Chee (Photographer)

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One of the world's most creative makeup artists shares her expertise in creating fabulous looks in just minutes
Rae Morris is a veteran of major international runway shows, where speed is critical, so she knows how to achieve beautiful looks fast. Here she reveals all the tricks and trade secrets she's learned over her highly successful career,


One of the world's most creative makeup artists shares her expertise in creating fabulous looks in just minutes
Rae Morris is a veteran of major international runway shows, where speed is critical, so she knows how to achieve beautiful looks fast. Here she reveals all the tricks and trade secrets she's learned over her highly successful career, from how to apply razor-sharp eyeliner to how to transform one's face with the perfect brow shape. Her number one tip: when you're in a hurry, always do your eyes first, as you can easily apply foundation and lipstick in your compact or rear-view mirror. Full of sensational looks, with step-by-step photographs and easy to follow instructions on how to achieve them, this book is a must-have for women who want to look gorgeous in just minutes.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"If you love playing with makeup and different looks, you are going to have a lot of fun with this book." —Advice Sisters.net

"Well done...the colorful pictures in this particular book make applications easy, even for beginners. Morris also uses different ethnicities in her demonstrations so any woman can benefit from this book." —Luxury Reading.com

Product Details

Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

Express Makeup

By Rae Morris, Steven Chee

Allen & Unwin

Copyright © 2010 Rae Morris
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-74269-194-7




I'm going to get straight to the point. Just a few essential tools will revolutionise the way you do your makeup as well as reduce the time it takes. Fingers and cotton buds just won't cut it.

If you prep your skin properly, and follow all the steps and tips outlined in this section, I guarantee your makeup will last twice as long. And you'll save time, as touch-ups will be minimised.

Here's a rundown on what you need, but don't despair — you may well own half these already. You'll find these tools in every professional makeup kit. Make sure you regularly check the shelf life of these items, as it's important to dispose of anything that's out of date.


To make a fabulous facial/body scrub — the best and cheapest you can ever imagine — mix together equal parts of bicarbonate of soda and any good-quality water-based cleanser from your pharmacy. For your face, use about half a teaspoon of each; for your whole body, use a handful of each. Combine these with a bit of warm water, and don't be afraid to get between your eyebrows and over your lips. This mix is recommended by many dermatologists as the gentlest and most non-reactant exfoliant. However, if you're reluctant, try it on your hand first.

Exfoliate your skin no more than once a week. Do not exfoliate at all if you are having chemical peels or using any products that contain Retin As, AHAs or BHAs. If you're undergoing treatment with a dermatologist, check with him or her first.


Always use non-alcoholic, non-perfumed baby wipes, as they contain fewer chemicals, thereby reducing the risk of skin reactions.


Makeup primer and moisturiser are essentially the same thing, except that a primer has more silicon, which is great for levelling out an uneven skin texture.

My golden rule is to use either primer or moisturiser under your foundation, as foundation needs to go into the skin and look like skin. Using more than one product underneath foundation makes it separate and look patchy, and it just doesn't last as long. So don't use both, and make sure that the one you choose contains a sunscreen.

It's important to ensure that your foundation, concealer, primer, sunscreen and moisturiser are all either oil-based or water-based. For example, if you're using an oil-based primer or moisturiser, then make sure your foundation is also oil-based. Similarly, if you're using a water-based primer or moisturiser, you need to use a water-based foundation.

Water-based products generally have the word 'aqua' in their list of ingredients, while oil-based products will list some sort of oil as their first ingredient. The oil-based products tend to slide off your face, so I prefer water-based products, which last longer.


You don't have to spend lots of money on makeup brushes. I've searched the world for top-quality, inexpensive brushes to use every day for my ultimate brush roll — all the brushes you need, selected by me, in one roll. Go to www.raemorris.com and buy them online. To test a brush you already have, stand it on its tip on the back of your hand — if the bristles collapse, replace the brush.

Double-ended concealer brush

This two-in-one concealer brush is fantastic for contouring on the cheekbone and concealing blemishes under the eye. It's quite firm, allowing you to cover problem areas accurately.

Fibre-optic foundation brush

This fantastic brush makes any foundation look flawless. Use it with all types of foundation. The porous white-tipped bristles absorb a lot of liquid, so only dip about a quarter of the brush in your foundation or, alternatively, apply it with your fingertips and just use the brush to blend.

Eyeliner brushes

These two eyeliner brushes are the only ones you'll ever need — the fine eyeliner brush on the right and the hooked version on the left. The latter is great for applying eyeliner to the inner corners of your eyes. Its bent shape means you can get right into the inner eye crease without your fingers getting in the way. And if you have one tiny blemish, either brush can do double duty as a mini concealer brush.

Combined mascara wand/angle brush

This is my number one brush — I couldn't do makeup without it. Use the wand end to comb your eyebrows and remove clumps of mascara. Use the angled end to apply eyeliner, get eye product into the lash line and define your brows. If your lipstick is beginning to bleed, dip the angled end in foundation, and retrace the outline of your lips to redefine them

The best way to clean your brushes is with brush cleaner, which is available from professional makeup stores. With just one dip, you can sterilise all your brushes to hospital standards, and they dry within seconds. I clean my brushes about twenty times a day, and it doesn't affect the quality. One 5-litre bottle of brush cleaner will last you for at least five years. The alternative is to wash your brushes in hot, soapy water no less than once a week, then rinse well.

Mini square blending brush

This brush is essential for blending eyeliner or eye shadow around the eyelash line. Its small size helps you keep your eye shadow perfectly in place.

Eye shadow blending brushes

Yes, ladies, having only one blending brush won't cut it; I own about fifty, so you should invest in at least three. Choose each brush depending on the size of the area you wish to cover — the larger the area, the larger the brush, and vice versa.

Lip brush

If you use a firm synthetic lip brush that is slightly longer and stronger than the standard lip brush, you'll avoid those unwanted stray brush hairs that ruin your lip line. Also, a synthetic brush doesn't absorb as much product, so more ends up on your lips.

Kabuki brush

I could not do my job without this little miracle brush. It's like a ball of cotton wool and does just about everything, from powdering to applying blush, bronzer and highlighter. You can use it to contour and blend eye shadow, all without leaving awful brush marks. Buy at least two.

Powder brush

I mainly use a powder brush to apply shimmer to the body or, rarely, as a substitute for a kabuki brush. Use it to powder or bronze, but be careful when using it to apply blush because if it's too big your blush may go from your forehead to your jawline. And if it's flat on the end, it will leave edges that are hard to blend.

Fan brush

The fan brush is great for highlighting your cheekbones and various parts of your body, such as your collar bone. It also helps remove messy fallout after you've applied eye shadow.


You need two to three shades of foundation so you can match the colour of your foundation to your skin tone all year round. There are so many different types that deciding what to buy can be overwhelming. Here's a list of what's available.

Liquid-based: for all skin types, but first check whether it's water - or oil-based. Sheer to medium coverage.

Grease-based: for mature skin, and dry or scarred skin. Medium to heavy coverage.

Oil-based: for dry skin, and to achieve an anti-shine effect.

Water-based: for sheer coverage on all skin types. My favourite!

Powder-based mineral foundation: for a velvety texture on all skin types.

Foundations also offer several different types of coverage: for stunning skin with no blemishes, go for invisible; for subtle blemishes or slight pigmentation, choose sheer; for sheer, choose medium and high.


There are two types of blush — cream and powder. Only use powder blush on top of powder foundation and/or face powder, or cream blush on top of liquid or cream foundation.


If you want to matte down your skin with powder without creating a cakey effect, blot your skin with non-powdered blotting papers first. Or simply use them whenever your skin looks too shiny.

Face powders come in two basic forms — compressed and translucent.


These come in two types — cream or powder — and shades range between a shimmery cream and a deep golden bronze. To find the exact shade to suit you, and also how to apply it, see 'Highlight'.


Not much explanation required here. Always use tweezers on an angle so you don't stab yourself. And make sure they're easy to grip. When you need to resharpen them, just use a metal nail file. To clean tweezers, wipe them with a cotton bud dipped in antiseptic.


Besides the perfect foundation, your eyebrows are the most important feature on your face, so it's worth buying good brow pencils.


I've used this amazing little secret throughout the book. Brow mascaras are normally used to temporarily conceal grey regrowth in eyebrows and on hairlines. They are rare and hard to find but great for temporarily lightening or darkening, covering grey and for matching the colour of your brows to your natural hair colour.


These are fabulous for both the inner rims and around the eyes. They have a lot more pigment and a lot more intensity than generic eye pencils. And because they're waxy, they feel comfortable, especially on the inner rims of your eyes. Buy pencil eyeliners in each of these essential colours — black, grey, deep brown and creamy white.


You only get one chance to nail eyeliner, and I always recommend a gel eyeliner over a liquid one, as liquid eyeliner tends to crack. Gel eyeliners are easy to use and don't dry as fast as liquid eyeliner, so you have more time to blend. And when they're dry, they're waterproof. Always apply gel eyeliners quickly with a sharp-angled brush.


Liquid eyeliners leave no room for mistakes. The only time I use them is to intensify blackness around the eyelash line — for example, after I've done a smoky eye.

Eye shadows

Stay away from cream eye shadows, as they crease in seconds. When buying eye shadows, look for the richest, most intense pigments you can find. Test this by wiping eye shadow with your clean fingertip once. If that's your desired colour, buy it, but if you have to apply it several times to achieve the intensity of colour you want, give it a miss. You can always soften down an intense colour with translucent powder.

For your express makeup kit you need at least three eye shadow colours — a neutral colour, one that intensifies your eye colour and one that highlights it. To find your perfect eye shadow colours — the ones that will complement and highlight your eye colour — see the eye colour charts.


Don't spend hours doing fabulous smoky eyes then leave your lashes looking like straight fence posts! If your lashes don't curl naturally, use a manual eyelash curler before applying mascara. You can also buy a mini lash curler (left) for those odd hairs you just can't reach.

If you're terrified of eyelash curlers, buy a heated one (right). You can use both these before and after mascara. The gentle warmth of the heated curler is comforting, whereas the manual type can pinch your eyelids if it's not used correctly.


I only use black mascara on eyelashes, as brown or grey shades make your lashes look dirty and unfinished. Once you use the 'comb' mascara you'll never use a wand again. Note: waterproof mascaras do not break your lashes — it's the way you remove your mascara — so always have waterproof remover on hand!


If you're confused about what colour lipstick suits you, go for mahogany (think of your natural lip colour, but intensified). It suits everybody, and it's the only shade in the colour wheel that is both 'cool' and 'warm'. So, whatever your age, skin tone or hair colour, it's perfect. And there's a bonus — mahogany lipstick makes your teeth look whiter.

Other lip essentials are your signature lipstick colour, the colour that suits you perfectly and makes you look and feel great; a clear lip gloss and a tinted one; and a gold or shimmery gloss highlighter. I only use lip pencil if I want a matte effect, and I always colour in the whole lip.

If your lipstick suddenly smells or tastes different, chances are it's gone off. Throw it out immediately.


Skin [] Skin scrub (bicarbonate of soda + water-based moisturiser)
[] Moisturiser
[] Primer
[] Anti-shine primer
[] Foundation
[] Concealer
[] Powder (if required)
[] Highlighters
[] Luminiser (if required)
[] Bronzer
[] Blush
[] Contour cream
[] Sunscreen

[] Tweezers
[] Brow pencils
[] Brow mascaras
[] Kohl pencils (black, grey, deep brown and creamy white)
[] Gel or liquid eyeliner
[] Eye shadows/pigments (at least three different colours
[] Mascara
[] Eyelash curlers
[] False lashes
[] Eyelash applicator
[] Latex
[] Sticky tape (for eyeliner)
[] Eye drops

[] Lipstick
[] Lip gloss
[] Lip pencil
[] Lip balm

[] Hand cream(also great for cracked heels)
[] Cuticle oil

Makeup brushes
[] Brush cleaner
[] Double-ended concealer brush
[] Fibre-optic foundation brush
[] Eyeliner brushes
[] Combined mascara wand/angle brush
[] Mini square blending brush
[] Eye shadow blending brushes
[] Lip brush
[] Kabuki brush
[] Powder brush
[] Fan brush
[] Disposable mascara wands (or clean the one you're about to throw out)

Other essentials
[] Non-perfumed, non-alcoholic baby wipes
[] Blotting papers — non-powdered
[] Makeup remover
[] Waterproof makeup remover
[] Tissues
[] Hair clips
[] Cotton buds
[] Manicure scissors
[] Cotton pads
[] Hand mirror

Express fixes

Use your express makeup kit to touch up your makeup — fast. Here are some quick tips.


If your skin is too shiny, use non-powdered blotting papers. They'll de-shine your skin in seconds and work better than powder.

Tone down flushed skin with an anti-red primer. These are available at your cosmetic or pharmacy counter.

In hot weather, use a grease-based foundation, as it's water-resistant. However, if your foundation is dripping, cool your face down first. Drink some cold water, wet a towel and throw it in the freezer for a minute, then wrap it around your neck to cool down your body. Alternatively, wrap a few ice cubes in a fresh cleaning cloth — preferably not one you've just used to wipe down the kitchen bench — and tie it around your neck. This is how we cool down actors and models on set during a heatwave. Another tip is to keep a cheap battery-operated face fan in your bag. It's safe, light and compact. I've used one on Hugh Jackman many times.


If you're always in a rush, consider keeping your eyebrows and lashes tinted to your desired colour, and invest in lash extensions so you don't need to apply mascara. They look incredibly natural and can last up to six weeks. Waterproof mascara also helps.

When your mascara runs, squirt some foundation on the end of a cotton bud and use it as an eraser.

If your curled lashes are starting to straighten out like fence posts, warm up a heated eyelash curler and redo.

Before using a cotton bud to touch up around your eyes, especially the inner rims, wet it with eye drops. You'll not only soothe your eyes but also reduce the risk of leaving behind any fibres.


Apply lip balm heavily to dry lips before you even start your makeup, then let it soak in. By the time you apply lipstick, you'll have luscious, soft lips that will make your lipstick easier to apply. It'll last longer too. I love using lip balm on cuticles, cracked heels and crusty elbows.


Excerpted from Express Makeup by Rae Morris, Steven Chee. Copyright © 2010 Rae Morris. Excerpted by permission of Allen & Unwin.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Rae Morris is Australia's top makeup artist, having won the prestigious Australian Makeup Artist of the Year award four times over. She is also the makeup director for Australian Fashion Week and was the keynote speaker at the 2009 International Make-Up Artist Trade Show. She divides her time between Sydney and New York. Steven Chee is a fashion photographer who specializes in faces and makeup. They are the coauthors of Makeup.

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