Contouring with MAC Senior Artist Nicole Thompson

I’ve spoken before about taking every opportunity that comes your way. I’ve also spoken about the importance of getting yourself known in the industry of your choice. Studying at the Australasian College has made this so very, very easy for me to do. I want to be getting my name out there. I want to be meeting people that matter; people who can teach me things. If I had just moved to Sydney and tried my luck as a freelance artist, chances are I’d be back home in Victoria already saying it was too hard.

However, given my tendency to jump (almost physically) at any opportunity that sounds floats by me, and given that I’m currently lucky enough to be studying at TAC, I found myself sitting in the middle of the college watching Nicole Thompson (MAC Senior Artist) perform her ultimate contour routine in a workshop demo.

I was literally in awe. This woman, who has the most incredible hair I’ve ever seen (check out her Insta if you don’t believe me) was giving out her own personal tips. And here was I, learning from her.

Not only was I scribbling away as many words as I could remember her saying, I would end up sitting and staring at her as she worked. Being ten years into the business, she knew what she was doing. Her application was confident, not to mention beautiful. As I sat there I could feel this energy building up inside me, starting in my tummy and filling my whole chest.  I was inspired.  I wanted to be able to walk out of the building and take on everything.

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It’s moments like these that I really know I’m doing the right thing. I like those moments of excitement where I feel I could burst. I love realising just how passionate I am about makeup.

I also walked away with a million notes on Nicole’s personal tips! And yes, I will share my faves with you! What else am I here for?

My Top Six Tips From Nicole Thompson:

  1. If you want full coverage, don’t go overboard at first. Apply one layer and then come back later once the foundation has settled into the skin. Less is more.
  2. When it comes to highlighting and contouring, highlight first. It’s a more natural way to emphasise the highs and lows of the face and actually shows you where to contour easily.
  3. Powder products are best for contour as they’re matte. Matte sinks an area, while shimmer attracts light and emphasises.
  4. If you want to deepen a contour, change the colour or the brush. Simply adding more and more of the same shade is just going to make the area larger and messy looking.
  5. Use your phone’s torch option to check light and shine on the face. It can tell you quickly where you need to add more and where you’ve gone too far.
  6. Sometimes doing lipstick before eyes means the look doesn’t become too dramatic. It’s easier to gauge how strong the eyes should be when the lip colour is already on.
  7. As if nothing else could get me on the edge of my seat, Nicole invited us up at the end of her demo to shuffle through her makeup kit. I hope no one was looking at me as I took in everything before me, my eyes may have glowed strangely manic for a second! This is the stuff I only the stuff I only dreamt about a year ago, and yet here I am. Sifting through a MAC Senior Artist’s kit and having a chat with her.

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Have you had a moment when you knew you were on the right path? Let us know your own stories where the passion in you was spiked!

Rachel x


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