collective makeup lessons Queenstown

Philippa and her tools!

I should have gone for a job interview this afternoon. I didn’t have one but I should have arranged one as I came out of Collective Hair and Makeup looking like a woman who knew what she wanted, could get anything she pleased and should be running a whole company by herself. Makeup put on well can do that.

Rewind fifteen years ago and I’m watching my sister apply so much black eyeliner she would scare the postman. This is how we learn about makeup, we watch our mums, older sisters, cousins, friends of friends slop foundation on the colour of the ripest oranges and think we look glamorous. Fast forward same fifteen years and I’ve been putting the same makeup on all those years ago whilst listening to Kylie Minogue and eating those same oranges. I have no idea what I’m doing and it shows. So when Collective said “come and have a makeup lesson”, I was terrified and intrigued about the whole secret world that some women live in and some just don’t ever enter into.

collective makeup lessons Queenstown

Getting into what we need

collective makeup lessons Queenstown

Finished eyes. I didn’t realise how amazing false eyelashes are!

Meeting Philippa is a dream. She’s neither terrifying or wearing too much makeup. She looks gorgeous and I want to look just like her. A good start. We chat through what I usually wear (bronzer, mascara, sometimes lipstick) and what I like and wanted to learn (smokey eye) and what I don’t (too much, feeling as thought I’ve got lots on) and work from there. I’m also told that she will do one half of my face and I’LL DO THE OTHER. This could be bad bad bad. But here goes.

collective makeup lessons Queenstown


Starting with prepping the face first (something I never do) to create a clean clear palette on which to work. It makes sense. You wouldn’t start painting your masterpiece on a dirty canvas and the same goes for the face. A simple primer (feels like you have nothing on) creates a clear base and also works like glue for your makeup, especially good if you’re going out dancing and getting sweaty. It also takes the pigment out of your face and then allows you to put it back in with makeup. Bingo!

Up first: eyes. Primer for the eyes to get started and then start layering. Philippa explains how important brushes are and how to have a few and they also don’t have to be expensive. If you’re adding creme, synthetic brushes work well. Powder; hair brushes. Always have three: 1- colour, 2- defining (little brush) and 3- blending (bigger and keep it relatively clean). For the smokey eye we wanted to create we would be using three colours, light, mid-range and then a darker colour on top. See I sound like an expert already.

collective makeup lessons Queenstown

Amazing Philippa

Tip: Primer/ moisturiser can also be used to take off excess if you feel a bit drag queen. So don’t worry about making mistakes. Eyeliner next to line the eye. A simple slanted brush (not liquid which is really hard to get right and you end up looking like a panda) and press it into the lash line. Mascara should be layered and always work up and down to give major coverage. You can add concealer under the eye to lift under the eye and should be a shade lighter than your foundation. My bronzer, which I absolutely love, can be put on in a number three motion. Sweep across the forehead around towards the nose and along the jawline. Always add some to the neck as we don’t usually tan there.

collective makeup lessons Queenstown

My own kit. I now know how to use

And to finish, fake eyelashes. They make SUCH A  DIFFERENCE. Adding volume (yes I said that) and also making your eyes look wider. Boom!

Collective Hair and Makeup offer you the chance to learn as you go i.e. actually putting some of the makeup on yourself, or a complete makeup session where Philippa will do your makeup for a special occasion. Leave about an hour.

Collective Hair and Makeup
29 Beach Street, Queenstown
03 442 5144