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Michael Brown: Makeup tips for autumn racing carnival

22nd March, 2019
Michael Brown
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Makeup extraordinaire Michael Brown has worked with the likes of Jesinta Franklin and Sofia Richie and knows the key to a flawless, impactful beauty look. For autumn racing, your look should be simple and understated and here Michael shares his tips for helping you get race day ready.

In the lead up to race day, are there any routines or tips you can recommend to getting our skin looking flawless?
My biggest tip before any event, day or night, is MOISTURE! Makeup is only as good as the skin underneath… so up your moisture game the week prior to a race day. Add a hydrating mask into your routine and exfoliate the skin (this can be for body also) the day before, to ensure skin is smooth and ready to accept the makeup you will apply.

What are the biggest makeup trends for this Autumn racing season?
Smudged out winged liners, deep lip stains with a touch of gloss in the centre of the lips and killer skin glow are my top picks.

Winter trends don’t necessarily mean deeper shades all over, but they are definitely not as bright as spring racing. Winged liner has made a comeback everywhere, but using liners that you can smudge to give a softer, smokey look to the outer eye area. I love playing with nude brown, orange and wine lip shades in autumn, but to add a little lift and plump, add a slightly lighter lip gloss on the centre of the mouth. Glow is always the biggest request for any makeup, but in winter we want to see a glow that looks like hydrated skin, more so than an actual metallic highlight applied to the cheekbone.

What are the big no-nos when it comes to autumn carnival make up?
I think you always have to remember the races are a day time event. Your makeup may look amazing in warm light or in front of the makeup mirror, but give a little test outdoors and see if blending and skin still looks realistic when in natural or sunlight. Being a day event, I tend to use less shimmer style shadows and highlighters, as often lighting is too harsh for this type of effect and it doesn’t dazzle the way you may think it would, or like it does in softer, warmer lighting.

Going to the races is a big day event and between the weather, perspiration, eating and drinking our make up can sometimes look less than cute. What are your tips for maintaining that on point look?  
It is all in the prep and knowing your skin habits. If you know your skin usually shines easily, foundation/concealer can easily crease or you are known to eat your lipstick shade off, then think about the textures you are applying to your face. I tend to use multiple primers for day events especially, as lighting is less forgiving than at night. Use a mattifying primer in the centre t-zone of the face to keep shine minimal, and only add an illuminating/glow primer to the upper cheekbone area. If you usually get really shiny, apply a light sweep of translucent matte powder over the shine concern area, then apply foundation as per usual. Lastly, where there is expression, there could be makeup creasing! Thoroughly hydrate these areas and use less product where possible to help avoid a build up.

Jesinta Franklin and Michael Brown
Image via

Who should we be keeping an eye out for when it comes to trend setting make up? 
I follow so many amazing makeup artists around the world for inspiration for complete makeup looks, products and shades. A few of my faves include @Hungvanngo, @morgane_martini and @Patrickta.

Beauty bloggers who create art pieces on their faces are amazing and make you think outside the box, but the races are not always the best place to start trialling the most out there shades and beauty looks, sometimes, less is best.

Matching your make up to your outfit can be a bit daunting. How do you co-ordinate your make up with your race day outfit without clashing colours?
It’s very important to not ‘compete’ with your outfit, but simply complement for louder garments and then brighten and lift the more simple of frocks. For ladies that have loud prints and/or patterns, its important to keep makeup shades simple and complementary to skin tone—let the outfit shine in pictures, rather than big bold beauty looks. However, if you have an an outfit that is not so bright, possibly a block shade like black or white, that’s when you can add a bold lip and create more of a statement beauty look. A great look is a balanced look!

What are some of your must-have products?
I am loving Olay Luminous Whip Moisturiser— it has 8hr shine control, but light as air moisture, PERFECT for under foundation, acting as a primer.

Cinch Skin is a moisturising illuminator, I love it on the cheekbones under foundation—adding light before coverage is a great way to create a more realistic skin glow. (It also comes in a spray, perfect for the body!).

Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Bronzer—bigger than your average bronzer, but thin packaging so it doesn’t take up too much room. Perfect bronzer for an all over face glow, shading and sculpting the face for a light contour and an eyelid bronze wash of colour!

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Mascara—the only mascara I use, it literally replaces false lashes, super volume without the clumps. (I do love a lash, but often it creates a very ‘done’ makeup look more suited to night events).

Kat Von D Signature Brow Pencil—brows are such a good area of the face to dress up for races glam. A simple brush up and some light shadow flicks to create density and shape to the face works every time.

Salt by Hendrix lip scrub—lipstick needs smooth lips to be able to hold onto for longevity wear. A little lip scrub pre lipstick application is key for lip success.

Who do you look to for inspiration for race day make up?
I look at Hollywood red carpets mainly. A) they are glamorous, on trend and usually refined beauty on all ages of women and B) most Hollywood award show red carpets start during day light hours so its great to see beauty in natural light, as you would trackside.

Do you have any favourite make up brands that have nailed this seasons colour trends? 
I’m obsessed with Marc Jacobs Beauty and Charlotte Tilbury. Both brands are (fairly) new still to Australia, but you only have to check out their Instagram and see how their shades are so on trend, wearable, but still fun and experimental.

Are you expecting to see any eye or lip make up trends this season at the track?
Nude, bronzed eyes are always a winner as these tones seem to go with nearly all shades of outfit choices… but the socket area of makeup lately, has a lot more definition to create a slight ‘cut crease’ which gives lift and spends the eye. Loving the smudged out, almost shadow like winged liner – also to lift the eye, but not as harsh as a liquid set winged liner.
For lips, lots of rich shades Deep nudes, caramels, orange based tones and also lots of stained wine shades to give hints of autumn colour.

If you want to be a little daring this autumn carnival season, what would you suggest would be a fun yet trending look? 
I would say a fun yet trending look is really accentuating the outer corner of the eye… think smudged winged liner, but rather it only being visible across the top lash line extending outwards, it is also visible on the outer socket line to make a horizontal V shape. It is an eye catching look when the eyes are looking down, as the V is so visible, but when eyes are open, the entire outer corner of the eye is lifted outwards blending into the top lash line.

For more of Michael’s work check out #MakeupByMichaelBrown or

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