A Masterclass with the Oz Beauty Expert


I recently had the pleasure of attending a workshop at the Canberra Centre with the beautiful Bonnie Gilles. Bonnie is a highly regarded hair and makeup artist as well as the creator of online destination OZ Beauty Expert.

Over the course of the workshop Bonnie took us through her tips and tricks for creating a natural, on-trend makeup look. I for one do not consider myself to be on trend in any aspect but I love trying new things and makeup is one thing I enjoy trying in new ways. Especially if it means I have learned a more efficient and flawless way to achieve the look I want.

Here is what I learned:


Primer and Foundation

Primers help give your makeup a more flawless look and come in different types. Some are moisturising and some have SPF, others have correcting properties. Try some out and choose one that works for you.

When it comes to choosing your foundation, make sure you match your natural skin tone. There’s nothing sexy about looking like an oompa loompa! If you have oily skin opt for a matte finish and for dry skin a dewy finish. If you are tanned, add a touch of bronzer to your foundation and mix it in or try a facial tanner to match your body tan.



Concealer and Powder

Bonnie suggests using concealer on your eyelids as a base for shadow as well as under the eyes to cancel out darkness. You can also add it to the sides of your nose if you get redness there, or anywhere else that needs balancing out.

Apply a translucent powder below your eyes to set the concealer. If you have oily skin or your skin can become oily throughout the day, apply the powder to your oil prone areas as well.


Bronzer & Highlighter

Add a small amount of bronzer to the face by brushing just below the cheek bones and then around the perimeter of the face and jawline. Make sure to use a large, fluffy brush. Harsh lines are not your friend!

Highlight the high points of the face such as the tops of the cheekbones, brow bone, down the middle of the nose and the cupids bow.



Bonnie chose to use an angled brush and powder to fill in the brows for this look. Fine strokes are key to achieving a natural look, so make sure to apply with small strokes following the natural hairs. Or if you prefer, use a fine tip brow pencil or pen in the same way.




According to Bonnie, blush is not optional, it’s a non-negotiable and I couldn’t agree more. Even if it is a pale shade, you have got to use it. Blush adds warmth and dimension to the skin as well as a natural glow. Brush onto the apples of the cheeks and slightly sweep up across the tops of the cheek bones.



On the day, Bonnie created a killer smokey eye which I am keen to replicate at home. First she started with a base shade that had a coral tone and used a fluffy brush to apply and blend across the whole lid.

Next add a second shade of soft brown to the crease and outer third of the eye and blend into the coral shade.

Finally use a third shade in dark brown or grey, apply to the outer corners of the eye and the lower lash line and blend away.




If you have straight lashes, curl them first and then apply mascara to top and bottom lashes.

If you want to go all out and do false lashes, prep your falsies by trimming them if they are too wide for your eyes and adding the glue to the band. Bend them as the glue is becoming tacky and then apply to the upper lash line. As this look doesn’t have any liner on the top lash line, go for a false lash that has a clear band rather than black.



Keep you liner simple and apply to the lower waterline of the eye. This look is best suited to a dark black shade.



Bonnie wanted to make the eyes the centrepiece of her look so went for a nude lipstick. Use a lip liner if you desire a more crisp edge or if you want to adjust the natural shape of your lip slightly. I personally like a matte lip but this look does look amazing with a more satin or gloss finish.


Final pop

Now for the final step: add shimmer to the inner third of the eye and inner corner. Add a touch of illuminator to the high parts of the cheek bones and cupids bow and you are good to go!


Lexi Keelan

Lexi Keelan

Lexi Keelan is an artist based in Canberra, Australia. Lexi has always harboured a passion for drawing, singing and playing the piano and changing up her hair style. She completed her Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development (Specializing in Art) Academy of Interactive Entertainment and runs her own business ‘Art by Lexi’.

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