I’m pretty low-key with my makeup – every day I brush on some mineral foundation, swish some neutral eyeshadow and blush and if I’m not eating straight away, a slick of lipstick. Takes about 2 minutes from whoa to go.

My super-speedy routine is ok for most days. Actually, even for black-tie events and weddings  I can get dressed and made-up in about 15 minutes (I have bobbed hair for which there’s a hairstyle option of one).

However, I recently had to front up to do a photoshoot for my business. I hate having my photo taken at the best of times, but in a situation where I would be front and centre of every image, some of which might end up in print media? I decided that it was worth the money to let a professional take charge.

After a bit of research amongst my girlfriends, I decided to get my makeup done at Mecca Cosmetica. The trained makeup artists at the stores offer two services – a 45 minute makeup application for $90 or a 90 minute makeup lesson for $150. Both of the charges are redeemable with a purchase so I think it’s excellent value for money if you’re intending to buy some product anyway.

I booked an appointment on a Saturday afternoon and turned up about 30 minutes early, but Siobhan sat me down in a chair anyway and we started discussing the kind of effect that I wanted to achieve – a neutral look that would work with a variety of different coloured outfits, was conservative enough for work makeup and would photograph well without pastiness or shine in mid-afternoon sun. She talked me through every process, from building the layers of eyeshadow to achieve contour and definition to how best to deal with my tumultuous pregnancy skin.

At the risk of a bit of ego-bruising, here are the untouched before and after photos (eek!).

If you are planning on getting make-up done for photographs, I highly recommend you take a camera along! Siobhan found it helpful to see how the makeup was sitting via the camera lens and was able to adjust colours and shades accordingly eg the foundation was a little bit darker than my natural shade so I wouldn’t look washed out the afternoon light. I was most impressed by her care and attention to detail and she actually ended up spending 1.5 hours with me.

To cover the cost of my makeover I decided to buy the NARS Sheer Glow foundation (my new favourite product!). It was more than I’d normally pay for a foundation ($99) but combined with Siobhan’s expertise and effort it actually felt like a bit of a bargain.

PS If you’d like to see the makeover in action, here are the results of the photoshoot taken by Cheryl of Business Chic.