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Elite Hair & Makeup Academy

Health and beauty Melbourne
Elite Hair & Makeup Academy

Brush up on your makeup skills with the professionals

Justine Poniris knows a thing or two about makeup. As well as founding the Elite Hair & Makeup Academy ten years ago, she spent eight years working for MAC, has been busy with the brushes backstage at countless fashion weeks, created Paintbox Cosmetics (specially for those in the trade, who also sell it) and has worked on Mamma Mia, The Lion King and the Logies.

When she’s not teaching at the Academy in Melbourne’s CBD Poniris continues to work as an in-demand artist. In the space of a month she’s taken on jobs as diverse as a Ted Baker shoot (all clean ’50s lines) and the Miss Universe finals (plenty of bright, shimmery eyes).

Time Out visits Poniris at the Elite Hair & Makeup Academy on Elizabeth Street, which is decked out with mirrored makeup stations and a candy store supply of colours with which to experiment.

In the Makeup Artist Essentials course you can expect to learn things like how to build up coverage; what colour combinations work; how to do a smoky eye; when to use a smudge pot, a kohl pencil, cream shadow, or powder pigment; and how to shampoo and dry your brushes.

Tonight it’s the Advanced Makeup course for make-up artists. Here you’ll learn how to airbrush (great for concealing rosacea, acne, or damaged pores, or tattoo coverage on the body); use different textures; do make-up for black and white photo shoots; handle celebrities without losing your cool; and how to make the client more comfortable (here’s a tip: don’t come at their eyeballs with your brush straight on – angle it up their face!).

Then there are a series of more specific courses, from Airbrushing for Professionals to Long Hair Styling and Elite Lashes. For dates and prices, check out the Elite Hair and Makeup Academy website.

Top tips from Justine Poniris

• Don’t draw eyeliner underneath your peepers, as you’ll end up with a look that’s way too harsh. Instead, zigzag the colour on using a brush

• For an airbrushed look, apply bright cream blush on before foundation, in a C-shape from the hairline. Pat it into a wider shape, then stibble the foundation onto it with a brush.

• Bend your mascara wand so that you can access every part of the brush. Stroke the mascara downwards first to cover any traces of eyeshadow.

• A dab of gold powder on the centre of the eyelid or lip makes them pop.

• Unlike other powders, you can dust with translucent rice powder as often as required, as there will not be a build-up of colour or texture.

• You can set cream eyeshadow by using a powder pigment, perhaps a shimmer, on top.

• Every basic make-up kit should have gold and silver – they’re great combined with colours.

• Don’t treat every face the same. Not every eye can pull off a wing tip, for instance.


Venue name: Elite Hair & Makeup Academy
Address: Lvl 9
94 Elizabeth St
Static map showing venue location