Talking fresh colour, perfect skin and great hair with the inimitable Louise Rae

With over twenty years’ experience in the world of makeup and a true passion for all things beauty, the preternaturally stylish (and very fun) Louise Rae is one of my favourite people to talk to about trends. MECCA’s New Zealand Education Partner, the brunette powerhouse is a fountain of knowledge as well as not one to gate-keep when it comes to tips and tricks, making her the perfect person to talk to about what’s hot right now in the world of makeup.

Louise, it’s 2024, are there still makeup rules that need to be followed, or have we thrown those out the window?
As a makeup artist for over 25 years, there is one point of view I have always remained the same on – there are never any rules when it comes to makeup! Instead, let’s embrace individuality and champion ourselves to experiment, try and play with all textures, brands and looks. Throw those rules you have out the window indeed and start having fun with makeup. The beauty of makeup is that you can take it all off if you make a mistake! And make no mistake, I do this regularly even after all these years!

As we head further into 2024, are we all about lips or eyes, cheeks or skin?
It all depends on who you are talking to! We are seeing some incredible looks and trends coming through, from the Pat Mcgrath Maison Margiela glass skin look frenzy, to the “Cool Girl No Makeup Makeup look”, to the Mob Wife trend which is all about smoky eyes, overdrawn lips and strong contours.
If it’s a focus on eyes, try and experiment with textures and colours, if it's cheeks, absolutely try out the combination of powders and creams combined. One thing I will say though, generally speaking, there should always be a focus on skin. I feel that if you can perfect the skin - however you want it to look…matte, dewy, highlighted - taking the time to spend on your skin is important – then anything else you add is a bonus!

Are there any colour palettes that you see defining the new year, much like the tsunami of Barbie pink did in 2023?
I think it’s the return of “make up your way”. People are feeling confident enough to wear that bold lip they have always wanted (Taylor Swift Red Lip craze anyone?) or experiment with colour more.
There will definitely be a trend we didn’t see coming this year (Like Pink Barbiemania) but for now, I think people are loving experimenting with brands they haven’t tried before and looks they have always wanted to give a go. For me though, I love reaching for Colour Palettes that are warm and peach-toned – I love anything that gives the face a warmness and freshness like NARS Afterglow Liquid Blush. I can’t talk about these enough, they are loaded with hydrating skincare benefits, it’s such a beautiful liquid formula that creates a lasting, natural-looking glow. I like to apply three dots on each cheek and blend with a MECCA MAX Tapered Complexion Brush - you are good to go and oh so fresh and glowy!

MECCA predicts a lean towards the return of matte finishes, how can we use matte but still keep it flattering - especially on not-so-dewy skin?
Matte finishes can seem scary to some, but the most important thing to remember is skin prep first and foremost. If it is a matte lipstick you want to wear, prime lips first – I use the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Primer, which is a super conditioning and lightweight wax that is the perfect base for any lip look. The formula creates an even base for pigment to glide onto and holds product to prevent feathering or fading, perfection.
When it comes to foundation, these days even if it’s the matte look you are going for, most brands infuse their foundations and powders with skincare so they glide on easy, are long wearing and matte but your skin will still feel nice and supported while wearing them. NARS Light Reflecting Foundation is a great go-to as it’s medium coverage but easily buildable to get that more heavy matte look, but still has a natural finish. A powder go-to for me would be the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder – it’s a long-wearing powder formulated perfectly to create a smooth, velvety texture and is long wearing. It’s a very modern take on a matte powder.

What are some of your favourite new releases as we barrel into 2024, and why?
With summer still in full force and lots of outdoor activities plus all of the swimming at the beach and fab pools (neighbours' pool not mine unfortunately, I wish!), we need to take care of our hair. Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Split End Solutions Gift Set is the perfect thing to protect your hair, it’s formulated with a balance of protein and moisture to fortify, strengthen, and protect dry, damaged hair. It’s a pack that is perfect for hydrating and prevents future breakage, each product in the pack helps moisturise and seal split ends!
To create the most glowing skin try the Westman Atelier Liquid Super Loaded Tints, they are lightweight, sheer complexion enhancers that add life to your skin in an instant. The multidimensional pearls reflect light for a stunning glow. You can wear them on their own or layer under foundation, or tap onto the high points, like your temple brow bone or upper cheekbone for a beautiful added beam of light.

What is your current desert island product pick, the one thing that is always in your handbag?
I have two sorry, I just can't pick one! First would be anything I can spritz onto my skin - Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray is a hydrating mist that primes skin and refreshes as needed, and coconut water and probiotics are just some of the goodness that makes up this absolute must-have. Each spritz will nourish parched skin, smooth texture and brighten your complexion, do I need to say more…..
Then for my lips I always carry around the Rose Inc Lip Treatment Hydrating Balm which is an intensely hydrating treatment that restores the pillowy bounce to your lips while delivering a plush finish, replenishing actives melt into skin – its divine and a must-have.

You can find Louise’s top picks on counter now at MECCA.


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