GET made-up!

Written by Lizzie Macaulay

IIt’s not difficult to see. I’m a low maintenance chick. I am not someone who takes any delight in spending a minute longer than I absolutely have to working on my appearance before I head out the door. Mascara. Maybe eyeshadow and eyeliner. That’s it.

Makeup is a completely foreign language to me.

That’s not to say I don’t care at all about how I look when I head out the door. While I don’t need to spend 3 hours getting ready each day, I’d also rather not repeat the experience of, in the throes of life with a newborn and a toddler, being so bedraggled walking through Stockland that even the guys who bug everyone to try their beauty products took one look at me and realised I was not worth the effort.

There’s a middle ground somewhere in between these two extremes, I’d say.

So when I saw that a new make-up studio had opened in Urangan AND that the beautiful owner, Jo Smith, offered personal make up classes, I knew this was my chance. I was finally going to graduate to ‘proper adult’ and stop using the same makeup techniques I’ve been using since I started wearing makeup as a teenager.

When I get to Session XOX, it’s hot and I’ve been rushing to make the appointment. Jo looks effortlessly chic and composed, while I feel more like a (late) sweaty disappointment – not exactly the calibre of actors, celebrities and models she’s previously worked with! But, you can’t learn if
you don’t put yourself out there, so I swallow my embarrassment at being ‘just me’, put my big girl pants on, and walked through the door.

Jo is wonderfully welcoming, and gets straight to work. I explain that I’ve spent my life mostly guessing at how to do my own makeup, and that my recent change in hair colour has completely
upended what little I do know already.

She instantly knows what to do, and notices things about my face and skin that I never have – the
benefits of a professional eye who looks at faces all day for a living Jo takes me through the fundamentals of what to do for a ‘work eye’, how to transform my skin into dewy perfection, and how to progress that look into something befitting an evening out. The steps seem simple enough on the surface…

Joy is with me taking snaps, and as a fellow artist she can see what Jo sees. Much talk of mastering
the light and understanding colour balance (and so on) transpires between the two, and I keep up
as best as I can, but make a note to go away and learn more about it when I get home!

I realise the majority of what I have at home simply isn’t the right stuff for the job. I’m not a teenager any more, so the ‘same old’ products just don’t cut it! In reality, it’s probably time to opt for an upgrade of pretty much everything in my tiny makeup kit. (Trip to the big smoke, anyone?!)

Jo talks with me about her philosophy as a hair and makeup professional. Her ethos is around emphasising each person’s existing positives, rather than burying their flaws under inches of thick
make up until they’re unrecognisable. As captain of the low-maintenance cheer squad, this is right
up my street.

I’m so grateful for the time I got to spend with Jo. Her calm energy. Her expertise and patience. I
have some practicing to do to reinforce what I learned at Session XOX, but I’m so very glad I went!
Fancy face in 3…2…1…

With huge thanks to Jo at Session XOX for her time and amazing expertise! You can find Jo within the ‘Salt Café complex’ at 3/569 Charlton Esplanade, Urangan, or head to for more info.