BRIDGET JONES IMMORTALISED a classic makeup disaster in The Edge of Reason. Smudging on blush in the semi-dark of a taxi, she arrived with two messy pink circles on each cheek, looking sadly like a drunken clown. That may have been an extreme case, but experts say many women simply don't have the tools or basic skills to apply something they use every day. US-based makeup artist Dawn Stultz has been doing faces for 17 years, and is now a Nars trainer for people who often work on international celebrities. In Hong Kong recently, Stultz says her main advice for women is to build up a makeup wardrobe. She recommends keeping it simple, and focusing on what makes you feel good. There are no rules, she says - just choices. 'I'd say that a lot of people try to hide behind their makeup,' she says. 'But they need to take better care of their skin. It's from the inside out and has to start with diet. So, there's a need to use a great skincare line and be consistent.' What to do with the makeup? Stultz got to work on makeover subject Jodie Early to create a classic look designed to last the whole day. Early has combination olive skin and finds it difficult to even out her skin tone. STEP 1 A brightening serum to diminish dark spots gives Early's face a lighter, clearer appearance. 'It's a new product you apply all over the face,' Stultz says. STEP 2 A makeup primer is applied over the serum. This is top of Stultz's advice list for those who want their makeup to last long into the night. STEP 3 An oil-free foundation for olive, tanned or Asian skins with a golden yellow tone is blended in with a sponge. 'The makeup artist did a fantastic job of evening it out,' Early says. STEP 4 For spots, use a concealer brush - and more isn't better, says Stultz. This is applied lightly on the shadows under the eye. 'She managed to hide my suitcases,' Early says. STEP 5 A highlighter is dabbed on cheeks and eyes. This gives sheer-colour, shimmer and contours, and can be used on all skin tones. STEP 6 Loose powder is dusted strategically with a large No6 brush, made of pony hair. Pressed powder can cake, says Stultz. STEP 7 Stultz is a big fan of eyeliner. 'I don't think women should be afraid of it,' she says. 'Right now, I'm seeing a lot of liner inside the eye. I think it's more dressed up when on the inside.' She lifts the top lid by the lashes, finds the inside white edge and lines it from the outside corner to the inside corner. Stultz applies powder eyeliner by wetting a thin-tipped brush. STEP 8 Stultz moves on to the eye shadow, starting with a concealer on the lid. She presses the shadow on for good measure. 'I'm using brush No3. It's the most important one I have. It presses the colour onto the lid for longer wearability.' A smoky, rich charcoal eye colour is prevalent for evening this winter. 'It's like ribbon satin,' says colleague Lilia Ultreras. 'Not glossy, but matte.' A natural skin tone is used for this day-time makeover to create the classic look. STEP 9 A dab under the brow line with a lighter colour - possibly with a shimmer - is called a 'pop'. Stultz says this can help a woman look five years younger. STEP 10 Shiseido eyelash curler crimps the lashes. 'They use a silicon base which gives a neat look,' she says. STEP 11 Using brush No2, Stultz slightly wets the palette of a deep charcoal eye shadow and applies between each lash, close to the lash line. Smaller brush No14 is used to finish. STEP 12 Eyebrows need work, Stultz says. A badger-hair brush puts colour under the eyebrow, not just on the brow hair. STEP 13 How about lip liner? 'Women have been abusing lip liner for years,' Stultz says. 'A good trick is to use the lipstick first, then go over with a pencil that's in the same family colour.' TO FINISH The Multiple Stick for cheeks, lips and eyes to 'give that J.Lo glow'. new face turns a head or two THE RESULT Jodie Early says that at least four people commented on her new look within 30 minutes of leaving the studio. 'Even the receptionist at the doctor's office asked me if I was going somewhere special,' she says. 'Because of the time and effort required, it would be something that I'd only do at night. It was nice to try different colours from what I'd normally use.' Her favourite product was the highlighter. 'I really noticed the difference. I'd use that.' There was, however, a downside. 'The makeup felt thick and heavy. I'd probably only apply a couple of different layers of colour.' TOP TIPS A good makeup wardrobe should have five to seven brushes, says Dawn Stultz, including blusher and powder brushes. Although fingers are great, brushes finish the look. 'Invest in them. If you take care of them, they should last a lifetime.' Blusher should be applied on the outside of the cheek and not under the cheekbone. Use a big brush for powder blush in summer. Cream blush is better during winter. Use a natural tone for the eyelid base that's closest to the skin colour. Patting concealer on to the eye lid will give the shadow a base to cling to over the course of the day and stop it from smudging. The smaller the brush, the darker the pigment. If doing a smoky eye, apply foundation to the face afterwards as there's likely to be fall-out. Dab eye cream in the corner of the eyes at the end to make sure there's no caking.