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A quick flick through makeup artist Claudia Neacsu's Instagram page, and it's abundantly clear as to how she has fostered her loyal clientele.

High-octane, glamorous makeup is her signature, but the looks she creates have a party-girl levity to them, featuring iridescent shimmers and Hollywood-grade glosses.

Since the age of 18 she has honed her craft, now a London Fashion Week backstage regular and the artist of choice for many a London It-girl.

The Beauty Breakdown with… Claudia Neacsu

Claudia Neacsu applying skincare products © Claudia Neacsu
The makeup artist loves trying new products

MORE: The Beauty Breakdown: Model and influencer Chloe Lloyd on the £20 lip liner she wore on her wedding day

READ: The Beauty Breakdown: Digital content creator Aamirah Essof on why hydration is her 'number one priority'

Her Beauty Philosophy

As one would expect from a makeup artist, Claudia puts a great deal of emphasis on skill. "I believe technique is 50% and the products you use are 50% of the look," she explains. "You can have the best products ever, but if you don't use the right technique, they won't look good unfortunately."

Her portfolio speaks for itself, but in terms of her own makeup approach, her daily look is "pretty minimal" in comparison to her work.

"I love wearing Korean cushion skin tints, cream blushes and no face contour. I actually enjoy wearing very natural makeup that allows my skin to breathe and gives me a natural glow."

Morning Skincare

Assortment of skincare products             © Claudia Neacsu
A few of Claudia's morning skincare favourites

A diligent routine is paramount, the key for achieving a smooth, glowy base. Claudia applies her products in thin layers to minimise slip and maximise hydration.

"Step one is always my face wash, I am currently using the YSL Beauty's Pure Shots Clean Reboot Mousse, following up with one of my all-time favorite serums, Lancôme's Rénergie H.C.F. Triple Serum. I apply Bobbi Brown's Extra Repair Eye Cream Intense – this is a very hydrating eye cream that makes my concealer look flawless on top."

"For moisturiser I switch between them as I always try new ones, but I currently use the Lancôme's Rénergie H.P.N. 300 Peptide Cream and finally, I apply Charlotte Tilbury's SPF 50 Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer for sun protection."

"My best tip would be to use the right products for your skin type and always work in thin layers. Some people believe that if you want your makeup to last you have to hydrate less so that it doesn't get greasy, but in reality, the more hydrated your skin is, the better your makeup will last, and it will look like actual skin!"

"This also applies for the way we layer our products – you do need to use a bit more than you would for an everyday makeup, but definitely make sure you do not use a very thick layer either, as that will slip and slide everywhere. Use dabbing motions not swiping motions if you want the products to last."

Everyday Makeup

Claudia Neacsu taking a mirror selfie © Claudia Neacsu
Her everyday look is all about understated glamour

Claudia's go-to daily look is reasonably minimalist, she favours lightweight tints for her base and cream formulas for a fresh, healthy effect. However, she has a few non-negotiables, steps that she'd "never skip": brushed-up brows, nose contour ("natural, not heavy") and a trusty slick of lip liner.

"I am constantly trying out new products and it brings me so much joy, I am currently using Trinny London's BFF De-Stress Tinted Serum and I also love Ilia's Super Serum Skin Tint that also contains SPF. These are low-medium coverage as I love going very light when it comes to my daily makeup."

"My major trick is that I like to apply my foundation on top of my skincare right away. I do not wait for the skincare products to get absorbed into my skin before applying my makeup as I have noticed that for my dry skin, foundation looks way better when it kind of mixes in with my skincare. It just makes it look like it's part of my skin instead of a layer on top of my skin – it literally melts into my skin and I love that look!"

"With concealer, I definitely want more coverage. My current favourite concealers are Hourglass' Vanish Airbrush, Armani Beauty's Luminous Silk (which is medium coverage but has the most beautiful satin, hydrating finish) and Anastasia Beverly Hills' Magic Touch."

A few of Claudia's current everyday makeup favourites...

  • Trinny London's BFF De-Stress Tinted Serum and Pittoresco's BB Cushion…"Both extremely natural and breathable."
  • Hourglass' Vanish Airbrush Concealer… "The perfect amount of coverage."
  • Huda Beauty's Easy Bake Loose Baking & Setting Powder in 'Sugar Cookie'… "My ride or die."
  • Sweed Beauty's Air Blush Cream… "It's a cream-to-powder hybrid and looks so natural and pretty."
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills' Brow Freeze Gel and Lip Liner in 'Muted Mauve'… "There is literally not even one day when I am not wearing these two."
  • Valentino Beauty's Brow Trio… "This is a brilliant product as it has a brow pencil, brow pen and spoolie all in one, so easy and quick."
  • Victoria Beckham Beauty's Contour Stylus… "It's literally perfect for my everyday nose contour, the thin applicator makes it so quick and easy."
  • Benefit's Bad Gal Bang Mascara… "It gives lots of length and also thickness."

"When it comes to brushes, you don't need a lot, but you need good ones. Hourglass' Ambient Soft Glow Foundation Brush is one of the best and most versatile brushes I have tried so far. You can use it for foundation, concealer, cream blush, highlighter, bronzer or contour. I also always use smaller brushes in order to be more precise: for setting the T-zone and under-eye area, I always use an eye blending brush as it's smaller and it helps me get in the less accessible areas."

"I like a soft, slightly straight, lifted brow on me, so I tweeze a couple of hairs here and there using Anastasia Beverly Hills' Tweezers just to keep the shape, but nothing major. I love always lifting them up using a clear gel but I make sure to brush them in a natural growing direction, not too straight up, so that it looks natural."

"For daytime, there is no such thing as eyeshadow as I am always in a rush. What I do is apply a bit of highlighter, the same one I used on my nose that day, with my finger all over my eyelids just to set the concealer and give it the most natural shine."

Evening Skincare 

Evening skincare products           © Claudia Neacsu
Some of the evening skincare products Claudia swears by

"I cannot go to sleep until I feel like my face is 100% clean. I always start by removing my makeup by using an oil-based product that can easily break down and melt my makeup like Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Cleansing Balm. Next, I use a foaming cleanser that would get rid of any oils and makeup leftovers – the same one I use in the morning."

"I try my best to make sure I hydrate myself from the inside out by drinking water as well as applying hydrating products on my skin. I cleanse and hydrate my skin every single day and apply a purifying mask two to three times a week. For masks I'm currently enjoying Eve Lom's Rescue Mask and Charlotte Tilbury's Super Radiance Resurfacing Facial – I use this one specifically before events as it makes the skin look very tight and smooth!"

After cleansing, Claudia usually goes in with Clé de Peau's Intensive Fortifying Emulsion, Shiseido's Vital Perfection LiftDefine Radiance Night Concentrate, followed by a nourishing oil, Gisou's honey-infused version.

Going Out Makeup

Claudia Neacsu's evening makeup look © Claudia Neacsu
Claudia's evening look

"I look for a foundation that has more coverage than my everyday skin tints as well as stronger staying power. Some of my current favorites are Haus Labs' Triclone Skin Tech version and Lancôme's Teint Idôle Ultra Wear Foundation. When I contour my face I go in with cream first, and if necessary I add a touch of powder contour or bronzer over the top."

"I am in love with long-lasting cream eyeshadows, Armani Beauty's Eye Tints are some of my favourites. They have matte, satin and shimmery shades that are so easy to blend yet last very well on me too. For eyeshadow palettes I love having small eye quads for myself – I know exactly what I like to wear so I don't necessarily need 10 different shades. I am a fan of cooler and neutral tones, Charlotte Tilbury's Luxury Palette in 'The Sophisticate' and Prada Beauty's Dimensions Palette in '02-Profusion' are some of my current favourites.

Claudia rarely wears lipstick but instead is devoted to one particular lip liner. "My little trick is applying a bit of taupe brow powder with a pencil brush just on the edges of my lip liner in order to create that natural shadow which makes my lips look bigger. I am currently switching between Anastasia Beverly Hills' 'Muted Mauve' and Sweed Beauty's version in 'Barely There', a similar, very light, soft pinky-nude shade."

Quick-Fire Beauty Questions…

What is the most common makeup mistake you see and how can it be avoided?

"I feel like finding the right foundation for your skin type can be quite challenging especially if you try it inside of the store, where there's only artificial light. I recommend getting a sample of three shades that are closest to your skin tone and then trying each of them on your face, in natural light so you can see which one suits you best before buying the full bottle."

Are there any beauty hacks or time-saving tips you can share for busy mornings?

"Definitely! Have a separate, very minimal makeup kit for these specific situations. If you have too many products to choose from in front of your eyes, you will not know what to pick and give your brain too much to choose from so it's not efficient."

How do you adjust your makeup routine for different seasons or weather conditions?

"In the summer I tend to use thinner products that won't melt off my face in the heat, so I'd go for a skin tint over an actual foundation even if I am doing evening makeup, as the more you layer, the more it will slip and slide everywhere. In winter I definitely go for a slightly thicker base that will protect my skin from the cold by creating a layer on top of it. One thing that never changes is using an SPF everyday no matter the season!"

Which beauty products or trends are you currently obsessed with?

"As a makeup artist who has been working in beauty for 10 years now, the majority of the makeup trends that we see on social media platforms are not necessarily new. Often we've been using these techniques in the industry for a long time, but with the help of social media, everyone finds out about them."

"One of my signature and favourite techniques is my lash technique which involves several layers of mascara applied on top of individual lashes that I always custom make according to the look I want to create as well as the eye shape I am working on."