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April 6, 2012

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Good Shadows, Bad Shadows

January 12, 2010

Shadows from the past = Bad

Shadows while you played hop-scotch as a kid = Good

Shadows from skin discoloration, divets, and loss of elasticity = Bad

Shadows that make your features appear more attractive = Good

What makes a “good” Before vs. After photo for Corrective Makeup is the elimination and creation of shadows.

I contoured to enhance good shadows such as a sculpted cheekbone and straight nose, while I  highlighted areas such as the eye to minimize the darkness and create a fuller cheek.

Natural shadows will compete with the shadows created in makeup, so I have to eliminate the “bad” ones first. The “bad” highlight color should be a few shades lighter than your highlight color. Think of this as a flesh-toned “White Out”.

The main unwanted shadows on my model were the ones in the corners of her eyes, which made her eyes appear droopy and tired. By eliminating the bad shadows with concealer (warm peach = light yellow+orange), it made her eyes appear more open and less puffy.

Study your face in a picture or in the mirror to see if there are any areas that are darker than the rest of your face that you find unflattering. Next time you do your makeup, be sure to “White Out” that area. Tell me about your results!

Mature Makeup

January 8, 2010

Makeup for Grandma is definitely different from yours or your mom’s. Two major adjustments in makeup application include the types of products used and the intensity of color:

The types of products used need to be tailored for the characteristics of aged skin.

Foundation: As we age, skin becomes dryer (less oil production and slower natural exfoliation process), so you want to use a dewy or semi-matte liquid foundation. Cream is too heavy and draw attention to dehydration and uneven skin texture. You little to no loose powder to set the foundation.

Matte colors: Generally, you should NOT use shimmer because it can look dated on a older face and will draw more attention to wrinkles and loss of elasticity.  Avoid shimmers mainly in eye shadows and lip color. But, you can venture out with blush because the cheek color is supposed to be transparent anyway and won’t reflect as obviously as the other products.

The intensity of colors should be appropriate for the age of the client, generally speaking. Of course, give more drama to the divas and fashionistas that ask for it.

For a natural look, you want to keep colors neutral in light to medium shades. For my model, who is 65, she had dark hair (thanks to permanent color) and dark eyes, so I could afford to use darker shades of brown. Also, I wanted to contour (push back or cause recession) on the prominent part of her eye socket to make her eyelid appear more like a consistent plane.

How many years younger do you think she looks now?

Behind These Hazel Eyes

January 7, 2010

Behind these hazel eyes, lies a girl who wears little to no makeup on a daily basis. I used corrective makeup to enhance her natural beauty while making sure she’d still feel comfortable in her own skin.

In order to bring out the green in her hazel eyes, I used eye shadows in colors directly complimenting her green. Derivations of red for her was dusty rose, red brown, and burgundy black. In order to bring out the golden flecks in the pupils and lighten the appearance of her eye, I used a yellow-toned flesh base.

In order to expand her lips and make them appear more full, I used a nude lip color and a gold shimmery gloss on top. My instructor at Empire Academy of Makeup, Donna Mee, calls them “booty shaker lips.” Because when you’re lips are that juicy, you’d shake your booty when you walk.

I don’t know if she left shaking her booty, but she was sure smiling.

glamOh does glamOur

January 7, 2010

“Glamour” can mean many styles of makeup, from old school to modern. Traditionally, though, it describes vintage makeup of old Hollywood in the 1940’s.

Glamour makeup is marked by dramatic characteristics such as winged eyeliner, defined brows, and red lips. Though sheer coverage and the appearance of natural skin is usually the goal for foundation, this look requires a  slightly fuller coverage for the illusion of a perfect complexion. Don’t forget false lashes, too!

Truth be told, this look doesn’t look fabulous on all faces and personalities. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt elements for it to work for you. Be daring and try it for yourself!

Smiling after Makeover

Photos from the Mink Coat Mini Shoot

Learn to Layer

January 5, 2010

My model has a pretty clear complexion. However, the patches of freckles on her cheeks took away from her otherwise even-looking skin.

Before I applied foundation, I made a tinted green moisturizer by mixing my Embroylisse moisturizer (Lait-Crème Concentrè) with Make Up For Ever’s corrective loose powder to cancel some of the redness in her cheeks. You can also use a tinted makeup base such as the one made by Smashbox.

My model typically zuses heavier coverage foundation to cover up the hyperpigmentation. Instead of going full coverage all over (because she doesn’t need it), I used a sheer layer of liquid foundation all over first. Then, to address the freckles, I used layers of foundation as a concealer. I didn’t use a traditional cream concealer as I did not want it to look heavy or spotty. For more coverage, you can use a powder foundation on top of the loose powder.

Freckles or dark spots on the face are caused by sun damage. The skin is actually trying to create a shield on your face to prevent burning. In order to reduce the appearance of unwanted dark splotches, you should invest in basic skin care that is brightening or whitening. In addition, you can use a corrective produce such as fade cream. Dermablend’s famous product is now discontinued, but you can find it on Amazon.com or E-bay. Alternatives can be found under Hyperpigmentation sections of department stores.

Rainbow Eyes

December 28, 2009

Since my model has wonderful skin, I didn’t want to cover it up with heavy foundation (see previous post for more on Foundation). I kept is as sheer as possible to keep it natural, but used adequate amounts of lighter and darker cream foundation colors to make her face appear slimmer and more symmetrical.


Her forehead is narrower than the rest of her face, so I used highlight along the hairline to expand it. I used contour along the sides of her face, especially on her right as it is slightly wider than her left. Lastly, I used contour on the lower part of her chin to round it out.

Using contour on her cheeks to enhance the bone made her face look slimmer.

To make the top portion of her bridge pop, I used highlight and blended downwards into the more prominent part of her nose.


She has light faded red-brown permanent color on her brows. Instead of using a shade that matched her brow and hair color, which would appear too harsh for what she is used to, I filled in the shape with a brow powder in the same shade as the tattoos.


Rainbow eyes are eye shapes that have more curvature on one side. In her case, the top is more open, whereas the bottom is more flat.

I used a white eyeliner pencil on her lower inner rim to open up her eyes. Then, a medium-thick dark brown eyeliner pencil on the lower lashline focusing on extending the line upwards to make her eyes appear more uptilt. They are naturally uptilt, but due to her eye crease going downwards past the corner of her eye, they appear more even to downcast.

On the top lashline, I tapered the upper eyeliner pencil thicker towards the outer corners and winged the eyeliner in the same angle as the lower lash line. If I were to apply an even coat of eyeliner on the top lash line following her eye shape and wing it (see “Before”), it will only accentuate the downwards curvature in the outer ends of the eyes.

Vibrant personality and fashion sense? I used cool pinks and mauves to match, really bringing out her cheeks and full lips.

Rethink Your Foundation

December 28, 2009

Many women use medium to full coverage foundations, even when they don’t need that kind of coverage all over their face.

If you are one of the few blessed women that have clear skin (we hate you, by the way), why cover it up with layers of foundation? Go sheer to light. A tinted moisturizer would work, too.

Or, if you have fairly good skin but have a few imperfections, just cover them with concealer first and then use a small amount of foundation for the rest of your face.

Oil-free is a popular foundation choice, but it doesn’t do justice on most. Healthy skin is made of up oil and water, so give up the old wives tale that oil equals evil. Foundation isn’t supposed to penetrate your skin anyway, so foundations that include oil shouldn’t make you break out. You’re either breaking out because you’re not using proper skin care or there are other chemicals in the product that has a negative reaction with your skin.

Also, most of us are dehydrated anyway, so a non- oil-free foundation with a semi-matte or dewy finish would be a better choice. If you don’t like the extra glow, just use extra loose powder to matte it down.

Not ready to take the plunge yet? Try a sample for a couple weeks to see and feel the difference.

When shopping for a foundation, consider the coverage and finish you want.





Full (or Heavy, but who wants to be called that)

Types of Finish




Middle-Aged Makeup

December 28, 2009

There’s a couple key things to consider when doing makeup for middle-aged women.

First, skin has lost a considerable amount of elasticity. Eyelids are hooded (droopy) toward the outer corners and the lid is crepey, making even a conservative amount of makeup difficult to apply with a consistent texture.

Second, less is more. Heavy application or dark makeup is not flattering, even if they are going clubbing (which is another issue in itself).

Since they have less color in their lips and cheeks and less “glow” due to decreased oil production and slower cellular rejuvenation–the process by which healthy cells are born within your skin and make it to the surface–the goal is to obtain a bright and youthful look.

My #1 priority before makeup application was to do a full brow reconstruction (tweezing, that is). In the end, the face will appeared cleaner and eyes more open and lifted. I used color on top of her brows to make them higher and more arched.

Her additional beauty concerns included nasolabial folds and faded permanent makeup.

Nasolabial folds (AKA “smile lines”)

These “parentheses” around the mouth can be a result of aging. (If you’ve had it all your life, sorry, it’s just what your mama gave you.) The sagging of the skin on the cheeks creates shadows around the mouth. In order to reduce the appearance of the folds, I reduced the dark shadows with foundation a few shades lighter than her skin.


She had eyeliner tattoos that were dark, thick, and faded. Since they had a muted blue hue, I used a sheer coat of muted-orange concealer to cancel out the blue, then used a creamy concealer underneath to match the color to the rest of the eye area.

Since the area around her eyes had fine lines, I opted to use less product and sacrificed a little tattoo still showing. In order to cancel out the color completely, I would have had to use such a thick coat that it would have drawn even more attention.

Lastly, I want to touch on Color Choice.

Going back to point #2, less is more. Dark features such as dark eye color and dark hair set up color choices that can be equally as dark. But, in the case of my middle-aged client, it looked nothing close to youthful or sexy. It just looked plain wrong!

What NOT To Do

Please save your urges to try smokey eyes on your mom’s and grandma’s.

Nobody Nose

December 23, 2009

Nobody knows the nose you have ain’t what your mama gave you. Or your cheeks, brows, lips…

Here are some corrective makeup application techniques I used to enhance this brown-eyed girl.


Cancel out the blue-ish dark circles underneath the eyes


Add light foundation to eyes and beneath the eyes (upper portion of cheek)

Add light foundation to the upper bridge of the nose towards the forehead to add the illusion of bone


Apply foundation in her perfect shade on the rest of the face

Set the whole face with two loose powders  – one that is a true match and one that is a lighter shade for the highlighted areas

Contour – Her foundation color mixed with matte, charcoal grey (or you can use a darker, neutral brown) cream foundation

1. “Corners” of her face to make more oval

2. Emphasize her existing cheek bones to make her cheeks appear more full and the entire face slimmer

3. “Facelift” by adding to the arch in the brow toward the hairline in a 45 degree angle

4. Add dark color to the sides of the nose to draw attention to the bridge


I mixed a neutral brown and rose lipstick for her cream blush with a synthetic/natural bristle brush.  You can use M.A.C.’s  “skunk brush” and bounce the brush on top of the cheeks lightly. A sweeping motion with give you an uneven finish and will spread color out too much.


I filled in her right brow with more color on top to make them the same height as the left. I added a “peak” in each brow arch to make them less curved, more arched and tapered. Using a a spoolie (i.e. mascara wand), I lightly combed through the brows to groom the hairs and to diffuse the color in the borders to make them less harsh.


To emphasize her lash line, I used a dark brown eye liner pencil on her lower lash line, but a black one on her upper. I used an eye smudger to gradiate the color from the lash line upwards to blend in with the eye shadow.

For color,  I used  flesh-tone, light brown, medium brown, and black eye shadow colors to make her eyes appear bigger and lifted. To emphasize the lash line further, I applied a thin line of black cake liner.

Then,  I curled the lashes twice to open up her eyes and used black mascara on top. Since the attention of the eyes should be lifted, I only applied a very light coat of dark brown on the bottom.


I used a neutral brown lip liner to outline and fill in her lips followed by a custom-mixed brown + rose pink + deep pink lipstick for her color.


Don’t worry! Mama will still be able to recognize you. Corrective makeup should be natural and convincing real to the unknowing eye. Were you fooled?