Archive for December, 2009

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.

Contour/Highlight

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.

Eyebrows

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.

Eyes

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.

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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.

Coverage

Sheer

Light

Medium

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

Types of Finish

Matte

Semi-Matte

Dewy

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.

Tattoos

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.

Conceal

Cancel out the blue-ish dark circles underneath the eyes

Highlight

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

Foundation

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

Cheeks

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.

Brows

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.

Eyes

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.

Lips

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.

Voila!

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?

Mom and Magical Makeup

December 22, 2009

A “Before vs. After” photo can be deceiving because almost any woman probably looks better with some makeup.

At first glance, you may not have noticed, but this model has a lot of great things going for her: oval face shape, smooth and clear skin, almond uptilt eyes, and full lips (think, Asian Angelina).

I used corrective makeup application to enhance these assets.

Eyebrows

My key focus was evening out her brows. Before, her right eye appeared lower and more downcast than her left. This is because her right brow was lower and less arched. By tweezing/shaping and shading with color to make the brows even, her eyes appeared more even and open.

Cheeks

I contoured the underside of her cheekbone with a neutral brown + charcoal grey cream foundation. I applied cream blush on the apples of her cheeks towards her temples, including on top of the contour.

Tip: You can use lipstick as cream blush. If the consistency is too thick for you, add a tap of moisturizer. Cream blush is used on top of liquid/cream foundation. Once the face it set with powder, you should only use powder blush.

Nose

She has a fairly straight and visible bridge. I highlighted the very top part of the nose to make the bridge a little more prominent. Then, in order to draw more attention to lighter area, I contoured the sides and bottom of the nose.

Eyes

Dark eye liner on the inner rim makes the eyes appear smaller. For her, I skipped the inner rim and used a dark brown kohl eye liner pencil on her lower lash line and black on the upper. I didn’t draw all the way into the inner corners as my focus was on the outer corners to make the eyes look bigger and lifted.

With her yellow skin tone, I used complimenting eye shadow colors in the violet family (i.e. various shades of plums).

Lips

I defined the shape with a medium rose lip pencil and filled almost the entire lip. By coloring in the lips with liner first, lip color will wear better and colors go on more opaque and true.

Overall

Through corrective makeup, her face looks more slender with fuller cheeks and her eyes appear more open. There is a radiance about her…it could be the magic in the makeup, or the magic of motherhood.

Powder or Plastic?

December 22, 2009

Instead of plastic surgery, which is painful and costly, you can visually alter the bone structure of your face through makeup. Corrective makeup application can give the illusion of a slimmer face, sculpted cheekbones, fuller lips, etc.

Before you feel insulted, I wanted to point out that corrective makeup doesn’t necessarily mean “you’re ugly” and your face needs to be “corrected”. Corrective makeup is about enhancing your good features and letting them overshadow your not-so good ones. Even the most beautiful of celebrities and models utilize these techniques.

The goal with corrective makeup is to make the face appear as balanced and symmetrical as possible. This is what the eye and brain interpret as beauty. Don’t believe me? When’s the last time you thought Quasimodo was hot stuff?

In lieu or addition to contour/highlight powder, the most natural and long-lasting way to do this is with liquid or cream foundation.

Here is an example of using cream foundation to alter features of the face.

1.  Apply concealer to brighten eye area (inner corners near nose and underneath eye).

2. Apply highlight, a foundation color lighter than your skin, on eyes and underneath eyes (from inner corner sweeping up to the temples). This will make you eyes appear more open and lifted.

3. Apply highlight to areas of the nose you’d like to enhance. Here, I added to the upper bridge and the left side of her nose.

4. Apply foundation that matches her skin on the rest of the face. The surface redness is instantly reduced and skin complexion is more even.

5. Apply contour, a darker matte neutral brown and/or charcoal grey cream foundation, in areas you’d like to minimize attention, thus directing attention to the highlighted areas.

For her nose, I want it to appear straighter and draw attention to the bride. I contoured on the sides of her bridge and on the bottom portion of the nose.

For her cheeks, I contoured on the underside of the cheekbone (not underneath). The shadow created enhances her cheeks and makes her face look slimmer…without any blush color!

Stay tuned for more details on where, how, and what to apply for contours/highlights.