Posts Tagged ‘eye shadow’

Trendy Trending Trends

People frequently ask me what I think about various Insta/YouTube trends. This week’s request for the Hot Take™ is the squiggle brows, but there have been many in the past and will be many more to come. Basically, here is how I see such things–

1) If it is merely for clickbait, borne of the desperation of influencers to fill space/attempt to engineer the Next Big Thing (because there is nothing new under the sun), or dangerous in either ingredient or technique, I‘m probably rolling my eyes and giving a hard pass. Putting beauty blenders in condoms, using (insert object here) for random makeup application, giving a new name to an existing technique (ahem, strobing), using flour for powder, using random objects to try and create an eye wing, crushing oreos into mascara–all these things fall under that umbrella of “Baby, NO.”

2) If it is a look that is artistic, expressive, fun, creepy, etc. (squiggle brows, blue lips, glitter blush, metallic highlighter, unicorn looks, fx makeup, faded/feathered goth lips, etc), I’m pretty much in the camp of, “do your thing.” I’m all in for makeup as art and self-expression. Do it up, buttercup. If they are staring, you probably did it right.

3) If it is something you can’t do yourself but you’re going to side-eye and harangue your poor makeup artist if they don’t do it “JUST LIKE (insert name here) DOES ON THEIR CHANNEL!” then, again, baby no. Beauty makeup artists know their craft and know what beauty belongs in front of a backdrop/ring light in controlled positions vs. what is going to make you look beautiful when it moves. Furthermore, if you’re doing this nonsense in a store, double shame on you. Retail artists are there to sell makeup and bringing in your squiggle brows to waste 30 minutes of their Saturday when they have sales goals is just rude. If you want to squiggle, sugar, squiggle all day long…but leave the professionals and the sales people alone.

That’s pretty much that.

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Makeup Over 40 (or 50 or 60 or…you get the point)

So many Folks Of A Certain Age balk at smoky eyes and lashes, saying that it ages them because that’s what the magazines have always told them. I’m here to say you’ve been utterly bamboozled by the beauty editors of the world, my darlings. The right smoky eye for your face and a false lash will actually take YEARS off…sometimes well over a decade.

No Shame In Your Game

You know how it is:  you see a picture of something on Facebook, then your mind wanders to something related in your own life, then perhaps you reflect on the past.  A post about makeup brushes today had me thinking about the first one I bought, which in turn had me thinking about you.  Yes, you.

Over many, many years I’ve had many, many clients say things like, “Oh, I don’t know how to do it like you do,” or, “Brushes confuse me,” or, “I’m embarrassed I’ve reached this age knowing nothing about makeup.”

(I would like to break away for a moment to address that–even though makeup is my business–knowing about makeup is not a life-requirement for anyone.  We could all live a whole life never knowing how to put on eye shadow and life would still happen joyously.  Makeup is fun and can be functional, but it is by no means necessary.  I definitely do not think anyone should feel shame for not being versed in it…at any age.  I’m specifically talking to the people who are interested in makeup and who want to learn about it.)

I cannot draw.  I cannot paint.  I have tremendous difficulty summoning a unique picture from scratch.  Where my specific Visual Arts talent lies is in being able to look at someone’s face and determine the best way to bring forth their features.  This is why I’m a beauty artist and why, though I have mad respect for it, I do not work in latex and F/X.   That is what gives me my ability to do makeup as a job, but my clients don’t even need that specific talent to be able to do their own faces.

Also, though I’ve always been drawn to the beauty industry as a consumer, large swaths of it puzzled me.  That first makeup brush I mentioned?  I bought it in the earliest of the 90s, back in those pre-internet days when Anita Roddick still owned The Body Shop and the only way my small-town Illinois self could acquire any was mail order.  I bought a brush from the Barbara Daly Colourings line.  I felt like such a big deal when it arrived, yet I had no idea what to do with it.  It didn’t seem to work with my shadows, and I was young enough to not be bothering with concealer at the time, so I sort of collected it.  It sat in my Caboodle looking all grown up, getting dirty from other makeup that would shed onto it–but never from actual use.  Makeup obsessed as I was, I was still using sponge-tipped applicators and my own fingers to put on my eyes, just like many of my clients do today.

I taught myself liquid liner by using a regular pencil as a guideline until I got the knack, but the cool, blended eye shadow looks eluded me.  It was not until I got a job in retail makeup that I started figuring out how to properly use brushes, what brush did what, and the difference they made.  I also did not figure out until then that my beloved Colourings brush was not useless–it was only useless with my thinly pigmented drugstore shadows at the time.  Who knew?  Not me, not until I was shown.

I was self-taught on a lot of different makeup techniques, but everything went a lot faster (and looked a lot better) when I allowed other people to explain things to me.  After that, it was a lot of practice.  I did not pick up that very first palette (Merle Norman, btw; it belonged to my friend Angie) and go to town expertly because I had some latent inner artist.  I had to practice techniques.  Even now, sometimes I’ll go to try something on myself and say, “Oh…no, no, no, not doing that today.”

If you want to learn how to put makeup on yourself, you can do it.  You may need to be taught and–sorry–you may have to practice a bit, but you’ve got it in you.  Brushes confound you?  They did me, too.  Techniques elude you?  They did me, too. I do not care if you are 18 or if you are 80.  If I can go from being flummoxed by my first brush to being a professional makeup artist, I promise you that I (or someone like me) can teach you how to do your own face.

Overheard In The Beauty Department (Or “Mean Boys (And Girls) Suck”)

Overheard in the beauty department, uttered by a high-ranking artist from a makeup brand I know you all know:

“Ask her what her favorite designer is. If she doesn’t have a favorite designer, well, she probably has no business wearing (makeup brand redacted), but we’ll sell her stuff anyway.”

I do not possess the vocabulary to adequately express to you how horrified I was.

Though I heard this particular fellow say this rather audaciously on the selling floor, I can name you at LEAST two other brands who have trainers and/or ambassadors who have said things like that behind closed doors.

It is this kind of unconscionable snobbery that is part of driving consumers to buy online. We all want to feel pretty and not be judged. The sad part is that there is some sort of longstanding badge of honor to be exclusive, especially among the executives in the cosmetics industry, so this sort of thinking winds up being encouraged instead of re-educated…then brands wonder why they aren’t getting their increases.

Including people feels a hell of a lot better than excluding them–on ALL sides.

Next Level That Eye Game

Anyone who has been in my orbit while I have talked about makeup has surely heard me passionately extol the virtues of shadow primer. Though there are a whole range of high end primers that work quite well (Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Urban Decay Primer Potion, etc.), this is one of those cases where a drugstore/bargain buy can actually keep up with the big girls. Nyx’s Proof It eye shadow primer holds its own with all my former department store favorites for boosting the pigment and wear of your powder eye shadows. It is tough to beat that level of performance for $6.99 a tube at Ulta…and it is often buy one get one 50% off there, too (plus Ulta always has a $3.50 off $10 or $15 coupon to stack).
If you do not regularly use–or have never used–a shadow primer with your eye shadows, you are depriving yourself and your shadows peak performance and wear. Believe me now and thank me later.

Modern Renaissance by Anastasia Beverly Hills

Okay, friends. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette is for REAL. Beautiful colors, great pigment, smooth blendability, delightful versatility, and refreshing take on what constitutes wearable and every day colors. Those of you who like to hang in the beige/brown/greyish safe zone for your neutrals will have plenty of options, but with some beautiful zings of gorgeous richness to jazz it up when you feel stuck in a rut.

I almost didn’t buy it and now I’m SO GLAD I did. As Micky Dolenz once sang, “I’m a believer!”

I used Love Letter, Venetian Red, and Vermeer as the basis of this look (before I added glitter)–

Modern renaissance June 25th Crehans.jpg

Photo below is taken directly from the ABH website–

stock photo modern renaissance