Posts Tagged ‘makeup’

You Heard It Here First: Highlight Stacking

Okay, friends. I’ve just coined the term “highlight stacking” and yes, the technique (which is not as new as this afternoon’s term coinage) is just as extra as it sounds. Also, according to Instagram, I’m the first one that has hashtagged it, so if you hear/read it, you’ll know it came from me!

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.

Non-Touring? Give Me A Non-Break.

Don’t buy into the nonsense of new buzzwords to describe things that have been around forever. You know what “non-touring” is? Basic natural coverage foundation with a touch of highlighter, i.e. the stuff about 60% of my clients have been doing for years…and also what the good MUAs have been trying to tell people was best for their daily routine for the past year when they’ve been insisting, “but they used three contour products on Instagram!”

Feeling Dull, Doll?

Has your makeup been looking dull lately?  Or perhaps your skin itself isn’t giving you life?  Here are a couple quick things you can do to give yourself a boost.

Exfoliate Your Skin

Dry, textured makeup is often the result of uneven skin.  Everyone–oily to dry (especially dry)–can benefit from exfoliation 1-3 times a week. For best results–

  • Take care not to use anything with crushed seeds/pits, which have jagged edges to potentially damage the skin.
  • Do not use hot water, which can break capillaries and cause long term redness.
  • Do not scrub hard.  The particles or chemicals will do their job without you having to jam them into your skin.  If you are too rough, you’ll wind up with broken capillaries and long term redness.

Double Moisturize

Put on your moisturizer and touch your face in 5-10 minutes.  Does it feel soft and supple?  Or does it feel dry, like you put nothing on?  If it is the latter, you might benefit from some double moisturization.

  • Applying a serum underneath your regular moisturizer will add moisture benefits as well as adding to the vitamins and protectants going into your skin.
  • Not everyone is a serum person, especially due to the additional expense.  If a serum is not feasible in your life at the moment, apply a second dose of your moisturizer within 5-10 minutes or so of the first round.
  • You might follow the Korean way of moisturizing and apply one layer of moisture lotion followed by a layer of a more emollient cream.  This mimics the way your skin protects itself naturally.
  • Oily skin, please remember that oil isn’t water.  You can be slick and still be thirsty.  In fact, thirsty skin will overproduce oil to overcompensate, leading to more issues.  Give your skin a drink.

Fake It Until You Make It, Baby

Choose a primer with a glow.  Even if you aren’t wearing makeup for the day, a primer with radiance is going to add that extra boost of freshness and give your face a healthy look.  Most of the quality primers also contain extra skin ingredients and environmental protection, so you will also be playing the long game on having radiant skin.

Adding even one of these steps will help pep up unenthusiastic skin.  Adding two or all three will next-level your look.  Remember:  happy, hydrated skin will make all of your makeup appear fresher.

Not Very Legndary

I think men in makeup ads are long overdue. In fact, I believe for many young men and/or genderfluid individuals, representation can be literally life-saving. However, if a company is going to hire a personality (as opposed to a model), it is incredibly unfortunate they would hire a misogynistic bully. Manny MUA? Bully. His BFF Jeffree Star? Racist bully.

There are so many other guys out there doing beautiful faces who also have beautiful souls, Maybelline. Wish you would have given one of them a chance.