Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Correcting Popular Makeup Myths

Some makeup artists say that you shouldn't be afraid to touch your makeup. The truth is, you should be very careful about touching it. After you've taken time to smoothly apply your foundation and eyeshadows, there's no reason to use your fingers unless it's absolutely necessary. Touching your face during the day will rub off all your nicely applied makeup. Don't spray water or toner on makeup to set or freshen it up. It doesn't work. A mist of water can streak foundation, powder, and mascara. Don't change every part of your makeup with every season. If you want to go softer during the spring and summer, that's fine, but it isn't an absolute must. Don't use makeup to correct the shape of anything on your face, especially the lips. Close up and in person you can tell when lipstick has been applied beyond or inside the natural lip line. If you overcontour, you will look like you have brown stripes all over your face. Don't use foundation or color correctors to change the color of your skin. Foundation must match the underlying skin tone exactly. If you have yellow or olive skin there's nothing you can do to change it. Even if it did look good on your face, any correction would look strange next to your neck and along the hairline. To keep pencil eyeliner in place, many makeup artists recommend going over it with a matching powder eyeshadow. That works, but why do two steps when only one is needed? Forget the pencil and just use a brush to apply your eyeshadow (mixed with water if necessary) to begin with. Glowing skin does look nice, but mostly in pictures. In real life, the same skin looks like it is covered with glitter. That isn't necessarily bad, but any wrinkles will be illuminated. It can be an option for an evening out, but that's about it. No single set of colors is right for all skin or hair colors. Just because you have red hair and fair skin doesn't mean you have to wear corals and avoid blue-red lipstick. Honestly, most women can wear just about any color they want to, as long as they pay attention to color intensity and application and adjust the details accordingly.

Beauty Tips for The Big Day—Ready for Your Close Up?

Whether getting ready for your wedding day or another momentous occasion, the following tips and reminders will ensure that you look beautiful in person and in photographs:
Keep in mind that regardless of the product, shade, or application technique, makeup is only as good as the skin it covers. Take time in the months leading up to the big day to treat your skin well and avoid using products that cause irritation or can cause side effects such as dryness, flaking, or redness. Anticipate your skin’s needs based on its history and the weather (is the event in a location where it will be more humid, arid, or cold than your skin is used to?) then choose products accordingly.
Do not have a facial, microdermabrasion, peel, or any other spa or dermatologist treatment within two weeks of the event, especially if you have not had such procedures performed in the past. The last thing you want to deal with is the complications that could result. If a trip to the spa is part of your bridal bliss, use the time to get a stress-relieving massage or manicure and pedicure rather than a facial.
Anticipate being photographed and take into account the lighting. Outdoor wedding photos demand different makeup than indoor photos. Outdoor lighting is most flattering in late afternoon as the sun begins to set. If possible, avoid scheduling an outdoor wedding ceremony and photos for midday when the sun is directly overhead. This casts unwanted shadows on your face and is universally unflattering. Less makeup is preferred for outdoor weddings. Use a sheer, satin-matte foundation, a light dusting of pressed powder, powder blush, soft eyeshadow colors that are matte or barely shiny, and eyeliner that is dark brown or slate gray rather than black, which can look too harsh in daylight. Lips can be any color, but keep in mind that opaque lipstick with sheer makeup can look too contrasting. Generally, outdoor makeup looks best with creamy lipsticks. For mascara, choose brown if you have blonde hair (dyed or not). All other hair colors should stick with black mascara, preferably waterproof unless you’re sure you won’t cry!
For indoor ceremonies, you must take flash photography into consideration. A camera's flash tends to emphasize pink or ruddy skin tones, so proper camouflage with a neutral- to yellow-toned foundation is a must. Avoid foundations and powders with sunscreens in which titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are the active ingredients. Both of these mineral pigments have an opaque, reflective quality that can make your face look whiter than the neck in photos. A small amount of titanium dioxide in your foundation or powder is fine; it just shouldn't be an active ingredient where the concentration is considerably higher.
Be sure your foundation matches your skin color exactly. Check to be sure there is no line of demarcation at the jaw, hairline, and temples. In general, liquid foundations with a soft matte finish work best because they are versatile and let your natural skin tone show through. Cream-to-powder and stick foundations tend to offer heavier coverage that, unless carefully blended, can look mask-like. It may be tempting, but do not mix a liquid shimmer product with your foundation to make skin look more radiant. In photos, even when used judiciously, shimmer can make skin look slick and greasy instead of luminescent, especially after wearing it for a few hours. And once the event begins, stealing away for touch-ups is unlikely.
Seek a powder that closely matches your skin tone. Pressed powder is more portable and easier to use than the loose version. Look for a pressed powder with a silky texture and skin-like finish. Today's modern powder formulas (particularly those from Estee Lauder, L'Oreal, M.A.C., Prescriptives, and Maybelline) make skin look beautifully polished, not powdered or ultra-matte. Apply the powder with a professional brush, not a puff or sponge. If you have normal to dry skin, only powder the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and leave the cheeks with the soft matte finish your foundation provides.
For blush, powder formulas tend to photograph best and hold up over the long haul. If in doubt about which shade to choose, opt for those in the rose or pink family if you have fair to medium skin and choose rosy-plum tones if your skin tone is medium to tan. Do not make the mistake of under-applying blush, especially for indoor photos. Wedding makeup is formal, and requires more color than you may normally wear. Make sure your blush is in the same tonal family as your lipstick (for example, pair a pink blush with a pink, berry, or rose-toned lipstick).
The color of your makeup design should come from your blush and lipstick, not your eyeshadow. Keep tones muted and matte so that they emphasize, not compete with, your natural eye color. As a general rule, you can't go wrong with eyeshadow colors that have a brown, tan, taupe, or neutral base. Think earth tones (slate, shell pink, bronze) and "food" tones (cream, caramel, coffee). If you want to add a touch of shimmer to your eye makeup, find the sheerest product possible, apply sparingly to highlight your brow bone or the inner corners of your eyes, and make sure you like how it looks in photos before the big day arrives.
Pay attention to your eyebrows. Do not attempt any new tweezing techniques or patterns, but do see a professional brow groomer who has loads of experience shaping brows so they frame your eyes as attractively as possible. A brow pro can also show you how to make the most of sparse, thin, or barely-there eyebrows. For wedding makeup, use brow powder, a matte powder eyeshadow, or tinted brow gel rather than traditional brow pencil to shape and define.
Be sure to carry your lipstick and lip liner with you for touch-ups after the ceremony and before the reception. It is also helpful to carry a pressed powder and small powder brush, as well as a clean makeup sponge in case you need to buff or smooth any aspect of your makeup, especially lipstick marks from over-zealous relatives or friends.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

No-Make Up Look - Getting It Right

While make up can be a lot of fun most of the time, there are days when a girl just needs her face to rest and take on the "simple" conservative girl look. Or sometimes we just need to show of great skin that foundation hides during workdays and take on the natural glow. It's on days like this that you can throw in the palette for the "no-make-up". And yes, this look still needs a bit of makeup to pull off.
Most women assume that looking natural and glowing does not take much effort or skill. The opposite is true: Clean, glowing skin, just-pinched cheeks and subtly glossy lips need just the right amount of product, coverage and some fancy brushwork to achieve. Most makeup experts say that this no-makeup look could even need more color and a range of products just to appear as natural as possible.
However, when you don't have the time for blending colors or putting on false eyelashes, there are some tricks you can use to create your most natural look. You will need some excellent products and a few good-quality brushes and you can get started on creating this simple-girl look. Remember, less is more. Too much bronzer or a heavy lipstick can ruin the entire look easily.
The first products you will apply are a concealer and a matte foundation that blends well with your skin. Unless you are blessed with amazing skin, you can also replace the matte foundation with a few drops of tinted moisturizer which allows a subtle glow to shine through. Lightly pat concealer on blemishes and uneven skin patches. It would also be better to use a flat brush to apply concealer. If blemishes are near your eye area, choose a concealer a shade lighter than your face. If you are covering pimples, use another concealer that exactly matches your skin tone.
Apply a layer of liquid foundation in your skin tone if you need heaver coverage on darker spots or birthmarks. Let all of these set for a few minutes before applying the other products.
Lightly dust your entire face with a translucent powder to set the foundation. If you have oily skin, apply a primer or a mattifying product as your base before you apply foundation or tinted moisturizer. For combination skin, limit the application of mattifying products only on the parts that tend to be oily like on the nose and parts of your forehead. Don't pat powder on your cheeks to allow your natural oils to seep through and give you a soft glow.
Lightly put a small amount of pale matte eyeshadow on the eyelids and try not to use the shimmery kind. Sweep a darker color over the base and blend both colors so there are no visible lines. Brown and yellow based shadows work very well with the natural look. If you must use blush, choose a pale color and lightly sweep it across your cheekbones twice.
Use clear mascara on your lashes after you've curled them. If you need to use black or crown mascara, use only two coats at the most to prevent clumping. Dab a layer of lip tint over your lips for a hint of color. Apply a lip balm or gloss over the tint to set it and your "natural" face is done! Just remember to touch up your face with translucent powder once it gets too oily.

Make up is something that most women love to wear, love to buy, and love to experiment with. The bottom line is that make up is fun! Unfortunately, we all aren't great at applying makeup so that it looks good on our skin. Luckily, there are some tips that we can all follow no matter what our complexion or age that will help our makeup look more natural so that when people look at us they see all our best features, not our makeup!
To achieve a very balanced look, one should always start their makeup application with their foundation. The best way to apply your foundation is with a make up sponge. Many of us do not think about it, but when we apply our foundation with our fingers we can actually contaminate the foundation so that it changes color or just puts impurities all over our face! After you have applied the foundation it's a great idea to smooth your foundation around your hairline and your jaw line. Even if you have the best foundation it is easy to get lines around your jaw and hairline. A complexion brush or clean sponge will help to eliminate these unsightly lines so that you can wear your makeup with confidence.
After you've applied your foundation you should consider applying a brow color. If you use a brow color you'll then want to apply a brow jell to keep the brows looking groomed all day long. The next step should be applying a highlighter, if you use one. Remember that if you are attempting to hide wrinkles or lines on your face that you do not like that you should use a very light highlighter that will move with your skin. It's important to use a complexion brush to even out the highlighter when you've finished applying it so that you do not have lines showing where you have applied the highlighter and where you have not.
Applying eye make up is probably one of the most difficult things for most people to do. When you know how to apply your makeup, you'll find that making your eyes look awesome with makeup is a lot easier! The first step is to start with three colors. You'll want to choose a medium tone from the lashes to the crease in your eyelid. Next, you'll pick a shadow that is two shades darker than the first and you'll want to apply this shadow from the crease of the eye to the brow bone. Next, you'll choose a lighter shade than the first and you'll apply it from the second color to the eyebrows.
Once you've completed the application of your eye shadow you can apply your eyeliner. It's a good idea to apply eye liner with a firm bristle brush as it will give a more natural appearance so that you don't actually look like you are wearing eye liner! Remember, the key to a great makeup application is making it look like you aren't wearing any, or are wearing very little. Your eyeliner should never meet in the corners of your eyes, so be careful not to go all the way to the corner when applying.
After you've completed your eyes, you'll want to apply your blush. Blush should be applied to the cheekbone. After you've done your cheeks you should move to your lips. It's important that your blush and your lipstick match, if you are going to wear both. A great trick to make your lipstick last longer is to use your blush as the base for your lipstick. Once you've applied your blush you should apply your lipstick with a brush to give the lips a more natural look. It's a great idea to start from the outside when you are applying lipstick and work toward the center. Only use lip liner if you are trying to make your lips look fuller, but if you already have full lips you can forego the lip liner altogether.
As you can see, applying your makeup needn't be a difficult process. If you know how to apply each element of your make up like a professional you'll find that your makeup not only looks better, but that you feel better, too! Applying makeup is fun, but it is also a process that takes a little time, but it's worth it when you have all the tips and tricks to make it easy and the end product is beautiful!