Image by: Nina Matthews Photography
By Stephanie Woods
It’s easy to look like a clown. A creepy, too much eye shadowed, red lipped, heavy lip liner’d clown. That’s why women need to learn early that make-up is designed to compliment your adorable features instead of readying them for the circus.
Think of the women most idolized by the press. Think beyond their unrealistic shapes and air brushed faces and look at their make-up. More often than not their features are highlighted in simple, earth tones. Nude lips and rosy blushes with just a hint of mascara can do more for a face than any heavy concealer.
Do your face a favor and lighten the load.
#1) Choose the Right Brand
Sephora, Ulta and Sally Beauty Supply all want the same thing: your hard-earned dollars. Signs litter their aisles with beautiful and sometimes frighteningly made-up women making pouty faces. Their lips excessively glossed and their eyes thick with eyeliner. These are the women selling the products we covet, and yet every, single one is missing the mark.
If we as women went by the ads alone we’d never choose the right brand. Here’s a secret though, the most expensive brands aren’t always the best, but spending a little more will get you a better overall product.
Bare Minerals boasts a natural, allergen-free and powder based make-up that will cover even the darkest of blemishes. It sounds good on paper, but if you’re anything like me, the powders clog your pores and weigh your face down throughout the day. The product is a clean one, but it’s expensive and makes me break out. That’s why I stick with a liquid.
Experiment with your brands until you find a formula that works for you, but buyer beware. As your face changes because of hormones or the time of year, you may have to make modifications to avoid the dreaded shine.
The point is, just because it’s advertised as the best possible product on the market doesn’t mean it will compliment your body chemistry. What works for one may cause rashes on another, and nobody wants to go on a date with the rash girl.
#2) Keep It Simple
Less is more. No really, it is. Using just a touch of foundation instead of half a bottle will keep your skin healthier and your pockets fuller. Using just a thin line of liquid eyeliner will create the desired effect without making you look like a punk-rock raccoon. (Unless that’s the look you’re going for. Ozzy Osborne anyone?)
Keep your make-up light and you’ll be able to create the drama when you need it most. A light face of make-up during the day can easily be taken into the date night realm by adding a dramatic lip or liner. Not to mention the shine! The lighter the make-up, the less likely you’ll turn into a two-way mirror.
Consider the occasion and dress your face like you would your body, but let the drama queen out only when the moment is right.
#3) Learn The Basics
Too many women interested in applying make-up fail to do it correctly. Believe it or not, there is a science to its application.
Use your tools. Eye shadow brushes should be used only for eye shadow. Some are angled for corners, others used to sweep color over the eye. Both brushes should be used to apply the make-up evenly because the tiny, little cotton-swab wannabe applicators that come in the pack just don’t get the job done cleanly. Use the brushes, because the brushes can be cleaned.
Get a kabuki brush. It’s fat, soft and made to gently apply your facial powders. Purchase some foundation sponges because these will keep the oils and impurities on your fingers off of your face during your application. Invest in some disposable cotton pads. Every tool in the make-up bag has a purpose, and as long as the tools are kept clean, you’ll stay a happy customer.
If you just can’t seem to get down the smokey eye or the nude, sun-kissed look, don’t be afraid to consult YouTube. It’s a treasure trove of great ideas from people all over the world. Watching men and women who experiment with make-up for you is better than wasting your precious products anyway. If you have a question, they’ll have the answer and maybe a few other tricks you hadn’t thought about.
So you’re not the next Mac girl or Macy’s make-up counter lady, but you don’t have to walk through life in the dark. Good looking make-up takes time, patience and a lot of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to make a few mistakes, but remember that less is more, light is always better than dark, and you probably look better in the buff anyway. Use make-up to highlight your favorite you, but don’t hide behind the products.
Have you mastered the daily ritual of make-up application? Share some of your secrets to looking fabulous without taking out a loan for a personal stylist. We always want to hear your thoughts, it’s why we’re here!