19 August 2009


Yes, makeup. I know this is an authors blog--particularly a paranormal authors blog--but I thought I'd veer a little off topic to my second favorite love. Makeup.

Besides being an author, I also work outside the home in the makeup industry. I love makeup. I hoard makeup (particularly lip glosses and eye shadows), I study makeup. I spend countless hours on the internet researching different makeup tips. Yes, I know, I sound obsessed.

To me, putting on makeup is relaxing and fun and I like to consider my face a blank canvas to paint (and definitely improve) upon.

I know a lot of women don't think this way and that anything beyond the basic foundation, blush and mascara, can scare them so I've decided to share some of my favorite tips and dispel some myths that are floating around out there.

1. Foundation. Foundation should absolutely match your skin. There's nothing worse than seeing someone whose face is a totally different color than their neck. Your gaze is drawn to it and you don't see anything else. When you pick a foundation shade, the shade should disappear into your skin so you don't see anything. That's your perfect shade. And there's no need to put foundation everywhere. Just a few strategic spots will make it look like you have a full face of foundation on without actually putting a full face of foundation on. I tend to be somewhat red around my nose, forehead and chin so that's where I put my foundation. Make sure to blend it well. If you don't like heavy foundation (seriously, who does like heavy foundation?) my suggestion is to try Almay's Smart Shade. I know it looks hokey but it does work and its sheer and doesn't feel heavy.

2. Bronzer. Bronzer, IMO, is the best thing every invented. But its definitely one of those cosmetics that needs to be applied with a light hand and only judiciously. Never put bronzer all over your face or you'll look like you're wearing a mask. Not good. Use a blush brush but make sure you tap off the extra and apply on only those places where the sun touches your skin. For instance I apply it at my hairline, down my temple, under my cheekbones and along my jawline (blend it very, very well here). I also put a light touch of it on my nose. That's it. That's the only places you need it. You'll see it gives you a great looking sun-kissed glow in just those few spots.

3. If you apply bronzer, you should also apply just a touch of blush to give your cheeks some pop. Apply it on top of the cheekbones. The bronzer under the cheekbones and the blush on top will give you a sculpted look. In the summer I go for a shimmery blush. (We'll talk shimmer later).

4. Mascara. I own tons of mascara and a lot of it is the high priced mascara but do you know what I keep going back to? My Cover Girl Lash Blast. The best mascara around, IMO. My best suggestion for mascara is to make sure it doesn't clump because then all the eye is drawn to is your eyelashes. I also recommend a mascara comb. Comb your lashes before applying the mascara and they won't clump together and you'll get a fuller look.

5. Eyeshadow. This is where I get the most questions. I firmly do NOT believe that older women should shy from shimmery eyeshadows--unless your eye lids are very crepey. Then you should stick to matte. However, even in that case you can use a little bit of shimmer. Apply the shimmer closest to the lash line on the upper lid and it will open up your eye.

People want to know what's the best eye color to wear and honestly, anyone can wear any color. If you want the color of your eyes to stand out, then go to the opposite end of the color wheel of your eye color. For instance, blue eyes should wear browns and peaches, green eyes plums and purples, brown eyes can wear just about anything. Another question I get is the smokey eye look. If you want to learn how to do a smokey eye, my biggest suggestion is to buy the right tools. You'll need an eyeshadow brush and a crease brush. The lightest shade goes on closest to the lash line, the medium shade above it and the darkest shade in the crease (a crease brush is excellent for applying the crease shade. The brush puts it exactly where you need it). Then blend, blend, blend with the eyeshadow brush. Blending is the key. Sometimes I go through the steps three times before I get the desired effect, blending between each application. Its best to practice this several times because like any art, it takes practice. Sometimes I'll finish it off by dipping the eyeshadow brush in translucent powder and brushing it on over the eye shadow. This gives the smokey eye a more subdued look.

6. Lips. Light is in right now. In fact corals are in right now and corals look good on any skin tone. I like soft colors. Pale pinks look awesome on anyone, especially older women. The older you get, the more you should stay away from the dark color lipsticks because it will only emphasize the wrinkles around the lips. Softer looks younger. My favorite is L'Oreal's Color Riche Gloss in Rich Pink. It looks good on anyone.

7. Shimmer. There're some ugly myths out there that say older women shouldn't wear shimmer. Hooey, I say. You can wear shimmer. You just can't wear a lot of shimmer. Applied with a light hand it looks great. Its a great way to highlight areas on your face you want highlighted while drawing the eye away from areas you don't want highlighted. Apply it along the upper lash line of the lids or right below the eyebrow on the browbone or top of the cheekbones or on the lips. My suggestion is to pick one thing and add shimmer to it. Go for it and see what you think.

Makeup doesn't have to be expensive and its definitely come a long way since I was a teenager. So don't worry about breaking the bank to look good. You can find some great buys at the drugstore.

I never buy a new cosmetic without researching it and my favorite place to research is Total Beauty. Click on the Product Review tab. You can research a specific brand or you can just type in what you're looking for (like foundation, blush or mascara). You can even tell it what your price range is.

I hope I've dispelled some myths and convinced some of you that makeup application doesn't have to be scary. My biggest suggestion is just to have fun with it. Its not permanent. If you can't achieve the look you want, you can always wash it off :-)

Have fun!


1 comment:

Carolan Ivey said...

[grin] I don't wear makeup often - mainly Sundays and at conferences - but I like trying different things. Most recently I switched to the mineral powder stuff and love it, particularly since Cover Girl now makes it for a ton cheaper than the 'spensive stuff.

My skin is verra pale so I generally stick with a neutral/peachy color palette. Anything brighter, I look like a wannabe clown or mime. :)

My husband's aunt has made a career out of studying and archiving vintage fashion and theater costumes. Have you done any research into the historical uses and types of makeup?