I am beginning this blog mainly because I work in the beauty industry and I am passionate about the process of makeup application, makeup products in general, and the mind-blowing creativity that makeup artists use on a daily basis. I work with many different products and brands, so I like to review products. However, I have always believed that the ability to apply a product well is far more valuable than the amount of money that you spend on products. So whether you are a MAC enthusiast, a Maybelline girl, an Urban Decay Diva, or a Obsessive Compulsive Consmetics collector, I am all for it! Have fun reading!
Pretty much everyone who comes into a makeup store/boutique at some point states, “I just want it to look natural”. Well, girlfriend- how are you looking natural if you are just layering on the makeup? There is a solution! mixing products is the way to go. The back of your hand provides a perfect surface. For instance, the model shown looks absolutely flawless but not too “done”. Mix a bit of liquid illuminator (the newest duo from tarte I love!) with a bit of liquid foundation or BB cream and BAM! you have non-cakey glowing skin. for a bit of added glow, this model is sporting blush a bit lower under the apple of her cheeks (to elongate the face).
Added bonus to mixing? Its going to save you time! :)
Keep in mind that being a mix master does not apply to all products- mixing liquids with powders will sometimes leave you with an odd consistency. Loose powders or pigments can mix with cream shadows for added pizazz and color.
This has to be one of my first posts because this artist is so creative and innovative with color and how she enhances the shape of eyes- She is on facebook as chaosmakeupartist, and recently (and sadly) deactivated her account on tumblr. I will definitely post more of her work soon. I will note that the pigmentations she uses with shadows are difficult to find (bitchslap cosmetics, INAZ, and maybe Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics) but its more about how she applies than what she uses! Brilliant!
ChaosMakeupArtist, Megan Martinez
My INSPIRATION. Love her work.
One of the many things that I love about working with makeup is the way it makes me feel- When someone feels refreshed and revitalized by something as small as a new color of lipstick, it can turn the day around. When I apply makeup in the morning it kind of forecasts the way I am feeling that day- it reflects the mood I am in. (When I contour Im usually feeling organized, when Im in a bad mood I do smoky eyes, etc) Which leads me to my point- don’t be afraid to try something new! Bright colors (particularly on the cheeks and eyes) can be a fantastic way to add personality to your look, a pep in your step, and perhaps a new found love for an unexpected color. Forecast a bright day and suprise yourself with something new- a different shade of blush (in a brighter pink or orange hue) can be an easy way to start out. Dont be afraid of new colors. Theres nothin like experimentin’!
some eyeshadow basics!
There are beautiful girls everywhere who seem to think there is one way to do eyeshadow (If you are going out to a party, there is more you can do than pile on the dark shadow and eyeliner). I think these are some exquisite photos of some options of eyelooks that (depending on color choice) can be bold and bonita or subtle and soft.
before anything: apply eye primer. Creasing eyeshadow aint cute.
eyelook 1: Using two different tones of the same color, apply the lightest color to the lid and blend the darker color upwards from the crease. For an eye-widening look, try blending the darker color from the outer corner of the crease to the middle of center of the crease.
eyelook 2: With a trio of colors, apply the lightest shadow to the entire lid, the medium shade from the outer corner of the lid to the middle of the lid, and the darkest color on the outer corner. blend blend blend!
eyelook 3: Repeat the same steps as eyelook one, but try a cool color for the eyelid, and a warm color for the crease.
eyelook 4: This look is especially evident on this model because she has deep set eyes and a pronounced brow bone- however, the eyeshadow increases the depth of the eyes. Also, matte shadows help achieve this look (something with added sparkle may not show as much contrast. Start by applying a white matte shadow on the entire lid. Use a deep gray or black to blend from the outer corner inwards. Add the dark gray or black to accentuate the crease. For added drama (this look in particular) put to use a deep matte purple and blend from the entire crease upwards to the brow bone. To highlight, add a lighter purple of lilac directly on the brow bone. It may be helpful in this case to mimic the shape of the crease of your eye, or mimic the shape of your eyebrow (it depends upon which illusion you would like to make).
Contouring! (one of my favorite things)
If you buy a beautiful summer dress, when winter begins, do you just ditch it? Nope. You add layers so that you can make it work during the winter seasons. There is an equivalent regarding makeup products: Over the summer, women will come into makeup stores to buy foundations that match their skin tones while they have their summer glow- and in just a few months, the foundation will be the wrong color. So, what do you do with your summer foundation and winter foundation? Contour! It is easy, flatters the shape of your face, and best of all- it’s economical. (if you are a bit of a beauty product addict like me, and have products lying around that arent put to use)
Above, I added some helpful charts that show where to apply lighter foundation and darker foundation. For an easy contour, apply the lighter foundation in the shape of a T on the forehead and down the center of the nose with a classic foundation brush (example: pro foundation brush number 47 by Sephora). Then, apply a layer of light foundation on the center of the chin, as well as in a c shape starting at your temple all the way around to right above the apples of your cheeks.
With the darker foundation, apply in the shape of a “3” starting at the top of your forehead, lining the hollows of your cheeks and right underneath your neck. To make the nose appear thinner, apply the deeper shade of foundation on the sides of the nose in parallel lines. (This is a basic contour, there are many different ways to approach contouring the face and nose in order to get the shape that you prefer).
Then, with a dense kabuki brush blend the colors together. It will leave you with a more accentuated face shape!
As Emily Browning, Amber Heard, and Eva Mendes show, you can increase the contour with an illuminator to bring out the parts of the face you would like to draw attention to, and a matte bronzer to the areas you would like to hollow out. Gorgeous!
When I was little, my Mom and sister constantly tried to save me from becoming extremely self conscious when I first began looking at magazines. ”That model doesnt actually look like that, you know”. I would exclaim “Oh my gosh, her skin is perfect!” or “She’s so skinny”. I was reminded “Its the power of technology, Em”. But even with the knowledge that models are constantly tweaked and literally re-modeled, it begins to get absolutely discouraging, annoying, demeaning, and just…uninteresting.
So, I am more than excited that Makeup Forever has launched an “unretouched” campaign. Which really just means that the photographs that advertise their products are only a result of a model, Makeup Forever products, and a camera. I am hoping that more makeup brands catch on and do the same. After all, advertising a makeup product and then changing the way it looks is false advertising.
I am glad that the L’oreal add of Rachel Weisz in L’Oreal products was banned because it is misleading- She is beautiful without the retouching!
I whole heartedly love classic red lips, light pink hues, and bright shocking blues- but there is something especially sexy and bold when it comes to daaarrrk lips- black shades and deep purples. I think these photos are three very different ways to sport the look. The most wearable look is Leighton Meester for Elle Magazine* (with Ed Westwick). Even though she is wearing black lipstick she does not look gaunt- her complexion is warmed up with bronzer and illuminator. Keep in mind that when the lips are a bold color, the eyes should stay understated and neutral (or keep a bright eyed look by applying powder illuminator under the arch of the eyebrow and on the inner corner of the eyes<New Order by NARS is exquisite>). In order to keep the look clean, use an invisible lip liner to accentuate the shape of your lips! It helps to prime your lips before applying a bold color by exfoliating and then conditioning with a fast absorbing lip balm or lip primer.
* I cant quite handle how gorgeous this photo shoot is- there are a couple more close up shots of Meester and Westwick on Elle’s website.
The Origin and Transformation of Eyeliner
There are many products that became popular because it was an easy way to enhance the look of youth and health. For instance, instead of pinching your cheeks for color- pink powders were developed to emulate a healthy flush. Youth and health were directly connected to wealth and had (and have) a direct connection to attraction.
…Now ill tell you something you might not know
Eyeliner was first used for the same reason that football players (and many other athletes) wear “eye black”. In ancient Egypt, men and women would wear dark pigments around their eyes in order to protect their eyes from the sun, and reduce the glare of the sun. Similarly, athletes wear streaks of thick “eye black” to produce the same result of sunglasses.
In the 1920’s the idea of eyeliner was popularized after the discovery of images of Cleopatra and King Tutt’s tomb. As a woman, asserting independence was important, and many hip women began emulating the look of eyeliner.
In the 40’s the end of World War I left ladies with a shortage of stockings, so they began using eyeliner to draw a straight line up the back of their legs to look like the seam of a stocking.
As makeup generally became more popular, eyeliner sales increased throughout the world- The usage of eyeliner is very relevant to the culture you identify with. For example, for a mod westernized look you can apply liquid winged eyeliner to the top lash line. In India, kohl is used to line eyes and creates a more smokey look. It is generally applied on the lower lash line.
I love that makeup immediately alludes to history. The way you apply your eyeliner can change the era that you refer to. Above, Mark Kanemura works eyeliner like a boss, Kohl Liner is pictured in true form, Sophia Loren emulates Cleopatra, “Eye Black” is worn by an intense athlete, and Gwen Stefani wears eyeliner and is (basically) perfection.
Today, I just want to endorse a few products for eyes that have worked out really well for me. I think they are all worth a try, mainly because I like to play around with many different looks and colors- the Makeup Forever Flash Palette allows for pretty much any look, and has so much product! I love to mix colors- with the basic color wheel, anything is possible. (dont limit the palettes use to just eyes! it can be used for anything and is great for stage makeup!)
The Stila Waterproof Eyeliner Pen and YSL Waterproof pencil are the only two eyeliners that will actually stay on my eyes without smudging. They both have great pigmentation, are easily controlled, and go on smooth. Same with Voluminous by L’Oreal. If you wiggle the brush at the base of the lashes and then brush upwards towards the end of the lashes it makes your eyelashes less prone to breakage.
Once you go Urban Decay Eye Primer, you dont go back. Unless you are planning on swimming in olive oil, its not going crease your makeup.
Im working on a little something to post tommorow- in the meantime, I am in complete awe over these two “comic book” makeup looks. Absolutely flawless…(photoshop had something to do with that with regards to the second look fo sho)
..some brief examples!
One of my main frustrations regarding makeup artistry is the request to apply a “smokey eye”. The term itself is very subjective- for some, the “smokey eye” could simply mean that there is more eye makeup applied than an individual is used to wearing. For others, it means that your eyes are completely covered with black eye shadow. There is no right way to do anything- its simply preference.
I think the sexiest smokey eye look is one that adds dimension/depth to the eyes.
In order to create the look, you need to use more than just one color.
Smokey Eye #1 uses three colors to make the eyes appear larger- the white shadow is used in the center of the eyelid and blended, as well as on the inner corners of the eye. A silvery-grey is applied from the inner corner to halfway through the lid. Then, the darkest shade is used on the outer corner, and blended throughout the crease of the eyes, right underneath the brow bone. A dark liner is applied on the top and bottom lashlines. To finish, the darkest shade of shadow is blended slightly underneath the bottom liner on the outer corners of the eyes, and mascara is applied on the lashes. The silvery-grey is blended on the bottom lid right underneath the center of the eye, and the lightest is blended right underneath the tear duct.
smokey eye #2 is Jessica Alba- her makeup artist used lighter colors and blended darker colors on the outer corners. As you can see, it is still considered a smokey eye without looking too heavy.
Smokey Eye #3 is exquisite, but a challenge to achieve without looking gaunt. In order to achieve the look use matte shadows and make sure that you feel comfortable outlining the entire eye with liner- with some eye shapes, lining the entire eye with a dark color can make them appear smaller. It appears that only two shadow colors were used in the process (both a deep grey and a black). Black was blended on the lid and underneath the eyes, and grey was blended on the crease and towards the brow bone. The look almost mimics the look of kohl eyeliner.
Regardless of how you like to do smokey eyes, make sure you start with a primer and blend blend blend! If you are looking for somewhere to start, the Too Faced “Smokey Eye Palette” has gorgeous hues for all skin tones and eye colors. It also has little notecards about how to achieve different looks with the shadows provided.
the beauty look backstage at Oscar de la Renta: super femme & pretty