You & Make Up
Make up is the icing on the cake. Wear it if you love it. Play with it to discover new ways of expressing the many faces of you. When you don’t feel into it, let your face go naked. That, too, is a path to freedom…
The idea that makeup color – say an eye shadow – is only to be used on the eyes, or a blusher only on cheeks, is absurd. Color is color, and it doesn’t matter what you call a product provided it serves the purposes you want it to. The colors that you use on your face should all give support to each other, so they work together to create an overall effect that is pleasing.
There are two basic possibilities: warm color schemes and cool ones. The effect of a warm color scheme on the face – which includes the earth colors such as browns, greens, beiges, golds, yellows, apricots, coppers, oranges, and peaches – is to enliven it, making your face look healthier and stronger and more glowing. Warm colors look wonderful on older women, too, because they accentuate youth. This is why some of the best foundations and powders now contain yellow pigments. A little peach or apricot blusher can make almost any face look younger, whereas bluish-pink blusher applied to a face over forty can age it drastically.
The cool colors – the blues, purples, pale ivories, silvers, fuchsias, berries, magenta, blue-pinks, and whites give a look of delicate vulnerability to a face, especially when they are applied, as they should be, over a very pale foundation. But to wear them you have to have perfect skin and you have to be young; otherwise they can make you look tired, older, and even unwell.
Every good makeup begins with a fine moisturizer complete with sunscreen lavishly applied over clean skin and then given a chance to settle in. You need to wait for your skin to take to the moisturizer before you put on your foundation, otherwise you will end up with a flawed finish and your makeup will not last. `Taking’ time is usually between two to five minutes.
In addition to the ordinary moisturizers, there are also tinted ones on the market. These products are halfway between moisturizers and foundations. They impart some color and also provide you with some measure of protection from water loss. They give a very light cover but can be a nice way of simply adding a healthy glow to your skin. Some of them also contain sunscreens. When choosing a tinted moisturizer, look for one that is not too far away from your own skin tone or you will find it doesn’t blend in and cover well.
A green moisturizer will soften a florid skin, toning it down and making it look more neutral. Green will also help conceal red blotches and spots on your skin. A mauve-colored moisturizer can improve a dull complexion and brighten the face of someone who is too pale. An apricot-colored corrective should be used only by the very few women who are really sallow. When you use a corrective, put it on with a sponge that has been dampened and then had all the excess water removed from it by wiping it against a towel.
Once your moisturizer has set, you are ready for the foundation. But why all over? Instead you can wear it only on parts of your face such as around the eyes where it gives a good base for eye shadows, on your chin,and on your cheeks. The advantage to this is that you still get the wonderful, delicate shading of natural skin, rather than that all-over deadness that can come from covering your whole face with one opaque color. Or you can wear two shades of foundation: a lighter one in the center of your face (on the nose, forehead, cheeks, and chin) and the slightly darker one of the same tone around the outside (near the hairline and along the jawline). This has the effect of preserving a natural-looking gradation of color and still lending the finished look of a well-made-up face.
A foundation is not meant to give strong color to a face. It is supposed to be flat and neutral. About 80 per cent of Caucasian skin should wear one foundation color: a flat, true beige with neither pink nor peach overtones to it. It will look good on all ages of `northern European’ skin, because it gives a neutral canvas on which to put your eye and lip colors.
If your skin is olive or yellowish or very dark, then choose a foundation as close to its natural color as possible but slightly flatter. When testing out color, put it on your naked face and then again go out into the daylight to look at the results before buying anything. The kind of foundation you choose depends on what kind of skin you have, as well as on personal preference. Dry skin does best with a cream or oil-based liquid foundation. Aging skin needs the finest of liquid foundation. Anything heavily oily collects in the lines and makes you look haggard. Oily skin demands a water-based liquid or cream or a cake or block-type makeup. Put a little foundation in the palm of your hand and then dip the sponge into it and apply it to your face, brushing it lightly over your skin again and again until everything is well blended into your skin.
Now is the time to deal with any problems you want to conceal, such as black circles under your eyes, or discolorations here and there. Concealer creams and sticks are good here, although some of them are greasy and, particularly under the eyes, tend to sink into tiny lines and make matters worse. Put your concealer on with a flat wedge-shaped brush and smooth into the skin until it blends perfectly with the surrounding areas. If you add a little powder here you will get just the finish you need to make the undesirable area fade into the surrounding skin tones.
the magic of light and shade
The secret of making light and shade work for you is simply to apply both sparingly and only where it matters to your face, and always to blend well into the surrounding area. Whatever part of your face you want to bring out or emphasize, you apply a light color to, and whatever part you want to minimize, you cover with a darker shade.
Here are some of the things you can do with shading:
To minimize a jaw that is too large or too square, apply darker shade along the jawline, blending it under the jaw and fading into nothing at the sides of the face.
To shorten a pointed chin, apply shader to chin only, blending underneath into the neck and fading to nothing at the sides.
To fade a double chin, put shader on the double chin and blend it skilfully. This will make it recede into the background and look less prominent.
To give more interesting shape to a square face apply shader in the temple area and all around the jawline, carefully blending.
To minimize a nose that is too large, apply shader in a single stripe down the centre of the nose, carefully blending into the color at the sides so that no definite line appears.
To slim a broad nose apply a shader – preferably a slightly darker foundation or cream – in a stripe down each side of the nose and blend it carefully into the skin to make the nose look narrower.
For most women, one of their best features is the eyes. Perhaps this is because eyes reveal so much of what goes on inside. Makeup for eyes should emphasize this and show off the eyes’ beauty and color.
There are lots of ways to use eye makeup to improve eyes, but all of them begin with the same principles. Use neutral tones such as slabby browns (without red tones in them), flat greys, and greyed greens, or even terracotta, for establishing the shape of the eyes (the darker shades to define the sockets and the lighter beiges or yellow, peach or apricot, or pink, on the lids and under the brows).
All eye shadows are best applied to skin that has a foundation on it even if you don’t put foundation on the rest of your face, and powder shadows hold best over a light skimming of translucent powder too. All eye shadows are best applied with a brush, whether they are liquid, cream, or powder. You will get a better, longer-lasting finish from them this way.
Apply the lighter shade of colored shadow you have chosen to the section of the lid nearest the lashes, and then brush it out, fading it away to nothing towards the eyebrows. Now you can have the darker shadow in the socket to define the shape. Remember that colors on the outer edges of your eyes will tend to widen the look of your face and open your gaze.
Finally put on your eyeliner. A good way of emphasizing eye shape without looking too obviously made-up is to use a pencil in the same tone you are using for your eye shadow, dotting it all along the upper lashes and then just under the lower ones so the two lines meet at the outer corners and form a little triangle. This kind of liner looks good when it is gently smeared with a brush or fingertip to blend it into the surrounding area and keep it from looking hard. You can also use another color line drawn on the inside of the lower lid if you like.
The other way of applying eyeliner is with a brush, in which case you use liquid or cake liner and get a more definite line. It is drawn just above the roots of the upper lashes and just below the roots of the lower ones, again meeting at the corner. Many women use black eyeliner, but usually a gentle grey or slate or muted brown is better.
Mascara makes eyes look more glamorous. It seems to create an aura of mystery about the eyes when lashes are darkened and thickened. Unless you are planning to walk in the rain or to go swimming with your makeup on, you are better off using a mascara that is not waterproof.
Before you begin, brush them first one way and then the other to remove any loose hairs or makeup, and clean the skin around the eyes thoroughly. Now put moisturizer in the area, before you reach for the tweezers. Brush your brows into shape and take a good look at them. Start by removing stray hairs between the brows and the stragglers but never pluck from above the eyebrow. And always remove only one hair at a time, pulling it in the direction in which it grows. When you have finished with one brow, apply antiseptic or a simple toner to it before going on to the next one. This will help soothe the irritated skin. Don’t try to apply makeup for an hour after plucking.
Most women tend to pick lipsticks that are too bright or too pink to flatter their coloring. There is certainly a place for fire-engine reds and vivid fuchsias, but for everyday wear you are probably better off with a muted brownish pink or a softened melon or salmon. Shop around until you find four or five lipsticks in differing tones that look good on you.
When applying lipstick, use a pencil or a lipbrush to outline your mouth first, so you get a good, sharply defined edge. Then apply your lipstick and blot it and apply again if you want it to stay. Alternatively use a pencil all over the mouth as well as for outline and then apply a clear gloss. It looks fresh and simple and the color tends to last.
The best colors for everyday wear for most women are terracotta, apricot-brown or dusky peach, because they make the skin look particularly healthy. Used high on the cheekbones it accentuates a well-sculptured face. Used across the cheeks it gives a simple warm glow.
A little translucent powder that imparts no color but gives a smooth, matte finish can actually make a face look younger. It is also an interesting effect to powder only parts of your face, such as the sides below the cheekbones, the nose, and the forehead, and then leave a sheen on cheeks and chin. Always use a powder that gives no color, just a matte, smooth finish, and always brush away every speck of excess once you have applied it.
the finishing touches
Last of all, after you have applied your makeup completely, you need to set it with water. This step is very useful, for it will make a face last far longer than it otherwise would. Spray your face with spring water from an aerosol can or with a fine mist from a plant-misting bottle. Then blot gently once with a tissue.