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Monday, March 21, 2011

Face Painting...For Grown Ups

mac cosmetics

Color has always fascinated me. From the time I knew what crayons were, I’ve been drawing, doodling, sketching, and coloring. Then I learned how to paint. Mixing my favorite colors together to get even better, richer colors was definitely my favorite part. As I am not scientifically inclined, I never kept track of how many drops of red and white gave me my perfect shade of pink. Or what quantity of blue, yellow, black, and white gave me the ideal turquoise water tone. I always just started from scratch like a chef would…with a pinch of this and a dash of that. I think it’s the best way to use color. I love being surprised every time I swirl it all together to see the chromatic outcome. This obsession with color soon matured into an even greater love of color…for my face.

In middle school, makeup made its first appearance in my life. Or should I say “make-up.” All I was really allowed to wear was clear mascara and a sheer pink lip gloss from Origins, hardly makeup at all. That was in 1996. Fast forward to 2011, and I have more makeup than most professional makeup artists. It’s become an artistic obsession. The color mixing infatuation is in full effect these days. With everything from neon pink eyeshadow to flourescent coral lipgloss, gold-flecked bronzers, and pervy named blushes (ahem…NARS “Deep Throat”) I can’t stop playing with or shopping for makeup. I don’t claim to be a professional makeup artist (although I’ve definitely considered changing careers,) but years of personal experience on myself, my sister, my mom, and countless friends have gotten me lots of compliments and tons of requests about what products I use and how to use them. Although I sometimes like to get crazy with colors and products for a fun night out, my day to day makeup regimen is relatively simple and subdued. Here are some of my absolute favorite products that I use every day for an easy natural look. 


mac studio moisture tint with spf 15: THIS IS A TINTED MOISTURIZER, NOT A FOUNDATION,  SO THERE IS NOT AS MUCH COVERAGE. IF YOU NEED MORE COVERAGE, OPT FOR A FOUNDATION. THIS TINTED MOISTURIZER GIVES MY SKIN AN INCREDIBLY SMOOTH FRESH LOOK. TO USE: I squeeze a chickpea size amount of this onto my fingers, and thoroughly rub all over my face and neck. Make sure to rub in completely near your ears and jaw line especially so you don't get that gross separation line.

almay clear complexion concealer: THIS CONCEALER HIDES ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, EVEN THE MOST STUBBORN RED BLEMISHES. MAKE SURE YOU OPT FOR A SHADE MATCHING OR A LITTLE LIGHTER THAN YOUR SKIN. YOU DO NOT WANT A CONCEALER TO BE DARKER THAN YOUR NATURAL SKIN TONE. TO USE: I like to put my concealer over my tinted moisturizer (a lot of people put it on first,) because it brightens the under eye area. Use the wand to dab some concealer under each eye, on your chin, between your eyebrows, and on any red spots or blemishes you want to cover. I sometimes also like to put a tiny bit on my eyelids to act as a base for eyeshadow. Lightly smooth into your skin. Don't rub too hard or you will lose the coverage.
smashbox, bronze lights bronzer, suntan matte: THIS IS THE BEST BRONZER I'VE EVER USED. IT IS MATTE SO THERE ARE NO SPARKLES IN IT. I FIND THE BRONZERS WITH THE GOLD FLECKS ARE BETTER FOR THE SUMMER WHEN YOU HAVE A NATURAL TAN. DURING THE WINTER MONTHS WHEN I JUST WANT TO ADD SOME COLOR TO MY FACE, I OPT FOR THIS MATTE VERSION. DEPENDING ON HOW FAIR OR DARK YOUR SKIN IS, YOU ONLY NEED A VERY LIGHT DUSTING OF THIS. TO USE: Most makeup artists would tell you that bronzer is really only meant to be used on your cheeks and nose but I totally disagree. As long as you don't over do it with the color, bronzer can give you a natural looking amount of color. Sweep a large bronzing brush into the powder and dust your cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, and neck with the color. Make sure you don't look orange...that is NOT cute. Lightly rub your hands all over your face afterwards just to make sure everything is rubbed in.
bobbi brown, shimmer brick, beige, bloomingdales.com
dior, shimmer star powder, amber diamond, sephora.com
These highlighting powders from Bobbi Brown and Dior are my two favorites.  Both are equally great and similarly priced so they are great choices. These will give you that dewy look that a lot of celebs rock. This is great for highlighting your cheek bones.  TO USE: Using a smaller blush brush, swipe the entire brush through all colors on the palettes and starting at your cheek bone (find the outer corner of your eye and draw an imaginary line  down to your cheek, this is where you will start sweeping the highlighter.) Start there and sweep up and out to your hairline. Do this on both cheeks and lightly on the tip of your nose.
nars powder blush in deep throat: This blush is a great color because it has more of a peach hue, rather than a blatant pink. I just picked this up at sephora the other day and am in love with it. TO USE: Use a blush brush, sweep gently into the power, and brush color onto the apple of your cheeks and up and out (following a similar line as you did with the highlighter.) Add a swipe of color along the top of your nose (bridge to tip) and a very light dash on your forehead and chin.


mac cosmetics, nylon frosted eye shadow, maccosmetics.com

prestige eyeshadow, golden retriever, ulta.com
**STEAL: $3.99!**

stila, talking palette, smoky eye, sephora.com
TO USE: Depending on the look you are going for, any of these are fantastic choices. The first two are great for day time.  Nylon (from mac) is a great frosty whitish color that should be swept onto your lid and inside corner of your eye to brighten. (Also it stays on ALL day!)  Same goes for shadow from Prestige in golden retriever. For the Stila palette, I don't even need to tell you what to do because that little button under the lid that you see in the picture, is actually a voice that tells you exactly what to do with each color! Plus there is a diagram on the bottom of the palette. (This talking palette comes in numerous color variations.) Easy enough? I think so.
almay, liquid line eyeliner, amazon.com

lancome, le crayon kohl, black ebony, sephora.com
Depending on how comfortable you are with eyeliner, you may prefer a pencil to a liquid liner. However, I will tell you that my favorite thing about the Almay liquid eyeliner is that it's extremely easy to use. It has more of a felt tip than a brush so it's very easy to control when applying. Plus it dries very quickly. TO USE: I usually pull out the outer corner of my eye with one finger, and draw a line at the base of my lashes starting at the inner corner and going outwards. Usually I extend slightly past the outer edge of my eye for a more winged-out look. The Lancome pencil is great because the liner is really soft and can either be smoothly applied as a line, or smudged for a smokier look. 
 Not everyone likes to use eyebrow pencil. Honestly, I didn't start using it until last year.  I have naturally very dark brown hair but very light eyebrows and was always afraid I would look scary with darker eyebrows.  I didn't want to look like a lunatic so I made sure to buy a light brown pencil that blends perfectly with my natural eyebrow color. By doing this, it makes my eyebrows look denser, not darker. Which looks a lot more natural. I use the soft brown color but there are options for many other hair shades.
diorshow blackout, sephora.com

maybelline, falsies volum' express, target.com
 Mascara is SUPER important. If you wear nothing else on your eyes, wear mascara. It opens your eyes and makes you look awake. It also can make your lashes very flirty. Both the Dior and Maybelline versions are my favorites...depending how much cash I have on a given month I opt for either more expensive Dior version, or drugstore Maybelline version. Equally great. TO USE: Put one coat on each set of upper lashes, then a second coat on each set of upper lashes. Wait a minute for upper lashes to dry. Then do single coat on lower lashes of each eye.


Revlon, Just Bitten Colorstay Lipstain & Balm, ulta.com
This is the longest lasting, best lipstain I've found. And it's not a fancy designer brand so it's cheap and easy to find in a drugstore. I found mine in the local Rite Aid but they have it online as well. There are 10 color options, the above three are my absolute favorites. I use Passion (far left) as my day to day color, Twilight (center) single or double swipe for day, layered darker for night, and Crave (right) for a night out. What's great about these is that they are very easy to control. The tip is like a marker so the color is under your control and doesn't get all over the place. The best part is that the other end is a very moisturizing lip balm that gives the color a slight, natural sheen. The color stays in place for a while and can be refreshed with just a swipe of the balm. Must have.

smashbox, o-gloss, sephora.com
Believe it or not, this clear gloss (they call it sheer pink but its pretty much clear) goes on your lips without color, starts to tingle a bit, and then turns a flattering slight shade of pink based on your natural lip color. It's very cool! But you need to be OK with your lips tingling a bit- it's kind of the same sensation as using a lip plumper. 

fresh, sugar lip treatment with spf 15, neimanmarcus.com
TO USE: This is basically a tinted chapstick but with extra moisture and spf for protection. My favorite is the tea Rose (far left) version. It has a great pink tint and makes my lips feel so soft! Not long lasting so it requires a lot of re-applications. 

Makeup is a great place to get creative, so grab some suggestions from above and put your own twist on it. Yay for being a girl!


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