Makeup 101: 10 Things Not To Do

 

Should you be charged with crimes against beauty? We’re here to set you straight.

 

As seen in Filly.ca

Remember in high school, when passing the part of the building where the bad rocker girls smoked in the bathroom? Remember their magnificent floating heads of ginger just to their jaw lines and then, ffsstt!, white from the neck down?

Was one of those girls you? Admit it. Some of you have never graduated past those dark and lonely days.

Well, it’s time to put on your mortarboard and bid farewell to high school habits. Think of me as your valedictorian and take notes: 

Dark and light: foundation match

1. Take a deep breath and trust your professional cosmetician to divine your skin tone. Don’t spend 5 minutes insisting you’re dark and lovely if you make Cate Blanchett seem swarthy. Accept what you are – and then work with that palette. If it’s a deeper or bronzed skin color that you desire, don’t be tempted to go with a dark foundation. Although it seems counter-intuitive, match it to your skin tone, adding a powder or gel bronzer. 

When applying a bronzer (Tarte “Sunkissed” is my fav), think of how the sun kisses your face naturally. Pass your powder or bronzing brush at the forehead, cheekbones, across the nose and at the jaw line. If you feel the need to have that deeper skin tone in a liquid form, use a tinted moisturizer. They are meant to be sheer, they blend nicely on the neck and they will make your skin tone more believable than brazen.

2. For those dolls who crave the porcelain look, but clearly have a deeper skin tone, never fear. Remember the ginger-faced girl from the first paragraph – don’t be her Geisha Girlfriend. If it’s a brightness that you desire, try adding a liquid highlighter to your foundation or a powder highlighter on top of the foundation you have applied. Application of powder highlighters are applied in exactly the same manner as the bronzing powders – with care and love.

Eyeliner and mascara

3. Calling all gals who lived through any part of the 70s, 80s or 90s! Let’s talk about eyeliner. Remember junior high school when you first discovered this strange and mysterious product? Remember the great application techniques that you had: rimming the table of your bottom eye lid; putting your liner at the base of the bottom lash line and either smudging it out or leaving it as it was? Wow. That was a great look.  Nothing says “Talk to me!” like a nice, heavy bottom lid that makes you look tired, miserable and unapproachable. 
If your eye is large enough, go ahead and continue with the “smudge” technique, but add something to the top lash line. Smudge in a little liner to that lash line much the same way as you are doing to the bottom. You’d be surprised at how much happier your eyes look. 

On the other hand, those of you with smaller peepers should retire your bottom liner technique completely. It’s only making your eye look smaller. Instead, just add a little liner into the base of the top lash. Pop! Go the peepers. A light highlight shadow color on the eyelid will open them even more.


4. As for mascara, make sure that you are cleaning your eyes properly at night. Adding mascara to your lashes from yesterday and the day before produces three or four big spikes, a la Tammy Faye. If you are a mascara aficionado (and who isn’t?), invest in a good eye makeup remover, one with oil (the kind that the liquid separates and are generally blue in color). Don’t worry; the oil won’t give you zits around your eyes. Apply your mascara from the base of the lash, just hitting the tips. This technique works for everyone. It’s amazing how your lashes will keep separated by doing this as well.

 

Eye shadow and frosted brow bones

 

5. Can we talk about the urge to match? Just because you are wearing a purple suit doesn’t mean that you have to do up your whole face in purple. 

 

Do you remember, around grade 5 in art class, when you learned the color wheel? If you can find it in your catacombs, haul it out. Otherwise, visit your nearest Loomis and Toles to purchase one. This is your new oracle.

 

The simplest thing here is to remember: “opposites attract”. For example, you will notice that on the wheel, the opposite of green is red. I’m not suggesting to wear red eye shadows with green eyes, but anything that contains red (such as orange, purple or pink) will suffice.

 

6. Toronto Makeup Artist Lindsay LaRocque would like to remind you of frosted eye shadow on the brow, saying to “remember age appropriateness. If it looks crêpy, then don’t do it.” She’s right on the money, here.  When you think frosting, think birthday cake. And if birthdays fill you with more horror than joy – leave the frosted look for the kids. Don’t feel bitter, they won’t get away with it for too much longer.

 

Brows

 

7. What gives a great frame to an eye? Yes, you are right. A good brow. While a small percentage of you out there are hard to find within the forest that is growing around your eye, I know that most of you readers are not. If anything, you may suffer from the plight of walking a thin line. At this point, please refer to my article, The Fine Art of Brow Beating. Learn to get a great brow in a few simple steps.

 

Blush

 

8. In the cinema in my head, there’s a one-song soundtrack forever playing in the background. It’s Peggy Lee’s “Fever”. Blush too close to the eye will make you look ill. Do you have the desire to look like you are constantly suffering a fever of 102? 

 

Look at yourself in the mirror. Smile. Place a little blush just where the top of the cheek pops out. This will provide a soft and youthful appearance. If it’s an evening look you’re striving for, add a little more blush onto the cheekbone and pop a little more above the temple, not in the temple. Remember, no fever. 

 

Lips

 

9. No offense to our fabulous Miss Pam Anderson, but overdrawing the lip just leaves you with a moustache after your lipstick or gloss has fled. If it’s fullness you desire, research local doctors and find a master filler. However, if you are lacking the necessary funds for lip injections, don’t compensate with lip liner. Go ahead and draw a little fuller over the lip if you have a non-existent lip, just at the top of your lip line and be sure to blend it in. Use lighter lip shades and a little gloss just in the middle of the lip. Over-glossing on any lip just gets messy and bleeds out past the lip line quickly, giving you a look not unlike a clown. And everybody knows that clowns are frightful. 

 

And finally…

 

10. Don’t be so attached to what you think looks great. It may have looked fantastic 20 years ago but remember that, as you graduate, so must your makeup.

 

These are the absolute, bare essentials, girls. Once you’ve mastered where you need to go with this, then go ahead and experiment.

The Fine Art Of Brow Beating

Architecturally, brows are the most dramatic part of the eye and, by extension, the entire face. You may have a great eye makeup application but, if you don’t have a properly shaped brow, you have bubkis.

When your brow job is closer to fascistic than fashionable, an angry, constantly happy, surprised or sad look may take up long term residence on your face. Before you even consider tweezing solo, study the brows of the sad girl in your office or local cocktail lounge who always appears miserable or worried. Is she suffering under the weight of a bad brow? Look closer. Then, put down your tweezers till you finish this article and nobody gets hurt.

Tweezers
So, what to do if you have a big ol’ bushy brow or – alternately – a soft, blonde and practically non-existent brow? 

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…

Have fun with your brow, but beware of the little devil at your side that tempts you to over pluck. 
The most important thing when brow beating is proper measurement. To measure your brow, start with a pencil or the handle of one of your brushes and make a line from the outside of your nose (nostril) to the inner corner of your eye. See how far in or out your brow goes from that line. The inside line of the pencil next to your brow is where your brow should start.

Next, angle the pencil from the outside of your nostril to outside edge of your pupil. Where the end of your line meets the brow is where the peak of the brow should be.
Finally, use the pencil to measure from the outside of your nostril to the outside corner of the eye. Where the line of the pencil meets the “tail” of your brow is where your brow should end.

 Brow Measured  Brow After Brows Cleaned & Measured 

 brow measured (before)

 groomed brow 

 groomed brow measured 

Now, emulating Catherine Zeta Jones’ fierce brow is all about your arsenal. Today, we talk tweezers – future columns will delve into waxing and threading.

 

 

A great brow is only as good as your tweezers. My favorite brand is Tweezerman, but there are armies of stellar tweezers on the market. What I like about Tweezerman is the lifetime warranty:  if ever they become dull you can return them to the company for sharpening. FYI, I have never had to send my Tweezermans back in the ten years I’ve had them at my side.

If you’re a novice, the best-shaped tweezers that you can get are angled. These darlings boast a flat, angled edge that comes to a point on one side. This shape both allows for grabbing a forest of hair with the flat edge, and fine-tuning with the pointed end. 

When pruning, the most important thing to remember is to think, I am just cleaning up the area. Don’t go overboard and end up with tadpole brows or stark lines reminiscent of Gloria Swanson or Jean Harlow. I have heard hundreds of stories over the years from clients who were tweezer-happy back in the day and must spend eternity looking like Liza circa Cabaret. Take it easy, girls, a few hairs won’t send your true love scrambling for a weed whacker or divorce lawyer.

Use your measurement guides – trust me on this.

 What Not to Do: 'Walking the Line' Brow  What Not to Do: 'Tadpole' Brow

 don’t walk the line

 don’t make tadpoles

For those of you in the know who opt for a high maintenance regime, use tweezers that come to a fine point. This allows for maintenance and fine-tuning under and over the brow.

If you are lucky enough to have a robust brow, you’re unlikely to need a pencil or powder shadow. At the same time, if you are follicularily fortunate, you may wish to invest in a brow gel to keep the brow from being too wild kingdom.  (Try the gel in lieu of clear mascara; I have found that clear mascaras in the brow often flake!).

If you’re the gal that has either fine hair or blonde hair, you opt for the aforementioned brow pencils or powder shadows. Personally, if I’m using a pencil, I prefer one that has a powder content rather than a wax for you can go over it with a hard angle brush or mascara wand to soften out the look.  Wax, on the other hand, often has all the flexibility of JLo’s pre-nup agreements.

So, before you grab your instrument I have one last word of laving caution: Have fun with your brow, but beware of the little devil at your side that tempts you to over pluck.  It’s true that tweezing can soon become addictive and we’ve all seen the grim handiwork of an obsessive plucker.  Don’t succumb to the demons! Flick them away or poke them with your tweezers. But the fashionable girl need be ever diligent; for just like your brow hair, those demons just keep coming back.