Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Makeup Tips From A Non-Pro

I am not a professional makeup artist nor have I taken makeup lessons of any sort.  I respect cosmetology as an art and do not compare myself to anyone who has earned and worked for the title of makeup artist.  With that being said, I have a difficult time executing makeup tips on YouTube, for example, that are done by professionals.  Why?  For starters I am not going to wear primer everyday when I do my makeup.  I don't know what an "180 brush" looks like and I'm not going to drop $25.00 on buying one.  I'll reserve all that and the falsies for when I seek professional makeup help for special occasions.
That doesn't stop me from loving makeup and trying all the different things I can with it.  It's one thing I do consistently every morning while getting ready for the day.  Well, other than brush my teeth and shower.  I love trying different colors and looks.  I'm not into looking overdone but I do like to wear colors and try fun trends!  I think I've got a pretty good grip on my own makeup and I've compiled all these tips to help other ladies out there who are frustrated with over the top makeup tutorials.

I have a few rules to follow when it comes to makeup:
- Always start with a clean face!! Even just a quick rinse at the sink makes a big difference.

- Moisturize first.  Give it a little time to absorb.  See my "Tested & True" Products I Love post for a great face lotion.

- Check out your eyebrow situation before you put on makeup.  Pluck if you need to!  Your eyebrows should reflect the fullness of your lips.  Full lips = Fuller brows.

- Put on Chapstick BEFORE you do your makeup.  If you're going to wear gloss or lipstick the Chapstick will absorb by the time you put on your shade and help give you a soft pout!

- This might just be a "me" thing, but I like to brush my teeth first.  That way I'm all over "face fresh" and I don't smudge anything while scrubbin'!

1. Laying the foundation (get it?)
What you will need:
- Makeup wedge sponge
- Blush brush
- Eyebrow brush (short, stiff angled brush)
- Foundation
- Bronzer
- Blush, light shade
- Powder
- Eyeshadow that is slightly darker than your eyebrow shade

Start by putting on your foundation.  I usually only use a total of three small dollops of foundation.  Make sure to pat and not wipe it around the eye area!  IMPORTANT: don't forget to spread your foundation under jaw line and blend it really well!  After you apply the foundation do a sweep of powder to solidify it.
Next lightly tap your brush into the bronzer and give it a little blow before applying it to your face.  You can always add more, so start with a small amount.  You want to apply bronzer  on the "underside" of your cheek bones.  It's meant to add some shadow and make your face more defined.  Also, give your nose a light sweep and just a little sweep on the forehead and chin.  Here's a pro tip: extend your sweep up onto your temple making a "C" shape with your brush as you apply.
Then you will be applying blush!  Blush is used to go on the upper part of your cheek bones (opposite your bronzer) and the apples of your cheeks.  Same rules apply, start light and add as needed.
Next step, you need to define your brow!  So many girls ignore their brows when they are the key to looking fabulous.  Don't  believe me?  Go to an esthetician, tell them you want your brows waxed and dyed a shade darker than they naturally are.  You won't believe how much your face changes.  But you don't need to shell out the cash to get the effect.  Pick an eye shadow that is matte (no sparkly shades!) and is a shade or two darker than your natural brow color. Using a stiff brush, press it lightly into the shadow and make sure you cover the whole surface of the brush.  Using small strokes in an upward motion, work the pigment into your brows.  I start at the arch of my brow and then work my way in, this way all the pigment isn't concentrated in one area. Use an eyebrow comb to put your brows back in shape and then add or remove color as needed!  A Q-tip goes a long way in brow shaping.

Now step back, check out your face from all the different angles and smudge/rub anywhere you need to tweak! This is your natural look at its best.  You should feel pretty and natural before you start on your eyes.

2. The Eyes
What you will need:
- Puffy eyeshadow brush
- Crease brush or soft angle brush
- Eyelash/brow comb
- Eyeliner, any color
- Eye shadow; base shade, two shades of color, light reflecting shadow
- Mascara

Use this photo as a guide:

First, pick your base shade.  If you don't even know where to begin, here is some advice... Just decide how you want to look that day.  Are you going  for a subtle look, a fresh and pretty look, sexy and cool, or whatever just commit to something!  Once you decide on that, pick your colors accordingly.  I don't recommend using white as a base shade.  Opt for more of a skin tone or an cream color. This is simply to avoid the "Jersey makeup" look.  My go-to base shade is MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study.  It's a cream based shadow but it stays on all day and never creases!  I apply this to the full lid of my eye.
Next, apply your eye liner.  I stick strictly to black/dark-brown/charcoal for my upper lash line because I want to define my eye.  I make a clean line across my lash line and then I play with the outer eye depending on what look I'm going for.  I like crayon eye pencils the best since you don't have to sharpen them and they tend to be the smoothest when applying.  Start at the center of the lashes and make small strokes moving to the outer corner of your eye.  Think of it as if you were drawing a dashed line only you will connect it.  Then, carefully line the inner most part of your eye.  
Next step, pick your medium shade and apply it to the crease areas.  This shade is usually pretty light but has more pigment than your base shade.  Don't be afraid to apply this generously!  Make sure you're blending as you go and start with a small amount and add as needed.  You could use either your angle brush or fluffy eyeshadow brush, I usually op for a fluffily angled brush.  After you apply this shade you will move to your darker shade and apply this specifically on the outer crease of your eye and the outer part of the lid.  Stick with a more angled brush to help you stay within the right area.  Make a sideways "V" shape with your brush while applying.  Blend, blend and blend!
Final shadow step, you will be taking your light reflecting shade and putting it in two key places.  First place, under the arch of your brow and second place is the inner most corner of your eye.  I'll even drag a little bit down along my nose, but just a little!  This is how to get bright and awake looking eyes.  If you aren't getting the affect you want, then add a little bit of this shade right above your eye onto the lid.  
My final step is adding mascara, two coats.  I really like Cover Girl Lash Blast, in the orange tube.  Start at the base of your lashes and brush the wand up and out.  Don't wiggle the wand because you're going to get clumpy and spidery lashes.  And keep your eyes open; you don't want to blink into the mascara because you will hardly cover any lashes this way.  Let the first coat dry completely before putting on the second coat.  An eyelash comb is always helpful in smoothing out any imperfections without messing up your makeup.  But don't use it if your mascara isn't dry, you might ruin the comb or your makeup.

I didn't forget... If you like to play up your bottom lash-line, go for it!  I tend to save this area for night looks but that's also because my bottom lashes are basically transparent so it looks like I'm wearing a lot of makeup when I do up my bottom lashes.  One thing I love using the bottom lash-line for is adding a pop of color.  This is the place I would recommend using those colored eyeliners you have! If you don't have colored eyeliner you can use eyeshadow too.  Just apply the shadow to a damp angle brush and gently line your bottom lash-line with it.

As basic as my makeup advice may be you can play with it and make it your own!  I like my techniques because I can use any colors and I can create a lot of different looks.  All-in-all this takes me probably 15-20 minutes to apply my makeup but I really like taking my time.  If I look good, I feel good and there's nothing wrong with looking and feeling good about yourself!

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