Sunday, 28 April 2013

I Challenge You to….

                             ….Think Differently About Your Face

One of the things you realise very early on as a makeup artist is the normal woman’s obsession with her perceived flaws.

I use the words “normal” and “perceived” very specifically here. The definition of a normal women being one who is neither a model nor a celebrity. Who with the influence of mass media, clever lighting and Photoshop believe that they suffer from imperfections (spots, lines, dark circles, bad bone structure….) that women in the spotlight have been granted immunity from?

Our common sense deep down is telling us that this must be nonsense, however we still cant help but wonder. Yes celebrities have the best in skincare, make-up artists and even cosmetic surgery. However the real difference is we are looking for, and at their “beauty”.

Meanwhile looking in the mirror at ourselves, our minds over exaggerate the areas we dislike. From the condition of our skin to the structure of our faces, we fixate on and curse the things we dislike. We are looking at our own “faults”.

So what’s the challenge? Well the issue is that when we focus so much on our faults and flaws this naturally dictates how we apply makeup. Therefore to improve how we apply our makeup we need to change how we think.

Bad skin?? - This encourages thick layers of heavy coverage foundation.
Dark Circles?? - Heavy layers of concealer under the eye area.
Pale skin?? - Over zealous bronzing all over the face??  

The trend here, we are trying to hide, to cover and to disguise. By doing so we create a flat, one colour and mask like appearance to our faces. Where too much heavy coverage makes the skin look dull and product sinks into fine lines. At the end we have neither brought forward nor pushed back aspects of our features. Only the same face remains, just like before except with a thickly covered, duller layer of skin.

So we need to think positive…to start with the things we can enhance, then at the end maybe cover up the odd spot or dark circle, if we can still see it that is? The theory being that if we draw attention to the beauty in our face and skin the other things appear less obvious.

Below I have added some tips to how you can enhance your natural beauty and some products that will help you with this. But the main idea here is that to be your own makeup artist ….you have to think like they do.

Enhance beauty. Create beauty. Celebrate beauty.


Even out natural skin tone with foundation. A light covering built up gradually on the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead is all that is needed. To bring out the youthful glow in the skin use an illuminating foundation or mix in an illuminating primer.

Illuminate the high points of the face with highlighter, tops of cheekbones, down the centre of the nose, very slightly under the brow and on the cupids bow. This lifts the features and gives a youthful glow.

Enhance the structure of the face with contour and matt bronzer. A little under the cheekbones, on the forehead and jawline adds depth to the face contrasting with the highlighter pulling features out.

Blush adds colour and brightens the face giving it a healthy glow. Keep this high on the cheeks merging into the highlighter. Avoid bringing this too far into the face (no further in than the width of the pupils). Blush which sits higher on the cheek also helps to counteract and detract from dark circles.

A small amount of powder through the arch of the brow will define at the most flattering point and lift the features. Avoid harshly drawn on brows and sharp edges. Let the natural brow show through rather than covering with thick amounts of product.

Running a thin amount of pencil liner through the lashes will give the effect of thicker lashes.

Wipe most of the product off the mascara brush before using to avoid over made up and clumpy lashes.

Use a small amount of illuminating concealer just on the precise part you can see any dark circles. For puffy under eyes a matt eye shadow blended under the eye will push this backwards.

Use a firmer yellow undertone concealer for spots, warm up on back of hand and pat onto spots or very gently buff on with fluffy brush. Build up coverage and avoid too much product getting onto areas with no spots.

Even out lip shape with a lip liner very gently tracing the lip line, avoid harshly or overdrawn lip lines as this can be ageing

Give ‘Em Some Lip

The weather has finally begun to turn warmer and its time for us to start thinking of our Spring/Summer makeup looks.

One thing that has been prominent on the Spring/Summer runways over the last couple of seasons is a bright lip and there are many to choose from now on the high street.


The beauty of a bright lip is that the rest of the makeup can be kept really fresh and minimal allowing the lip to be the main focus and steal the show. This means our summer looks can be quick and easy.

I usually keep the skin fresh, with a hint of bronzer or blush to warm up the cheeks. Add a sweep of a neutral shadow on the eye and a very thin liner pressed into the lash.

When applying lipstick, I recommend using a lip brush to get a precise edge. MAC has a great retractable one that can then be popped into your bag for touch ups later.

If you have thin lips, or you need to even them out or add definition a lip liner is your best friend. Either match this exactly to the lipstick or use a neutral colour like “Stone” by MAC to contour the lips to create depth at the edges.

Apply the lipstick all over the lip, using a firm sweeping motion when drawing the outer edge to get a straight edge.

Then to define or to touch up use a concealer brush, or an angled eyebrow brush to run foundation/concealer along the edge to neaten and sharpen the line

Another tip is to ensure the outer edges of the lower lip angle upwards, this is much more flattering and is more youthful as it lifts the features. This is something you will see used on most photo shoots and advertising campaigns.

As for the rest of the shape it is up to you whether you prefer a rounded or sharp lip. However the shape should be flattering with your features and compliment the style of your overall makeup look.

Now you know how to apply….you will want to know what to buy. Below is a selection of my favourite tried and tested lipsticks for that bright summer pop of colour.

Lime Crime – Suedeberry

Lime Crime has taken the lipstick world by storm with their new Velvetines Lipsticks. The product comes in a lip-gloss like tube and appears to have the consistency of a stain. However this product dries matte on to the lips with a very pigmented colour.  Despite being matte the Velvetines keep the lips moisturised, which is a great advantage over most other matte colours. The real selling point however is the staying point of this product; it remains intact for hours even through eating and drinking.

Unfortunately at the moment it is only available in 2 colours with Suedberry being my pick for a bright summery red.

Get it whist you can, as these sought after lip colours sell out constantly with demand so high!


MAC - Candy Yum Yum

For a perfect pink MAC have recently relaunched a previous limited edition colour to now be part of their permanent collection.

Candy Yum Yum not only has a great name but also a great finish. The colour is very bright and is at the bluey end of the pink spectrum.  This is great on warmer and olive skin tones as the coolness of the blue really pops. Best to keep the rest of the skin very minimal and using warm colours as this can easily look harsh and wash out the skin.

Sleek – Candy Cane

For those who find a blue pink too harsh for their complexion a coral pink is a great option.
Just like the rest of the Sleek range Candy Cane is a great quality lipstick at a really affordable price.  
The finish is sheen rather than matte but the strong pigment gives this the same depth of colour you would get with a matte finish.

MAC – Morange

The best bright orange on the market in my opinion. Morange is almost neon and not for the faint hearted. However if your skin suits orange-based lipstick this is definitely a show-stopping colour. This looks amazing on darker, olive or tanned skin. However this is probably not one to wear with fake tan as the orangey tones in the tan may make the combination a little too overpowering!