M – Makeup

Come now, you must have seen this one coming. Make up is an essential topic; one that most people take lightly (or too heavily) Yes, I still have bad puns, I have a doozy for you at the end of this post. I’m giggling already just thinking about it. Alright then, make up. Ladies, gentlemen, grab a latte.

When it comes to makeup, there is simply one hard and fast rule that always, ALWAYS applies and it this:

KNOW YOUR SKIN TONE.

Know it like you know the last four digits of your credit card. It is imperative. Not knowing your skin tone is where disaster stems from. It is what causes face masks – that horrid phenomenon where one’s foundation or pressed powder is much too light, so it forms a ring around the chin and forehead areas, giving the appearance that one is wearing a (rather scary) mask, oh, le cringe! Not knowing your skin tone is also what causes one to wear very uncomplimentary shades of of eyeshadow or lipstick. Daring be damned mademoiselle, there are certain shades that are for circus performances alone.

In the post for hair, I mentioned that make up should complement your outfit, not match it. Now if you’ve got the wrong make up, you ruin what was potentially a great outfit because no matter how skillfully it is applied, unflattering makeup just ruins everything. If you don’t know your skin tone, makeup will always be unflattering. You see how this can snowball? Exactly.

So how do you find out your skin tone? It’s easy, go shopping for makeup with these handy tips:

  1. Do not, do not, DO NOT shop for makeup in dim lighting. Fluorescent lighting or something very close to it is excellent for revealing spots and blemishes. If you cannot see them, how can you buy products to conceal them?
  2. Listen to the sales representative but don’t take her word for it. Compare a variety of testers on your skin till you find one that matches. MAC does a good line of pressed powders with Studio Fix, Sephora Collection also does a nice baked compact. For bronzing and illumination, Mark has a good line, Revlon as well. For foundation, Estee Lauder has a great line and I’ve also heard fantastic things about Makeup Forever (haven’t used that so don’t take my word for it. The rest, I can swear by.)
  3. Don’t test the makeup on the inside of your wrist, it is not the same tone as your face. Try your chin, or cheek and go for the one that “disappears” on your skin. Just dab on a little bit to see, don’t go nuts and do a full face coverage.
  4. For eyeshadow and lip colour, try it on, stand back and observe it critically. How many times will you wear it? Does it complement anything? Would you wear it to your mother’s house? No? Wipe it off. Please.

Note: You need to have at least two sets of foundation/powder to accommodate the changes in weather. In the winter or colder weather, your skin lightens and in the summer you’re more tan.  Unless you intend to apply fake bronzer all year round, your winter palette must be different. If you live in a more tropical climate, you can get away with one palette, your skin tone will only vary VERY slightly in the seasons. 

Now, after you have discovered your skin tone and picked out your proper colour, then comes the application which is just as important. For everyday application, here is another hard and fast rule:

DO NOT PILE IT ON.

Please don’t. For the sake of your skin, your friends, your significant other, and mostly for the sake of your wallet. Do not pile makeup on. Keep things simple. If you exceed two items on a part of your face, you’ve overdone it (yes, even with eyeshadow) Here are a few tips:

  1. Liquid foundation OR pressed powder, not both.
    • If you apply liquid foundation, you need a loose setting powder to dust over it lightly, pressed powder is overkill.
    • If you apply pressed powder, use concealer for blemishes, if any. Foundation under is too much for everyday.
  2. Blush OR bronzer not both.
    • Bronzer is used to achieve the look of a healthy glow, blush is for the appearance of youthful, rosy cheeks. Pick one look and go with it. If you are darker skinned, leave blush alone. You cannot naturally attain rosy cheeks, why fake it? Dab (emphasis on dab) on some illuminating powder instead for a wholesome glow.
    • Do not load on the blush or bronzer, lightly brush it on or dab. Leave the overkill to the performance artists.
    • Contouring. Why? Unless you’re in a beauty pageant or a makeup show, it is completely unnecessary. Keep your makeup as natural looking as possible.
  3. Eyeliner + mascara OR mascara + eyeshadow not all three.
    • Why pile on all three, don’t you have somewhere to be in 45 minutes? The posters for the makeup commercials look like that because they are trying to cram in as many products on a poster as possible. It is supposed to be dramatic. You are supposed to look human.
    • Eyeliner outlines, mascara outlines, eyeshadow enhances. All your eyes need is to be enhanced and outlined, if you have more than two things mentioned above, one of them is unnecessary.
  4. Eyebrows. These are the frames for your face so be very kind to them. A friend of mine used to tell me that the eyebrows could make or break a face and that whenever she looked odd, it was because her eyebrows hadn’t been properly done. I have found this to be very true. Ladies, know this, all faces are different. Your natural eyebrow shape is there for a reason. It may be thicker and you may need to tweeze and tweak a bit, but do not deviate drastically from your natural shape. Stick to it, your body is perfectly put together, work with what you have. Also, please stop highlighting your brows, leave that to the 90s sitcom stars.
  5. Lip gloss OR lipstick, not both. If you need shine in a lipstick, there are glossy ones. Don’t pile on the lip product, you’re going to chew off and swallow half of it. The other half, your significant other/date will very unwillingly swallow. Honestly, who’s going to want to kiss you with all that muck? More importantly, how would you feel if you were the one who had to suck all that gunk off? Exactly. Play nice, keep it simple.
  6. Last but not least, always adhere to the “one at a time” rule I mentioned in the Elegance post. If your eyes are dramatic, keep the lips simple and vice versa.

Note: Just as you do not shop for makeup in dim lighting, do not apply it in dim lighting. You need to see blemishes to properly cover them.

The overarching lesson here ladies, is keep it simple. Of course, there will be times when you will need to pile on the glam, and by all means madame, have at it; but try to keep it relatively simple. Pay no mind to the media frenzy, less is always more and will always be elegant. Whew! What a long read! Merci, for staying with me till the end. Hope you learned a few good tips.Now go forth and put your best face forward!

Look out for the next post, I’m going to nail it. Ahaha! (Oh come on, that one was good!)

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