My philosophy about makeup is that it’s all about fun. You don’t need it to look beautiful — you are already beautiful, just as you are! — and it never works to use makeup to try to cover anything up or make yourself look different.
But lots of women, all throughout history, have used makeup for adornment, playfulness, fun, experimentation… just like jewelry, or fashion, or accessories.
It’s to add a little something “extra.” So today, in the spirit of fun, I thought I’d share some of the tips and tricks I picked up in my many years as a makeup artist.
Know your light.
Most indoor light is pretty dim, compared to sunlight. The best light to apply your makeup in is beauty lighting, but most of us don’t have that in our house.
The next best thing is going to be a window. If you can set up your makeup tray and mirror near a window that has a lot of natural light streaming in, you’ll have the most accurate picture of how the world sees you.
As far as products go, moisturizing is the number one most important thing you can do for your skin.
It makes you shine, it makes you glow, it nourishes your skin and protects it from pollution.
So you start with your Boom Silk or your Boomstick Glo — they’re the same product, the Boomstick just has a bit more beeswax, and the Silk has more water and olive oil — both are meant to go on your skin first.
And if that’s all you want, that’s all you have to do! But if you want to go on and do it up with all the other makeup products, then:
Use a light touch with concealer and foundation.
Normally, I don’t use a foundation or a concealer at all — I like to let the natural texture and luminosity of my skin shine through.But if you do want to use a foundation, I recommend applying it with your finger, so you don’t use up a whole bunch on the sponge.
And often I’ll use it only in a few specific places, instead of over the whole face. As far as concealer goes, I also don’t use it usually.
Concealer adds texture to your skin. For example, you can’t eliminate under-eye circles without adding texture, because you need a dense, thick concealer that’s thick enough to stay put.
So as a makeup artist who’s been in the business for 35 years, I really can tell you. You have to choose.
Do you want more texture under my eyes with no circles, or do you want to keep the circles and keep your skin dewy and moisturized?
I think circles are great — as a makeup artist, we used to add them to the models to make them smokey and sexy — but if you do use a concealer, make sure it matches your skin tone exactly.
Boomsticks come next!
I like to use the Color on my cheeks, lips, and forehead. Anywhere your circulation would increase if you were having fun or excited.
And then Boomstick Glimmer, to add a little pearlescence — you can try it on your brow bone, on your cheekbones, anywhere you want a highlight.
Define your brows gently.
I do like to put on my eyebrows. But I do it with a light touch: I get my pencil really sharp, and then draw gently in the direction of the hair.
The hair on your eyebrows often lightens as you age; so you don’t want to do anything harsh. You don’t want to draw hard lines on your skin or create a different line from your natural brow line.
Also, don’t try to match! Our faces are naturally asymmetrical. If we follow those natural differences, those little nuances are nice; that’s what’s special about you!
Don’t call attention to eye makeup — just define.
If I’m on camera and I want to be a little snazzier, a little more dramatic, I’ll line my eyes.
I like to put it just at the base, where the lashes grow in, just to give my eye a bit more definition without calling attention to the makeup.
Different eyelash curlers work differently for different women — each of us has a unique eye shape! Experiment with them till you find the one that works for you. I think eyelashes are really fun.
They’re very feminine — if you think about Bambi, the only difference between the boy version of the animals and the girl version of the animals is that the girls all had long eyelashes.
Lashes give your eyes definition without looking fake, because you already have hair — you’re just enhancing what’s already there.
Take a break once in awhile.
If I’ve been modeling for a few days and been made up a lot, and then I wake up and see myself bare-faced, it’s jarring.
Because I got used to looking in the mirror and seeing all that makeup! And I find myself wanting to add makeup, and add makeup, and add makeup… makeup can be addicting like that.
So if I’m in the studio and I get used to myself with makeup, I’ll purposely not wear any for a couple of weeks, so I get back to appreciating myself naturally.
Makeup can be really fun to experiment with — the trick is to stay flexible with it, so it’s always a pleasurable, added bonus, and never something you feel you need to feel good about yourself or comfortable in your skin.