I do a “Favorite Things” post every once in a while, and I think it’s time for a new one. This post includes both beauty and non-beauty faves of mine because, hey, isn’t a makeup artist with varied interests more fun to talk to?
A Few of My Favorite Things
* Nivea A Touch of Smoothness Lip. Ugh, cracked lips. One of the many gifts of cold weather and indoor heating. I get dry, peeling lips every winter (except when I lived in FL), and they drive me nuts. I am constantly trying new lip balms, but many seem to exacerbate the problem. I picked up this Nivea one on a whim (not from personal recommendations or online reviews) and I love it. While my lips are still peeling a little, they are considerably better than they usually are this time of year. This balm is colorless, unscented, and contains SPF10, so it’s good for anyone. http://www.drugstore.com/nivea-lip-care-a-kiss-of-smoothness-spf-10/qxp191226
* Meditation. I have been really putting in an effort to meditate regularly, and I feel like it has made me a happier, calmer person. I’m not awesome at it–some days I can not quiet my mind, no matter how much deep breathing I do–but other days, I’m like, I got this. Even on the days when I suck at it, it at least brings my attention to all of the completely unnecessary thoughts I have. I didn’t realize how many future and past conversations I have with people in my own head! When the worries invade my thoughts, I tell myself,You don’t need to think about this right now. It won’t achieve anything. I’m nothing if not goal-oriented, so my little self-scolding/reality check does the trick.
* ZICO Chocolate Coconut Water. My friend, Erika, sent this to me in the world’s best (and totally unexpected) care package. It.tastes.so.good. It’s like Chocolate Milk Lite (only 120 calories), and it is going to replace my usual hangover drinks (which, sadly, I now need the morning after 2 drinks). http://zico.com/2013/our-products/zico-chocolate-14-oz/
* Survival of the Soul by Lisa Williams. I think I have mentioned this book before, because it is the shit. Lisa is a psychic/medium (you may have heard of her or seen her on TV), and in this book, she talks about what happens to our souls when we cross over, and what happens in the afterlife. Believe it or not, I am skeptical about this kind of stuff (Lisa said she is as well), but she referred to a lot of things I have experienced, or have heard friends/family say they have experienced, so I believe her. If you are at all interested in matters of the soul, keep an open mind and read this book. I credit it as the book that pulled me out of a rough time three years ago, and seriously changed the way I look at life.
* Oval nails. I have never thought that square-shaped nails were flattering on my child-sized hands, but it somehow never crossed my mind to do anything about it. But with age grows wisdom, so now I file my nails into an oval shape, sometimes with a slight point, and they look their best.
* P Tracker app. My friend, Julie, told me about this one (the one and only app I have on my phone). It allows you to track your period, symptoms, moods, etc. and tells you when you are ovulating, fertile, and when your next period will be. So whether you are trying to get pregnant, trying to not get pregnant, trying to figure out irregular periods, or just when you get certain symptoms each month, it can help you out. I use it for other stuff too. When I had stomach issues recently, I used the Notes section to record the food I ate each day, so I could narrow down what might be causing the problems. I prefer it to written notes because while I might forget to bring a notebook with me, I never forget the celly.
* This list http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/11/28/19-signs-youre-doing-better-than-you-think/. My friend, Lindsay, posted this on her Facebook page, and I think it is awesome. It is a good reminder, for me at least, of some of the things I take for granted. I really appreciate lists like this because they help put me in my place when I’m in a bad mood or entering Pity Party Territory.
* Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt. This novel about the ruin of an old Southern family is a page turner, for sure. Each chapter is told in the voice of a different family member, and I love that. I don’t read many novels anymore, because I have found many of them to be cheesy or predictable, but this one was neither. http://www.amazon.com/Lookaway-A-Novel-Wilton-Barnhardt/dp/1250020832
* Make Up For Ever HD Elixir. If your skin is looking dull, try applying this serum underneath your face makeup. Really take a minute to massage it into the skin, and you will notice a difference. It adds radiance and makes your foundation or tinted moisturizer apply more smoothly. http://www.sephora.com/product/productDetail.jsp?keyword=MAKE%20UP%20FOR%20EVER%20HD%20Elixir%20P240602&skuId=1144880&productId=P240602&_requestid=182598
* Three Olives Grapes Vodka. I consider myself to be somewhat of an authority on flavored vodkas, and Three Olives makes some of the best. I have been especially loving their Grape flavor lately. I’ve introduced this to people who don’t like flavored vodkas, or aren’t big on grape flavored anything, but so far, they have all loved it. It’s borderline dangerous, so beware… http://www.threeolives.com/all-flavors/
* Pssst Dry Shampoo. My hair doesn’t get too greasy, but it does go flat after a few days. Dry shampoo helps revive it (it absorbs oil too), and definitely gives it back some of the volume I have the first day or two after I wash it. Everyone can use a good dry shampoo, and this one is cheap! http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod3900585
* Goddess Workout Bellydance DVD. I bought this years ago, did it for a few months, then forgot about it. I rediscovered it this past summer and have been doing it a few times per week since. It’s a hard workout, and I haven’t even mastered the Intro/Disc 1 yet. I like having a few indoor workout options for the days when I can’t/don’t want to run. The bellydance workout has shrunk my waist down to a size even I can’t deny is small, and it’s fun to do! It’s a good something different if you are in a workout rut or need an at-home option. http://www.amazon.com/Goddess-Workout-Bellydance-Fitness-Dolphina/dp/B0002C4IT0/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1386533518&sr=8-12&keywords=goddess+workout+bellydance
*My crazy colored hair. If you are not on Facebook or haven’t seen me during the past few months, you may not know that I have been playing with different colors on the bottom half of my hair. I went from teal to electric blue (which was my favorite) to emerald green to the current aqua. I LOVE having the colors in my hair–I feel like it’s so me (which is weird to say for something that is clearly not natural, I suppose). It’s not for everyone, but I’m gonna rock this look for a while.
I love reading about other people’s favorite things, so feel free to comment with your’s!
Newport, RI – January 25, 2014 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, named Allison Barbera Beauty as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ 2014 for Beauty Services in Rhode Island!
The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ 2014 recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The esteemed awards are given to the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.
While many industry award winners are selected by the host organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ winners are determined solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with Allison Barbera Beauty. Award-winning vendors are distinguished for the quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they have received from their past clients.
“There’s no better way to start the year than by honoring the hard work, commitment and success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Network,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “It is exciting to celebrate a sixth year recognizing businesses whose clients believe they are committed to quality, professionalism and all around top-notch service. We are honored to recognize Allison Barbera Beauty for their impressive achievements within the wedding industry.”
As a Couples’ Choice Awards™ winner, Allison Barbera Beauty is highlighted within the WeddingWire Network, which is comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout North America and abroad.
Allison Barbera Beauty is proud to be one of the top Beauty Service providers in Rhode Island in the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding sites such as WeddingWire, Project Wedding, Brides.com, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Weddingbee. We would like to thank our past clients for taking the time to review our business on WeddingWire. We value all of our clients and truly appreciate the positive feedback that helped us earn the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ 2014.
For more information about Allison Barbera Beauty, please visit our WeddingWire Storefront today at http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/allison-barbera-beauty-newport/faq/2fd8029397da9264.html.
To learn more about the Couple’s Choice Awards™, please visit www.weddingwire.com/couples-choice-awards.
About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire™, the nation’s leading marketplace serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 reviewed wedding vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers. WeddingWire also offers a comprehensive suite of online planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge. For wedding professionals, WeddingWire is the only all-in-one marketing platform for businesses online and on-the-go. WeddingWire offers one simple solution to build a professional network, improve search visibility, manage social media and reach mobile consumers. Businesses that advertise with WeddingWire appear on WeddingWire.com, ProjectWedding.com and other leading sites, including MarthaStewartWeddings.com (NYSE: MSO), Brides.com and Weddingbee.com.
Genetics are a funny thing, aren’t they? I am 75% Italian and only 25% Irish, but I’m usually the second or third lightest shade in a foundation line. Throw my dark hair and eyebrows into the mix, and I look even lighter than I am. (When I’m wearing black, my father likes to call me Elvira. Can’t say I like that.) I’m not saying light skin is a bad thing–look at beauties like Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, and Dita Von Teese–but I think I look best with a little color on my face. I don’t sunbathe or use tanning booths, and I don’t find it practical to spray tan regularly, so I use Jergens Natural Glow. I use the face and body versions, but for this post, I will be talking about the face version.
I’ve picked up a few tips along the way that I thought might be helpful. Here goes:
Exfoliate. Before your initial application of the product, exfoliate your face and neck. Any kind of tanning product will work better if you have sloughed off the dead skin cells first. If not, the product may “stick” to the cells, leaving you with a very attractive patchy look.
Moisturize twice each day. Jergens Natural Glow for face will last longer if you moisturize morning and night. This is a skincare essential anyway, so unless you are targeting a specific issue that requires more or less moisturizing each day, two times is the magic number.
Avoid applying to smile lines, if you have them. I’ve found that any product I put on my face will eventually settle in to my smile lines, and something about the shimmer and pigmentation in the Natural Glow accentuates the lines. It’s any easy fix though–just don’t apply it to those areas. Smile lines–this is the punishment we get for being happy, huh?
Mix with moisturizer when applying to your neck. Necks are tricky. Many of us have some lines or creases there, and much like the smile lines, this product can settle into those lines. Applying a thin layer of moisturizer first takes care of the issue.
Apply it at night, or well before makeup. I don’t use this as pre-makeup moisturizer because I don’t think it’s moisturizing enough, and I’m not sure it will react well to all face makeup. It’s not a problem if it’s completely absorbed, but if it’s still tacky, wait a little longer. That’s why I tend to do it at night.
Adjust your foundation/tinted moisturizer. This is a tanning product, so your foundation shade is going to change. That’s one of the reasons I always suggest having a couple of foundations in your bag. That way you can darken and lighten the shades (by mixing them) if your skin changes from sunless tanner or the sun. It’s not a drastic change with Jergens Natural Glow for Face, but you might go up a half a shade or a full shade.
That’s it! Not too complicated, right? I think it’s worth it, and I really do love the product. After a few days of using it, I always feel like my skin looks good enough to forgo face makeup if I want to. The shimmer that it contains is subtle, but true to its name, gives you some glow. And something about being tan seems to even out the skin (although a real tan actually does the opposite, in the long run). If you are feeling winter pale or feel like your skin is looking dull, give this a try.
Have a beautiful weekend
Helen Mirren. Susan Sarandon. Diane Lane. Andie MacDowell. Mary Steenburgen. These are all beautiful actresses over 50 (or very close to it), and although I can’t say for sure, it appears that none of them have had any major cosmetic surgery done. I think they all look amazing, not just for their age, but for any age. I personally don’t think “young” translates as “beautiful,” and I think there is a lot to be said for non-physical characteristics that make people beautiful. So this is not a Twelve Ways To Look Younger post (Subtext: 20 Year Olds Are The Prettiest, So Try To Look Like Them). This is about doing, or not doing, certain things that can make you look older than you are.
I have looked at many photos of the aforementioned actresses, and they seem to be avoiding some of the makeup mistakes I see a lot of women make. I’m talking about the mistakes that age a woman, especially one over 40. I’ll get into that below, but first I want to tell you my philosophy on aging, as it relates to makeup.
I don’t think wrinkles are the biggest aging factor on a woman’s face. I think it has a lot more to do with an even skintone, flattering eyebrows, skin texture, lip fullness, undereye puffy-ness and dark circles, fullness of the cheeks, and how “current” someone’s makeup is. Fortunately, there are a lot of fixes you can do to correct any of the issues that bother you (or those that you might not realize are making you look older!)
Re-Assess Your Foundation. Skin loses some of its natural oils as we age, meaning that the majority of women over 40 have skin in the dry or normal to dry range. (The good thing is, less oil in your skin means your makeup will stay on longer!) Fine lines and wrinkles also tend to creep up as the years pass. For those two reasons, I find that liquid foundations are more flattering on mature skin. Powder foundations don’t typically add moisture to the skin, and they tend to settle into lines, making them more obvious. A good liquid foundation–particularly one with luminizing properties which brighten the skin–well make the skin look its best. MAC Face & Body foundations are a good option, and I recently tried Stila Stay All Day 10-In-One Beauty Balm (Sephora) and thought it would be good for mature skin. I only tried a sample so I can’t totally vouch for it, and it strangely only seems to come in one shade, but swing by Sephora and get a sample if you’re interested.
Consider Cream Blush. I love cream blush for all skin types (I just layer powder blush over it on oily skin to make it last). There is something very youthful and glowing about the texture, which makes it perfect for mature skin. And if you are dealing with dry skin at any age, cream blush is definitely the way to go. The MAC Creme Blend blushes (MAC stores and MACcosmetics.com) and Sonia Kashuk cream blushes (Target) are my faves.
Think Twice About Contour. If your face has lost a lot of fullness–and especially if you already have a long or even oval face shape–I wouldn’t recommend contouring the cheekbones. Instead, focus on using blush on the apples of your cheeks, just blending slightly upward. This will make your cheeks look a little more full and youthful.
Line Those Lips. As we age, our lips lose collagen, making them thinner than they were in years past. Lipliner (in the same color as your lips or lipstick–darker than that can actually age you) is a good fix. It brings back definition to the lips, and if you are confident with it, you can slightly overdraw your lips. And when I say slightly, I mean it! Don’t go all Pamela Anderson and think no one will notice. I love the Aqua Lip Liners by Make Up For Ever (Sephora) because they are waterproof (read: long lasting) but any lip liner will do. Lip liners are one of the products I don’t think you have to spend a lot on. Many of the drugstore ones are great.
Plump It Up. For the same reason, lip plumpers can be a good temporary fix for lips that are, let’s say, losing some weight. My favorite is Lip Venom by DuWop (Sephora). It’s a little tingly/stingy, but it does the job.
Highlight Above the Cupid’s Bow. A little bit of highlighter (like NARS The Multiple in Copacabana) above the Cupid’s Bow will give the illusion of a fuller top lip. Use a concealer brush or your pinky to apply it, and lightly blend.
Apply Makeup with a Light Hand. Avoid applying too much foundation, concealer, or powder near fine lines. The product will sink into lines, highlighting those areas. Fine lines near the eyes, around the lips, and on the forehead are common, and usually, those are areas that don’t need much coverage or powder anyway (unless the forehead is oily). Using a primer (like Laura Mercier Face Primer, Sephora) first will help temporarily fill in the lines and keep your face makeup from settling. Having moisturized and hydrated skin will help diminish the lines too, so as always, a good skincare routine is key.
Pay Attention to Your Eyebrows. Brows that are too thin or overdrawn can easily age a face. Brow growth does slow as we age, and especially if you over-tweezed in your teens or twenties, you may find yourself with thinner brows than you would like. A good brow pencil or powder can help fill your brows in. And if you have a few gray hairs in your eyebrows, a tinted brow gel (like MAC Brow Set) can temporarily change that. A brow gel also adds texture/fullness to thin brows.
Update Your Every Day Look. If you are still wearing the same type of makeup you wore 20 years ago, it’s time to re-evaluate. Styles have changed and your face has changed, so your makeup needs to evolve too. So please, toss that that forest green eyeliner from the 80s, or that matte brown lipstick from the 90s. Sure, those have come back as trends, but unless the rest of your makeup, your hair, and your clothing are on trend too, it’s just going to make you look dated. It’s the cold, hard truth, but someday has to tell you!
Beware of Shimmery Eyeshadows. As we age, our eyelids lose their elasticity. The makeup term is “crepey eyelids,” but you can refer to them however you want. It’s okay to use an eyeshadow with a little shimmer in it, but something too shimmery or (please don’t) frosted is bad, bad, bad. It will sink into the small folds on your lids, making them considerably more noticeable. If this is a concern for you, try a cream eyeshadow (Laura Mercier makes good cream eyeshadows). Much like a cream blush, it is flattering on a mature face.
Try An Off-White Eyeliner. If your lower waterline is pink, which I often see in women 60+, a bit of off-white eyeliner there will cover the pinkness and make you look more awake. I like MAC Chromagraphic Pencil in Nc15/NW 20 for this.
Avoid The Number One Eye Ager. I see this A LOT, on women of all ages, but it especially detrimental to those concerned with aging–dark pencil liner at the lower lashline. Especially when it is thick or black…it makes me cringe. It instantly pulls the eyes downward, and, other than it’s very short shelf life as a makeup trend a few years back, it is dated. I know this is a hard one for many women to give up. I can just hear you saying “But I feel naked without eyeliner!” So, can we strike a deal? First, please switch to a dark brown or gray eyeshadow. Use an angled brush, and make sure to apply it at the bottom and top lashline, so that it balances your eyes and keeps them from looking dragged down. Using a shadow with an angled brush gives a soft focus effect, which, trust me, is infinitely more flattering. You can still use a pencil–go easy with it!–on top of the shadow if you want more definition, but make sure to blend it with that angled brush.
Or, just do what you want. Seriously. If you aren’t concerned with how your looks have changed, then ignore all of my suggestions. I created this post for the hundreds of 40+ women who have said “Make me look 10/20/30 years younger, please!” But if you don’t care, then honestly, good for you. I know that I will still be rockin’ Biggie t-shirts and the occasional pink wig when I’m 60, so if you want to use navy blue eyeliner and a frosted pink lipstick everyday–or no makeup at all–then go for it. I’m not being sarcastic (for once). I’m all for people wearing whatever makeup makes them feel good, but I also know that this post might be helpful to those who may be looking to change things up. Again, I’m not trying to imply that looking younger is the ideal, but most women I know and have worked with don’t want to look older than they are.
So, hopefully this post has helped those who needed it. And for those of us born in the early 80s or earlier, let’s take a second to be thankful for everything we have learned since we were in our 20s
Have a beautiful day!
There are a few things I always love to talk about–soft serve, Biggie Smalls, owning a business, and makeup. Being that I am a makeup artist, I get asked a lot of beauty questions. And I am happy to answer them! I’ve noticed that I get many of the same questions, so I thought I would compile them into one neat little blog post. These are my personal opinions from my experience in the field, but in makeup, there are a lot of different “right” answers. These are just the the ones that make sense to me.
What is the best mascara?
For volumizing, I don’t think Dior Diorshow can be beat. For length, I love Clinique High Lengths and Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash. When using regular mascara, I always layer one of those over the Diorshow. For waterproof, Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express is my jam. And if watery eyes are a problem, but you don’t want to wear waterproof every day (which I wouldn’t recommend anyway), Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara is amazing. When you are just talking watery eyes (not tears), typically the smudging is coming from the bottom lashes only, but that doesn’t happen with Clinique Bottom Lash, because it is a beauty tubes mascara, so it encapsulates the lashes and does not come off until you remove it.
What do you think of airbrush makeup?
For an event or a long day, I think airbrush is great if you are someone who has very oily skin, acne, acne scarring, or wrinkles. Otherwise, I think there is a good traditional (non-airbrush) foundation out there for everyone. I think airbrush gets hyped up, and although I have seen and experienced beautiful results with it, at this time, I am still partial to traditional foundation.
What are your thoughts on mineral makeup?
I think it’s okay for everyday use, but for photography, I have yet to find one that doesn’t flash back. I think it can get too easily caked up, so I wouldn’t use it for anything being filmed either. There are some mineral makeups that look gorgeous on normal to oily skin, but I would stay away from them in general if your skin is very oily, very dry, or mature. On very oily skin, I have seen mineral makeup get discolored or streaky once the natural oils come through. On dry skin, I have seen it catch on patchy areas, making them more obvious, and it seems to just sit on top of the skin even if there are not patchy areas. On mature skin, it has a tendency to settle into fine lines, making them more obvious. Some makeup artists swear by mineral makeup, but I’m just not one of them!
Should I apply my liquid foundation with my hands or a brush?
It depends on the foundation you are using, and the coverage you want. A flat foundation brush will give you more of a full coverage finish, and a buffing brush will give you something closer to an airbrush finish. I like using my hands for a lighter coverage foundation or tinted moisturizer, and when I want a more natural look.
How can I make my lipstick stay on longer?
A lip primer, like MAC Prep & Prime Lip, is a good start. Once that has absorbed, line your lips, and–this is the key–completely fill them in with a lip liner that matches your natural lip color, or the color of the lipstick you will be using. Aqua Lip Liners by Make Up For Ever are great for this, because they are waterproof.
Where do I apply bronzer?
Bronzer, as opposed to contour products, should be applied where the sun naturally hits (sometimes referred to as the “high planes of the face”). So temples, hairline, tops of cheekbones, bridge of nose, and a dot on the chin. Don’t apply it on your entire face, unless you are going for the Jersey Shore look.
How do I make my eyes look bigger?
This is going to have a lot to do with your eye shape, but in general, an off-white eyeliner on the lower waterline will make eyes look larger. Any liner at the lower lashline should be thin, soft (I prefer a shadow to a pencil), and not too dark. Mascara will open up the eyes, but don’t be too heavy-handed, as that can just draw attention to the size of your eyes. Unless eyes are wide-set, a shimmery light color at the inner corners will help too. I also suggest having well-groomed eyebrows. If your brows are too thick, they may overpower small eyes, but brows that are too thin may look disproportionate in relation to the rest of the face. If you are not sure about your brows, get them shaped professionally.
What’s the trick to making my eyeliner the same on both eyes?
Oh darling, don’t stress yourself out too much here. No one’s eyes are exactly the same, so eyeliner is never going to be 100% the same on both eyes. Just have some patience (and maybe a cocktail, if that will make you care less). It’s a lot about practice, so cut yourself some slack. My fellow makeup artist friend, Jennie Kay, once suggested to me that when I was struggling with my own eyeliner even-ness (I find it easier to get it almost perfect on others), start with the “tough” eye first. You know, the one that makes you swear and want to start over completely. Starting with the tough eye definitely takes some of the frustration out of it.
How do I conceal dark undereye circles?
First off, stop staying up until midnight to watch the Millionaire Matchmaker marathons. Sleep, as anyone with dark circles knows, does help the circles diminish. As far as makeup goes, if the circles are very dark, you will need to correct them with a color corrector first (peach, salmon, or orange, depending on how light or dark your skin is). Follow that with a concealer in a shade lighter than your skin tone. You can use one with brightening qualities, like Clinique Airbrush Concealer, but if you are going to be photographed, take a test picture first. Some brightening concealers will flashback in photography, making the undereye area look super light and obvious.
Those are the most common makeup questions I get asked, but I will add to this post if more new ones start cropping up. If you have makeup questions for me, please feel free to comment on this post or on my Allison Barbera Makeup Artistry Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Allison-Barbera-Makeup-Artistry/215339210231?ref=hl
Have a beautiful day
It’s no secret that I love eye primer (specifically Too Faced Shadow Insurance). Eye primer gives you a good base, keeps your eyeshadow and eyeliner on longer, and minimizes creasing. Unless I am going to change someone’s eye makeup soon after (like for a photo or sometimes film shoot), I put this ish on everyone.
Like with any product, how you do it is as important as the product itself. The eye priming routine will take you roughly 10 seconds, but let me break it down so you get the best results.
1) Dispense enough product for both eyes. An amount the size of about half a grain of rice should do it.
2) Use your ring finger to apply and blend it in. The ring finger is the weakest, and the skin around the eye is some of thinnest on the body, so using a gentle touch–pat, don’t apply it like you are trying to remove an ink stain–will prevent tugging. Repeating tugging on that gentle skin can cause premature wrinkles.
3) Concentrate the primer on your lids, but carry it into the crease and onto browbone too. Even if you are not going to put shadow on those areas, it will even out your skintone (especially important if you are fair-skinned and can see veins or discoloration on your eyelids).
4) Let your primer dry completely before applying your eye makeup. This is a very important step. If you do not wait until the primer has dried (absorbed into your skin), you will be wiping it off as you apply your eye makeup, canceling out any effect. That is why eye primer is always my first step in my makeup routine. I apply that, then face moisturizer. The time it takes to apply the moisturizer (I don’t just slap it on, I massage it in) is the amount of time needed for the eye primer to absorb.
5) As a final step to make sure you primer has dried, run your finger or a brush lightly over it. This will smooth it down and wipe off any excess that may be hanging around, which could actually backfire and cause creasing.
That’s it! Easy, right? Using a primer and applying it correctly will make a big difference in your makeup routine.
Have a beautiful day
I like a bit of a messy eye makeup look, I really do. But it has to be done right, and it’s not for everyone, or for every situation. If you are working a professional job outside of the beauty industry or something creative/artistic, you might need more of a clean makeup look during work hours. And nothing kills an otherwise polished face like an eye makeup that looks like it is slowly melting off.
So many of my clients tell me they are fighting a losing battle with chronic smudged eyeliner or migrating mascara. Many give up and abandon eye makeup altogether. But ladies, ladies, ladies–you need not despair! There are a few factors that could be causing the issue, and some things you can do to fix it. I would like to help you identify the root of the problem and win this battle.
Let’s start with eye primer. I think anyone who wears any type of eye makeup should use an eye primer. It is the first step in any makeup application I do (unless I know I will be changing the eye makeup soon after), and I wear eye primer every day. The natural oils on your eyelids can make eyeliners become slippery and smudge-bound, but having a primer there creates a barrier. I have tried a ton of them, and my favorite is still Too Faced Shadow Insurance (at Sephora).
If you wear eyeliner, and think it may be the source of smudging for you, let’s talk about that. Is it a liquid liner? Gel? Pencil? If it’s a good quality liquid or gel eyeliner (and I will address that in the Crappy Products section), it should not smudge once it has set. If it’s a good quality pencil liner, try tracing it with an eyeshadow in the same color. This will set the liner, keeping it in place.
For those of you who like the look of eyeliner and mascara only, this part is for you. Even with a good primer and eyeliner, you may still experience smudging if you don’t wear eyeshadow (usually just with pencil liners, especially when they have not been traced with an eyeshadow). This smudging is something us makeup pros call “transfer,” and the transfer I am referring to happens on your eyelid, not underneath the eye. Depending on your eye shape, the thickness of the liner drawn, and the amount of oils on your eyelid, your eyeliner can transfer from your upper lashline to the crease of your eye. Super easy fix though, don’t you worry. After applying your eye primer but before applying your eyeliner, apply a matte eyeshadow that is the same color as your skin all over your lid and into the crease. Apply your pencil liner, then set it with an eyeshadow. If you don’t do those two things, the oils from your eyelid may breakdown your eyeliner when you look up, and that causes the transfer. Having a primer and eyeshadow there blocks those oils from wreaking havoc on your eyeliner. And choosing a matte eyeshadow in the same color as your skin will still give you that no-eyeshadow look.
Many people think that their regular mascara is what causes the smudging, so they switch to waterproof. Waterproof may solve the problem, but it’s likely to cause another one–eyelash breakage. Waterproof mascaras tend to be harsh, and in my opinion, are not made for everyday use. If you find that your mascara migrates, whether from watery eyes or unknown causes, try using a beauty tubes mascara (like Blinc Mascara or Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara–that one is obviously just for the bottom lashes). Beauty tubes mascara is applied exactly like a regular mascara–it’s just the formulation that is different. Instead of coating your lashes, beauty tubes encapsulate them. It’s the difference between a cardigan and a wetsuit, you feel me? The point is, beauty tubes mascara stays on until you physically remove it with water and a gentle pressing motion.
If you switch to a beauty tubes mascara and that still doesn’t work (I have never seen or heard of that happening), I give you permission to wear waterproof mascara on your bottom lashes only. Unless you are full on crying (like when watching Long Island Medium or thinking about the current state of hip hop), any tearing will most likely only effect your bottom lashes. So using waterproof mascara on the top lashes on a daily basis is probably not necessary.
There is another big culprit for smudging, which could be root of the problem if you wear undereye concealer. Undereye concealer, unless it has been set with powder, eats at away at mascara, causing the mascara to smudge when the lower lashes touch the concealer. Applying a thin layer of powder over the undereye concealer before applying lower lash mascara could be the fix you need. The powder becomes a barrier between the concealer and mascara, so no damage can be done.
Do you regularly line your waterline with a dark eyeliner? If so, this could be causing the smudging. Our eyes naturally water during the day, so even the best waterline liner will eventually wear away. But where does it go, you ask? Check your tearducts, and if they’re clear, look under your eyes. Find it? You can stop this runaway liner from journeying to under your eyes by applying a very thin line of eyeshadow in the same color family at the lower lashline, as close to the lash roots as you can get. This shadow will “catch” the waterline liner, absorbing it before it gets any further.
If you have tried some or all of these tips and your eye makeup is still smudging, you may have a case of Crappy Products. Crappy Products can be found in all makeup lines, both low and high end, but not surprisingly, the cheapest of the cheap are often Grade A Crap. (However, I have found that drugstore waterproof mascaras–Maybelline Falsies Volum Express is my fave–outperform the higher end waterproof mascaras.) Crappy eyeliner pencils seem to be the worst offenders, but there are some gel and liquid liners that flake off then melt into little smudges. If you suspect you might be using a Crappy eyeliner pencil, I recommend switching to Top Shop Kohl liners; a Crappy liquid liner could be replaced by MAC LiquidLast eyeliner; and a Crappy gel liner could be replaced by MAC Fluidline or Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner.
You do not have to resign yourself to living with smudged eye makeup, nor do you have to give it up completely. It may take some time to pinpoint the cause, but once you have done that, you can turn things around. Don’t know where to start? I would first try the eye primer (use it even if it doesn’t solve the smudging problem–more about that in a future post). If you wear dark liner on the waterline, try the eyeshadow-at-the-lower-lashline trick next. Still smudging? It’s time to start powdering your undereye area after concealing. Issue not resolved? Go ahead and get yourself a beauty tubes mascara. If all of these methods fail, it’s time to look inward and ask yourself, Do I buy Crappy Products? If so, get yourself some quality products. They might be more expensive than what you normally use, but if you want or need to have a professional image, I think it’s worth it.
I do want to add that even if you are using the best products in combination with the right techniques, you might see a tiny bit of smudging after 10-12+ hours. That’s why God gave us pinky fingers–to wipe away any trace of rogue eye makeup. No one looks perfect all day, folks. Touchups are necessary. Your 6:00am makeup will need to be refreshed at 6:00pm, and you may have some small smudges that only you can notice. That’s normal. What I want to do is get you away from those super obvious smudges that distract people when you are talking to them. And hopefully this post can help with that. Because, dear Lord, people are going to have a hard time listening to your flawless presentation/perfect sales pitch/inspired lesson plan if you look like Ke$ha.
Questions? Get at me.
Have a beautiful day
Foundation: Medium to full coverage, possibly airbrush. Concealer under eyes and where needed.
Powder: Matte powder minimally where needed. In some pictures, it looks like a gold shimmer powder was lightly dusted on forehead and cheeks.
Highlighter: Yes, shimmery highlighter on cheekbones and bridge of nose, matte highlighter (or lighter concealer) under eyes.
Contour/Bronzer: Light contour under cheekbones and at hairline.
Cheek Color: Light pinkish red with gold shimmer (or that is the gold shimmer powder I’m seeing).
Eyebrows: Lightly filled in with brow powder or matte eyeshadow.
Eye Makeup: Light gold shimmer on lids, lower lashline, and at inner corners. Dark matte brown shadow at top and bottom lashlines, very thin then thickens at outer corners of eyes. Dark brown liner on lower waterlines, brought all the way in to tearducts.
Mascara: Yes, top and bottom.
False Lashes: Yes, strip lashes on top.
Lipliner: Yes, same color as the lipstick.
Lipcolor: In some pictures, it looks like she is wearing a true red, but it looks brick red in others. Looks like a satin finish or a small amount of Vaseline-type product applied. Does not appear to be a gloss.
There are a lot of great things that come with my Italian heritage. A huge, loving family; chicken parm so good it will make you cry; Italian swears that are fun to say; the good hair gene–I could go on and on. Being Italian also means I have The Curse of the Deep Set Eyes (quick! cornicelli up!) Like so many people of Mediterranean descent, my eyes are set pretty far back. My brother says this is a good thing, because it protects the eyeballs if you fall on your face (always the optimist, that Mikey B!), but in terms of photography, it’s a definite disadvantage.
Before I get into this, let’s see if you are part of the Deep Set Crew (not to be confused with the Dipset crew). See the celebrity pictures included in this post? (Please excuse the formatting, not my strength.) Do their eyes look similar to your’s? If so, read on, my friend.
Let’s start this by saying a little prayer of thanks for those of us that have two eyes that can see. I think it’s important to give thanks for those things we might take for granted (even when it’s not November, folks!). And let me also point out that there is no “bad” eye shape. But there are ways to work with what you’ve got to make things look best in photos.
If you’re rollin’ with the Deep Set Crew, you have probably seen a million photos of you that look nothing like you. That’s because cameras pick up on light and shadows, and if your eyes are deep set, the light and shadows are going to make your eyes look like they are pushed back even further in your face. Typically not a flattering look, and probably not at all what you look like in person. But these deep set eye makeup tips for photography can help you out, or at least they have for my clients and I.
First thing you want to do is avoid applying dark eyeshadow colors on your eyelids. This is a big, indisputable rule in makeup–dark colors make things recede, or look smaller. Putting a dark color on your lids is going to make your eyes look even further set back. Go with a lighter color for photography–even some shimmer is fine–and this will help bring the bottom part of your eye forward. Try a shade that is a couple of shades lighter than your skin (matte is preferable if you have very large eyes that you want to minimize, otherwise shimmer is fine). MAC Brulee eyeshadow works well on light skin, MAC Wedge is good on medium skin, and MAC Era is pretty on dark skin. But use whatever works for you!
Don’t put a dark eyeshadow in the crease (or socket, if you prefer) of your eye. I would go as far as to say don’t put ANY color there. This has the same effect as putting a dark color on the lid–it is just going to make your eyes look more sunken in in photos. If you want to put some color there, what you can do–and this takes some practice–is apply a light-medium color (I usually use a light brown) slightly above the crease. It should hit the very bottom of your browbone, but not in an 80s way. Blend it well. If you don’t have much space between your crease and brows, or this sounds too advanced to you, skip it.
Avoid highlighting the browbone. I know many many magazine articles and YouTube tutorials tell you to highlight the browbone, but this is really not for everyone. Highlighting the browbone is just going to make the bottom part of your eye look even further back in comparison.
If you have a lot of eyelid space (and many people with deep set eyes do–look at the Cher picture as an example), you can draw a medium or thick line of eyeliner. This is really more about how much lid space you have, but since I have found that so many Deep Set crew members have large eyes, I had to include that. I do recommend softening the liner by either using a shadow, smudging a pencil liner, or tracing a gel liner with shadow, as it gives that soft focus effect that is generally more modern and flattering in photos. Topshop Kohl liners are awesome and easy to smudge.
I wouldn’t suggest going too dark or heavy with any liner or shadow at the lower lashline, as this can highlight the deep set factor too. A soft, thin line is flattering, but anything too dark or too heavy won’t do you any favors on camera.
People with deep set eyes are often also blessed with dark circles, which make the whole eye area look even more recessed. So it’s really important to correct and cover these circles. If they are very dark, you will need to color correct with a peach (light and medium skins) or an orange (dark skin) corrector. Follow with a concealer one shade lighter than the rest of your face (MAC Select Coverups are great), and, if necessary, a small amount of brightening concealer (like Clinique Airbrush Concealer). Set with powder.
Mascara on top lashes is a must for deep set eyes (fine to do bottom too, just don’t channel Tammy Faye Bakker). Lengthening mascara is a Do, as it gives the illusion of pulling the eyes forward. Don’t believe me? Give it a try. Mascara on one eye, no mascara on the other. Which one wins this round? Diorshow, the original, is still my fave for thickening and lengthening.
The next two tips could be controversial, as they are purely from my experience. I have never heard of another makeup artist/watched a YouTube tutorial suggesting these things for deep set eyes.
I love black liner on the waterline, I really do, but in photos, I swear it makes the eyes look more deep set. I recommend an off-white liner if you want to line the waterline.
This last one isn’t even eye makeup–cheekbone highlight. Don’t do it. Think about how close the cheekbones are to the eye sockets. Highlighting the cheekbones, in my opinion, automatically sets the eyes back more.
So, those are my tips. If you are a fan of the infamous selfie, try doing your makeup this way, and then the opposite, and see which picture makes your eyes look more deep set. I think you will find these tips will generally make for a prettier you in pictures.
One of my favorite Biggie songs is “Ten Crack Commandments.” I don’t personally have any experience in that area, although I feel like I do, thanks to Frank White. But there is an area I think I am qualified to create commandments for. (Actually, there are two areas– but I’m afraid Orange Leaf will blacklist me if I publicize my Ten Soft Serve Commandments.)
So let’s get this thing started. It’s time for a beauty pop quiz. Are you ready?
Skincare: Good makeup as
a) Telescopes: Banking
b) Spam: Cupcakes
c) Water: Gardening
d) Logic: A Real Housewife cast member
If you guessed “C,”–always guess “C,” you must know that–you are correct! Skincare is an essential part of good makeup. You can use all the high quality makeup products on the market, but if you don’t take care of your skin, your makeup can only look so good.
(Extra credit to anyone who can find all of my hip hop references in this post. There are several of them, so if something sounds a little off to you or you don’t get it, study up on your 90s and early 2000s hip hop.)
As someone who often gets complimented on their skin (I’m talking about when I have no face makeup on), I feel I can drop some knowledge here. In honor of The Notorious B.I.G, below are my Ten Skin Commandments.
1) Find a cleanser that works for your skin type and use it every night. If you think you can get away with always using makeup remover wipes, or you (gasp!) regularly go to bed with makeup on, you’ve already got one strike against you. Don’t be a Lazy Lucy. It takes under five minutes to wash your face–you can find the time. Oh, you got no time for face cleansing? But you just beat a level on Candy Crush? Busted.
2) Use an oil-based makeup remover followed by a cleanser, or an oil-based cleanser. Especially if you wear face makeup, I really think you need an oil-based makeup remover or oil-based cleanser to fully remove your makeup. No, oil-based products won’t automatically make you break out or cause your face to go from normal to oil slick. I have oily skin and I use an oil-based cleanser every night, and my skin has actually gotten less oily since I started using it. But if you are hesitant to do that, at least use an oil-based makeup remover before your normal cleanser. Good skin is clear, right? And can we agree that sleeping in your makeup or not fully removing it causes breakouts? Then please please please take this oil-based makeup remover/cleanser idea into consideration. My favorite oil-based makeup remover is Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse, and my absolute favorite cleanser for all skin types is Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil.
*Note* I do not recommend using oil-based makeup removers or cleansers to remove eye makeup. Your best bet there is a gentle makeup remover, like Bioderma.
3) Exfoliate exfoliate exfoliate. Do it three times per week, and your skin will be a better person for it. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, making skin feel softer and look brighter. If you have oily skin, it will help remove some of the surface oils. Dry patches? Sloughs them right off. Dull skin? It’s going to help give you that glow you crave. I have yet to find a better exfoliator than ExfoliKate by Kate Somerville.
4) Rule number four, I know you heard this before–exercise regularly. It gets the circulation going, which immediately makes your skin look more alive. If you are the type who gets very flushed after a workout, you may disagree with me, but Coolio down first, then re-evaluate. When I miss a bunch of workouts in a row, my skin looks blah. Like a caretaker did my makeup. As soon as I get back to it–I’m talking the first workout back–I can see an obvious difference.
5) Use an SPF moisturizer every day. It’s common knowledge that the sun causes signs of aging (wrinkles, pigmentation, uneven skin tone) to accelerate, so you’ve got to be shithouse crazy (or 730, if you prefer) to ignore every knowledgeable makeup artist, esthetician, and dermatologist out there who says to wear sunscreen on the daily. (Let’s not forget about the very real risk of skin cancer, too.)
6) Don’t just slap on your moisturizer. Take a few extra seconds to really massage the product in, and you will see instant results. When I was in school for Esthetics, we spent what felt like 1 million hours on facial massage techniques. There really is something to be said for massage and how it increases the circulation. To massage your moisturizer in, use the pads of your four fingers (stay back, Thumbkin) and make small circles around your face. It really works!
7) Get glow, get glow. I use Jergens Natural Glow for Face year-round. In the summer, it gives my skin enough color for people to believe that I live in a beach town (I use the body one during the warm weather months too). In the winter, when I can turn translucent if not careful, it gives me a slightly sun-kissed look so I don’t resemble, as my cousin Jack would say, “one of them day-time vampires.” It comes in formulations for fair to medium and medium to tan skin tones. I don’t want to call it shimmer, because that may make you think of a disco ball or a stripper, depending on your frame of reference, but it contains something that gives glow and radiance to the skin. It’s subtle, but it makes a difference. I feel like I look healthy when I’ve been using this for a few days. Not like a day-time vampire at all, whatever the hell that means…
8) Don’t eat bad shit. For me, bad shit is the stuff that my stomach is sensitive to. I started eating clean a few years ago for health reasons, and my skin has had remarkably few breakouts since. SO MANY cases of chronic acne are actually due to food allergies/sensitivities. I’m no doctor, so do what you need to do figure it out, but as someone with an extremely sensitive system, I do suggest trying to listen to your body. If your body does not like something you are eating, it’s going to tell you. It might be in the form of stomach irritation, migraines, eczema, or breakouts, but it will find some way to give you the message. So listen up, it’s got a story to tell.
9) Number 9 shoulda been number 1 to me–don’t skimp on your beauty sleep. There is a huge difference in my skin when I get enough sleep, and I know I’m not the only one affected by sleepless nights. When I walk into a room to do wedding makeup, I can immediately tell if the bride slept like a baby or tossed and turned between nightmares of table assignments gone wrong. Yes, you can see tiredness on many people when you look at their eyes (dark circles or puffiness), but I’m referring to the skin. If you are rested, your skin looks bright and smooth. If you are tired, it looks dull and uneven. I personally notice it on myself after a nap. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up from a nap, looked in the mirror and thought “What amazing product did I use today?” 9 out of 10 times, I realize I don’t have any face makeup on. I know cell turnover and repair happens during a full night’s sleep, but I swear even a 30 minute nap does something magical to my skin. I am convinced that lack of sleep wreaks havoc on the skin. Sorry, new moms, please don’t hate me for this one.
10) When your skin needs an extra boost, try one of these miracle products. (These work considerably better if you’re following the other commandments.) HD Elixir by Make Up For Ever is a serum that hydrates and adds radiance to the skin. Yes, it gets along famously with the MUFE HD foundations, but it works well under other foundation and tinted moisturizer I have used, and it’s even good on its own. I don’t know how it does what it does, but it is bomb. The Radiant Serum by La Mer does the same thing, it’s just a thinner consistency than the HD Elixir. It’s pricey, but I’m not in charge of your budget. Beauty Flash Balm by Clarins gives a temporary brightening and tightening effect (no lie, you can feel it happening) and creates a smooth base that allows foundation to apply beautifully. If you’re tired because, say, you have been going out like a 21 year old recently (guilty), meet your new best friend. It’s great for mature skin–I use this on most of the mothers and grandmothers of the bride who I work with–and it can be used as a mask as well. I wouldn’t use any of these miracle workers every day, because I do think the skin gets used to them, but when your dermis needs a pick me up, they are there to help.
I could add some other commandments, like “Thou Shalt Not Pick at Blemishes,” and “Stress Less” (or “Just Break Up With Him Already”), but I’m sticking to the tried and true TEN Commandments format. It seems like a lot when it’s all written out like this, but I promise you it is very do-able. And I’m a big believer in the 80% rule. If you follow a good skincare regimen 80% of the time, your skin will probably look pretty fantastic. Supplement as needed with specific products to target any problem areas (i.e. rosacea, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, etc.) but I think these commandments will give you a really good base to start off with.
Gotta go, gotta go, more blogs to write up. Peace.