Please Baby, Give Me a Second Chance!

Oh come on, we’ve heard it before. They made a mistake, they’re sorry, they’ll change. Just give them another shot! I say hold onto your dignity, woman, and cut it off. Unless we are talking about makeup. In that case, you’re talking to a total softie here.

I feel that it’s my duty as a makeup artist to be honest with you about beauty products and techniques. And the truth is that there are some makeup colors that are not going to flatter you. Luckily, there are a ton that will! But some of the colors that you think don’t work on you actually do, so allowing a do-over is worth it in this case.

Chances are that at some point in your life, you have bought or have been given a lipstick, eyeshadow, blush or eyeliner that at best, does nothing for you and at worst, looks like crap. But before you toss it, please read this post. They are some factors you may not have taken into consideration which can turn a product you don’t like into a product you love. I’m sure you have given second chances to people you’ve dated, so you can at least extend the same courtesy to a product that has never stood you up or sent you confusing texts.

Because my life is almost entirely composed of lists, that’s my tried and true blog format. So here.we.go. Before writing off a product, have you…

Tried it with a top in a different color? The clothing color that is closest to your face strongly impacts how your makeup looks. Don’t believe me? Try on a black shirt, then apply your favorite lipstick. Then try on a white shirt. One of those shirts looks better with that lipstick–don’t lie to me. This has a lot to do with your overall coloring, including hair color. I have long, almost black hair (with blue at the ends), fair skin, brown/sometimes hazel eyes and dark eyebrows. When I wear a black shirt and dark lipstick, I usually look like Morticia Adams. But if I change to a lighter colored shirt, all is good in my world.

Tried it with jewelry? If you apply a lipstick, blush, eyeliner or eyeshadow and it looks more blah than good or bad, put on whatever jewelry you are going to wear. A pair of earrings or a necklace can tie everything together.

Tried it with your glasses on or off? If you wear glasses, you will find that some makeup looks better with or without them. When I wear my glasses, my contour powder or bronzer really stands out, and certain red lipsticks look only okay when I have my contacts in but awesome when I have my glasses on. The color of glasses frames adds another color component to the face, so it does impact how the rest of the makeup looks.

Tried switching your hair? If you do your makeup and it doesn’t seem to be working for you, try changing your hair style. If it’s up, take it down. If it’s down, put it up. I’ve found that especially with lipstick and bright or intense eyeshadows, hair styles really make a difference.

Tried changing the texture of the product? If you try on a matte lipstick and don’t like it, it may be the matte part, not the color, that you don’t like. Add some gloss or lip balm and re-evaluate your feelings.

Tried it in combination with other products? Many colors will only look good if the rest of the makeup works with that color. For example, if you tried a purple eyeshadow and a pink lipstick, it may be too made up or Barbie-ish for you. But try that same eyeshadow with a nude lip and you will probably feel differently.

Tried using it for something other than what it is intended for? That lipstick color that you don’t love can become your new favorite cream blush. That eyeshadow that you found to be too intense when used all over your lid could be just what you are looking for in an eyeliner. That bronzer that was a little too sparkly for you? That might be your go-to summer eyeshadow. Be a rebel and break the “rules” created by the marketing department for those products.

Finding the right makeup looks for you is all about playing around. There are several factors that influence how a product looks, so try to take all of them into consideration before giving up on a product. You owe it to yourself and your relationship with your makeup bag.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Here’s Why You Are Totally Normal

Don’t be!

I’ve noticed that many women develop complexes over physical things that are actually very common. Sitting in a makeup artist’s chair seems to bring out this need to apologize for imagined physical defects. Honest to God, I often don’t even notice these perceived flaws until a client points them out. And when I do, I never even think they are bad. That’s real talk, not ass-kissing talk.

Listen, we all have our imperfections. And not to sound cliche, but I think they make a face more interesting and human. Of course it drives many of us nuts when it’s on our own face, but have you ever truly not wanted to talk to someone or associate with them because of a crooked smile or uneven eyebrows? If you answered yes, you’re an asshole. Get off my blog.

I know how it feels to look at something on your face and hear your brain whisper “Is that normal?,” so let me help you out. Below is a list of things that are totally normal. (I may have forgotten some, so I apologize in advance.) I’ve also included a makeup “fix,” if any of these totally normal things bother you. I don’t think you have to fix anything but several people have asked me how, and when I get repeat questions, I take it as a sign to post a blog to address them.

1) “My eyes are different!” Don’t worry, this is very common. Our faces are not symmetrical, so having one eye that is bigger, rounder, longer, etc., is completely normal. You may come across the asymmetry when you’re doing an eyeliner flick. You do it on one eye and it is perfection, but on the other eye, the flick looks more straight out than flicked or it seems to be pointing downward. Not your fault. It’s just bone structure and pretty much everyone who attempts an eyeliner flick encounters the same frustration. Makeup Fix: If the eyeliner flick is driving you crazy, try doing what my MUA friend Jennie Kay Plumb suggested to me years ago–start with the eye that you have more trouble with. For some reason, it is easier to make the liner match when you do this. If one eye is longer than the other, pull your eyeliner out a little bit further on the top lashline on that eye, which extends the look of the eye. If one eye is bigger, apply eyeliner at the top lashline on both eyes, but make it a little thinner on the bigger eye.

2) “My neck is lighter than my face!” Many people have lighter skin on their neck than on their face and being one of these people, I can assure you it’s not because we only wear turtlenecks. Because our jaws shade our necks, we get less sun there. Also, many people have pigmentation, rosacea or uneven skintone on their face, but their neck doesn’t have any of that. So the contrast between the two can make the neck appear lighter, when in reality, the face would be the same shade if there was no pigmentation, rosacea or uneven skintone. Makeup Fix: Simply bring your foundation/tinted moisturizer/BB cream down onto your neck, blending well. And if you use a gradual tan face product, make sure to apply it to your neck too.

3) “My lips are uneven!” Again, symmetry. You may find that your top lip is a lot bigger or smaller than your bottom lip, or one side of your lip is lower than the other. This is very likely one of those things that only you will notice, but if you are someone who regularly wears lipliner or dark or bright lipstick, it may be something that bothers you. Makeup Fix: Use a lipliner that matches the lipstick you are going to use and correct your lipline so that your lips are even. Use that same liner to fill in your lips, then apply lipstick over that.

4) “My eyelashes grow straight out!” Due to genetics, some people’s eyelashes grow out straight rather than curled upwards. This can happen regardless of lash length. Makeup Fix: An eyelash curler will instantly solve the problem. It takes a little practice, but once you get used to it, you’ll probably love the effect. If your lashes don’t stay curled for long, you can blast your curler with hot air from your hair dryer for about 15 seconds before curling. The heat helps mold the lashes into a curl.

5) “My eyebrows are different!” Like they say, eyebrows are sisters, not twins. One may be longer or thicker than the other, or may have a higher arch. This is just another symmetry thing, in combination with genetics, which can make hair thicker on one side. Makeup Fix: Your best bet is to first get a professional brow shaping. Ten bucks says you like one brow more than the other, so tell your esthetician/threader/brow shaper which brow is your star pupil so that they can shape the other brow to match. You can also thicken or extend a thinner or shorter brow with brow powder or pencil.

6) “My eyebrows have a bald spot!” Probably half of the clients I work on have a patchy area on their brows, usually at the front (close to the nose). Especially if you consistently over-tweezed this area at one point (hello, freshmen year of high school), you’ll probably find that the hair doesn’t grow there anymore. Makeup Fix: An angled brush + some brow powder/pencil. Super easy fix.

7) “My skin  is dry and oily!” That’s called combination skin, boo. It’s very common. People with combo skin often have an oily forehead, nose and/or chin, but the rest of their face is dry. Makeup Fix: You have to first address skincare. I recommend using an oil cleanser, because it works for both dry and oily skin. It’s not a bad idea to have two moisturizers–one for oily skin and one for dry–and use on the corresponding areas. As far as face makeup, use a mattifying product or pore minimizer on the oily areas. I recommend a liquid foundation over a powder, since powder can catch on dry spots. Just use a setting powder on the oily areas.

8) “My cheeks/nose/cheeks are red!” Redness can be caused by rosacea, sensitivity or genetics. The sun, alcohol and spicy foods can further aggravate the skin and worsen the redness. Makeup Fix: A green color corrector will be your new best friend. Apply a thin layer to the red areas and blend well. Apply your foundation/tinted moisturizer/BB cream over that.

9) “My pores are huge!” Contrary to what you may have heard, you can’t actually shrink your pores with makeup or skincare products (only lasers can do that). You are born with your pore size, just like you are born with your father’s laugh or your mother’s aversion to people who chew loudly. When you have blackheads or clogged pores, they do expand as they fill with junk (yes, that is the scientific explanation) and they shrink back to normal size when they  are clean. But there is no such thing as shrinking them any less than that with skincare. Stop trying to make your pores diet–it’s not going to work. Makeup Fix: A pore minimizer (my favorite is POREfessional by Benefit) temporarily fills in and blurs the appearance of pores while mattifying the skin. Applying a primer has the same effect. Using both (pore minimizer first) seems to be the best route.

So that’s it. Those are the most common complaints I hear as a makeup artist. If you have one of these tiny and totally normal imperfections and they don’t bother you, then go on with yo’ bad self! But if any of these things bother you, hopefully these tips helped. I don’t think we should all look the same way–how boring would that be?–but I’m all for dispensing beauty knowledge if it’s going to help someone feel a little more confident or comfortable with how they look.

Have a beautiful day 🙂