Monthly Archives: March 2017
Even though mascara is a staple for many makeup wearers, it’s one of the more misunderstood products in your kit. Mascara opens the eye to help you look more awake. Most think there is nothing to applying mascara—they swipe it on the lashes the same way, every time. But there are methods to apply it based on your eye shape that will transform your makeup into something that looks more polished and professional.
Every mascara application should start with these two easy steps:
Curl the lashes
Always begin with an eyelash curler. I like one with a silicone strip, like Kevyn Aucoin or Billy B Beauty. Gently press the band against the root of the lash and turn the curler until the curve is parallel to the crease of your eye. Press gently, release, and presto! This will give even the most stubborn lash a beautiful curl.
Basic mascara application
The next step is to apply your mascara at the root of the lash. My favorite trick is to bend the wand slightly to get right in to the base of the lash. Next, comb through the top lash, wiggling the wand gently as you work your way through. You want to brush through the top of the lash from root to tip, brush through the bottom of the lash from root to tip, and then weave the wand across back and forth through the lash until every individual hair is liberally coated on all sides. I recommend using both a lengthening and a thickening or volumizing mascara. I also prefer to use one mascara with a smaller brush and one with larger bristles—the combination of the two makes any lash look longer and more full.
Now let’s talk about eye shape and placement.
Start with your curler and the basic application mentioned above, and be sure to coat all of your lashes. For wide-set eyes, I recommend working from the inner corner of the eye out towards the middle of the lid. You want the darkest area to be at the inner corner to create the illusion that the eyes are closer together.
For close-set eyes, we want to pull the eyes apart so the darkest part of the application needs to be at the outer corner. Curl and apply your first coat with a focus at the outer corner of the eye. Apply a second coat from the middle of the lash and work your way out. For more drama, add a liquid liner along the lash line or really pack the mascara in at the root to ensure that the darkest part of your mascara application is at the outer corner. This will give lift and the illusion that the eyes are further apart.
For for those with smaller eyes, the trick is to make them appear much larger and rounder with your mascara application. My suggestion is to use one coat of thickening mascara on the full lash. Next, use a lengthening mascara and brush it only in the center of the lid. This will draw focus toward the center of the eye and it will appear more open, wider and larger.
To enhance or create an almond-shaped eye, focus your mascara at the outer corner of the lashes on top and bottom. Try using a thickening mascara on the top lash with a second application from the center of the lid toward the outer corner. Then use the tip of your mascara brush or a smaller brush and liberally apply mascara to the bottom lash as well—but only at the outer corner. This will enhance or create an almond shape.
For round eyes the most prominent part of the application should be on the top lash line and the outer corner. Keep the bottom lash very minimal or leave untouched. Use a thickening mascara along the lash line, and if you want to play up the round shape, keep it focused towards the middle of your eye. If you want to make a round eye appear more cat-like apply more mascara to the outer corner.
For uneven eyes we want to pull focus away from the lid and the unbalanced shape. A smoky eyeshadow application and a heavy coating of mascara along the lash line will make this eye look its best. Stay away from light colors or color mascara which can accentuate unevenness.
For downturned eyes, use two colors of mascara to achieve the most impact. Brown mascara is just as beautiful as black and has the same presence. It also doesn’t pull all of the focus allowing you to feature a lip or cheek color. Add brown mascara along the bottom lash and black mascara onto the top lash focusing all of the color in the center of the lash and keeping the outer corner the most minimal mascara application to lift the eye.
Mascara can be worn alone or used to finish any application. The trick is to find the formulation and brush that work best for you. Something as simple as where you place the wand makes a huge difference in the finished look of your makeup.
Everybody, and we mean everybody can benefit from a little lip liner. While lining your lips runs the danger of creating an outdated, overdrawn, unblended pout, it’s time to stop shying away from lip liner for fear it may leave you looking like a Real Housewife. Here are the real 3 ways to make lip liner work for you.
Nude: The Shaping Liner
Why use a lip liner that matches your skintone? Flesh toned liners can help shape your lips before lip products are applied by filling in parts of the lip area to match your face. This is a great technique for achieving dramatic looks such as a cupid’s bow shape, but it also works wonders for reshaping uneven lips—especially when finishing with a sheer lipstick or gloss that wouldn’t so easily mask the characteristic.
Matched: The Sharpening Liner
When you’re on the go, you don’t have time to fumble with a lip brush to get those sharp artist-esque lines every time you reach for a reapplication. Save energy by lining your lips first with a liner that matches as close as possible with your lipstick. You’ll get a crisp, creamy line that can be filled in with a smudge of lipstick. The center of your lip shade wears the fastest throughout the day while your liner is likely to stay put, so enjoy faster touch-ups that only require a swipe of lipstick with no edge lining drama.
Dark: The Contour Liner
Dark lip liner doesn’t have the greatest reputation, but a well-blended choice can work wonders for those who wish for fuller lips. Try lining lips in a dark shade and filling in with a creamy lipstick in a lighter shade. Using a lip brush, blend the shades together where they meet and you’ll end up with ombre results that look injection-worthy. Don’t want to step out looking like you’re auditioning for RuPaul’s Drag Race? The closer the shades are in the color family, the more subtle the results will be.
So you’ve been wanting to try color mascara, eh? Maybe you just bought some, or maybe you’re eyeing that cute green, cobalt, or burgundy shade online. But…how do you wear color mascara without having it be such a Look? Is there a way to wear color mascara for a subtle pop of color without having everyone for 300 feet know you are WEARING BLUE MASCARA?
Why, yes. Yes there is. You can combine a color mascara with your regular black or brown mascara, making your lashes look different and interesting without getting too bright. Color mascara in class or an office? Definitely! Color mascara for a meet-the-parents dinner? Why the heck not?
Just the tips
Grab your normal, everyday black mascara (we used Inglot Cosmetics Perfect Length Define Mascara, $13), and sweep it on your top and bottom lashes. Next, try a crazy color! We went with Inglot Cosmetics Colour Play Mascara in 02 Green, which is a highly pigmented, almost electric green, and applied it just to the tips of the top and bottom lashes. Presto! A subtle-yet-still-visible color on the tips of your still-proper eyelashes. You can’t even see it unless you get pretty close, but when you do, it’s like your entire soul suddenly gets how awesome this is.
For a more obvious look that is still not in “Rainbow Brite” territory, try swiping your top lashes with black mascara and putting color mascara on just your bottom lashes. This can be fun to try with gently varying shades, say, black on top and navy on bottom, or add a cobalt on the bottom for a little more oomph. This works especially well with blue shades, because they’ll make the whites of your eyes look brighter, the same way blue-based red lipsticks will make your skin tone look cooler. “You look different! But…why?” – Everyone at work.
Your black mascara is about to get a facelift. Sweep on a coat of black mascara, and then do a second coat of a vibrant color mascara of your choice (what about purple? or burgundy?) Look at that! Is it black mascara? No. Is it color mascara? No….or is it? Adding a coat of color mascara to black makes the black appear multifaceted and a bit more interesting, without making you commit to Krazy Kolor Lashes all the way.
Eyeliner is bigger than ever this summer, and it looks like the trend is headed straight into the next few seasons. But with so many different options of liner out there, choosing the right one can be overwhelming — which is best for a smokey eye? What do you use for a sophisticated, lashy style? What about that crazy look you are cooking up for a night out?
It all makes sense once you know the various formulations of liner and what each can accomplish. Here is a look at the products available and how each one can help you create the looks that will have everyone talking. Let’s get you educated!
Pencils are a must-have for every makeup bag. Used to achieve any look from soft and smudgy to deep and dramatic, pencils are easy to use and great for beginners and pros alike. Pencil liners allow you to line inside the eye, around the lash line, and can even be used as a base to intensify any eye shadow. They come in a variety of formulations ranging from typical wax formulas to traditional Kohl’s and, now, even long-wear waterproof options. The trick with pencils is to be sure you are choosing the formula that works in your environment and its placement in your makeup design. For inside the eye, my preference is Kohl or waterproof because both tend to be longer-wearing and more densely packed with pigment. Always be sure your pencil is sharpened and sanitary. Hold it like a writing pencil and use the whole tip, not just the point, to draw in your desired shape.
Liquid eyeliners are a classic cosmetic product. First developed for use in film, they were integral in the iconic makeup looks of the fifties and sixties. Liquid eyeliners are great for applying sophisticated cat eye looks, soft kitten kicks of color, or any of the sharp lines or graphic shapes we are seeing this season. Highly pigmented, these liners can look less dimensional then other types and come off a little flat, but they can be combined with other formulations to achieve more dimensional looks. Liquid eyeliners require a more steady hand and precise application. For more control, try the options in a more modern pen style applicator. Another tip to make applying a bit easier; create the shape with taupe eye shadow first and trace right over it with your liquid.
There is heated debate in the beauty world when it comes to gel eyeliner vs traditional liquid eyeliner, but I believe they are not interchangeable. Each has very different properties and finishes. Liquid eyeliner lovers can’t get enough of the immediately sharp line that liquid will make. Gel eyeliner tends to be more generous and pliable, allowing you to build your line to the desired amount of drama. Gel eyeliner can also be easier for those that are not as skilled in liner application. It allows for more versatility, and can be used to create crisp hard lines or less dramatic, smokey effects. I also love dotting gel eyeliner along the lash line to create the illusion of a thicker lash. Gels tend to be longer lasting and waterproof, but unlike a liquid, they require the use of an additional brush.
Cream liners are the close cousin of the gel liners. They tend not to have the durability or wear of the gel formula, but many artists consider cream liner and gel liner to be interchangeable.
Powder eyeliners offer endless possibilities and come in a variety of packages. They can be applied by choosing your favorite eye shadow and applying with a stiff angled brush the way you would use any other liner. This allows you to employ an endless array of colors and textures to achieve any makeup you might wish to design. Powders are ideal for a smokey eye and tend to be long-lasting. They can also be combined with other liner formulations to achieve the red carpet looks of your favorite celebrities.
People have been wearing pigment on their eyes since the time of ancient Egypt, and there may be no makeup more powerful in creating an impactful look. In one immediate swoop, eyeliner can reshape an eye, adding depth and dimension. While every formula has its own identity and advantages, my recommendation is to combine a few formulations for a look that is not only longer-lasting, but has presence and placement that is unforgettable.