Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Little Black Dress of Makeup

When I think about what makes up a great outfit, I always picture an ensemble that is not necessarily completely trend driven or expensive, but a look that has one great statement piece, like a beautiful necklace or a bold top, with other understated pieces that let the focal point of the outfit shine through.  And although everyone is paying attention to that statement piece, the understated components are vital to the greatness of the outfit. 

I think that's what makes a great makeup look as well.  When the focus is on your eyes, lips, or glowing skin, it's important to have the basics underneath to enhance the overall look.  That's why I like to call this process the LBD (little black dress) of makeup.  Using these few simple steps as a springboard, you can create a look that really makes a statement.  I always follow these steps before I do my how-to looks on this blog.  It's also perfectly fine to just work this look by itself, because it's easy and quick. 

This is me sans makeup.

 I'm actually kind of surprised with myself that I'm posting this picture.   I always feel naked without makeup, and never really go anywhere without at least a smidgen on.  Like if I had to choose to go without makeup or walk around with toilet paper on my foot all day, I'd choose the latter.  

All you need to create this look:

Concealer- I used Maybelline New York Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Liquid Foundation.  I can't rave enough about how great this stuff is-espacially for the price.  I actually prefer to use this as a concealer because it has great coverage and is lightweight.

Powder- I like Bare Minerals Matte Foundation.  A little bit goes a long way and it covers like a dream.

Powder Brush- These ones by Sonia Kashuk are nice and fluffy!

Eyelash Curler- If you're a reader of mine, you know I believe everyone must own one of these!  I recently received one by Tarte and I love it.

Mascara- Of course I love Covergirl Lashblast, but Buxom Lash is becoming a favorite of mine as well.

Eyebrow Pencil (optional, depending on how blessed you are)- Try Avon Luxury Brow Liner or Make Up For Ever Eyebrow Pencil.

1. Apply a layer of powder on your face, beginning at the middle of your face and working out toward your hairline in a buffing, circular motion. 

2. If you still have any discoloration that needs to be covered up after applying the powder, dab it over the needed areas.

Tip: Use your ring finger (the weakest finger-therefore the least likely to cause too much pressure or tugging) when you blend around the delicate eye area.

I was so desperate for the last little scraps of my foundation I cut the bottle in half.  You can seal the open ends off with a bobby pin for future use!

Well, things are about to get a little up close and personal now...

Oh hello there, eyelashes.  I could barely see you there.

3. Time to curl them!

3. Next, apply a coat of mascara. If your eyelashes don't curl easily, use a waterproof mascara.

Oh no...I feel it coming on... like a eyebrow rant.

I think that if the eyes are the windows to the soul, the eyelashes are the curtains, and the eyebrows are the window frames.  When women over-pluck their brows, (which I feel like is way more common than under plucking) I shudder a little inside.  No one should have their eyebrows resemble baby tadpoles. 

Please, all you beautiful women of the world, let them grow!  I'm not saying let them transform into miniature bushes, but allow them to actually have a shape and an arch!  Allow those tadpoles to grow into frogs (metaphorically speaking).

But unless I use an eyebrow pencil, my eyebrows are weaksauce-ah the blessings of being Irish.

Which leads me to...

Filling in the brows, unless you already have great ones like Crystal Renn, who is a model and the poster child for a great eyebrow. She's is also a positive role model, being a size 12 and working the high fashion circuit and all. Reppin the ladies with hips, thanks Crystal!

4. To fill in the brows, use short strokes to mock the brow hair you already have. Applying this to lacking parts of the brow will make a big difference.

Exhibit A:

Now, you have a fantastic base!  Your complexion is perfection and your eyes have been defined and framed oh so nicely.

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