I do hope your weekend was spectacular and that you stayed both properly sunscreened and hydrated in the beginning of what’s sure to be another hot summer. My credentials for this declaration are simply that I’m Texan. I’m a survivor. Indeed, the members of Destiny’s Child are from Houston, and I’m 100% sure that Survivor was written about Texas summer. Woo, child. If you’ve never experienced summer in the south, you don’t know what you’re missing. Our exchange student from France fainted after she laid out for about 20 minutes in an attempt to get a little sun before returning to France. This ain’t no place for the weary kind.
But I digress… This was already going to be a long post to begin with and now I’ve waxed poetic about the heat of a season that isn’t even technically here. Dangit.
Anyway, today is very exciting for me (and you, I hope) because it’s the first edition of reader questions! Yay! If this proves useful, it can become a monthly installment. Send questions to me via my blog email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tweet me, or comment below this post, or Facebook it to me if we’re Facebook friends. If you’re offended by the lack of options, please know that I’m working on getting a P.O. box and maybe a request phone line.
So let’s get to the questions, shall we? P.S. I shall include examples from my own doing if I can. I don’t have any for dewy skin because I freak out if I see a hint of shine. I am a matte girl.
1) R wants to know how to help her skin look dewy and fresh.
Sadly for all of us, I’d say about 80 percent of this is simply having good skin. I cannot stress the importance of good skincare. R already knows this, since she’s rocking Mary Kay, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to reiterate my obsession with taking care of your skin. (For reference, I don’t think you need to buy expensive skincare products.)
As a general rule, liquid foundations are going to help you look more “dewy” and fresh than powder foundations. It makes sense, especially if your skin is dry/ combination dry. I think a little research, some trial and error, and a bit of luck are what it takes to find the perfect dewy foundation. If you wear drugstore foundations, they’re cheap enough that you can really take the “trial and error” process to heart. Just make sure to do a little research beforehand, so that you don’t have to waste your money.
If you wear department store or specialty counter foundations, the people working behind the counters are there for a reason. Get them to talk you through the range of foundations in the brand and, most importantly, to try them on you. Walk around the mall a little, test out your new foundation. I still advise you to do your research since the makeup artists are employed to sell you things and sometimes they don’t actually know what they’re talking about. So Google away, young Padawan.
After you find your perfect, dewy foundation, make sure to apply it evenly and in as thin a layer as possible. You want the real dewiness of your skin to come through! If you have oilier skin and need to set your foundation with a powder, use a light hand and see what happens if you only powder your T-Zone (forehead, nose, chin.)
Play around with how much powder you need to stay looking dewy and not oily. If your cheeks are powder-free, then you can use cream blushes and highlighter products much more easily. Cream products tend to look dewier on the skin; the same old liquid v. powder comparison.
2) C wants to know how to achieve more complex eyeshadow looks, or, as she calls it: Eyeshadow 101.
In my opinion, (and that’s the great thing about makeup; there are really no set rules) a classy, well blended eyeshadow takes 3-4 eyeshadow shades:
1: lid color
2: crease color
3: browbone/ highlight color
4: outer corner color (sometimes optional)
Maybelline has an entire line of eyeshadow quads dedicated to achieving easy and beautiful eyeshadow looks. They’ve reformulated their quads and instead of four equal shadows, you get various sizes and the “outer corner” shade is now being purposed as “liner,” but that doesn’t change the fact that you get 4 corresponding and complimentary colors in one easy palette.
Basic eyeshadow application breaks down as follows:
Lid color: Usually the color you like the best; typically the second-to-lightest shade you’re using.
Crease color: A shade or two darker than the lid color. Can be in a contrasting color or in the same color family.
Browbone color: The lightest shade. Should be close to your skin tone for a natural look or just the lightest shade in the color palette you’re using. Used as a highlight, so needs to be close to white, if not white.
Outer corner color: The darkest shade. Goes in the outer corner or “v” of your eye.
As skincare is to dewy skin; good brushes are to good eyeshadow. Save yourself some pain and invest in a brush kit over the sponge-tip FAIL applicators that come with most eyeshadows. (Not to mention sponges hold bacteria. Gross.)
3) E wants to know what the heck contouring is and how you do it (my words, not hers) and where bronzer comes into play with it all.
Contouring is the act of using makeup products to shadow and highlight your bone structure according to where the light would naturally hit. It’s the same concept as shading in artwork; the lightest shade is where the light would hit and the darker parts are where shadows would naturally fall. That’s an annoying way of describing what is actually a very easy thing to do.
Most contouring is done with bronzers and highlighters. When picking these products consider these factors:
1. Your skin tone. If you’re pale, don’t buy a super dark bronzer. If you’re darker, don’t buy a super-white highlighter.
2. Bronzer in the context of contouring is used to emulate shadows. Therefore, the bronzer you choose should have little to no shimmer.
3. Conversely, highlighing is to accent and emulate light. It can be done with matte shadows, but I say shimmer away! You pick the degree of shimmer you’re comfortable with.
Now for the easy process of application:
1. Using a smaller brush, place the bronzer in the hollows of your cheekbones, your temples, and right under your jawbone. Make sure to blend so you don’t have any harsh lines. Feel free to make the fish face to find where your hollows are.
2. Apply your blush color.
3. Apply your highlight color to the tops of your cheekbones, sweeping up toward your temple. If you’re unsure of where to place this, tilt your head up toward your bathroom lights and see where your cheekbones catch the light.
Easy as that!
Lastly (for this edition), K wants to know how to enter into the alluring and frightening world of red lips.
I think the most important thing with bold lips is confidence. ROCK those red lips, guuuurl. (I’m sorry for that…) The hardest thing is finding the right red for you. Some skin tones look good on only warm skins, some look good on only cool skins. I say a good red lipstisck is worth splurging for, and while I have some drugstore favorites, you might as well go to sephora or a counter and play around/ get some expert advice. Or let me take you makeup shopping.
Also keep in mind the lipstick formula. Matte will be harder to apply, will look harsher, and will be more intense. The glossier or creamier you go, the easier to apply and the smoother and shinier. If you’re really unsure, try a sheer red gloss first. Work your way up the confidence ladder until you feel like going bold.
Some pitfalls with red lipstick-
1) Fading. No one likes it when red lipsticks wear off in the middle of your lips and leave an awkward ring. Not sexy. I suggest lining your lips in a matching red and bringing your tube to reapply. All in the name of beauty, yes?
2) Getting outside the lipline. We’ve all been there. Solution? Take a small brush and layer your concealer over where you messed up. Magic eraser!
As with ALL of these concepts, practice makes perfect!
That concludes the first edition of Reader Questions! I hope these answers have been sufficient. I’ll probably do more accurate picture tutorials for the next batch, but I ran out of time today. (Story of my life.)
Don’t forget to submit any questions you have!
“Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I’m just a girl who wishes for the world.” – Marilyn Monroe
Beneath the makeup and behind the smile, I’m just a girl who wishes she was Marilyn Monroe,