Archive for August, 2011

How to Use Makeup to Contour Your Face

Professional makeup artists know how to use makeup to contour your face and create the illusion of perfection, even without any airbrush or photoshop tricks. For the rest of us, contouring is often seen as only existing successfully on the stage or at a professional photo shoot. This is certainly not the case! When done correctly, contouring is a simple and easy way to make your face look slimmer and your features more defined and radiant.

We’ve got three tricks that will help you learn how to use your makeup to contour your face that you can master quickly. You will need to have some good makeup brushes on hand to use these methods effectively. If you don’t already own some, check out the Sephora deluxe antibacterial brush set. They are excellent quality and a good value. You can also buy individual ones to fill in any gaps in your brush kit. My favorite are from Bobbi Brown. I’ve had them for years and they are still in excellent condition.

Now, grab your brushes and start sculpting!

1. How to Slim Your Face

A slimmer face is a goal that to some may only seem possible through weight loss, but with a little bit of contouring makeup, you can have a slimmer looking face in less than five minutes. You will need a non-shimmery, matte bronzer three shades darker than your skin tone and a small fluffy face or bronzer brush. If you are having difficulties finding a bronzer without shimmer, simply use a face powder a few shades darker than you would usually wear. Dip your brush lightly in the bronzer and create the “E” “3” shape on your face. To do this, start at your temple and curve the brush around and under your cheekbone, then back around and under your jaw. This creates a letter “E” on your left side and a number “3” on your right side. Then, use a clean brush or makeup sponge to blend any harsh lines.

2. How to Sculpt Your Nose

A simple trick to making your nose seem slimmer and straighter involves the same bronzer or dark face powder you used to contour your face and an eyeshadow brush. Dip your eyeshadow brush lightly in the bronzer and run it vertically down from the bridge of the nose to the tip on each side of your nose, leaving the center of your nose clean. To create a more defined tip of the nose, create a tiny “V” under the tip of the nose using the bronzer and eyeshadow brush. Use a clean fluffy brush to blend all harsh lines.

3. The Best Way to Use Highlighting

The last step to creating a perfectly defined and contoured face is to highlight your key features. You can use a liquid, cream, or powder highlighter in the color and shade of your choice. For this step, a shimmery product is preferred. If you are using a powder highlighter, clean your small fluffy brush from the face contouring step and use it to brush the highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones, down the center of your nose, in the middle of your forehead, and on your cupid’s bow. If you choose a liquid or cream highlighting product, repeat the same steps using your fingers and blend out lightly. For a long-lasting effect, layer your products by first using a cream or liquid highlighter, then going over it with a corresponding powder highlighter.

All done! Now, all you have to do is practice. It may take you a few times and a little experimenting to find the right colors, but you’ll be amazed at the difference a few contouring tricks can make.

Want to learn more about how to apply makeup like a professional? Check out the video tutorials from the University of Makeup. They will also recommend the right professional style brushes and makeup to use. I even learned how to apply makeup when I’m wearing my glasses so that my eyes look bigger!

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One of the most daunting tasks when buying or applying makeup is figuring out which colors will work best for you. The intimidating rows of dozens of shades of the same color eyeshadow or lipstick lead many women to get into a rut with makeup colors, or simply give up altogether. Here are three fool-proof tips that will help you choose the right makeup colors for your unique features.

1. Skin Undertone

During your search for the perfect foundation, you’ll probably discover whether you are a cool, warm, or neutral undertone. If you haven’t, use this fail-proof trick: Look at the veins in your wrists. If they are green, you are a warm undertone, if they are blue, you are a cool undertone. Women with warm skin usually look better in gold jewelry while women with cool skin look better in silver, and women with neutral undertones look good in both. After finding your correct undertone, you can work from there to discover which makeup colors will work best for you. Warm-skinned girls look good in gold, orange, mocha, bronze, and warm brown tones. Cool-skinned ladies look best in blue, silver, gray, purple, and cool brown tones. If you have a neutral skin tone, you’re in luck because you can wear any color you want!

2. Hair Color

Your hair color, in conjunction with your skin’s undertone, also has an effect on whether certain colors of makeup will look good on you or not. If you have warm hair – such as chestnut or golden blonde – and a warm skin tone, stick with bronze-y, summery colors. With cool hair – like platinum blonde or ash brown – and a cool skin tone, use silvery, wintry colors. As a general rule for redheads, if you have warm red hair, stick with those shades recommended for warm hair colors, and vice versa. All redheads should steer clear of overly red or orange makeup colors and should use greens and blues in the correct undertone to enhance their features.

3. Eye color

Last, but certainly not least, your eye color has a huge effect on the makeup colors you should choose. Girls with blue eyes look best in peach, gold, copper, and brown, while green eyes pop when paired with purples, pink, and plum. Those women with brown eyes are incredibly lucky, because you can wear whatever colors you want! However, the best colors to accentuate beautiful brown eyes are purple, teal, and green.

Want to learn how to apply your makeup like a professional? I absolutely love the video tutorials from the University of Makeup. Even better, they now give you a professional makeup kit when you sign up, it’s a one-time price for lifetime membership, AND they have a store that sells everything and ships worldwide for free! They even have all the MAC makeup! Check it out:

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Acne Medicine and Makeup: Best Two in -One Products

It’s difficult to combine acne medicine and makeup into one product without overdrying your skin. In fact, you have to be extremely careful not to add too much acne treatment medicine with a makeup that already has some in it. However, there are a few products that have gotten great reviews from users. They work best on people with mild acne and/or very oily skin. Here’s a round-up of the best ones in my own order of preference:

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Foundation: This foundation for acne prone skin is particularly good for those with oily skin. It provides moderate coverage and a matte finish. You will still have to carry around some blotting powder or papers, but it does help with mild acne. It also has some colors for very fair skin.

Bare Minerals Rare Minerals Blemish Therapy: This is described as a treatment, but it actually provides some coverage as well. It contains Bare Escentuals rare minerals, so it doesn’t interact with any other acne medicine you are using. I like the fact that I can put some on at night and it reduces the redness of any pimples I put it on.

Murad Acne Treatment Concealer: This will only help with very small blemishes, but gives decent coverage. Since it also contains salicylic acid, be careful about combining it with your current treatment, if you use one. It comes in the perfect size for carrying around in your purse.

Cover FX Acne Treat and Conceal Kit: This kit contains travel size versions of a full line of Cover FX acne products. People mostly love the primer, which has the acne medicine in it. Otherwise, this is best for people with very oily skin since it can be chalky looking. Also, you have to get lucky with the colors since they are very limited. However, it’s a terrific value.

Philosophy’s On a Clear Day Acne Clarifying Primer: A primer that contains salicylic acid for treatment, Philosphy’s primer is more for preventing breakouts and smoothing over anything you already have. Helps makeup go on more smoothly.

Neutrogena Skin Clearing Liquid Foundation: Your only real drugstore cosmetic option, Neutrogena’s foundation doesn’t provide much coverage but can be good for people with very mild acne. You can’t beat the price.

Have any other acne makeup products with medicine in them that you love? Let all of us know!

The Best Acne Makeup for Aging Skin

Even if your skin is mature, you are not necessarily safe from acne. In fact, some women may get more acne as they get older due to hormonal changes. At the same time, you have to deal with the common effects of time. Lines and wrinkles are particularly tough to treat at the same time as acne. One treatment tends to add moisture while the other dries out the skin. It seems like a Catch 22. There are some tricks, however, that will help you find the best acne makeup, aging skin or not.

The first trick is to avoid all makeup that has acne medicine in it. Don’t use anything with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur. They will dry your skin out even more. Keep your acne treatments separate from any treatment for aging.

As with any makeup for acne prone skin, avoid anything with oil in it. There are plenty of moisturizing products that don’t have oil. Better yet, stick with a mineral makeup like Korres Mineral Powder or a neutral long-lasting foundation like … You can use moisturizer separately for any dryness.

Apply everything in the correct order. Here’s where things get tricky. Acne treatment or wrinkle treatment – which do you apply first? I always go with how my skin is doing on a certain day. If it is breaking out a lot I put on some medicine first, let it dry completely, and then pat on some moisturizer. Next comes my Tarte Clean Slate primer. Finally, I apply some foundation.

Use powders sparingly. Powder can make every line on your face stand out. This is true of many of the mineral makeup powder as well, so avoid ones that are labeled as matte or oil absorbent.

My favorite brands of makeup for aging skin that has acne are:

Benefit’s Hello Flawless Custom Cover Up – Benefit is designed as a brand targeted for younger people, but I love the Hello Flawless powder foundation. So long as you have put on moisturize and primer, the sponge lets you apply the foundation smoothly and gives excellent coverage without making every line stand out.

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra – This is my favorite liquid foundation that is both long lasting and give great coverage. It goes on silky smooth and I don’t even have to use concealer with it. This is my go-to foundation when I am going to a party or will be out all day and want my skin to look perfect.

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation – This mineral powder foundation goes on much more smoothly than most others, so it doesn’t sit in your wrinkles. You can either use the little pad that comes with it or a mineral makeup brush.