One of my key responsibilities as an image consultant is to ensure my client’s new look is “doable” — that it can and will be maintained. With Liz, I know she’ll slip back into a cozy hoodie for an evening at home and that’s to be expected but I’m confident she’ll maintain her new hair colour and highlight regime. I’ve watched her embrace every stage of the process, yet now that we’re about to embark on the final leg of her journey, makeup, I’m anticipating a few challenges.
Experience has taught me that when I address the idea of a professional makeup artist for this last step, clients frequently call upon the same mental roadblock; it’s called The Natural Look. At some point iconic American designer, Calvin Klein, obviously encountered this kind of resistance because he coined the perfect phrase: “The best thing is to look natural, but it takes makeup to look natural”. How right you are Mr. Klein!
Happily, Liz was enthusiastic about her planned makeup application and lesson with makeup artist Genny at The School of Pro Makeup Art. Together, we discussed Liz’s lifestyle, the new demands of her career and her comfort level with makeup and its application.
Liz had brought along her makeup bag and we began the elimination process. In comparison to some “collections” I’ve seen, Liz had a bare minimum. I was delighted. (So often over the years, I’ve seen makeup bags that were potential breeding grounds of bacteria: bits and pieces from cosmetic promotional gifts, hastily purchased lipsticks and shadows, old sponges, dried-up mascara wands, ancient pencils and worn-out brushes. Please, don’t hang on to tired, old products. There are very specific guidelines for how long a product is safe to use, e.g. no longer than 3 months for mascara.)
Once the editing process was complete, Genny began applying makeup to the right side of Liz’s face — explaining her product choices and techniques. Then, it was Liz’s turn to match the left side. While Genny guided her step-by-step, Liz learned to hold a brush, to gauge the amount pressure to apply and new techniques of stippling, feathering and the art of blending. True to form, Liz was a stellar student and was well on her way to applying makeup like a pro.
Here are 5 quick tips for finessing your makeup application:
- Apply bronzer with a large fluffy brush on the forehead, nose, chin, cheeks, jaw line — all places the sun would hit — using large, circular strokes. Add more to the area just below the cheekbones to create a chiseled contoured look. Next, apply a pink shade of blush on the “apples” of cheeks for a healthy glow.
- Line lips with a lip-coloured lip pencil and blend well to avoid a conspicuous, telltale line.
- Fill in eyebrows with taupe eye shadow powder and a small, angled brush. Use short, hair-like strokes in sparse areas.
- 4. Curl eyelashes using a rounded rubber eyelash curler to really open up the eyes, before applying mascara. Shu Uemura’s eyelash curlers are internationally praised — they were even mentioned in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada.
- Apply 4 clusters of individual false eyelashes to outer corners of the eyes to add volume and look natural. Perfect for New Year’s Eve!
Here’s Liz with a recap of her session with Genny:
“I usually don’t wear very much makeup, probably because I’ve never been exceptional at applying it — but Genny from The School of Pro Makeup was an excellent teacher. She went over the techniques at each step then she would let me try and provide feedback. Applying cake eyeliner was especially challenging — I actually got it in my eye! Over the last few days I’ve improved and now the process is pain free. I really wanted to learn the techniques for a good reason – the end result of my makeup lesson was transformational. I was amazed by how Genny was able to balance my features using tiny touch ups. Between the makeup and the hair I feel gorgeous. My new look is very polished. Thank you Diane, I’m thrilled. And just in time for the holidays!“
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