In-demand makeup artists - the ones who jet between Paris and Milan for the fashion shows and to New York and Los Angeles for movie premieres, award shows, and photo shoots at a moment's notice - know a thing or two about pressure.
If the supermodel-du-jour arrives on the catwalk with an unsightly blemish, they have to make it disappear. If an over-scheduled, jet-lagged actress is doing her tenth media appearance of the week, it's their job to make her look fresh, vibrant, and positively well rested.
Every lash must be in place, every cheek subtly flushed, every lip perfectly glossed - all while creating the illusion that the model or celebrity in question is naturally (that is, sans makeup) of-course-I-was-born-this-way stunning. From under-eye circles to dull, lifeless skin, they've seen - and better yet, fixed - it all.
We've put together the makeup scoop from behind-the-scenes pros and their best tips for looking flawless - without looking the least bit overdone.
Make a fresh start
The cardinal rule in makeup is to begin with a clean canvas, which means thoroughly cleansing and moisturizing the skin before even thinking about colour. Applying makeup on clean, moist skin will allow for a smooth, even finish. If the skin is dehydrated, certain makeup can cake around fine lines. If the skin is oily, makeup can go on patchy. Be weary of using a moisturizer with glycolic acid, since the foundation will not go on smooth and the makeup will wear off fast.
Everybody has some amount of darkness under the eyes, and, unfortunately, the older you get, the worse it gets because the skin becomes thinner. To help with darkness under the eye, think pink. The skin under the eyes tends to be blue, so you need a concealer with a pink highlight to help counteract it. Other colours are usually too light or too yellow - and not at all effective. A concealer that is too light makes you look cakey and white under the eyes, and pale yellow can look sallow, almost grey. Puffiness can also be problematic, and no amount of concealer can hide it. To get rid of it fast, you can saturate two cotton balls with cucumber toner and place them over the eyelids for 5 minutes. The toner cools, refreshes, and tightens the skin, taking the puffiness away. For maximum effect, chill the toner in the refrigerator before using.
It's a fact: zits don't discriminate (even the most cleansed, toned, and exfoliated complexions aren't exempt), and they love to make an appearance right before a special occasion. Bad timing? Yes. Hopeless? Thankfully, no. To deal with breakouts, try a green concealer. The green will cancel out and tone down the red in a zit. Either apply the green concealer first and then top it with one that matches your skin tone (if it's too light or too dark, you're simply calling more attention to the problem), or mix a touch of green into your regular concealer or foundation before applying. For precision and a natural-looking result, always use a small brush to apply, especially a few days post-breakout. When a pimple is healing, the skin around it is dry and flaky. Concealer on the dry skin draws more attention to the breakout.
Create a faux glow
There's nothing prettier than a fresh and rosy glow, but using loads of blush is not the way to get it. For a pretty flush of colour, mix Cheeky (a shiny, sun-coloured loose powder from her eponymous makeup line, but any powdered blush or bronzer will work) with foundation and apply to the cheeks for a sun-kissed effect. People will think you just came back from vacation. Because you are mixing it with your foundation, the colour looks very natural. Unless, that is, you apply the mixture to your entire face. Apply to the cheeks only! Anything more will look clownish and not at all believable.
Find your true colours
Accentuating your eyes starts and ends with colour choice - but to help make the right, most flattering one, first determine if your complexion is cool or warm. It is a common misconception that fair skin is cool and dark skin is warm. This is not always the case. In general, fair to medium skin tones qualify as warm if they have a greenish olive cast and have more green than blue veins on the inner wrist. Cool complexions have a pinkish cast and more blue veins than green. Dark skin is classified the same way: warm-toned dark skin has a golden or chocolate hue and, again, more veins tend to be green; cool-toned dark skin has a bluish or red cast and the veins are predominately blue. Cool colours (like pastel pinks and peaches) look most natural on cool complexions, just as warm colours (like earthy oranges and greens) do the same on warm complexions. Another trick is to look for flecks like gold, bronze, or copper in the eyes or hair. Use a little of the same colour shimmer on your eyes.
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