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Question: “I recently invested in the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation ‘kit’ (for an extra $30 I received a good sized sample of primer and setting powder). I know this foundation is AMAZING and I’m using it per the directions and tips from the Sephora gals, but I’m really not satisfied. Knowing this product is fantastic and my skill level is … well … extremely amateur, I’m thinking it’s me. I wash, moisturize, prime, stipple foundation & blend then apply powder. However after 3-4 hours my face is extremely shiny and looks wet — and the foundation comes off as though I’ve just applied it when I brush my skin with anything (Kleenex, my fingers, hubby’s shirt sleeve).
I’ve tried changing up moisturizers, not using primer, using more primer, using more/less powder … I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.” — Jessica
Answer: To help Jessica get to the bottom of her slippery foundation issue, I enlisted Make Up For Ever’s managing educator Jessie Powers. If anyone knows how to use the Make Up For Ever products, she does. According to Powers, “It sounds like [Jessica] might have oilier skin.” Unfortunately, Jessica, that means you might not be using the right products for your skin type. Here are the application tips and products that Powers says will help you (and anyone else with this issue) get flawless-looking skin that lasts:
- Apply one to two pumps of Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer, $35. “Use fingertips to massage it into the skin,” says Powers.
- “Apply Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation, $42 with a sponge instead of a brush or fingers. Press the foundation into the skin so it really adheres to the surface,” she adds.
- Swap your Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder, $34 with the Make Up For Ever Super Mat Loose Powder, $28. “Use it to set the foundation. This is the really important part because the HD Powder is just going to slightly mattify, but it does not set the makeup. Setting powder needs talc to really hold makeup in place,” says Powers.
- To apply the loose powder, “get a dime-sized amount of loose powder on the [included] puff, fold the puff in half and rub the sides together to distribute the powder evenly. Then apply the powder by pressing the puff into the skin with a rocking motion. The pressing motion will help set and lock liquid makeup in place,” says Powers.
- Finish by buffing a little HD Microfinish Powder on top, she adds.
If the above steps alone don’t help your foundation last or look less shiny, “you may want to look for a foundation that is more geared toward oily skin or high humidity climates. Often times, just finding the best formula for your skin type will do the trick,” says Powers. She recommends Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet + Mattifying Foundation, $36.
By the time some of you true Twihards out there read this, you’ll have already seen the highly-anticipated final flick in the Twilight series. And, if you’ve been paying attention to all of the hoopla surrounding the release of this film, then you probably know that the lovely Dakota Fanning showed up at the premiere as a brunette. What do you think of her new hair color?
I think it definitely adds a level of sophistication to her look. And, the makeup she sported was the perfect complement to her new hue. One of my in-the-know friends gave me scoop how to copy her look. Here’s the breakdown:
Dermalogica Age Smart SkinPerfect Primer SPF 30, $48. (Love this stuff!)
It’s the perfect makeup look for day or night. A classic go-to.
My friend and fabulous makeup artist Gita Bass posted a photo (via Facebook) of the latest look she created for Elizabeth Banks’ What to Expect When You’re Expecting premiere (Are you going to see it?) and I had to know how to copy it. Here’s the scoop she gave me — just in case you’re game for recreating it:
“I evened out her skin tone with Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 5, $59,” says Bass.
Next, she used Dior Skin Flash Radiance Booster Pen in Candlelight, $37 to highlight the areas under her eyes, along her cheekbones and down the bridge of her nose to add dimension to her face.
To define her eyes, Bass blended Chanel Illusion D’ombre in Emerveille, $36 (a peachy-golden hue) on Banks’ lids and “layered the gold shade from the Tom Ford Beauty Eye Color Quad [in Burnished Amber], $75 over the top,” says Bass. She then blended the bronze shade from the same quad into the creases of Banks’ eyes. She lined top and bottom lashlines with Laura Mercier Caviar Eye pencil in Cocoa, $24 using a small stiff brush, and finally, she curled Banks’ lashes and “applied several coats of Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils Luxurious Mascara, $30.”
Then, to give Banks a “peachy glow” Bass reached for Yves Saint Laurent Creme de Blush in Velvety Peach, $38. She applied to to the apples of her cheeks and blended outward.
Bass completed the look by adding a bright pop of color to Banks’ lips. She used Make Up For Ever Rouge Artiste Natural in Soft Fushia, $19. I’m so buying this shade. It’s gorgeous and I’m always for a bold lip color.
That’s it. Will you give this look a try?
The Answer: Though I tend to cherry pick products across a ton of brands, I totally understand that it can be much more efficient to stick with one brand and buy all of your essentials from it. With that being said, I recommend the following two brands — one drugstore mass brand and one department store prestige brand — so you can pick the one that’s right for your budget and one that’s easily accessible:
Drugstore/Mass Brand: L’Oreal Paris
I recommend L’Oreal Paris as a go-to brand for all of your makeup essentials because they offer everything from highly-pigmented eyeshadow shades in classic and trendy hues to a fabulous collection of moisturizing lip glosses (the L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Le Gloss) in 16 gorgeous shades (Blushing Berry is my fave). Finding eyeshadows that pack a serious punch of pigment at the drugstore isn’t easy, by the way. And, in addition to carrying foundations, primers and highlighters that can stand up to their department store counterparts, the brand makes one of my favorite mascaras (the L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara) and lip colors (the L’Oreal Paris Infallible Le Rouge in Ravishing Red). All at an affordable price.
Department Store/Prestige Brand: Make Up For Ever
This was a trickier choice for me to make. I considered MAC, Bobbi Brown, Estee Lauder, Laura Mercier, Chanel and Lancome for various reasons — great mascaras, eyeliners, foundations, eyeshadows of various textures, etc. But, I settled on Make Up For Ever for a few key reasons. First, the lightweight Make Up For Ever Face & Body Foundation has been a favorite of mine for years. It gives great waterproof coverage without feeling like makeup on your skin. I’ve used it off and on since the late ’90s. And second, they make one of my favorite liquid liners of all time (the Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner). Add to that a miracle loose powder (Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder) and fabulous makeup brushes and eyeshadows in every shade and texture imaginable, and you have a perfectly well-rounded brand of gorgeous makeup. If I had to say it has one downfall, it’s that the brand hasn’t yet made a mascara that’s totally wowed me. Otherwise though, you can pretty much get everything you need (well, and don’t need) from Make Up For Ever.
If you’re looking for a dependable brand to fill your makeup bag, these would be my recommendations. But, if you have a specific category of product you’re in the market for, I might suggest something else.
For those of you out there that do have a go-to brand, which one is it? I’d love to hear about it.
When Olivia Wilde wanted to rock a “badass eye” for her Baseball in the Time of Cholera premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last week she called on badass New York City-based makeup artist Tina Turnbow. Using Wilde’s almond shaped eyes as a guide, Turnbow created this glamorous yet rock ‘n’ roll makeup look. Follow her steps to recreate the look on your pretty face:
Step 1: Even out your skin tone and camouflage spots or redness by applying a power foundation. Use a smaller brush to cover areas around your eyes. Try the foundation Turnbow calls her “favorite product right now”, the Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Powder Foundation SPF 20, $34. Turnbow digs the fact that it’s “brightening, but matte at the same time.”
Step 2: Sculpt your cheeks and forehead using a neutral honey-brown tone. Try Revlon Photoready Sculpting Blush Palette in Neutral, $10.49. Use a bit of each shade in the palette and blend it on your forehead and cheekbones.
Step 1: After prepping lids with primer or a flesh-colored shadow, blend a light brown shade in your creases. Try Smashbox Shades of Fame Eye Palette and Brush, $48. Turnbow used the Nude shade from this palette.
Step 2: Blend a honey-colored shadow on the inner corners of your eyes. Turnbow used the Honey shade from the aforementioned palette.
Step 3: Following the natural shape of your eyes (something Turnbow thinks is key to getting an eye makeup look that really works), line your lashlines with black liquid liner. Try Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen in Blackest Black, $8.99.
Step 4: Line your inner rims with black pencil liner (try Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Black, $6.79) then, using a smudge brush like Make Up For Ever Smudge Brush 14S, $32, smudge the pencil liner into the liquid to soften it and to extend the lines at your outer corners for a fierce finish.
Although I spotted this makeup look backstage at the Tracy Reese Fall/Winter 2012 New York fashion show, I think it’s the perfect look to embrace now. If you want to add a wearable, yet eye-catching pop of color to your face this spring, a brightly lined eye is just what the makeup artist ordered.
The fabulous (and hilarious) Mally Roncal created this stunning and playful look for Reese’s show using three different shades of shimmery, liquid and pencil eyeliners. She used an electric blue (try Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Curaco, $22), teal (the Mally Beauty Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner in Caribbean Sea, $15) and purple (try Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in Purple 11L, $15).
To create the look, prep your lids with a primer or neutral, flesh-toned shadow and then thickly line top lids only in your liquid or pencil eyeliner color of choice. Extend the line a bit at your outer corners for a sexy, but fun finish. Finish the eyes with two coats of mascara on top lids. Gorgeous!
Though I do love the look of an eye-catching bold lipstick hue, I have always been partial to lipgloss for its ease of application and the way it feels on my lips. It’s simply more hydrating and comfortable on my prone-to-chapping pout. And, over the years I’ve tried hundreds — serious boat loads — of glosses. It’s one of the joys of being a beauty editor. Though I can’t say every experience was a positive one.
But, there are only a few lipglosses that I’ve ever replenished and those are the ones I’m sharing with you today. These are the wands and tubes I found to be the most gorgeous (obviously), but beyond that, the ones that feel the best on and are so versatile that I can slick them on with almost any other makeup — or any outfit — I might be wearing. The best part? All four of these lipgloss shades are flattering on almost any skin tone — from pasty types like mine to rich cocoa tones. I hope you try them and like them as much as I do.
Chanel Glossimer in Spark, $29.50 — a shimmering, sheer pinky-red hue that instantly brightens up your look without being over-the-top. It has just enough stick to last longer than some glosses, but not so much that you’ll catch every gnat that flies by. And, the sponge-tip applicator makes it easy to apply precisely without a mirror.
Estee Lauder High Gloss in Blush, $16 — this blushy-nude hue can be worn alone or on top of another lip color to add a pop of shine or moisture. I talked both my mom and sister into buying it and they loved it, too. Not sticky at all (though it doesn’t last quite as long as a result) and perfectly shiny (without being shimmery). It should be a makeup bag staple for all.
Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lip Gloss Star Collection in S24, $18 — though I’m not a big fan of the brush applicator — it tends to get smooshed and bent out of shape — it’s worth putting up with because the formula is divine. Again, not sticky at all — this makes your lips feel hydrated and look juicy and kissable. The sheer, peachy-coral hue adds just a touch of color to your face without making a statement. Love.
L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Le Gloss in Blushing Berry, $7.95 — the newest addition to my list, this tube-o-gloss has a somewhat similar shade to the Chanel Glossimer mentioned above. It’s just a touch more raspberry than strawberry. It’s shimmery, stick-free and at this price, a definite keeper.
Now that I’ve shared my faves, tell me which product is your favorite lipgloss of all time.
The Product: Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner, $23
Why: When it comes to liquid eyeliner, I’m usually not a huge fan because of the sheer time commitment associated with applying it. You have to be so precise so that you don’t end up with two lopsided-looking eyes, and you must create a flawless line that you’re happy to have stay put for the rest of the day. But, you can’t quite get the look of liquid liner without using it and going through the whole process of applying it. (The next best thing is gel liner, but I find that true liquid does last longer — on my greasy lids anyway.)
That’s why I usually keep my liquid eyeliner moments to weekends when I have more time to primp. That was before I met this liquid liner from Make Up For Ever. Love, love it. Not only does it go on and stay on, it’s actually quick and easy to apply. The pigments are super rich so you’ll never find yourself scribbling back and forth along your lid to get the intense line you might be after, and the slim foam-tip brush is genius. It’s teeny enough to get right in to your lash line to create a very thin line (if that’s the look you’re going for), and it’s stiff yet flexible enough to allow you to almost effortlessly glide it along your lids without flicking product where you don’t want it to go or laying down an odd splotch. And though it’s expensive (my sister was quick to point this out when I was gushing about the product) it is worth every cent — especially when you consider the time saved. Oh, and it comes in matte, iridescent and diamond shades (the Diamond Multicolor Black is one of my faves) — 15 of them to be exact.
If you’re not ready to splurge on this liquid eyeliner, try the Physician’s Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner +Serum, $10.99
Now tell me, which product are you crushing on this week?
After posting about the mascara issues many of us with combo or oily skin have, my friend Katie fired back asking about how she can make her eyeshadow stick to her slippery lids. That’s when I enlisted makeup artist and lash-tinting expert Joette Balsamo, the newest edition to the happening Marie Robinson Salon in New York City, to share her top eye makeup rules and fave products for oily lids. If you battle creasing, running and the sort, add these to your list of rules to live by …
Rule 1: Don’t apply eye cream on your eyelids. Stick to swiping it along your under eye area only. “People with oily lids can have dry under eyes, so it’s OK just to hydrate just the under eye with eye cream,” says Balsamo.
Rule 2: Avoid using creamy concealer on your lids. But again, using it under the eyes is fine.
Rule 3: Use a shadow primer before applying eyeshadow. “If you don’t have a shadow primer, use concealer, but set it with translucent powder,” she says.
Rule 4: “Avoid kohl pencils as they will smudge easily. Stick to cake liner, and long-wear gel liners.”
Rule 5: Only use cream shadows that “are labeled ‘long-wear’ or [are a] cream-to-powder [formula],” says Balsamo. “Many of them are shimmery and colorful and highly pigmented. They are a great way to start a smoky eye or colorful nighttime look,” she adds.
Eyeshadow primer: Laura Mercier Eye Basics, $24
Cake or long-wearing gel liner: Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner, $22, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, $21 or Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel CreamLiner, Glam Collection, $10.95
Powder eyeshadow: “I love Chantecaille, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown,” says Balsamo.
Translucent Powder: Make Up Forever HD Microfinish Powder, $30
What’s your biggest beauty issue? Tell me about by commenting on this post. I might just have another expert waiting in the wings to answer it …
— Kristen Oldham Giordani