I’m far from an expert in the makeup department but I am very much like the proverbial (makeup) sponge when it comes to building my knowledge in that department.
A bit like you can layer your foundation to build coverage on your face, I’m all about layering all the information I’ve ever learned from makeup artists during 15-plus years of writing about beauty and putting those tips to good use for the every day.
And if I’m actually having my makeup done by a makeup artist, I’m there watching and taking notes as to what they’re using and applying on my face. Because no matter how much I take in, there is always more to learn.
One of the most entertaining and creative makeup artists I’ve ever had the chance to grill is Maybelline NY Australia’s Nigel Stanislaus.
I met Nigel last year when I first blogged at Australian Fashion Week for Maybelline NY. Backstage at a fashion event is always a flurry of people – fashion people, hair people, makeup people, media people and model people. It can get super stressful as everyone works towards a time deadline for a show.
What I’ve observed with Nigel is that his team is always on it and focussed but not in an OMG-it’s-a-pressure-cooker-environment-here kind of way. And then he’ll oblige people like me with witty answers to very basic makeup questions. He is what we call in the media business “good talent”.
A few weeks ago, I put the word out to SY readers to find out what burning makeup questions they had for Nigel. It was ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Sydney and 10 of those reader questions won those readers a chance to meet Nigel and see him and the Maybelline team in action back stage.
Today, I’ve chosen three of the questions and hit Nigel up for his responses. These are makeup artist tips you can try at home, playing with affordable products you can pick up next time you’re doing the grocery shopping.
If 40 really IS the new 30, what are the top three Maybelline products (and corresponding tips) that will have us fooling the world (or at least ourselves) into believing we really are still in our dewy 30s?
It might go against your natural desire to cover up but bring back the dewy glow of your 30s with less foundation and clever contouring.
1. Look for a lightweight, light-to-medium coverage foundation with mother of pearl extracts like Maybelline NY’s Instant Age Rewind Foundation range ($25.95). It not only nourishes skin and provides the perfect coverage for mature skin types but it adds a very subtle dewy shimmer for that youthful glow.
Another alternative is swapping a foundation for a BB Cream. If you need a little more coverage, simply dust a little loose powder to help set your base.
2. When contouring or shaping your face (an optical facelift), select a natural bronzer (FITme bronzer $14.95) that complements your skin tone and delicately, dust the bronzer just below your cheek bones and temples to add depth and definition.
3. Thickening your brows will also give you a younger look (see brow tip below).
4. To finish your youthful look, always avoid dark, matte colours and opt for a radiant pop of colour instead. Whether you opt for a subtle wash of colour or a bold and powerful lip look, a universally flattering shade is Color Sensational Lip Color in Coral Crush ($16.95).
Two words. Eyebrow pencil. I have always been wary of its existence in the depths of my cosmetic bag and have long suffered from opportunity overwhelm. I have only ever been game to go there after a few lunchtime vinos, applying liberally in a metrical frenzy. Please explain its purpose and how using it (properly) can make me look less Freida Kahlo and more smouldering sexpot with just the perfect arches, all the while illuminating the windows to my soul?
Brows are such an important part of every look and here are a couple of failsafe tips to create beautiful brows (not caterpillars). These tips will help you create beautiful brows for a fuller and younger look.
1. Select a brow pencil a shade lighter than your brows (Eyestudio master shape brown pencil $11.50). This will ensure you add depth and fullness to your brows and avoid a harsh Freida Kahlo look.
2. The biggest mistake many people make when creating fuller brows is drawing one straight line. Never, ever do this! Use soft, feathery strokes along the natural line of your brow. Once you’ve achieved the optimum depth of colour, brush a brow comb through your brows to buff out any obviously lines and to lightly soften the look. Set your brows into shape by spraying a little hairspray onto the pad on your finger and dabbing it across your brow.
1. First of all, consider the colour of the liquid liner or gel. For fairer complexions or more mature ladies, I always recommend a soft charcoal or brown shade as it is far more complementary and softer. If you are after impact, opt for blackest black. There are three Maybelline NY products, I recommend: Eyestudio HyperGlossy ($13.95); Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner ($16.95); and Master Precise Liquid Liner ($13.95)
2. To achieve the perfect flick or a retro cat eye, it does take practice but the first step in creating this look is to stablise yourself. Sit at a table or somewhere where you can rest your elbow on a flat surface.
3. Place a mirror below your eye line so that you are forced to look down and naturally create a flatter base.
4. Whether you use a liner brush or a liquid pencil, start at the inner most corner of your eye and lightly feather the liner across your lid and as close to your lash line as possible. When you get to the outer corner, the most complementary flick angle will line up to the outer tip of your brow. The extent or length of the flick is up to you.
5. One little trick to help create a precise and clean flick is to place a little tab of sticky tape to the outer corner of your eye. This way you can take the “free-hand” out of the equation and guarantee the flick angle is precise.
6. Be aware that when applying eyeliner it should always be in thirds. Never stop your eyeliner half way across your top or bottom lid as it will create the illusion of a smaller and more closed eye.
Maybelline NY products are available at supermarkets, Priceline and selected pharmacies.
How are your brows? Do you find it tricky to apply eyeliner? Yearning for a dewy complexion? Or maybe you have a makeup tip that you’d like to share with us?