Matte vs. Shimmer – Where on the Face and Why Texture is Important

gigi-hadid-makeup

For starters, let me introduce the makeup model I chose for this post, the iconic Gigi Hadid.  She is definitely one of today’s modern muses for her soft femininity and her makeup is always stunning.

The leads me to this post and a makeup topic that is overlooked but a crucial one in terms of makeup product selection and placement.  Often times the terms matte and shimmer (or other terms include dewy, shiny, glowing, and radiant) are used when describing a makeup product.

Matte:  A matte texture has no shine whatsoever and can appear to have a velvet or powder finish.  Typically matte products appear more natural looking.

Shimmer:  A shimmery texture provides a shiny and glowing effect and stands out more on the face by reflecting light.

As a general rule, shimmer accentuates features more (more specifically with highlighting and “strobing”–the modern makeup terminology for essentially the same thing) because of how the light hits while matte textures do the opposite by appearing almost flat and do not pick up light at all.

Areas of the face that should typically always be matte:
– Forehead
– Chin
– Nose
– Under the cheekbones (by the use of contouring)
– Eye shadow crease and outer crease (I generally opt for matte shadows; however, depending on the look, shimmery shadows can work)
– Outline of the lips (in other words the lip liner)
– Eyebrows

Areas of the face that should typically always be highlighted (shimmery/dewy/radiant):
– Brow bone (the space right under the eye brows although this sometimes can be matte depending on a person’s preference)
– Top of cheekbones
– Cupid’s bow (the space between the nose and upper lip)
– Inner corners of eyes (optional but ideal for eye brightening)
– Center of eyelids (optional as well, this depends on the look but placing shimmer in the center of the lid catches the light and appears brighter)
– Center of the nose (optional, I personally do not do this much at all but if you look at magazines, the center of the nose always seems to be highlighted)

Areas of the face that can be either matte or shimmery:
– Lips
– Eye makeup in general
– Center of cheeks (in other words the blush color–personally, I typically always choose MATTE for the center of the cheeks but again, this is a personal preference and depends on the overall look being achieved which is why I put this into the either category)
– Skin (in reference to the overall effect of the skin, some people prefer their skin to look matte while others may opt for a more dewy finish that provides a glow)

Keep in mind with the last category, why it does not make too much of a difference is because those areas of the face are dictated by personal preference, style, and makeup trends.  For example, matte lip products are very popular at the moment whereas there have been times shimmery lips are more trendy.  Another example is with blush, a person with more oily skin is going to prefer to stick with matte blushes only because it reduces oil throughout the day while a person with dry skin may only where shimmery blushes because the skin will appear to look less dry and more radiant.

Back to the beautiful image of Gigi Hadid, which facial features are matte?  What areas of her face provide more shimmer?  When examining this image up closely,  it appears that the overall effect is more on the shimmery side.  More specifically, the gold eye shadow on the entire eye, the lips, the skin overall is more dewy, tops of cheekbones, and the center of nose.  In terms of matte textures on her face, I would the eyebrows, outline of her lips, blush, and the contour under the cheekbones.

 

 

Advertisements

The #1 Makeup Trick to Offset Close-Set Eyes

kristen-stewart-cover-of-wFive years ago, I remember when I had seen Kristen Stewart on the cover of this issue of W magazine, I had thought to myself, “Wow, this is the best I have ever seen her look.”  Getting over the reality that this was also probably heavily photoshopped, let us give props to where props are due, her makeup artist.  The makeup artist who created this look truly transformed her  and knew how to enhance her features with the right makeup placement to make her look strikingly captivating.  Which leads me to a great point (and inspiration for this post I might add):  Isn’t it amazing what a little makeup can do?

What are close-set eyes?  Close-set eyes are when the eyes are distanced closer towards the center of the nose and visually do not look proportionate.  I will go ahead and make a true makeup artist confession right now–that as a highly visual person, this is a visual turn-off for me.  However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel as this can be visually corrected with the right makeup techniques!  Makeup can actually make the eye distance look more balanced.

The best way to offset close-set eyes is with a dramatic winged liner.  As seen on the cover, her winged liner is overly extended and exaggerated.  Although for most people, this can look too over the top and garish in which I would not recommend it as an everyday look necessarily, it actually works wonders for anyone that has close-set eyes.  Reason being that the defined black winged liner is visually pulling the eyes away from the center of the face and away from the nose.  If you look at the images of Kristen Stewart closely, you would never really even know she has close-set eyes to begin with thanks to a dramatic black winged liner.

I also want to add in that it is best to avoid adding lighter colors (such as a white shimmer eyeshadow which is most often done to brighten the eyes and make them pop) towards the inner corners as this would only bring more visual attention again towards the center of the face when the main focus is to change the focal point by bringing more emphasis towards the corners of the eyes to pull the eyes away from the nose.

 

 

Brittany’s Bridal Makeup

brittany-makeup-1brittany-makeup-2

Brittany’s bridal makeup reminds me of Hollywood glamour.  She does not typically wear too much makeup but knew she wanted a red lip.  To balance the bold lip color, I kept the eyes soft with my choice of eyeshadow colors.  Even though the eyes are not too dramatic, they still stand out with black defined winged liner on the top and defined lashes.  She carries off the look beautifully as seen in the photos!

Complexion:  Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer, Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation Palette (used as concealer), Dinair Glamour Airbrush Foundation in Alabaster and Light Golden Beige (mixed), Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder (to set the entire foundation), MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Dark (for cheek contour), NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross (cheek highlight), MAC blush in Sincere

Eyes:  MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, MAC eyeshadows:  Naked Lunch (lid), Retrospeck (brow highlight and little bit in inner corner of the eye), All That Glitters (crease), Folie (outer crease), MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack (top liner winged), NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Via Appia (bottom liner), Revlon false lashes in “Defining”, Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara in Very Black (top and bottom lashes), MAC eyeshadow in Omega and Cork (brows)

Lips:  MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour in Perpetuate Flame [discontinued], MAC Lip Pencil in Cherry (this did not quite match the lip color so I had to mix it a little bit with another MAC cremestick lip liner in Raw Refined [discontinued]), and a little clear top coat gloss over it

Brittany makeup 3.jpg

Jennifer’s Bridal Makeup

Jennifer makeup 1.jpgjennifer-makeup-2Jennifer makeup 3.jpg
For Jennifer’s bridal makeup, I created a look that was natural and elegant but managed to be more than her everyday look.  She wanted makeup that would stand out in the photos but also made her feel like herself.  I find that most of my brides want a look like this and you can see how beautiful the makeup turned out along with the final look at the end, absolutely stunning!  I am glad I was able to stay til the very end to see how it all came together.

Complexion:  Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer, Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation Palette (used as concealer), Dinair Glamour Airbrush Foundation in Light Golden Beige, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Dark (to set the entire foundation), MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Deep (for cheek contour), NARS Cream Eye Shadow in Cosmic Girl [discontinued] lightly on top of cheek bones (cheek highlight) and NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross (cheek highlight), MAC blush in Melba and also a little Fleur Power over it (blush)

Eyes:  MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, MAC eyeshadows:  Jest and Naked Lunch (lid), Nylon (brow highlight and little bit in inner corner of the eye), Sable (crease), Embark (outer crease), MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack (thin top liner without wing but upwards on the corners), Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner pencil in black (bottom liner), Salon Perfect false lashes #110, Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara in Very Black (top and bottom lashes), MAC eyeshadow in Cork just lightly (brows)

Lips:  MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour in For Keeps and the clear top coat gloss over it

jennifer-makeup-4

The final look with makeup, hair, and the beautiful dress.  Bridal perfection!

5 Valuable Things I Learned at Makeup School

Makeup collage.jpeg

When I decided I wanted to pursue makeup artistry as a career, it was important to me to get professional training at a reputable makeup school.  I went to the Makeup Designory (MUD) in New York City where I studied Beauty Makeup.  Prior to attending, being a girl who always wore makeup (I started just by experimenting and using makeup on my own around age 14), I truly thought I knew a lot.  Mind you I had no experience applying makeup on other people and this was way before makeup tutorials were huge on YouTube.  I walked into makeup school as a true amateur.  As exciting as it was to learn this new craft, it was also incredibly overwhelming as there is much more to learning makeup artistry than meets the eye!

Blush Placement – For me, this was exceptionally an epic moment when I discovered the placement.  I think blush is one of the easiest and most effective makeup products every woman should own.  It gives so much life to the face and an instant attraction pick-me-up.  I do not think it is possible for someone to look unattractive with blush (unless the shade is not right or it is way overdone).

I had always applied my blush on the center apples of my cheeks.  My entire life leading up to makeup school, it felt natural and instinctive that is where blush is supposed to go.  Little did I realize, not only should blush be applied at the center of the cheeks, it should also be brushed upwards towards your temples!  I remember literally thinking to myself, “Wait, I thought that was an 80’s thing?”  Then I realized the purpose behind this.  When you look at a person’s profile, the blush should not just stop at the center of the cheeks and also applying the blush upwards slims the face along with accentuating the cheekbones.

Contouring and Highlighting – Before contouring kits existed and became as mainstream as it has now–thanks to celebrities like Kim Kardashian, the concept of contouring was not really a part of most people’s everyday makeup routine.

I had never contoured (let alone known about highighting) until I got to makeup school.  I find this to be a hard skill set to pick up as in the beginning, it can be difficult to know which shades are best to use to contour various skintones and finding the placement on each individual’s face takes a strong eye.  When I started makeup artistry, I used to study images in magazines in order to get a better visual understanding of contouring and highlighting.

Eye Makeup First – Most of my clients find this to be one of the most surprising things to learn as I begin to do their makeup.  Myself included, I use to always start out with my face makeup before applying my eye makeup.  I am not quite sure why but this always seemed like the systematic approach.  Breaking out of this habit on myself took some time but now as a general rule, I always apply eye makeup first.

The main reason behind this is that often times when applying eye shadows, there could be some fall out that collects underneath the eyes.  This would cause you to have to remove it and to most likely reapply the concealer under the eyes or any makeup on the face.  By completing eye makeup first, this problem is eliminated as you can quickly remove the fall out shadow and then go ahead to apply the face makeup without it getting messed up in any way.

Brow Shaping – Makeup speaking, it is a known fact that the eyebrows frame the face.  I really did not know much about brows other than how to pluck my own brows.  More specifically, I learned various ways to fill in the eyebrows and the way they should be shaped.  When I look back at photos of myself before I was a makeup artist, the first thing I notice is how thin my eyebrows were!  I was making them thinner with a tweezer but not filling them in to give them an arch.  They were completely shapeless and almost nonexistent.

False Eyelash Application – I had never attempted to wear false eyelashes before on my own, so learning how to apply them and also wearing them for the first time was an all around new experience.  I learned that applying them on other people was much easier than applying them on myself in the very beginning.  It took me time after I left makeup school to get good at applying them on myself.  Now it is actually much faster for me to apply a pair of false lashes than to coat my lashes with mascara!

Marci’s Bridal Makeup

20161007_121435.jpg20161007_121432

For Marci’s bridal makeup, we decided the day of to go even more dramatic with the eyes and add some purple hues.  We also opted for dramatic lashes that were long and full.  The final look was not only beautiful but ultra glamourous!

Complexion:  Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer, Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation Palette (used as concealer), Dinair Glamour Airbrush Foundation in Light Golden Beige and Honey Beige mixed, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Deep (to set the entire foundation), MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Dark (for cheek contour), NARS The Multiple in Copacabana and NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross (cheek highlight), MAC blush in Mocha (blush)

Eyes:  MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, MAC eyeshadows:  Jest (lid), Seedy Pearl (brow highlight and little bit in inner corner of the eye), Trax (crease), Shadowly Lady (outer crease), MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack (top liner with slight wing), Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner pencil in black (bottom liner, applied a couple times for extra emphasis and drama), Callas false lashes #415 (I discovered these in a recent trip to California, these lashes are AMAZING), Sephora Outrageous Volume Mascara in Ultra Black (top and bottom lashes), MAC eyeshadow in Brun (brows)

Lips:  Maybelline Super Stay 24 Lip Color in Pink Blossom, Victoria’s Secret lip gloss in Watermelon Splash, MAC Lip Pencil in Soar

The Eye Shadow Blending Brush Everyone Should Own

MAC 217 brush .jpg

One of my makeup philosophies are, you can own all the makeup in the world, but if you do not have the right tools, it does not matter how much makeup you own.  Often times, people underestimate the power of brushes and how an impeccable brush can truly make a world of difference in their makeup application.

When it comes to eye shadow blending, I only use the MAC #217.  There are many eye shadow blending brushes that resemble this brush, with its dome shape and fluffy bristles.  However, there is nothing that compares to it (trust me, I have been open minded and have tried many others)!  I literally own about ten of these brushes in total between my professional makeup kit and my own personal use.

Eye shadow blending is definitely an advanced skill set and by that I mean it takes time to really master the art of blending.  It is for this reason, I highly advise picking up the MAC #217 brush if you want to step up your makeup skills and really be able to blend eye shadow more proficiently.  This is not only a makeup artist necessity but I personally cannot live without it!

8 Must-See Fall 2016 Makeup Trends

The look I created above was actually for a bridesmaid in a September wedding and as a young student at FIT, she expressed she wanted a look that was on trend and suitable for a fall wedding.

Best of all, the makeup captures many Fall 2016 makeup trends in a wearable way, so here is a master list of the makeup trends as seen above:

  • Winged Eyeliner – This trend is definitely here to stay and can be seen as very clean and defined (like the look above) or more thick and dramatic.
  • Dramatic Eyelashes – That is where a good pair of false eyelashes comes in!  Mascara is great but to take any look up a notch, false eyelashes are a necessity!
  • Ultra Dewey Skin – Although a matte complexion has been more popular lately, dewey skin has been more commonly seen on the runways these days.  It is more youthful and fresh looking.
  • Matte & Shimmer Eyeshadow Mix – Matte eyeshadow palettes are popping up everywhere but there is nothing like a good mix of matte and shimmer shadows blended to prevent the eyes looking too flat from the matte texture.  Notice in the look above, the look is mainly matte contrasted with a strong brow highlight shimmer and a touch of shimmer in the inner corners.
  • Vampy Lips – Plum and purple lip colors seem to always be more prized in the fall months and this season is no different.  Although the plum lips above is very wearable, don’t be afraid to go darker this season!
  • Subtle blush – This season, I have seen both extremes.  Either a strong pop of color on the cheeks OR a subtle almost no blush kind of blush look.  For the makeup shown above, we decided to go for a subtle blush since the eyes and lips carried the most drama.
  • Natural Brows with Fullness – Brows are not overly defined and definitely not thin.  Today’s brows have some fullness and look untouched (even if they are filled in ever so slightly, who would know otherwise)?
  • Clear Lipgloss – Despite the overabundance of matte lip products in the beauty aisles these days, there is definitely still an appreciation for a simple clear lipgloss to complete any look.

In case you were wondering what products were used to create this Fall 2016 look, let me share the complete list of products I used to design the look featured in this post:

20160917_13210720160917_132101

Complexion:  Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer, Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation Palette (used as concealer and foundation, I mixed a couple shades from the palette), MAC Studio Careblend Powder in Medium Plus (to set the entire foundation), MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Deep (for cheek contour, blended very softly), NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross (cheek highlight), MAC Powder Blush in Sincere (just a touch blended in the center of cheeks)

Eyes:  MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, MAC eyeshadows:  Jest (lid), Nylon and Vex (I mixed both for the brow highlight), Haux (crease), Blackberry (outer crease), Crystal Avalanche (slightly in the inner corners), MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack (top liner, thin and extended out on the sides winged), [FYI, no bottom eyeliner], Kiss false lashes #11, Sephora Outrageous Volume Mascara in Ultra Black (on top lashes coated over the false eyelashes and lightly on the bottom lashes)

Lips:  Maybelline Super Stay 24 Lip Color in #380 Blackberry Glaze (I think this might be discontinued but can be found here) with a clear coat of lipgloss from the other end of the lip stain

Velour Lashes – Luxurious Silk False Lashes

velour-lashes-momma-knows-bestOver the weekend, I got a chance to try a pair of Velour Lashes on one of my brides, specifically in the style, “Momma Knows Best.”  I would describe this pair of lashes as natural with a more lengthening and defining effect.  The outer corners provide extra volume and give these lashes a little more flair than an ordinary pair of false lashes.

Velour Lashes are 100% handmade of silk and come in such a wide assortment of styles.  The band is flexible and are solid black which is great as I typically need to apply a thin layer of black eyeliner first along the lash band prior to application.  With these false lashes, I can skip that step and proceed to just applying a thin layer of lash glue.  They apply with ease and are also comfortable which is always an important factor when purchasing a pair of false eyelashes!

Velour Lashes can be found on their website directly and are also sold exclusively at Sephora.  

Kim’s Makeup for New York Fashion Week – #NYFW

Kim's makeup for Fashion Week Kim's makeup for Fashion Week 2
Kim attended Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week this past Monday, September 12th and needed a look that was a little more done up than her everyday makeup but also soft.  She wanted the eyes to be a little smokey in neutral tones paired with a lighter lip.

Before creating a look, I always like to take into consideration the actual outfit for the event.  In the photos above, she is wearing a robe but Kim shared with me the outfit prior to me doing the makeup.  Kim showed me a beautiful floral top with burgundy leather pants.

I opted for warmer eye shadows with a slight burgundy undertone.  The lips were nude with a pop of lip liner to add definition and not allow for the lips to blend in too much with her natural skin tone.  For the complexion, airbrush makeup was the way to go to ensure it would outlast the humidity and also give a flawless finish without the feeling of wearing makeup.

Complexion
:  Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Cinema Secrets Ultimate Foundation Palette (used a little bit as under eye concealer), Dinair Glamour Airbrush Foundation in Light Golden Beige, Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder (to set the entire foundation), MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Medium Deep (for cheek contour), NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross (cheek highlight), MAC Powder Blush in Melba (just a light dusting)

Eyes:  MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, MAC eyeshadows:  Sable (lid), Nylon (brow highlight), All That Glitters (inner corners of eyes), Amber Lights (crease), Shadowy Lady and Embark (outer crease blended together), MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack (top liner, thin and slight wing upwards), NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Via Appia (lined on the bottom first), Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner pencil in black (very softly lined over the Via Appia), Kiss false lashes in the style Shy (these fit perfectly, no trimming needed), Dior Diorshow Iconic Mascara in black (I put a thin coat on the bottom lashes along with the top to blend in the natural lashes with false lashes), MAC eyeshadow in Cork (lightly to fill in the brows)

Lips:  Sisley Phyto-Levre Perfect lip pencil in Nude, Sisley Phyto-Lip Shine lipstick in Sheer Nude, and Sisley Phyto-Lip Gloss in Nude

Here is a look from the front row of Zac Posen’s Spring 2017 Collection (thanks for sharing Kim!)