Looking to celebrate the new year with a brand-new look? Celebrity makeup artist Bobbi Brown shares smart and simple advice on updating your skincare, foundation, mascara, lipstick and more.
If you've been doing your makeup exactly the same way for the last five years — or even worse, for the last 10 years — you're definitely in a makeup rut and it's time to get out of it.
Before rushing to the store, do your homework and figure out what you really need by dumping out all the contents of your makeup bag (or drawer) onto the counter. Separate the makeup into three piles: makeup that you never wear; makeup that's broken, has turned color or smells bad; and makeup that you do wear.
Donate the first pile to a local theater group or give it to your daughter, niece or cousin to play dress-up with (that's how I first fell in love with makeup). Throw out the second pile (it's never a good idea to wear makeup after it has expired), then turn your attention to the last pile of makeup. All the products in this pile should be basics that make you look and feel your best. The idea is to be able to do your makeup quickly and easily, without fussing or too much blending. Regardless of whether you shop at a drugstore or a department store, there are basics that you should stock your makeup bag with. Here are my top 10 beauty must-haves:
Before you do your makeup, focus on your skin. Skincare is essentialand it is the key to a fresh face that supplies the perfect base for makeup. Before applying makeup, cleanse and moisturize with the right formulas for your skin's needs. Cleanse dry skin with a cream- or oil-based wash that moisturizes as it cleanses. For oily skin, choose water-based gel cleansers with oil-fighting ingredients. For normal skin, use a lightweight moisturizing lotion or cream. Hydrate the delicate skin around eyes with a lightweight eye cream to ensure under-eye concealer goes on smoothly.
I think it's the secret to the universe because it instantly makes you look more refreshed and awake. For the most natural look, choose yellow-based shades of concealer, foundation and powder. Make sure your concealer is one shade lighter than your foundation. To lighten dark circles, apply concealer under the eye, up to the lash line, and on the innermost corner of the eye using the concealer brush. Smooth and blend concealer by gently patting with fingers. For extra-dark circles, start with pink- or peach-toned corrector, then layer on concealer.
To find your perfect foundation shade, swatch a few shades on the side of your face and check the colors in natural light. The shade that disappears is the right one. Use your fingers or a makeup sponge to spot-apply foundation where skin needs to be evened out (around the nose and mouth where there's redness). For full, all-over coverage, use a foundation brush to apply and blend foundation.
For crease-free, long-wear makeup, apply loose powder in pale yellow over concealer using an eye blender brush or mini powder puff. Apply powder in your skin-tone-correct shade to the rest of your face using a powder puff or powder brush.
Nothing makes a woman look prettier than a pop of blush. It's an instant lift and the quickest way to add a healthy glow to the face. Smile and dust a neutral shade of blush on the apples of cheeks with a blush brush. Blend up toward the hairline, then downward to soften color. For a longer-lasting look, layer a pop of bright blush (applied just on the apples of cheeks) over the neutral shade.
Start with clean, smooth lips. If needed, gently exfoliate lips with a damp washcloth. Resolve to find a lipstick that looks good when you're barefaced. The trick to finding the most flattering lipstick is to use the true color of your lips as the inspiration. Look for a lipstick color that looks like your natural lip color taken up a notch. When you're tight on time, one swipe of this lipstick will give you instant polish without any fuss. Neutral gloss can be applied directly from the tube.
For natural-looking definition and to keep color from feathering, line lips with lip liner after applying lip color. Use the lip brush to soften and blend any hard edges.
Using a slant-tip tweezer, pluck any stray hairs between and below the brows. Pull hairs in the direction they are growing, in one quick motion. Define brows using eye shadow (match it to your hair color) applied with an eye brow brush. To apply shadow, begin at the inner corner of the brow and follow its natural shape using light, feathery strokes.
Sweep a light eye shadow color from lash line to brow bone using an eye shadow brush. Dust a medium eye shadow color on the lower lid, up to the crease, using an eye shadow brush. For extra drama, you can use an even darker color to contour your crease; start at the outer corner of your eye and blend up into your crease.
Line upper lash line with a dark eye shadow color applied with an eye liner brush. For a longer-lasting look, dampen brush before dipping into shadow. After lining the upper lash line, look straight ahead to see if there are any gaps that need to be filled in. If you also line the lower lash line, make sure the top and bottom liner meet at the outer corner of the eye.
Choose your mascara formula based on your needs and desired effect. Thickening mascara gives individual lashes a denser look and is ideal if you have a sparse lash line. For lashes that are enhanced, but still natural looking, choose defining and lengthening mascaras. Waterproof mascara is a good choice if you want a long-lasting look or if your mascara tends to smudge. When applying mascara, hold the mascara wand parallel to the floor and brush from the base of lashes to tips. Roll the wand as you go to separate lashes and avoid clumps. If you choose to curl lashes, be sure to do this before applying mascara; curling lashes after mascara makes them more prone to breakage.
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