I have a few skills I’ve picked up over the years, however, the application of makeup is not one of them…
Whilst I might not be able to name all of the latest brands and I’m completely unaware of the new ‘must have’ product, I do find the process of getting made up for the day enjoyable. It feels like in the past few years, the application of makeup has taken a whole new level, with words like ‘contour‘, ‘highlight‘ and ‘shading‘ being part of most young women’s vocabulary. In an attempt to learn more, I spent some time reading about the history of makeup, it’s well documented that the first users of ‘Makeup’ were the ancient Egyptians and during the 1900’s some women took to ‘painting‘ their faces in an attempt to look paler. In stark contrast to the ‘Modern Day‘ Britain addiction to fake tan, it was considered more desirable to be pale, as that meant you had more leisure time inside rather than working in the fields.
It was in around 1910 that make-up started to become more widespread and popular, previously seen as something for only ‘ladies of the night’ the film and entertainment industry were making the concept more socially acceptable and popular. Surprisingly, it wasn’t until very recently (the 1970’s) the makeup opened up as a key industry for females, with the start of the ‘Avon Lady’ and fast forward to 2018, where more women than ever are making an impact in this business.
When I was younger, my makeup application was always with heavy hands, stuck in the flow of insecurity, inexperience, and poor color matching, I spent years caked in orange foundation and heavily applied eyeliner. Ove the years I’ve eased off and my skin has thanked me for it, I try to avoid exercising whilst wearing makeup and the photo’s from our local ‘Park Run’ more than confirm this statement!
As part of my mission to not only ‘say yes‘ but also to expand my knowledge, I decided to book a ‘Makeup Lesson’ with the lovely Natalie Wood, who was the woman behind my Wedding Makeup, professional Makeup Artist and overall, a very decent and talented young lady. As I’d used Natalie’s services before, I knew what to expect, so I removed all my makeup, pulled back my hair and popped on an old top. I then set up in the area with the most natural light, watched Natalie open up her suitcases packed with cosmetics and got ready to focus and learn.
Tools of the trade…
Brushes. ah in my inexperienced mind just a few sponge applicators should do the trick, right? No, not quite…
Turns out there’s a reason that makeup brushes are such big business, you see, alow and behold, they actually come in rather useful! Almost every element of my look, from my base to my eyes and eyebrows and contour, required a brush. I learned how to correctly apply eyeshadow, with what’s called a ‘windscreen wiper technique’ and using a paler shade a fluffy brush, I was able to blend away any heavy-handed mistakes.
Tweezers. not only for shaping the perfect brow and removal of any random unwanted facial hair, these are a key part of the application of false eyelashes.
Fixing Spray. Fed up of covering everyone you meet with a fine dusting of powder? Or your make up sliding away by the time you arrive at the afterparty? (Also known as Bedtime) fixing spray is the addition you need.
Flash Eyelashes. Once considered something you’d only see a ‘Popstar’ wearing these have become more varied and more ‘everyday’ than ever before. The trick is to allow the glue to get tacky and then use the handle of your tweezers to put them in place, and then turn your tweezers around (So that the sharp end isn’t near your eye) and slowly press them into your lid. Then follow up with mascara after, to ensure you have a more natural and blended look.
Blend. Then blend a bit more and when you think that you might have been blending for 10 minutes, blend a bit more. No, seriously for a polished and natural look, blending your foundation and eyeshadow will give you the very best results.
Brushes. As previously mentioned, the right brushes will make a difference, this doesn’t mean you need to spend a small fortune, I found this fabulous starter set for under £15.00
Moisturise. Regardless of if you’re going to wear foundation or not, always start by applying moisturizer to your face, this will help and the application process and you can use a primer too if desired.
Start with your eyes first. This isn’t a hard set rule, but by starting with your eyes you can then clean up any excess eyeshadow or mistakes, without ruining your base.
Use a concealer as your eyeshadow primer. Make sure you blend this in first to prevent creases, but it acts as the ideal base, shapen’s up and tidies up brows and disguises any ‘baby hairs‘.
For the perfect contour, make a letter ‘C‘. I was put off the idea of contouring as I’d watched so many videos’s which used such heavy application techniques, I didn’t want to be ‘caked’ but I learnt by using a bronzer/powder a few shades darker and natural light, the ideal contour will follow a letter ‘C’ on your face. Start at your temples and finish at your cheekbone, strangely enough, this is harder than I expected to explain!
Obviously, I’m far from an expert and maybe his isn’t the most comprehensive guide, but I’ve already put my new skills into action and I’m looking forward to a future where I don’t look ‘Natural with a hint of clown’.