That would be makeup drama, I mean. Nothing stressful or upsetting. If you're already full of drama, maybe now just channel it into your eyes - your dramatic, smoky eyes. Beauty Editor Carly Cardellino of Cosmopolitan magazine asked me to share my best tips for a smoky eye. Check them out here on Cosmopolitan.com.
My daughter Lucy LOVES makeup, almost to the point of obsession. If she sees anything that looks like makeup, she’ll grab it and say, “It’s MINE.” She’ll notice if you have any—even the tiniest bit—of makeup on. If she sees me go into the bathroom and hears the cabinet door open, she’ll run in as fast as she can, look at me suspiciously and say, “What you doing?” She’ll carefully examine my face for any traces of makeup to see if she has any reason to demand some too.
From time to time Lucy will wander into another room and suddenly it gets very quiet. I’ll look for her and find she has silently reached into my purse and found a lipstick that’s now painted on her face. Sometimes there will be pink handprints and fingerprints decorating the wall. More recently she’s taken to using crayons and markers as lipstick. When I try to wipe the blue or green off of her face, she runs down the hall yelling, “NOoooo!” (I can even use makeup as a bribe. “If you eat the asparagus I’ll let you put lip gloss on.” And she’ll stuff it down as fast as she can and then shout, “Makeup!”)
The other day I had some eye makeup in a bag. I put it down to get something in thebathroom and the next thing I know, I turn around and there’s a dark stripe down Lucy’s face. I knew trying to take it off would be a battle (and not one worth fighting) so I left it on. She fell asleep on the couch and I carried her to bed, resigned that I'd be washing makeup off her sheets the next day. When she got up, the sheets were untouched, without a mark - but there was that stripe still on her smiling face! Even after a long day of playgrounds and play dates, she came home looking as if she had just put it on. I wondered if it would last as long as those little press-on tattoos I can never seem to scrub off (it did not). But I was most impressed how Laura Mercier’s Eye Caviar Stick passed the 24-Hour Lucy-Wear Test. Naturally I was anxious to see if it would pass my own 8-Hour Test (not 24, as I wasn’t planning on sleeping in it).
This product is a creamy eye shadow in stick form (I’ll admit it could pass as an art crayon to someone like Lucy) and it lasted all day. What I liked most is that it never creased or looked uneven in the way that almost every other shadow does on me. It also doesn’t fade and comes in rich pearly shades. The only other eye shadow that wears on me like this is a wet/dry formula from YSL (more on that later).
So that's it. If you’re looking for an easy-to-apply, longwearing eye shadow, this is one to try!
Using This Product Tip: Apply to eyelid without worrying about it being perfect; then just take your fingertip and blend the edges. That way you don’t need to worry about spending too much time and/or precise application.
I love things that are compact and clever in a practical way. For example, I love those mini-umbrellas you can throw in your purse and carry as an every day staple so you never get caught in the rain. And I love products that are multi-purpose and fussy-free but don't compromise quality. In my purse, as well as my giant makeup kit, less is more. Here is a collection of the recently discovered as well as some beloved favorites that are cleverly compact.
Lorac Pro-Cream Eye Liner If you like a gel eyeliner, this one has brush that screws right in the handle. You don’t have to buy a separate brush and you never have to worry you'll lose it. If you carry it anywhere, you also don’t have to worry that the brush will get product in your purse or cosmetic bag. Just throw it in worry-free!
NARS The Multiple This is a cream stick that can be used on eyes, cheeks and lips. I just use my fingertip to apply and blend—application takes less than a minute. I know it probably benefits a company to have you buy a separate lipstick, eye shadow & blush, but I'm always still surprised that more brands don't have products like this one.
LaPrairie Skin Caviar Concealer and Foundation This product(s) is cleverly designed with a foundation in the bottle, two shades of concealer in the cap and a mirror inside the lid. It also comes with a concealer brush that sits in a stand. And it’s a good foundation that lasts a long time. It is definitely not inexpensive (it is very expensive), although I guess any product with “caviar” in its name would not imply it's a deal.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment I have always liked this product but not thought about it in a long time. Recently a most gorgeous celebrity told me it was one of her favorites and brought it out as I did her makeup, showing me the ways she likes to use it. It’s great as nighttime lip moisturizer, under a lip pencil, on your cuticles and as a body moisturizer if your skin is especially dry. It can also be used on most anything that's chapped - and even minor cuts, burns and skin irritation (although I'd say go to the doctor if you have anything less than very minor.)
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 A tinted moisturizer saves time by combining moisturizer, foundation, and SPF in one application. It’s also sheerer so you don’t have to worry about perfect application. Laura Mercier provides several options, including an oil-free one (for those with oily or acne-prone skin), as well as one with shimmer (for those who want to glow...I mean, everyone wants to glow but shimmery can look shiny on some people so find the one that's right for you). (There is a new cream compact but I have yet to try it). For shoots, if someone needs more even skin tone but I don't want to slather on foundation, I use this product first and then foundation or concealer where it's most needed.
So there they are. I'm a little obsessed clever and practical products, so if you have a favorite, please share it with me because I'm always looking for them!
So it’s down to the finale. Maybe by the time you read this it will be over but it’s not about the winner, is it? It’s about who’s in it. I watched American Idol last night (of course) and because there were only two women featured, I think I can do this (as opposed to my last American Idol post when there were too many people to keep track of). Jennifer Lopez
I am pretty sure Jennifer Lopez’s makeup artist was off for the night. This was not the same makeup artist. I don’t like to be hypercritical of other artists’ work because I know how hard it can be, how much lightning can affect makeup, how the person wearing it affects the makeup, how brutal HD can be, and so on. And when you’re famous, everyone is too often looking at you and criticizing you, which is awful. Plus I love Jennifer Lopez. But since her makeup is usually flawless I have to say that it just didn't meet its usual high standard.
JLo almost always wears concealer under and around her eye area that brightens and draws attention to her eyes. This time it was too much - either too light or too thick and you could see the line between where her concealer started and stopped. It looked like she had a two-toned mask on, her nose looked uneven and she was shiny. Of course she is still gorgeous, but I’m talking about the makeup and what we can learn from it.
Unless you’re going for a specific look that requires it, don’t let makeup lines show on your face. That always says that you’re wearing makeup, not just looking glow-y and smooth. Make sure that everything is blended, blended, blended.
Jessica Sanchez looked good, especially during the first song. Everything was just right – the dress was glamorous without looking too sexy for her age, the hair and makeup was soft and matched the dress. Throughout the season, Jessica’s makeup sometimes looked a little drag queeny. Part of it is that she already has naturally strong brows so when you add makeup it can quickly look like too much. But last night her eye shadow was soft with a touch of shimmer, she had lots of lashes, soft cheeks and lips with a little glossy light color. And the lips weren’t too defined so it looked good without being distracting.
However, by the 3rd song Jessica had too much blush on. This is what I’m talking about – let me be clear that she does not/did not look like a drag queen - but you venture into drag queen territory when you wear too much makeup all over.
Wear too much too much on all features. If you want to wear more makeup, concentrate on one feature, i.e., smoky eyes with lighter lips, dark lips with more nude eyes. This ensures you look sexy and glam without it being too much.
Try out a pinky nude lip! For the first song she wore a pinky brown lipstick with a beige/nude gloss on top. Not everyone can wear a completely matte-nude shade like you see on models in a magazine – but most people look good with the shade Jessica wore.
- Find a pink-brown or pink lip pencil to line and fill in lips for a matte base (the color will stay on longer with a matte base).
- Follow with a pinkish brown or brownish pink lipstick.
- Apply a nude lip gloss on the inner part of lips (as opposed all on lips to the lip line) because the gloss will move out to the edges as you wear it.
And on a final note - of course, I do love my Phillip Philips, who always looks the same, which is boyishly gorgeous. He is kind of good-looking but if you really look at him it’s more of his expression, his eyes and that smile that make him good-looking. Which, after all, is the essence of beauty. After his first song I really thought he would lose. But when he pulled out that last song, I think he won. Only time will tell. And let’s see if JLo’s makeup artist is on the job tonight.
6. Avoid Super Long Wear. If you wear lipstick, don’t use one of those longwearing lipsticks that has a lip stain on one end and a moisturizer on the other. At least, I’ve not found one that works. Even with the moisturizing stick, lips still feel dry shortly thereafter so you have to keep using the moisturizer on top of the stain all day long. And I don’t even think the color ends up being super long wearing anyway. Or else I’d be wearing them. 5. Find a Moisturizing Lipstick. I personally hate reapplying lipstick so I wear the driest, most matte lipsticks that don’t ever come off. This causes people to constantly comment on what a great color I have on but that my lips look really dry. Which, again, if I have to trade one thing for another I’m not going to wear a lipstick I have to reapply over and over. The alternative for me is not wearing lipstick. But you, like most people, probably don’t have this hang-up. So find something really creamy and soft like Lancome’s L'Absolu Rouge.
4. Moisturize Nightly. Since I wear dry lipstick during the day, I moisturize at night. I like to use either Burt’s Bees Nourishing Lip Balm with Mango Butter or Nivea Lip Care Essential. For some reason I discovered Nivea years ago in Dubai. It was in my hotel room or something and I had not had it before so I bought a whole bunch while I was there, only to realize we have it here. But since then I have loved many Nivea moisturizing products.
3. Exfoliate Lips. Use a gentle face scrub on your lips from time to time. I like Clinique 7-Day Scrub Cream because it has a cream base and small, perfectly round beads that are gentle and buff off dryness. Do not use a chemical/cream exfoliant on your lips unless a company says it’s OK - if it’s not specifically made for lips it can be irritating (or worse).
2. Use a Lip Balm with a Lip Pencil. If you can’t find a moisturizing lipstick that does it for you, use a moisturizing lip balm with a lip liner. First apply lip balm; then line and fill in lips so you can wear it all as your lip color. Apply the balm first or else the lip pencil will probably drag and pull on your dry lip skin.
1. Drink Lots of Water. Cure that dryness from the inside out. Eight 8oz. glasses daily are the recommended but I find that I do best with 12 (glasses a day). This makes my brother to warn me about hyponatremia (water intoxication that can be fatal) but I rarely achieve 12 glasses anyway. I know if I did my lips would be soft and supple every day – without ever having to use any lip balm.
Did you watch this season’s Project Runway All-Stars? As they neared the finale, the designers were taken to the Hearst Tower to meet with the editor of Marie-Claire. I wasn’t there to meet an editor, but recently did some men’s grooming for a video shoot there. I’m only mentioning it from Project Runway because I love that beautiful building and hope you have seen it too (even if only on TV).Anyway, most men don’t want makeup, so my job is usually to make sure their hair and skin look good and they are camera-ready. But like women, even non-makeup wearing men ask about what to do with under eye dark circles. It’s tricky because if you need coverage but don’t want to look like you’re wearing makeup, application has to be just right. So if dark circles and puffiness are a concern for you, here are some makeup application Dos and Don’ts: DO
Start by applying a de-puffing eye cream and let it absorb into skin. A lot eye creams contain cucumber and caffeine and both are said to reduce dark circles/puffiness. Apparently, drinking a lot of caffeine is bad for dark circles, but putting it on your skin is good for reducing them! Try Origins No Puffery. Honestly, I completely forgot about this product until just now. When I was with Origins, I remember how people would panic when they could not find their No Puffery. Panic! I've never had a problem with dark circles or puffy eyes so cannot personally attest to its wonders - but I have seen other people worship this product.
Use a good under eye concealer brush. A good brush helps you “paint” dark circles away. Using fingers is much more difficult because it’s harder to be precise and get concealer exactly how you need it so it looks smooth and natural. I have several concealer brushes, but bareMinerals Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush is one of my favorites. Sometimes the bristles on concealer and foundation brushes separate and make application difficult. This one doesn't.
Apply a peachy-pink/salmon shade of concealer. Why this shade works so well I don’t know, but it does. Since you don’t want concealer to show on skin, make sure it’s the right shade. Sometimes if the peachy/salmon shade doesn’t completely “disappear” on skin I use a slightly lighter concealer to blend it in. But, if you're not a makeup artist with all different shades at your disposal, you can also just use a small bit of your foundation over the concealer to blend it in. I like Eve Pearl's Salmon Concealer.
Finish with a tiny bit of sheer powder on top of the concealer to set it. I always use the powder from Laura Mercier Undercover Pot. It has two shades of concealer and a little bit of powder you can use on top.
Don't use too much concealer. You don’t want to trade one concern for another – if you put too much concealer in an effort to lighten dark circles it can get cake-y and creasy. A little concealer will still lighten dark circles – even if they are not completely covered, it's still better than looking cake-y and creasey. If you are 18 or 20 or whatever age under eye skin is always perfectly smooth, you can probably use more than most people. Otherwise, too much is worse than too little.
Don’t use too much powder. Too much powder can also make the concealer look cake-y and unnatural. A very light dusting is just enough.
Don’t rub or be too rough with the eye area skin. Skin around the eyes is more fragile and more easily damaged. Be gentle to yourself, especially in the eye area.
Don’t forget about prevention. Like everything with health and beauty, taking care of yourself is essential. Most people are aware – from first hand experience – that dark circles and puffiness often are the result of stress and lack of sleep. So cut back on the partying!
This is a photo shoot for Emmelle’s Fall 2012 collection. Designer Mi Jong Lee’s clothing is feminine and strong and I especially like her Asian inspired pieces. She is also a very nice person! To complement the styling, we started with a softer makeup look but then decided to make it more dramatic. Below is the look I started with (via iPhone pics below); the second is what you see here in the final images. For the final look I just applied deeper shades over the first. The model – Angelika – is quite fair so it didn’t take much to add drama.
Skin. Foundation, concealers, powders should be invisible - used as sparingly as possible. Her skin was pretty even so I just used a concealer only where she needed it. But she wasn't going outside. For most people I recommend a sheer foundation with an SPF to make sure you get daily sun protection. My friend Mary swears by Jouer Illuminizing Moisture Tint. I once gave it to her and later found out how much she liked it when the product ran out and she called me, very concerned that didn't know where to get another one (I’ve only seen it in Bendels NYC and she lives in California . . . but to her relief she found it online). I've given Mary many products over the years and she is very discriminating so I am confident in passing on her recommendation.
Cheeks. I like powder blush because it’s easy to blend and if I need to adjust application, it’s also easier to blend off. In general, a good rule is to start with less - it’s always easier to add than subtract! Here I used Clinique Blushing Blush Powder Blush in Precious Posy. It’s one of my favorite shades because it’s soft and warm. And it’s kind of a happy color.
Eyes. For eye shadow, I used one of my favorite palettes from Prescriptives, which unfortunately is no longer a brand so you can’t buy it anymore. A similar shade combination of what I used is Clinique Eyeshadow Duo in Like Mink. It has a pale shimmery cream and a dark shimmery brown. I used the light shade all over lid and the darker shade from lash to crease. For more drama, I applied a MAC Eye Shadow in Carbon and smudged it on the lid and around the top and bottom lashlines. Then I added layers of Clinique High Impact Mascara.
Lips. I kept lips soft because the eyes were so strong. I have a Bobbi Brown lip palette that has something like 20 or 30 shades so I never remember the names, but I used a peachy gloss with a Clinique Lip Liner called Honeystick (Can you tell I've worked a billion years with Clinique? I first worked with Clinique in 1990, so I have a pretty good idea of what their products do and do not do. So, yes, listen to me. I know!).
Anyway, as usual we had fun! I especially like how bride of frankenstein beautiful Angelika looks here:
If you’re Asian, you were probably required by your parents to learn either violin or piano. Mine was piano. And whenever I complained I was told, “You’ll thank us someday.” Which is true, although I only lasted 4 years and probably would be thanking them more had I lasted longer. But still I am grateful I can at least play a couple songs, such as Fur Elise and Moonlight Sonata—and if I really try I can still read a note or two. Which is also why my little Lucy will carry on to play either violin or piano too. Ha! And so the stereotype continues. While I don’t know the extent of her parental pressure, Xiang Wang clearly met and exceeded any standard put before her. Of a 2008 recital she did at Carnegie Hall, a New York Times reviewer wrote: “Even for the most gifted young pianist, it takes a lot to be noticed” and described her has having “an estimable grasp of pianistic color…an ability to maintain and illuminate a strand of melody within the thickest of textures.” Exactly what all this means I am not sure but I do understand she’s a recognized talent around the world.
Here’s what I used:
Powder. Laura Mercier Pressed Setting Powder applied lightly to smooth and matte-ify. Xiang’s skin was not oily, but any skin type can look shiny in photographs.
Eye Shadow. The darker shade of Clinique’s Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo in Like Mink from lash to crease and blended up. Tip: If you have trouble applying or blending eye shadow, Clinique is a good choice because their shadows are not highly pigmented so color can be built gradually.
Eye Liner. YSL’s Waterproof Eye Pencil in Black applied right on top and bottom lash lines to emphasize her eye shape and make lashes look fuller. For her eyebrows, I used the same liner by applying a swatch on the back of my hand (to use as a palette) and an angled Eye Brow Brush to gently brush on the natural shape of her eyebrows.
Lashes. Short individual false lashes applied on top lash line to create thicker, longer lashes. While it might sound as if fake lashes could never look natural, when applied correctly individual falsies look more natural than mascara. Xiang looked quite alarmed when I said I was using false lashes but as you can see it looks very natural.
Blush. Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Blush blended to sculpt and emphasize her high cheekbones.
Lip Gloss. philosophy Raspberry Sorbet Lip Shine with a lip pencil to add just a touch of color and shine.
This shoot was with photographer Chris Lee* and hairstylist Kristan Serafino at Steinway Hall on 57th Street. If ever you are in NYC and play piano or even just love piano, go visit. As formal and imposing and museum-like as it appears, the staff is easy-going and welcoming and you’re free to wander through the building to play the many different pianos in the various rooms. And while some of the world’s best pianists play there, no one even cares if that for you it’s just playing Fur Elise.
*Note: I think Chris would appreciate that, with the exception of the beautiful image of Xiang in blue, I let you know that none of the other images posted here are his. Most of them are taken by an amateur (me) on my iPhone.
Have you ever come home, looked in the mirror, and wondered where the makeup went? Or maybe you just can't be bothered to reapply throughout the day. If so, and you want to change it, here are tips to make your makeup last longer. Skin. For foundation, find one that's right for your skin type and also indicates longer wear. If you use a foundation that's not for your skin type you will not get the right results - if your skin is oily and you use a foundation for dry skin, it will look shiny and definitely slip off your skin; likewise, if your skin is dry and you use an oily skin foundation it will make your skin look and feel even drier. Use a brush to lightly dust powder and set foundation.
Cheeks. Find a good, long-wearing blush tint or cream blush. For even longer wear, pat a matching powder blush on top. I like Becca's Beach Tint for several reasons. You can use it on cheeks and lips (I am always looking for all-in-one products because I won't spend a lot of time on my own makeup). It's a small, portable tube so you can throw it in your bag too. And I just like Becca's packaging. When I looked it up, I found out that this product is also one of Allure magazine's Editor's Picks. So me and the editors recommend it. The only thing about this product is that after awhile you have to massage the tube before squeezing because the product can separate. But it still always looks good.
Eyes. Try a cream eye shadow. For more intense color, add powder eyeshadow on top. Use an eyeliner that doesn't move. For over 20 years I have loved Clinique's Water-Resistant Eyeliner. I was devastated (OK that's exaggerated, but I was a little unhappy) when it was discontinued. And I wasn't the only one because eventually Clinique brought it back. It's not waterproof but as long as it's dry it never comes off until you take it off. For lashes, look for a waterproof formula or water-resistant mascara. My fellow makeup artist friend swears by Trish McEvoy's Lash Curling Mascara. I haven't tried it myself but I know the type of formula it is - it will only come off by intentionally using warm water (meaning, a splash of water or tears that come when you watch Beaches will not remove the mascara or make it run).
Lips. Line and fill in with lip liner first; then apply lipstick. For longest wear, use a matte lipstick over the lip liner…although if you have dry lips it may make your lips drier so you'll need to moisturize lips well at night.
I hope these help! Here's to your long wearing makeup days.
In case you’re here to find makeup tips for a Holiday Look, let’s talk about that. It makes sense that most holiday looks always involve some kind of sparkle. So what kind of sparkle should you use? Anybody who knows me knows I’m not much for rules. Just do what you like and what works for you. But here are some ideas and tips: If your dress is especially sparkly, balance your look with a softer eye.
Matte. Try a matte eye shadow. Use a lighter shade for a brighter eye look or a smokier shade for more drama. Try a lash to brow lighter shade for daytime; a dark brown or black smudged shadow around the eye (like an eyeliner). With either, apply eyeliner on the top lash line and lots and lots of mascara.
Soft. Use a lipstick that’s close to your natural lip color. That way you still get some color that doesn’t compete with your dress. Or, if you’d prefer to compete with your dress, go for bright red lips. Your choice!
If you want your makeup, not clothing, to show your festive side, sparkle it up!
Shimmer. Find a lighter, shimmer-y eye shadow shade and apply from lash to brow and a darker shade in the crease. Then use a light silver or gold shade or eye pencil to brighten the inner and outer corners of eyes. And, again, apply liner on the upper lash line and lots and lots of mascara!
Sheer. For lips, use a sheer gloss for a touch of shine. If you want more color with your gloss, line and fill lips in with a lip liner and then apply gloss on top.
If it’s a nighttime cocktail party, the lights are usually softer and you’re probably going to get your picture taken at some point.
Especially now that everyone has cell phone cameras, the likelihood of having your picture taken is about 100%. Consider:
Soft Lighting. Under softer lights, you can wear deeper, darker shades without looking too made up. If you like to wear more makeup, this is the time. You won’t look overdone (unless you really do overdo it…which of course you won’t do).
Photography. Make sure everything is softly blended because the flash of light magnifies where and how you apply your makeup. If it’s blended, your features look emphasized; if it’s not, you can look garish, even if you don’t look that way under regular lights.
So go be festive. Look amazing. But most of all, have fun!
One woman who wears makeup right is Jennifer Lopez. She is always glowing. Next time you're watching TV, look at people's makeup and compare the difference. For example, sometimes newscasters look orange or greyish or too pale (I know sometimes they have to do their own makeup so we can cut them slack, but take a look). Below are some things you can do to try on the glowy look as shown here. When J.Lo goes red-carpet-y and glamorous, she does it just right. The Look Basics
Blend well. Makeup looks soft, with edges fading away. Here and elsewhere, her makeup is almost always well blended.
Skin looks natural. Her foundation is used to smooth and even her skin, and the shade gives her a slightly warmer look. Again, the makeup is so blended and smooth it gives her a non-makeup-y glow.
Focus on eyes. The makeup draws attention to her eyes. Everything else is muted.
Bronze. After foundation, apply bronzer at hairline, on forehead and down the sides of face. Bare Minerals Warm Radiance works on many skin tones for both men and women. It gives a touch of warmth without looking unnatural or orange-ish.
Brighten. Choose an under eye concealer that’s one shade lighter than your skin tone; blend under eyes to the tops of your cheekbones. This is what gives her that bright-eyed look. I like YSL Touche Éclat for this because it's so lightweight it doesn't look like you added a lot of makeup.
Flush. Use a soft pink cheek color, concentrating color on the apples of cheeks and up cheekbones. Blend so it fades away.
Start with a pink base. Use a pink eye shadow all over eyelid, blend up to (but not on) brow bone. Make sure the pink is not too bright. It’s not a garish pink, it’s soft, slightly pink shade.
Use a plum shadow in crease. Apply a dark plum eye shadow at the base of lashes, in crease and blend up, fading into the pink.
Apply black eyeliner. Use a black kohl eye pencil on the inside and on lash line. Meaning, right next to the whites on the inner part of eyeline is lined black, as well as on the lash line.
Blend brown eye shadow slightly underneath the lash line. Blend a golden brown shade under the bottom lash line. Use a thin brush to smudge and blend.
Lashes. Her top lashes are long, even and perfectly separated—if you’re why wondering they’re so perfect, it’s because they’re falsies. If you’re feeling adventuresome, try falsies on your top lash line. If not, try Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Mascara in black.
Brows. Use a brow powder, such as Clinique Brow Shaper, to lightly fill in brow shape. It's easier to use a powder than a brow pencil. I always recommend filling in your natural brow shape…unless your brow shape is all over the place. If so, pluck the stray hairs around your brows first and then fill in.
Nude. Line and fill in lips with a light pink-beige pencil. Then use a matte lipstick of a slightly lighter shade, concentrating color on the middle of the lip. Look closely and you can see that the lipstick is slightly lighter and then blends out to a slightly darker lip line. You can also use a light, nude gloss on top for extra shine.
Voila. The J.Lo glow!