*Note: Sephora’s launching its tiered holiday promotion starting today. VIB Rouge get 20% off today through 11/15; VIB enjoy 15% off starting 11/9-11/15; and beauty insiders earn 10% off 11/11-11/15. In the post-scripts below, I’m sharing my top picks for this promotion!
Often, when I’m writing about beauty and skincare products, I’m startled by how often I say: “A makeup artist once told me…” Do you feel the same way? As though beauty tips and perspectives are stalagmitic, gradually accruing over time without your ever noticing? Below, sharing a few that spring to mind today:
+You don’t need to apply foundation all over your face. It blew my mind when a makeup artist applied foundation only to my t-zone and then blended outward. She insisted I didn’t need full coverage and that this would yield a more natural effect. I’ve followed suit ever since! Bonus points: you save product this way. I will say that not all foundations work well with this approach — it has to be a consistency that blends nicely and skin must be richly hydrated and primed first or you could end up looking a bit splotchy. My approach is to apply serums and moisturizers (my full skincare regimen here), then an illuminating primer, and then swipe Westman Atelier’s foundation stick across my brow, between and under my eyes, around my nose, and on my chin — all my problem areas for redness/blemishes. Then I use an Artis Oval 7 brush to blend it all in, but I don’t really apply any foundation along my hairline, jaw, cheeks, etc. I find this means my freckles still stand out and it looks like I’m not wearing any makeup when I am.
+You can’t hide a dried-out blemish. It’s inevitable that you’ll be blemish-free for weeks and then the minute you have a big event, you wind up with several imperfections! My mother gave me a Bobbi Brown makeup book in my tweens and the one tidbit I remember was her saying that, contrary to common sense, you should not dry out a zit if you need to cover it up. She advised hydrating the area so that it can be smoothly covered by concealer (and Cle de Peau’s is the absolute best).
+It’s OK to apply with your fingertips. A makeup artist from Chantecaille reassured me that sometimes fingers are your best tools, especially for applying tinted moisturizers and dabbing undereye concealer. It can be so hard to get a natural look otherwise.
+Use the “windshield wiper” approach for contoured eyes. Whenever I get my makeup done (which hasn’t been for a long, long time), I always ask them to focus on the eyes and keep the rest of the makeup simple. I tend to prefer a dramatic eye versus a dramatic lip, and I also find eye shadow difficult to apply. However, when I’m on my own, I use the “windshield wiper approach” a Laura Mercier artist once taught me. That is — apply a neutral/base color all over the eye first, then apply a darker color along the lash line, in the far corner of the eye, and along the crease of the eye, blotting as you go. (So imagine you’re making a sort of stretched-out carat sign along your lash line, in the far corner of your eye, and then along the crease.). For some reason she described this as a windshield wiper. It really does yield a dramatic and easy-to-attain effect. An eye palette like this one or this one (which I own and love) is perfect when you’re first trying out since all of the colors are sort of mellow and blendable. A light higher stakes if you’re using a dark purple/black eye shadow as the darker color!
+Apply eye makeup first. Instead of applying foundation and concealer first, do your eyes. This means that if/when you smudge or if extra product falls onto your cheek, you can quickly clean it without needing to re-do your entire face!
+Soften your look with facial spray at the end. To keep things from looking to “cakey” or “done,” apply a face mist (i love this Caudalie) all over your face and gently dab to blend after you’ve finished applying makeup.
+If you’re going for a bold lip, do a more neutral eye — and vice versa (bold eye, neutral lip). Otherwise you start to enter “overdone” territory.
+There’s no such thing as waterproof mascara. Is this true? I’m not sure. But several makeup artists have insisted it does not exist.
+If you’re wearing a matte lipstick, you need a primer. A makeup artist described Mac’s lip primer as “velcro” for lip color. I’ve followed suit ever since.
What other nuggets of beauty and skincare wisdom do you have to share with the class today?!
+My most recent batch of honest reviews of hyped beauty products — I’m overdue on an updated installment!
+Which beauty products do you splurge versus save on?
Shopping Break: My Picks from the Sephora Promotion.
+These caviar sticks are so easy to apply and so chic for holiday festivities. I have these in moonlight and khaki and they are so perfect for evening.
+If you buy nothing else from this blog, try Westman Atelier’s Foundation Stick. It is just so, so good. It glides on and blends beautifully and looks hyper natural. (Provided your skin is well-hydrated prior.) It is probably my favorite beauty discovery besides the Revlon One Step in the last decade. Well — I also have to rave about Clarins’ Double Serum. If you get those three products, you’ll be a happy camper.
+I was initially so-so on this Saie highlighter just because I already have so many other highlighting products in my makeup bag, but midway through summer, I started dabbing it along my collarbone and decollatage and it is SO gorgeous on the body! A tiny pump is all you need to get that “did she just get back from vacation?” vibe. Anyhow, I used it so much this summer, I finished the bottle, which is saying a lot for a beauty product, and will be repurchasing, especially for shoulder-baring holiday outfits.
+I never pay full price for Tata Harper face wash, which I have been using faithfully for years now, because I always wait for a promotion like this to stock up.
+I’ve been hearing really good things about this exfoliating body wash. I’ve never found one that I love for any reason beyond scent (i.e., I don’t think any leave my skin particularly lustrous), so I’m curious to test.
+I’ve enjoyed Saie’s clean mascara (one of the best mascaras I’ve ever tried, clean or not) and toyed with the idea of splurging on Chantecaille’s ridiculously priced formula but will be heading back to old faithful: Armani’s Eyes to Kill. My longtime favorite. Slightly more dramatic/thick that Saie, which is honestly how I like it. I love a lot of mascara.
+If you’ve ever wondered “do I really need a primer?”, this formula will answer the question for you. My mom turned me onto it; she calls it “her spackle.”
+This exact color of lipstick (16- nude boise) has been in my cart since I saw it on beauty icon Courtney Grow.
+Guerlain’s bronzer is the bronzer to end all bronzers. I’ll never even try another bronzer. I used Nars Laguna for years and — what was I doing? Guerlain is infinitely superior in formula, pigmentation, etc. I also find the palette never cracks/crumbles, which was a big problem for me with Nars.
+I have loved Ouai’s texturizing hair spray for years now but my talented hair stylist here in D.C. (Ismail, at George Salon at the Four Seasons) uses Oribe’s formula and who am I to argue with genius? I will be buying this, especially since my new shorter do can be styled with textured waves to get the Hailey Bieber effect.
+Gifts: I’ll be using the discount to buy one of my girlfriends this MUST-HAVE face mask (I know I’ve talked your ear off about it, but it is fantastic) and another one this set of Westman Atelier mini sticks.
P.P.S. Who is in your personal canon?
P.P.P.S. Some seriously fabulous recent finds.