The pressure of doing my own wedding makeup combined with blogging allowing me to indulge my love of makeup more than ever has meant that I’ve seen a good improvement this year in how I apply my makeup. Wether it looks better is entirely subjective and probably depends on the day -as I write this I’m sat in my PJs with no makeup on at all- but I think I’m committing less makeup don’ts and more do’s now.
On an aside, I’ll tell you what I haven’t got any better at and that’s taking photos of my makeup. I think this is the expression I have if I’m trying to do mental arithmetic. I’ve not yet mastered how to take photos of makeup without looking completely vacant and feeling incredibly vain and pretty ridiculous … But I digress.
1. Concentrate more
I wonder how many times I’ve applied my makeup? I’ve been wearing makeup almost daily since I was 18, so we’re taking thousands of times. It’s second nature, especially in the morning when I’m forever tired (still waiting to magically become a morning person) and often I stop thinking about what I’m doing and go into auto pilot. This is where most of my crimes to makeup take place so I’ve found that by planning what I’m about to do before hand -does anyone else go freestyle regularly only to completely mess up everything? Like I’m some sort of pro, calm down- and taking my time, things generally tend to go better.
2. Less –product– is definitely more
Don’t panic, I’m not about to suggest everyone start wearing less makeup … I’m still a big advocate of cake facedom.
My skin type would best be described as normal and I’ve been lucky throughout my life to never get acne or have many issues with skin stuff. Whenever I used to go to get my foundation matched, the MUAs would almost without fail mention the fact I don’t need full-coverage foundation. For some reason though I ignored that and would always opt for the highest coverage I could find. This was back before I would wear anything else over or under it, so I think it was my quest to get ‘flawless’ foundation which obviously wasn’t the best way to go.
Now I’m older my skin is different and I do have some redness etc but I find medium (build-able to full) is more than enough for me. Two pumps of foundation is generally the consensus but rather than looking at what I’m putting underneath my foundation now and how that might effect things, or just thinking about my face and not blindly applying, until recently I would put two pumps on no matter what … Sometimes more.
I’ve had issues with feeling cakey and like my makeup was sinking into my pores, so went back to the drawing board and began applying foundation only in specific areas then really blending out. I now use 1 pump 90% of the time and only add tiny dots more as needed, so I’m using far less product and don’t have the tell-tell orange splodge on the back of my hand every day.
This logic applies to ALL makeup. When I blend a crease I use tiny amounts of product and always dust off the excess. I’ve stopped highlighting my pores in silver like the surface of the moon and dust on highlighter sparingly.
I’ve realised I was previously dumping product onto my face which looks clumsy and cakey. Carefully using small amounts of product has made a huge difference to how my application looks.
3. Stop being so heavy handed
Our faces are delicate but I’ve been guilty in the past of blending so aggressively it’s like I’m mixing cement not applying makeup. I now always make sure to hold my brushes at the end rather than like a pencil which makes things a lot lighter and lets the brush do it’s thing. They’re created for a set purpose so don’t need to be rammed into your face to blend effectively.
4. Be patient
My trusty Makeup Geek mattes palette is a life saver when it comes to blending a crease. I start almost all looks with transition shades from this as a base. Any dark / bright colour I use I apply very sparingly and after at least two transition shades below it.
The same applies to foundation or eyebrows. I find I use more products than ever, but in tiny quantities to build a look.
5. Get to know your specifics
Whilst I’m not a big fan of following set rules all the time like wearing certain colours for certain eye colours etc -boring!- knowing your undertone, face shape and eye type can help you make your makeup work more for you. A big change I’ve made after years and years is how I apply my winged eyeliner. I love a big cat eye -who doesn’t?- but I have small eyes with only a bit of visible crease. If I spend time doing a nice blended eye look then apply eyeliner, all you can see in places is the eyeliner even if it’s thin.
This video from SmashBox is handy for identifying your eye type. I think I have almond shaped eyes so to exaggerate that and still be able to wear eyeliner without ruining my makeup, I have started applying it from the middle of my eye and out. I also cut my eyelashes in half or just apply individuals at the outer corner only which has a similar effect.
I hope some of these changes I’ve made will be useful to you. Let me know what you think or if you’ve got any other tips