Monday, July 20, 2009

At First Blush – The Art of Applying Blush

Blush is just one of the many important aspects of your total makeup look, but it is also one of the aspects that is most often done incorrectly. Blush should never be the most dominant part of a make-up look, unless of course you are trying to look like a clown. You may choose to do a dramatic eye with a neutral lip or a neutral eye with a dramatic lip, but your blush should always look natural and kind of blend with the overall feel of your make-up look.

You first step would be to properly prepare your face by cleansing with a gentle PH-balanced cleanser and toner. Next, use any treatments or serums your face needs and follow with eye cream and moisturizer. Then apply your foundation, concealor and powder or use a mineral powder foundation. You are now ready to apply your blush.

When choosing a blush color, a good rule of thumb is to choose a color that has the same undertone as your lipstick. For instance, if you are going to be wearing a cool shade of pink lipstick, your blush should also have a cool tone. You could wear a burgundy lip with a pink blush; it doesn't have to be the same color, just the same undertone.

When it comes to the blush application, there are two ways to wear blush. You can either: smile and gently dust some color on the apples of the cheeks for a natural blush look or you can place the blush in a C-shaped curve. When doing the C-shape, be sure that you start at a place that is no closer to the nose than the center of the eye and no further down than the bottom of your nose and follow the curve of your cheek upwards and around the eye. NEVER make blush in a straight line, ever. Stripes may be slimming in a vertical pattern on your clothing, but they are never flattering on your face. The next step is to blend.

You may also want to use a neutral blush in a darker shade to create contours on the face and a lighter shade to create highlights. Remember that darker colors recede or go backwards and lighter colors enhance and bring forward. You can use these principles to shape your face the way you want it, hiding flaws and accentuating your best features. This is much healthier and less expensive than plastic surgery and if you don't like the outcome you can simply wash it away.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Finding the Perfect Foundation

Finding the perfect foundation is a challenge every woman has faced in her lifetime. For some it is an ongoing quest that seems almost futile at times. Others seem completely oblivious to the fact that their foundation is making them look like they are wearing a Halloween mask. There are several challenges to finding the perfect foundation:

• Color: the wrong color sticks out like a sore thumb and distracts from everything else you do with your make-up and wardrobe choices.

• Coverage: young flawless skins can opt for sheer coverage while those with more imperfections need a medium to full coverage.

• Formulation: you might choose from powder, liquid or cream foundations depending on which is more comfortable for you to use.

Now I will give some guidance for each of these areas beginning with the one where the most mistakes are made:


This is an area that many COSMETIC COMPANIES as well as ladies get totally wrong. I recently read an eBook that claimed to reveal "make-up secrets". The book was nothing more than a marketing ploy for a lesser known cosmetic company and it claimed that "most women have a yellow undertone to their skin so all of our foundations have a yellow undertone". That is really a silly comment. There are actually 4 undertones a person's skin can have: Yellow-orange (most common to be sure, but certainly not even close to everyone), Red-orange, Red (least common--less than 4% of people have this undertone) and Blue-red. The Yellow-orange (think golden) and Red-orange (think peachy) are what are known as warm undertones and the Red and Blue-red are the cool undertones. Some companies classify their undertones as Warm, Cool or Neutral (a lot of Red-oranges will find themselves here). The best way to determine your undertone is with a stripe test where a stripe of foundation from one of each undertone in an appropriate shade is placed on the jaw line. The correct undertone will fade away and the wrong ones will stand out.

Some companies will tell you that your undertone has something to do with your hair and eye color, but this is completely off base. I am a prime example of this. I have auburn hair and tawny-hazel eyes which would by this type of standard classify me as having a warm undertone, BUT my skin has a blue-red (cool) undertone. If I wear foundation with a warm undertone it is difficult to blend and may leave a line around my jaw. However, I do look really good in warm colors for my eyeshadows, lipsticks and blush. It is important to understand the difference between a skin's undertone and complimentary make-up colors and I hope this example sheds some light.


This may be listed right on the label, but if not you should ask your beauty consultant. Some foundations even have "adjustable coverage" which means you can layer it to get more coverage (without getting "cakey"). Healthy skin without a lot of flaws should go with a light coverage to let the natural beauty shine through. More coverage in the RIGHT COLOR will not give a mask appearance, but rather, will still look very natural.


This is mainly a matter of personal preference, but some formulations lend to different types of coverage, so be aware of that. Mineral powder foundations are all the rage right now, but they aren't for everyone (I still love my liquid, but sometimes I dust a little mineral powder foundation over the top for an extra glow).

Well, there you have my mini-guide to finding the best foundation for you.

You can find the foundation that I think is the best, plus a variety of other high-quality skin care, cosmetic, nutrition and aromatherapy products at:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Simplifying the Smoky Eye Look

The smoky eye has become a classic eyeshadow look that is great for a night out on the town, special occasions and, if paired with the right outfit, even appropriate for business. Obtaining this highly sought after look isn't as difficult as it might appear and with a little practice you will soon be able to complete this look in just a couple of minutes.

Of course, it is important to note that you should always use neutral colors on the lips if you want to do a dramatic eyeshadow look like the smoky eye. There is a fine line between "dramatic" and trashy and wearing lipstick or gloss that is either too bright or too dark with the smoky eye will push you right over that line.

That being said, here are five simple steps to achieving the smoky eye look:

1. You should start with a black, dark grey or chocolate brown eyeliner. Line the entire eye all the way around the top and bottom.

2. Next, use an eyeliner brush with an eye shadow in a deep color similar to the eye liner you chose. Trace the eye shadow over the eyeliner about 75% of the way from the outer corner in on both the top and bottom.

3. Use a highlight eye shadow color in white, cream or light gold and trace the inner corner of the eyeliner just slightly below the darker eyeliner.

4. Use a neutral shadow all over the eyelid and under the brow. Then make a sideways "V" on the outer corner of the eye with the deep eye shadow color and finish with just a hint of the highlight color beneath your eyebrows.

5. Polish off the look with some thickening mascara and you look like a movie star.

There you have the five simple steps to doing the smoky eye look. This look is sure to get noticed and give you a little extra boost of confidence which could come in handy whether it is for your next board meeting or on your next date.
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