How to enhance your best features
Working for M⋅A⋅C Cosmetics as a Trainer has taught me so much such as enhancing best features, using the right products for every different type of skin, communicating with others, and giving feedback gently. I believe clients will seek out the makeup artist that best relates with them. It could be age related, look related, or personality related. Now that I'm in my 40's, one of the questions I get asked the most, is 'How can I look my best without applying tons of makeup in the shortest amount of time?' The first thing you need to do is think about your best features, the ones you like the best. This could be the eyes, lips, brows, or even cheeks. Subtle enhancements make the world of difference. For example, let's say you feel that your eyes are your best feature, and your eye shape is this:
A hooded eye shape can be really challenging to enhance naturally. Something to consider, is that everyone is different in terms of what they feel comfortable putting on their face. As a makeup artist, I use to feel I wasn't offering the best service if I didn't put at least 3-4 products on everyone's eyes. I've learned that I couldn't be more wrong when it comes to making someone look like the best version of themselves.
Let's say the above client said 'This is me on a daily basis, and I feel my eyes are my best feature'. She really only wears foundation, mascara, brow pencil, a little blush, and a natural lip colour. Based on that information, I'm going to think about little nuances I can add/change to make a difference. She is used to seeing her face like this every day so a little change will make a big difference.
When I look at this particular client, I see that her eye colour really stands out. She has hazel/blueish eyes. There are a lot of colours we can bring out. This is where colour theory will really come in handy. To make her eye colour 'pop' even more, I would use a colour that was opposite on a colour wheel.
We can see on the colour wheel that the Red/Orange family will bring out this client's eyes. No, this doesn't mean to add a 'Red or Orange' pure colour shadow. It means possibly adding more muted colours in this family such as an Orange-Brown or a Plum (which has red undertones). This can be done by either using eyeliner, eye shadow, or mascara but I wouldn't necessarily use all 3. When you're working with hooded eyes, liner on the top doesn't always work because the skin comes over the lash line. I am also noticing that this client has a lot of space between her brows and her eyes which means any eyeshadow that comes up too high will look extremely dramatic. People with hooded eyes or no defined crease line tend to have a lot of space between their brows and eyes. To create a more natural look on clients that have a lot of space between their eyebrows and eyes, don't put eye shadow higher than their natural lashes sit when they look straight forward.
Where to start with a natural makeup
A good place to start is to put eyeliner in the upper water line. This will add density to the lashes and will make the eyes brighter. I like to use black, and for someone that is already use to wearing black mascara, this won't be too much for them to start incorporating. Below is a picture of liner in the upper water line on one eye. As you can see the lashes look much darker and there isn't even any mascara yet.
Here is a picture of both eyes lined in the water line. I think it already makes a big difference.
That in itself might be enough for this client, but if she wanted something a little more glamorous, below is the addition of an Orange-Brown eye shadow that lightly lines the lash line with an emphasis on the outer corner.
Notice how the eye shadow does not come above where the lashes sit as she is looking straight forward. This application of eye shadow makes her eyes look bigger and wider without looking too dramatic. It also makes her eyes look even bluer which is because of the Orange-Brown eye shadow. Let's try it in a Plum...
The Plum colour makes the eye look slightly greener. The application on this particular eye was on the top only where as the Orange-Brown eye also had shadow on the bottom which is why the eye looks bigger. Knowing where you're going to place eye shadow and why is the most important aspect if you want to enhance someone's features. Here are the two different eyes side by side and you can see how each eye has a different shape. There's no need to apply so many colours, sometimes only 1 is needed but strategically placed makes all the difference.
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