Maybelline Queen











{December 12, 2013}   “Building Your Kit” Recap

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Developed for film and popularized by the ’60s Mod movement, faux lashes hit it big when supermodel Twiggy made them part of her trademark look. These days faux lashes are still super popular, but often abused or misused. Many makeup artists and consumers don’t seem to comprehend that the primary goal of a faux lash is to make people think it’s real, rather an exotic caterpillar taking up residence on your face.

With lashes, I prefer subtlety—something that allows me to make the eye look its best without looking obviously faux. Of course, there are times when you may want a more extreme look. But whether you want to accomplish an exaggerated, dramatic eye or just add on lashes for more volume, faux lashes take practice to master.

Four Basic Types of Lashes

Falsies come in three materials: human hair, animal hair, and synthetic fiber. (The latter was overlooked in the past, but the latest crop of synthetic lashes are completely believable.) There are four basic types of lashes available.

Strip

A standard, one-piece faux lash attached to a band that comes in a variety of lengths and styles.

Individual

Single faux lashes, attached separately; each mimics one individual hair.

“Clump” or “Cluster”

A small clump of individual lashes bound together, usually in a V shape, to give more volume.

Extensions

Individual tips that are applied to give the illusion of a real lash, but just longer.

Individual and clump lashes also come in both “knotted” and “knot-free” versions. Knotted lashes are bound by a knot, which creates more surface area for glue and makes them easier to attach; knot-free lashes don’t have a knot joining them. As such, they are more difficult to apply, but also look more natural. Within all of these types, you’ll find everything from undetectable, natural-looking bands to basic individual lashes to fantasy looks adorned with feathers or crystals. Lashes in other-worldly colors and exaggerated lengths or shapes are easy to find these days, too.

Three Faux Lash Ground Rules

Whether you want to apply a few individuals for subtle volume, add clumps on the outer lashes, or do  a complete set of full lashes for sexiness or drama, here are some ground rules for getting the most out of this gorgeous—but tricky—beauty regime.

1: Find Your Size

Fit and finish are important to the overall eye makeup design, as you don’t want the lashes to overwhelm the face. So, first things first: make sure you select the appropriate style, size, length, and intensity for the eye shape that you’re working with, as well as the overall look you’re going for.

2: How Faux Can You Go?

One rule of thumb is to look at length and thickness. The longer the length or the closer the lashes are packed, the more likely it’ll be obvious that your faux lashes are false.

3: Customize Your Eyes

Lashes can be cut into the right shape for any eye. I prefer to customize faux lashes by choosing several different shapes that fit my client. Then, I combine them in the application.

Application Tips, by Lash Shape

Here is a basic breakdown of the many shapes available so you can determine when, where, and why to choose a particular faux lash. This can also help you identify what you need to carry in your makeup kit.

Natural, Sparse, or Evenly Spaced

The lashes that might fall under these categories are an ideal option for adding fullness or featuring a natural look with a little more finish. A great trick to keep the look natural is to cut off the outer part of the lash and use the middle piece at the outer corner of the eye. The end of a faux lash can sometimes look much more exaggerated than the middle piece.

Spike

Spike lashes—those that are thicker at the base or sharp or pointy on the end and clumped together—can help you get a retro or vintage eye look. Spikes work equally well for period-inspired makeup (especially a ’70s look) as they do when layered with individuals for a modern red carpet look.

Crisscross or X

Some types of eyes, like smaller eyes or shallow-lidded ones, can’t carry several sets of lashes. If you want to add drama and extreme dimension without extra weight, a crisscrossed style lash, in which hairs overlap into an “X” shape, can be your best friend.

Swept, Angle, or “Hollywood”

For Old Hollywood excitement or to complement cat-like eyeliner, these shapes are seamless. They’re an excellent addition to liquid liner and can really give leading-lady eyes to any ingénue.

Dense, Bulky, or Full

When you want drama that does not necessarily look natural, these lashes are for you. Whether you want to portray the aforementioned Twiggy look or a super-lashy look like those favored by Real Housewives and Kardashians, these lashes pack a punch.

Wisps

Wisps are bands comprised of faux lashes of different lengths, grouped together in varying layers and sections. It’s a versatile shape that can be glamorous, elegant, or simply give a lift to a natural, romantic eye.

Clumps or Clusters

Sometimes you want to get detailed with your look. Whether you are wearing knotted or knot-free versions, clump lashes can be worn on their own or layered with a strip. Either way, they can make eyes appear more open and draw attention where you want it along the lid.

Individual

Single lashes are fantastic for a really natural look. I use a stronger glue and apply these below the actual lash to add length and volume. Even your closest friends won’t notice.

I like to carry an assortment that allows me to achieve whatever comes my way—from a Florence and the Machine video to a morning television makeup job. For me, that means carrying a pack in my kit that includes knot-free individuals, spikes, and wisps in brown and black. I feel like if I always have these on hand, I can make them into anything I need. I also add lashes in for specific jobs if I deem it necessary. A music video might require something more fantastical, while a photo shoot might need something retro-inspired. Regardless of your work or looks, here’s something I do know: faux lashes allow us to take ordinary makeup and make it extraordinary. That is most definitely true.



Eye shadows offer endless creativity. They just may be the most exciting product for both makeup artists and makeup lovers to buy. These days, the number of colors, textures, and formulations is near infinite. But with all the choices, compiling a makeup kit or adding to your everyday shadow regime can get a little mind-numbing. Here are a few things to think about as you build your perfect eye kit.

 

Even in the basic powder shadow category, brands can be very different due to the amount of pigment versus filler they use, as well as the process in which they press product into pans. Experiment and find the formulas that work best for you and deliver the results you desire. For instance, you might prefer a highly pigmented powder with a small amount of filler that feels dry to the touch, or favor a shadow that feels soft and creamy on your brush and has a lighter pigment load and color payoff. It’s all about discovering your preferences and finding your favorites.

 

Putting a Palette Together

 

I’ve found that palettes are the perfect way to carry makeup for professional work, and they also fit well into a tote or makeup bag. You can purchase pre-made palettes—available in pretty much every price point—from many brands, or buy brand-specific empty palettes and build your own customized collection within one color range. You can also buy empty palettes or containers that allow you to add in pans of eye shadow from multiple brands.

 

A word of advice: keep it simple. When compiling your palette, don’t get caught up in the excitement of buying the most daring shades. So many artists want to get all of the brightest and boldest colors and textures, but basic shadows will be the basis of your application and lay the groundwork for great makeup.

 

Check for Quality

 

I recommend checking the quality of the product before you purchase. Look at reviews online and speak to other artists about what they love or perhaps dislike about the product. I’m not a product snob, but the difference in quality between pro and prestige versus mass products can be obvious and measurable. A few key questions to ask yourself:

 

• Does the shadow allow you versatility in application? Meaning, can you apply it both sheer and with more full coverage?
• When using a variety of brushes, will it have a smooth consistency?
• Is it durable for high-intensity jobs and situations? In other words, does the product cause a lot of fallout on the face during application?

 

1. The Highlighting Palette

 

A highlighting palette made up of lighter shades and base shadows is an absolute must-have. This group includes white, light beige, cream, vanilla, peach, and buttercream shades, as well as soft pinks and apricots. The lighter colors can be used to draw attention to a feature, cause a certain area to pop, or simply make a part of the face look more dominant.

 

 

I prefer to keep these shades in matte or satin consistencies, because you don’t always want your highlight shades to have texture. Base shades should always be matte, or else the shimmer or frost will show through.

 

2. The Contouring Palette

 

Next, to build in shape and definition, think about a contouring palette which include darker colors that will recess an area or make it appear smaller. You can also use contouring shades to line and define brows, eye lids, or any area that needs depth or dimension. This group of shades should contain matte shadows in various cool and warm browns, deep burgundies, rich greys, and neutrals on the darker side of the spectrum—including black.

 

 

3. The Color Palettes

 

Once you have your fundamentals for shape and form, let your creative side come into play by building your color palettes. Here, let your imagination run wild. But still, be strategic and think about what you can combine for unlimited possibility. 

 

 

 

I prefer to separate palettes into warm and cool, and then arrange into common color families. I also like to keep matte and satin textured shadows separate from frosts, shimmers, and glitters so loose particles don’t end up compromising your flat shadows. Think about what works on your clients and what you need to complete the job at hand. Represent all of your primary and secondary colors, tints, shades, and tones. Then, go crazy with an endless array of your faves: deep rich reds, bright yellows, cool blues, greens, pinks, violets, indigos—whatever your heart desires in both soft and strong colors!

 

4. The Texture Palette

 

You will also need a texture palette—something made up of various frosts that highlight, change the surface, or add impact. Metallic eye shadows also fit well into this group and allow you to transform any eye into numerous looks. Stay aware of seasonal trends and what’s on the red carpet and runway for the latest must-have shadow shades.

 

 

Now you know how to meet the needs of any client. Eye shadows can lay the groundwork for a look’s shape, texture, or tone, from traditional to bold. Be smart about your palettes and arm yourself with the right shadows, so you can truly transform any application with a simple swipe.



 

Eyebrows are one of the most misunderstood areas of makeup artistry, and having an artist’s understanding of eyebrows is crucial to impeccable makeup.

As a makeup artist, you need to be situational when correcting, filling in or shaping a brow — making decisions based on the needs of your client and the final look you trying to create. Many makeup artists want to add a dramatic eyebrow into every makeup application, but an inappropriate eyebrow can age your client, distort the shape of the face, provide an unwanted emotion or take away from the desired focal point of your makeup design.

 

Tweezers and scissors are your first line of defense against offensive brows. With these tools, you can create shape as well as adjust thickness and length. Every artist should have a great pair of slant tweezers (some artists favorites are Tweezerman and Lavaque) as well as safety scissors, which are essential for trimming and adjusting.

 

For a true artist trick, try a pair of “twissors” (a scissor-tweezer hybrid) from Alcone or Cinema Secrets. Because they can cut hair really close to the skin without cutting the skin itself, twissors make eyebrow sculpting even easier: you can get rid of hairs that are too long or growing in the wrong direction without the time commitment of tweezing, or redness it can cause. I also recommend carrying a brush or comb for setting the brow hairs into place.

 

Many artists leave eyebrow pencils out of their makeup arsenal, but don’t make that mistake—pencils are a must-have. Pencils work perfectly on brows, because the marks sit on top of the skin and add dimension, providing volume to a flat or thin brows. Use them to fill in sparse or patchy eyebrows with a natural look that mimics missing hairs. I prefer mechanical pencils, as the thinner tip allows for precise application and appears more natural. My favorites include Kevyn Aucoin’s The Precision Brow Pencil, MAC Eye Brows, and Anastasia Brow Wiz.

 

Shadows and other powder-based products bring dimension and depth to brows, especially those that might are on the too-full side. They are also ideal for long wear and allow a range of effects from natural to dramatic. I prefer those that are dense in pigment and have a matte finish. I recommend carrying powders from soft taupes to rich browns to complement natural eye and hair hues, as well as burgundy and burnt sienna for matching processed hair colors.

 

Gels and waxes are wonderful for lightening a darker brow or holding a disorderly one in place. Softening or sculpting the brow can take years off of the face and can help spotlight certain elements of the face. For example, if you want the focus to be a smoky eye, lightening up the eyebrow a few shades can direct attention where you want or need it. For a collection that’s as universal as possible, carry brow gels or waxes in clear, blonde, ash, and taupe.

Pro Tips

For a modern brow, you need to see skin and individual hairs. I also aim to have high and low points in every brow look I create. A great pro trick is to use a brow pen or gel liner with a small precision brush to mimic the look of individual hairs. Just a few subtle strokes can make even the thinnest or most over tweezed eyebrows look terrific. I love pens specifically designed for this purpose, but a brown gel liner from any line will do.

 

Great eyebrows are a secret essential element. When applied correctly, an eyebrow frames the eye, flatters the face, and provides balance without competing with the rest of your makeup. Be prepared to deliver the perfect eyebrow with every application, and your makeup will always be beauty page perfection.



{December 4, 2013}   Nail Application 101

 

Back when I was in high school my mom and I would go to the nail salon every two weeks for a mani, and once a month we’d include a pedi. It’s one of the luxurious I really miss. It was such a treat to always have freshly painted nails, but since I’ve been on my own I’ve fallen out of that routine for a number of reasons. The main one being that it’s kind of an expensive habit—something I’ve realized since moving away from home. Sure, it’s nice to have an hour of pampering, but I’m not willing to spend an extra $70+ a month just to have my nails done by a pro. And since I’m a self-proclaimed polish hoarder, I’ve got plenty of colors to work with. Practice obviously helps, but getting insider tips can really perfect your technique. Here, ill break down how to properly apply polish, even with your non-dominant hand!

Prep nails first

Before you do any colour, you always want to prep your nails. This step is usually overlooked, but there’s always a buildup of dead skin on your nail plate. You can get rid of it with a cuticle eraser or remover—it actually helps keep the polish on longer, as lacquer won’t stick well to that dead skin. File and remove any leftover debris on your nails with acetone, polish remover, or a nail-cleansing solution. After you’ve finished prepping, apply a base coat. This will act almost like double-sided tape, keeping your polish on your nails.

How to work with your non-dominant hand

Painting your nails using your non-dominant hand first. So if you’re right-handed, use the left hand to paint the right hand first. Why? Because if you go to use your non-dominant with freshly painted nails, you’re more likely to cause a smudge. Be sure to keep your forearm, wrist, and side of your hand firm on a flat surface; it’ll give you more control and a smaller chance of messing up.  

Application tips

For a neat application, the “three strokes method.“ First, dip and wipe one side of your polish brush off on the top of the bottle—too much polish on the brush may leak over your cuticles; too little, and it will come out streaky. Begin on one side of your nail, right above the cuticle, and push the side of the brush towards your cuticle without actually touching it. Bring the polish up your nail in one continuous stroke. Dip the brush back into the bottle and wipe any excess lacquer off the side, and repeat down the other side of the nail. To finish, re-dip the brush into the polish, and paint the center of the nail. Do this process for every nail, and repeat with a second coat—just be sure you wait a few seconds between each layer. Don’t forget to add a top coat! And if your nails are long (beyond the fingertip), swipe the tip edge too, to help prevent chipping.

Last-minute advice

To make your mani last for as long as it possibly can, applying top coat every other day, as well as cuticle oil daily. Oh, and practice, practice, practice!

Photo: Shatha Al-Emadi



{November 25, 2013}   DIY Lash Conditioner

Most of us crave full and natural lashes. Though we can’t change the lashes we have from the inside, we can use topical treatments to help them grow healthier and longer. There are a number of different eyelash serums and growth conditioners you can purchase from the store or have prescribed from your dermatologist. They have their benefits and risks so be sure to do your research or talk with your dermatologist to see which product would suit you best. There are a number of different natural remedies to create your own homemade eyelash conditioners. Results will not come overnight but over a period of weeks–possibly months–so be prepared for a slow process. Take a break from mascara and curling your lashes once in a while to give them a break from all the lash stress. Give these natural eyelash conditioners recipes a try to achieve longer, thicker, and fuller lashes!

DIY SKINCARE Castor Oil Eyelash Conditioner

  1. Castor or almond oil

  2. Vanilla extract

  3. Disposable mascara wands

  4. Small container

Pick up a small bottle of castor or almond oil from the grocery store and disposable mascara wands from the beauty supply store. If you have an old mascara that you aren’t using anymore, disinfect and clean the wand thoroughly to use instead. Just be sure to clean the wand after each use. Pour the castor or almond oil and vanilla extract into your small container (three parts oil to one part vanilla) and shake up the mixture. Dip your mascara wand into conditioner and apply it from root to tip to your top and bottom lashes, twice a day.Be sure to use conditioner on clean lashes.

DIY SKINCARE VItamin E Eyelash Conditioner

  1. Vitamin E oil or capsules

  2. Small container or plate

  3. Cotton Swabs

You can use vitamin E capsules or vials of oil to use as an eyelash conditioner. Squeeze or add a few drops of vitamin E oil into your clean container or plate, making sure not to touch the oil with your fingertips. Dab the cotton swab in the oil and sweep the swab across clean eyelashes from root to tip on both sides of lashes, twice a day (typically in the morning before makeup application and before you go to bed).

DIY SKINCARE Coconut Oil Eyelash Conditioner

  1. Coconut Oil

  2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  3. Vitamin E oil or capsules

  4. Small container

  5. Disposable mascara wand or cotton swabs

Pour equal parts of the three oils into a clean container. Dip your mascara wand or cotton swab into conditioner and apply it on the base of your lashes, twice a day. Be sure to use conditioner on clean eyelashes.



Beauties, have you ever wondered how to really give your lashes some oomph? Here’s a pro makeup artist technique to maximize your lash mileage!

HOW TO Make the Most out of Your Mascara Wand

 

Wrap the mascara wand with a protective covering (we like using a small towel or plastic ziplock back so our fingers don’t get dirty).

Grab the wand head and slowly bend it so it’s at a 90 degree angle, perpendicular to the actual brush handle.

Apply mascara in harder to reach areas (like the inner and lower lashes) by holding the wand with your index finger and thumb. This enables you to push the mascara brush deeper into the base of the eyelid, ensuring thicker looking lashes.

After you push the mascara into the base, wiggle the brush repeatedly and lift up. If you don’t feel comfortable bending your full-size mascara, this technique works just as well with disposable mascara wands (and you can use them to brush out mascara clumps after application).

MaybellineQueen Tip #2: Use the end of a disposable mascara wand to apply glue to false eye lashes. Place a bead of glue on the end of the handle and run the strip through the glue for even application.



{November 25, 2013}   Gorg Makeup in Wet Weather!

 

Has your otherwise perfect makeup application been washed away by a surprise downpour? With the rainy season approaching, it’s time to prep your beauty routine to make sure your face never gets drenched on again! Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep your makeup looking gorgeous—not washed out—in wet weather.

Face

The trick to perfecting your base is in the application—instead of caking on a thick amount, make sure to add thin layers of product until you reach coverage you’re happy with. Since powder turns splotchy in the rain, choose a cream, mousse, or liquid texture as a base, to ensure longer-lasting coverage. If you must powder, dust a light layer of translucent powder with a large, fluffy powder brush. Use concealer sparingly, and only where necessary.

Cheeks

Since powder is best to avoid in wet weather, the same holds true for powder blushes. Opt for cream, gel, and mousse textures instead. In a damp atmosphere, these formulations will last longer on the skin.

Eyes

It’s a wet-weather no-brainer: choose waterproof eye liner, mascara, and cream shadow formulas. Avoid using liner or mascara on the waterline and lower lashes—who wants raccoon eyes?

Lips

A rainy day isn’t the best time to experiment with bold shades and extreme textures. Bright colors and high-gloss formulas are typically a rainy day no-no (they have the tendency to smudge everywhere in humidity or dampness). Stick with a neutral, pinky-mauve tone in a comfortable satin formula.




 

If you’re a makeup artist, you know to clean your lipstick between customers. When you’re shopping for the perfect shade, you wouldn’t dream of swiping it on without sanitizing. But what if you’re the only one who uses your lipsticks? Cold season is looming, you know. Even if you are the only one primping, it may be a good idea to disinfect your tubes from time to time.

AT HOME

Try an alcohol bath for your lipstick case.70% alcohol is concentrated enough to kill bacteria, and won’t evaporate as quickly as higher concentrations. Hold the lipstick in a cup of 70% alcohol for a few seconds to remove the first layer of product. Let the stick dry naturally. This prolongs the contact with alcohol so it can sanitize as it dries.

ON SET

It’s a good practice to use a mixing palette when working on other faces. Simply shave a small portion of the intended product off with a Q-tip or small spatula onto the palette.This ensures each client gets a fresh sample, and it’s easier to mix and keep handy for touch-ups.

AT THE MAKEUP COUNTER

Makeup testers can harbor some nasty stuff, so make sure you always sanitize before trying on a new shade. With a Q-tip, shave off the top layer of the lipstick. Then spray with alcohol (counters will always have a bottle on hand) and wipe with a tissue.



{November 20, 2013}   Holiday Look!

 

It’s party season! Time to pump up the volume with an extra-glitzy face so you’re sure to make that time under the mistletoe tempting. I found three of the hottest holiday trends for you. Try each individually—or if you’re daring rock all three!

Red Lips

It’s a classic for a reason. Red lips evoke the warmth and glamour of Christmas Past. Best of all, anyone can pull it off.

To combat color bleeding or smudging, line your mouth with a matching liner or set the stage with a lip primer that will help keep any bright pigment in place. For true lipstick migration-proofing, nothing beats a reverse lip liner, which uses a clear waxy formula to form a barrier. Finally, for precise lipstick application, use a lip brush.

Gilded Shadow

Metallic shadows are always a holiday staple.

For a high-fashion foil effect, moisten your shadow brush before applying, or smooth on a cream shadow and a tap powder shadow on top with fingers (bonus: this has massive staying power — even after your third eggnog).

Classic Cat Eye

Polished black liquid liner look shows no sign of declining in popularity, with every major brand hustling to debut their pen versions. My new favorites have a patent leather-like sheen that makes them a perfect complement to the glitter and shine of all the season’s parties. The famous cat eye flick takes a bit of practice, but the end result is totally worth it.



et cetera