Makeup Tips

From Problem Skin to The Prom Queen
-- Sculpt Your Face Into a Masterpiece

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What is the most important event of the year for a high-school junior or senior? That's right! It's the PROM. The pictures you have from this momentous occasion will repeatedly remind you how of beautiful you were at 17 or 18. These will be memories you will talk and think about your whole life. You'll want to look your most beautiful, and with expert advice from a professional cosmetics expert, you can turn flaws into assets and an everyday look into a high-fashion or soft-evening look.

Because my profession involves advising top models and celebrities on makeup and skin care, I know the exact advice you need for this special occasion: First, don't spend a fortune on your dress and not a dime on your face! Your facial look will be remembered just as much as your dress. So, I will concentrate on only your countenance.
Before Makeup

Notice that Betsy has very light, pale skin with red blemishes and a considerable amount of breakout. Don't use the wrong shade of concealer on pimples, because it will give your dreaded pimples a more pronounced appearance. You could even look greasy (ugh!) with a thick concealer.

After Makeup

Watch Betsy be transformed by my makeover. You, too, can look just as stunning and drop-dead gorgeous if you follow these easy steps. And better still, you won't need any help from a plastic surgeon. Remember, all Cinderella needed was a little magic from her fairy godmother, and you know that expert makeup was a part of the deal!

If this is your first experience with makeup, don't panic. Give yourself plenty of time to practice. You've got your dress, right? Great! Now, start thinking about your complexion. If you start to break out a little, see an esthetician or make an appointment with a certified dermatologist. Do whatever you can to help your problem skin before beginning Step 1.

STEP 1 Here is the essential component: Find a really good foundation. Today's foundations have enough pigment and consistency to provide excellent coverage. Careful! If your foundation doesn't cover you in one application, toss it, and select one that works with the actual color of your skin. It needn't be the exact same color; today's foundations are pretty universal. Find one that gives a radiant, healthy glow, not flat or chalky. After all, foundation is the single most important cosmetic that goes on your face. Betsy is now wearing a compact foundation, giving her a light tan. It could be just as simple for you.

Noticeable problem areas should receive special attention. For instance, Betsy has dark circles under her eyes. Luckily, the foundation has the consistency to hide them, but if the circles were still visible, a foundation in one shade lighter would be the answer. (Remember that Cinderella's godmother always had the answers!) However, be careful! If the foundation is too light, it will just draw attention to the area. Any areas that are not your best features can also be "corrected." (See "Extra Tips & Hints" below.)

Also, notice that Betsy's eyebrows are well done. She's been to a salon to have them professionally tweezed. You don't necessarily need to do that. Pluck excess hair underneath the brow, following the natural arch of the brow rather than redefining them. Make certain there is no hair between the brows. (Cinderella most definitely was not a unibrow!)

STEP 2 The next step in the makeover is suddenly obtaining long, glamorous, and ultra-feminine eyelashes. Sometimes, an overdone application of mascara can weigh lashes down, giving a heavy, clumpy appearance. Don't overdo! Eyeshadow should be light and shimmering. Cover the entire top lid lightly for an even coat. If you feel the need for a little contrast, add a complementary darker shadow in the crease of the lid. I recommend a light brown, a choice that is never wrong. But be careful when using liner; the top lid is enough. Black circles melting under the eyes are very '80s. You want a polished, classic look: remember Cinderella is a classic! To finish the job, I like to dust a light loose powder on the entire face.

STEP 3 Then, to add an elegant touch, you can get an upswept hairstyle from a nearby salon, or sweep it up yourself. For the prom, I recommend a professional hair salon, since trained professionals can almost always do a better job. Just remember to make an appointment, since many salons don't take "walk-ins."


Sculpting Cheekbones: Start with the hollow of your cheek. Select a light-brown shade and dab. On the apple of the cheek, use a neutral shade and on the cheekbone itself, select the color of your choice. Be certain to blend, blend, blend, blend, or you will have a disaster. I have even seen professional makeup artists make mistakes here. Practice, practice, practice! It does make perfect!

Did you ever notice how good people look when they have been in the sun for a time? The sun strikes protruding areas of the face first, turning them a rosy pink. I recommend using makeup in the same naturally artistic way. It is much safer than exposure to the sun.

Plumping Lips: Using a lip pencil (not too dark), draw just outside your natural lip line. Then, fill in with the color of your choice all the way to the lip's edge. Now, place a little shade of white glimmer stick right in the center of each lip, top and bottom.

Removing Premature Signs of Aging: No, you read that correctly! This could be you at any age. I have seen very young people with crow's feet, brow burrows, laugh lines, forehead lines, and lip lines. I believe you are not trying for the road-map look! Lip lines are the very worst. They cause the lipstick or lip gloss to run and bleed. The solution to this problem is to always use a good lip liner which is essential.

Sculpting the Perfect Nose: For everyone, the nose sits smack in the middle of the face, and it truly is the "bone of contention" for many. When I am conducting my classes, the question I ask clients and students alike is, "What would you change about yourself?" The resounding consensus is unfailingly, "My nose!" Understandably, your nose is the first thing people notice when you are introduced, and it is the single feature most people remember about you. However, the almighty nose deserves respect and attention, given the fact that it defines your facial personality, and you truly can give yourself the nose you've always wanted!

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First, decide how you want to change your nose. If you want your nose to appear slimmer, place a darker shade foundation (than what you normally use) down each side of it. You could also use a darker powder along both sides of your nose. Darker colored foundations will make areas look smaller. If you want the tip of your nose to appear small, dust the tip of it with loose facial powder.

Hiding Freckles: If you have freckles, forget about covering them with concealer. You will only look like you're wearing a mask! Use a light foundation with golden overtones. Blend well to give a more uniform look.

Hiding Scars: If you have scars, don't cover with a light concealer! This will only make the area appear more pronounced. As you know, scars tend to have shiny surfaces to them. The idea is to reduce the shine in the area. You cannot fill in scars with makeup; it will look very packed and possibly become even more noticeable. Instead, use a foundation with excellent coverage, then powder with a matte powder.

Hiding Birthmarks: If the birthmark is pink or purple in color, use a green concealer to cover, then apply foundation. If the birthmark is brownish, try to lighten with a concealer that has pinkish tones. My experience has taught me that white concealers only show through the foundation. Always use powder afterwards.

Other Concerns: If there are other concerns, Rule #1 always applies: Do not use concealer as the first line of defense! Modern foundations, especially the ones used in pageantry, have ingredients which provide a great deal of coverage. They work with the color of your skin rather than providing a mask-like (ick!) finish. For pageants and any other special occasions, like the prom, you will not need greasepaint. Those are products used in the theater. You are seeking a natural finish. Again, I do not recommend the use of a concealer unless you have a medical problem.

Select a foundation that is one shade lighter than your own, and gently place around the eye area or any other area with deepening lines. This is important, because you don't want your regular foundation welling in those lines, looking darker, and emphasizing the lines you're attempting to hide. You, too, can be picture perfect if you select the correct makeup.

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