Ever so often life offers those special occasions like weddings, cocktail parties, birthdays, even dances. Before our important event we all search for that perfect outfit- one that makes us feel confident. Next, we resort to browsing Pinterest or sift through our stacks of magazines for an inspiring hairdo and makeup look that will complete our vision for the special occasion. Let's face it-creating that perfect and effortless look can be a little overwhelming at times, but it doesn't have to be.
I am here to share with you some of my favorite simple tips on how to make your makeup become photo savvy in the convenience of your own home. You may feel a little out of your comfort zone at first, but keep these tips in mind and trust me. There are likely going to be lots of pictures taken, so why not feel and look as glamorous as Beyonce?!
In the days leading up to your event...
Make sure to groom any stray hairs. Waxing is most effective and will help the makeup go on smoothly. (Try and do this at least 2 days prior, so you can avoid any redness that might occur).
Exfoliate! This will remove dead skin cells that cause your skin to look dull rather than fresh and radiant.
Purchase some false eyelashes and adhesive. My favorite lash glue is DUO! * Tip: Strips are easiest to apply for a false lash beginner. Look on Youtube for "Eyelash Application"- this might add a little insight and boost your confidence a bit!
Do some homework. Look up looks that inspire you. Want a smokey eye? Look up a few different options . Want a bold lip? Find out what color is most appealing to you. Just be mindful to choose colors that compliment your outfit.
Depending on your skill level, you may want to do a practice run. And try to give yourself a little extra time if this is your first attempt at a new look.
On the big day...
I highly recommend doing your makeup in a well lit room. Natural lighting is ideal.
PRIME: Prime your skin. I suggest starting the application with your eye cream, moisturizer and primer about 5 minutes prior to the makeup application. This will allow time to settle into the skin a bit. (I usually brush my teeth at this point to stall). You will want to make sure to use a primer that best suits your skin type. Primers help even the texture of your skin. They will also boost your makeup time- in some cases by 6-8 hours! Do yourself a favor and don't skip this step.
SKIN: For picture perfect skin, I suggest starting with a full coverage liquid foundation. Always apply with a brush, so you have even coverage. (My favorite foundation brushes are the #187 for an air brushed look or #190 for more full coverage-both by MAC). If you use your fingers, the oils in your skin could break down the formula leaving you with streaks or uneven makeup. Next, apply concealer under your eyes and over any imperfections that you can still see through the foundation. I like using concealer that is at least one shade lighter than my foundation. (Note:if you are doing an extreme smokey eye, start with that and do the skin-type steps after. That way you can wipe off any excess makeup that might have fallen under your eyes.)
HIGHLIGHT: I suggest using a liquid highlighter (MAC's highlighting pens are my absolute favorite! Radiant Rose or Light Boost are must-haves). I like to create a large, upside down triangle under my eyes; a line on the top part of my cheekbones, along the bridge of my nose, in the center of the forehead and right above my cupids bow. Blend everything in with either a flat brush (#190 MAC) or damp sponge. You will then take a translucent or mattifying powder lightly dusting your entire face which will set your liquid layer. I LOVE Anastasia's highlight contour kit and will often set my highlighted areas with the lightest tones. Also, try topping your cheekbones with a light dusting of the shimmer.
CONTOUR: I suggest using a powder 2 shades darker than your skin tone to start contouring. Place it along your cheekbones, hairline, on the sides of the nose, and along your jawline. Then take a darker shade (such as a bronzer or Anastasia palette) to add a more defined contour with a smaller brush to help with definition.
BLUSH: Smile! Add color to the top part of the apples of the cheeks and blend up and out.
EYES: Depending on the look you choose, these steps may vary.
Prime your lids. This will help shadows from creasing or fading over time (My favorite- Soft Ochre by MAC).
Highlight under your brow bone and inner lid with a soft shimmery cream color. (My Favorite- This and That by MAC, but feel free to use the same color used to highlight cheekbones).
Define your crease. Using a blending brush (My favorite- #224 by MAC) make tiny circles and windshield wiper movements along your crease in a a deep skin tone color to create definition. You may also add darker colors on top of this and to the outer corners, but this will help define your eye shape (or the one you are trying to convey) along with helping make blending your other shade choices much easier.
Liner. Whether you are choosing a softer eye (to pair with your bold lip) or a dramatic eye (to go with a more neutral lip) be sure to put lots of focus near your lash line. I suggest using black on the top lid, but if you can’t bring yourself to do it use darkest brown. (My favorite- Blacktrack or Dipdown gel liners by MAC). To add instant drama fill in your waterline with a waterproof black liner (My favorite- Larger than Life eyeliner by NARS). Smudge it a bit under your lash line and top with the color of your choice.
Apply false lashes. Before putting the glue on, I take “dry” lashes and apply them to the lash line. If you notice the false lashes are a bit longer than your eyes, trim them to fit. You do NOT want them poking you all night. Then, I like to put a drop of lash glue onto the plastic container, dip the back of my tweezers into the glue, and add a thin even layer onto the lashes. Let it set for about 30 seconds. This allows the glue to become a little tacky so it won’t slip and slide all over your lid (and all your hard work). With the tweezers, grab the center of the lashes and place down onto your upper lash line. Make sure to press on them gently to ensure the glue adheres to all areas of the lash line. Wait until your glue dries completely before adding mascara.
Mascara. When it comes to a party, I say go bold and ALWAYS use black! (My favorite- In Extreme Dimension Lash by MAC).
Fill in those brows. This is a step that cannot be forgotten. It frames your face and adds definition where its needed. There are several ways to fill them in. Liners, shadows, gel, whatever your preference, just do it!
If you are one that has dry or textured lips, make sure to use a primer. This will help make the color go on smoother, feel softer, and will always make color last longer.
Lipstick- If you decide to do a more neutral lip, make sure to get a color that is at least 1-2 shades darker that your natural lip color. If you go too pale, you might appear washed out in photos. (Note: you can always add a lighter ‘gloss’ in the center of the lip.)If you decide to go with a bold lip, I suggest using a lip brush to apply your color. This helps with precision. You can also add layers, finding the intensity that you are most comfortable with.
Liner- I prefer lining my lips after applying the lipstick. It allows the colors to blend a bit easier. By using a shade darker than the lipstick, it will help create more of a pout.
Gloss- I love glossy lips! Just note, it might break down the lipstick a little faster, so make sure to check if you are needing a touchup throughout the event.
In general, it is a good idea to keep your lip products close by. They are nice and small, so it should be convenient incase touchups are needed.
After your makeup is complete, I suggest using a setting spray to help increase wear-time. (My favorite- All Nighter (for normal skin) and De-Slick (for more oily skin) by Urban Decay). Spritz all over your face and just let it dry on its own. No need to pat it into skin.
Alright gorgeous! Its time to go show off your new look and makeup skills!