Are there really golden rules to getting just the right look – day or night?
Yes, actually there are! While no one has every imaginable makeup answer for every woman, you should find that by following this advice, you get the look you so desire every time you walk out the door.
Here is the list of rules I recommend:
1. Avoid wearing too much
Makeup is meant to enhance your features, not bring negative attention to you. That’s what wearing too much makeup will do – attract all the wrong kind of attention and possibly earn you a few negative comments as well.
And the most common “overdone offenders” are:
- Eyeliner: dark, extremely thick eyeliner will make you look unfriendly or in a cross mood, and can even make you appear older.
- Mascara: too much mascara looks artifical, will make your lashes stick together, and ruin your look. The problem is compounded if worn with thick eyeliner and/or dark colored shadow. Don’t wear colored mascara, such as blue or green, during the day.
- Foundation: Make sure your foundation is harmonious with the color of your skin. Foundation is meant to protect your skin and even out your complexion, but never apply more than one coat, unless you really, really know what you’re doing. The magic word here is “blend”.
- Powder: The same holds true for powder – use a light hand. Be sure your foundation is completely set first, and then blend your powder with a sponge or puff so there are no obvious lines.
2. Get the lips just right
Apply lip liner to completely cover the lips, then apply your lipstick or gloss over it, and your color will stay on much longer. Make sure your lip liner doesn’t show, and that it as close in color to your lipstick as possible. Also, your lip color should match your skin tone, so be sure to wear cool colors if you have cool coloring and warm colors if you have warm coloring.
If you want to make your lips look smaller, keep your liner (slightly) on the inside of your lips. However, if you decide to make your lips look larger, going outside the natural outline of your lips is a big mistake. Instead, try a lip volumizing product to get the pouty look you want, and still look natural. Read my blog post Lip Volume
3. Keep where you’re going in mind
Wear makeup that is right for the occasion. If you are going to the beach you shouldn’t wear the same color or as
much makeup as you would if you were going out dancing. Also, when you are in daylight your makeup should be softer and more natural-looking than when you are out for the evening. Yes, you can glam it up when the event calls for it, but if you make that an every day happening, it will lose its special appeal.
For daywear, try soft, beige lip gloss that runs to pink (if you’re a cool lady) or peach (if you’re a warm lady). This is my go-to day color strategy and it always look good. For the rest of your face, try to keep it soft and almost-bare looking. Be sure to do an outdoor test, especially when using new colors.
For evening, add some drama and go red! Blue or purple reds for the cool toned ladies, and orange-y reds for the warm toned ladies. When you play up the lips, you can add drama to the eyes as well with darker liner or shadow (but not both), but keep the rest of your face “cleaner” looking by using only a small amount of soft cheek color, or go without it entirely if you’ve got a nice glow to your skin.
4. Don’t be afraid of makeup
Some women don’t wear makeup because they are not sure how to use it and are afraid of being overdone. If you are unsure, start will light colours in either a cool or warm shade.
Start slowly and add one product at a time. You can start with foundation, add mascara, blush or lipstick. If you are not used to wearing makeup, using a lot at first may end up in a disaster, so start slowly. The bottom line is a little is better than none. If you’re really unsure of yourself, head to the nearest department store cosmetic counter and book a makeover. They are usually free of charge.
5. Aim for an overall great look
When your makeup is completed it should look like you did a good job planning it. That means avoiding colors that clash. If you have dark skin and hair you will look better in darker shades; light colors will make you look washed out. If your hair and skin tone are light, light colours will look better on you. Dark makeup will make you look older and harsh.
For dry skin, make sure you not only apply a moisturizer formulated for your skin type, but that your foundation, blush, concealer and eyeshadows are also moisture-rich.
If you have oily skin, first use any acne or blemish treatment products, oil control moisturizer and foundation. Then be sure to wear loose powder, carrying pressed powder with you for touching up an areas that get too shiney.
When you’re trying to cover up blemishes, bruises or other skin imperfections, be sure to do an outdoor test in bright daylight before you go out anywhere. Once you are confident that you can conceal any skin problem with skill, you may not have to do this, but you should do a few tests first before you relax and get to that point. Trust me here when I say that you may be extremely glad you did.
6. Consider your hair color
Your hair color should also be in harmony with your complexion, and therefore harmonious with your choice of makeup shades. If you have dark hair and you want to add color, keep it close to the same shade. If you have light hair, use light colors. As you age your skin will lighten, so should your hair color. One last thing about hair color – if you do color your hair be sure you keep it up every month and don’t let the new growth show, as it will ruin even the most beautifully planned look.
7. Maintenance is a must
Keep makeup looking fresh all day by doing regular touch ups. Don’t allow your makeup to smear, fade or crease thoughout the work day or evening out. Carry a small compact with you, eyeliner, lipstick and powder. Not enough room in the evening bag? Buy the same small plastic containers used by salons and cosmetics companies to give out samples, which can be easily found online. They’re a very small investment, and will ensure that you’re never without your makeup touch-up supplies when you need them!
IMAGE – That’s me to the left, taken in December 2015, at the age of 58 (close to 59). I had applied makeup for what I would call a “professional look”. I was getting ready to submit a video job application so that was my aim. Yes, I got offered the job by the way, but I ended up turning it down.