I am always asked "How much should I spend on makeup? and "What makeup should I invest in?". Let me rephrase the question: "Which makeup is worth investing in and which isn't?"
Let's start by listing the makeup that should be found in your makeup bag, no matter if you wear makeup on an everyday basis or just once in a while:
• Powder (loose)
• Eye liner
• Lash curler
• Eye shadows – powder or cream
• Blush – powder or cream
Here's my Invest / Don't Invest / Don't Go Crazy (Don’t spend a lot of money) list. This list does not discuss how to apply the products, just the "economics" behind them.
Facial cream Don't Go Crazy
A good day cream, absorbed into your skin before you apply makeup, ensures that the makeup will sit better on your skin. You can buy facial creams either from a well-known company and or a generic brand found in one of those cheap makeup chain stores. Try different creams and see how they feel on your face. Don't be tempted by pretty packaging and large or pretty jars. READ the label to compare the actual quantity of cream in the container, looks as always are deceiving. A good rule of thumb is: the more it smells like medicine, the less perfume additives and the purer the cream.
This is the base for all your makeup. There are basically two kinds of foundations: liquid and solid. Liquid foundation is kind to all skin types, while the solid version is not recommended for older skin, as it may dry and crack and build up in wrinkles. However, as a rule solid foundation is used for all photography opportunities, including weddings, as it is the most long-lasting. For the usual 8 hour days, liquid foundation is more than acceptable. Your foundation should be of a high quality and a well blended consistency that doesn't separate or dry out over time. A high-quality foundation should last you anywhere between 6 months to a year, depending on how often you wear it and how much you apply each time. Foundation should be matched to your skin tone by a professional makeup artist.
Concealer (created to be worn around the eye area, to conceal dark circles, etc.), like foundation, must be of a high quality and a well blended consistency that doesn't separate or dry out over time. A good foundation should last you anywhere between 6 months to a year or more depending on how often you wear it. Unlike foundation, concealer is NOT A MUST in your makeup bag. A good foundation can be used as a concealer. Concealer should be matched to your skin tone by a professional makeup artist.
Powder (loose) Don't Go Crazy
Loose powder is for young skin only. Powder is not kind to older women's skin. So don't go crazy: buy a good powder from a well-known company and not a generic brand found in one of those cheap makeup chain stores. Although there are only a limited number of powder colors, you should still have a professional makeup artist match the powder to your skin. Tip: in a jam, you can use – SPARINGLY - plain talc to minimize shine from the T area of the face (above the eyes and down the nose).
Mascara Don't Go Crazy
Mascara MUST be replaced once every 3 months. Why? First of all mascara dries up sooner or later. Secondly, the mascara tube is the perfect place (dark and warm) to grow bacteria that could cause eye infections. Remember, three months and the tube is in the garbage. As to the question of waterproof vs. non-waterproof: the jury is still out on this. I believe it is a matter of personal choice. Non-waterproof mascara is easier to remove and kinder on your lashes. So don't go crazy: buy a good mascara from a well-known company and not a generic brand found in one of those cheap makeup chain stores.
Eyeliner Invest / Don't Go Crazy
This is a tricky one. If you use eyeliner once in a while: just buy a good eyeliner from a well-known company and not a generic brand found in one of those cheap makeup chain stores. Get rid of the eyeliner every six months or so. If you wear eyeliner daily you can still get away with a reasonably priced one. However, if you use eyeliner daily and need it to last LONGER than the usual 6 hours or so, then you need to invest in a good pot of water-proof eyeliner and good brush.
Lash curler Invest
Buy a lash curler from a well-known company, it should have a good silicon insert. Many lash curlers have rubber inserts, these dry and crack and will inevitably pull out your lashes. Touch the inserts to feel the difference, if you can or ask a reputable makeup artist to recommend a brand-named eye lash curler. A good eye lash curler should last FOREVER.
Eye Shadow Invest
There are basically two kinds of eye shadows: cream and powder. Let's start with cream eye shadow: Cream shadow is not kind to older skin; it will eventually dry on the eye lid and form cracks and shows every wrinkle. Powder eye shadow is perfect for everyone. Powder eye shadow should feel soft to the touch, with an even, powdery consistency. When you rub your finger tip gently over the powder, you should be able to see the same shade of color on your finger as in the container. When you rub your finger tips together, the powder should feel smooth and leave a nice shade of color on your finger tips. Mineral shades have a more coarse consistency since they are made with a combination of color and crushed minerals. But they should still have an even consistency.
Blush Don't invest
There are basically two kinds of blush: cream and powder. Let's start with cream blush: Cream blush is harder to manage and should only be handled with a very light hand. Cream blush is great for photo opportunities, as it is very longer lasting. However, it is unforgiving and mistakes are hard to correct. Powder blush is perfect for everyone. Unless you are looking for a shimmer blush, which is only good used sparingly for photo opportunities and only on young skin, there is no reason to buy blush. I'll repeat that: There is no reason to buy a separate blush product. Use eye shadow. Yes, ladies you heard me correctly, eye shadow. What shades? Pinks and browns are good on nearly everyone, EXCEPT women with full faces and red heads. These lovely ladies should be a peach tone color.
Lipstick/gloss/pencil Don't invest
Lip treatment fashions, such as lipstick, gloss and pencils, change according to style trends, seasons and even the age of the woman and the shape of her lips. Don't invest in any of these. Buy them wherever you wish, even in the cheap makeup chain stores. Have a good selection of colors and treatments and change with the seasons and your mood. There are no hard and fast rules here: pinks are kinder on blondes; dark colors, such as eggplant, are wonderful on dark skin; but there are so many other factors such as creating a dramatic look, a natural look or a pale look. Play with colors and have fun. One good rule is using a lip pencil to create a outline around your lips, this keeps the color in and prevents it from blending into the skin around your lips. This is especially important for older skin.
On this blog, you will find articles on all aspects of makeup and makeup application. Some articles are already published; others will be published in the weeks to come. If there are makeup, wedding or hairstyling topics not yet covered or you would like to learn about a specific makeup topic, please contact me through this blog.