3/12/2007

Naturally Beautiful for Spring...Youth pt. 2 of 3

Time for makeup...but first, makeup primer.

You’ve worked hard to achieve the perfect base for your makeup, and using a makeup primer will help to ensure that your skin stays soft, smooth and protected all day. Try Bloom’s Makeup Base $18; its gentle formulation is both light and protective and will give your foundation a good base on which to sit (notice I said ‘sit’ and not ‘settle’ because the last thing you want is your makeup settling into your pores and wreaking havoc on your skin). Plus, most primers contain silicones that help to absorb excess oil on the surface of your skin. The secret to applying primer is using as little as possible (think pea-sized amount or less) and just skimming the surface of your skin—do not rub it in.

Next comes foundation. Makeup foundation can be tricky, and makeup made-easy is my favorite kind of makeup. Many wonderful (and easy-to-apply), natural-looking mineral foundations are now available. Reasons to use (and love) mineral foundation are 1) because it’s applied with a brush, it tends to be far more hygienic than its liquid cousins and hence, far less likely to cause breakouts, 2) it contains health-promoting minerals like titanium dioxide and mica which impart protection, stability, silky texture and are naturally anti-bacterial, and 3) it offers controllable coverage so that you can achieve the perfect finish for your skin.

Important points to remember when choosing your mineral foundation are to look for one that is the right color (match the color on your jawline—it should blend perfectly with own your natural skin color, with perhaps just a hint of yellow to neutralize any redness) and one that does not contain talc, aka talcum powder, which can settle into your pores, encourage the growth of icky bacteria, cause breakouts and actually enlarge the size of your pores over time—who needs that?! Recommended: Splash Sheer Mineral Powder is the line's best selling product. Contains SPF15. Covers and protects your face at one brush. $25

Applying mineral foundation to achieve the perfect finish requires just a little practice, and you know what they say…practice makes perfect! First, shake just a little bit of the powder into lid of the container. Next, lightly rub a medium-sized face brush or Kabuki brush into the powder and tap off the excess powder into the container. You should see almost no product left on the brush. Now, starting with your cheeks, use light, circular strokes to ‘buff’ the powder onto your face. Do not worry about covering dark circles, blemishes or red spots during this step. Just buff a layer or two of mineral powder onto your skin to even out the overall color and tone of your skin. The use of very little powder, plus the small, circular buffing is what will create amazingly smooth-looking, pore-free skin, so follow these instructions implicitly!

Next comes the ‘concealing’ step. Using a smaller brush--a medium eye shadow brush works perfectly—dip the bristles into the mineral powder. Again, tap of the excess. Now buff out any circles under your eyes and any red spots or blemishes on your face—remember to use a light touch and keep the brush moving. Repeat this step as necessary to ‘erase’ any imperfections around your nose and on your chin and cheeks. You may need to switch to a smaller brush to hide smaller blemishes and freckles.

Now that you have neutralized the color of your face and achieved a soft, natural base, it’s time to add definition and healthy color. Always apply makeup, in particular powdered colors, from the top down. The reason is that many powdered colors, like eye shadow, brow powders and even some eye liners tend to ‘tumble’ down onto your cheeks. You will want to sweep these little flecks of color away, and if you’ve already applied blush or highlighter to your cheeks, you’ll end up having to reapply, resulting in a cake-y, heavy look that is decidedly unnatural—and a Big No-No.

Enhancing your eyebrows, even just a little, can have an amazing and dramatic affect on your entire face--in a very positive way, no less!. Brows frame the face, just like your picture frame frames your favorite artwork...and without the frame, it just ain't right!

Brow powders are best in achieving the 'natural look' because of the soft definition they impart. And the best brow powder kit is NYC’s Eyebrow Kit. The colors are very natural and the quality is remarkable; plus the price is incredibly reasonable. Select the correct color kit to enhance your natural eyebrow and hair color. NYX Eyebrow Kit--Long lasting eyebrow cake powder has two shades to blend and the perfect natural eyebrow. To fill and define eyebrows, apply with slanted eyebrow brush and then shape and style with round brush, aka spoolie-- Start by brushing your brows upward and outward, using either a brow brush or ‘spoolie’ like the one you’ll find in NYC’s Eyebrow Kit. Next, using a stiff-bristled angled brush (there’s one included in NYC’s Eyebrow Kit!), tap the end of the bristles in the lighter of the two shades and, using short, light strokes, brush the color into the end of your brows closest to your nose. $4

To maintain the most natural look as possible, do not brush the brow color all the way to the edge of your brow. Every few seconds, stand back and survey your results, checking the color intensity and overall balance. If you need to deepen the color a little bit, use a little bit of the darker brow powder and brush lightly into your brows. Follow the natural shape of your brows as you apply. As a last step to ensure the color coverage is even, lightly brush through your brows with your brow brush or spoolie tool. Voila!

If you like to use eyeliner, now is the time to apply it. Just use a soft, smudgy color, like chocolate or dark gray, and apply it only to the top lash line, making sure to ‘hug’ the lash-line as you apply it.

Keeping with the natural, healthy look we want to achieve, sweep a layer of eyeshadow in a color one shade lighter than your eyelids over the entire lid area. Pick a shadow with a hint of shimmer if you like…yes, just a hint (no glitter, please). The Amuse makeup line features some beautiful shadows in a range of ‘natural’ skin-tone colors, from pearly white and shimmery pink to soft olive and rich bronze. $22