As a kid, I loved playing with make-up and I've never grown out of it. My mom didn't like to wear make-up, but my aunt loved it and would often pass along her extras and cosmetic counter samples to me. In addition to the "Real Make-up", I amassed a sizable collection of Hello Kitty and Bonne Bell products designed for little girls. My interest expanded into skin care and hair products, including a very unfortunate pre-teen experiment with Sun-In hair lightener. I used three bottles in a week while with my grandparents, ruining my hair and necessitating a professional cut and color. Mom was not thrilled.
In high school, my interest spread to theatrical make-up. I took several classes and did make-up for several of our school productions. I even worked on a professional show at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater. I enjoyed it so much, that several times I thought that make-up artistry might be a good career move for me, but I've never acted on it.
Today, I did something that I have not done for years, I helped a friend with her make-up. My beautiful friend, does not wear make-up often, but had purchased some products from a Bobbi Brown counter at Nordstrom and wasn't sure how to use them. She admired my style of make-up application, a muted, natural look.
I love Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. The brand has an emphasis on natural beauty and the make-up wears well. It can be a bit pricy, but it lasts forever and is high quality. It's worth the price. Usually, the make-up artists at the counter are really helpful in showcasing the products and helping the customer choose the best fit for them as an individual. That being said, for someone who does not often wear make-up, it can be intimidating and requires a bit of practice. I had a lot of fun playing with make-up this afternoon, so I thought that I would share some tips that I shared with my friend.
I think the most important thing is having the right tools. You can have the best make-up in the world, but if you don't use the correct brushes, it won't look right. You can sometimes get away with using your fingers, but really brushes are essential. I always throw out the crappy little brushes that come with the set, especially the sponge applicators that come with some eye-shadows.
We focused on eye make-up today. I am not sure if this is the same advice that a professional would give, but this is what I passed on to my friend.
Always start with the eyes. as the first part of make-up application.
1. I curl my lashes first.
2. Eye primer next. I am currently using Bobbi Brown Long-wear cream Shadow in Bone. I use it to cover my entire lid and a little above. This really sets the shadow and keeps it from creasing. This is the only thing that I use my finger to apply.
3. I have small eyes, very small eyes and to combat this, I take my Bobbi Brown Champagne Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow and use an eye-shadow brush to sweep it from the inside corner of my eye, up to my brows. It acts as a highlighter.
4. I use Bobbi Brown Velvet Plus Metallic Eye Shadow for my lid, going extra heavy in the creases. I only use two shadows for every day use, but if I were going out, I might add a third contrast in the mix. I blend the shadows with an eye-shader brush.
5. Next is eye-liner. Due to my small eyes, I only use the liner on the top, making a line as close to my eyelashes as possible, avoiding a gap. I use an eyeliner brush with Bobbi Brown long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Espresso Ink. The gel eyeliner is the best I've used, as the color is vivid and it really stays on all day. Gel is a bit hard to work with and takes some practice. I don't work in a straight line, I dab it on thick and even out the line with the brush.
6. Mascara is last. I use Bobbi Brown Ultimate Party mascara in black. A tip that I learned at the make-up counter is to slightly close your eyes around the brush and twist as you lift the brush up. This gets the mascara further down on your lashes, making them appear fuller. This is the single most important tip to make eyes pop.
I always make a huge mess with the eye make-up and use Neutrogena Make-up Removal wipes to clean up prior to putting on foundation. This is the main reason to do foundation after eye make-up.
One big tip that I have is to stand firm when visiting a make-up counter. I feel that going to a make-up counter is key to buying the right product. You can get some great advice and play with the products, figuring out what is best for you. However, sometimes the salesperson can be pushy or maybe they are not great at their job. I spent four months selling clothes and I can admit that I am not a person that you want to seek out for fashion advice. I can't pull together an outfit to save my life, especially with current trends. So sometimes, you get this person at the make-up counter. Just because a person has a particular job, it doesn't mean that they know best.
I learned this lesson last August, at the Bobbi Brown counter in the Nordstrom at Glendale. I went in for lighter eyeshadow colors for summer and was convinced to buy a Shimmer Brick compact.
The sales person told me that this was the trend for summer, doubling bronzer on the cheeks and eyes. I wasn't in love with it, but she was so insistent that it looked good, so I bought it. I used it a few times and it found a home in the back of my drawer. It wasn't make-up that I was comfortable wearing, it didn't fit my personal style or make me feel my best.
My friend ended up with colors that she felt uncomfortable wearing. They were darker and heavier than she liked. It's not always easy, but when going to the counter, it's important to not buy something unless you are 100% sure. It's okay to say no to the salesperson and they do not automatically know what is best. It's important to go in with an open mind and willingness to try new things, but ultimately go with your gut.