Saturday, September 4, 2010

Stana's Makeup — Part 4

In the previous installments of this series, I described prepping and shaving my face and the first half of my makeup application.

In my hurry to post the previous installment, I left out a step. Please refer to the update in the previous post so you won't miss anything.

In this installment, I will describe how I do my eyes, but before I begin, it is time to talk about tools.

I highly recommend using makeup brushes. The pros only use brushes. To achieve a professional look, you should use brushes, too, so throw away those foam applicators that came with your makeup and buy a good set of brushes (I bought mine from Avon).

While you are acquiring brushes, also buy a pencil sharpener to keep your makeup pencils sharp. (I use this one from Avon.) Always sharpen a pencil before using it to get the best results.

When I do my eyes and lips, I work from the top down (eyebrows, eyes, lips) so that any makeup that falls from the part I am working on will not land on a part of my face that I finished making-up.

My Eyebrows

Over time, I have thinned out my eyebrows to achieve a more feminine look. I used an Avon brow tweezer to remove all the strays above and below my eyebrows. (Avon discontinued the tweezer I use, but you can find eyebrow tweezers in the cosmetic department of any store.) Then I carefully removed more brow hair to achieve a feminine arch. This is tricky business, so take your time and go back and forth between your left and right brows so that they will look alike.

By the way, I found an excellent book on the subject titled Beautiful Brows: The Ultimate Guide to Styling, Shaping, and Maintaining Your Eyebrows by Nancy Parker and Nancy Kalish. You might want to consult that book before your tweezing gets out of hand!

I also use an Avon Electronic Brow Trimmer to trim the lengths of my brow hairs. (Avon also discontinued this product, but similar trimmers are for sale elsewhere.) Since some brow hairs grow back and brow hairs I did not tweeze keep on growing, I use the trimmer and tweezer regularly to maintain my eyebrows.

To color and define my brows, I use Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil (Ultimate Brown is my color). Using the brush on the other end of the pencil, I comb out my brow hairs so they are lined up horizontally and pointing away from my nose.

Next, I sharpen the pencil to a very fine point and draw a line that defines the upper edge of my eyebrow. I start drawing the line above the inner corner of my eye (point A in the accompanying figure), angling upwards to the peak of the arch which is above the outer edge of the pupil of my eye (point B), then drawing the brow out to a point that lines up with my nose and the outer corner of my eye (point C). All the while I draw the line as close as possible to my existing brow hair.

After I define the tops of my eyebrows, I use the pencil to fill in the area below the line where the hair is thin or missing. Then I use the brush on the other end of the pencil to brush and even out the color I just applied.

My Eyes

I am always playing around with different techniques and colors to do my eyes. In order to play this way, I purchased a large collection of colors that allows me to try various color combinations.

Some colors suit me that may not suit you and vice versa; you will have to experiment to see what looks best on you. (By the way, my eye color is green.) Whatever colors you choose, be sure to use a different brush for each color you apply.

1) With a wide eyeshadow brush, I apply a very light beige shade of eye color to my lids, the crease of my eye, and the area below my brows.

2) I use an eyeliner brush to line my eyes by applying a very dark color (black or dark brown) along the upper and lower lash lines of each eye as close to the base of my lashes as possible.

Some girls prefer to use an eyeliner pencil, which is my second choice, and some girls prefer a liquid liner, which is my last choice. I prefer using a brush with a powder eye color because it achieves the look I desire — it defines my eyes, but it does so subtly.

3) After lining my eyes, I use a Q-tip to smudge the lines below my lower lashes to make the liner look even more subtle.

4) With a narrow eyeshadow brush, I apply a darker color (medium brown or violet, in my case) to the crease of my eye. I pick up the eye color with my brush, dab the center of the crease with the color, then I go back and forth with the brush using a windshield wiper-like motion to apply and blend the color throughout the crease.

5) You can use the same color or a darker color (dark brown or dark violet, in my case) to finish the eye shadowing. I pick up the eye color with my brush, dab the outer corners of my lids with the color to cover about one-third of the lids, then I sweep the color out towards my ears. I also blend the color towards the center of my lids so there is a gradual color change and no clear line of demarcation.

6) I reuse these same brushes and colors to blend, blend, and blend some more.

7) I curl my eyelashes with an eyelash curler, clamping the upper lashes of each eye for about 30 seconds each.

8) I use a metallic eyelash comb to separate all my lashes.

9) I apply black mascara. I have used many different mascaras over the years; some are better than others and I am always looking for something even better. Recently I received a free sample of Lancome Hypnose Drama Instant Full Body Volume Mascara. I like it a lot and it is my current mascara of choice.

When I remove the mascara wand from its container, there is usually a glob of mascara on the end of the brush. That glob can really mess things up, so either remove it with a tissue, or put the glob back into the container from whence it came.

I do my upper lashes, both tops and bottoms, by bringing the wand close to the base of my lashes, then sweeping the wand out while wiggling it slightly back and forth to get better lash coverage with the mascara. With my bottom lashes, I just do the tops of the lashes by touching the tip of the wand to the lashes.

10) I wait a few minutes for the mascara to dry, then I use the metallic eyelash brush to separate any lashes that are stuck together and to remove any globs of mascara.

11) I repeat the previous two steps at least once, usually twice and occasionally thrice.

12) I use a Q-tip to clean up any stray eye makeup that may have gone where no eye makeup should go.

In the final installment, I will describe how I do my lips and the final steps to achieve and maintain my "feminine best" look.

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