Sunday, November 14, 2010

Make up snobbery

Have any of you ever walked up to a make up counter to sample some products, only to be looked down at by the salesperson that staffs the counter? Have you ever felt intimidated by their attitude towards you? Do you feel like they're mocking you behind your back when you're standing at the make-up counter?

You're not alone.

I don't understand why some (not all, mind you) of the women who work a high end make up counters act like they're the authority of what is cool and what is not. They seem to radiate a certain know-it-all attitude; before I was even into make-up the way I am now, I used to dress as casually as possible; I wore khakis, running shoes and a fitted shirt. I had a backpack with me for lecture materials, and I didn't even bother with lip balm. When I walked into the department store dressed like this, approaching the make up counter, I could almost read their faces.

Sure, some ladies are nice and they don't bother you at all, but the snooty ones who work behind high end brand counters react to me like I'm a homeless person or something.

Things changed when I started to dress differently and started to care a bit more about my appearances. I actually felt confident walking into a department store; the snooty make up girls were actually friendly towards me.

Odd, yes?

Then when I wanted to purchase an item, I was corrected about how to pronounce the name of a certain eyeshadow. This was at a MAC counter at Ballantynes; the eyeshadow I wanted was Plumage. Plumage as in a peacock's plumes; this is pronounced ploom.age. Then she corrected me with this know-it-all attitude and said "Oh, you mean Plummage?" I just nodded and smiled.

I still don't understand why some girls who work the make up counter act like they're so fantastic and look down on others who have no make-up knowledge. Art is about encouragement, and make up should empower us to feel confident and beautiful. Women who act like snobs towards others just because they're in the know with the beauty and cosmetics industry may look pretty, but their attitude casts an ugly shadow over themselves.

And that is why I started this blog; to get people to feel at ease with make up, to learn that it's OK to make mistakes, and to let you know that we're all still learning. It's OK to feel like you're an outcast or that you're not pretty enough; I know how that is, and I feel that way everyday.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Liquid eye liners for newbies

I remember trying to line the top lash line of my eye for the first time with a felt pen liner; it was a tragedy. It looked like someone took a Sharpie pen and drunkenly scribbled on my eyelid.

What it looked like... RAGE!

Lining your top lid can be very tricky.

But there is only one way you can learn to do it right...

PRACTICE. Get a drugstore liner and practice lining your top lash line. It's what I did; I wanted so badly to be able to line my top lash line, but my hands were shaky as the recent earthquakes here in Christchurch.

Here's a video by MakeUpGeek that shows how you can line your eyes using different products.

If you still feel that you can't do it with wet products, try using an angled brush and dark eyeshadow; dry products are more forgiving.

Keep practising. After a while, you'll get a hang of things, I promise. I, too, am a makeup newbie, and I practised.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Who do YOU wear YOUR make up for?

This is a question that I think every person out there who indulges in make up should ask themselves. Who are you wearing it for?

Personally, I wear make up to make myself feel better. I don't wear make up to impress anyone. Sure, I wear make up to look nice, and I wear it to beautify myself so that I don't look drab. But I don't wear make up so that I can impress anyone.

I adapt Lady Gaga's ethos; look the way you feel. I can't wear the clothes she wears, but I can at least wear make up the way I feel. Of course, you have to consider the occasion you're wearing the look to, but that just adds to the challenge of creating a look that suits your mood.

Wear make up for yourselves, guys and gals; just as you would wear what you want because you feel like it, and not because everyone else is doing it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What products do I use for contours and highlights?

There is no IT product, really. It's just what you find that you think will work for your skin tone.

For me, I use this light shimmery eyeshadow for my highlight, and a dark taupe eyeshadow for my contour.

Here are swatches of both colours; I've pressed them on very strongly so that you can see them.
The trick when applying these colours onto your face is to gently pat your brush onto the pressed colour, and to slowly build up the product. Don't scrub it on! You'll end up looking like an accident at the make up counter. (Blame the badger with a gun.)

You can use the eyeshadows as eyeshadows as well, yes. A bronzer can be used as a contour, but if you want to use something that has a more similar colour to your skin, perhaps a singular eyeshadow that is a darker version of your skin would do well.

Chi Chi singular eyeshadow in Centrefold
Jordana single eyeshadow in Dark Coffee

Brown and black eyeshadows - two looks!

Sorry for the lack of posts... but we were hit with an earthquake on the 4th of September. Many BAAAWs.

Anyway, today I will be showing you guys how to wear browns and monochrome colours - on each eye. So I will be wearing two looks - AT THE SAME TIME!

These are my Nyx eyeshadow trios; the one on the left is browns and the one on the right is the monochromatic colours.

Firstly... will need concealer and foundation. I am using Maybelline's Mineral Power products.

And then, with an eyeshadow brush,
pat on the middle colour (or any medium colours) onto your lid. As you can see, my right eye has grey and my left eye has taupe, which almost blends into my skin. :P

With a clean brush...
...apply the lightest colour onto your brow bone. You can use any bright shimmer for this purpose.

Then with a crease brush (not shown) blend the darkest colours into the crease...

and blend slightly upwards towards the brow bone. Also, pat some of the dark colour on the lower lash line.

Then you'll need matching eye pencils - I'm using a brown for the brown eye, and a black for the monochrome eye. As you can see, my black pencil is well loved. :D

Here is what they should look like so far.

Apply black mascara for the monochrome eye, or brown mascara for the brown eye. It doesn't really matter, really, because it's not exactly discernible whether if your mascara is brown or black, but I thought I'd keep it consistent.

Here is the monochromatic eyeshadow look...

...and the brown eyeshadow look.

Stick on your blush and contour, and a soft pink lipstick, and you're ready to go.

Yeah, not the greatest post, but I've been a bit rattled lately. Many aftershocks.

Products used:
Nyx black/grey/white and brown/taupe/nude trio
Maybelline Mineral Power powder foundation in Pure Beige
Maybelline Mineral Power concealer in Pure Beige 2-4
The Body Shop black kohl pencil
Chi Chi eye pencil in Wicked
Maybelline Colossal mascara in Glam Black and Glam Brown
miscellaneous blush and taupe eyeshadow as contour

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sorry for the lack of posts!

Sorry for the lack of posts! I've been swamped with reading material from uni.

Instead, I will write a short post about why you shouldn't stick on too much make up.

I've seen many people with over bronzed face and over caked foundations. I know how it feels facing a selection of make up, loving every product that you see. But you can't pick everything and wear it all!

If you have trouble about what you want to wear out, think of what particular product you'd like to rock.

For example, I've been into the red lips look lately. I've been into my NYX MegaShine Lip Gloss in perfect red.

And as you know, you can't wear heavy eye colour AND heavy lips. So instead, I rocked the gloss. The trick with red lips is neutral everything else, strong lip colour and a tonne of mascara.

And maybe a bit of blush and a hint of contour.

I know this sounds like a repeat of my previous post, but I'm just saying, less is more. Keep that in mind, girls!

Otherwise, you'll look like...

MIMI~! I love Mimi but too much eye and lip make up is OVERWHELMING!

I'll post another tutorial soon... if my reading eases up.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Red lips tutorial - Newbies ahoy!

Hello, make up newbies! I'm sorry for the delays in posts, but I've been a bit busy lately.

Anyway, today I'll be showing you how you can achieve the red lip look without looking like a street walker.

I've seen many girls out there who wear too much of everything. Some have piled on dark eyeshadow with bronzed to death cheeks and electric red lips; this isn't a good look gals. Here's a motto you must always remember when applying your make up (and dressing up, even!)

"Less is more."

In order to look your best, you can only play up one feature of your face at a time. Eyes or lips; if you wear light eyeshadow, you might be able to get away with a bright lipstick. If you wear loud eyeshadow, loud lips can look a bit too much; otherwise you'll look like you were a casualty at the paint factory....

Right! Let's begin, shall we?

Step 1: Concealer! if you have dark under-eye circles like me, the concealer is your best friend. Take it with you if you need to, even! Here, I've applied the concealer under my eyes and around my nose and mouth.

Step 2: Mineral foundation. You can use liquid foundation if you want, but this is a beginner step for those with little experience. I myself find that Maybelline's Mineral Power Powder Foundations are easy to use. I use my Body Shop kabuki brush to blend it in.

Don't forget the neck area! I've seen girls with perfect foundations on their face, but the harsh edges (especially with liquid foundation) around the jawline gives it all away. Not a good look!

Step 3: Smile till your cheeks round up; this is where you apply your blusher. Slowly build it up, and fade it back to your hairline.

Step 4: In order to contour your face, squish your blush brush flat. If you have a flat brush, that would work too... :P

Make a duckface; GOD, I hate that face, but it's the best way to figure out where your contouring should be. The sunken bits of your cheeks are where the contour colours should go. I start from the hairline towards the center of the cheek. Use a bronzer for this.

Step 5: Mascara! Loads of mascara. Volumizing and lengthening mascara works best with the red lip look. If you have trouble with applying mascara (having it clump up or not evenly applying it, or that your lashes are too short for that particular brush) place a card between your skin and lashes, and apply your mascara from the base of the lashes, wiggling the wand from side to side.

Step 6: Lipstick time!

For best results, line your lips with a lip liner. I you have a lipliner that matches your lipstick closest, that would be best. but I only have neutral, so that'll have to do. Just make sure that the lipstick is blended in nicely with the lipliner.

The purpose of the lipliner is to prevent the lipstick from seeping into the fine lines around your mouth, which ruins the look.

For best results, you should use a make-up brush as it provides you with better control over the spreading of the product.

Voila! Remember gals, less is more!

Products used:
Maybelline's Mineral Power Concealer in Medium Beige 2-4
Maybelline's Mineral Power Powder Foundation in Pure Beige 2
Make up sponge - available in packs of 20 at pharmacies
Designer Brands blush in Berry
Thin Lizzy's 6-in-1 powder compact, Light (bronzer)
NYX Doll Eye Mascara - Lengthening
NYX Lipliner in Neutral
Designer Brands Matte Lipstick in Lady in Red
Ecotools Blush Brush
Body Shop Kabuki brush

Sunday, May 30, 2010

First make-up tutorial! Concealers make all the difference!

Let's begin our journey into the world of make-up with an introduction to the humble concealer.

The concealer I use is Maybelline's Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer.
I took this photo from their website... :P

My skin tone would be in the medium range, I think, and I use the medium beige 2-4 concealer.

To demonstrate how much a difference concealers make when applied, I'll post a photo of myself before, during, and after application of the product.

This is a photo of me before wearing any concealer. Notice how I have an uneven skin tone; I have dark patches around my mouth and under my eyes. And yes, I have a messy wall. I stack boxes on top of my book shelf. It's a small room, what do you want?!

I apply my concealer in common problem areas; under my eyes and on the eyelid (which can help make eyeshadows last longer,) around my nose, and around my mouth. To blend the product in, I use an applicator sponge.

Voila! See how big a difference that is?

You can apply concealers onto spots on your face, and also to hide zits! Just make sure that they don't clog your pores. Look for products that don't contain fragrance, talc or oil. If you want to smell nice, put on perfume; your face shouldn't reek of product fragrance.

Maybelline claims that their products don't clog pores and that they last all day. Personally, I find that to be very true. I break out easily, but as I avoid oily products, I've managed to keep the zits at bay.

So, newbies, this is where you should begin. Step 1 would be to find a concealer that suits you. Match is as closely as you can to your skin tone.

Alright, noobs, I hope this is helpful. I'll try to keep the posts coming.

Much love and good luck,
SharK the Make-Up Noob


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Make-up for beginners - INTRO

Hi, and welcome to my blog. The aim of this blog is to inspire others who are curious about make-up but are too intimidated by the prospect of failure.

Fear not!

I'm here to tell you that I too was once intimidated by make-up. I knew nothing about what I needed, how to apply make-up, and what looks I should wear to certain occasions.

The first thing all make-up noobs need to know is that you don't need to have luxury brand items to look great. You can use drug store brands like Maybelline and Cover Girl to achieve your desired looks.

Here is a list of items that all make-up newbies should begin with;

You should start out with (top to bottom, left to right) black mascara, concealer, tinted lip gloss, brown and/or black eyeliner, make-up sponges, powder foundation, and a powder foundation brush.

  • The mascara that I have in the photo is from NYX; this one is for length. If you have short lashes, get one that adds length. The ones from Maybelline such as The Colossal Volume Express mascara is great for adding volume and length.
  • I am a fan of the Maybelline's Mineral Power range, and I regularly use the Mineral Power concealer. Match it to your skin tone. You can use concealers to conceal blemishes, redness, zits, or in my case, dark under eye circles.
  • Lip gloss is apparently one of the most popular make-up item. I have this one from Australis, which is also one of my favourite brands. You can carry it with you for reapplication.
  • Eyeliners are great for creating smoky eyes. I have the brown one from NYX, and the black one from Lancome (which my mum bought for me :P.)
  • The make-up sponge is used to blend the concealer onto the skin. You can use your fingers if you wish, but I use the sponge because I find that it spreads the product around nicely.
  • Maybeline's Mineral Power Powder Foundation is great; it doesn't clog my pores, and it's easy to use. Match it to your skin tone as closely as you can, otherwise you'll end up looking either too tanned in the face or too pale!
  • The kabuki brush came with the powder foundation; it's not that great of a brush, but it does the job, kinda.

(Top to bottom, left to right.)

  • The blusher that I have here is from Jordana; it's a dollar store brand from the USA, and I love it because it's very pigmented. Other brands such as Maybelline and Designer Brands (an Australian brand, I think) have great blushers that are affordable.
  • The liquid eyeliner that I have is Fabuliner from Jordana; it's easy to use, and easy to remove as well. Beware though, make-up newbies, liquid eyeliner takes a lot of patience and a lot of practice. Do not give up. Keep practising, and don't let failure hamper you.
  • A crease brush is great for getting eyeshadow into your crease and under your eyes.
  • This blush brush is from Eco Tools; they're made of bamboo, which is a sustainable material, and the ferrule is made from recycled aluminium. So is the eyeshadow brush; we'll be using this a lot later on. Another thing that I love about Eco Tools is that the bristles are made of synthetic materials; they're cruelty free!
  • The eyeshadow quad that I have there is from Lancome; I bought it offline for cheap, maybe about NZ$16. You don't need branded items, remember. Covergirl has some very nice quads that I think make-up newbies should check out.
  • A bronzer from Thin Lizzy's! Bronzers are great for adding colour to your face. Sometimes, you can use them as a blush as well, and also as an eyeshadow!
  • The big kabuki brush in the photo is optional; it's from The Body Shop. The bristles are synthetic as well. I love this brush because it allows me to apply powder to my face evenly, and I can build the powder up.
Don't be discouraged, make-up newbies. You don't have to buy all these in one go. Pick them up one at a time, or in pairs (eyeshadow quad and eyeshadow brush, blusher and blush brush, etc....)

There are a lot of make-up tutorials on youtube as well. You can learn to apply certain make-up items to your face by watching those videos.

I will be posting more in the future, and hopefully my next post will be tutorials for beginners.

Until then, thanks for reading.