You look good. It has to be true – your friends tell you so all the time. But their completely unreliable opinion aside, who’s to say that you couldn’t look even better?
You look good. It has to be true – your
friends tell you so all the time. But their completely unreliable opinion
aside, who’s to say that you couldn’t look even better?
There are many ways
to improve your “look.” You can get a new dress, new shoes, new nose,
lose weight, gain weight, or visit a monk
and get your soul cleansed. But these methods all involve time, money, or
delayed gratification. You want to look prettier now, and for free, dammit!
Well, that may be a tad unrealistic, but there is a way to improve your general
appearance in a couple of minutes and at a relatively low cost: Improve the way
you slap on that makeup.
What suits you best
Part of the fun of putting on makeup is
mixing and matching various colors and shades for different looks and effects.
But it’s important that when you choose a color, it must suit your skin type,
skin color, and eye color. If you have dark skin tones, bright red blush won’t
blend into your skin, no matter how hard you try to rub it in. And if you’re
pale, black eye shadow won’t win you any admirers – instead, people will be
asking you who won the fight (or maybe they’ll just think you’re goth). So be
realistic and keep reminding yourself that certain colors and ingredients look
better in their packaging and on other people.
Facial makeup (concealer, foundation, and powder) was invented to make your skin look flawless. The chart below explains what kind of facial makeup you need:
|Dry ||Liquid or Cream |
|Normal to Dry ||Liquid or Cream |
|Normal to Oily ||Oil-free liquid or Powder |
|Oily ||Oil-free liquid with a matte finish |
|Combination ||Liquid, Cream, or Powder (whatever balances your |
When picking out a
facial makeup, you have no choice: you have to get the color that’s closest to
your own skin color. If you fail to obey this rule, you’ll end up looking as if
you got a really weird tan, or
like a female Michael Jackson (neither of which is desirable). Don’t test
facial makeup on your hand or arm; apply it to your neck or face for a more accurate
Also known as cover stick, goes under foundation and is used for spot
treatments. It’s great at hiding baggy eyes, pimples, and other blemishes. It
comes in liquid bottles and tubes (which are thinner and good for drier skin),
and sticks and compacts (which are thicker and good for oilier skin). Choose a
concealer that is slightly lighter than your regular skin color – the
foundation that you apply over it will even it out.
Foundation goes on all over your face to make it looks uniform and smooth.
It comes in three types: liquid, cream, and powder. Make sure that your
foundation is oil-based for dry skin, oil-free for oily skin, and
water-based for combination skin.
Powder can be applied over foundation to help “set” it, but its
main purpose is to help keep your face looking fresh as the day wears on.
For that reason, powder usually goes in portable, easy-to-use packaging.
While lots of people like loose powder, we prefer pressed powder – it’s just neater and it seems to last longer.
Eye makeup (eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara)
is arguably the most fun type of makeup. With a quick sweep of a sponge-tipped
applicator or cute little brush, you can go from girl-next-door innocent to
positively trampy. Here’s a handy little chart to help you figure out what
colors would best suit your eye color:
eyes: Shades of slate blue, gray, and plum
will help brown eyes stand out.
eyes: Shades of pink, salmon, mauve, and
brownish-pink will help green eyes look even greener.
eyes: Shades of brown, camel, and taupe will
help blue eyes appear even bluer.
Eyeliner belongs on the base of your lids, and its purpose is to enhance
the size and shape of your eyes. Some people also like to line the bottom
of their eyes, which really has a dramatic effect. Eyeliner comes in many
different colors and forms, including pencil and powder (ideal for a
“natural” look), and cake and liquid (for a more
Eyeshadow goes on each entire lid and sometimes in the space between your
lids and your eyebrows. It comes in a variety of colors and also several
different forms, including cream (good for dry skin), matte (good for oily
skin), and pencil (good for all types of skin).
Mascara only used to be available in black, but nowadays you can find it
in all sorts of colors. So while black mascara was used for the sole
purpose of making your eyelashes stand out without calling attention to
the fact that you have mascara on, colored mascara is now used to make a
bold statement. If you choose a colored mascara, we recommend that you
stick to darker colors like navy blue or plum, as opposed to light blue or
green. The latter is just too bizarre and unnatural for our tastes.
Mascara comes in a wand with a tube; there are straight wands, and there
are curved wands. The shape of the wand is a matter of preference so you
have our permission to experiment with both.
Experts argue over
whether you should apply lipstick or lipliner first, but you should just try it
both ways and see what turns out better on you. The makeup masters all agree on
this fact though: Your lipstick and lipliner should match and blend together.
Never apply a liner that’s darker to your lipstick in an effort to make the
liner stand out. That was an awful, awful ’90s fad, and everyone was glad to
see it pass.
Even those who don’t usually wear makeup have been known to slap on some
lipstick from time to time. There’s gloss lipstick (which comes in a little
pot or tube with a wand), and frost, matte, and cream lipsticks (which
come in the famous lipstick stick). Try out all the different kinds of
lipsticks to find out the ones you are most comfortable wearing (they are
all quite different in texture). If you don’t have any money, buy a cherry
popsicle and give it a suck before going out the door (if you like that
“6-year-old returning from camp” look).
Lipliner goes around the perimeter of your lips and is used to define them
and keep lipstick in place. (Lipstick clings to the lipliner and is
therefore less likely to rub off or “bleed”). Lipliners
typically come in pencil form.
Blush should go on after all of your other
makeup because it is the final touch and should match the rest of your makeup,
not vice versa. Choose a blush color that resembles the color on your cheeks
after you’ve exercised. Anything darker than that will look fake. Blush is the
one thing you should not have to blend, because if you do, it means it’s too
bright for your skin. Blush comes in powder and gel/cream forms. Powder is
easiest for beginners to use because it’s easy to brush on and it doesn’t get
streaky. Gel or cream makes good daywear because it gives off a fresh and dewy
Lipstick and lipliner
- Condition your lips with lip balm (avoid chapstick and other waxy substances) and let it fully absorb before applying color on your lips.
- Now you can choose to either apply the liner along the natural shape of your lips first, then fill in the rest of your lips with lipstick, or applying the lipstick first, then topping it off with liner. If you have a problem with getting the liner to blend with the lipstick, apply the lipstick first. When lining your lips, start at one corner of your lower lip and work your way towards the center. Use short, even strokes and never line directly onto your skin – always have the line touching the edge of your lips. Then line your top lip, concentrating on the small arches at the center of your upper lip, making sure they’re defined but not too pointy and freaky-looking.
- Use a lip brush or your pinky finger to blend lipstick and lipliner together. You should not be able to pinpoint where the two connect. Blending will also help keep the color on your lips longer.
- “Blot” your lips by lightly clamping them down on tissue and releasing immediately.
- Another tip to keep you from “eating” all your lipstick is alternately applying color and blotting it. This will create layers of color. (But don’t apply more than three layers or your lips will look frighteningly thick.)
Never forget the purpose of applying blush; many girls mess up on blush application because they think that redder is better – not so. Redder actually means faker, and the point of putting on blush is to look as if you are blushing, not like you’re wearing blush. So always aim for a healthy, vibrant glow, not clown cheeks. If you have a hard time telling the two apart, consult a friend before making a public appearance.
- Powder blush generally comes in small compact cases with little brushes. We recommend that you invest in a large and poofy brush with bristles at least an inch long. The effect is a more natural look.
- With blush application, you have two options: Daywear and nightwear. Daywear looks more natural, and you would apply the blush directly on the “apples” of your cheeks (that’s the balled up part of your cheeks when you give a big, cheesy smile). Nightwear is more dramatic, and it requires sweeping the blush along the bottom of your apples, towards your temples.
- With both powder and gel/cream blush, one thin layer is usually enough. (Remember: Dlowns frighten people.) At night, you have our permission to apply a second (very thin) layer for a more dramatic look. No more than that!
- Here’s a fun tip: for subtly sparkly cheeks, swipe a thin layer of shiny powdered pink eyeshadow over your powder blush. (Don’t try this with gel/cream blush or it will come out streaky.)
Remove the makeup
It’s tempting to just come home and zonk out
on the couch, but we’re warning you: Don’t ever go to bed without taking off
all your makeup first. You’ll be sorry when you wake up to discover a smeared
and pimply version of the goddess you were the night before (and a smeared
makeup is quick and easy. Here’s how to do a thorough job of it:
- Get all your hair out of your face with a headband or ponytail holder, popularly known as “scrunchee”.
- Start by removing your eye makeup with a cotton ball that’s been moistened with eye makeup remover formula. Rub each eyelid gently until all the color is gone. Don’t use regular makeup remover on your eyes because it might be too harsh. Similarly, don’t use eye makeup remover on the rest of your skin because it might cause you to break out.
- Splash your face with lukewarm water and lather on a facial cleanser that’s meant to remove makeup. Concentrate on areas where you had makeup on, and add water if necessary.
- Spend at least a minute lathering the facial cleanser on your skin before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Then pat your face dry and apply a moisturizer.
After that, go to
bed, get some rest, wake up, and start the whole damn thing all over again. And
while you’re going through the motions, don’t forget to smile cutely and sing
an upbeat rendition of “I Enjoy Being a Girl!”