Technique: Working around existing makeup

Not all of us have time to completely remove our makeup and start from scratch. Especially if you’re going from work to an event, you may wish to take shortcuts to deepen the existing makeup to suit dimmer night time lighting.

Photos are taken from the filthy/gorgeous looks and  Filthy/gorgeous tutorials.  I wanted to discuss the more general technique, though, so that you can easily redo your makeup without ending up with raccoon eyes, muddy blending, cakey  skin, etc.

To prevent fallout from adhering to the skin under your eye, use a blotting cloth to remove excess oil, and add a layer of translucent powder.  When you’re all done applying eyeshadow, just sweep the powder off with a blush or kabuki brush, LIGHTLY.

If you have dry skin, try to avoid redoing any powder foundations or blushes.  They may emphasize the dry patches.  Use cream blushes when you can, or use VERY thin layers of powder products.  A lot of time, I like to choose colors that  complement each other.  For instance, I’ll wear a bronzey blush during the daytime, taking care to contour with it.  For the night time, I’ll lightly add either a pinker blush over the apples of the cheeks themselves.  That way, the contouring peeps through with minimal touch ups, and my blush doesn’t look over blended and harsh.

If you’re applying mascara over a dry coat of mascara, try to pick creamier formula’s, with sparser brush bristles, to avoid clumping lashes to themselves.  I like Fresh Supernova mascara, Exceptionnel De Chanel mascara, and Cargo Lash Activator, for layering over other mascara’s.  Using a drier formula or denser bristles may cause lashes to clump, or look cakey.  Separate any clumps out with a clean mascara brush, or clean eyebrow brush.  Avoid doing ANYTHING with the lower lashes on that second application, since that will look REALLY harsh and clumpy if there’s anything more than a tap of mascara at their base.

If you smudge mascara while applying it, wait for it to dry, and then ROLL a dry q tip over the area to pick it up.  This will help prevent it from being smudged the way swiping at it might.  And then you don’t have to touch up any foundation, or smears!

Don’t be afraid to layer lip colors as needed, for your skins needs.  If you have strong warm undertones and are wearing a bright red lipstick that leans cool, adding a darker brick gloss can help it melt into your skin tone.  If you want opaque nude lips, with more depth than your standard lipstick, wear an opaque nude color, with a tinted gloss over top.  More on fine-tuning lip colors here.

Be aware of lip products wear and touch up issues.  If that pink lipstick you wore during the day(like MAC Longwear lipsticks) leaves behind a strong stain, you may need to bring along a deeper evening color to compensate, to avoid lips looking patchy.  Similarly, don’t wear red lipstick during the day, if you want to wear  sheer nude-bronze at night.

If you are using eyeliner on the day-time look, avoid blacks or dark browns. Opt for sheerer colors that can create the illusion of contour, but can still be easily covered when lining lashline again, or applying Shadow over top.

If your night time activity is one that will have a lot of flash photography, avoid shimmers and glitters.  If it’s just a cozy date though, shimmer may help to catch the light, and give skin a “glow”.  Especially on brow bones and inner eyes.  Artificial lighting can make it difficult to distinguish colors, so avoid bright colors, instead opting for shades of neutral browns, eggplants, golds, and relying on stronger applied contours, rather than subtle differences in color or finish.

If you are wearing shimmers in your daytime look, avoid redoing them.  A nice shimmery highlight for the daytime, for example, may look like a discoball if you reapply it with your night time makeup. Only touching up blush on the apples of the cheeks can help prevent the highlight from being covered up completely.

Choose your bases carefully.  Know what works on your skin, and how long it will stay there.  For all day wear, I LOVE MUFE Aqua creams, on my slightly-oily skin.  Warm Beige is the perfect shade for nude looks.  It is waterproof and will NOT move or smudge.  The shimmer is faint enough that mature skin types can use a matte shadow over it, and it will give a dewy glow without overemphasizing wrinkles, blemishes, etc.   On drier skin, however, you may prefer a slightly creamier base, with less shimmer(like UDPP, in sin, or original.  MAC Paint makes another nice base for giving a subtle glow to dry or mature skin.)

Mature or Dry skin types should use shimmer sparingly.  A little in the inner corner may make your eyes look larger, more awake.  Too much may call attention to aging signs, or uneven skin textures.  A gold frost or pearl usually looks more gentle than a silver one.  MAC Nylon is nice, when used to brighten eyes.  MAC Vex is very nice and gentle where only a faint sheen is needed. MAC Naked Lunch is virtually invisible on light or fair skin tones, but will give a faint healthy sheen.  Use matte shadows over uneven areas, blending with a bare brush after applying the color, to soften it.  Use highlights on a few select areas, to give skin a more dewy appearance.  Inner eyelids(especially lower lashline) and outer brow bones are best.

It may take some experimentation to figure out how long your foundation stays on your face, how long before your mascara flakes, etc.  The end result is worth it, though.  Frequently, I don’t bother bringing along foundation, eyeshadows, etc. for touch ups, because I know I won’t need them(Short of being doused in water or having a crying fit, I suppose).  Just remember to touch up as little as possible when adding on to makeup, so you won’t have areas where product was removed, or smeared around, etc.  It can take a bit of practice, but you’d be amazed how fast you can get at transitioning between looks, with a little practice!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ilexica
    Jan 06, 2011 @ 14:17:57

    Found your blog through sugarpill – what a great post! Really informative and thorough. Thank you for your efforts!


    • dolcearia
      Jan 06, 2011 @ 14:48:23

      Thanks! Someone may as well benefit from my obsession, right? Plus, it prevents me from getting in other kinds of trouble. If I didn’t write about makeup, I’d probably be climbing trees and breaking limbs or something.

      I thought this would be a fairly useful topic too.


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