I am a make-up junkie. I love everything about it; how it can transform a face to look however you, as an artist, want it to look. You can be naturally beautiful using pale or light colors that match and/or compliment your complexion, or a smoldering seductress using bold, dark colors. You can go goth and experiment with black, whites, and reds, or playful with dramatically bright colors in equally bold patterns, and you can be all of these things in a single day. All you need is some gentle, yet effective, face soap and a washcloth and your canvas (aka face) is ready for whatever or whomever you’d like to be next.
Don’t be afraid to play with your make-up, especially with the cheap stuff you can find at any of the dollar stores for $1.00. I’m constantly experimenting with my stuff and I like to test the limits of what normal, everyday cosmetics can do (my husband calls this playing). I’ve crushed up eye shadow and mixed it with foundation to use for Halloween so that my daughter could look just like “Frankie Stein” which eliminated the need to buy and use the traditional gooey, cold and itchy Halloween makeup. I’ve used regular old cosmetics to play practical jokes, like the time my mom was babysitting my then 2 month old son and had accidentally pinched his ankle on something. She told me about it when I came to get him, and she was almost in tears. The next day I brought him back to her house, complete with a huge “bruise” on the ankle I made with blue, red, and purple eye shadow. He was wearing one of those feety onesie pajama things and I just patiently waited until he needed a diaper change, which she was always quick to do. She’s a nurse, so I knew she would want to change his diaper specifically to be able to check out his ankle to see if there were any marks. I clued my dad in on what I had done (I had to have someone on the inside to use as protection), and I think we both were chomping at the bit to see her reaction. We were not disappointed, because sure enough, as soon as she saw his “bruise” she started crying/freaking out and screaming that we “needed to take the baby to the hospital”. Dad and I cracked up, and let her in on the joke, and at first she didn’t believe me. She had rubbed her fingers over the bruise and none of the makeup came off (that’s why I love using creamy AND powdery stay-proof eye shadow for this kind of stuff. When it dries it has to be scrubbed off. Rubbing won’t do a thing). I had to break out the cold cream and wipe the “bruise” off to prove it to her. I’m surprised I survived that incident with all of my original teeth. She didn’t think it was funny then, and I bet if I asked her about it now, 11 years later, she STILL wouldn’t think it was funny. My point – makeup is fun, especially when you think outside of the box (or package) for ways to use it.
One thing I’ve noticed online is that there seems to be a real shortage of make-up makeovers for women over age 45. There are lots of body makeovers, and miracle wrinkle eliminator stuff, but not a lot of make-up only before and after. I decided to do one. After all, I’ll be 45 one day (many, many, many, many, many, many, many years from now. LOL!), so what better way to prepare for that than to practice on someone who is over 45? My subject: my mom’s best friend Jerri Ann, a beautiful person on the inside and out. I consider her an aunt, not because she’s currently married to any of my uncles (she was at one time), but because we are from Kentucky and that’s what we do. We give ourselves relatives God forgot to give us, but should have. It’s sort of like how the British monarchy grant titles to commoners so that a future king can marry the woman he wants to marry without sullying the throne, or how a monarch bestows knighthood onto worthy and loyal subjects. The only difference is we do it barefoot and with far less pomp and circumstance.
Jerri Ann admitted to not really having a lot of make-up, which (for me) is the equivalent of hitting the cosmetic model jackpot. Why? Well for starters, since she wasn’t used to wearing makeup, she would be able to see the difference makeup makes on her immediately. Her plans for the evening included attending a friend’s wedding, and many of the people she knew at the wedding also are not used to seeing her in makeup, and so they too would notice the difference immediately. All of that is good, good, good for me, providing I don’t make her look like Hattie the Witch or Mimi off of that Drew Carey show. I’d like for people to see her and think, “Wow! Did you see her makeup? She could be in a beauty magazine!” than have them think “Wow! Did you SEE her makeup? She can be in a beauty magazine, right under the word DON’T ”.
After a quick look at what she planned on wearing for the evening and a discussion on how she wanted me to do her hair, I got to work. As I said, Jerri Ann is already pretty, all I wanted to do is set the stage a bit to highlight that prettiness and make it stand out. Her complexion is amazing even without makeup, a wonderful color that isn’t too light, nor too dark, and she is one of those lucky women blessed with even coloration across her entire face and neck. I have a name for these women. I call them “bitches”. While I have also been called a “bitch” on many different occasions for many different reasons, even facial coloration has not been one of them. So how do you minimize the effects of living on your face without changing the color? The answer: blend. Instead of one heavy or thick foundation, I used a few light ones. I started by applying Oil of Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream in Fair to Light, which is Ah-may-zing regardless if you are 20 or 120. I use this as my go-to foundation, because it gives me the same coverage as some of my “heavier” foundations, plus it also adds a sort of glow to my skin that’s never been there before. And it does all of that feeling as light as the lightest facial moisturizer. I hoped it would do that for Jerri Ann, and it did. It was the perfect foundation for foundation. How light and good it feels on your face makes you think it’s not doing anything, but that thought flies out the window once you look in the mirror. I think it’s because we are accustomed to feeling the heavy foundations that feel like pancake batter. They work; they absolutely work, but they feel like a wet towel has been thrown on your face, and on hot days you fluctuate between feeling like your face is smothered to feeling like it has melted and dripping off your skull. Not a pretty feeling, I might add. I had never used BOTH the BB cream and a foundation, but after what I saw it did to Jerri’s face I probably am going to start. Once the BB cream was applied and given a moment to absorb into the skin, I used Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup Intensity 1.0 as well as L’Oreal’s New True Match Super Blendable Makeup in light ivory. It’s important to point out that I only applied the BB cream over her entire face. The other two foundations I used intermittently in spots where I saw needed a little bit more attention (i.e. for shading or contouring purposes), like around the eyes, the forehead, around the mouth and other places where gravity has taken its toll. After I was pleased with the foundation, I lightly dusted her face with a translucent loose mineral powder to seal everything in, and give a little bit of an extra blend for the foundations I had applied.
The foundations I used are (starting at the top):
1. Oil of Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream in Fair to Light
2. Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup Intensity 1.0
3. L’Oreal’s New True Match Super Blendable Makeup in Light Ivory
The green and brown hearts in the picture were drawn with the eyeliners I used.
Amount of foundation I work with at a time. Keeping portions small will make blending easier, plus it prevents you from adding too much and making a mess. I like to apply foundation with a brush that I’ve slightly dampened. This keeps the bristles from absorbing all the product before you have a chance to apply it.
I’ve recreated the blends I used on my lovely model, Jerri Ann, on the back of my hand to demonstrate how I achieved the look of her foundation. The picture of my hand above is a “before” picture and was taken before any product was applied.
The Oil of Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream Only
Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup Intensity 1.0 Only
All three foundations, plus mineral powder.
When applying loose powder, I dip the brush into the powder and give it a light tap once or twice to shake off a bit of the really loose stuff (over its container, of course. That stuff is too expensive to waste, and you’ll shake off a lot of powder when using this product). I hate it when I read a blog about makeup and the author tells you everything you need to know and more about everything EXCEPT how much of the product to use. Therefore, I am going to _try_ to take pictures of the amounts as well as the tools I use to create a look.
Jerri Ann has absolutely breathtaking green/hazel eyes which go beautifully with both her complexion and dark hair with hints of red highlights. It is the perfect Earth tone combination of blue, green, brown and red. I began by applying L’Oreal Infallible Eye Liner in Black Brown, and then swept over the entire lid with a shimmery champagne colored eye shadow that is part of the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Nude Shadow and Liner Collection. In the crease of her eyelids I blended Avon’s True Color Powder in the color Fern with a great shimmery steal I found at Dollar Tree. It was part of a 12-shadow set of shimmery colors by Profusion. The individual colors weren’t named, and I could not find the individual colors on the Profusion website, but what should you expect when you get 12 shades of shimmery goodness for $1.00? I completed her eyes by smudging on another eyeliner, Jordana’s Glitter Rocks eyeliner in Glam Rock Green, and by lightly patting on a creamy glitter eyeshadow (by L.A. Colors found on their Tidal Wave palette) with my fingertips and setting it all by lightly brushing on L.A. Colors Shimmering Loose Eyeshadow in Spring Fling. After brushing bronzer across her forehead, nose and cheeks, I lightly brushed on the apples of her cheeks a peachy/pink blush, slapped some mascara on her then topped everything off with a beautiful pink and coral lipstick by Estée Lauder named “Blushing”. A few short minutes and a loose and romantic side fishtail braid later, she was on her way to the wedding looking completely gorgeous.
I started off by lining her eyes with brown eyeliner and then sweeping a shimmering champagne-colored shadow across the entire eyelid.
For the next step, I blended Avon’s True Color eye shadow in Fern with a shimmery green by Profusion.
I use a brush and my fingers to blend the colors.
Lastly, I smudged on another eyeliner, Jordana’s Glitter Rocks eyeliner in Glam Rock Green, and by lightly patting on a creamy glitter eyeshadow (by L.A. Colors found on their Tidal Wave palette) with my fingertips and setting it all by lightly brushing on L.A. Colors Shimmering Loose Eyeshadow in Spring Fling.
The shimmery sparkle of the eyeliner and different types of glimmer/shimmer eyeshadows really show up when the picture is a bit blurry. Check out that sparkle!
Another thing I’m always concerned with when using product that was purchased at a dollar discount store is the stability of the product. Will it hold up in the heat? Will it smear or “weep” onto surrounding skin? If I trip and fall face first into a puddle or the river, will my makeup still look good while the dentist puts the teeth back in my head? It’s important to think about these things before you purchase the product. After all, a $1.00 turd is still a turd, regardless of how cheap it is. I like to test these products just to make sure, and so I’ll do random things like holding my hand under running water for a minute or longer.
I’d say it passed the test! Not a smudge in sight!
As Stevie Wonder sang: “Isn’t she lovely?”
And here is the shocking side-by-side comparison. Unbelievable!
Thanks for checking out my blog and I look forward to sharing another makeover story with you soon. Please don’t hesitate to sent me an email if there is anything specific you would like me to go into greater detail about.