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This is a basic sequence that makes practical sense. You can certainly skip steps, if you want. And of course the amount of time you spend on each feature will vary according to where you want the most emphasis. Just enjoy every minute you spend in front of the mirror. Don't rush! When you work slowly, you can evaluate the effects of each step better—and you won't find yourself in the position of having an "overdone" anything.
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Begin any makeup application with moisturized skin and conditioned lips (find a facial moisturizer and a lip balm you love and use them religiously). If you overdo it, simply blot the skin with tissue. Review your face—do you need more concealer or foundation? Here, you see a hard edge of foundation, with the rest blended out. The true test of a color match comes when you start patting and blending it out.
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We put foundation over the eyelids; concealer under the eyes, and around the nostrils.
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We use powder to take away the shine but leave a healthy sheen—just a bit on a large powder brush, swept around her entire face.
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Next: the "drop cloth" trick of depositing extra powder under the eyes to catch any eye makeup fallout.
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On to the eyes: Aubergine shadow goes across the lid, from the lashline to slightly beyond the crease, where it fades away. I worked with a minimal amount of product on a large shadow brush. Just one shade of shadow—that's it, for this look! Then a thin veil of powder sets and blends the edges. Note: As long as the shadow you use is a powder, you can go back and add more—even after it's set with translucent powder—to get to the level of intensity you want. Then dust with translucent powder again.
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We curl the lashes and apply mascara, top and bottom.
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Now the brows. They get groomed into shape with a spoolie brush. Any thin areas? Those are filled in with a brow pencil (taupe here), using little feather-like strokes. Then brows are brushed through with the spoolie again to soften and blend. Finally, a coat of brow gel keeps everything in place. Now that the eyes are done, brush away excess loose powder (applied in step #4) from under the eyes.
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To blush or not to blush? You could keep your face monochromatic and stop here—then her look would be all about the eyes. But a bit of blush takes her to another place—glowy, with a hint more shape. I apply a pink powder blush with a blush brush on the apples of her cheeks, then dust cheeks with powder to blend all the edges.
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So far, everything is subtle and tonally related. To stay in that mode as we move on to the mouth, I choose a soft lip color. I also opt for less definition of the lipline and decide not to use a lip pencil. Our model looks great in a pinky beige lip color, applied with a lip brush. A dusting of powder sets everything. The effect—a face that's just colorful enough, but natural. (Note: Natural doesn't need to mean neutral!) Before you are officially finished, review the face again. Do you need more blending? More color? When satisfied with your fabulous self, dust the entire face with the large powder brush—for a matte finish, put a bit of powder on the brush; for a dewy finish, leave the brush bare.
One Step Beyond
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Sometimes one simple change can transform a face. Here, a more intense lip color adds amazing impact. All I did was go over the existing mouth (the pinky beige lipstick applied in the last step) with a brandy lip pencil, creating a stronger, more define mouth. The entire lip gets outlined and filled in with the pencil. Then I go over the pencil with a lip brush to make sure the color is blended and evenly placed. For extra insurance, I add a dab of lipstick in a matching tone on top of the pencil—just on the surface and in the center of the mouth. It adds dimension to the color, and adds moisture, too. This one easy step takes you from day to evening, from casual to dressy, and from elegantly understated to intense!
Sonia Kashuk's book, Real Beauty, is available at bookstores nationwide.