Makeup & Skin Care: Tips & Tricks

PaperMoon Dance Center General

As the daughter of a woman with naturally glowing skin, I didn’t learn a lot of makeup tricks growing up. My mom swears by Pond’s Cold Cream and that’s about the only skin-care recommendation with which I was shipped off to college! Over the years, through my life in theatre and dance, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from a lot of great masters. There are a few tips and tricks that have stuck with me and which I use both during the day (with subtle hues) and for nights out (with more risky pigments) on a regular basis. In case you’re someone who feels a bit intimidated by the beauty care products scene, I’d be happy to share a bit of what I’ve learned!

It was actually on the Norwegian Dawn, cruising to Bermuda, that I learned a lot about the products to use before applying my makeup. I was chastised for using regular soap to wash my face! Now I use a special soap just for my face every day and night, and two mornings a week I swap that out for an exfoliating face scrub (which, I was told, NOT to use more than twice a week). When I get out of the shower, I use a toner to help shrink the appearance of my facial pores (and who doesn’t feel a bit like royalty spritzing rose petal water on her face?). Once the toner has dried, I use one moisturizer for my eyelids and a separate one for my face. I love that the facial moisturizer has SPF 15 to protect my skin!  The last step before the makeup goes on is to use one primer for my eyes and a different one for my face. Primer smooths and conceals fine lines and uneven skin texture, and helps the makeup to adhere to my skin and stay put for longer. I love that the face primer is green because it helps to even out the areas of my face that are red!

I religiously use foundation with a high SPF (42!) to protect my skin from getting too much sun. I am terrified of developing melanoma, and who wants the extra age spots and wrinkles anyway?! Then I pull out my contouring palette. I brush a light color across my eyelids, giving me a clean canvas on which to put my eye shadow. This is a great tutorial video for beginner eyeshadow technique.  I also like to use blue on the outside corner of my lid because it brings out my eye color.  I never use the eyeshadow applicators that come with the eyeshadow. Brushes work SO much better than those plastic Q-tips! Brushes come in all different shapes and sizes, which is really helpful for achieving a variety of effects, from a sharp, angled line to a delicate dusting.  I am finding that these inexpensive makeup brushes work just fine, and the sparkles make me happy!  After I apply my shadow, I use the angled brush to apply a black or other dark eyeshadow color along my lash line instead of eyeliner. I start out the outer edge of my eye, slightly above the corner of my eye, and draw a diagonal line down to my lash line slightly in from the edge, and then follow the line of my lashes almost to the inside edge. If I’m going to use a liner on the lower lash line, I use a slightly lighter color (brown or gray, or blue or green if I’m feeling flashy that day?). This is a great video tutorial that will help you avoid some common eyeliner gaffs!  I love to finish my look off with this mascara – not quite true to its name, but admittedly the best mascara I’ve ever tried.

After I’m finished with my eyes, I pull out the contouring palette again. I use a shade slightly darker than my face skin tone (or darker if I’m feeling dramatic), pick some up lightly on a makeup sponge, and draw a line from mid-ear diagonally down, following my cheekbone, then blend it in using a patting motion. I also like to put a little of the dark color along the hairline at the top of my forehead, and trace the bottom edge of my jawbone to make it stand out (always blending so that there are no harsh lines). When this is done, I go back and use my foundation brush to pick up a light color and make sure the skin under my eyes is bright and clear.  Here’s a great video that will help explain and demonstrate contouring!  My favorite color lipstick is Heather Shimmer but usually I forget to use it! Gotta get better about that…  I finish this all off with makeup setting spray to keep all of my hard work from smudging off!

I hope you heard a few helpful tips and tricks here!  I would LOVE to hear about your favorite beauty products and tips/tricks! Please feel free contribute your comments!!!