Ask a Makeup Artist

What’s the best way to cover up old acne scarring and discoloration on your cheeks?

I would recommend either a primer or a concealer that is made specifically for the type of discoloration you have. For example, I have a lot of redness in my skin, so I use a primer that is tinted green because it is designed to tone down redness. It looks green in the bottle, but not on my face. If you have uneven pigment, a concealer might work better than a primer. Just make sure that there aren’t any hard edges where your concealer ends. feather out the edges so it gradually blends into your face, and then follow with your foundation. Make sure you’re gentle putting on the foundation and not wiping it on in a way that shifts or smudges the concealer.

Red lipstick in an open black and siver tube, staged with the cap off, a daisy and a green lighting effect.When you’re trying to cover up acne or other three dimensional skin issues, keep in mind that makeup can hide the color but it can’t change the shape. Don’t try to pile on enough makeup to hide the shape of the blemish. Just focus on using products that mask the difference in color from the rest of your skin. Once the color is gone, set your makeup with some powder and leave it alone. Doing any more will end up looking like you’ve caked on tons of makeup.

For acne scars or blemishes try to avoid products that draw attention to the area. So stay away from using anything glittery, shimmery, or luminescent on an area of your face you don’t want to draw attention to. These types of products will catch the light and the eye of people around you. Instead, use them on the feature you love the most about your face.

Can you wear mascara without wearing eyeliner, or is that weird?

Do it! Mascara without eyeliner can look very natural and youthful, so give it a try. Eyeliner with mascara has the added benefit of making your lashes look a bit thicker if you’re using a similar color. However if you don’t like how eyeliner looks on you or just don’t feel like doing it, skip it.

How do I put blush on without looking ridiculous?

Make sure you have really good lighting wherever you put your blush on. If you’re going to be on stage or in flash pictures, you can go a little heavier than usual. Swirl the brush in the blush powder, then tap the brush so some of the pigment falls off. You don’t want too much powder on the brush or it will look too heavy and streaky. If you aren’t sure how much color you want on your cheeks, start light, and add more color gradually rather than trying to get it all on in one swipe.

Keep the blush away from the nose area (think of where your pupal is when you look straight forward, and don’t bring blush any closer to the center of your face than that). One way of putting on blush that looks very youthful is to smile and place it on just the apples of your cheeks. Another way is put it on in a curved motion from the cheekbone and moving out and up towards the temple.

If it looks a bit streaky or heavy, you can tone it down by putting some translucent powder on a brush and dusting it over the area with blush.

How do you pick out a foundation or tinted moisturizer that does not make your skin break out in patches of flaming awfulness if you wear it for more than a few hours?

You either have sensitive skin or an allergy to something that is commonly found in liquid makeup. Keep track of the products you have bad reactions to, and if possible, make note of the ingredients in the products. Are there fragrances in the products? There might be a specific ingredient that is causing the reaction. If you have a regular moisturizer that feels fine on your skin and a tinted one that burns like hellfire, check the ingredients against each other to spot the difference. I’d recommend consulting a dermatologist and seeking their advice for what makeup would be most gentle on your skin or what they think is causing the reaction. If every liquid foundation irritates your skin, try a loose powder foundation like bare minerals.

How do I choose the best eyeshadow color for me?

Stick with a color close to your skin tone on the brow bone (the area between your eyelid and your eyebrow). For the lid, you can stay neutral as well or play around with colors that will enhance the color of your eye. There are some colors that are widely considered to be best for each eye color:

  • Navy or blue for brown eyes
  • Purple or rust for green eyes
  • Bronze or brown for blue eyes
  • Because hazel eyes are a mix of colors, choose from the above based on the color you want to bring out in your eyes or the color that is most prominent.

Another way of picking out colors of makeup that might look good on you is to figure out which celebrities have similar eye color/ skin tone and shade to you. Does your skin have more pink/red in it or more yellow/gold/olive? Look for someone who has similar undertones in their skin and has similar eye and skin color to you. Pay attention to the makeup colors they choose and decide which ones you think are flattering or pretty.

Also, be aware of which stores accept returns of opened beauty products, because this gives you more wiggle room for trying different colors and products. CVS and Sephora both allow returns of opened beauty products with a receipt.

How do I keep eyeshadow on my greasy-at-the-end-of-the-day lids?

Eyeshadow primer makes a world of difference! Urban Decay’s is my favorite, but there are a ton to pick from at all price points. Make sure you keep your eye closed for a minute after applying the primer so it dries evenly. I would also recommend liquid liner instead of pencil liner because it stays put on oily skin.

By weetziebat

Brittany - 24 - NJ.
I have a lot of feelings about horror movies, Batman, John Waters and trashy reality tv.

10 replies on “Ask a Makeup Artist”

This seems like a good place to ask this. I switched to Everyday Minerals foundation and I was really happy with it.  Then I watched a YouTube tutorial about using EM and it recommended using a fixing medium, and I found a recipe to make my own using just glycerin and water. I was really liking the way it was going on, but in the past couple weeks my face has broken out in heinous cystic jawline acne.  I couldn’t think of any major life/diet/skin routine changes.  But I just realized reading this, that my face is often coming up with huge pimples after a day in makeup.  This wasn’t true when I was wearing EM just alone.  So now I’m wondering if it’s the glycerin.  Does anyone have any experience with glycerin causing acne?



Glad to know that I’m not the only one who was a make up late bloomer.

In eleventh grade, my sister applied some really garish frosty silver shadow on my lids one morning.  Since I never wore makeup everyone pointed it out & even said that I looked cute even though I looked like a hungover disco queen.

Thankfully I later bought Kevyn Aucoin’s Making Faces and have never left the house looking like that again.

Making Faces, eh? I’m gonna have to go look that up.

I should say, I was really blessed as a teen with healthy skin, so makeup wasn’t really necessary for me to survive the social rigors of high school.

But I had much the same experience as you. One day, my roommate put mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow on me, and I walked around getting compliments from EVERYONE. From that day forward, I was like, “I should really do this daily.”

Another way of picking out colors of makeup that might look good on you is to figure out which celebrities have similar eye color/ skin tone and shade to you. Does your skin have more pink/red in it or more yellow/gold/olive? Look for someone who has similar undertones in their skin and has similar eye and skin color to you. Pay attention to the makeup colors they choose and decide which ones you think are flattering or pretty.

Another way to do this is to find a celebrity whose skin reacts to colors similarly to yours. For example; Eva Longoria’s skintone is darker than mine, but I noticed frosty gray-toned makeup makes her look washed out, like I do, but she comes alive with warmer colors. Undertones are kind of hard to predict in photographs, especially with celebs because they wear so much makeup, but you can usually tell when something’s “off” even through the artifice.

Great stuff! My favourite green concealer is a Shisedo one. It’s quite thick though (it’s like stick foundation, but only green), so I only tend to use it when really red or going out for the night- when slightly more noticeable make up is appropriate. During the day I’ve been using a Rimmel green concealer that is much more user friendly, but I’m not sure if they make it any more.

Also, interesting on the blue shadow for brown eyes! I’ve stayed away from the blue, haven’t been able to make it work for me yet but I’ll give it a shot. I really love playing with purple and green on my brown eyes.

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