- Leanne on Cynthia’s Christmas Wedding in Holyoke, MA
- rachellisamua on What’s the deal with airbrush, anyway?
- Liz Washer on Crystal & Matthew’s Smith College Winter Wedding
- Tammy Thompson on Crystal & Matthew’s Smith College Winter Wedding
- lisa johnson on Beauty Resolutions: Keeping Things Clean in 2013!
Tagsairbrush articles bancroft bridals before and after berkshires ma birdcage veil bridal beauty brides of color bright lips color-correcting concealer do's and don'ts editorial eutopia events eyebrows eyeliner false lashes florence ma forget me not florist holyoke ma how to how to be a redhead individual false lashes jenursa lesbian weddings lgbt look park makeup tips michelle girard photography natural looks northampton ma personal style product reviews purple redheads red lips sandra costello skincare smoky eyes springfield ma step by step the log cabin trends wedding makeup wedding photos
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- August 2011
- June 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- July 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
Are YOU Ready for Your Close-Up?
Learn how to DAZZLE on your wedding day – sign up below to receive a complimentary 30-page, fully illustrated bridal makeup guide plus a subscription to my biweekly ezine. It's more info & inspiration than you can shake a mascara wand at!
Tag Archives: step by step
Now you see it, now you don’t! (Unless you’re REALLY looking for it.)
This was an inner arm tattoo on yesterday’s bride’s sister, color-corrected and covered with Temptu Dura (an alcohol-based formula). I always take test photos to see if any areas are more “reflective” and need some bronzer or powder to adjust.
Everyone was really happy with the results, except the sister, who loves her tattoos and vowed revenge (“When I get married, I’m going to hire you to airbrush tattoos ON to the whole bridal party!” LOL!)
Here’s the even bigger tattoo on her calf – after I scrutinized the after photo, I added bronzer to blend in with the tan on her leg:
For tattoo coverage, I have the subject shave the entire area (body hair gets in the way of the makeup) and I start by using alcohol to thoroughly remove any oils from the skin’s surface. Then I use the principles of color theory to soften any colors in the tattoo and also to mute the black outlines, which are the most difficult to conceal against fair skin. Once the colors are subdued, it’s time for layer after layer of coverage. Temptu Dura, the alcohol based airbrush formula that I favor, does an amazing job at achieving long-lasting, transfer-resistant, and relatively realistic looking coverage (the covered area doesn’t reflect light exactly the same as natural skin as is visible above, but it’s usually pretty close and you can further adjust with powder).
The only thing that removes it is alcohol, so I always warn the subject not to drink too much since we excrete alcohol through the pores in our skin and that will absolutely break down the coverage! To remove (WITHOUT drinking yourself into a stupor), just soak cotton pads in rubbing alcohol (99% gets the fastest results) and swipe the surface until the product breaks down. Then wash and moisturize the area thoroughly.
It takes time and a lot of product to cover tattoos this big, but it’s worth it if the tattoo doesn’t fit with the wardrobe or would stand out too much in a photo. The same techniques apply for covering large bruises, birthmarks, tan lines, etc. – I have yet to find something Dura can’t cover!
False lashes don’t have to be applied in a full strip – as I suggested in Part 2, you can cut them up and apply them any way that’s comfortable for you. But if you don’t feel like hacking a strip to bits and just want a little added “oomph,” individual cluster lashes might be perfect for you. And while they take a little practice and finessing to apply correctly, it’s well worth the effort!
Individual cluster lashes come in different lengths, and it’s best to err on the shorter side of things when you’re starting out so they blend in seamlessly with your natural lashes (in some cases, I’ve even trimmed them a bit). My preference is for knot-free flares (no visible “bulb” at the base of each cluster, which can be very noticeable) – I get the most mileage out of Ardell Duralash Naturals in short and medium, which I reviewed here. (You can also watch me applying them on live TV here!) You can get them in brown, if you have lighter hair and/or want a subtler, “no mascara” effect.
Here’s how to get those tiny little suckers on:
- Curl your natural lashes and apply a coat or two of mascara.
- Gently free the lash cluster from the packaging (I like to use tweezers) and pluck away any excess glue.
- Dip the very end of the lash into a drop of the lash glue. You only need a TINY amount! (I use the same glue that I use with strips for one-day wear, but Ardell also makes a product called LashTite which is for wearing lash clusters up to a week or more, and requires a special remover. )
- Look down into a mirror to help with accurate placement.
- Apply the cluster directly into the natural lash root, focusing on any gaps or areas that you want to thicken (I usually emphasize the outer corner and center of the eye). Try not to apply them above the lash line, where they’ll be noticeable.
- Use tweezers or your fingertips to gently pinch the cluster against the natural lash, to ensure that they lie at the same angle.
- You can apply them where needed, or layer them – but be sure to check occasionally to make sure that they are not sticking out at odd angles. Be sure to use shorter flares, or trimmed flares, as you work inward.
- One the glue is dry, gently add a light coat of mascara to marry the clusters with the natural lashes.
So you’ve made the most of what you already have… ready to up your batting average even further? Here’s what you need to know to apply false lashes like a pro:
1. You have a variety of styles to choose from! Check out your local drugstore or beauty supply shop to see what’s available (I like the selection at Sally Beauty, and am partial to Ardell line). To keep the look natural, look for slim, clear, flexible bands (nothing too thick or too dark, unless you plan to wear heavy eyeliner), wispy styles (the less “uniform” the lash, the more believable it looks), and realistic lengths (especially if you wear glasses). Or go all out and get your glam on!
2. If you’ve never applied a strip lash before, start with a half or “demi” length that fits easily on the outer half or third of your eye. These are much easier to apply. You can also trim a full lash to a demi length – some people even find it easier to cut lashes in half or thirds and applying piece by piece, rather than all at once. Your choice!
3. Start by gently removing the lash from its container and placing it against your eye to see how the band fits – very often, they’re too long to wear comfortably. Trim the band from outside in so it fits your eye shape properly – removing the longest lashes will keep the nicely tapered shorter fibers to blend with your natural lashes. You can always keep the piece you trimmed away and stack it on top of the lash band at the outer corner of your eye for extra flair!
4. Bend and flex the lash band to help it shape itself to your eye (I sometimes wrap them around a brush handle to achieve that nice curve) – this will help prevent the ends from lifting up.
5. Apply thin strip of glue (I swear by Duo waterproof adhesive in Clear, and black is available as well), with a little extra on the corners. You want a solid stripe of glue but not so thick that it starts seeping down and gumming up the lashes.
6. Let the glue set for 30-45 seconds before application (I usually give them a little wave in the meantime) – you want the glue to be sticky enough that you won’t be struggling to hold them in place while they dry.
7. Place the strip on top of your lashes in the center, & then adhere the corners (using tweezers if you find it helpful). Press the band as close to the natural lash line as possible; you don’t want a visible gap. I tend to sit them right on top of the natural lashes and then tuck them into place. Looking down into a mirror can help with placement.
8. Once the glue has set, “pinch” the false lash together with your natural lashes. You can also gently add a bit of mascara to marry the two sets together.
9. Touch up the strip with eyeliner as needed (sometimes the dried glue looks a bit shiny, so you can matte it down again with eyeliner if desired).
10. Peel off gently from the outside in when removing your makeup. I don’t recommend sleeping in your makeup, and that includes false lashes!
11. Never share false lashes (or mascara) with others. You may be able to get a few wears out of your own falsies if you keep them neat, but don’t mix and match with friends. Think of false eyelashes like underwear!
12. Practice, practice, practice! Don’t get too frustrated too soon, this isn’t easy the first few times you do it, but it’s rather addictive once you do!
As a professional makeup artist, I get a lot of questions about how to enhance eyelashes. Before I get into the details of applying false ones, though, I’d like to give you the tips and tricks you need to enhance what you already have:
1. Use eyeliner right at the root of the lashes to make them appear thicker – I like a gel eyeliner on a flat-tipped brush, but pencil also works well. If you prefer a softer look and like to wear a brown or auburn mascara to coordinate with your hair color, use a similar shade of eyeliner to make the base of the lashes look nice and thick.
2. Make friends with that scary torture device known as a lash curler! You can find them in many different shapes and sizes; the Shu Uemura curler is my favorite. Squeeze gently but firmly at the base of the lash (taking care not to catch your skin) and then pinch your way towards the tip to achieve a nice, soft upward curl.
3. You have many choices when it comes to mascara – thickening, lengthening, waterproof or regular, etc. – and many different styles of applicator wands; I’m partial to CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion, but it’s really about what works best for you. Just remember that mascara ads are misleading (the models’ lashes are usually fake and enhanced digitally!), so don’t expect the formula alone to get the results.
4. When you apply mascara, first wipe any excess globs off the wand so you don’t make a mess. Apply by wiggling the wand gently at the base of your lashes to coat them thoroughly, and continue to wiggle the wand up the length of the lashes, which will help add thickness and length. You can add as many coats as you’d like, but stop before you get stiff, clumpy lashes (unless you’re aiming for the Twiggy look!)
5. Use a lash comb (I like metal-toothed combs; Tweezerman makes a nice one) to separate any clumps and keep the lashes wispy. You can also use a clean, disposable mascara wand to comb them.
Originally published on HowToBeARedhead.com
The most common questions I get from clients have to do with their perceived “flaws,” and fine lines/crow’s feet rank high on that list. What’s worse, many clients have already had a bad experience:
“I have very fine lines (crow’s feet) and the last makeover I had accentuated them. I’m sure there is something to do to not have fine lines show up like that?”
There sure is! Read on…
1. Moisturize & (GENTLY) exfoliate. Fine lines can be accentuated by products that are too dry or inflexible – the skin around the eyes moves a lot as we speak, smile, and emote in general, so the products have to be able to move with the skin without cracking. And the better moisturized the skin, the better the makeup will apply. As for dry skin that’s gotten flaky, you can very, very gently exfoliate with a cotton swab (I like to soften my skin first with Vaseline and then gently wipe it off in the shower, followed by moisturizer). Better yet, make sure you’re not using any harsh soaps or makeup removers in this delicate area, as that can contribute to dryness.
Liz’s product picks: Embryolisse Eye Contour Cream, Murad Ultimate Moisture for Eyes
2. Start Smooth. The bride quoted above noticed her fine lines were more noticeable after an unsuccessful airbrush makeup trial with another artist. Fine lines will be accentuated by concealer (particularly airbrush) if the subject tightens her face during application, preventing the color from reaching all parts of the skin. I usually suggest that clients close their eyes lightly (no squinting) and raise their eyebrows to smooth the skin, or I do it myself by gently stretching the skin flat with my fingers. Whether you’re doing your own makeup or seeing a pro, be sure the skin around your eyes is smoothed out so that you don’t leave any “gaps.”
3. Proper texture. The undereye area calls for a product that is flexible enough to move with your skin, and neither too dry to be flexible nor too slippery to stay put. You’ll almost certainly need to set the product with a light loose powder to make it last and minimize creasing over time – dust it on lightly with a very soft brush.
Liz’s product picks: Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer, Temptu S/B Neutralizer Wheel, Graftobian HD Glamour Crème, Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder
4. Lighten Up. Got a line on your face that just won’t quit? Experiment with using a slightly lighter shade in the crease to “lift” it a bit. Don’t go drawing white lines all over your face, though – keep it subtle.
Liz’s product picks: Three Custom Color clarifying pencils
5. Embrace Your Face. While proper makeup application techniques and products can greatly reduce the appearance of fine lines, it will not disguise them fully or “fill them in” in a lasting way (and you can guarantee that the lineless, poreless skin you see in magazines has been digitally retouched!) Do what I do: call them “smile lines” and embrace a life lived with plenty of laughter!
Originally published on HowToBeARedhead.com
Done well, eyeliner is one of the most featuring enhancing (and feature changing) aspects of makeup – you can alter the shape of your eye, thicken your lashes, and make a fashion statement all at once! It’s also one of the trickiest to master, so if you’re struggling, here are some proven techniques:
1. Step away from the liquid liner! Liquid liner is one of the most difficult types of liner to master, so if you’re new to makeup, save this for later. Your key to mastering eyeliner is a quality eyeliner brush. You can choose an angled, flat, or pointed tip – whatever feels easiest to control. Armed with this indispensible tool, you can apply cream or gel eyeliner (which mimics the look of liquid but is much more forgiving to apply), you can use eyeshadow as liner, and you can create smoother, thinner lines with pencils as well. Brand new to lining with a brush? Try the flat tip and simply press it right against your top lashline – you’ll leave a perfect stripe of pigment and you can simply press the brush along the lashline until you get the effect you’re looking for.
2. Choose a cool color. Definitely experiment with a variety of colors – black and brown are classic, but coppery shades are gorgeous against blue eyes, aubergine tones will enhance green eyes and as for brown, take your pick of jewel tones – they’ll all create a gorgeous, striking contrast!
3. Start clean. When you’re starting out with liner (or just creating a particularly challenging shape like a cateye), you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration by doing liner first, and the rest of your eye makeup afterwards. That way you can clean up the edges with a pointed cotton swab and some makeup remover, without ruining the rest of your makeup.
4. Keep an eye on it. Our eyes change shape when they are open versus when they are closed – the creases in our eyes shift, and it’s enough to throw off the shape of liner that looked perfect against a closed lid. Most of the time, your eyeliner will be seen with your eyes open, so make sure to apply it that way too! Tilting your head slightly back and looking down your nose into a mirror can help with application. For winged and cateye liner shapes, experiment with drawing the outer wing with the eyes open, and then connecting it to the lashline in a sudden downward dip – the resulting “paddle” shape will look smooth when the eyes are open and will keep the lid liner from becoming unflatteringly thick.
5. Steady, steady… I like to rest my elbow against the table and the heel of my hand or my thumb against my cheekbone when I line my eyes. There’s no shame in it – do whatever you need to do to keep your hands steady. (And please, no lining behind the wheel!)
6. OK, now you can grab the liquid liner. Once you’ve drawn the perfect shape in with pencil, gel or powder, you can go over it with a liquid liner to give it a strong, sharp edge.
Originally published on HowtobeaRedhead
Guess what inspired today’s post? (groan) I don’t know what it is but some nights I just cannot fall asleep – and stay asleep – to save my life. And there’s something about a poor night’s sleep that just makes my skin look drawn and my eyes tiny and dull. Fortunately, this is an easily correctable condition.
1. Using a color corrector will help to neutralize undereye discoloration and prevent that unattractive grayish cast that happens when you pile a light color over dark circles. Reduce the appearance of undereye darkness with a creamy peach-toned concealer for bluish dark circles, or pink for greyish circles. Simply pat on a light layer and blend foundation on top to match your skin, and then set with a light dusting of loose translucent powder.
Liz’s product picks: Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, Eve Pearl Salmon Concealer
2. Brighten the inner corner of the eye with a soft peach or champagne eyeshadow or pencil – a little touch of shimmer here will light up your eyes and make them look brighter and more open. (Curling your lashes goes a long way, too!
Liz’s product picks: MAC Shroom eyeshadow, Benefit Eye Bright pencil
3. Clarify: When you’re tired, heavy dark eyeliner all around your eyes will just shrink them further. Instead, use a clarifying pencil on the rim of your lower lashline to counteract redness – this will also open up your eyes and make them look larger. Clarifying pencils come in a variety of skin shades and appear less stark than a pure white pencil – they’re also great for quick blemish concealing!
Liz’s product picks: Three Custom Color light clarifier, Laura Geller Brightening Eye Pencil Duo
4. Blush: Don’t pack on the powder when you’re feeling dull & drawn – think sheen! A cream blush on the apples of the cheeks, blended well toward the temple, will add life and freshness to your skin, while a cream bronzer on the high points of your face will add needed warmth.
Liz’s product picks: Stila Convertible Color, NARS The Multiple
5. Eyebrow Maintenance: Fill in any eyebrow gaps with a pencil or powder – groomed brows frame your face and make you look more alert and well-rested.
Liz’s product picks: MAC eyeshadows, Vanitymark ultra-brow pencils
Makeup is definitely one of those hands-on activities that’s easier to demonstrate than it is to explain with words! So I decided I’d try to a bit of both in this new blog series, “Anatomy of a Makeover:” step-by-step photos taken as I apply makeup, complete with explanations of the why and how. Hopefully this will help you with your own applications!
Meet O, an academic, model, and performer. I’ve done O’s makeup for shoots before, and she assisted me at a bridal expo earlier this year. She jumped at the chance to have me do her makeup documentary-style, and we scheduled the makeover just prior to a holiday party she was planning to attend with her boyfriend. She told me it was a low-key, casual holiday party, but that she was willing to rock more than the usual look. I decided to go with luscious-lipped, lots-o-liner, vintage-inspired makeup that would be flirtatious and fun, but classic and wearable at the same time.
Here’s O bare-faced:
I kept the skincare simple, as she said she tends to get shiny throughout the day: a bit of my favorite moisturizer, French drugstore brand Embryolisse, and for primer I opted for Make Up For Ever’s All Mat, which aids in oil absorption.
Next I addressed O’s undereye discoloration, which she says she has a lot of difficulty covering up:
I’m not a fan of heavy concealers under the eye, which can crease and look cakey – and slapping a light concealer over dark undereyes will look ashy and grey. Instead, I first use a light layer of a color correcting product – in this case, since O’s undereyes had a pinky-purple tone, the yellow cream concealer in Graftobian’s corrector palette. Yellow and purple are complimentary colors (they are opposite one another on the color wheel), so they cancel each other out. (For the same reason, I’m also a fan of the peachy shade in this palette for blue-ish dark circles.) I patted the yellow on gently with a concealer brush and softly blended it out under the eyes. See the difference already?
I applied a few additional touches of the corrector where needed, before proceeding with foundation application. (When I hand-apply makeup I often do foundation before concealer, so it doesn’t get wiped away… and the foundation often ends up providing enough coverage that you don’t need as much concealer. But in this case, I planned to airbrush, so I do concealer first so I don’t change the smooth finish of the foundation after the fact.)
I applied a blend of Temptu SB #s 4 and 5 to O’s face, focusing on the areas that needed coverage and keeping it very light overall, so she wouldn’t have a heavy-looking face of makeup for the party. I almost always end up blending foundation colors & corrector tones together to achieve a perfect match, which is why I prefer the Pro system to the consumer system that Sephora carries. (The pods are great for personal use if you are a good match for one of their 12 foundation colors, but they don’t allow for blending if you aren’t!)
She looks even – the undereye discoloration is corrected – but pretty flat, right? I never stop after applying only one color to the face – I prefer to add back a bit of contour and dimension. For this step, I used MAC Strada, a (sadly discontinued) matte taupe, in the areas of her face I wished to slightly recede: her hairline, beneath her cheekbones, her temples, and VERY lightly along the sides of her nose. I added a touch of Benefit Hoola matte bronzer along the tops of her cheekbones & nose (everyone needs a little warming up in the winter, right?), a natural, rose-colored blush (one of the shades in my La Femme palette), and a touch of MAC Shroom eyeshadow along the very tops of her cheekbones (yes, eyeshadow! Shroom is a light, shimmery beige that makes a nice highlight, but I use a variety of different products and finishes to achieve this effect – airbrush colors, creams, liquids, you name it. I LOVE highlighting!)
Now, the fun part – defining the eyes. I love doing eye makeup; it was my first love and it’s always something I enjoy, and with so many different eye shapes and colors out there, my job never gets boring! For O, the goal was a subtly contoured eye with black, winged liner and false lashes. I started by applying my favorite eye makeup primer, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, which provides an even-toned base and helps ensure the eye makeup will last long without creasing – I apply it lightly from lashline to brows. Next, I brushed on her crease shade, a light taupe MAC eyeshadow, using a fluffy brush at this point to keep the application soft & diffused:
I started working a darker matte shadow into the outer crease and corner of the eye to give it more definition – at this stage, you can switch to a firmer, pointer brush if you want a very noticeable effect, but I tend to choose softer brushes to keep blending diffused (it’s much harder to draw a strong line and then blend it out than it is to start softer and build the depth slowly):
Now to add a little subtle holiday sparkle! I used a denser brush to pat on a soft, shimmery rose-gold eyeshadow (MAC All That Glitters) at the center of the eye, to catch the light without disturbing the texture of the contouring. I also used a smaller paddle brush to apply a lighter champagne shade at the inner corner of the eye.
Time to line! I used my tried-and-true MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, with a firm angled brush, to work the color along O’s lashline and start building up to the shape I wanted: very thin on the inner corner, and building up to a thicker line at the outer corner. This helps lift the eye and give it shape without weighing it down, and it’s a must for a vintage look!
Next, I slowly extended the line into a cateye shape. This is the trickiest portion of this kind of application, since you want it to be symmetrical. If you mess up, you can use a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover to correct your mistakes – I always carry a stash of DHC Olive Oil Swabs, since they’re double-sided, individually wrapped, and quick and easy to use as an “eraser” when needed!
Curling the lashes is so important as it really opens up the eye and makes the most out of your natural lashes (because if they point down, they aren’t as visible even with mascara). I’m a bit of a freak and have four different curlers, all different shapes and sizes – this one, from Urban Decay, is no longer available (I hope that means they’re re-engineering it so that the bumper pad doesn’t fall out so easily!) and has to be used carefully, but I like that it’s cage-free, making it fit almost any eye shape (and giving lashes one less thing to get snagged in!)
(I was not curling her lashes while taking this photo – that would be potentially painful! But I wanted to show the shape of the tool, which I’ve found helpful. Use curlers gently, especially when you’re starting out, and be especially careful if you have any mascara already dried on your lashes because they’re more brittle.)
I finished this phase by applying mascara – my old standby, CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion in Very Black. I use disposable mascara wands to apply, but you’ll appreciate the brush that comes with this tube if you’re applying mascara to yourself – it really grabs every lash and extends them beautifully, and I find it holds a curl well, too.
Have you ever applied eyeliner only to notice that you can see a strip of bare skin between your liner and your lashes? Tightlining to the rescue! Use a water-resistant product to gently brush color right into the lashline – I chose Urban Decay’s Perversion pencil liner, which is nice and soft (you won’t want a dry, hard pencil rubbing against the sensitive part of your eye, so look for a soft pencil or use a brush to apply pencil or gel liner).
Next up, a little “boost:”
I chose a pair of wispy lashes from eeyelash.com, which I trimmed to size and applied with Duo adhesive and tweezers. Here’s the lash just after being placed on the lashline (the glue has yet to dry):
I then used the tweezers to adjust the corners and gently press the lashes down into place, as close to the natural lashes as possible. Once the glue dried, you can really see the effect they have!
I almost always save the lips for last – like dessert! O has a slight scar on one side of her lip line, which you can see on the upper right of this image of her bare lips:
The scar is very smooth so it helps to use something opaque over it before going in with lipstick. I lined and filled in her lips in MAC Dervish, a pinky-mauve nude, to enhance the shape of her lips and even them out:
I finished by letting O try out two different lip colors – the first was a vampy red from Three Custom Color – I love this photo of O checking out her sassy new reflection:
She loved the sexiness but decided to keep the lips toned down with a more neutral color, so I blotted down the red and applied a lighter neutral-plum shade, also from 3CC’s Warm Lipstick palette (which is so nice for people with golden skintones):
Here’s the final “before & after” – thanks so much, O, for letting me do your holiday party makeup (and submitting yourself so bravely to the no-frills documentation process!)
What makeup did you wear for your holiday parties – bold & sparkly, soft & natural…? Share in the comments below!
Last Friday I had the honor and pleasure of appearing for a second time on WWLP’s Mass Appeal, a local lifestyle program that airs weekday mornings at 11:00am. Remember my article about individual false lashes a few weeks ago? Host Ashley Kohl asked me if I’d like to present a segment about lashes on the show, and of course, I said yes. Local model Kim joined me for the segment – she came over bright & early for her makeover before we headed to the TV station for the live taping, and I loved giving her a glamorous, holiday-inspired look using shimmery gold eyeshadow (matte contour shadows plus MAC gold pigment applied wet, for those curious!), black eyeliner and soft red lips. Here’s the segment:
My goal was to go over different ways to achieve flirty, fabulous lashes – but since TV segments go by quickly, I thought it would be helpful to share my notes here!
First, here’s how to make the most of the lashes you were born with:
- Use eyeliner right at the root of the lashes to make them appear thicker – I like a gel eyeliner on a flat-tipped brush, but pencil also works well. Makeup artists call this “tightlining.”
- Make friends with that scary torture device known as a lash curler! You can find them in many different shapes and sizes (Ashley particularly loved my little corner lash curler). Squeeze gently but firmly at the base of the lash (taking care not to catch your skin) and work your way towards the tip to achieve a nice, soft upward curl.
- You have lots of choices for mascara formulas – thickening, lengthening, waterproof or regular, etc. – and many different styles of applicator wands; I’m partial to CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion, but it’s really about what works best for you. Just remember that mascara ads are misleading (the models’ lashes are usually fake and enhanced digitally), so don’t expect the formula alone to get the results.
- When you apply mascara, first wipe any excess globs off so you don’t make a mess. Apply by wiggling the wand gently at the base of your lashes to coat them thoroughly, and continue to wiggle the wand up the length of the lashes, which will help add thickness and length. You can add as many coats as you’d like, but stop before you get stiff, clumpy lashes (unless that’s the look you’re aiming for).
- Use a lash comb (I like metal-toothed combs; Tweezerman makes a nice one) to separate any clumps and keep the lashes wispy. You can also use a clean, disposable mascara wand, as pictured below:
Still want a little added thickness? Individual flares to the rescue! Here are some tips:
- If you want a natural look, choose short or medium knot-free individual flares (here’s my review of my favorites).
- Use a tiny dot of waterproof glue at the base of each lash – I usually hold them with tweezers and dip each lash cluster into the glue on at a time.
- Looking down into a mirror can make it easier to apply lashes on yourself.
- Place each cluster directly at the lash root, focusing on the outer corner and center of your eye. The lashes should be a length that blends into your natural lashes seamlessly.
Want the real drama? Here’s how to make the most of lash strips:
- You have a variety of styles to choose from! Check out your local drugstore or beauty supply shop to see what’s available. To keep the look natural, look for clear, flexible bands (nothing too thick or too dark, unless you plan to wear heavy eyeliner), wispy styles (the more “uniform” the lash, the less believable it looks), and realistic lengths (especially if you wear glasses!)
- Place the lash on your eye to see whether it fits – very often, they’re too long to wear comfortably. Trim lash from outside in so it fits your eye shape – removing the longest lashes will keep the nicely tapered shorter fibers to blend with your natural lashes.
- Bend and flex the lash band to help it shape itself to your eye (I sometimes wrap them around a brush handle to achieve that nice curve) – this will help prevent the ends from lifting up.
- Apply thin strip of a clear-drying glue, with a little extra on the corners. You want a solid stripe of glue but not so thick that it starts seeping down and gumming up the lashes.
- Let the glue set for 30 seconds before application (I usually give them a little wave in the meantime) – you want the glue to be sticky enough that you won’t be struggling to hold them in place while they dry.
- Place the strip on top of your lashes in the center, & then adhere the corners. Press the band as close to the natural lash line as possible; you don’t want a visible gap.
- Once the glue has set, “pinch” the false lash together with your natural lashes. You can also gently add a bit of mascara to marry the two lashes together.
- Touch up the strip with eyeliner as needed (sometimes the dried glue looks a bit shiny, so you can matte it down again with eyeliner if desired).
- Peel off gently from the outside in when removing your makeup. I don’t recommend sleeping in your makeup, and that includes false lashes!
- Never share false lashes or mascara with others. You may be able to get a few wears out of your lashes if you gently remove excess glue and mascara before storage, but they are not for sharing. Think of false eyelashes and mascara like underwear!