Gloss, Balms, Sticks and Liners

64 Arts

I work at a print shop and I remember, back in the day, when folks would be surprised that the color in the swatch book didn’t exactly match the color of their printed item. It’s not that we used a different ink, it’s that they printed it on a colored paper.

Even the most opaque ink, if it’s not black, has some light showing through it, some slight translucency, and when you’re looking at a sample on bright white stock it’s the truest version of that color. Put it even on a cream background, and the color changes slightly because the background is no longer white.

The same happens with lipstick.

We’ve all been there, right? You search through all those racks, try all the possible testers on the back of your hand or the inside of your wrist to see what matches your skin tone best, buy the top one or two choices, get home and find out that they just don’t look the same.

Why?! Frustration and buyers remorse flood your very soul. Did the saleslady give you the wrong tube? Is it the lights in the store compared to your light at home? Is there such a thing as the perfect shade of lipstick?

What happened, simply, is that your lips aren’t white. They already have some color to them and everyone’s is different. Unless the lipstick is incredibly opaque your natural lip color will affect the color you’re applying.

This is why it helps to find single-use testers or go to a make-up counter where they will give you a single-use lip brush to try a color on before buying it.

But, okay, say you’ve found the color that works for you, how do you wear it?

I swear by lip liner. As we age our natural lip-lines start to get a little blurred. This comes from everything from cold sores (if you have them–knock-on-wood, I never have), miscellaneous blemishes, sunburns and just the natural passage of time. Lip liner makes a crisp edge that you can fill in with the various products of your choice and it really does look nicer in the long run.

Also? Filling in your lips with liner, first, then going over it with lipstick or gloss can help that color last throughout the day.

Speaking of which, do you reapply and how often?

I was long in the habit of not bothering to touch up my face or my lips during the day unless I had a meeting (rarely) or was going somewhere after work (occasionally). Part of the reason, especially for the lips, was that I put my make-up on at  home and didn’t carry it around with me. I’ve since solved this “problem” by putting on everything down to the lip liner at home, and keeping the lip stick/balm/gloss in my purse to put on at the first red light and to have available for touch-ups during the day.

Even though some areas of my life might belie the fact: I’m a stickler for efficiency in a lot of ways. It just seemed terribly inefficient to have 2 sets of everything (especially since my preferences change and have gotten more expensive over time) and to be constantly taking things out of my purse to use at home then putting back. Yes, I do that with my cell-phone but I don’t want to do that with my makeup!

So, sure, I leave the house with sort of a clown-thing going on, but no one’s looking that early in the morning and I’ve got it fixed by the time I get to the office.

Finally, what’s your finish preference? I’ve taken to wearing tinted lip balm during the day and switching over to gloss for afternoons/evenings.

Maybe it’s the makeup version of not wearing diamonds before 4pm (a rule I’ve never followed, either, lol).

the 5th Art: Cutouts

64 Arts

Cutting out small stencils from paper or peel for marking the forehead or other parts of the body with patterns.

You know what this makes me think of? Eyebrows.

Momma is the type to sit (for what seems like hours) and pluck pluck pluck her eyebrows into neat lines. Me? I don’t have the patience. I groom as necessary but I’ll invariably spend too much time on one and be exhausted before I can even get to the other.

Please, someone, tell me you do this, too?

I’ve tried a bunch of shortcuts, too. Those pre-cut eyebrow wax strips? Never fit my face, always needed to be trimmed. So I moved to the ones that came in the square strips since I’d have to cut them anyway.

Folks, when they say not to rewax the same place twice on the same night, please listen. For the love of all that’s good, do NOT rewax your brow ridge twice in one night to catch those few stray hairs. They’re not trying to make you walk around semi-unkempt, they’re trying to avoid potential lawsuits you ripping a few layers of skin off on that second pass. And that hurts. A lot. For about a week.

So, thanks to my German heritage, I just deal with the Brooke Sheilds-look and let my glasses distract.

For the record, the one time I had my brows waxed professionally I was broken-out for a full week. My skin and wax just don’t mix.

Anyway! Getting somewhere near the topic at hand.

Have you seen those plastic eyebrow guides? I can’t tell if they’re throw-backs to the era of drawn-on eyebrows (hello, Joan Crawford eyes!) or something “new” (no such thing, really, but you know what I mean). I understand what they’re trying to do, but I think it’s kinda far-fetched to spend $20 on a set of templates to shape a statement of your face that isn’t even fitted to the canvas, you know?

We’re not one size fits all. We’re not even symmetrical, generally. The most beautiful things about a person are the little quirks (physical or otherwise) that make us individuals. Which is why I like the idea of, if you must have a template, making one yourself (easy instructions over at the Makeup Files).

There are other fun ways to use stencils for body art. Simple stencils can be used to aid in face painting for young ones (or those young at heart) or for temporary tattoos for a fun night out. While you can purchase plenty of ready-made stencils in a variety of designs, making your own is fairly simple as well.

Things to consider:

  • Stencils should be flexible to easily wrap around curves of the body
  • Acetate sheets will last longer than paper ones
  • Clean lines are easier to follow, so use a fresh craft blade or heated stencil cutter for the best results
  • Paints, pencils and powders should all be safe for use on skin (and keep in mind that lipstick, while handy, can really clog your pores so make sure to use it sparingly away from the lips and thoroughly wash it all off as soon as possible)

So, whether you intent is frivolity or allure, have fun with it! Tomorrow we’ll get into some different cutout projects that have nothing to do with face paint or eyebrows 😉