WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN AT 20
My makeup skills when I first started working as a journalist were as rudimentary as my ability to write a decent news story.
In a word: crap.
Yes, I knew the pyramid style of writing a story. They did at least teach me that much in three years of uni. But any flare factor my employers had been hoping I might bring to the job were well and truly lacking.
Similarly with my ability to apply makeup.
Turns out that makeup application is indeed hereditary. How your mum wore her blush or her lippy is likely to be how you do – or did – too.
For me that meant a dust of face powder, a single unflattering eye shadow colour across the lids, a little bit of mascara and a bright ’80s fuchsia lippy courtesy of my girlfriend who “wo-manned” the only makeup counter in the small town in which I was working.
I would like to say that makeup things improved dramatically and concurrently with my on-the-job journo training. But they didn’t.
Makeup remained a great mystery to me. A mystery I never really grasped until post-40. Which is a bloody good thing because that’s when I’ve needed those skills even more.
So, how did I solve the mysteries of makeup? It’s a work in progress but part of that progress has been getting lessons from makeup artists. They are the experts, after all.
Here are the top 5 tips I’ve learned that I wish I’d known at 20.
1. Use brushes to apply a liquid foundation: I now use professional brushes for most of my makeup application but if you only ever buy one brush, make it a good-quality foundation one. Not only will it give your foundation a more even and consistent application but it will also make your bottle or tube of foundation last way longer because you need to use so much less. Recommended product: Benefit Foundation Brush $39.
2. Help your makeup go the distance: This is a biggie for me. I’m not one who’s in the least bit interested in carrying around a full makeup kit for touch-ups during the day.
A couple of extra steps and products during your makeup application will make all the difference between your makeup sliding off your face or still being in place at the end of a long night or day. First up, use a primer BEFORE your foundation goes on.
Think of a primer like lots of teeny tiny silky velcro dots holding your foundation to your face. Recommended product: L’Oreal Paris Lumi Magique Light Concentrated Primer $29.95.
Then … after you’ve put your face on, dust over the top with an invisible setting power. This will not only seal your product but also give you a lovely glow. Recommended product: The Foundation Invisible Blotting Powder $45.
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