Pretty in Brown

Pretty in Brown

Makeup maven Bobbi Brown shares 10 tips for beautiful makeup at work.

By Bobbi Brown

Moisturizer is the key to fresher-looking skin, and it creates the perfect base for makeup. For normal skin, use a lightweight moisturizing lotion or cream. When skin feels dry or sensitive, use a rich hydrating cream or balm. For oily skin, choose an oil-free formula that hydrates and helps control oil production. Hydrate the delicate skin around eyes with a lightweight eye cream to ensure under-eye concealer goes on smoothly.

Here are 10 steps to the perfect makeup application:

1. Concealer: For the most natural look, choose yellow-based shades of concealer, foundation and powder. When a shade is skin tone-correct, it will blend flawlessly and look like skin. To lighten dark circles, apply concealer under the eye, up to the lash line, and on the innermost corner of the eye using the concealer brush. Smooth and blend concealer by gently patting with your fingers. For extra-dark circles, start with pink- or peach-toned corrector, then layer on concealer.

2. Foundation: To find your perfect foundation shade, swatch a few shades on the side of your face and check the colors in natural light. The shade that disappears is the right one. Use your fingers or a makeup sponge to spot-apply foundation where skin needs to be evened out (around the nose and mouth where there’s redness). For full, all-over coverage, use a foundation brush to apply and blend foundation. To cover blemishes, spot-apply foundation stick or a blemish cover stick in a shade that matches your skin exactly. Pat with a finger to blend.

3. Powder: For crease-free, long-wear makeup, apply loose powder in pale yellow over concealer using an eye blender brush or mini powder puff. Apply powder in your skin tone-correct shade to the rest of your face using a powder puff or powder brush.

4. Blush: Smile and dust a neutral shade of blush on the apples of cheeks with the blush brush. Blend up toward the hairline, then downward to soften color. For a longer-lasting look, layer a pop of bright blush (applied just on the apples of cheeks) over the neutral shade. For an extra glow, dust shimmer brick compact on cheekbones with the face blender brush. If needed, gently exfoliate lips with a damp washcloth.

5. Lip liner: For natural-looking definition and to keep color from feathering, line lips with lip liner after applying lip color. Use the lip brush to soften and blend any hard edges.

7. Brows: Using a slant-tip tweezer, pluck any stray hairs between and below the brows. Pull hairs in the direction they are growing, in one quick motion. Define brows using eye shadow (match it to your hair color) applied with the eyebrow brush. Use the eye-definer brush if you have sparse brows. To apply shadow, begin at the inner corner of the brow and follow its natural shape using light, feathery strokes. Set unruly brows in place with a natural brow shaper.

8. Eye shadow: Sweep a light eye shadow color from the lash line to the brow bone using an eye shader brush. Dust a medium eye shadow color on the lower lid and up to the crease using the eye shadow brush.

9. Eye liner: Line the upper lash line with a dark eye shadow color applied with the eye liner brush. For a longer-lasting look, dampen the brush before dipping into shadow. After lining the upper lash line, look straight ahead to see if there are any gaps that need to be filled in. If you also line the lower lash line, make sure the top and bottom liner meet at the outer corner of the eye.

10. Mascara: Choose your mascara formula based on your needs and desired effect. Thickening mascara gives individual lashes a denser look and is ideal if you have a sparse lash line. For lashes that are enhanced but still natural-looking, choose defining and lengthening mascaras.  Roll the wand as you go to separate lashes and avoid clumps. If you choose to curl lashes, be sure to do this before applying mascara; curling lashes after mascara makes them more prone to breakage.

Bobbi Brown is CEO of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, an Estée Lauder company.

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