Tips and tricks to dress up the new focal point of our face
In this era of the “New Normal”, it seems that things are anything but. In the year 2000, after the dot.com bubble burst, the Chairman of the Estée Lauder Companies, Leonard Lauder, infamously said, “When times were tough, lipstick sales increased.” Mr. Lauder called this theory “the lipstick index”. Women who would once spend money on a Dior handbag cut costs by spending on Dior lipstick instead. It was a way to be vamp while being cost efficient at the same time.
So here we are in the “New Normal” wearing masks to protect ourselves from the global pandemic, but this time, Mr. Lauder’s Lipstick Index is extinct. The mask mandate has covered our pouts, and now, it’s all about the eyes. Maybe we are in for a mascara index?
For many years, silent film actors emoted their feelings by just using their eyes. No dialogue was heard until the talkies came along in 1930. Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, and Clara Bow had to tell their stories through the emotion projected through their piercing eyes. Fast forward to today, you can bet your kids can see in your eyes if they have been angels or are working your last nerve. After all, we all look like Western bank robbers parading about town in our masks.
Now, we are all looking mostly into everyone’s eyes. We search their masked face for a hint of expression, hoping for a smile and not a frown. Your eyes are telling the whole story now that everything else is hidden behind a mask. What are your eyes saying about you? A little help from some makeup and you can begin telling your own story.
Frequently I am asked, “Where do I begin? I have no time to spend on my makeup routine in the morning.” I always say, “If you can take three minutes, then you do have the time to let your eyes do all the talking.”
Start with an eye treatment cream
Skin care is so important to looking and feeling your best. On those days when your eyes are a bit red or stressed out, consider Bausch + Lomb Lumify Eye Drops – it’s safe and doctor recommend.
First, you need to decide what concerns you have in the delicate skin around your eyes that you want to address. Do you have under eye darkness, tiny lines and wrinkles, puffiness, or possibly dry skin giving you that unwanted crepe paper look? A lightweight multipurpose eye serum can be your new best friend.
Three eye products worth looking at are Olay’s Brightening Eye Cream, Repechage Frost Bright Eye Serum and Clinique’s All About Eyes.
It takes less than twenty seconds to apply an eye treatment product, so this is a step not to be skipped. Be sure to share this product with the man in your life. While he may be reluctant to venture out to the cosmetics section on his own, he will thank you as the thin skin around the eyes is usually the first place we all show signs of wrinkles and lines.
Second step is a concealer for under eyes, and a quick time saving step is you can use the same product on your eyelids as an eyeshadow base. This is best applied with a synthetic concealer makeup brush which can be washed. MAC makes a few exceptionally good ones. Use the product sparingly and blend with your ring finger, starting closest to your nose and sweeping across and away towards your ears. Two worth trying are Revlon Photo Ready Concealer and Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift & Firm Concealer. Pick the shade closest to your skin tone and don’t make it lighter than your skin – otherwise you will have a reverse raccoon look around your eyes with white circles where the dark once was.
Next, the makeup
The next step is eyeshadow. Select a lighter neutral color that you like and sweep it all over the eyelids. A darker shade should be used in the inner crease of the eye and blended with a soft eyeshadow brush, so you don’t have a visibly dark outline.
Beware of deep plum or red shades that can sometimes look like you just stepped out of a boxing ring and weren’t the winner. If your eyes are deep set, you can skip this step and just use the neutral eyeshadow color on your eyelids.
The highlighter is the last of the eyeshadows used and should be applied lightly directly under your eyebrows from the inner eye to the outer corner following your eyebrow shape. A light pastel color is ideal – just stay away from glittery colors unless you are going to a 1970’s disco costume party. Powder eyeshadows that are soft and easy to blend are your best option. I personally suggest looking at MAC’s Single Shadows, Shiseido’s Essentialist Eyeshadow Combos – and Almay’s Eyeshadow Trios give you perfect combos .
You are almost at the finish line of your 3 minute eye makeup routine!
Eyebrows are the frame of your face and your eyes. Your eyebrows deserve a little grooming attention first. Make an appointment with an Esthetician to have your brows professionally styled. The professional styling may include some brow waxing to get the exact shape best for you and having your brows dyed to give them depth and definition.
When time doesn’t allow for some outside help, you can confidently do it yourself. A DIY should begin by using a magnifying mirror to look at your eyebrows specifically for stray or long hairs and any brow hairs that might hang below the arch of the eyebrows. Use a flat end slant tweezer and small scissor to remove any rebellious hairs that have gone rogue and hang down below the eyebrow arch. I do not recommend trying to wax at home.
With a light touch you should brush the brow in place after you bit of pruning is finished. A Brow Pencil with attached brush on one end will be your new best friend. Gently using small soft strokes fill in any sparse spots first and then follow by stroking in the direction of your brow hair growth an overall shape using your own brow as an outline.
Some Brow Pencils I like are Lancôme Brow Define pencil, YSL Dessin Des Sourcils Brow Pencil, and Rimmel’s Brow This Way stick.
Eyeliner is next, and you are almost done. Apply eyeliner as close to your lash line on the upper lid as possible. Unless you have a super steady hand stick with liner pencils before venturing into liquid liner or be brave and remember its only makeup and will wipe off if you ended up with crooked lightning bolt looking liner. As close to your lash line as possible and the deeper the tone the better especially black or a dark coffee tone. For the bottom lash line, a slightly softer tone is a better choice, think browns or a slate color. Start at the outside edge of your eye and gently glide in a soft line to about the midpoint of your eye. Avoid enclosing the bottom lash line entirely unless you are channeling Cleopatra, as it will make your eyes look smaller and less open. Some good options for eyeliners are Laura Mercier Kohl Pencil, Tom Ford Emotionproof, and Bobbie Brown Perfectly Defined Eye Liner.
And finally, your lashes
Lashes are the next and final step. Many people today have lash extensions, which is having individual lash hairs attached with a special surgical adhesive right onto your own eyelashes. They can add fullness, length, and color to your eyelashes. When they are done correctly by an experienced Esthetician, they are glorious. When they are done wrong then you can have an expensive mistake that looks like two messy dead bat wings are stuck to your eyes. Ask around before considering taking the leap into lash extensions, admire someone else’s lashes and go to their professional for a consultation. If you don’t have lash extensions, then you will want a really good Mascara to finish your look.
First, decide if your choice of Mascara is going to be waterproof or non-waterproof. How do you decide? If you are an avid golf or tennis player or swim a lot or chase little kids, then waterproof mascara is going to be your best bet. The major difference is waterproof mascara requires special eye makeup remover and a bit of gentle work to remove it.
If you have thin or sparse lashes, I would not recommend a waterproof mascara since if you must work to remove it you potentially can make your lashes weaker. If you go the waterproof mascara route, you should consider Estée Lauder Lash Multiplying Mascara or Maybelline Lash Discovery Mascara – and be sure to buy eye makeup remover for waterproof makeup – L’Oreal Clean Artiste makes a good one.
For non-waterproof mascara, part of your choice is going to depend on the brush. If you have short, tiny lashes, then a mascara brush shaped like a Christmas Tree is going to be disastrous to try to apply on small lashes. Small or short lashes need smaller brushes to be able to gently surround each lash and give it volume and depth. Look at Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara and Cover Girl Clean Fresh Mascara for fine lashes.
For full long lashes with lots of volume be sure to have a fuller, thicker brush that is up to the task. Stroke the mascara wand onto your lashes, holding the brush in a horizontal direction. Glide up and down over each lash, never side to side like windshield wipers. Apply your Mascara in upwards even strokes and pause a moment before applying a second coat of you need it.
Mascara has the shortest lifespan once it is opened. Three months tops and then it gets tossed no matter if it’s all used or not. Every time the mascara tube is opened and used, air gets pumped back into the tube along with any residue or environmental dusts that may have been on your lashes. This is one iron clad rule that both Dermatologists and savvy Makeup Artists both give as a recommendation to get the maximum benefit out of your Mascara while it is still in it’s prime. A few I like are Borghese Superiore Mascara, Lancôme Hypnose Drama, and Elizabeth Arden Grand Entrance Mascara.
So, in the time it took to soft boil an egg, you have got your beautiful eyes ready to face the day! Oh, BTW eat the egg, Breakfast is important.