Makeup Tips to Slim Your Face & Create an Instant Lift

Airdate: 5/9/14

Don’t let the concept of contouring intimidate you! Paula and Nathan join forces to reveal how you can use makeup to reveal a slimmer, younger-looking face and neck! These two experts reveal which brushes are best for sculpting features and which products are tops for creating a soft yet contoured complexion that rivals the best celebrity makeup you see on the red carpet.

Paula Begoun: Hello. I’m Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, here with my Social Media Manager, actually just resident genius of Paula’s Choice, Nathan Rivas, who I adore. Yay, Nathan!
Nathan Rivas: Hello.
Paula Begoun: And if you haven’t visited him on our Facebook page you must. He is everything social media and knows just more about skincare and makeup than, I mean, he’s just - he’s amazing. Just amazing.
00:00:32 We are part of the Paula’s Choice Research Team and we are here to keep you beautifully informed so you can make the best decisions about everything from skincare to makeup, hair care, Botox, cosmetic surgery. You name it, we’ll discuss it. We’ll tell you the truth. We’ll tell you what the research says. We will absolutely warn you about the marketing and the hype and the lies. And we will take your questions on our Facebook page.
Nathan Rivas: That’s right.
Paula Begoun: So, today.
00:00:58 Today we are talking about, well actually it’s any day, right, because people can come to and click on any of our shows. So, it’s whatever you’re listening to -
Nathan Rivas: That’s true.
Paula Begoun: Whatever your day is is today. We’re going to talk about makeup tricks to slim your face and create an instant lift. An instant lift. And it actually can be strikingly amazing what a well-applied makeup can do in terms of before and after.
Nathan Rivas: It is pretty incredible, especially some of the - just in general, just creating a general makeup look every day can really transform the way that someone looks and approaches people.
00:01:42 But also some of the more defined and detailed techniques that you can do to really help create some more dimension and definition in your face. It’s pretty astounding just what a little makeup can do.
Paula Begoun: From a fashion perspective we need to say, because we don’t have any judgment about whether someone chooses to wear makeup or not to wear makeup. That’s a personal decision. We think it’s fine whatever you choose.
00:02:08 But if your goal is to wear a beautifully applied makeup, either to look natural or to gain some drama or elegance, or whatever you’re looking to do with your makeup application, we’re here to help you. That’s our goal. We talk about it on YouTube. We talk about it on Facebook and can walk you through it. There are websites we recommend. I’ve been mentioning that the, which I think is actually British.
00:02:36 I think it’s actually from the United Kingdom, but I’m not exactly sure offhand. Because I just love the pictures. I love the before - they’re big into celebrity before and afters. And even just before and afters of not just what they look like with and without makeup, which his always a little shocking to see, but also just when they do their makeup differently and change their look, the different elegance or beauty that it can bring out versus detract from.
00:03:07 Because some makeup applications - actually a lot of makeup applications, and given my first book was Blue Eye Shadow Should Be Illegal, I actually obviously think that it can actually be obnoxious and not just distracting when you wear some makeup styles that just show off the makeup and not you. When you’re wearing blue eye shadow all I can see is the blue eye shadow. I don’t see you.
00:03:31 You get lost in the makeup design as opposed to enhance how you look. It detracts how you look.
Nathan Rivas: That’s true. You can certainly be creative with makeup on certain occasions. There’s always, you know, if you’re going out on a night out you can apply a little bit more drama to your look. But, you know, still with no judgment of course, there are certain makeup looks which are very extreme.
00:03:58 And usually you kind of see those more exaggerated on a fashion runway or makeup shows where there’s this triple bright-colored eye design look, or like a black lipstick, or two-inch long eye lashes with sparkles on them. Those sorts of things are - it’s not about the look then at that point. It’s not about really embellishing or enhancing your own beauty. It’s just really about showing off what this makeup artist can do.
Paula Begoun: Right. Exactly.
Nathan Rivas: It’s sort of like those cake competitions where the cake has different tiers and electrodes on it, little moving machines and everything like that.
00:04:35 And nobody is going to eat that cake, but it’s fun to look at on that particular occasion.
Paula Begoun: It’s fun to look at. Exactly. One of the things I was thinking about as you were talking is that when we’re talking fashion and traditional fashion or classic or elegant, or even dramatic fashion, is that there’s a lot of things in fashion magazines we criticize all the time because the information is just wrong, about skincare, hair care, just lies or misleading.
00:05:02 But in terms of makeup, actually you rarely see overdone or extreme makeup in fashion magazines, especially on the cover. It’s very classic, beautiful makeup where the makeup doesn’t overtake the face. You see the person. You’re not staring at the makeup. You’re not staring at any one aspect. You’re seeing the whole person and the fashion look that they’re wearing.
00:05:32 When women get married, weddings, and they wear beautiful bridal dresses, often what I’ve heard women say is that when I walk down the aisle I want it to be here comes the bride, and not here comes the dress. I want people to see me and not just see a dress and be overwhelmed by the dress. And that’s true about makeup. So, when you’re doing makeup it can actually not only detract, but if the goal is to make your face look thinner and look more elegant and classic and etched, then some makeup absolutely will do just the opposite of what you want it to do.
00:06:14 It will make your face look fuller. It won’t make it look smooth and even and more etched and enhanced to make it look more slim if that’s the goal for your makeup application. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about is how to create with your makeup a slimmer, more elegant look. And the primary way to think about it is light and dark.
Nathan Rivas: That’s a great point.
Paula Begoun: It’s just that simple.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
Paula Begoun: Dark slims. Dark makes things fall away. You don’t see it as much. And light brings attention to something and you see it more.
Nathan Rivas: Darker shades help create definition, especially well-placed subtly around the cheeks and certain areas we’ll talk about absolutely can create a fairly striking difference just on a day-to-day basis.
Paula Begoun: Right.
00:07:08 Even day-to-day. We’re not talking about something that has to be photographic and you’re over-emphasizing the hallows of your cheekbone or the sides of your nose. You don’t want to look like you’ve got brown stripes on different parts of your face.
Nathan Rivas: Not like you’re in the opera.
Paula Begoun: Right. Exactly. Like Man of La Mancha or something, right. Exactly.
00:07:29 Or to narrow the sides of your nose. But when you softly shade the under cheek bone, the height of the temple, and the sides of the nose with a very subtle, soft tan, or very soft, subtle matte, not shiny, bronzer kind of color, a soft tan, a very soft brown. And I’m talking very, very, very soft. Not obvious in the least, almost pale color.
00:08:01 You can then shade those areas, make them look like they’re slightly receding, and then highlight the other areas of the face: the height of the cheekbone, the center of the nose, the center of the chin, and the center of the forehead. The trick is to make sure that when you’re contouring you’re not using shiny shades of anything because shine, even when it’s a brown color, or a tan or bronzer kind of color, when it’s shiny it brings attention to itself.
00:08:33 It makes it stand out and you want just the opposite. You want the area under the cheekbone, the area along the temple area, and when I’m talking about the temple area I’m talking about the area along the hair line just next to the eye area, along the sides of the nose, and under the chin. And we’ll talk about contouring the jaw and the chin area in just a second. Makes a huge difference, but if it’s shiny it won’t make it recede. It will make it pop. It does just the opposite of what you want it to do.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
00:09:02 You know, when it comes to contouring, it’s such a game of precision, and blending, and layering, and as you mentioned when you use something that’s shimmery it’s very difficult to get it to look natural. Shimmer and iridescence, it’s something that you apply carefully to select areas of the face that light can catch. But, you know, when you’re getting into highlighting and contouring and trying to blend these layers together and make your cheekbones stand out more and silhouette your nose and that sort of thing, you don’t want these layers of glitter or even really fine shimmer.
00:09:34 Because everyone is going to be able to see that. And the last thing you want people to see is, “Ooh, you’ve contoured today.” That’s probably one of the most mortifying things that anyone can hear while they’re actually trying to pull these looks off. So, if we’re starting contouring their face, where in their routine would you say is the best place to start with contouring?
Paula Begoun: So, the application technique, I mean obviously there’s always variations on a theme.
00:10:04 For example, some makeup artists start the contouring process with foundation. And they’ll use two colors of foundation. They’ll use a light pale foundation in the center of the face, meaning the center of the forehead, along the center of the nose, on the tops of the cheekbones, and on the chin, center of the chin to start the process of highlighting that center area of the face.
00:10:30 And then a darker shade, they’ll start the shading process with the darker foundation along underneath the jawbone, on the temple area, and under the chin. Again, we’re going to talk about makeup along the jaw and chin area in just a second. But, so if you’re choosing to do that kind of a detailed makeup application, actually starting to shade the face can start with your first step if you want to go through the bother of applying two foundations, which I think is a huge waste of time if you’re not doing a professional hour-long makeup application.
00:11:07 That is an incredibly tricky technique to work with two makeup colors, keep them separate enough to create the illusion, not having a line at the jaw. It’s just not easy. But, professional makeup artists, especially the fancier - like in the fashion magazines - sometimes that is what they’re doing. They’re starting with two different foundation colors.
00:11:28 My recommendation strongly is to start with a foundation color that matches your skin identically and apply your concealer, which should always be one or two shades lighter than the foundation you apply all over your face, and when you put it on and you put it on under your eye you also put it on in a triangle area just over the apple of the cheekbone, I’m sorry, the apple which is the center area just under the eye on the top of the cheekbone and then out on top of the cheekbone.
00:12:01 And so you start with your concealer that goes under your eye, apply it over your foundation, emphasizing the top of your cheekbone. So it’s almost in a triangle from the corner of your eye down just about to the side of your nose, and then up and out over the top of the cheekbone. You would then use that same concealer in the center of your face, just dabbed in the center for a little bit of highlight. Down the center of your nose, which would also cover a little of that extra redness you might have there.
00:12:29 And then in the center of your chin. So, you’re starting off your highlighter with a single step. And you can then apply another highlighter in a powder or in a cream form. But I love getting things done fast. And so what I do with my concealer is I do just what I’ve said. I use it under my eye and then I put it on in a triangle out along the top of the cheekbone from the corner of my eye out along the top of the cheekbone, down the center of my nose. I don’t usually bother with the center of my forehead on a daily basis.
00:13:00 But definitely when I’m doing a more formal or evening kind of makeup I do. And then, again, I don’t do the center of my chin, but I do when I do a more formal makeup. So, with two steps I’ve applied my foundation and then I’ve done my highlighter step as part of my concealer step.
Nathan Rivas: So, with your skin type, what type of concealer do you use then? Do you have a liquid concealer that you use or something more cream-based? Because that can be a factor, I think, for a lot of people, especially those who have oilier skin.
00:13:35 You know, what type of concealer are they going to be using on those areas which can be pretty oily, especially down the center of the face and the cheeks.
Paula Begoun: Well, I always use a cream-based matte finish concealer. Always. One is because I have oily combination skin and if you use too creamy a concealer, no matter what skin type you have, it’s going to either bleed into the lines around the eye or it’s just going to slide off the face. You’ll have problems making it stick and having a good application.
00:14:11 But then it depends on how much contrast or coverage you want. The way I wear my makeup I like a little bit more coverage, so a cream matte finish works really well for me because then I get the amount of coverage I want. But if you want a sheerer, lighter application, then a liquid concealer that has a soft matte finish, that can be another way to go.
00:14:35 And that’s always one of those steps that you have to experiment with. It’s one of the fun things you can do at a cosmetic counter or with a makeup artist is have them show you different techniques to get this look. Doesn’t mean you have to buy everything they put on you. But you can definitely say, “How do you do this technique?” And those are the two options in terms of using, I mean, I two types of products you can use as part of your concealer step to also create the effect of a highlighter.
00:15:03 But from there, then the next thing you would do is then you would apply your powder contour product. And all a contour product is, it doesn’t have to be called contour, it just has to be a soft, silky shade of powder that is either - it could be a bronzer shade as long as it’s not orange, because that contouring orange, you would notice it. That wouldn’t be subtle.
00:15:29 Has to be a tannish, taupe-ish, soft pale shade of brown that you then apply directly under the cheekbone, knock the excess out of your brush and you use a soft brush and you don’t stripe it on. You gently brush it on in soft even motions and then you apply it under the cheekbone along the temple area and then along the sides of the nose.
Nathan Rivas: Just a quick mention with this. What you’re mentioning with contour powders, a lot of brands now sell contour powders or contour kits. But as you mention it doesn’t have to - you don’t have to buy a contouring kit, which is really just a serious of shade tones which you can get -
00:16:06 You can get in pressed powder. You can even use eye shadows, you know, depending on the shades you have.
Paula Begoun: Oh, yeah, it’s about color.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly.
Paula Begoun: Not about the name on the product. Exactly. My contour color for years, in fact now that we have our new matte shade palette back, because we didn’t have eye shadows for a very long time and blushes. My contour has always been from, I hate to even admit how long I’ve had, because when we discontinued our eye shadows -
Nathan Rivas: I know.
Paula Begoun: I know!
00:16:38 Bryan, how many years ago did we discontinue our eye shadows?
Nathan Rivas: Five?
Bryan Barron: I don’t think I could order a beer yet.
Paula Begoun: Ha! Oh, come on! No! Was it ten years ago?
Bryan Barron: It was probably about seven or eight years ago, at least.
Paula Begoun: Geez Louise.
Bryan Barron: It was kind of a slow passing because we got rid of all the singles but we kept the trios. And then the trios went.
Paula Begoun: Well, I kept our taupe. I
00:17:06 I can’t tell you how many shades of tan and taupe I kept. Because I use those as eye shadows as well as my contour colors. So, I used those for years. And I actually am just now - thank the lord we are coming out with our new matte eye shadow palette - was using the same color because it wasn’t too brown orange-ish, because that would bring too much attention. It wasn’t too golden yellow, which would look jaundiced.
00:17:37 It was a nice natural shade of shade, so it made it look shaded not colored, not like a blush, which is what some of these contour colors can do. And I used a taupe-y tan shade from the Paula’s Choice line originally. But now that we have our new eye shadow palette coming out I will be using - I’ll be using those.
00:18:04 But the idea is that you have to experiment with the color that works best on you, but the placement is universal. It’s under the cheekbone. It’s at the temple. It’s along the sides of the nose. And then let’s talk about the under, why I keep saying we’ll get to the jaw and the chin area which is a special consideration because part of what can make the face look more etched and slim is when you shade the jaw area.
00:18:30 Particularly if you have a very wide face, to make it narrow and more angular will make it look slimmer. The wider a face, the more full it looks. So, you do want to narrow that area down. The problem is that depending on how you do it you can look like you’ve got a line in the -
Nathan Rivas: Or facial hair.
Paula Begoun: Yes. It can look dirty and it can get on clothes. For daytime it is a very tricky look to pull off, to shade the jaw. In pictures it’s great. If you’re a celebrity on the runway you want to do that, especially when you’ve got a low cut dress on then it doesn’t really matter because you’re not going to get it on the dress.
00:19:06 But in real life on a day to day basis the darker the color or the shading you put at the jaw, that is a tricky area to do in real daylight or in the office light because it can look dirty or it can get on clothes or just look odd. You’ve gone through all this trouble to put on a foundation that matches your skin exactly and then right at the line of demarcation between your face and your neck you’ve got a line of darkness.
00:19:33 It doesn’t work even if it’s the best color in the world. And the big thing is getting it on clothing. That you just don’t want to deal with. So, even though I think it can be incredibly convincing how that looks in pictures or for night, contouring the jaw and contouring under the chin, especially for a double chin, in daylight it’s not a typical place to put makeup.
00:20:00 And it’s not like makeup is a big secret. It’s not like when you have it on people don’t notice that you have makeup on. The idea is where is it traditionally placed and where does it look like you just missed your face and it looks dirty and gets on clothes. So, even though I think when it’s done right and can be for evening, a special evening look, or for pictures, it’s beautiful and absolutely slims the face. For every day and in real light it’s something to do judiciously and check it out in daylight before you decide this is the look you want to achieve.
00:20:33 The other thing to keep in mind, separate from the contouring step, because now we have put on the foundation, we’ve used the concealer as our highlighter. We have then applied the contour color which doesn’t have to say contour. It can be the right color blush, a bronzer, an eye shadow that is a taupe-y, tan, shading looking kind of color for your skin tone, your skin color, that looks like shading and not like a blush, or looks dirty.
00:21:06 It’s something you have to play with to see what looks best on you. Then the next step would be to apply a blush. And how you apply a blush becomes very important, because if you overemphasize, and I’ve seen this - I don’t see it in fashion magazines very often, if ever, but I see it sometimes in blogs or on YouTube where the blush is overemphasized at the back corner of the -
Nathan Rivas: That stripe. That stripy.
Paula Begoun: You know, at the back corner of the face.
00:21:37 And the blush is not applied on the apple. Or it’s just applied on the apple but not at the back. The whole cheekbone just above the contour has to have blush. And it has to be even and soft. If it’s too heavy or you’re emphasizing the back part of the cheekbone or the front part, it just looks odd.
00:21:58 It is a sweep of blush over the apple of the cheekbone all the way back, brushing down in to the contour area. And when you see it done on a model in a fashion magazine that’s the effect you want. If you concentrate it too much just in the back, in real world light, it will look like you missed your cheekbone. And look like a hard line between like well how come the whole cheek isn’t blushed? It’s distracting. You don’t want your makeup to be distracting.
00:22:32 And you’re not in a photograph. You’re in real life. And people are looking at you up close and personal and you don’t have lighting to mask the drama or the placement of the makeup you have on.
Nathan Rivas: You shouldn’t be able to see where it ends and where it begins I think is a really important just quick tip.
Paula Begoun: Rule of thumb.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. If you can see where it’s ending and where it’s beginning in certain areas.
Paula Begoun: You haven’t blended well enough.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. On the blending note, as far as brushes go, the size of brushes when contouring I think is an important thing. you can’t just use any size brush for your face to contour because especially the size of your face is an important quality.
00:23:17 Using a brush that’s too wide, for example, and you get a line of darkness that just looks like you have bronzer applied oddly. Same thing with highlighters. And then you also want to make sure that you’re not mixing your brushes when it comes to applying the light shade versus the darker shade.
Paula Begoun: Exactly.
Nathan Rivas: Because then it just looks muddy.
Paula Begoun: Well, the rule of thumb with brushes is that you only use the brush that matches the size of the area. So, a powder brush, it should be nice and big and full because you want to dust it all over so it’s evenly spread. If it’s too small it can go on choppy and it takes forever.
00:24:03 For blush you want it to match the size of your cheek area. If you have a small face a big blush brush won’t work. If you have a bigger face a small blush brush can end up looking choppy when you apply it. Contour is a very specific shape brush. And, yes, you don’t want to use your blush brush with your contour color because then you will be applying a blushy contour color because the blush color will get mixed in with your contour shade because you’ve also used it in your brush.
00:24:33 And you want and angled brush. And there are at most cosmetic counters that sell brushes a brush that specifically says contour. It is an angled brush. Kind of looks like a blush brush but it’s cut on an angle that is exactly the kind of brush you want to consider using. And it is dedicated to your contour color. You don’t use it for anything else. You don’t use your blush brush for anything else. You definitely don’t use your powder brush for anything else.
00:25:01 You don’t stick it in your blush and think you can use both or you’ll be dusting blush all over your face and that is not the look you want. So, yes, the brush matches the size of the area you want to use it on and you don’t mix other colors that you dedicate that brush to, namely contour, powder, and blush. Three different brushes for the job. And of all things you can splurge on, we all splurge on something.
00:25:29 You don’t have to splurge on expensive skincare products. Hopefully we’ve taught everybody that. You definitely don’t have to splurge on expensive hair care products, except Nathan every now and then. He sneaks. However, you absolutely - and it doesn’t actually have to be expensive, but it does take more than one or two brushes to apply a beautiful makeup. Definitely investing in good brushes and it’s really about the number of brushes and the size of the brush. It doesn’t have to be expensive.
00:25:59 I bought a M.A.C. blush brush that is - as soon as I get my act together to get it back to the M.A.C. counter. It is leaching hair. I blush that stuff on and it makes me look like I just got a haircut. That brush is making - and I just haven’t had a chance to go back and yell at M.A.C.
Nathan Rivas: Really?
Paula Begoun: Well, I didn’t have my brushes with me. I was out of town. One of those bag packing days. And I went to the M.A.C. counter and got a brush because I needed to have makeup. And it’s…ARGH!
Nathan Rivas: It sheds everywhere?
Paula Begoun: Oh, it sheds.
00:26:32 And it was $12 for this little brush. And I went to the Sonia Kashuk at the drugstore and got her brush and it was fine and it was $7 and it doesn’t leach. So, it’s about the size of the brush, not the expense of the brush.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. There are a lot of really good brushes now, especially from brands like Sonia Kashuk. That’s a good one to mention. Real Techniques. Those are fairly inexpensive, moderately priced. You can get different brushes there anywhere from $8 or $9, upwards in the $18, or even actually a little bit less than that. It’s the full range.
00:27:10 And you can really easily kind of build up a collection if you’re trying to keep costs a little on the lower side of brushes. You can build up a collection fairly easily with brands like that and from the drugstore. As you mentioned I think it is very important to not just rely on four brushes to just do everything because you’re going to have different brush needs for different color tones. Sometimes you might be using liquid or cream makeups with brushes versus powder brushes.
00:27:35 You don’t want to just start mixing things, mixing textures, and mixing formulas, that sort of thing. So, it is important to have, kind of as you mention, a nice little resource of brushes to choose from rather than just hanging onto the same four that you’ve had for five years.
Paula Begoun: So, one of the questions I know you’re going to get because you’re going to get them on Facebook is how do you tell where your under cheekbone is. Where do you tell where the hallow of our cheek is, what area to contour?
00:28:04 And so one of the things that I see recommended that I actually think is a really good, yes.
Nathan Rivas: The fish face?
Paula Begoun: The fish face! I love that. I just looked down and looked up and there’s Nathan making a fish face. So, yes, exactly. You suck in like you’ve just sucked on a lemon wedge and you suck in the corners of your mouth and that area, almost without exception, starting - you’ve got to go all the way back to the ear, coming down, where it stops, where you sucked in, that’s where the contour goes.
00:28:38 It is a perfect way - it makes almost everybody’s blush area, the top of the cheekbone stand out and the under cheekbone that needs to be shaded stick out. So, you know exactly where to place it. It’s almost fool-proof. Not for everybody’s face, but I would say in my days of doing makeup I rarely saw someone where that wasn’t a great way to find your under cheekbone area to shade.
00:29:07 The other thing is where is the corner of the eye. So, that puffy area underneath the brow between the lid and the brow is the back corner of your eye. And then the temple, the dented area right next to your temple, that is what you’re shading slightly going into the forehead to make it slightly narrower. So, that’s where you’re putting the temple contour. And, again, fashion magazines are really great when you start noticing where that contour color and examining the way the models have their makeup on, where the professional makeup artist is applying the contour color.
00:29:44 The other thing is is that if you don’t do your eyebrows, if you leave your eyebrows too big and thick or too fine and sparse, both will do the same thing of making the face look bigger or fuller than you want it to look. So, a nicely, not over-tweezed. We’re not talking about [Clara Bow] eye liner. We’re talking about not having a big, thick heavy brow, but a softer, more subtle brow, not over-tweezed because that will also make a face look fuller.
00:30:20 But a nicely defined brow that is then filled in can look beautiful and help shape the face and make it actually look thinner. A sparse brow just washes out the face so that you don’t have enough definition around the eye area which just kind of makes everything look more amorphous and less defined, which by definition is just a fuller, not heavier look, but just a fuller look. And not the etched, thinner look, you know, slimming look that you’re going for. Now, one of the things I’ve seen recommended - and it’s funny, I see both points - but often they say that a more neutral toned lipstick color versus a vibrant more noticeable lipstick color is more thinning than a vibrant color.
00:31:14 I’m not sure I agree with that one.
Nathan Rivas: I’ve seen that in some different variations - I’ve seen the statement made where really dark colors make the lips look smaller, but I think as it sounds like you’re about to say, it doesn’t - I don’t think that’s a universal truth, obviously. Because someone who has fuller lips to begin with, Angelina Jolie, she could put on black lipstick and it wouldn’t make her lips look any smaller than they are.
Paula Begoun: Right.
00:31:44 I think that the idea is that - I think in photographs it’s one thing, but a neutral lipstick in real life for a lot of people just makes the face look very pale. So, I often think that when I see that recommendation it’s about photography and not so much about real life or evening makeup or making a fashion statement with a bit of lip color.
00:32:19 So, my suggestion, I don’t think there’s any hard fast rule. I think that, as is true with anything around makeup is it’s about experimenting to see what you think looks good on you, what looks good in the mirror, what looks good in daylight, to get out of the house and go shopping, or go to the office, or to work, or whatever you’re doing. Versus maybe going out in the evening. Whatever it is you’re choosing to do, what fashion statement you’re trying to make, that you check it out in the light that you’re going to be seen in to see what makes the most sense and looks the most beautiful on you.
00:32:58 But those are my best tips, I think. Let me make sure I’ve gone over everything. Yup, pretty much, that’s it. Anything else you can think of?
Nathan Rivas: Well, I think it also depends on what else you have going on with the rest of your face in terms of lip color. Just kind of continuing what you just mentioned. If you’ve done something quite dramatic with your eyes in terms of a very smoky liner, a very smudged out eye shadow look, or very dramatic lashes, something along those lines, or a cat eye.
00:33:30 You might feel more comfortable with a more neutral lip color, especially if you’re not someone who experiments with makeup very often. I think I’ve heard that from a lot of people, a lot of women talking about: “I feel so extreme if I have a very smoky eye look and I try a very bold lip color. It just feels too much to me.” And that’s just going on what you said, what feels natural to you. But also I think that if you’re going with a completely bare, sort of natural makeup face, having a very light or very neutral skin tone lip color would just look a little strange, I think, in a lot of ways, depending on I guess the finish of it.
Paula Begoun: What you’re looking for.
00:34:09 And again, that’s one of the fun things, one of the great parts that girls, women, females get to do is play with different makeup looks. It washes off. You don’t like it, you can start again. Makeup is one of the - I think - one of the more fun aspects of what I do for a living because the options, it’s not dangerous.
00:34:32 You know, it’s not bad for you. It’s not like skincare where you can be hurting your skin and causing damage. It’s fun and it changes and you can play with it. I don’t want you wasting money on it, but that’s about your pocketbook. That’s not about, you know, your budget.
Nathan Rivas: It all washes off.
Paula Begoun: It all washes off and you can start again and you can experiment with how it looks. Get your makeup done by different artists and see how it works. But to make the face look slimmer, to get a lift, it’s all about light and dark.
00:35:06 It’s all about how you’re applying your blush. It’s all about where you’re applying your contour. And for the most part that play of light and dark can make a beautiful difference in how you look any time of the day or night. So, what questions do we have from our Facebook page, Nathan? And we’ll take a couple and then call it another day.
Nathan Rivas: So, cream versus powder contouring products.
00:35:35 I know we mentioned, you know, foundation, concealer previously, but using some type of a cream contour product or a cream formula to lighten or to darken the area. Is there really any difference in terms of end result or beginner versus expert contourer? Is it easier to use powder or does the blend-ability of creams make it a little bit easier for someone just kind of starting out?
Paula Begoun: [Sighs] you know, it so depends on your skill level.
00:36:06 But as a rule, there is no question powder is easier. Most makeup artists do powder. Even if they work with cream, a cream concealer, they will often go over that with, I mean, not concealer - a powder highlighter or powder contour product.
00:36:29 Even if they use a cream-based or a foundation they will go over it again with powder, a contour color powder. That’s a technique thing in terms of your own comfort. Nobody will see the difference, because if it’s well done and it’s well done it doesn’t show in one way or the other. It’s supposed to be subtle. Some people work better with cream. Some people work better with foundations. Some people work better with powder. Personally, I work better with powder. I find I can control the intensity better.
00:37:02 By definition cream contours and cream highlighters move too much. They have movement. It’s hard to keep them in place. And you have to set them with powder anyway. So, my personal preference is always powder. But some people love contour with creams or foundation. They’re hard to find, by the way, cream contour shades because they are harder to work with. So, if you’re starting out I would for sure start out with a powder contour color, but again, it’s one of those things, that what the cosmetic counters are for.
00:37:34 Experiment. Play with it. See how it works for you and then make a decision in terms of your skill set and what you think ends up looking great in daylight.
Nathan Rivas: That’s a good point. If you’ve been trying these tips and you’re still not getting anywhere, you feel like you’ve got this paint by numbers thing going on, it absolutely is okay to go to a cosmetic counter, or even like a M.A.C. store and have someone actually show you.
00:38:00 One of the artists actually show you how to run through a very simple contour look to really see it actually in real life and see how it actually works and how easy it can be. The next one is contouring if you have acne. In terms of, I imagine this has to do with concealer, if someone who is wearing concealer to cover up acne and then trying to contour over that and blend it all in. Is it a lost cause? Should they not even try?
Paula Begoun: Oh geez.
00:38:28 That’s a hard one. You know, as somebody who has struggled with acne most of my life and has been doing television makeup and doing presentational makeup on myself for years, the thing, the only way to make it work is you have to wear a foundation, a heavier foundation. You need a fuller coverage. You can’t wear a natural looking foundation and then apply contour over a red mark on your face. It will just look odd.
00:39:04 You need a fuller coverage foundation. You need a fuller coverage concealer. And then when you apply the contour, whether it’s a cream or powder, although I would strongly - for blemish-prone skin recommend a powder, then it’s going on your even toned skin because you’ve created a more coverage application so the skin looks more even toned.
00:39:31 If you’re trying to create a natural look or just spot cover a blemish it won’t work.
Nathan Rivas: Don’t even try.
Paula Begoun: Yeah. Don’t even try. You’ll end up - you won’t like the look when you hold up a mirror in the daylight. It’s just not going to look - give you that polished, refined, classic beauty look that you’re trying to go after.
Nathan Rivas: Another one is in terms of women with less than firm eyelids, especially around the lash line, getting some sagging there, what would be the quickest way to add some definition to that area?
00:40:10 Say if someone wanted to go through a very shortcut eye makeup look to give some quick definition to a saggy eyelid, what would that be?
Paula Begoun: In some ways it’s the simplest thing to do, but again, it’s one of those technique things that your really will need help for somebody to show you.
00:40:31 Once you get the technique down it’s really easy, but again, it’s a learning curve. You put a light color on the lid, you put a light color just under the brow, and I mean like a teeny brush that just follows the outline of the brow, and then in the area of the crease, keeping it off of the lid, just underneath that little line you just did of highlighter, underneath your brow you put a tan/taupe shade and shade that area back.
00:41:06 And then the color follows all the way back out to the area of contour out to the temple. It is one of the easier makeup looks out there once you learn the technique. And, again, once you start looking at the fashion magazines really up close you’ll see that’s exactly in different shades of brown that makeup artists are doing for the models and celebrities in fashion magazines. It’s a simple - well, I don’t want to say simple.
00:41:34 But once techniques, once you get the techniques down.
Nathan Rivas: Once you have it down.
Paula Begoun: Yeah. It is absolutely simple. It’s light on the lid. Darker in the crease. But too dark and it’s going to look - if you don’t have your blending technique down it’s going to look messy, and dirty, and choppy. And then just a slight little bit of highlighter underneath the brow. If you get too much highlighter on the full part of the, from the crease to the brow area, you’re just going to make it look puffier. So, you have to be very careful how you apply highlighter under the brow area.
00:42:06 It’s got to be a small, small controlled area or you will just make everything look puffier and heavier.
Nathan Rivas: When we say highlighter we mean just a slightly lighter shade of eye shadow. We’re all talking matte tones throughout the whole look.
Paula Begoun: Well, depending on how much you want, if you have wrinkles and crepey skin, yes, it should be matte because shiny eye shadow, shiny blushes, shiny contour colors add to a crepey, wrinkly look.
00:42:35 But if you don’t and you don’t mind shiny colors for daytime, I always warn about that because a professional look if you’ve got a career, lawyer, accountant, or some other executive level career thing, shiny - you know, the guys aren’t shining, you shouldn’t be shining. I mean, if you’re competing in a world where a classic look is better.
00:43:00 So, but in terms of that kind of a design you are talking about a pretty light color on the lid. Not color. Light. Like a nice light tannish, beige-ish shade under the brow, and then a soft tan/brown color in the crease. So, I think that sums it up. I think that does it. Those were great.
Nathan Rivas: I think that’s it.
Paula Begoun: So, and beautiful. I love a beautifully applied makeup. It’s so stunning. I’m Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Copy, with my Social Media Community Manager and absolutely all around genius at Paula’s Choice, Nathan Rivas, talking to you on and all kinds of information that we provide and especially for Nathan on Facebook. It’s about keeping you beautifully informed.
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