The Art of Illusion
Don't make it up as you go along. Here are beauty products that help you reveal and conceal.
1. Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Mally Beauty’s 24/7 Instant Erase Quick Concealer is a two-step cream stick and setting powder that erases dark circles, blemishes, age spots and hyperpigmentation. $35 at QVC.com. 2. Project Runway: Highlight your cheeks and eyes with the model-worthy CARGO Runway Kit. The kit pulls together the trendiest hues of the season, including smoky and jewel hues for eyes and subtle shades for cheeks. $49 at Sephora locations in Orlando. 3. Pucker Up: Bold, luscious lips are musts for autumn, and Lavera’s delicious fall offerings include dark berry and terracotta hues. They’re all organic and glide on with lustrous shine. $19 each at lavera.com. 4. Lighten Up: Per-fékt Eye Perfection Gel comes in four luminous tints to complement any skin tone while concealing dark shadows. It also contains soothing, moisturizing and firming ingredients to reduce puffiness and the appearance of fine lines. $45 at perfektbeauty.com. 5. Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Mally Beauty’s 24/7 Instant Erase Quick Concealer is a two-step cream stick and setting powder that erases dark circles, blemishes, age spots and hyperpigmentation. $35 at QVC.com. 6. Bright Eyes: The Lightwand Eye Brightener by Mally Beauty is a double-ended tool that illuminates and enlivens the eyes. Use the creamy metallic pencil on one end and the highlighting powder contained in the cap, and then gently blend with the soft dabber on the reverse end. $25 at QVC.com. 7. Make No Mistake: beauty-ADDICTs calls its Motivate Collection for lips, cheeks and eyes “goof proof.” The fall palette is sold in sets of complementary shades and textures that blend together beautifully. $28-$35 at beautyaddicts.com.
In theory, makeup is supposed to bring out your best while hiding your flaws. So why doesn’t that happen more often? You know—that telltale orange line along the jaw that announces where the foundation leaves off. Or the too-bold lip liner that creates a cartoon outline instead of a subtly defining border. And then there’s the attempt at sultry shadowing that ends up looking more like raccoon eyes.
Often, the problem isn’t the product but how it’s applied. A light hand and a deft touch can make all the difference when applying makeup—and so can the right tools for the job. Use a makeup sponge instead of your fingertips when applying foundation to avoid streaks, and soften eyeliner or lip liner by blurring the line with a slightly dampened cotton-tipped swab.
The best makeup implements of all, says Orlando makeup artist Michele Hundley, are brushes for feathering on foundation, shading eyelids, and applying lip and cheek color. Choose big and fluffy brushes for whisking on blush or bronzer, for example, or dainty and angled ones for lining eyes or filling in lips.
But skill and equipment can’t compensate for the wrong color choices. So select with care, and check out various makeup forums online to research cream vs. liquid foundation and other topics, advises Hundley. Also, she says, ask for help at a department store cosmetics counter. Getting an objective and professional opinion on the best shades for your skin, lips, cheeks and eyes can be worth its weight in gold—which is about what some upscale products seem to cost. Spending extra money on the right products the first time, even if they seem a bit pricey, can end up being cheaper than trial-and-error buying at a drugstore. You can always start out with a palette of costly cosmetics and then supplement or replace them with less expensive drugstore or online finds in the same color families.
With the right tools and color choices, makeup that masks flaws and enhances attributes need not to be just theoretical.