If you've been reading here for a while, you know that after years of playing beauty editor guinea pig, I don't trust a lot of people with my hair. Well, the same goes for makeup. So many times, the over-eager makeup artist has felt the need to demonstrate the entire spring/fall collection on my face, AT ONCE, to the point where I'm left shimmering like a disco ball, with all of the colours in the rainbow and so much foundation that it actually creates new wrinkles.
This is why I generally refuse offers to have my makeup done. Unless Carmindy is in town, of course.
As you might recall, I first met her last fall when she was in town to promote her new line with Sally Hansen (remember all the talk of "Carmindizing" our faces?). This time, it was even more exciting because I got to pretend I was on What Not To Wear—except for the parts where Stacy and Clinton yell at me and I get a new, $5,000 wardrobe and haircut. (And actually, I'm grateful that my hair is still intact, because Ted, and Nick before him, seem to relish chopping it off.)
But back to makeup. While Carmindy did my face—which you can see in this vid, and which I'll talk more specifically about tomorrow in relation to my personal makeup crutches—I gleaned a few tips on what we ALL should be doing.
1. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO STOP USING POWDERY MINERAL FOUNDATIONS.
2. BREAKING NEWS: SPONGES MIGHT BE BETTER THAN BRUSHES FOR APPLYING FOUNDATION.
The whole sponge versus foundation brush debate is a BIG DEAL in makeup artist circles, yo. I reckon it's about a 50-50 split, although in the last little while I've been exclusively in the brush camp, after being advised by one high-profile makeup artist that they're less wasteful on product. (He suggested using the sponge as a second step to then help blend and even everything out.) Now I'm torn, because Carmindy was REAL particular about using sponges. (So much so that she was asking her assistant to go find her the right kind.) She says they're better at blending, so even though I already told y'all to buy a brush, I'm experimenting with sponges again. So the debate continues. I WILL get to the bottom of this someday...
3. FOR THE 746TH TIME: CONCEALER GOES ON AFTER FOUNDATION.
You knew this, right? Apparently there are people still out there who are smearing away all their good work though, and then wondering why their skin doesn't look flawless. Please spread the good word. Interestingly, Carmindy didn't use a brush to apply it—just a combo of her fingers and the sponge. (Um... sponges FTW!)
4. INSTEAD OF CONTOURING, YOU SHOULD CARMINDIZE! (THAT MEANS HIGHLIGHT.)
We've discussed this one before, and I have to agree with it. Contouring, which involves adding a slightly darker shade in certain areas to sculpt and define your features, is so, so risky, and can make your complexion look dull and muddy. Adding a highlight is FAR easier. Carmindy applied the white eyeshadow from her palette to the inner corners of my eyes, under the brows, down the nose, above the upper lip (right where it dips) and along the tops of the cheeks. She used a fan brush to achieve the latter, which was exciting for me because I don't believe I've ever seen a fan brush in action. However, my product of choice for achieving this—because I am a rebel and like to use my fingers—is an old Chanel creme illuminator.
5. ONCE YOU'VE DONE ALL OF THAT, SET YOUR BASE WITH A TRANSLUCENT POWDER.
Here I was saving my powder for the very end, but Carmindy did it all over, including on the eyelids, before she applied any colour. Translucent powders are def the way to go... just be careful when using HD ones.
6. A LOT OF PEOPLE (SUCH AS PAMMY ANDERSON) HAVE EYEBROWS THAT ARE TOO THIN.
Another pet peeve of Carmindy's. And mine! I know it's hard to get used to yourself with a fuller brow if you've been tweezing for a while, but please try. One of the best things I ever did was put myself through brow rehab. Long before I was a beauty ed, I started having my brows professionally shaped—but my esthetician forced me to grow them out for a good couple of months so that she could fix the shape. And behold! Years later, Carmindy is telling me I have great eyebrows. It's worth the short-term pain to grow 'em, guys.
7. EVEN THOUGH SUMMER'S COMING, LET'S ALL EASE UP ON THE FAKE TAN AND BRONZER.
Memo to the Jersey Shore cast: Carms says it's aging. And I can't think of a better incentive to use less of it than the thought of looking anything like Snooki, J-Woww, etc. Her advice is to use one that's no more than two shades darker than your skin tone. I really like some of the cream bronzers out there now—two of my faves are this one from Dr. Hauschka and this one from Stila.
8. DESPITE WHAT YOUR BEAUTY EDITOR HOSTESS RECOMMENDS, YOU REALLY DON'T NEED TO SPEND A TON OF MONEY ON MAKEUP.
I love the drugstore, I really do, and I always try my best to give you guys options at every price point... but I have to confess that I'm very often swayed by gorgeous packaging and luxury logos, etc. So what Carmindy says bears repeating: you really don't need to spend gobs of cash on designer makeup in order to get a good result. (I believe her specific gripe was with places such as the makeup floor at Bergdorf's. If you've ever been then you know how, well, pushy the salespeople can be... and Carmindy believes they prey on insecurities to make a sale.) But having her do my makeup with a handful of products that all cost less than $20 was truly impressive. It's the technique and the colours that matter, guys—not the price tag.
9. YOU LOOK AMAZING! REALLY, YOU DO.
Tell yourself this in the mirror every day. Sure, we've all got features we wish were different, but makeup shouldn't be about distracting people with crazy colours or piling it on to hide what we're insecure about. Carmindy's approach is very much centered on accentuating your best features—and you have to start loving yourself to see them. So the self-love bit is where her "mirror mantras" come in. And...
10. THERE'S AN APP FOR ALL OF THIS!
Yep, Carmindy just came out with an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch—and it comes complete with not only some suggestions for your mirror mantras, but also amazing step-by-step makeup instructions (some via video) customized to your specific hair and skin tone. There are tons of different looks (everything from evening to the "five-minute face") and she even gives product recommendations.
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