Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Popular Makeup Myths

Today I'd like to talk to you about makeup myths, or misconceptions, or wrong techniques or whatever you want to call them. They are mainly the stereotypes that have been living in the beauty world, and some even cultivated by some makeup artists, for years. I decided to break some of them :).

There's one thing I do want to stress before we start. You all know it, but sometimes it doesn't hurt repeating and I cannot stress that enough. There are NO RULES in makeup. You should do whatever looks good on YOU, whatever suits YOU and YOUR needs and, in the end, whatever makes YOU happy. It doesn't mean, however, that you can't or shouldn't perfect your makeup skills or your looks, or that you can't/shouldn't experiment, there's always room for improvement and experiment, so just be wise and simply balance-minded (if that's even a word) about your makeup and beauty philosophy, because YOU are the only legitimate judge for yourself in this sphere. So, with that in mind, let's get started.

Myth #1. Always use your ring finger for applying under-eye concealer





I started with this one because it is one of the most ridiculous statements I hear over and over again from many makeup artists, you-tubers and beauty bloggers. They say that it's the weakest finger and therefore you should use this one to apply concealer under the eye not to drag or harm you sensitive skin there. There are 2 misconceptions here that make this myth ridiculously far from being true.

1. When it comes to applying concealer the ring finger is not the weakest finger of all. It is about as weak as all the other fingers. The main argument behind claiming it the weakest is that when you put your palm facing down on the table and lift each finger, the ring finger will be the hardest to lift and therefore considered the weakest. But when you apply concealer you tap or push the product onto the skin, so you actually perform the opposite movement and if you do a similar test but simply push down each finger against the table you'll understand that the amount of pressure each finger creates is pretty much the same and you can push your ring finger as hard as any other finger.

2. Because the ring finger is supposedly the weakest it will apply the least amount of pressure to your under-eye skin. That is also not true, because even if it were the weakest, which we already proved to be wrong, you'd still be able to drag your skin if you're not careful or if you are heavy handed, because it is YOU who controls your fingers and you can either damage or not damage your skin with ANY finger.

So, bottom line: it is not wrong to apply your concealer with a ring finger, but it is definitely wrong to think it is the only and the most proper way to do it. You can do it with any finger you feel comfortable with. I personally often do it with my middle finger and blend it out with a ring finger, but usually only because it is the only clean finger left. An amazing world famous makeup artist Lisa Eldridge also often does it using her index finger (you can check out her videos for proof of that). So, use whatever finger you're most comfortable with and simply be gentle.

Myth #2. No all-shimmery eye-shadow looks after 30


Ok. Here's another stereotype that is so far from reality. I will say this. Everything depends on your skin condition on your eye-lids and your personal preference. There are millions of women out there who, when they're 30+ and even 40+, still look like they're 20, or maybe even older, maybe they just look good and don't even have fine lines leave alone wrinkles, so they can easily pull off any eye look, even an all-shimmery one. There will be a bunch of people who'll say, no you can't wear shimmers at that age because it emphasizes all imperfections and fine lines, and even if you don't have any, you still need some mattes as blending and crease colors and all that non-sense. I'll say Yes and No to this. If you prefer mattes, that's fine, wear them, but if you like you shimmers and pearls and your eye-lids are in pretty decent condition (they don't even have to be perfect) you can wear shimmers. It all depends on the look, the eye-shadow, the colors you choose. I'll even say this, some matte eye-shadows may emphasize your imperfect skin texture and fine lines if your eye-lids are dry, because they may not blend so easily and cling to your dry areas a bit therefore emphasizing them, whereas the low-level shimmers will blur them out. As an example I want to show some pictures of Karen from http://www.makeupandbeautyblog.com/, who is definitely over 30, but looks stunning both in mattes and in shimmers and no one can convince me of the opposite. She is beautiful.










However, I need to make a few notes here. Firstly, I love both shimmers and mattes equally and understand the beauty of both, so I'm not being prejudiced in my opinion. Secondly, I would steer away from wearing straight glittery eye-shadows all over the lids regardless of age. Glitter ALL over the eye never really looks flattering unlike low-level shimmers, pearls, metallic and satin finishes, which usually look good on most people. Thirdlyas you age at some point you will have to incorporate mattes into your eye-looks for obvious reasons, but only YOU decide when and to what extent it will happen. You have to see what eye-shadows look good on you, as simple as that. Until then, you can rock the shimmers or mattes as your heart desires :).

Myth #3. Covering birthmarks


This is one of those myths that I myself discovered to be a myth when I only started with makeup as a teenager. I have a small dark birthmark on my left cheek, so this myth I had to deal with in real life. When you cover your birthmark, especially a dark one (it probably doesn't apply as much to light birthmarks as they're much less visible), you will end up looking like you actually have tons of makeup on your face, but when you put it back with, say, a brow pencil or an eye liner, it will look like you have no makeup on. I know it sounds strange but just trust me in this. It was tested and proven. You have to be careful about the shade and choose the right shade to do it but once you've found it, it's going to be just an extra 2 seconds and a great difference in how it looks. I'll show you an example. Please, don't mind the quality, I'm only posting these pictures to illustrate my point. The lighting and the makeup is different in the pictures but just focus on my birthmark and you'll see what I mean.


Here is my makeup without the birthmark put back. It looks like I have tons of foundation on, almost like I wear a mask, whereas in reality I hardly have any, since the eyes and lips are so loud. That's the effect of a covered birthmark.

I put back my birthmark here and my face looks like I have less or no foundation on my face compared to the previous picture above, whereas in reality I have a bit more coverage here. The way my birthmark looks here is actually the way it looks when I don't have any makeup on. It is its natural color. That's the effect of a darkened birthmark.

Another example of a darkened birthmark, but from a different angle.

Your birthmarks are what makes you unique and special, so don't hide them, just keep them natural. And... who can imagine Merilyn Monroe without her cute and flirty signature birthmark?


Merilyn Monroe and her signature beauty mark

There used to be a whole trend of putting fake beauty marks on your face, so if you have one you don't even need to fake it :). Just keep it naturally defined.

Myth #4. Problematic skin needs more coverage


This is another misconception that problematic and acne-prone skin needs more coverage. The truth is the more coverage you have, the more obvious your skin texture and imperfections become, especially when you're dealing with acne, leave alone the fact that you're clogging your pores with too much heavy product, which in itself can cause more breakouts.




Your skin needs to breathe and look like skin. I think that anyone regardless of skin condition should use as little of foundation as they can get away with, use only what you need to even out the overall skin tone, NOT cover the breakouts or other imperfections, and just spot treat the problematic areas correctly afterwards, making sure to use only matte textures for these areas to avoid extra attention. Whatever you do on your skin, it has to look like YOU rather that you wearing a thick flat mask of "perfect skin". I won't ramble too much about it, I'll just share a video of one of my most favorite makeup artists, Lisa Eldridge, who shares the same concept on this subject as I do and shows how to cover acne beautifully without caking up the skin. Here it is.


Myth #5. Using the same bronzer for bronzing and contouring


The beauty and makeup market is huge and of course there will be those unique bronzers that will work equally well for bronzing and for contouring, but they are rare, and quite often companies make bronzers meant for just one purpose: either bronzing or contouring. So, you have to keep that in mind looking for a bronzer and choose the right products for your purposes. If you want a bronzer for actual bronzing you can get away with a much warmer shade with slightly yellowy-peachy-reddish undertone, depending on your skin tone of course. It may even have a bit of shimmer to give you that sun-kissed glow. However, if you try to use such bronzer for contouring you'll end up looking muddy and like you've chosen the wrong color of foundation, especially if it has shimmer and you want to contour with it. It won't create the shadow you need since it reflects the light. On the other hand, if you want to contour you should look for something matte and much cooler in tone without any significant warm undertones, quite ashy, I'll say. That would be perfect to create the shadows where you want the areas of your face to recede. I often use a taupe-y eye-shadow to do that. And again, if you try to use this type of product for bronzing and warming up your skin tone... eeem... you'll end up looking ashy and dirty - bad, bad idea. So, if you want a product for a particular purpose, keep those things in minds. Below are a few examples of good natural bronzing and contouring.


Jennifer Lawrence. This is a great example of a very naturally looking contouring

Good heavy contouring

Great example of natural bronzing

Jennifer Lopez. Good example of heavier, but still naturally looking, bronzing and contouring

So, bottom line for bronzing/contouring products (unless you find one of those universal all-rounder bronzers perfect for your skin tone, which are difficult to find): keep the undertone and finish in mind, as well as your own skin tone (your bronzer has to be friends with your skin tone, not enemies), and blend-blend-blend.

Conclusion: There's no right or wrong in doing anything in makeup, so don't be limited by stereotypes. My best advice to you would be to look closely in the mirror when you've tried something new, and listen to the feedback from the people around you: those who love you will always complement you on anything that looks beautiful :). Mark those things in your head and you can also try and keep my humble suggestions from this post in mind too.

I hope this was helpful, and thank you very much for reading.

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