Sephora Makeover + makeup tips

Coco Chanel had this famous quote: “”I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”

I absolutely agree with her. I started experimenting with make-up when I was in secondary school. When I started working, I never step into the office without make-up on. The only exception was for a couple of weeks when I couldn’t put on eye make-up because I had double eye-lid surgery. But I made sure I had my foundation, powder, blush and lipstick on. Over the years, I learned how to put on make-up from magazines, TV, tips from cosmetic sales persons and youtube. But I suspected that I might have missed out on some tricks.

So last Friday, I went for a makeover session at Sephora (Ion Orchard), something I had wanted to do for some time and I wanted to get it done by this make-up artiste, Didi. I must say it was a great learning experience because I got some really fabulous tips and techniques from him. So here I was, sans makeup.

Me without makeup

Didi first asked me what I wanted out of the makeover and I told him I wanted to learn something new, particularly layering makeup from simple to formal occasion. I also told him how I put on my makeup and he said he would demonstrate how he would do it instead.

I told Didi that I tried both liquid and mineral foundation and found the former to provide better coverage. He then proceeded to use Bare Minerals foundation and powder for my makeover, to show me how contrary to what I experienced, even mineral foundation can provide good coverage. He used an Urbay Decay concealer pencil which he drew lines round my eyes (to cover fine lines), side of my noise and above and below my lips (to cover up redness).

Concealer markings to indicate coverage for blemish areas

He then used a brush to blend the concealer into the skin. If you don’t have a brush, you can use the 4th finger (considered a weak finger which doesn’t put too much pressure on your sensitive eye areas). Once done, Didi then brushed the mineral foundation onto my face. I looked at myself in the mirror and was surprised that the concealer actually worked well with the foundation, providing pretty good coverage. I’ve tried using concealer before, but the result didn’t turn out so well. I realized now that the trick is getting the right concealer and blending well. And Urban Decay concealer pencil turns out to be a nifty tool.

Urbay Decay Concealer - color code 'DEA'

Next, Didi then applied Bare Minerals’ radiance powder which has illuminating mica, underneath my left eye. This, he said, is a secret tip that he uses on his customer and it has the effect of blurring the dark eye circles. Comparing with my right eye (without application), I can see how effective this powder is and even bringing out a glow in the face. Didi later recommended for me to get the Bare Minerals’ Illuminating Mineral Veil which can be used all over the face, rather than the radiance powder which is used only around the eye area.

Bare Minerals Illuminating Mineral Veil

Another tip Didi gave me is to create the perception of a higher nose bridge, giving the impression of a sharper nose.

Creating an effect of a sharper nose, along the nose bridge

What Didi did was to use a small brush dipped into a light brown eyeshadow color, tapped off excess powder onto a tissue paper, then lightly draw a light next to my eyes, along the nose bridge, to above the nosetrils. As long as the color used is just slightly darker than your skin color, otherwise it’ll look wierd, you’ll see an amazing effect of a higher nose bridge.

For the first time in my life, I learned the use of a bronzer. I had never fully understood what it was for despite reading about it in magazines and naturally, never bought one. But Didi showed me that the bronzer is a great tool to create structure for the face. Unlike Caucasoid face, most Asian face does not have sharp features. Particularly for Chinese/Oriental face, applying powder (even illuminating powder) and blusher is not enough. Our face still look flat. Using the bronzer, applying only on the side of the face, from the top of the ear down the length of your face to the side of the mouth, you create structure for your face, making it stands out.

Using bronzer to create structure for Chinese/Oriental face

Didi used the bronzer from Smashbox, a palette of various shades of brown.

Smashbox bronzer

Smashbox bronzer - Baked Stardust

So remember, we don’t put blusher on the side of our face, but it should be applied on the apple of our cheeks instead. In fact blusher should be lightly applied to give a natural look.

Didi applying the radiance powder below my right eye

Didi also told me that he wouldn’t advise getting two-in-one product like a moisturizer cum sun block or a sun block cum makeup base. The formulations tend to emphasize one function over the other. It’s best to stick to one product for one function, so that means using moisturizer, sun block and makeup base separately for day makeup.

Oh by the way, he also agrees with me that no mascara is able to reproduce the effect of the falsies. But during this makeover he didn’t use falsies, instead he used mascara and showed me how I can save money and time by using only one mascara to produce volumizing and lengthening effect. The trick is to use the tip of the wand and brush the eyelashes from the root up to volumize the lashes. Then followed by the side bristles to lengthen the lashes. Also, I realized that it’s not enough to curl your lashes just a couple of times prior to application, but at least 5 times! This will make sure that the lashes will stay up.

The Petulant Child had a makeover

So Voila, here’s me with my completed makeover. FYI, the makeover is S$60 and I think it’s money well spent. I’ll be going for more makeover session, to learn how to apply dramatic eye colors just for the kick of it.

Before I end here, another tip: if you applied dark eyeshadow, use a light lipcolor and vice versa. Also, using a lip brush helps define your lips better.

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