May 24, 2015

Give Good Face: Party-Perfect Makeup Tips

Nikol (right) preps a model at a recent event in San Francisco

Only slightly worse than being tardy for the party is a pre-departure makeup meltdown courtesy of overly aggressive attempts to glam up during the holidays. To avoid common holiday-time hazards with glitter, eyelash falsies and smoky shadow, read on for tips from Bay Area makeup artist Nikol Elaine.

A former MAC gal, the now out-on-her-own makeup artist currently brings her skills to the faces of models during commercial shoots and at local fashion events (we most recently witnessed her work during the SFFMA’s White Christmas Party), as well as to brides and women seeking to beautify before their next special event.

How can we wear sparkly shadow or add a little holiday glimmer to our makeup without accidentally falling into disco ball territory?

Glitter can multiply on its own, so when the event calls for some extra reflection try this: add a silver or gold glitter to just the inner corner of your eye, near the tear duct for instant brightness. Find a creamy eye shadow base to apply to the eye lid first (I love MAC paint pots). This will act as a glue. While the base is still wet, apply your glitter or glitter shadow just on the eye lid.

Do you have any tips for applying false eyelashes, something that many women turn to this time of year to amp up their looks?

False lashes are key to enhancing even your day makeup. Here are my favorite tips when attempting this task alone:

- Apply only a small amount of adhesive (I love Duo) to the lash.
- Give the glue time to set, try counting to 20, before even thinking of putting it near your eye. This will ensure that the glue will be tacky and less likely to come undone later on.
- With a steady hand, I like to use tweezers to help act as mini fingers and ensure that both ends are securely stuck to the skin just above my natural lashes.
- If nothing else, cut your false lash in half and add to just outer corner. Wink!

What are some key things we should keep in mind for creating the perfect smoky eye?

Ahhh the smoky eye, and all the variations that come with these two words!

- Try to think of the smoky eye without specific colors, but see it as a light color and a dark color to create contrast.
- My favorite smoky eye will consist of a lighter-than-skin matte color on the lid, and a darker matte color towards the outer corner. This could be brown, gray, green, etc. I like to use matte for a more dramatic look. A bonus, matte eye shadows tend to stay on longer.

We’re ready for the limelight. What can we do with makeup to up our chances of looking good on camera?

If you know the camera will be on you at your next event, try the following:

- Line just the top or just the bottom of your lash line. When you line the entire eye, it tends to make them look smaller.
- Add some blush. Color on the cheeks helps give the face dimension, and if you already wear blush, try a different color and apply it on the apple of your cheeks.
- Trendy this season is a light eye (less work for you!) and a great matte lip. Afraid of dark lip color? Use a lip pencil over the entire lip and blot, no need for gloss.

Photography courtesy of Gene Kosoy