“The very first time I remember having makeup on me, I was about 7 or 8 and I was doing a TV show called “The People’s Court.” I already had makeup on me growing up, like powder, but the reason this was so memorable was because the makeup artist put eyeliner on me. I remember saying to my Mom, “I think I’m too young to be wearing eyeliner.” It made me feel a little too provocative, as if they were trying to age me up. I definitely let the makeup artist do it, but it felt racy, kind of like the very first time I heard George Michael sing that song, “I Want Your Sex.” That’s what it felt like. Over the years I would wear makeup on the TV shows I worked on, but in my personal life, I don’t like to wear too much makeup because it reminds me of work. With work, it feels like I have a mask on and in my real life, I like to feel as natural and as much of myself as possible. Every makeup artist has their own way of making you look and I feel like the character you are playing. I really don’t like when they put on so much powder and foundation on me because I like to see my pores on screen and when I don’t see my pores on screen, my nose starts looking really wide – I have a bump on one side that I don’t have on the other. It makes me feel like a different person and I feel uncomfortable in my own skin.
I remember on the TV show “Roswell,” they wanted to use an eyebrow pencil on me and it made me really uncomfortable. It was too much makeup, I was 19 years old. I’m in high school on the show, nobody needs their eyebrows this filled in. I didn’t like when there was so much makeup that you could see it because my character is a young girl living in a small town. She doesn’t need foundation. A lot of times they do it for camera but now that everything is digital, you can see all of the makeup. It doesn’t make you look prettier, it just looks like you have a lot of makeup on. Thankfully they have hi-def powders but I first ask my makeup artist to use blotting papers and if the DP still says I look a little shiny, then I’ll use powder but definitely not on my nose. It gives me a complex and makes my nose look big.
There were points in my life, for example when I was a senior in high school, that I had a good makeup look. I started wearing plum eyeliner that made me feel edgy but I did it with a MAC eyeshadow. I go through phases of finding a look that I like for myself and I’ll beat it down. Then I’ll have to find new colors again. I recently went to Sephora with the makeup artist of my wed series “Dating Rules” and she got me a whole new set-up. I wear a lot of really pink cheeks because I think it makes my whole face pop, but recently I think I’m trying to look really young. I saw my girlfriends who are a little older than me and they don’t wear a lot of color on their cheeks. They wear bronzers and I thought, “That’s what a sophisticated woman looks like.”
Red carpets stress me out. I don’t like to look any different than myself on the red carpet. I love what Emma Stone did for all of the press on “Spider Man.” She tried different looks and she really experimented, so if I was ever in the position where I was doing a lot of press at one time, I would like to assume that I would do the same.
I’ve always wanted to wear a red lipstick but when I put red lipstick on, I feel like I’m wearing makeup out of my Mom’s makeup bag. I haven’t found the right shade that suits my face with my coloring, so it always feels odd on my face. For my everyday look right now, I wear a tinted moisturizer on my face because it gives me a little bit of color but also still looks dewy. Blush to me, is something I won’t leave home without and it makes me feel and look healthier. I’m now getting into the eyebrow pencil, which is funny, but I do think it makes me look more sophisticated and finally, mascara. Anything besides that, I feel like I’m getting all dolled up. I try to stay away from that dolled up look unless I’m going out. For auditions I like to keep it clean and simple, unless it’s for a part that is more specific. If I’m doing red carpet, it depends on the event.
My makeup bag is a Charlotte Ronson makeup bag that I got in my gift bag when she launched her new line. She named one of her Starry Eyes Liquid Eyeshadows after me, which was really great, especially since I’ve known Charlotte for years and I’m really proud of her. It’s an olive color that you’re suppose to wear as an eyeshadow, but I wear it as an eyeliner. With my brown eyes and my brown hair, it really makes my eyes pop and I like that is has a little metallic to it.
For blush if I want a flushed pink cheek, I like MAC’s Peony Petal. It’s really pink so I use it gingerly. I put it on my brush, blow so I get the extra particles out, and I brush from the apple of my cheek to the top of my cheek bone, almost where the hairline is. I feel like it helps define my face but I use it as gingerly as possible because it can be really pink.
Now for a more sophisticated bronze-y look, I wear MAC Pink Cult. It feels taupe-y but it gives your cheek bone definition, so it may not look as if you’re wearing blush but the sculpting in your face is visible.
My Bobbi Brown blush, the Shimmer Brick Compact in Bronze, is my absolute favorite blush. It has a lot of shimmer to it so you have to be careful because you can start to look clownish with all that shimmer. For my coloring, it has so many great colors in it and my face looks alive and healthy.
My Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 in Sand, is my go-to tinted moisturizer. The makeup artist from “Dating Rules” turned me on to this when I told her I wanted to look dewy. She picked out this color for me and I wear the tiniest amount. I don’t always wear it because some days I like putting on light coverage but some days I don’t. All my makeup looks I wear for day and night. Once I have a makeup bag, I have it until I beat the makeup down, until I have to throw it away.
I love my Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils in black. It’s super thick and really elongates my lashes but I find that I need to clean off the residue from the top of the mascara wand before applying.
I’m super into my dark brown brow pencil, Anastasia in Brunette. Again, it makes me look like a woman, which I really like. When I was on “Roswell,” I told the makeup artist I wasn’t comfortable with the eyebrow pencil because it aged me. Not that I was scared about looking older, it just didn’t feel right for the character and at that time in my life, I didn’t feel comfortable having that much makeup on. Now I think it makes me look polished. Back then it felt heavy and dark on my face and my eyebrows were also thicker. I wanted to feel light and young then. I use this eyebrow pencil when I’m going out at night and sometimes during the day, applying it very lightly.
I use Benefit Tattle Tale Creamless Eyeshadow if I want something special on my eyes, without having color or anyone knowing it. It’s a shimmer and I think it pops your eyes open. It’s a very light color and having a little white on your eye, pops your whole face. Your eyes are the vessel to your heart and to your soul. This color, with mascara, is a perfect day look. The trick, I think, is to look like you’re not wearing makeup.
If I do want some eye makeup, let’s say I’m going out at night or if I have an audition or something that requires an eye, I use Your Best Friend, a sultry eyeshadow with colors Pretty in Pink, Confident Cocoa, Beautiful Bordeaux, and Bold in Black. It’s a great color palette for me, with the plum, the charcoal, the tan, and the olive. It’s great for girls with olive skin. It’s really cute and easy to carry around. I put the tan all over the lids and sometimes to the top of the eyebrow, then I use the plum as an eyeliner with a little brush, and finally, I use the olive in the crease to pop my eye out. I sometimes use the black for eyeliner but I try not to go too dark because I like my eyes to pop.
I also use MAC Technakohl Liner in Brownborder. I like it because it’s easy to apply and easy to smudge. It gives you a sexy, subtle smokey eye.
I don’t like to wear lipstick, to be totally honest. It makes me feel like I’m trying too hard, like I’m wearing my Mom’s stuff. I prefer a gloss, something that is light and that I can blot on my hand, so it makes my lips look sun-kissed. I love Laura Mercier Berry. It’s a pretty, fun, sexy color. It feels like a chap stick, it looks like a chap stick, and it goes on really light. I just dab it on, I don’t go all the way across. I also wear Benefit Pinking of You during the day, because it’s really light. It’s like a chap stick with gloss and shimmer in it, so I feel like I have something on but it’s not too heavy. Another lip color I wear is Shiseido Shimmering Rouge in Rouge Eblouissant PK 214. It’s really dewy and pink and makes me feel girly. It has a nice shimmer to it and I put it on the bottom lip and kiss the top lip, so that it’s not too heavy.” - Actress, Shiri Appleby