Tag:  girl's guide Archives - Beauty Banter

A Girl’s Guide To…. Highlighting and Contouring

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When people say that makeup is not an art form, I tell them to look at before and after photos of a model who has just been shaded and contoured to the nine. Contouring can virtually allow you to change the shape and look of your features without the need for permanent surgery. Highlighting allows you to take your features and exploit them. As Cargo artist Annesley Broadhead says, “Contouring and highlighting plays with shadow and light, just like a black and white picture.”

Together, contouring and highlighting can take your face from average to magnificent. Trust me, all the celebs use these tricks. So pay close attention. Contour and highlighting is about to become your new best friend!

CARGO artist Annesley Broadhead explains:

The idea behind contouring and highlighting the face is to bring out our best features and minimize minor flaws. The most important thing to remember is that if you are going to play with contouring and highlighting it must look natural. To make something look deep or recessed (contoured) you use a shadow; to pull something out (highlight) you use a light shade.
There are a few ways to contour and highlight. Make-up artists will often use a combination of light and dark foundations. For everyday women there are lots of great products that can achieve realistic results. Here’s how:

To thin the nose:
Shade the edges of the nose using a flat eye shadow brush and a bit of matte bronzer of matte taupe colored eye shadow. Lightly apply along either side of the bridge of the nose from the inner corner of the eyes down to the tip of the nose. Now use your finger to blend downwards towards the cheeks so that it does not look like a stripe. Next apply a touch of light champagne colored eye shadow in a soft line down the center of the nose from the bridge to the tip. Again blend well for a natural effect.

To shape the face and emphasize the cheekbones:
Apply your foundation as usual and then apply a very light shade of concealer along the upper edges of the cheekbone; this will pull out the cheekbone. Powder as usual. Apply a matte bronzing powder under the cheekbones to contour. To find the proper placement, hold a pencil against the face from 1 cm above the upper part of the ear to the outer corner of the mouth. This is the most flattering angle to place the contour color. Now apply the same matte contour shade along your jaw line to create a more angled jaw. (This is a great tip for those with a more rounded face shape.) If you have a longer chin that you wish to minimize, place the contour shade under the chin as well. To minimize a prominent forehead, a little contour along the side of the forehead by the hairline will work wonders. Just remember: when shaping your face it is all about being subtle and bringing out your best features.

To highlight brow bones:
This is the simplest trick and can take years off your eyes giving the look of an eyelift without surgery. After applying your eye shadow, use a soft white or cream color directly under the eyebrow along the arch. The shadow can be matte or shimmering depending on what you prefer. Complement the under brow highlight by placing just a tiny dab above the brows just past the arch. This draws an onlookers eye upwards and adds even more lift. I love CARGO EyeLighter™ because it is designed just for highlighting the eyes and can be easily tossed in the purse for touch ups.

Make Up Forever Kevin-James Bennett our Director of Pro Business Development and Artist Relations says:

how to thin the nose:
I’ve always found that highlighting the bridge of the nose is much more flattering and realistic than contouring the sides. I like to use a foundation 3-4 shades lighter than the rest of the face and draw a line from top to bottom and then feather out to the sides.
shape the face
I study the natural contours of the face and then exaggerate the areas that fall into shadow with a contour color (usually a very taupey brown devoid of any strong yellow tone). Then I fade the contours by blending the foundation color back into the outer edges of the contour. Blending VERY well is key here.

how to emphasize cheek bones:
The easiest way to “pop’ a cheekbone is to highlight the diagonal area that spans from the side of the nose up to the outer corner of the eye. This not only emphasizes the cheekbone, it creates a beautiful light in the center of the face that makes the eyes pop.

how to highlight brow bones:
NEVER use a white shadow or anything shimmering to highlight the brow bone. Simply use a foundation or eyeshadow 2-3 shades lighter than the rest of the face. This should be a subtle, flattering highlight, not and un-natural focus point.

Celebrity makeup artist Troy Jensen (Kim Kardashian’s favorite) offers the following tips:

The art of contouring starts with a prepped face of a light moisturizer, then apply a cream or liquid highlighter, for fair skin tones, use a white pearl, medium skin tones use a shimmery beige, and for dark skin tone, bronze or gold works best.

Apply highlighter with a small concealer brush and apply it to certain areas of the face only, not all over. just area’s that look amazing when the light hits the face. Such as the top of the cheek bones, down the center of the nose , above the bow of the lips, and the inner part of the eyes near the tear duct. Then apply your liquid foundation with a foundation brush. The highlighter will glow through the make up, giving a natural glow that is not too glittery.

Contouring can be done with dark cream foundation or with a matte powder bronzer or dark face powder. Dust the powder bronzer to contour under the cheek bone and along the jaw line to get rid of double chins as well as fullness to the face. If you have a long nose. Instead of contouring both sides of the nose to give the look that it’s more narrow, dust a bronzer across the bridge of the nose. This will give the appearance the nose is not as long.

Highlighting areas like the brow bone, should not be highlighted with a shimmer, but rather a matte shadow in a pale skintone shade. Like bone, or off white.

The key is that it should look natural, so blend, blend , blend.

Prescriptives Director of Artistry, Jillian Veran, offers this tip:

Using an illuminator to highlight skin can help you glow, but too much can create an unwanted shine.

An illuminator, like *magic Illuminating Liquid Potion, on the top of the cheek or over blush is a great way to get a subtle glow. Be sure to use a semi matte blush to avoid overdoing the glow.

Joanna Schlip, celebrity makeup artist for Physicians Formula says:

To emphasize cheek bones, make a fish face and brush bronzer or the darkest shade of the trio underneath the bone, where the hollow starts. On the highest point of cheekbones, dust a lighter highlighting shade.

To thin the nose, use the darkest shade of the trio (or any bronzer) on both sides of the nose to streamline it and use the lightest color on the bridge of the nose. To make a nose look shorter or reduce a bump, use the darkest color side-to-side across the bump or on the tip to make it shorter

To highlight brow bones, I love the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Bronzer, Blush & Eye Shadow in Sunset Strip. Use this or any shimmer powder (anything that reflects light) above the eyebrow and right below the brow. A kabuki brush is great for sweeping shimmer right on top of the brow area – just make sure to blend really well and don’t forget to rub any excess powder off the hair.

Tips from Jillian Dempsey, AVON Global Creative Color Director:

How to emphasize cheek bones:
Start by smiling to see the apples of your cheeks and then apply a dot of cream blush, like Avon’s Be Blushed Sticks, to the center of the cheeks. Use your fingers to blend upwards towards the outside of the face. Follow by layering on an iridescent powder to lock in the color but avoid applying it to the t-zone to limit shine.

How to thin the nose:
The key to contouring the nose is using matte bronzer and loose powder to create definition. Start by using a small brush to lightly apply a loose powder like Avon’s Ideal Shade Loose Powder down the center of the nose. Follow by using a fan brush to add bronzer to the sides of the nose, creating contrasting color that adds dimension to the nose. Finish by using a powder brush to wisk away any access powder that may have fallen and set in fine lines.

celebrity makeup artist Terri Apanasewicz’s (includes Cindy Crawford, Gisele
Bundchen and Miley Cyrus as clients) on highlighting and contouring:

thin the nose: Use just a shade darker than your usual foundation or the softest hint of a powder (MAC Taupe eye shadow is a good one). Apply to each side of your nose and make sure to blend. Then powder so it will disappear to the naked eye into the rest of your makeup.

shape the face: For this, a matte bronzer is best or “Hoola” blush from Benefit. Lightly dust it around the parameter of your face, gently hitting the high points. Creating dimension in your face should always be subtle and effective.

emphasize cheek bones: Using one shade darker that your usual foundation, brush it under your cheek bones making sure there is no definite start and stops with the brush. Amazing Cosmetics Velvet mineral foundation is a personal favorite – it’s subtle and does the trick.

highlight brow bones: Use a light shade eye shadow, matte for day and a little sheen for night. I like a cream or soft pink. Apply just under the brow bone along the arch of the brow. It doesn’t have to be heavy to be dramatic. Anastasia has great brow highlighter pencils, just make sure to soften the edges with your ring finger.

To read the entire interview with even more incredible, exclusive tips, click here.

A Girl’s Guide To…. Drugstore Mascaras

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If you don’t love mascara, there may be something wrong with you. No, seriously. Mascara is the gift that keeps on giving…

What makes a mascara magical?
Here are some of the issues that you, the readers, considered vital…

*Volumizing
*Lengthening
*Thickening
*Declumping/ Separating
*Color (that coats each lash)
*Wand – size, bristles and functionality

To drugstore or department store… well, the choice is yours but there are some amazing, fabulous, spectacular drugstore mascaras on the market!

For this edition of girl’s guide, I’ve compiled a list of favorite drug store mascaras chosen by myself, you, our readers, and other fellow beauty addicts from around the web.

Naturally, this list will constantly change as new mascaras hit the market, so I’ll try to post an updated version every month.

Here it is… All you’ll ever need to know about drugstore mascaras!

CoverGirl Lash Blast $7.65
What THEY say: For volume – “Patented volume-boosting formula and patent-pending brush are designed to max-out each and every lash, leaving you with the ultimate big lash look.”
What I say: I can’t write this post without mentioning my coveted drugstore find, CG’s Lash Blast (I know, I’m like a record on repeat). What can I say, I’m obsessed? Love the formula, LOVE the plastic wand, love how long and thick my lashes look after I apply. For more of my love-fest, click here.
What YOU Say: ” It gives the best volume to my lashes than any other drugstore brand of mascara. The rubber brush is big but it delivers a blast of volume boosting formula to my lashes. It gives me big bold lashes without clumping. It’s so worth the buy!” – Melissa Philipp of The Makeup Divas.
Amazing volume – so good, you could wear it with PJs and look put together!” – Dana Mauriello

CoverGirl Lash Exact
$7.30
What THEY say: Defines and Declumps – “Brush is a patented technology with bristles that are aligned and clean, so you get the Exact look you want.”
What YOU say: “It has the perfect balance of length, volume and definition, without clumping, even when you get a bit lazy about wiping the brush (which I often am guilty of),” says Carleen Pruess of Beauty and Fashion Tech.

CoverGirl Volume Exact $7.99
What THEY say: Plump and Separate – “Flexible bristles with microchambers surround each lash, to plump and separate-for expressive volume.”
What YOU say: “I have long lashes and a few coats of this makes them heavy and thick as well! People think I’m wearing falsies, it’s that good.” – Henna Singh of Canadian Beauty

$8.50
What THEY say: Lengthening and Separating – “Patented Lengthening Formula, with an advanced protein complex goes on smoothly, dries quickly and wears all day without flaking.”
What YOU say: “It delivers perfect eyelashes and it dry’s fast That’s key for those who don’t have natural lashes that go up
” – Andrea Gamble

Lumene Blueberry Curl $9.99
What THEY say: Volume – “A mascara which combines unique Finnish blueberry seed oil with the exceptional characteristics of an innovative plastic mascara brush.”
What YOU say: “The brush is the best I’ve ever used. It’s small enough to maneuver easily on the top part of your top lashes (i.e., the part that shows when you look down). The formula is incredibly moisturizing and curls my lashes nearly as well as my Shu.” – Amber Katz of Beauty Blogging Junkie

$11.99
What THEY say: Lash plumper – “A patented fat-inject formula and extreme Double-D brush plump every single lash so perfectly, so voluptuously”
What I say: Reminds me so much of CoverGirl Lash Blast I’d swear they’ve duplicated the product. Fat, bristled brush that’s great for lengthening lashes, although I think that the CoverGirl version makes my lashes a tad longer. Although this formula doesn’t flake or smudge – which I love.
What YOU say: Makes lasher look longer & fuller without smudging.” – Veronika G
“It gives me the volume I love, without the clumps. Just a really clean fan of pretty lashes!” – Amber of Beauty Noire

Maybelline Colossal Volum’ Express
$7.50
What THEY say: Plumping –
“Patented MegaBrush and Collagen Formula plump lashes one by one”
What YOU say: “For an every day look, I love this mascara – it lengthens, defines, and adds volume in such a way that I’ve been asked more than once if I’m wearing false lashes.” -Toya Smith Marshall of Life Of A Ladybug
“It makes my lashes full and lush, doesn’t flake or clump and is so easy to remove
” – The Beauty Girl
“The volume is…crazy sick…looks like falsies. Love it” – Eileen of Miss Whoever You Are

Maybelline Define-A-Lash $7.95
What THEY say: Volume – “This zero clump volumizing mascara creates voluptuous volume with clean definition.”
What YOU say: “Volumizes, defines, lengthens… It’s just amazingness in a pink bottle for less than $10!
” – Michelle of Ellegance
Amazing…seperates every lash while making them long and very full” – Katie Vaughn

Maybelline XXL Extensions $7.99
What THEY say: Lengthens – “This mascara creates up to 60% longer lashes and 11X the volume.”
What YOU say: “Works great,I have average lashes and it lengthens and gives good definition
really bringing them out.” – Meg Scharpf of the Glam Lounge

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Mascara $7.99
What THEY say: Sensitive Eyes – “First ever mineral mascara specifically developed for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Mineral water-based formula conditions lashes and helps prevent breakage.”
What YOU say: “It was the first on the scene with the soft rubber brush and is absolutely incredible. No flakes, no clumps, no smudgies. Plus it makes my lashes so long they bump my
glasses! I stock up on it. Its better than any high end mascara I’ve tried” – Jami Shopf of Bionic Beauty.

Rimmel Glam Eyes Mascara $7.49
What THEY say: Volume – “VolumFlex Brush styles lashes for sensational volume and instant separation. Supple elasto-bristles groom each lash, lacquering them from root to tip for 7 x more lash intensity.”
What YOU say: “It makes my lashes an incredibly dark black that really makes them stand out, along with amazing length and extra volume! People really notice when I wear this one. The packaging is cute, too, and the rubber brush isn’t obnoxiously large like some are” – Jen Bee of Bare Budget Beauty.
“I have wimpy lashes and it lengthens, fills and makes them look amazing. Doesn’t flake, just GREAT stuff” – Jami Cruz

Rimmel Sexy Curves
$7.00
What THEY say: Plumper, curvier lashes – “The first Triple Plump brush with 3 x the curves for 70% curlier lashes. Voluptuous brush with CurveControl technology wiggles easily through your lashes quickly coating them..”
What I say: Kate Moss sure knows what she’s endorsing. This mascara is fantastic! The brush is thin and oddly shaped but it really does extend those lashes. Not bad on the flaking side of things, either. Thankfully, I didn’t end my day with racoon eyes.
What YOU say: It Separates, lengthens and curls each lash in a dark shiny black color” – Gauri Pendse of The Gloss Box

Add your favorite drugstore mascara and why in the comment section below and I will include your review in the next A Girl’s Guide To…. Drugstore Mascaras post.

*And thanks to everyone who helped make this post possible — you know who you are!

A Girl’s Guide To…. Base Shadows (Part II)

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As promised, here are the Beauty Banter picks for must-have base shadows…

To read the A-list make-up artist tips and tricks for choosing and applying the perfect base shadow, click HERE. And for the make-up artist base shadow picks, click HERE.

**EDITOR’S PICKS**:


Clinique French Vanilla – A neutral, matte hue; perfect for everyday evening out of lid discoloration for fair to medium skin tones.
Clinique Beige Shimmer – A bright golden shade with a burst of iridescent yellow (great for darker skin tones).

Nars All About Eve – (clearly you can tell that I heart this duo!) A pair of shimmer powders that brighten fair to medium skin tones – contains a a dash of pink – good for a night time POP.

Laura Mercier Pearl – Applies very white but contains a shimery yellow undertone. Great to even out discoloration and make tired, smaller eyes look bright, wide and alive (for fair to medium hues).

Lorac Beige – A matte, warm vanilla hue that applies very white with a creamy consistancy. Great for everyday evening of warm or medium skin tones.
MAC Bare Study – An irrisistable cream shadow that applies white with a dash of yellow shimmer. Amazing for the inner corners of eyes to create that POP effect.
MAC Sunday Best – A frosty, pinkish-white shimmer with an irridescent glow. Great choice for medium skin tones with a rose hue.


Jouer Feather – Another shimmery cream shadow that awakens eyes and makes them appear larger (the POP effect). Apply with finger to the inner corners of your eye for an instant bright eye look. The bronzy, champagne color is perfect for darker skin tones.


Lancome Daylight – A very bold, yellowish-white matte color. Perfect choice for fair to medium skin tones that want to achieve that everyday POP and wide eyes look.
Lancome Creme Lustre – A velvety vanilla-taupe shimmer. A beautiful hue for grey/ beige discoloration or an everyday color for pale to medium skin tones.


Senna Moonlight – A camel-colored matte palette with a very creamy beige undertone. A lovely everyday base shadow for medium to dark skin tones.
Senna Pure – A matte ivory shade with an off-white hue. An eye and face color that looks good on basically every skin tone (Senna’s Lace is the shimmery version of Pure, an alternate if you want an iridescent base).


Smashbox Bliss – An ivory shimmer with a creamy consistancy. The perfect base color for light skin tones that want to layer and create a smokey eye.
Smashbox Fizz – A shimmery golden-beige color (reminiscent of Laura Mercier’s Pearl but a bit more gold than vanilla) for medium to dark skin tones. It offers a fabulous iridescent POP for tired eyes.
Smashbox Sand – A very neutral, matte white that works as an everyday base color alone, or layered with darker shades. Offers a nude, “blank canvas” effect for pale or light skin tones.


Have a favorite base shadow…. let us know! Leave a comment below!

A Girl’s Guide To…. Base Shadows (Part I)

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This is the most exciting Girls Guide yet… we have some of the most famous and sought after makeup artists from the most incredible makeup companies participating in this edition of:

Girls Guide – How to Wear a Base Shadow

If you suffer from a tragically overdone eye, or if you’re a bit confused on how exactly to even wear eye shadow, let’s start from the beginning… applying the base color! Read on, girlies, and educate your eyes!

One of the biggest mistakes I see with everyday beauties who primp and preen to look glamorous is that they don’t know how to choose the correct base shadow color for their eyes. It’s either too light or too dark, too grey or too pink or too yellow. But fret not, Beauty Banter is here to help!

What exactly is a base shadow, you ask?
Well, it’s the first color you dust on your lids, or, as Cargo Cosmetics Annesley Broadhead says so succinctly, “It is the foundation to great eye make-up, just like priming a canvas before painting a work of art.” It is the building block to a smokey eye or an au naturel one; it’s what gives your eye depth, even color, and POP! You can wear a good base color alone to accentuate natural beauty and offer an even hue for discolored, tired or veiny eyes, or you can layer other shadows over the base shadow to create any number of looks and textures.

We asked the A-list makeup artists the following questions:

  • Why to use a base shadow?
  • What base color is right for each skin tone?
  • How to apply the base color?
  • When to use cream, powder, matte and shimmer?

Here are the tips, tricks and beauty secrets straight from the mouths of the beauty elite!

Why to use a base shadow?

CARGO’s Annesley Broadhead says, “A base eye shadow brightens the eye area, gives a lift under the eye brow, allows your other eye shadows to blend more easily and prevents messy creasing in the crease area of the eye.”

Lori Taylor of Smashbox explains that, “Base shades in general will even the tone of lid color to ensure that your eyes shadow will appear brighter and more true to color.”

Jillian Veran, Prescriptives Director of Artistry, says that “Most women use an eye shadow to combat 3 issues: Oily eyelids, Discolored eyelids, Extended wear.”


What base color is right for each skin tone?

Mary Beth York of M.B. York Beauty puts it simply, “the lighter the skin tone, the lighter the base color, and the deeper the skin, the darker the base. Someone with very light porcelain skin would do great with a ballerina pink base. Someone with a medium to dark skin tone do well with a medium peachy base.”

First and foremost, Jillian Veran, Prescriptives Director of Artistry, suggest that you, “Determine your skin tone… Look at the tone around your eyes, is it warm? Does it look beige, yellow or gold? If the discoloration around the eye is greenish, yellowish or brownish you are most likely warm. If the color around the eye is pink, transparent or greyish, with a pinkish discoloration under the eye you are most likely cool. If you are warm look for warm tone base colors, such as vanilla, champagne or beige. If you are cool look for base colors such as chiffon, or pearl, or soft white.”

Smashbox’s Lori Taylor breaks it down into light, medium and dark. “The best base shade tones for fair to light skin tones will usually have a nude to fleshly under tone (think fleshy pink) and are best when the have a matte consistency. For a pop to smoky eye nighttime eyes use base shades that have shimmer to widen and brighten. The best bases shade for medium and olive tones will have a yellow base. These tones will even lid color and brighten the eye area. For night it’s always best to add a shadow that is more golden and shimmery. The best shade for darker skins will usually have a bit more color but will always have a warmer or peachy/orange undertone to even out the darkness that a deeper skin can have. For added drama at night you can even choose shades that have a high metallic to give pop.”

MAC’s Bianca Alexander, Director of Makeup Artistry, explains that “A matte pale ivory infused with a bit of pink or peach is a key choice for fair to medium skin tones with a rosy or warmer hue. A matte vanilla or bisque is a great essential for fair to medium olive skin tones. A matte pale mango is the perfect shade for medium to deeper skin tones.”

Emmy-nominated celebrity makeup artist and founder of Senna Cosmetics, Eugenia Weston, says, “The palest of shadow is for the fairest skin tone – a pinkish-white tone. For medium skin tones use a warm creamy shade or a pinky-beige tone. For darker skin tones, try a warm beige tone.”

CARGO’s Annesley Broadhead offers this: “Ideally, your base shadow should be about one shade lighter than your skin tone. So if you are fair look for shades in ivory, ecru and linen. For darker skin tones such as African American skin tones, opt for shades in soft amber and golden honey.”

How to apply the base color?

Eugenia Weston, of Senna Cosmetics, has a great pro tip: “MAKEUP ARTIST RULE: Light brings forward. Dark shades recede and define. Color rounds out an area.”

Borghese’s makeup artist and radio beauty correspondent, Omari Ozwald instructs: “To make eyes open pop and sparkle use a shimmery shadow just below the brow and blend down to crease. Apply a wash of color over the lid and blend upward on to crease.”

NARS International Lead Makeup Stylist, Uzo Ukaeje says, “A cream shadow should only be applied to the eyelid blending upwards towards the crease. This will allow for easier and smoother blending when darker powder eyeshadows are layered on top. Use your finger to apply cream shadow or with a brush for more precision.”

Jillian Veran of Prescriptvies gives us the step-by-step on applying powder shadows versus cream: “powder should be swept lightly across the entire eye lid to brow, using a larger sized shadow brush. Cream Eye Shadow should be applied with a concealer brush then tap out with your finger.” And as a note-to-self, “Don’t make your base eyeshadow too thick or you will grey out anything else you put over it, keep it sheer and pat it in.”

CARGO’s Annesley Broadhead instructs, “For an ultra long wearing effect apply a bit of foundation or concealer on the lids first, and then follow with your base eye shadow. Your base eye shadow should be applied over the entire eye area from lash line right up to the brow. Use a nice full brush that is densely backed and not too fluffy.”

When to use cream, powder, matte and shimmer?

Tarte’s makeup artist, Jasen Kaplan, breaks it down very simply: “For a dramatic eye or impactful color, use a cream base shadow. I like to use a concealer brush to apply the cream to the eyelid, then I pack the powder pigment on top with a sable blender brush! This gives a long wearing impactful look. For an all day shimmery lid, use a cream shadow as your base and set it with a loose pigment shadow. My favorite is rose gold! For a softer more diffused shadow, use a skin toned powder eyeshadow all over the eye from lash line blended up to the crease. This gives you a “clean canvas” to blend your other shadows on top. I like to use a deep peach blended into the crease for a natural looking shape and a shimmery vanilla in the corner of the eyes to “pop” the look, leaving the lids base soft and natural.”

NARS International Lead Makeup Stylist, Uzo Ukaeje,
explains when and why one should use a cream shadow: “Cream shadows with a subtle pink pearlescent shimmer or ones with a bronze shimmer make regular powder shadows glisten when used as a base.”

MAC’s Bianca Alexander offers these amazing tips: “Go for matte or velvet textures as a base when building a sculpted or smokey eye with matte shadows. This will insure a smooth application of color and avoid “skipping”.” Bianca suggests using a shimmery base “when building a uniform wash of color, a sculpted contour, or smokey eye with matte shadows. This will add a different dimension to the eyes by mixing up the textures a bit, and will add a touch of glamour.” And finally, “Creamy textured shadows can be used as a base for matte textures as well, but are quintessential for shadows or loose pigments that have a shimmer or frost.”

Senna’s Eugenia Weston explains how to create that sexy POP: “Use shimmer shadows in the inner corner of the eyelid in a ‘V’ shape, this is an especially good trick on deep-set eyes to make them POP. Also apply in the center of the lid and under the brow bone as the reflective finish makes the shape stand out more. Women that have a lot of wrinkles should stay clear of metallic’s and shimmer as they act as little mirrors reflecting wrinkles more.”

WOW! That’s a lot of information to wrap your head, fingers, eyes around! But next time you’re in the market for a new base shadow, refer back to these tips and tricks and you’ll be vamping it up on the catwalk known as real life!

For our must-have base shadow round-up – the best of the best base shadows tried and tested – check back tomorrow!

And for the full interview with each makeup artist, including their personal base shadow picks (and even some AMAZING tips on how to create a smoldering, smokey eye), click HERE and read away!


Thanks so much to all of those that contributed
to this fabulous post: MAC, Nars, Smashbox, Cargo, tarte, Borghese, Senna, M.B. York Beauty, Prescriptives, Clinique and Lancome! Love and Besos!

A Girl’s Guide To…. Concealers… Part II

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I know that this has taken me forever to post, but it’s well worth the wait… I hope!

To find out all about how to apply concealer and choose the correct color for your skin tone, with quotes from some of the best makeup artists in the biz, click HERE.

And now, as promised, here are some of MY favorite concealers (in no particular order of favor)…

Physicians Formula Conceal Rx™ Physicians Strength Concealer
– Maximum coverage, lasts for twelve hours. Works on blemishes, scars, age spots, dark circles, rosacea and hyperpigmentation! This is truly an all-in-one concealer! $7.95

Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer – The ideal under-eye concealer. It contains tensine, an active ingredient with skin-firming properties for the eye area. It’s also great as a highlighter for cheekbones and chin. And it’s an awesome eye-shadow base, just apply to your lid prior to shadow… will help the makeup last hours longer! $21.00

Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer
– It comes with a wand, which I love. Full coverage, great for blemishes and under eyes. Skin-brightening ingredients help to reduce redness and give skin a more even tone. Smooths away lines and wrinkles for a more youthful look. $14.00

True Protective Illuminating Concealer
– A neutralizer and two concealers in one fantastic palette! It contains anti-oxidants and vitamin E to brighten and protect the eye area. You can mix the colors together to match any area of your face, be it under eyes, blemishes, redness, etc. $30.00

Lancome Absolue Radiant Smoothing Concealer – The ideal under eye concealer. Brightens eyes, smooths lines and wrinkles, and softens the effects of dark circles. Easy to apply (with your finger) and dabs on gently for medium to full coverage. $30.00

MAC Studio Finish Concealer with SPF 35
– Great for blemishes. Lightweight and opaque (so it doesn’t look cakey). Contains Silica to help adsorb the skin’s oils. Water proof with SPF so it’s great for outings to the beach! Blends very easily and provides full coverage. $14.50

DermaBlend Cover Duet – I recently wrote an entire post about this incredible product (click HERE to read). It’s a heavy duty concealer with two colors to custom blend to match your skin. Covers ANYTHING and EVERYTHING without looking cakey. Lasts for up to 16 hours! $21.50

Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Palette Cream – Five colors come in one palette so that you can blend and customize your perfect shade for every type of coverage – eyes, blemishes, redness, uneven skin tone… all of it! This is the ultimate concealer palette! Provides full coverage. Easy to blend. $36.00

Have a favorite that we missed! Let us know… leave it in the comment box below!

A Girl’s Guide To…. Concealers

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Clear skin is always in… and if you don’t have it, you fake it! A flawless complexion is what we women strive for. Although genetics play a crucial role in who gets bestowed with the porcelain skin, the right concealer can be just as beneficial!

Applying concealer can be somewhat of a daunting feat. Too much looks cakey. Too little doesn’t do the trick. And how about the bevy of colors… yellows, pinks, even greens! Certain colors combat specific areas of your face (i.e. dark circles as opposed to pimples) and it’s important to know what type of concealer to use, and where. And, of course, how to apply? Brush, finger, straight from the wand?

The truth is, each concealer has its purpose… you just need to educate yourself on the pros and cons and sift through the hype, straight to the core. How to apply concealer? We asked some of our FAVORITE makeup artists for their wise and helpful tips…

Here’s A Girl’s Guide to Concealer:

Emmy nominated makeup artist Patty Bunch has this to say about applying concealer to the ever-sensitive under eye area:

  • Always start with a nourishing Eye Cream to hydrate your delicate eye tissue.
  • There are many shades of Concealer. Pick a color that matches your undertone. If it’s blue pick a color that’s has a slight peach tone. Orange reutilizes blue. If you have red undertones pick a concealer that has a slight yellow tone. Yellow neutralizes red.
  • Once you’ve made your choice, pick a shade that’s one to two shades lighter than your skin tone.
  • With clean fingers apply the concealer mixing with your favorite Eye Cream or Gel. Warm the mixture between your fingertips and stipple starting at the inside corners and blend out. Stipple delicately several times to push the formula into the pores.

Prescriptives Director of Artistry, Jillian Veran, offers these tips to applying concealer to the eye area:

  • Most dark circles start at the very inner corner of the eye and drop to the top of the cheek bone, creating a deep line of demarcation as we age. Using the top flat side of the applicator (sponge), dot the concealer from the inner corner of the eye down and around toward the top of the cheek bone. The shape would look like a crescent moon.
  • Using the ring finger, tap upward toward the under lash line and inner corner until smooth.

Lancôme’s National Artistic Director, Robert Cook, offers these incredible tips :

  • When applying concealer it is always best to start with a very hydrating cream all over the face and eye area.
  • After the eye area is hydrated, use a concealer brush and apply concealer only to the darkest areas. Most people apply to the entire under eye when only a small area may need attention. If concealer is put where it is not needed, you lose the highlighting effect.
  • When choosing a concealer for the under eye area, it is best to go a little darker than you might normally think. Choose a concealer with a yellow or gold undertone.
  • Often, women choose concealers that are too light which ultimately do not have enough color in them to neutralize purple or blue areas. This can make the circle under the eyes look muddy or grey.

For spot correction, Cook suggests:

  • The concealer to use for spot correction on other parts of the face (side of the nose, blemishes, etc.) should be the same tone and color intensity of your skin or one or two shades lighter.
  • Using the concealer brush, apply the lighter concealer with a tapping/ patting motion so you do not disturb the makeup underneath the concealer.
  • If you feel like you have applied too much, pat a small amount of moisturizer over makeup. This will give a radiant glow and eliminate any dehydration. (LOVE THIS TIP!)

Makeup artist Cari Lynn Orr of Starlet Cosmetics has these great tips for applying concealer evenly:

  • Try to use a small, sable or nylon brush in order to apply the product appropriately and evenly.
  • Warm up your concealer on your skin(or hand) first, it will warm to your body temperature and smooth on with a flawless finish.

And in regards to choosing the appropriate color, Orr says:

  • Salmon colored undertones work great on the undereye to diminish blue based dark undereyes.

Kevin Bennett, Director of Artistry for MAKE UP FOR EVER, explains how to apply the perfect amount of concealer:

  • The key to making concealer conceal and not cake is using small amounts.
  • I find it best to take a tiny amount of concealer on a soft synthetic brush and thin it out on the heal of my palm. I then apply very thin layers until the desired coverage is achieved.
  • It’s always better to apply a few thin, well blended coats as opposed to one thick layer (which will inevitably cake, crack and look horrible).

And when choosing the correct color, Bennett suggests:

  • For normal concealing try a concealer about 1 shade lighter than your foundation/skin color. For noticeable or intense dark circles, try to match your skintone exactly.
  • To color correct excessively purple/grey discoloration try a peach tinted concealer.
  • For excessive redness, try for a stronger olive undertoned concealer.

Wow, that’s a ton of useful information! So, next time you’re in the market for a new concealer, check back to this post before purchasing!

And next week, we’ll be posting our favorite concealers on the market!!! Let us know which concealer you DIE over!

A Girl’s Guide To…. Primers

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We’re starting a new section here at Beauty Banter… A Girl’s Guide to… It’ll be filled with need to know info on the most important beauty and health issues surrounding us girls. Basically it’s a girl’s guide to being beautiful – from the inside to the outside. And if you wanna print them out or read them all together, simply scroll to the right and click on the label “a girl’s guide.”

Today’s girl’s guide is all about primers!

So, why prime, you ask? Well, a primer does a number of things. It fills in lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores. It also helps to create an even skin tone. It controls oil secretion and shine. And it readies the face for smooth, long lasting make-up application. It’s the perfect base for make-up as it mattifies the skin for an even, luminous effect. Without a primer, make-up would seep into your pores and lines, it would “cake” and within hours, your skin would start to look shiny, like your make-up needs a pick-me-up. So, basically, a primer does just that: it primes the skin for that fake flawless look that we’re all striving to attain.

Smashbox started the primer frenzy when they introduced their now infamous, Photo Finish Foundation Primer. Make-up artists went banana’s over this product that literally “creates a perfect canvas for foundation application… reduces the appearance of fine lines and pores for visibly softer skin.” It aided in flawless skin alone, or under make-up.

Recently, Smashbox has introduced: Photo Finish Primer Light (oil-free), Photo Finish with SPF 15 and Dermaxyl Complex ( an advanced peptide treatment that is supposed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time), Photo Finish Bronzing Foundation Primer (same as regular photo finish but with a bronze hue), Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer (Blend (counteracts discoloration), Balance (brightens dull skin) and Adjust (reduces redness), depending on your individual skin concerns), and, the newest installment, the Hybrid 2 In 1 Luminizing Primer (pictured), from the Green Room Collection. Basically, it’s Artificial Light in the inner tube and Photo Finish in the outer one. And the tube is recyclable!

With all of these new primers on the market, it’s hard to know exactly which one is right for you… I tend to stick with the original. There’s a reason that they are attempting to duplicate it into 8 similar products- because it works!

Another product that works to even skin creating a smooth canvas for make-up application is Clinique’s Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector. I first posted about this product when fellow beauty whore, Alex, reviewed British Vogue’s spring/summer must haves (back in January 07). Apparently, Kate Winslet doesn’t leave home without this product! And I’ve gotta say, I get it. Not only does this product truly produce flawless looking skin, it also de-shines, giving you a matte finish. Foundation slides right on and you’re never oily! This is a must-have product for people with sensitive and/ or oily skin. It’s so gentle and it really works wonders without any fear of break-outs!

I recently tried Cargo’s blu_ray High Definition Oil-Free Mattifier. This primer refines pores, minimizes lines and wrinkles, and creates a flawless look to help control oil and shine throughout the day. It adds a natural glow to your skin that is perfect to wear alone or under make-up. I use it prior to foundation because I want full coverage, but if you don’t need full coverage, this is a great product to use in lieu of a pressed powder as it virtually has the same qualities… sheer coverage with oil control. The company says that this product was formulated for, “use with high-definition film.” Hence, you’re ready for your close-up!

Another interesting product that has hit that market place is the “eye-primer.” Essentially, it’s the same thing as a face primer – allows for a smooth palette for make-up application, fills in lines and wrinkles, and keeps eye make-up on longer. I already doted on Fresh’s Anise Wrinkle Eraser (read post HERE), but Paula Dorf also makes an that’s pretty amazing! It’s a “light-textured cream that smoothes and neutralizes the eyelid so eye color looks true and stays on.” And no matter what tone your skin is, this is a neutral base that works on everyone!

So, that’s the skinny on primers — with a few of my favorites mentioned. Do you have a favorite PRIMER? Tell us and we’ll include it in the post!

Also, check back periodically as I test new primers that deserve a mention in the Girl’s Guide to Primers!

About Beauty Banter
Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.