Sunday, 13 March 2011

One Is Simply Not Enough: A Lesson In Makeup Layering

As a makeup artist I am always seeking out new techniques to try and refine. To put it simply, I am never satisfied with anything I achieve for long.
 
For as long as I can remember, applying foundation has always been one of them.  Do I want it sheer? Matte? Glossy? Heavier in coverage? As I am faced with newer and more advanced formulations, this sometimes makes life more complicated because just as I am coming to grips with a new product, a new one comes along. I want to make it clear that I understand that modern women want products that just work, I get it but as an artist, I am looking more to creating different textures and effects and to see how it affects the results in photography and film.
 

I suppose it’s for this reason that there’s a plethora of shades and textures from all the various cosmetic companies when it comes to lipsticks, eye shadows, blushers, foundations etc. And it is this mad obsession that drives them and us to coming out with newer and better things. Sure it’s infuriating that the lipstick we love so much is sometimes discontinued but one thing’s for sure, there will always be another new cult favourite to replace it.
 

On this shoot, my brief was to just make the model Hannah beautiful. Glowing skin with a mere flush of colour. As for the eyes, I could do whatever I want but as long as it’s beautiful. We can all do a smokey eye but it wasn’t what I wanted this time yet I still wanted a certain degree of duskiness. So it was perfect to do a gorgeous grey-silver eye. Working in fashion shows which are usually a season ahead, I’ve been playing with greys a lot in preparation for when the products get released.  So this was the perfect time to crack out my new palette from Dior! 

One thing I will say about greys and silvers is that it is sometimes too cool in tone but when tempered with a hint of taupe, it works a treat. In fact taupe is a colour I go to when I want to when I want to “take it back” to skin tone. A great little trick for making any colour work for you! 

For the foundation, I ended up using 3 different brands and I’ll list them later with all the makeup I used. Now why did I go and make life complicated like that? Because I can is probably the simplest answer. Just like an artist does with their tubes of oils, I almost always do the same. Very rarely would I use a lipstick for example neat from a bullet. I find that customising the colour and texture of a product according to my model’s features and needs ensures that I always do what is just right for the model. Hannah had pretty good skin but there were certain redder areas, spots, flakiness and uneven skin tone that needed to be corrected.  So I worked the foundation into the skin in layers, each veil addressing various problems. As you can see from the result, the effect is gorgeous and hardly caked on! Try it next time, you’d be surprised. 

Now the eyes, working along the tried and tested method of lighter to darker shades, I worked various shades of silver and grey according to the eye shape, all the while making sure it looks good with eyes open or shut. I would have kept it as pure greys and silvers and it looked amazing but because my brief was to still keep some form of commercial beauty to Hannah, I then decided to surround the steel-greys and silvers with a light haze of taupe. Perfect.
 

With that done, the rest was kept very simple with a hint of blush, mascara on top and bottom lashes (using 2 different brands!), brows filled in and a lick of tinted lip balm to complete the look. I am pretty happy with the results and if you want to look at the actual shoot, click here.
 

So next time when you have time on your hands, please have a try and be a Picasso or Rembrandt! Customise and mix your own palette of colours so it’s truly yours and yours alone. I don’t know about you but I find great joy in knowing that something I have is a one-of-a-kind and no one has the same! Call me a snob that way!

Foundation(s): Shu Uemura Stage Performer Instant Glow, MyFace Mymix Foundation & YSL Teint Resist.
Concealer: MyFace Mycover Concealer & Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.
Eyes: Christian Dior 5-Colour in Gris-Gris, 1-Colour in Graphic Grey, MAC Taupe, Madina Shiny Stick 001, Paris-Berlin Beige Eyepencil, MAC Phone Number, Max Factor Masterpiece & ArtDeco All In One Mascara.
Cheeks: Armani Sheer cream Blush in 2 & 4, Madina Shiny Stick 001.
Lips: MAC Lipliner in Subculture, MAC Cream Colour Base in Nude, Ellis Faas L109 & Lanolips in Dark Honey.
Powder: YSL Poudre Sur Mesure.

28 comments:

  1. Absolutely fascinating and very insightful. A lesson from the master indeed. She looks beautiful and the pics on Net a Porter are stunning!

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  2. Hehe thanks wifey! You're the best! xx

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  3. So interesting and great to see the kit breakdown too! Model looks absolutely stunning - gorgeous makeup as ever Mr Soh! x

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  4. Thank you Lucy! You're kind as ever. Thanks for reading x

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  5. Lovely look and thank you so much for including a product breakdown!Your job sounds so complicated with all the mixing and blending, truly a proper artist.

    You are now a proper blogger in my eyes as you are guilty of making me want things! The Dior palette must be mine, and the Shu Uemura glow sounds amazing too! xxx

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  6. Haha thanks Jen, get it! It's gorgeous both the palette and the Shu Glow! U won't regret it! Thanks for the encouragement! x

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  7. lovely Kenn...You're the mix master (0; loving fb, prod listed + pic!

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  8. Thank you Rocio! That's very kind of you xx

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  9. I should have read this post an hour ago rather than stressing! I have a lot of redness and want to find a foundation that will cover the redness but not look powdery on my mature, dry skin. I have been using Lancome Teint Miracle, which is great for coverage but a bit powdery in places. Yesterday I bought Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua which is gorgeous in terms of being non-doughy but not quite up to the job to hide the redness - I was so not impressed this morning when I was wearing it for the first time! Having read this I am going to wear both at the same time which of course in insanely flaming expensive, but if it works then its happening! Your model looks stunning btw, glad Helen at Sparklz & Shine tweeted the link to this!

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  10. Thank you Debbie. I'd definitely use both, maybe not the whole face but use the heavier coverage one where you need it most after applying a light layer of Chanel. Do you apply it with fingers or brush? I find that if you rub & warm the foundation between palms, it will go tackier and slightly heavier in coverage, then apply it like a moisturiser, massaging it into skin & redder areas. Then finish off by buffing lightly with a brush to smoothen out. I hope it works. Thank you for taking the time to read the post and commenting! X

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  11. Thank you, as always, for the information there. My skin now is drier than it has ever been before. I already have the Myface foundation but am now seriously thinking about purchasing the Shu Uemura one you mentioned. The model looks lovely, her skin very natural looking.
    Catherine xx

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  12. Thank you as always for reading and making the effort to comment! Right you have 2 options, up the moisturiser or with the Shu Uemura Glow, you get 3 in 1! Moisturiser, teint & primer all in one so dryness will definitely be balanced out. A little goes a long way so experiment to see if you still need moisturiser under the foundation. I hope it works and will you please let me know how you get on Catherine? Thanks again xx

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  13. And this is why we love you so Mr Soh! Who knew it was ok not to be so prescriptive with our make up?!? I wouldn't have really thought about using multiple foundations, but if the Master says it works, then it must!!

    I remember having a facial at Elemis and the therapist using two different masks on my normal/combo skin. It was a revelation to me. When I asked her why, she said, you need different prescriptions (for want of a better word) on different area's of the face. She told me not to be afraid to make up my own tailored routine. I guess I just needed someone to tell me that was ok to do this with makeup too.

    Thanks for this insight into your job Kenneth. The model looks beautiful X

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  14. Hehe thank you Leanne! Yup, am not the one to follow rules, only my own and most of the time I change them accordingly. That's what makes us special! Flexibility! Thank you for the kind comment! XX

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  15. Three foundations!!! Wowsers!! I'm *cough cough* nearly 31 and am still struggling to master the art of applying foundation! I hate feeling foundation on my skin but still want something that covers the odd blemishes and doesn't feel dry and cakey! I find buying it really stressful! I haven't owned a foundation that I use for so long and I actually attempted to brave visiting my local NARS counter yesterday. Got as far as walking up to the counter where I was greeted by an orange streaky faced monstrosity with foundation several shades too dark...there was NOOOOOOO way she was going near my face!! I had to run away and hide in Krispy Kreme! :)
    xxxx

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  16. Haha I hear you Ms Wedgie! I walk into beauty halls and think the same. I can guarantee you that you probably don't need as much foundation as you think! Hence why I'm beginning to understand why blogs are so helpful and useful as an outlet and as a source of infomation. Be brave, get a Krispy Kreme and go find that elusive foundation. You'll find it I am sure, just don't buy till you're sure! Thank you for reading and making the time to comment, much appreciated! xx

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  17. You're convincing me more and more when it comes to the business of taupe. x

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  18. Oh Rebecca it's my go to colour for so many things! Pretty much genius of a colour! You gotta try it and let me know how you get on ok? Thank you for taking the time! xx

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  19. Gorgeous work and a fascinating read. On a personal note, I had looked at the Dior palette and thought I couldn't work it. I would never have thought to use taupe to soften it but that's a fantastic tip. I'll give it a go. Thanks for sharing!
    Jane x

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  20. Thanks Jane! It really is my go-to colour for anything when I'm stumped! But I guess you're the last person I need to convince when it comes to Taupe! Haha thanks again for commenting! xx

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  21. Absolutely beautiful, I really love the eye look. I like a light taupe to blend out a strong/smoky lid colour too, although mine is a little more haphazard ;)

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  22. Thanks Grace and yes such a handy item a taupe shadow. And there's nothing wrong with being loose with application. Sometimes more beautiful than being too controlled! Thank you for the lovely comment! x

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  23. Kenneth will you marry me.

    We would make such beautiful skin together. ;-)

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  24. Kelly unfortunately you and I are both taken so it is obviouslly not meant to be! Thanks hon for the very sweet comment! x

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  25. Stunning, i love how you mix so many different things together, you have given me food for thought. I would love to be so talented x

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  26. Thanks Nicoletta! Try it! It really is a wonderful of custom tailoring your products to suit you! xx

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  27. Having just read this post and the one above on contouring, I wanna say that it's a pleasure to be treated to insights and tips like this.

    Thank you for being open about your craft and for indulging us all in a shared love of the pretty. Thank you for always being approachable, you are appreciated Mr. Soh x

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  28. Charlotte thanks for the really kind comment! It's been really fun to write and have the platform to share and discuss a subject that we all love so much! Thanks for being open and really encouraging!
    XXX

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