Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day to Night Summer Makeup

Nicole, before

Nicole, after: For daytime summer makeup, think "natural, fresh, glowing."

For nighttime summer makeup, intensify the look with dramatic false lashes and a bright lip to play up your tan.

Eye makeup: Urban Decay. Foundation, blush, lipstick: Make Up For Ever

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy 40th Birthday, Maybelline Great Lash! Now Please Go Away.

This is one makeup product that has a great PR machine behind it: Somehow it's survived 4 decades without package redesign or reformulation and still makes magazine editors' Best of lists year after year. This is what tipped me off to the real possibility that those lists are driven by top advertising and other politics.

The reality: The consumer doesn't like this mascara. I thought it was just me until I read reviews on consumer sites like MakeupAlley (which gives it an average rating of 2 out of 5 "lippies") and other beauty discussion boards. The overwhelming consensus is this product doesn't deliver: The formula is signature Maybelline wet, which means it doesn't hold curl and weighs your lashes down; the brush is too sparse and small, which means no volume or essentially weight-lifting the brush to get anything out of the product. What I hear is that Great Lash doesn't clump. The thing is, so many mascaras are sophisticated enough not to clump. This doesn't distinguish the product enough to keep it alive.

Maybelline, please let go.

The baffling thing is the company has launched some winners: Colossal Volume and One by One. As a brand, they've proven they can keep up with consumer tastes and put out a quality mascara. They also randomly discontinue ingenious products like their Dream Mousse Concealer. I try to get in these companies' heads sometimes on what constitutes a discontinue, because it doesn't always seem to be consumer demand and loyalty.

So why keep Great Lash, which is the paltry and anemic predecessor of Maybelline's newer launches? My only guess is nostalgia: It's that green and pink tube that lured many of us into trying the product but never repurchasing. Please put a better formula and brush into the green and pink tube and have a relaunch party, not a birthday party. Yes, Maybelline is celebrating Great Lash's 40th birthday with various artists putting signature designs on the tube. I'd be more impressed if there was some work put on the inside of this product - or holding a symbolic burial.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Artistry in Makeup Artistry

David Hernandez is an editorial/high fashion makeup artist who has been a pro-educator for Make Up For Ever for 15 years. He is perfectly suited to lead a seminar, The Artistic Advantage, focusing on the artistry in makeup: For one, David doesn't believe in rules, in makeup and in life. He also shows the beauty in taking technical perfection in makeup, then destroying it a bit, literally casting makeup paint haphazardly down a model's face during the session.

"When you put limitations on things, you stop being an artist," he said.

He is passionate about the art, but he's just as quick to be self-effacing and crack a joke about himself. As a high fashion makeup artist, he's learned to MacGyver many makeup techniques: At the backstage of a fashion show, there is no such thing as perfect time allotments and having every brush and product on hand. Models often rush in from other shows wearing makeup already, and David is expected to turn their look into something else entirely within minutes. Instead of viewing this as frustrating, he's learned to see the opportunity in time-crunched situations: At one photo shoot, he was suddenly expected to make rainbow colored eyelashes, and he didn't have the colors or the false eyelashes provided.

"It's nice when you're thrown into a situation and can accomplish it," he said. "You've always got to push the limit."

A few additional tips from David:

1. To determine if you're a warm or a cool (in skintone), apply silver and gold pigment to the skin. Whichever blends into the skin determines whether you're warm (gold) or cool (silver). If both blend in, you're neutral and can wear both tones equally well.

2. When applying moisturizer or primer to the face, use your hands and take the time to feel your bone structure. This helps you understand all the high points and recesses of your face. When applying makeup, you better understand which areas to highlight and which ones to contour.

3. Making it as a makeup artist isn't easy or quick, in most cases. In an era of instant gratification, it's something many people forget. "I had many, many doors slammed in my face before I got an opportunity. My attitude through it all was, I'm going to be a makeup artist," he said with a defiant tone. "It took me a long time to get established."

David used Make Up For Ever's Face and Body foundation, then used the Flash Color palette for the face paint design and on her eyes. (As a side note, certain colors from the palette are safe to use on the eyes and some are not. The back of the palette indicates which ones.)

The Face Behind Make Up For Ever
: Dany Sanz is the founder and creative director. As a professional painter who began doing theater makeup, she used her expertise with color to intensify existing shades and create new shades. Her background in painting is visible in much of her makeup work and guides the tone of Make Up For Ever as a highly creative brand. The company was bought by luxury apparel designer, LMVH, but Sanz retains creative control and remains the figurehead of Make Up For Ever. This means Sanz creates all the products and is the green light for any new launches.

Makeup by Dany Sanz