Creating that fresh, no make-up look is a matter of choosing the right colors and textures, as well as having a reasonably skillful hand in highlighting and contouring.
By Yong Yung Shin
What is your face shape? That is the key question any girl needs to know before applying make-up, in order to achieve a classic, balanced look.
During the Makeup Frenzy workshop organized by City Harvest’s Make-up Ministry on Aug. 13 at the Suntec Convention Center, MAC trainer Huang Hui Mei shared tips on creating the “prime look”—a natural, no make-up look for everyday or office wear.
Says Huang, who has been with M.A.C for 13 years, five of those as a trainer, “The prime look is much more difficult to achieve than creative make-up because it requires precision in balancing and blending of colors and textures, whereas the latter is about exaggerating the features for a dramatic look.”
The aim of a “prime look” is all about balance, using the tools of highlighting and contouring to achieve a proportionate face shape, with the classic oval face shape as the standard. For example, if one has a square face (wider through the forehead and chin area), contouring in the corners of the hairline and on the jawline will narrow the forehead and minimize the strong jaw, creating a softer, more feminine look. To counter a round face shape that is relatively wider at the eye and cheek area, blush diagonally to create length, and contour at the sides of the cheeks near the ear to narrow the face.
Highlighting, which is used to bring out one’s features, is always on the high planes of the face—the cheekbones, nose bridge, chin, forehead and T-zone area, for instance. Colors should be about two shades lighter than the skin tone, and likewise two shades darker for contouring. Contouring helps to make features recede, for example a wide forehead, a broad nose bridge and a strong jawline.
Another option in contouring, for those with wider faces, is to use a lighter foundation in the center of the face, and a darker one on the outer parts for an even more natural look.
After giving participants a chance to identify each other’s face shapes, a live demonstration ensued on a volunteer model. While many people neglect this step, proper prepping of the skin using serum, moisturizer, eye cream and lip conditioner or lip balm is important to create a supple canvas for the colors to go on.
After using a yellow color corrector to neutralize the slight redness in her cheeks, she applies a moisturizing foundation with pearl pigments to give the face a subtle radiance.
One tricky area was the model’s dark undereye patches, which Huang tackled by using a concealer with pink undertones to neutralize the blue and violet tones. If the undereye area is reddish, use a yellow-toned one instead of the pink. Better yet, have a mix of yellow and pink concealers in your kit, ranging from light to medium and dark to cater to all skin conditions.
In applying concealer, Huang advised on using natural bristles for a soft, blended-in finish instead of synthetic brushes, which can result in a harder, less natural look. Highlighting is done using a cream highlighter to create a dewy, blended-in texture. The finishing touch—a dusting of translucent powder to retain the sheen; no pressed or loose powder to avoid a “flat” look.
Brows are kept natural with feathery strokes of brow powder. As “long” eyes are in fashion at the moment instead of the round, doe-eyed Japanese doll look, the trick is to subtly push the colors out after application, for both eyeshadow and mascara. For those who have lips of differing thickness, apply a layer of gloss to the thinner lip after applying the color to create a thicker effect. The end result was an imperceptibly brighter and fresher look on the model, with just a touch of color.
Attended by about 25 members from the Make-up Ministry, the day-long event closed with a time of fellowship, team-building and sharing of the Word. “I enjoyed the tips on contouring and highlighting the face. Not only in real life, but on picture, it makes the facial features look sharper and more defined,” says Elisa Kaligis, a financial service associate director.
The Make-up Ministry regularly conducts workshops for its members. It also accepts interested volunteers with no prior make-up experience, as training will be provided for beginners and more seasoned make-up artists alike.
Log on to www.chc.org.sg to sign up if you are interested to join the Make-up Ministry.