I came across Ms. Madison earlier today and realized that she is, in fact, my long-lost daughter. Not only does she have killer makeup skills and love glitter, she is also brave enough to make a video tutorial for the world to see! I’m fairly sure that if I tape myself showing you some of my makeup moves I will embarrass myself.
But, per (popular is a strong word to use) demand, I will bring you a video soon. What would you like me to show you?
Elizabeth Taylor never looked better than when she played up her natural beauty. We may not all have her killer curves, raven locks, or violet eyes, but we can at least take a few of her beauty and life lessons to heart.
Eyebrows can get overlooked and over-plucked, something Ms. Taylor might have thrown her drink in your face for doing. Start perfecting the frame to your face with this kit by brow stylist to the stars, Anastasia ($39.50). I can’t make it to Beverly Hills for her to perfect my brow shape (nor could I afford to) but I can take her stencils to find which of her pre-approved shapes works best for me. Adding a little bit of color defines them just enough to show you care – but not so much that you look like a Crayola box attacked you.
Keep the base eyeshadow a shimmery neutral that is a shade or so deeper than your natural color. My skin is nearly opalescent in its paleness, so I tend to use Cupcake or Bare Skin eyeshadows from Bare Escentuals ($13). Then line your upper and lower lids with an easily smudged (in application) kohl liner like Benefit’s BADgal black pencil ($20). Top your eyes off with a coat or two of your favorite black mascara (you know how I love my MAC Opulash for a mere $14) and your eyes are ready to marry and remarry your very own Richard Burton.
The simple glamour of your eyes are best paired with the red lip Hollywood starlets have been trying to perfect for decades. My current red lipstick is Flirt Alert full-finish by Benefit ($18). But wait! Don’t just swoosh the stick against your lips like you do your favorite lip balm, the red lip is serious business. Pick up any lip brush (this one is only $6.99 at Target) to trace the line of your lips. Then fill the rest of your pout from the outside in so you don’t add any smudges to the line you’ve created. Getting your lips to look just right might take a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to leave the house without a little lip again.
In Elizabeth’s honor: Why not donate a latte’s worth of money to her favorite cause? Dame Elizabeth helped found amfAR 25 years ago. Though we might not hear about the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the news as much as we once did, there is still work to be done and a cure to be found. You can also throw a few bucks towards my good friend, Claire Sorenson, who will be peddling her tiny booty with AIDS/LifeCycle from San Fransisco to Los Angeles this June in order to raise money for the second year in a row.
Keeping makeup easy-going and natural is the best way to make a professional first impression.
Along with the business suit and low heeled pumps, you know to stick with one pair of stud earrings and a simple strand of pearls (fake are fine!) or chain. But do you know to leave the liquid liner at home?
No one likes to look glamorous with cat eyes and red lips more than I do, but that doesn’t mean that’s how you’ll see me at the office every day. How do you find a balance between your preferred look of fun and Fortune 500?
I’m not telling you that you can’t do anything fun with your day-to-day look ever, but there is no excuse for over doing it all on interview day. Yes, I know you’re interviewing to be an assistant at an art gallery. Sure, you’re trying to get a job in the mail room of your dream advertising agency. The CEO wears jeans to the office, you say? I don’t care. Always dress up for the dream you don’t have yet instead of the job you can probably do now.
Start with your nails: keep them short and well-manicured, no hanging or jagged corners, nothing darker than your white towels were that time you forgot to take a red sock out of the dirty laundry. French tips and pale shades like OPI Get Me to the Taj On Time are the way to go ($8.50).
Stick with a neutral palette like the colors in Big Beautiful Eyes at Benefit ($32). There’s no need to take it all the way up to the brow bone or underneath your lower lash line – it just creates more opportunity to get the messy makeup look no one needs while facing the firing squad. Use just a little blush to avoid looking washed out, but leave your bronzer at home. There are a million beautiful skin tones in the world, but not one of them is orange.
And for those of you who might want to kick in a bit of your lip-loving personality, you can do it with a coat of lip stick in a neutral or rosy color. Personally, I don’t like to worry about how my pucker has held up after sips of water and lots of talking, so you might consider using a stain like Covergirl Outlast Lipstain ($8.99) so you can talk yourself up without the color slipping off. Stay away from lip gloss in any shade; it tends to get too sticky and party-like for an interview.
A little extra tip: Stay away from perfume. You don’t want to be the girl who overwhelms the office even after you’ve left the building.
Meryl Davis knows what a little bit of makeup can do for a girl.
Meryl Davis loves her Tri Delt roots and MAC products.
“I’ve been using MAC products for years!” The 24-year-old skater won silver at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, a third consecutive U.S. National title in January 2011, and is competing for her shot at a world title in March in Tokyo, Japan.
“I rarely wear much makeup when I’m not performing,” Davis says. “I think in an everyday sense, makeup should just be about what makes you feel good.”
The University of Michigan student and proud member of Delta Delta Delta sorority gets to play with enough makeup on ice to satisfy her beauty cravings. “The music, choreography, and costuming all come well before decisions on makeup. Sometimes, my makeup may change from one performance to the next, even for the same program. I like to constantly play with colors and shapes.”
Like most average women in their day to day lives, Davis has her application routine down to a (soft) science.
Davis and partner Charlie White listen to the crowd as they await their scores for a performance of Sampson and Delilah.
“It’s a drastically different process than for a typical day. For a performance, I usually begin by laying all my makeup on a table so I can see all the colors. While I usually apply in a particular order and color scheme, I really just try to leave myself enough time to play around. It can be a lot of fun.”
Fun aside, a few moments of makeup application are some of the same moments where Davis can relax and prepare for the big event ahead. In 14 years of figure skating and countless performances (including a stint of racy makeup on the summer 2010 U.S. Stars on Ice tour and a YouTube Bollywood sensation that landed the pair a nod on the Colbert Report), Davis has had her share of makeup memories.
Which is her favorite so far?
“I found that the character of Delilah allowed me to play with so many colors and styles that wouldn’t work for most roles. There are so many different influences that come into play when deciding on a direction to go in with one’s makeup.” But that’s the fun of it, wouldn’t you say?