As a licensed cosmetologist, I would like to share how to
develop the art of truly being a makeup artist on your own
First, please toss out old ideas you may have had, as well
as the "one size fits all" beauty tips you've picked up
along the way. You don't want any pre-conceived ideas that
may cloud your judgment.
Get in front of a mirror, with natural light. Cleanse your
face, moisturize, etc. to get it ready for makeup. Get all
your brushes, makeup gathered and pull your hair back out of
the way. Imagine yourself as your own artist, with your
face as the canvas upon which you are about to create a
There are 2 very important principals to remember. Light
colors bring out, gives the illusion of an area being
forward or front. Dark colors set back, creates a look of
Now, really study for your face for a few minutes, don't
focus for now on any particular area, look at shape overall.
It might help to even write down notes about impressions
you get. What areas seem to need brought out? What areas
seem to need to be set back?
An example would be a very round face would need an area in
the cheeks set back (darker) to give the illusion of higher
cheekbones, more slender face, at the same time using some
lighter shades on the forehead area above the temples to
also create a look of lengthening the face. A chin that is
a bit undercut would need to be brought forth more to give
the appearance of being more prominent than it is (lighter
When using lighter & darker colors for shading &
highlighting, be sure to blend very well and use a light
touch. Choose a foundation that is very close to your
natural skin coloring. I personally have recently
discovered mineral makeup (you can do an online search for
several brands) or you can use any brand you want. I just
have found these very easy to use for using light & dark
colors where needed. Blend, blend and blend more, you don't
want anything that looks obvious or any streaking
appearance. Also if you're a light blonde, you wouldn't
use something super dark for shading because you wouldn't be
able to blend it in a way to look natural. Use a shade
that's 1 or 2 shades darker than your natural skin tone,
same with lighter shades, 1 or 2 shades lighter than your
own skin tone.
Look at your eyes closely now. You want to create balance.
Not every eye will look best with the typical medium color
on the lid, darkest in the crease and highlighter on the
brow. Again, look at your eye shape, what needs brought
forth (light), and what needs to recede (dark). A person
with deep-set eyes for example will do best with a light to
medium shade on their lid, the lightest side in their
crease, and a medium shade on their brow bone. The person
with the deep-set eyes needs to avoid dark colors
altogether, it will only accentuate the problem. Having the
lightest color in the crease will help bring forth their
eyes, making their eyes look bigger, wider and not set back.
This is the opposite pattern of what is typically told.
If a person has eyes that are close set together, you want
light colors around the inside areas of the eyes (near the
nose) to give the appearance of more space being there,
making the eyes look wider apart, and darker colors on the
Play with the different looks until you get the right one
for your bone structure. It also helps to stand back away
from a mirror, from across a room to look, as you get a
better feel of overall balance than right up close. Don't
be afraid to try new combos you hadn't thought of before, it
might be the perfect fit for you!
By Valerie Garner-Mother, grandmother and candlemaker /
owner of Joyful Designs in Soy. She loves to write on
a variety of topics with a warm, and engaging style.