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  • Writer's pictureElise Marquam-Jahns

Who Knew? Four Makeup Tips to Help You That I Wish I'd Known Sooner!

By any chance do you, like me, have an image of your mom in red lipstick applying powder to her nose? This image is indelibly printed in my brain. . . along with another image that actually makes me squeamish: remember the fox stoles of the 1950s? I can’t even go there.

Not surprisingly, I grew up thinking powder was the requisite product for calming down that ever-present shine which seemed—on my nose at least—to be akin to a car headlight. It apparently was part of my nose’s DNA. . . despite the fact that the rest of my skin kept getting drier!

Over the years, I tried and discarded many powders since none seemed to work on my nose for more than 10 minutes. But a few months ago, I discovered the ultimate fix for the shine. If you, like me, seem to be blessed with a permanently shiny nose—stay tuned for this tip—along with other tips for your face, cheeks and lips.

Who knew there were relatively easy fixes for a few of the consistently pesky makeup challenges out there that many of us have faced in the past few years? Though I wish I’d known some of these sooner . . . the old axiom holds true: better late than never.

Tip # 1: Solving the Shiny Nose Dilemma

Avoid putting moisturizer on your nose. Instead, put an eye primer that matches your skin tone on your nose! One of the purposes of eye primers is to form a protective barrier which keeps the oil on our eyelid area from causing creases and smudges when we wear eye shadow This protective barrier works just as well on our nose and on our entire T-zone area where many of us have oilier skin.

Tip #2: Creating a Flawless, Natural Foundation Look

For many years I’ve applied foundation with my fingers . . . and more recently a buffing brush (a densely packed, soft brush with a flat top). I was sold on how much more natural my foundation looked when using a buffing brush . . . until about six months ago. I finally broke down and tried a product I’d been avoiding for several years because I thought it would take too much time. The product I’d been avoiding was the makeup sponge.

After trying the sponge for the first time, I stared at the reflection in the mirror with what I can only describe as a dumbfounded look. Even with my less than perfect eyesight, I could absolutely see a difference. When applied with a sponge, the foundation made my skin look like my skin, but definitely better!

Start by either putting a dot of foundation on your cheeks, forehead, nose and chin or putting some foundation on the back of one hand. Then wet the sponge thoroughly. Next, squeeze out the water and then give the sponge a final squeeze with a paper towel. Then pick up the foundation on one area of your face with the sponge—or dip the sponge into the makeup you’ve put on the back of your hand—and then gently press the sponge onto each area of your face.

It’s important to gently “bounce” the sponge and not rub since the bouncing motion presses the foundation into the skin. Somehow the moisture on the sponge combined with the sponge’s texture in addition to the bouncing motion, produces a flawless finish. And by the way, once you get the hang of it, it doesn’t take more time than using a brush or your fingers!

Tip #3: Applying Blush While Creating a Beautiful, Natural Glow to The Skin

As we know, most of us need to add more moisture to our skin to combat the two

“d’s” our skin experiences as we accumulate a few more years of life and laughter: dryness and dullness. And, since we also lose pigmentation in our skin over the years, adding a soft, natural flush of blush can truly help us look more radiant and vital.

So, here’s a quick tip to add both color and radiance. A cream blush can go on smoothly and flawlessly and add more moisture to the skin. Many of these blushes come in a “stick” formulation. Instead of applying the blush stick directly to your cheeks, dip one of your fingers into a small amount of moisturizer and then rub the moisturizer onto the top of the stick so you’re picking up some of the color of the blush. Then apply the blush in an upward sweep from the middle of your cheekbones (starting at the outer corner of your pupil) upward toward your cheekbone. The moisturizer will enable the blush to go on more smoothly while adding more moisture and a lovely glow to your skin.

Tip #4: Keeping Your Lipstick from Feathering Into Lip Lines

Oh how easily lipstick can seem to “migrate” into those vertical lines above and below our lips! There are a few simple “fixes” you may want to try. First stretch your lips so they expand horizontally. Then apply face primer or concealer along the bottom and top of your lip line so the primer and/or concealer “fills in” those lines. A number of makeup lines also make a somewhat waxy lip line filler which can also be used. Since I really have an issue with feathering, I use both a lip line filler and a concealer. You may also want to put a very light application of powder on your lips as well (also with your lips stretched out). This helps lipstick adhere to your lips better. Using a lip liner will also keep lipstick from migrating.

The formula of lipstick you choose can also make a difference. But here’s the conundrum: matte lipstick doesn’t migrate into our lip lines as easily as a more luminous formula lipstick. But matte lipsticks can also dry out our lips and–since they are “flat” and don’t reflect light—can make us look more severe and older.

On the other hand, more luminous lipstick formulas bring more light to our lips which can help us look our best but can migrate into fine lines more easily.

So what’s a woman to do? I recommend using a matte lipstick formula to help prevent feathering but applying a light coat of gloss (only in the middle part of your lips) over the matte lipstick to give your lips beautiful light and glow.

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