Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Eyes Have It

Cat eyes, smoky eyes, natural eyes, dramatic eyes… There are so many different ways to play up those focal points, so why are so many women afraid to take the plunge? I love to play with my makeup to change my look. It is one of the easiest things we can do, aside from haircuts, to make subtle or dramatic changes to our appearance at an economical cost. I remember my first appoint with a cosmetologist. I was 14. I had been wearing the horrible pinks and purples of the mid-’80s and needed someone to show me the ropes for appropriate makeup application. Since then, the sky’s the limit. I’m not afraid of color, and you shouldn’t be either. Once you have the right techniques, you’ll have all you need to get started.

If you have never been to a cosmetic counter at a local department store, then that should be your first step. My first visit at 14 was to a salon called The Hawk’s Nest. At 20, I found that my skin type had changed; it was suffering from breakouts along the cheek bone, so my aunt suggested Clinique. She had used them for years. Clinique is now my go-to for their cleansing line. However, they are not my go-to for all makeup purchases. Find a brand that works for you then make an appointment. Clinique is a great cosmetics line for the cost.

Most, if not all, beauty counters ask that you make a purchase after your makeover, but you don’t have to buy the whole line they present. Find one thing, whether it be shadow, liner, or mascara, and then fill in the rest with drugstore brands. Most drugstore lines are actually a subsidiary of the ones you find in department stores. For example, L’Oreal Group and L’Oreal Professionals produce Lancôme, Kerastase, Kiehl’s Since 1851, Maybelline New York, and Shu Uemura just to name a few.

I am a huge fan of MAC and Chanel. I love the deep, intense colors that both companies supply. MAC is infamous for their unconventional lines of makeup, of which I own at least three. Their Barbie collection consists of lime green, hot pink, pale pink, a tawny brown, and charcoal. All six colors are applied to the eye for a fun and flirty look. The Sailor collection contains various shades of blue that ranged from electric to navy. The result is like pools of water. The Cherry Blossom grouping is a deep burgundy, burnt orange, chocolate brown, and cream. The look is intense and perfect for fall. Take a look at their current collections.

Chanel carries a full range of colors in wonderful four-quad palettes. I highly recommend a makeover from their counter, especially if you are looking for colors that you will wear every day. I recently purchased their navy collection in Smoky Eyes. This is a great alternative to charcoals and silvers. Again, fill in the gaps with drugstore brands. Chanel quads are pricey but so worth the money.

If you are not up for a makeup counter experience, for fear you will walk out with a truck load of products that you won’t use again, head to your local drugstore and check out the cosmetic line from Almay. They offer trios of eye shadows for all eye colors called Almay intense i-color powder shadow. Recently, I purchased the Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. It’s a small pot of eyeliner complete with applicator. It goes on with a silky, straight line that any beginner can create. Experts say that Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara is the best on the market. Try that one for a wallet-friendly look.

Whatever look you are trying to achieve, always experiment first. I don’t typically follow my own advice—you know, “Do as I say, not as I do”—but I have been playing with different styles and techniques for years. Even I experience blunders (I haven’t perfected the cat eye but will continue to try). Browse through fashion magazines for the eye you think fits your personality or the occasion best. I get my inspiration from runways, red carpet events, and old Hollywood sirens. Makeup is an easy and semi-quick way to change up your look. Go forth and apply!

MAC Barbie Collection:

Chanel Smoky Eyes:

Natural Eyes:

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