Beauty

By Guest Columnist Emily Kate Warren

Just like dozens of professionals before me, hair stylists with shaved heads and photographers who have no photos of themselves, I am a makeup artist who doesn’t wear too much makeup. But before you call me a hypocrite, think of it like this: I’m the perfect person to help you face your beauty fears, because ironically I’ve had them too. We’ll do it together!

We begin with the granddaddy of all phobias: red lipstick. Typically, I find that women, myself included, love the idea of red lips. A crimson pout says, “I’m old Hollywood and I own this room.” It’s true that it’s not a look that goes unnoticed. But all you have to do is make sure you feel comfortable wearing the color or you’ll feel exposed – like you’re in one of those Oh-my-God-I’m-naked-at-work dreams where everyone is staring at you. First, you have to get the right color. And primary red is the right color, no matter your skin color. Take a look at a color wheel, the American Flag or Red Cross logo and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Before putting anything else on your face, put on your lipstick. Continue with the rest of your face so your eyes can adjust to your lips. Now sit for 10 minutes and head back to the mirror. Does it still freak you out? That’s fine; sit for 20 more minutes. Then back to the mirror. It’s becoming a part of your look, right? Now head to the corner, the mall, the bar – I promise you, after one night of red lipstick, you’ll realize that the world opens in ways you never realized. People have a cool reason to strike up a conversation, your outfit instantly looks spiffier and you appear extremely confident.

Next up: smoky eyes. I have several clients who say they love them but don’t know how to do them and are scared to try. I say, “That’s impossible! You learned how in third grade art class.” Remember when you learned about shading? That’s virtually all there is too it. A smoky eye is a gradation of color: darkest at the lashlines, fading out to nothing. I can still hear Mrs. Smith, my art teacher saying, “Just lighten the pressure on your pencil to make the color lighter.” Now you try! Grab a shadow or pencil and press harder at your lashlines lightening your pressure as you move up and below your lashlines. If it looks awful, try again and again…with any color. Trust me. You’ll get the hang of it after a few attempts.

Finally, who’s afraid of bright blush? I know I was until recently. I loved the way it looked on others, but not on me because I have very “cheeky cheeks.” So I would always just add a touch of blush, but not enough to be noticed. Then a few months ago, after a week of complaining to my husband that I was pasty white and that my ash-blonde hair was graying -those wiry little beasts that stick straight up and glisten in the sun – I decided what I really needed was a little color. I put my usual blush, Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy Cream Blush in Bloom, then I went back and added more. I thought to myself, dang – I’m looking fairly good here. And so I dared to add more. I stopped at a beautiful, natural flush that was strongest on my apples and faded out, kind of like the smoky eye concept, toward my jaw and temples. I felt better, I looked better and even my husband commented that he thought I looked cute.

It’s your turn. The concept with all three is the same. Just give yourself time to get used to the you who wears makeup. So try one (or all) of these looks. Remember, it’s just makeup; you’ll get better with practice and it washes right off. Do me a favor – take a photo, and send it to me. I’m curious to see how it goes! Email me at ekw@emilykatewarren.com.

Originally published June 2009
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