Why Beauty Lovers Are Mixing Oil With Foundation


One of the most seemingly strange makeup trends to surface, is mixing oil with foundation. To all the oily gals, I know this may sound gross, but trust me – it’s a thing! Several of my clients have been asking me about this, because they are seeing it everywhere as a part of makeup routines online. Instagram, You Tube, and Facebook have been swarming with countless videos of makeup enthusiasts using this tactic. Video after video show girls (and guys) with their trustee oil filled droppers, lubing up their foundation. Why would anyone do this? There are 2 good reasons why, and here they go:

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Dry Skin

The most obvious reason for implementing this makeup trick is to add some much needed moisture to parched skin. When applying foundation on dry skin, the product can build up in the patchy areas, leaving a very uneven finish. Adding oil to foundation is also a way to temporarily “plump up” fine lines for a more youthful look. The oil moisturizes the skin, and gives it a healthy glow for a smoother appearance.

Easier Blending

While most would say that mixing oil into foundation sounds like it would clog pores and lead to breakouts, what most people don’t know is that a high percentage of foundations already contain oil. Mixing in a little oil to your cream or liquid foundation changes the texture of formula, and actually helps it spread easier.  Adding 1-2 drops of oil to your base, allows you to effortlessly blend it out to achieve a skin-like finish.

 

Clearly this trick isn’t for everybody, but it’s worth giving a shot. Just make sure that you use a carrier oil (such as coconut oil or almond oil). One of my faves is the coconut oil by Measurable Difference.

 

 

Quick Tip: Brow Color

brows on fleek

We weren’t all born with gorgeous brows like my model’s. But with the right tools, we can come close.

When most people try to fill in their brows, they try to match the color of their brows as closely as possible, or follow the oft-recited rule of “two shades darker if you are blonde, two shades lighter if you are brunette.” This isn’t bad. It’s just not what I do.

I take into account my model or client’s skin tone when choosing their brow color. My own skin, for example, is on the fair side, but my eyebrow hair is black. I use a light, ashy brown to fill in my brows, and it gives me a way more natural look than using a dark brown or black. I’ve used the lightest blonde shade I have on some fair skinned brunettes (some of whom have been bridal clients who insist it’s still too dark…gotta love weddings). But on a model or client with a deep skin tone who has the same hair color than me, I will go in with  black. Meanwhile, someone with blonde hair and very tan skin would probably get the same color I use on myself, or perhaps something even darker.

The other big mistake I see people doing is choosing colors that are too warm. Always opt for a cool color. Back in makeup school, most of my classmates would either make my brows too red or too black. Here’s how to avoid that! And for all you pro’s and makeup lovers out there, my absolute favorite brow palette is the Anastasia one.

xx Dana

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

clean makeup brushes

If you read this blog, you know that I am a stickler for sanitary makeup practices and that even cleaning your brushes isn’t enough. But it IS a start, and since I get a lot of questions from models and clients alike on how to clean makeup brushes, it seems that a lot of people aren’t sure how to do it or how often.

Pros like me and anyone sharing makeup brushes need to sanitize their brushes after every use. I use liquid brushes cleansers for this–a lot of companies make them, including Cinema Secrets and Bare Escentuals. They are fast drying (we’re talking mere minutes), and even if you are the only person who uses your brushes, I would recommend using them after every application. Dirty brushes will give you muddy results, and no one wants that. I’m pretty sure we’ve all had the experience of dipping a brush in eyeshadow and a different (old) color surprising us once it makes it to our lids. Yuck.

The best way to use these brush cleansers is to get a small container, like a medicine cup, and spray or pour a small amount of it. Swirl your brush around in the liquid, and then on a towel or folded over paper towel, gently brush your makeup brush back and forth. Repeat until your brush doesn’t leave dirty marks.

Now for the deep clean. This has to be done once a week, for everyone. Yes, if you have used your brushes even once during the week, you’re going to need to wash them. For this, you really don’t need to buy a new product. You can use a face cleanser, hand soap, or shampoo. I dispense a small amount into my palm, and then swirl all my brushes around in it, one by one. Once they all have shampoo (or whichever product I used) on them, I rinse them one by one, massaging the bristles to make sure they’re super clean. Then I lay them flat on a towel for them to dry. You never want to dry them standing up, or it will loosen the ferrule and damage your brushes.

While it’s time-consuming, it’s well worth it to take good care of your brushes. Stay clean!

xx Dana

Why You Should Start Tightlining Your Eyes

tightlining

You probably line your lower waterline on a semi-regular basis, but if you’re like most people, tightlining isn’t part of your makeup routine. Perhaps you don’t even know what it means! To tightline is to line the upper waterline–that strip of skin underneath your eyelashes and above your eyes.

“Why do I need to put eyeliner there?” you’re probably asking. Here are a few reasons:

  1. It helps your eyes stand out more by creating contrast. As we get older, the skin underneath our lashes gets more exposed. Lining it helps eyes pop in a way that is subtle and natural.
  2. It gives the illusion of thicker lashes.
  3. It will help the liner on your lower waterline stay put. Yes, really! When it wears away, most of it is really just transferring to your upper waterline. If you already line this area, this won’t happen.
  4. It’s a great way to line your eyes if you have small lids or hooded eyes, because it takes up literally no lid space.
  5. If you want to rock a no-makeup look but secretly wear makeup, this is a great way to draw attention to your eyes, and no one will suspect your secret.

If tightlining is too uncomfortable for you because you flinch a lot when a pencil is coming at your eyes (guilty), here’s a trick–line your lower waterline, blink quickly and firmly, and repeat. The eyeliner will transfer to your upper waterline. Done!

 

xx Dana

Keep Cardio from Killing Your Hair

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You already know that cardio messes up your hair. Whether you’re rocking a blowout, a bunch of bouncy curls, or something else entirely, your style and texture probably won’t make it through your HIIT class (unless you are one of those superhuman non-sweaters…oh, how I envy thee). But did you know that sweat actually does long-term damage to your luscious locks too?

I’m training for a marathon and noticed that all this running (or really, sweating) is turning my hair into straw. I am heat styling less often than before to make up for the extra shampooing, but realized that duh, salt is drying, and sweat has salt in it. Plus, it makes color fade faster.

Dry shampoo can be great for saving a style, but will only further dry out your actual strands, and besides, after a 12+ mile run, there’s no magic save for my drenched tresses. So here’s my tip: if you know that you will be sweating to the point where you will have to (ARGHHHH!) wash your hair, use the time to baby it too. I’ve been putting deep conditioner in my hair and putting it in a braid or bun. On days where I don’t think I’ll be sweating as much and really have no intention of washing my hair, I use a leave-in conditioner.

Condition your body; condition your hair.

xx Dana

Lianne Claire on How to Make it in Beauty ANYWHERE

Welcome to Metro Look Beauty’s new guest artist series! We find some of the coolest people in the industry and have them share with us anything they want to about the world of beauty. Up first, we have international makeup and hair sensation Lianne Claire. Check her out at www.lianneclaire.com and make sure to follow @lianneclaire_makeup_hair on Instagram.

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I have been a freelance hair and makeup artist in Sydney, Australia since 2008. From teaching Diploma students to having my work published in magazines such as Yen and Oyster, as well as working on Australian Fashion weeks and various advertising campaigns & TVC’s – my work is varied. I love this. I love that one day I am working with a blushing bride-to-be and the next on a full-scale commercial set. Every single job is different and no day is ever the same. There is no time to get bored in this industry!

That said, the travel bug bit me and I was drawn to a teeny Spanish island – IBIZA.

Ibiza’s beauty, spiritual energy and booming club scene drew me in. The amazing shows, dancers and the visual smorgasbord of colour and sparkle inspired me. I just had to live and work there, this place gets into your bones. I had to make it happen! So I did.

Having a universal skill is a complete bonus if you wish to travel and work. Of course, it is always daunting going to a place where nobody knows you and you have no idea of the industry or any contacts for that matter! But a little faith in yourself and some research time assists with the cause. I made numerous cold calls, of which probably only 10% responded, with the majority of those “thank you for contacting us but we already have our regular makeup artists”. It took one event company to give me a break. They loved my website and professionalism and were excited to meet me in the summer on the island. (For this I am still eternally grateful!) Flights booked, life packed up, adventure started!

It is not easy to do, but I feel like I slipped into this new land quite well received and positively.  As I approach my third year of adventures across the globe chasing the sun, I reflect on the differences in the hair and makeup world in my experience from Sydney city life to Ibiza island home…

My experience of the hair and makeup world in Sydney is very undone. Natural beachy waves in the hair and uber glowy delicious skin and highlights. Stripped back, but radiant – goddess-like. Our style in this city is “less is more.” We like basic fashion: casual, raw.  The majority of briefs for editorial work in this city is textured relaxed hair and beautiful skin. I love this, I breathe this!

The yin to my yang is my Ibiza world, where I work for some of the biggest and most beautiful clubs on the island and its absolutely stunning dancers, aerialists and performers. Hair and makeup for David Guetta’s show at Ushuaia and Tinie Tempah’s pool party at The Hard Rock Hotel saw us create over-the-top high ponies and defined big winged liners for days. Beautiful stage makeup. A complete contrast to my style back in Sydney! It feels so good to be able to create dramatic hair and makeup looks on a daily basis instead of having to pull back. These two polar opposites work well for me as I feel like I can have my cake and eat it too.

Ibiza party-goers love to be body painted, airbrushed and bindi’ed up. Good. Me too! This is not common in Sydney, so it is not something that I had done a lot of before reaching the island. Interestingly enough, since returning to Sydney, I have been booked for more creative briefs where I can utilize this new skill and passion.

In this industry, I feel that I learn something new every single day. Whether it be product-wise, techniques or mistakes that teach me lessons. This is my addiction. Flying across the globe to these two polar opposites each year has improved me as a makeup artist immensely and given me the confidence to give anything a go and that I may even be good at it (or at least come out alive!)  Getting out of the city and into a high-energy fun and flirtatious energy bubble has surprisingly relaxed me as an artist. I am not so obsessed with my career achievements as I once was and have stopped comparing myself to everyone around me. Ibiza has brought colour and fun back into my job (as well as my life) and I couldn’t be happier.

My advice to any artists considering a stint in another city, island, town or country – do it! Jump in the deep end and swim. As makeup and hair artists, we have to be quick thinkers and create solutions on a daily basis as it is, so we are already equipped for the unknown without realizing.

Make the most of your skill and make it work for you across the globe! You got this X

New Makeup Trend Alert: Eye Strobing

Photo: Rex

Photo: Rex

As if we really needed one, a new makeup trend of the moment has yet again surfaced. It was born as many of our favorite celebrities (like Jourdan Dunn and Rita Ora) put their best faces forward at the 2016 Met Gala. The trend of the moment is, wait for it…eye strobing (no, really!) Yes ladies, they found something else for us to strobe. For those of you who may not know what “strobing” is, it’s a trendy new way to describe highlighting. Last year, strobing was popular on the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose, in order to achieve a megawatt glow. Strobing is now back, making your eyes the focal point.

Photo: Matt Baron/Bei/Shutterstock

Photo: Matt Baron/Bei/Shutterstock

 

Eye strobing can be achieved by applying a shimmery eyeshadow, or even finely milled glitter to the inner corner of your eyes. The shimmer mimics light, thus making your eyes look bright – and dare I say angelic. If you want your “eye strobing” to look really intense use a metallic silver color, but for something a little more subtle go for gold and bronze shades.

Ask Metro Look: Bridal Makeup Edition

This question is from Arlene L. from Tampa, FL:

“I’m getting married this summer and I want makeup that will look good on camera while still looking like myself. I never really wear makeup, but my photographer told me that I’ll look better in photos if I wear some. How can I get a natural look without going overboard?”

AM_L7462We do a lot of weddings, and this is a dilemma for quite a few brides. A lot of girls think that wearing any makeup at all will automatically make them look a “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant; and that couldn’t be more false! What you might not realize, is that makeup is not as scary as you may think it is. When placed in the wrong hands it can be a weapon of mass destruction, but when used tastefully, it’s amazing. Makeup does not have to be heavy in order to look beautiful, you can look absolutely stunning in your wedding photos while wearing a nominal amount. I’m a firm believer in keeping it simple, so start with the basics: skin, eyes, cheeks, and lips.

Skin –

  • Start off with a clean moisturized face (make sure that you have given your moisturizer at least 15 minutes to absorb).
  • Choose a light to medium coverage foundation color that is as close to your true complexion as possible. Foundation is not supposed to lighten or darken your face, it’s simply supposed to cover imperfections, and even out your skin tone.

Tip: Go to your local cosmetics counter and try out some foundation shades for free, some lines even give away samples. This is a great way to find your perfect match without wasting money.

  • Use a salmon concealer under your eyes to brighten the area (trust me girl, it makes a difference).
  • Set your makeup with a silky translucent powder on your forehead, under your eyes, nose and chin. Setting only the center of your face allows your skin to glow naturally, while controlling the areas you’re most likely to get oily throughout the day.
  • Dust the outer perimeter of your face, hollows of your cheeks, and your neck lightly with a matte bronzer to warm up your complexion.
NUDES-Expert Wear Pallette-Pack

The Nudes, $9.99

Eyes –

  • Prime your eyes with either an eye primer or concealer and then set with powder. This ensures that whatever color you use on your eyes will translate well.
  • To achieve an effortless looking eyeshadow, you can’t go wrong with a neutral palette. You can find an inexpensive one from the drug store (it still does the trick) like Maybelline The Nudes, or if you have the extra coins laying around, you can splurge a higher end one like the Naked palette. Both work just fine to create beautiful, yet subtle eye looks.
  • Define your eyes with a liner on the top lid (if you find black too harsh, try a brown or grey shade). Bottom liner is optional, personally I like to use eyeshadow and blend it out for a less sever look, but if bottom liner is your thing go for it – just use it sparingly.
  • Curl your lashes, and then apply 2 coats of waterproof mascara (you might cry and raccoon eyes won’t be cute). If you want to define your lower lashes, feel free to apply mascara there as well, but BE CAREFUL!

Cheeks –

  • Choose a blush color that flatters your skin tone, and blend it with a fluffy brush after you apply to ensure that it’s sheer.
  • A hightlighter is optional if your skin is not oily, but should be applied very lightly on the cheeks and bridge of the nose.
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Creme Coral, $28

Lips

  • Sheer lipstick, nude lipstick, or even a lip gloss are all great options for beautiful lips that aren’t too bold. Creme Coral by Laura Mercier is usually a crowd pleaser with my minimalist brides.

 

 

This is the recipe for a fresh and flawless face. Best of luck to you on the big day Arlene!

Save Good Products from Bad Packaging

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Jars are BAAAAAAD, guys. I think that thanks to advertising, women associate cream in jars with luxury, or think a product is going to be super moisturizing/effective if it comes in one. Nope, nope, nope.

Most of the best skincare ingredients aren’t stable and shouldn’t be exposed to air or light. We all know antioxidants are great for the skin. Well, their enemy is listed in their name–oxygen! So let’s say you happen upon a moisturizer in a jar that is very well formulated. It’s going to rapidly get less and less effective every time you open it. Jars also harbor bacteria, since you repeatedly dip your fingers into them, and aside from that being kind of gross, it further breaks down the ingredients aside.

I personally avoid buying anything that comes in a jar. There are plenty of amazing products out there that are well packaged. And by the way, cosmetic chemists are well aware that jars aren’t the way to go, but cosmetic companies keep requesting them because consumers keep purchasing them. But anyway, let’s say you found a cream in a jar that you absolutely love. There is a way to save your product.

Get a set of airless pump containers like these and transfer your jarred products into them. If you can find opaque ones, even better. If you get these particular ones, store them in a medicine cabinet and try to keep them away from light. Obviously, it’s best to transfer your product when it’s brand new, since all of its beneficial ingredients will still be intact, but it’s still worth doing with a product that you’ve only had for a little while. Old jars should really just be tossed…and unless you are head over heels in love with the product, it’s best to search for something with smarter packaging.

 

xx Dana

Get the Best Results Out of Your Bridal Trial

"I'm so glad I went with Metro Look."

So you have a makeup and/or hair trial scheduled. Let’s say for the sake of this guide that you have a competent artist who shows up on time/early and isn’t hungover/distracted by relationship drama/otherwise mentally incapacitated. How do you get the results YOU want?

Bring some pictures…

A starting point is helpful for most artists. They don’t even necessarily have to all be similar styles. Your makeup artist will see the amount of makeup and level of drama you like and a hair stylist will see that you like texture, or braids, or a super sleek look, etc.

…but don’t expect to look exactly like them.

I can do the same makeup on you as on someone else, down to using the same products and brushes, and it will look different.Sometimes by altering the makeup, I can make it match what you want better than by copying it exactly. For example, if you have a deep skin tone and bring in a picture of a fair skinned woman with cream colored eyeshadow with a taupe crease, this will look chalky on you. I can get the same look in a version that flatters you by using a medium shade of brown on your lid and a deeper one in the crease. I could do either makeup look on you and you might protest it doesn’t match the picture, when in both circumstances, it does. If the person in the picture is neither you nor your identical twin, you should expect to look different. As for hair, braids and twists will always show up best on blonde hair with highlights and lowlights and worst on equally gorgeous, one-tone black hair, and you will have to acknowledge that your haircut is probably not exactly the same as that of the woman in the picture. You want loose tendrils coming out of your updo but you have hair to your butt and no face-framing layers? OK…

Make sure you want the makeup and hair in the picture, and don’t just like the way the woman in it looks.

Here is an example of something that has happened to me a few times: a non-Arab woman shows me a picture of Arabian eye makeup, and once the makeup is actually on, says things like she actually DOESN’T want the shadow darkest in the crease; she wants it darkest by the lashes and to fade as it rises, and oh, could we get rid of the winged eyeliner and make it smudgy, and not bring the shadow out so far to the side? Also, can we change every single color real quick?

When looking at makeup inspiration, really look at the actual colors and placement of them to figure out what it is that you like. If what you are left with is “if I had that face and was also Instagram-famous, I would wear makeup like that”, then save it to a Pinterest and swoon over your girl-crush later.

Trust your artist.

I will do whatever makeup you want, if it makes you happy (and won’t completely destroy my credibility and reputation.) A good hairstylist will do the same for your hair. But we will also politely try to steer you toward the best look for you.

I am not a fan of the Kardashian highlight, but I am ESPECIALLY not a fan of it on anyone with a less than perfectly flat undereye area. See Kim? She doesn’t have bags or hollows. You don’t want to highlight (both literally and figuratively) anything that isn’t perfect. I personally have a slightly hollowed out area underneath my eyes, and there is no amount of light concealer that will change that. I would much rather use a salmon-toned corrector on myself and brighten the area than lighten it. Clients who examine their dark circles after I’m done (um, it’s a shadow, you guys, please don’t make me tell you that fillers are the only thing that will fix it) and then sigh and throw their own concealer at me in a shade called Casper or Wite-Out or some shit are unintentionally sabotaging themselves.

Be careful who you bring with you.

In my experience, it has been 50/50 whether bringing one person with you to a trial can be helpful. (Two or more people though is almost always a bad idea.) Ideally, you would be confident enough in what you like to ask for it and to articulate what you would like changed. Not everyone is, and some people have awesome sisters/aunts/dogwalkers who will be supportive and helpful and make sure you leave happy. That’s great; please bring them and let’s all have fun! Bringing someone who is overly-critical and who speaks over you to tell your artists to do the opposite of what you want is not ideal. Of course, most trials have time to try more than one look, but you are not going to be confident choosing the look you would have otherwise loved if your companion insults it while you look it over in the mirror. I PROMISE that if you are happy and have a good artist and stylist, your mother/cousin/friend-who-is-a-makeup-artist-but-who-you-did-not-hire will tell you how beautiful you are on your wedding day and not say that your lipstick makes you look weird or that you should get a different haircut because the one you have now makes your updo suck.

If possible, have your hair colored the way it will be for you wedding day. Also, get both your hair and your makeup done during the same trial.

You want to see how everything will look all together. And wear a white top! That will help you really imagine how you’ll actually look on the big day (assuming you’ll be wearing white.)

Take pictures.

If you feel like the makeup is too much and your trusted artist promises you it’s not and that you will need that much to avoid looking barefaced in photos, there is an easy way to see. If you still feel that it is too much, any good artist will be happy to tone it down.

Above all, remember that it is your face and head of hair.

Even artists and stylists who work with A-list clients don’t get to dictate how you look. They can politely give suggestions, but should never be pushy and should always let you decide. If you want to rock a tiara and 80’s bangs, then you go girl, that’s your prerogative. Your fiancé(e) also does not get to dictate how you look. If you feel good, you’ll look good. Own it.

Xx Dana