Read an Excerpt
The Ultimate Guide
By Rae Morris, Steven Chee
Allen & UnwinCopyright © 2008 Rae Morris
All rights reserved.
MODEL: CASSIE - CHIC MODELS MANICURE: MANDI LEVANAH - DLM STYLIST: RICHARD MILVAIN RING: VINTAGE SCARF: BEADED VINTAGE
You would never see a makeup artist backstage at Paris Fashion Week with a few cotton buds and a couple of sponge -tip applicators. That's because to do the right makeup, you need the right makeup tools.
The correct tools make the job easier, and they give you the control for doing your makeup properly. That's why, when it comes to makeup, you really are only as good as the tools you use!
Because I travel a lot, my makeup is constantly damaged, but knowing I have my brushes, for example, makes it okay because I can always run to buy new makeup — I can even use what's in a model's bag — but I can't round up brushes in an emergency.
I know that I couldn't do my job without my tools, so I have compiled a list of what I believe are ESSENTIALS for you to own in your very own makeup kit. Yes, it is a bit longer than you might like it to be, but too bad! Believe me when I tell you, it's an investment and worth every cent. Most of the items listed will last you for years, some even a lifetime. One way to keep costs down is to spend less on disposable items such as lipstick and eye shadow, to make way for the more necessary things like brushes.
Because brushes are incredibly important, I've added a whole section on them, explaining the different types available and how to use them (see brushes).
But first, let's begin with what you need for your makeup kit.
Absolutely essential! You are going to need several of these, so I've included a thorough list on Brushes.
Two to three eye shadows
I know women with hundreds, but you can achieve a lot with just two. To know which colours you should choose, see the Eye Colour Charts. When you're at the makeup counter and you spot a colour you love, you can do the 'one wipe trick' to test the product. Take a clean fingertip, wipe over the product once, and look at the intensity. If the colour isn't as intense on your finger as it looks like in the package, then don't buy it — you'll be forever trying to build up that colour on your eye. It's better to have a colour that's strong and you can soften with loose translucent powder. Also, watch out for dodgy multicoloured pigments. After the 'one wipe trick', grab a cotton bud and lightly dust your finger to see what colour you're left with. This is great for testing deep metallic eye shadows such as ruby-reds and dark blues. If the product is bad, then rubbing with the bud will wipe away all the rich colour and leave you only with the black.
To be used with a clean wand or comb on standby.
Use for applying powder. I prefer these because most powder brushes leave brush marks. Powder brushes and buffs need to be cleaned so often that maintenance becomes a hassle — cotton pads are a great replacement and the most hygienic option.
Bicarb of soda
For prepping the skin. You can use this once a week as an exfoliant — bicarb is the best exfoliant you can ever use. Pour a tablespoon into your hands, and mix with a water-based cleanser (Cetaphil is my favourite) until you get a gritty texture (like a scrub). Apply as you would normally use an exfoliant, then wash your face. Don't use if you have chemical peels of any kind, if you are sunburnt or are using AHA, BHA, retinols or any acne-related medications — these products make your skin peel chemically, so there's no need to re-scrub with an exfoliant.
Pointed tweezers are my favourite because they remove every hair in sight, and they outline the brow beautifully. However, because they are like needles, you must turn the tweezers side on, rather than directly pointing them at the brow.
Makeup primers are basically a moisturiser that contains extra silicone and glycerin, allowing foundation to be applied a lot more evenly. If you use a makeup primer don't use a moisturiser as you would be doubling up — let your makeup primer act as your moisturiser as well.
Inner eye white pencil
To clean up redness in the inner rim of the eye. This opens the eye and makes you look instantly younger and more awake. Make sure that it's not waterproof as the inner rim is wet!
This should not be waterproof so that it can be applied inside the eye for those glamorous occasions. This works well as smudged eyeliner on the top lash line. If the weather is cold, you should heat up your pencil before using it, by rubbing it on the back of your hand, to release the pigment and soften the pencil; this should give it a crayon-like feel and improve the intensity of the colour.
Use one that matches your brow hair colour, not what you wish it to be.
Use one that matches your skin tone. See Highlighting.
This is the one tool I believe every woman must own. Professionals use them every single time and so should you. There is a simple trick to them: place your lashes in the curlers, then slightly squeeze the curlers before you start, making sure there is no skin trapped, then squeeze as hard as you can for 5 to 10 seconds before releasing. You can also buy heated curlers, which are easier to use. These are battery operated, and you can also heat them up with a hairdryer if the battery goes flat. If you do heat up with a hairdryer, please check how hot they are on another part of your face, such as the chin, before going near the eye. Heated curlers are particularly good to use for upkeep, after applying mascara; curling lashes with standard curlers after mascara has been applied can result in clumps.
This is great if you don't like to use powder of any kind. It gives a more creamy, dewy finish to the cheeks, which provides a youthful look. Don't use cream blush if you have powdered your foundation.
Cream, liquid or gel eyeliner in black
I love the creams; they give you time to blend and when they dry they don't move or smudge, plus most of them are waterproof. They come in awesome shades such as blue-black, bronze and turquoise.
Even if you hate powder, you'll need this for blending and prepping your eyes. Beware of any powder that has titanium dioxide (even though it's essential for sunscreen); it's completely safe for everyday use, however, it will play havoc if you're going to a special occasion where a camera flash may be involved. The reason for this is that titanium (in its pure form) will photograph pure white, so if it's in your powder it can whiten your foundation by up to five shades. On the other hand, titanium has great sunscreen benefits.
At least two foundations
These are a must, especially if you use a fake tan, and if your skin changes colour from summer to winter.
Gold or silver shimmer powder (pigments)
These are used to highlight the eyes, the cheeks and the lips. They give the skin a glow, and bring your makeup alive. Gold is for warm-toned skins and silver is for cool-toned skins. In this book I have used these pigments in almost every shot.
Speaks for itself; necessary for anyone with discolouration, blemishes, bags, pigmentation, etc.
Contouring cream or shadow
For shading purposes (to build cheekbones etc). It's not for everyone, but it makes one hell of a difference. See Contouring for more information.
Lip gloss and lipstick
Again, you don't need hundreds, and if you own hundreds, squash them into a palette (you can get them cheap from haberdashery shops — they're called 'bobbin cases'— or you can buy cheap empty palettes from makeup stores). However, I believe every woman should own a clear and a tinted lip gloss, a great nude shade (that makes your lips bigger), a gold or shimmery gloss highlighter (which you will see I use extensively throughout this book), and your signature colour. Remember, lipsticks go off; you can tell by the sudden smell or taste change. And, yes, every woman can wear red lipstick!
This is the blush to use if you have powdered your foundation — powder on powder blends. Only use powder blush if you have powdered your skin with translucent powder after applying your foundation otherwise it will have a blotchy and uneven effect. Not all powder blushes are matt. My favourite kind is that which has a gold shimmer to give an extra glow.
It constantly amazes me that week in week out, I see women attempting to do their face with just one brush. But even a top makeup artist can't do great makeup with only one brush, so how can you? The truth is that you are going to need many brushes, and yes, that is going to cost a bit. I spend a fortune on brushes every year and I've often wished I could just buy a cheap one and be done with it. But I simply can't. I have to have the right equipment, and so do you.
How to choose the good-quality — not necessarily expensive — brushes
I'm going to let you in on one of the best kept secrets in buying makeup brushes, and it's so simple. Whenever you want to buy a makeup brush, balance it on its very tip. Hold the brush vertically on the back of your hand, bristles down, and lightly bounce the brush to test the strength of the bristles. The bristles should only have a slight bend; if they splay, or flatten completely, then the brush will be too difficult to use, and the makeup will go everywhere except where you want to put it.
When you are doing detailed work such as applying eyeliner or defining a brow, you need to add a little pressure with your brush as you apply it. If you have a bad brush, the slightest pressure will move the bristles from 1 mm to (if it's really nasty) 5 mm. That is a huge distance when you are talking about an eyeliner.
And from spending years looking at brushes from all around the world across all different price ranges, I still find my kit consists of the cheapest to the most expensive — it's about a 50/50 ratio. So you can and will find brushes that are in your price range; check out discount makeup stores, art and craft shops and manchester stores.
How to clean your brushes
The best way to clean your brushes is with brush cleaner once a week. However, if you don't have brush cleaner, try hot, soapy water — I actually use washing detergent; shampoo probably isn't strong enough. Under hot, soapy water, rub your brush on a white plate. This way, when you clean your brush, you can see the colour on the plate. When the plate is clean and the water runs clear, you know the brush is washed. Then just let it dry overnight.
Fine-tip eyeliner brush
This is terrific for fine eyeliner. As it is delicate in nature, it has a limited life. I typically buy one every eight to twelve weeks, so you will have to replace it regularly. To get the most value out of this brush, look for a quality inexpensive one. You'd be surprised what you can find in an art supplies store. Sometimes I buy liquid eyeliner just for the brush as they are so firm. (I am also finding the new fine felt-tip eyeliner pens fantastic.) Remember, you don't have to use the product the brush comes with; I use them with a variety of other products as they give such a precise line and they last for ages. Besides using this brush for fine eyeliner, it's very useful for micro-concealing, adding highlights or diamond dust to the inner corners of the eyes, and embedding eye shadow right into the eyelash line to ensure there are no gaps.
Large- and medium-sized rounded eye-shadow brushes
Notice I said rounded? That's because these brushes have to blend and move with your natural eye contours. Square brushes speak for themselves: they are 'square' so they give hard, unblended edges.
Small-sized rounded eye-shadow brush/concealer brush
This is exactly the same shape as your large- and medium -sized brushes, only it's downsized. As a makeup artist, I cannot work without one. I use it when working with intense pigments, for adding socket lines, or when working close to the eyelash line. It also doubles as a great concealer brush; just make sure you clean it in between uses.
Fibre-optic foundation brush
Thank goodness for technology! I have yet to come across a more fantastic brush than the fibre-optic foundation brush. It makes any foundation application look flawless, even airbrushed at times. You can use this brush with all types of foundation. A word of warning, though: the white-tip bristles are extremely porous and will hold a lot of foundation, so the best way to use the brush is to apply the foundation to your face directly then use the brush to blend. If you are using the brush to absorb liquid foundation straight from the bottle, be mindful of how much foundation the brush will carry because you might end up with too much foundation on your face. Does wall paint ring a bell? Here's a great tip to avoid this: only allow about a quarter of the brush to be immersed in your foundation. You can always apply more if this isn't quite enough. You can also apply the foundation to the back of your hand and pick it up from there.
Great for achieving a perfect lip line. I never spend more than $8 on these.
Flat foundation brush
This was the predecessor to the fibre-optic brush, and it is still a fantastic tool that will never date. This brush has many uses, namely for contouring, shading or highlighting using cream-based products, and is particularly great for cleaning up eye-shadow fallout from underneath the eye. Use this brush to apply foundation beneath the eye after completing a strong smoky eyes look, for example, as sometimes the bristles of the fibre-optic brush can run over the eye area and make a mess of the eye shadow.
This is great for concealing and for using under the eyes, and for liquid eyeliner.
This is very useful for contouring, which can make you look ten years younger.
Mascara wand and metal comb
Mascara wands are available from all good makeup outlets, but you can also use your old mascara wand (please wash it first). I use this every single time after I apply mascara to comb out clumps and evenly spread out lashes. It's also great for eyebrows. Here's a little trick: spray the wand with hairspray before using on your brows and it will keep them in place. Second choice: Metal comb. I love these but I have seen a few accidents where women have stabbed themselves in the eye, so please use carefully. This is the best tool for combing up eyebrows.
Fine angled brush
This is an essential brush. There isn't a woman on the planet who doesn't need this one! It's a must for eyebrows as it fills them in perfectly and allows you to extend your brows successfully. It's also one of the best brushes to do every kind of eyeliner imaginable. Second choice: There isn't one!
Most times you can use your contouring brush (I buy these from pharmacies — no need for an expensive one).
My favourite! This brush is a must-have. It's cheap and a little hard to find because it comes directly from Japan. However, some makeup wholesalers or distributors will get it for you. This brush is like a ball of cotton wool. It gives the smoothest finish and can be used for powder, all types of blush and bronzer, contouring and shading, and for blending eye shadow. Second choice: If you can't find a kabuki brush, you can use a rounded blush brush (i.e. not flat or cut straight).
Some of the products out there are laughable; I don't want my brushes to have deep-conditioning treatments, be oiled or smell like roses. I want to know that if I am working on a model with a cold sore or if I drop my brush on the floor, when I dip that brush into my cleaner it is going to kill all bacteria to a hospital grade, INSTANTLY. Sure, it smells like pure alcohol and the fumes can make your eyes water for a few seconds, but it's only momentary as an alcohol-based cleaner dries in seconds. Conversely, your conditioning cleaners will stay wet and the brushes will have a greasy film, which makes them a nightmare to work with. A good brush cleaner will clean a filthy brush instantly, with the brush drying in seconds, ready for its next use. You won't find a good makeup artist without a brush cleaner. Again, they are not the easiest to find, but you can ask your local makeup wholesaler to purchase it; the good news is that a litre of brush cleaner won't break the bank. Some cosmetic companies do sell their own brush cleaners; my advice is to test it first: it should dry within 10 seconds without leaving an oily film.CHAPTER 2
MODEL: CASSIE - CHIC MODELS HAIR: KAREN HOPWOOD - DLM MODEL: RENEE MANSBRIDGE - CHIC MODELS
introduction to skin prepping
This book is not about skincare — that is a whole other complicated subject that we don't need to go into. So when it comes to prepping your skin, I'm going to cut to the chase.
I work with a different skin type every single day, but I don't have the time or kit size to carry every single cosmetic product available. I use the same products on everyone; the only things that change are whether or not I need sunscreen (we spend a lot of time inside a studio), choosing between an oil-based and water-based moisturiser (depending on the foundation I need to use, and if the skin is oily I don't use one at all — most of us forget how much moisturiser there is in foundation already!), and whether or not I need to use a toner (I do if the skin is extra oily or sometimes just in the eyelids as this area can get so greasy!).
Excerpted from Makeup by Rae Morris, Steven Chee. Copyright © 2008 Rae Morris. Excerpted by permission of Allen & Unwin.
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