Saturday, January 15, 2011

From Office to Happy Hour

Salut mes cheries ;)))

Happy Saturday!!! Since we're all very happy to not be working, I thought I'd take this opportunity to talk about office appropriate or everyday makeup suitable for a professional environment. Though working environments differ immensely, there are generally some restrictions across all industries about the type of makeup we wear to work, with the key feature being professionalism. Needless to say, "peacocky" makeup would not work for the office, however, neither would a completely bare face, especially if you've had several margaritas the night before. Office makeup should:

  1. Make you look awake and alert
  2. Be clean and last all day
  3. Can be easily transformed from day to evening
For this entry, I have a 2 for 1, so let me know which look you like best :))


Maryam Maquillage

LOOK #1: This look can easily go from day to night because its focus is on clean lines, contrast and simplicity. Start with a clean face and make sure to care for your particular skin type accordingly. My skin is combination, it tends to be oily in the center of the face and dry on the sides. Typically I moisturize my entire face, focusing more on the dry areas and use a mattifying primer on the oily areas. 

Tip: My favorite facial primer is Laura Mercier mineral foundation primer because it does exactly what it promises. It mattifies my face, minimizes my pores and prevents my makeup from settling into pores and fine lines. This product isn't cheap, but it's well worth the price and should be a staple in any working girl's makeup bag. 

After priming and moisturizing the face, use a kabuki brush to apply mineral foundation all over the face, concentrating on problem areas: acne, uneven skin tone, or redness. I'm a big advocate of Bare Minerals matte foundation because it is the only facial makeup that has actually improved my skin after prolonged use. As I mentioned in previous entries, my color is Golden Medium, though I sometimes mix in their bronzer to deepen the color, depending on the season. Use light concealer where you need it--under the eyes, around the nose, etc. 

Tip: Starting with you face first helps to make sure you don't overdue the eyes and lips as doing so would be problematic for the office. Clean and healthy looking skin is the most important part in this makeup look, so if you're pressed for time, focus on the skin, the rest can be done on your way to work, just not on the subway lol.

After finishing the face, fill in your eyebrows if you need to. Since my eyebrows are very black, I usually fill in just the ends, where the hairs tend to be more sparse. Remember, the eyebrows frame the face, so neglecting them would be a terrible mistake ;) Make sure you keep them neat and do not, I repeat DO NOT over-pluck the middle. There is nothing more unflattering than an empty gap between the brows. It looks awfully unnatural. You should be able to fit two fingers between the brows, any more than that and you run the risk of looking like a vampire. On the other hand, I may be biased because in my eastern culture, closely set eyebrows on a woman are considered a powerful talisman. In fact, some Central Asian women are considered more beautiful if they have a unibrow. I personally like to keep Americanized, but with a hint of exotica :) 

Back to the eyes: start by applying Urban Decay primer potion and letting it settle for about 30 seconds. For this look, you will need just two contrasting eyeshadow colors, a light and dark one. Make sure both shadows are matte. Start by patting on the light shadow (lavender, pale pink, peach or beige would all work) all over your lid, going slightly above the crease.

Tip for smaller eyes: To create a wide eyed look, place your darker crease shadow slightly above your natural crease. As you can see, my crease is practically invisible, so placing the shadow directly on the line would close up my eyes even more. Applying the darker shadow above the line gives the illusion of a bigger eye and works great to reverse sleeplessness and de-puff puffy eyes. :)

Apply the crease color (warm brown, plum, or gray-brown) with a dome shaped fluffy brush, using windshield wiper motion and concentrating the color on the outer corner. Darkening the outer corner gives the eye a classic 50's cat eye, looks great on everyone and works for the office.

Take the same dark shadow and line underneath the eye, along the lashline, stopping halfway. Finish the eye look by lining the top lashline with black or dark brown liquid or gel liner and coat your lashes with mascara of the same color as the eyeliner. 

Keep your lips office appropriate, pale pink or pinky beige. I used NYX lipliner in natural, filled in the entire lip and applied Make Up Forever Rouge artist Intense lipstick in number 32, a pale pink satin color. 

LOOK #2: Follow the same guidelines for face, eyebrows and priming the eyes. This look is not about making yourself look awake and professional, rather it is about making the most of your work appropriate makeup and looking fabulous while doing so. Then again, it's another variation on office makeup that can also work for after work. 

In this look, the eyeshadows are brighter while the lips are more neutral. Take a slightly shimmery lavender or purple shadow and apply all over the lid, blending it well around the edges to prevent harsh lines. Take a brown shadow and apply it with a fluffy dome brush to the outer corners of the eyes, using circular motions. Try to sweep the brown up and away from the eye, toward the corner of the eyebrow.

Tip: Wipe off the dome brush and use it as an eraser to soften the edges of the brown shadow while blending it inwards with the shimmery purple. A clean brush will blend the existing color better and is a good way to erase some of the eye shadow if you put on too much.

Next, line the the outer corner of the top and bottom lash lines with a brown eyeliner, connecting them and creating a slight wing pointed toward the edge of the eyebrow, following the eye shadow. Finish the look with 1 coat of mascara.

Keep the lips nude or beige. I used NYX lipliner in Natural and MAC amplified lipstick in Warm Me Up. Tip: MAC lipsticks come in 9 or 10 formulas, but my favorite is amplified because simply put, it's the best for your money. The color shows up on the lips as it looks in the tube, the formula is creamy, moisturizing and long lasting. Blotting your lips on a paper towel will remove the excess color, giving your lips a beautiful stained finish. Thumbs up for MAC amplified lipsticks!!!

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