CoverGirl is winning my heart more and more these days. Not only does their makeup continue to improve (more on this in a mo), but also they really know how to throw a party. This time, it was at the iconic and beautiful Palace Hotel. But when I entered the corner suite, instead of looking out over the gorgeous, shimmering streets of New York, I saw nothing but mirrors lining the windows. The reflections of the women in the room carried their own unique beauty, and I was happy to sacrifice the city view.
The event was an ode, of course, to makeup, but it was especially focused on learning professional tips and tricks–many of which surprised me. Jake Bailey, makeup artist to the stars (and uber-cute guy), was here to teach us how to do a summer sultry look, with the help of his friends. I sat down with my personal makeup artist Jessica Ortiz, ready to be schooled. As Jessica and I watched, Jake began with his model what I can only describe as a life-changing lesson. Not because what he said was especially revolutionary–except that what he said was so simple, so intuitive, that it was revolutionary to me. His focus was (I’m paraphrasing): keep it simple. Less is more. And use your fingers.
But before I get to the tricks, let’s talk about the makeup. CoverGirl’s focus of the day was two of their collections: the Blast line and the CoverGirl/Olay Simply Ageless line. The Blast line is all about big, bold, long-lasting. There’s a 24-hour mascara–which, from what I can tell by Jake’s subtle irritation when he said, “This mascara is more than 24-hour. It’ll stay on forever”—is damn hard to take off. But sometimes a girl needs mascara like that. There’s also the Blast Eyeliner, which goes on SO smooth and is a bold, kohl black (but keep the cap on at all times, because it’ll dry out if left uncovered). There’s also the Blast Flipsticks, designed by the lovely Pat McGrath, which I am desperately in love with (there are two tones on the stick, which you can use individually or as an ombre look… amazeballs).
The Olay line is, as you can imagine, all about skin care. But what’s really special about it is that Cover Girl’s scientists have focused on coverage for the foundation, powders, and blushes (CREAM blushes!), and as a result, the makeup applies incredibly smoothly, gives a natural glow, but absolutely STAYS ON. Jessica, the makeup artist who was doing my look, swears by this line.
So this is the makeup Jake used while teaching his tricks. And now, without further ado, and in no particular order, the tips:
— Use black eyeliner. Sure, you see purples, browns, and greens in magazine editorial shots, but that’s not how you’ll achieve the everyday pretty look most of us are going for. No matter what your skin tone, no matter what your eye color, use black. It’ll bring out the luminosity in your eyes, which is the ultimate goal in looking pretty.
— No matter how thickly you apply it (which will depend on the look you’re going for), get as close to the lash line as possible, even on the line underneath your lashes.
— When applying mascara, it’s more important to coat the root of the lash than the tip.
— Jake did something that was amazing: he essentially scribbled black eyeliner on his model’s lid, making a total mess, then smudged it, and covered it with Intense Shadowblast liquid shadow (which has primer in the formula–it does NOT come off). I was stunned. The look was rich and—exactly what he was going for—sultry. Here’s what I was reminded of during this demonstration: makeup is an art. Be creative, and resourceful (Jake said he uses lip glosses as blushes ALL the time), and don’t be limited by the labels of the makeup.
— Jake is a huge proponent for using your fingers when you apply makeup, especially on skin. He says that the emollients in your fingers help you to apply just the right amount, and to cast just the right kind of chemistry between the makeup and your skin. It’s such a simple trick, but in today’s makeup world, where it feels like you need a brush for every little detail, it’s refreshing to remember that our fingers are sometimes our best tools (that’s what she said…sorry. couldn’t help myself.).
— Don’t be afraid–or ashamed–of Q-Tips. Makeup falls out. Makeup smudges. Hands shake. You blink. All kinds of things happen that make little errors impossible to avoid, even for the highest-paid most talented artists in the business. So don’t feel bad if it doesn’t go perfectly the first time. Just grab a Q-Tip (or use your finger), and fix the smudge.
Do you guys already use any of these tips? Have any other ideas for resourceful, intuitive makeup application? Share it! And let us know if you have any questions. I learned a wealth of information from Jake and Jessica, and probably retained more than I wrote down. So let the questions flow! We’ll answer as many as we can.