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Makeup Please!

Thereís so much to say about makeup that you can actually go and buy hundreds of books on it, and these books will explain everything from the how-to to the look-like-a... At the same time, though, some people believe that thereís not much to say about it, because makeup is a personal thing and your face and skin and, yes, mood, canít help but differ from the next personís. In other words, how you apply the makeup, and to what effect, is up to you.

Because of the complexity of the makeup issue, weíve decided on a middle road. We will not give you all the information in the world on it, and we wonít give you pointers on specific looks. Instead, weíll tell you all about what you need if you want to look like anything at all prom night. Most of the stuff weíll recommend you should even bring with you that evening as part of your purse kit, for freshening up and touch ups, etc. None of the stuff we recommend should catch you by surprise. I mean, you've either already worn it all before and may be wearing some of it right now as you read this, or you know someone who has worn it all before. In any case, there's nothing magic or secret about the makeup items we list below, and each one of them should form a part of your tool kit, not just for prom, but for the rest of your professional and public life.




So here goes. The seven items that are indispensable to your basic, complete, makeup survival kit (not to mention indispensable to a perfectly made up face), are these:

  1. Concealer. What is it? Well, it comes in tube, liquid, tub, or stick form. It is exactly what the word implies: meant for concealing. Concealing what? Blemishes, scars, odd little spots on your skin that donít qualify as blemishes, and even tattoos if applied properly and the tattoo is not too big and you have a spatula to apply it with. Amongst other than the just mentioned places, itís even good for applying under your eyes if you have dark circles (from studying, yes?) or above your eyes if you have reddish eyelids. How do you know which concealer color is right for you? There are two things you need to do, depending on where you will apply it. First, if itís meant to go over blemishes and scars, then you need to select the concealer that is the absolute closest to your skin tone. Just visit the cosmetics counter and go through every sample Ďtil you find the one thatís you. Believe me, it will be there. Second, if you really do intend to apply it under your eyes, or over a bruise, then you should choose the concealer color that corrects the temporary discoloration. For example, if the discoloration is red, choose a concealer thatís yellow or greenish. If the discoloration is bluish as in under your eyes, choose a concealer thatís orange. The reason is that the concealer color will in this case balance your skin color and make it neutral, so that once you apply foundation, blush, or eye shadow, the original discoloration will vanish. If youíre not sure what to select, visit the makeup counters at Macys or another large store and ask them to help you. Theyíll be happy to.

    (Cost: About $12.00)

  2. Foundation or Powder. This works a lot like the concealer, only itís not as powerful because itís not meant to hide heavy-duty blemishes but rather to smooth skin by filling in pores and stuff like that. Personally, we donít recommend it much (until youíre over 30, anyway) for two reasons. First, your skin is still young enough that you donít really need a corrective filler. And second, itís actually very difficult to learn to use foundation in such a way that it doesnít make your face look like itís made of plastic. However, if you must use it, use it sparingly, and select the type that is right for you. You have three choices: You can get it in liquid form, which provides medium to light coverage (our recommended form), and which is good for all skin types; you can get it as a cream, which is best for normal to dry skin; and you can get it in powder formóachoo!ó, which is best for oily skin.

    (cost: About $20-$35, depending on whether itís liquid (cheapest), cream, or powder (most expensive).

  3. Blush. The first and only rule about blush and your face: the only color on your face should be provided by blush and only blush. So that tells you what blush is! After concealers, foundations, or even after leaving your face natural, you want, and need, to apply a little blush (especially if you have used concealers and foundations). Blush is what gives that subtle color to your cheeks and brings your whole face into rosy life. Now, I said that there was only one rule about blush. There are actually a few rules, except that since theyíre all about how to wear blush, I wasnít lying. So these are the rules: 1. Donít overdo itóthat makes you look like youíre going to wait for customers on the street corner. 2. Start by drawing an imaginary line downwards from the center of each eye. Any blush applied from that line outward (i.e., toward the ear) is okay. Any blush applied from that line toward the nose, is not okay. Why? Because it will make you look like a clown. 3. Apply the blush from your hair line downwards, never upwards. Why not upwards? Because this will leave a blob of color on your cheek since you canít help putting the brush down in the same place over and over again as you start your stroke. 4. A final, simple rule: apply it lightly. If it looks like it needs more, then add just a little more. But always stop right before you think it looks just strong enough.

    (Cost: About $12.00)

  4. Eye Pencils/Eye Liners. What are they good for? Heavy and smudged, theyíre good for accenting shadows. As a line, they make for well-defined borders, around your eyes, and around your lips (using lip liner). A couple of things to think about when you use them (and you should use them around your eyes): the thicker the line, the bolder your look. Also, the more intense will your eyes be. If the line is stronger above than below, this intensity will look like your normal expression, only stronger. If the line is equal strength above as below, then youíll start to develop that gothic look. Should you ever not use liner around your eyes? The only time you shouldnít use it, is if you have a really deep mascara, or are wearing a two-tone mascara and the darker of the colors fades nearly to black. Otherwise, use it every time.

    (cost: About $15.00 for a good liner)

  5. Eye Shadow. Whatís it for? Accenting the eyes. Should you wear it? Always. How should you wear it? We recommend two waysóthe most usual ways. One, wear a single color, spread evenly all along your eyelids. This is the easiest way to apply it, and usually the most common if youíre simply going out, or running around on your regular days. It also works well if youíre trying to match your eye shadow to your dress. The second way, is to work with two colors. When doing this, start by applying the lightest color first, all the way across your eyelids. Then you can add the second color to taste, usually about a third the thickness of the first color, and always, always, always, blended into that one. To make your eyes look bigger, you can also apply this darker shade to the outside corner of your eyes. And that is that.

    (Cost: About $15.00)

  6. Mascara. Should you wear that? Unless youíve got eyelashes like cables, you should wear mascara. It gives volume to your eye, and sensuousness to your glance. Thereís not much to be said about this other than itís strictly necessary, especially if youíre wearing liner and shadow. Because if you donít wear it, and wear the other stuff, your eye will look completely unbalanced, and everyone will sense that thereís something wrong with your face, without quite understanding what.

    (Cost: About $18.00)

  7. Lips. One thingís for sure, if I said above that entire books are written on makeup, then the majority of these books focus on lips. The reason is that lips (other than your eyes, but for different reasons) are your most powerful way of expressing health and vitality and desirability and sensuousness, and all the other things that we generally associate with beauty. So you really should wear lipstick, and you should apply it generously to bring your lips fully to life. Only a few tips on using it, though: lighter colors for the daytime, richer or darker colors for the night time. The best thing to do, if your prom is partly day and partly night, is bring both shades and change as required. Youíve probably been wearing lipstick since you were twelve, so thereís no need to describe how to put it on. Youíll know exactly what you need for maximum effect, and the rules of application are totally simple: donít let it ride above the natural lip contour. Jeez, couldnít be easier.

    (Cost: About $12.00)

Well, that about wraps things up for your makeup. Only one thing left to say. Prom is a hectic evening, and you will be eating and drinking (no, not alcohol), and people will kiss you, whether on the cheek or lips, and so you really should bring a little of all of the above with you for periodic touch ups. Know what I mean?

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