classic makeup: bold & brazen

In this week's edition of my classic makeup series, we're getting into my home territory and amping things up a bit. While I keep it pretty natural for daytime, when it comes to any kind of evening or occasion, I'm one of those people who simply prefers wearing a lot of makeup. It's partly because I love to experiment with bold colour, but it's also because I have one of those faces that soaks up makeup. Did you know that's a thing?

Yep, through personal observation, research, and talking to fellow makeup artists, I've realized that makeup sits better on some faces than others. I don't know what determines this exactly, as it doesn't seem to be skin tone or type, but when you apply makeup to some faces, it will show up easily and clearly and stay that way.

On other faces, you have to apply multiple layers and use more highly pigmented products and then 10 minutes after you finish it looks like only 50% of the product stayed on. If anyone can explain this phenomenon, please do! At this point, all I know is that I belong to the second camp. For this reason, I like to use a heavy hand when going for a darker look. I'd encourage you to get acquainted with your skin's propensity to hold or reject/absorb makeup and adjust your technique accordingly.

When  I did my friend Jenn's makeup for these portraits and video, I was surprised by how much makeup she encouraged me to pile on. Usually I have to talk people into letting me apply more! Jenn is a very talented makeup artist who used to work at MAC, and she knows her face well. She even educated me on the the ideal blush/bronzer/highlighter combination for her skin and it was perfect!

Anyways, all this preamble is to say that you must know thyself--your comfort level and the way your skin interacts with makeup-- before going bold. Once you have a rough idea, you're ready to tackle this Bold & Brazen look. It's a go-to look for Beyoncé and people everywhere who like to bring the drama.

It's the perfect makeup look for a night where you want to go big or go home. So try out this look, then squeeze yourself into a great dress, slip into some great heels, and tease your hair up nice and tall, Texas style.

Here are some examples:


Here's what you need:


Here's how to do it:

Start with your eyes before anything else, as things are going to get messy! Prep them first with an eyeshadow primer (here I used Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer). While you wait for the primer to dry, fill in your brows with a pencil that matches their colour.

Line your eyes with a black kohl pencil. Tightline them, and also trace both the upper and lower lashlines. You can be a bit messy here. I used a basic Rimmel liner. I tend to like less expensive black eyeliners for looks like this, as you go through a lot of product with this kind of look. While I would usually prefer liquid, creme or gel liners with a waterproof finish, that's not what we need here. Kohl works best in this case because you use it to draw on your base, then blend the shadow overtop, and I find kohl plays nicely with powder.

So, once your liner is complete, use a flat brush and start pressing a matte black eyeshadow overtop of the liner along the top lashline. Once you've got it evenly covered, keep applying shadow up to the crease. Then smudge a little bit over the liner along your bottom lashline. Then, with a fluffier brush, apply a medium brown shadow overtop to blend out the black shadow so that it extends above the crease. Essentially, just blend like crazy until you soften the edges and diffuse the look. Do the same along your lower lashline.

If you want to go the extra mile, apply a set of false lashes. Add mascara to blend your own lashes with the false ones.

Once you're happy with your eyes, use an oil-free makeup remover and clean up any fallen shadow from your cheeks.

Apply your favourite foundation and set with powder. If you want to get a little fancy, you can use a taupe shadow (like the one pictured above) if you're pale, or a darker one if your skin tone is deeper than mine, to contour your cheekbones slightly. Use an angled contouring brush or a small brush blush to softly apply a bit of the shadow under your cheekbones and along your temples. The Beauty Department actually posted a simple contouring tutorial last week.

For the final step, apply a nice pink shade to the lips. I used Revlon's Stormy Pink. You could also use a nude shade of course, but I think a pretty pink is a nicer twist on the classic smoky eye/nude lip theme.

That's it! Final look:




As a final note, I'd like to add that I usually make a look be about 25% more dramatic than I want it to end up, as on most people the look will fade by that amount by the time they arrive at their destination. So picture this look being a bit more toned-down than it is in the final photos. Also, it would look way less dramatic in evening light rather than full daylight ;)