With an organised wardrobe, you should now be able to see at a glance what you have lurking in there! This will make life a lot easier when grabbing something to wear at some dreadful hour of the morning, when you’re not quite awake yet.
So, you have on an outfit now – but what about the whole look? Are your shoes clean? Do they match? I once went to my old office job in one navy shoe and one black – well, I’d bought two pairs of the same style of shoe, so I was pretty close!
Are there any runs in your stockings/tights/hose? Have you at least combed your hair? One thing to definitely build into your daily routine is a quick glance in a full-length mirror before you leave the house – both front and back views, please!
And what about your face? Do you look healthy, bright and awake? That vision of beauty that lights up everyone’s life on a daily basis? Is it clean? Is it made up? Or do you look like death warmed up?
Without make-up, many women can look tired. Wearing the correct make-up in colours which complement your skin tone can energise you and make you sparkle. Skipping make-up in an effort to look ‘natural’ can often be just an excuse for not wanting to bother. The truth is that well-done make-up looks far more natural than your bare skin, and you will be protecting it at the same time from the ravages of the weather, central heating, air conditioning, petrol fumes, etc..
Wearing make-up also forces you to clean your skin at night – and that can’t be a bad idea. You DO clean your skin before you go to bed, don’t you? Of course you do!
Only apply make-up to a clean face
We’ll be looking at skin care routines another time but applying make-up to a dirty face is like painting over old, peeling wallpaper – not a pretty sight! Clean your face, preferably with a pH-balanced make-up remover, which will open up your pores, close them with a gentle toner, and then apply a moisturiser.
Let the moisturiser sink in
Give your moisturiser time to sink in before applying any other make-up. If you’re in a rush, cover your face with a paper tissue and pat the skin gently. This will absorb any extra moisture.
Foundation should match your skin tone as exactly as possible. And the only place to try foundation on when choosing one in a shop is ON YOUR FACE! Please do not be fobbed off with some fool of a cosmetic assistant trying to persuade you to try it on your wrist or the back of your hand. Just hold your hand or wrist up to your face for a moment and look in a mirror. Now, tell me, do they look anywhere near the same colour? No, they don’t.
Believe me, I thought I’d heard them all until I was taking a client shopping for make-up in a well-known High Street store. “This will be perfect for you, madam,” the assistant lied. “Just try it on the base of your thumb.” At this, I exploded and declared that I had never heard such rubbish, and added, “If I was buying a pair of shoes, I wouldn’t try them on my elbows so why would I want to try foundation anywhere but on my face?” The moral of this story is not to go shopping with me if you want to fade into the background!
Each cosmetic counter worth its salt has cleanser, toner, moisturiser, cotton wool and all the accoutrements at the ready. You should remove the foundation on one of your cheeks (or go without in the first place) and then try three different shades in a row on your face, close to your jawline. The one that can’t be seen (or disappears into your skin) is the one to go for.
Apply foundation with a damp sponge
All foundations should be applied with a cosmetic sponge – using your fingertips will leave an uneven, greasy finish. The only exception to this is tinted moisturiser which can be applied with your fingers. Personally, I still use a sponge – I hate having to rush into the bathroom to wash my hands.
Dampen the sponge first and then squeeze out the excess moisture. I find a final squeeze between two layers of towelling works wonders.
Apply the foundation in dots on your face – perhaps one on each cheek, one on your chin and one on your forehead – and then blend in with the sponge. Make sure not to leave a ‘tidemark’ on your jawline.
Go gently on the eye area
Leave your eye area until the last sweep of the sponge. By this time, you will have used up most of the foundation and just leave a light covering for this most sensitive of areas.
If your eyebrows are dark, then try to avoid applying foundation to this area or you will end up with two ugly patches of matted carpet on your forehead! Brush your eyebrows through, back and forth, with an old, clean toothbrush to remove any unwanted make-up.
If you want to hide dark circles under your eyes or any other blemish, apply concealer which is the same colour as your skin tone (and, therefore, the same colour as your foundation!). Using a concealer which is lighter than your skin will only draw attention to the little horror that you are trying to cover up.
Try using concealer AFTER foundation. You might find that after applying your foundation, you don’t need to hide quite as much as you thought!
If you have really difficult-to-conceal dark circles under your eyes, try applying a light coat of blue cream eye shadow to the area before using your ordinary concealer. This really works!
It’s a fact that women who wear make-up earn, on average, 25% more than those who don’t.
Read on in Part II where we’ll look at blusher and powder applications.