Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Make-Up ABCs

Here is a beauty framework I’ve built through trial and error with my daughter that is literally as simple as her ABCs. Sure, there are times when she tries to pull my leggings off while I’m standing at the vanity. And other times when she’s so happy fiddling with my laptop sleeve as a hat that I can indulge in doing my entire face. If she does pitch a fit, I’ve learned to involve her in the process -- like handing her my not-so-nice eyelash curler to play with, which, not to worry, she waves around proudly, putting it no where near her eyes -- and I’m rewarded with one of her awesome smiles. It’s the snap recognition that we’re a team: ever-improvising and adjusting to the sometimes melodic, sometimes chaotic interruptions in life, together.

Make-Up 1-2-3:

These are the ABCs of easy make-up, and all of these steps shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes each.

A = Attractive BROWS. B = Bright EYES. C = Clean LIPS. Listed in order of importance, they are the main elements that define and amplify your face. Even if you only have time to pay attention to one of them you will see a rewarding difference.

1) A is for Attractive Brows
If all else fails with time I make sure my brows are done. Brows shape your eyes and frame your face and expression. I won’t get into heavy shaping issues like tweezing or waxing because that takes more than a few minutes, but you can do a lot to shape your brows without actually removing any hair.

Take a brow brush (here’s one for $1 by e.l.f., or if you don’t have one just use your fingers) and brush or stroke upwards and outwards toward the temples starting from the inner brow. The closer you get toward the temples the more outward, rather than upward, you should brush or stroke. If your brows are sparse like mine, you can fill them softly with a brow pencil remembering to blend afterward, either with an eyebrow brush or your finger. Here are two options for brow pencils: Shu Uemura Hard Formula ($22), or Cover Girl Brow/Eye pencil ($3).

Tip: To set groomed brows, you can brush them with a brow gel. Try these: Christian Dior Brow Fix ($18) or Cover Girl Clear Eye Mascara ($5). And, using a brow gel eliminates the need to brush separately, because you’ll be setting the brow-hairs by brushing with the brow gel wand.

2) B is for Bright Eyes

The simple act of curling your lashes adds surprising width to your windows. For those who don’t know what to do with an eyelash curler, don’t worry, it’s easy. Just take the curler and press the curler up against your upper eyelids so that the lips surround the base of your lashes; then squeeze the scissor-like handles for a good ten seconds. Optionally, you can repeat, but this time place the curler's lips around the middle of the lash to round out the whole curl. The bottom lashes don't get curled. Take a look at the difference it makes:

Here are two great curler options: Shu Uemura ($25), my favorite,  or you can also try this one by Tweezerman ($11).

After curling comes a couple coats of mascara, which takes you from blah to awake in a matter of a few strokes. That little bit of brown or black on your lashes will open up and brighten your eyes. You can’t go wrong with Maybelline for a great drugstore mascara -- I'm currently enjoying the Stiletto ($8), or if you’re willing to spend a little more you can try Imju Fiberwig ($24) which is particularly smudge-proof.

You don’t have to do both steps if you don’t want to. Whatever you can manage will embolden your eyes. Just remember to curl before applying mascara or you could damage your lashes. 

3) C is for Clean Lips

All you need is a bit of tinted lip balm or a subtle lip gloss. Think peach, berry, or nude colors -- not vampy dark browns or overly glittery glosses. A hint of color on your lips can light up your entire face. It makes certain that if you’ve got blemishes, unlike an intensely colored lipstick, you won’t have multiple shades of reds, purples, or oranges clashing on your face, and you're allowed the freedom of a quick and blind application. Try this tinted lip conditioner by M.A.C. Cosmetics ($15) -- I always have it in my pocket.


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on www.nuybeauty.com.


ejc said...

This is truly an inviting web site for a struggling new mom. I can relate to the mini story of each introduction and am amazed at your creative yet simplified ways of making new moms beautiful.

ejc said...

ejc said...This is truly an inviting web site for a struggling new mom. I can relate to the mini story of each introduction and am amazed at your creative yet simplified ways of making new moms beautiful.