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Is your makeup aging you?

With a background in fine arts and a passion for fashion, Sébastien Tardif has worked as a makeup artist in more than 20 countries throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Sébastien has collaborated with award-winning fashion designers...

Don't make these beauty blunders

Following up where we left off last month, I’ve unearthed a few more youth-sabotaging faux pas just in time for all the picture-snapping that will be taking place during the holidays! Think back to years past spent at family and friends’ gatherings where a "special effort parade" takes place with unfortunate makeup. Let’s seize this opportunity to review and update questionable beauty habits that are best left in the attic along with those grim ornaments you see at your uncle’s place once a year. Shall we?

Woman looking into compact mirror

Don't walk this thin line

eyeliner

Never wear dark eyeliner only on the lower lash line. This one is a classic no-no and has been around for quite some time, as it was probably introduced sometime in the ‘60s. Rock-n-roll imagery was in its infancy and black-eye-pencil-rimmed eyes became all the rage with teenage girls. Even 25 years later, many of them were still seen perpetuating the fad to sad results.

Teenagers can get away with a lot of experimentation, but adult women who pencil in only the lower lash line as a quick, old habit fix visually drag their eyes down, and make themselves look a bit tired.

Solution: Turn that definition around, literally! While lining the top lash line, make sure to soften the inner corner edges to avoid looking unnatural, and thicken slightly as you draw the line outwardly to lift the gaze. This is the easiest trick in the book when it comes to perking up any droopy, fatigued-looking eyes.

Smooth your crease

Say no to hard, unblended eyeshadow in the crease. Also a ‘60s staple, this look has had quite the revival within editorial makeup, seen in magazines all over the world. On a young model with the most amazing bone structure, the effect is dynamic and avant-garde. However, when attempting this technique to salvage a seemingly saggy eyelid, I can pretty much guarantee that onlookers will be gawking with total fascination, wondering ‘really?’

Solution: Try a soft, neutral, gray eyeshadow (brown often turns orange on many skin tones) and blend from the crease, up. Steer clear of the eyelid (eyeball surface) to successfully open up the eyes. One can identify the inner crease by touching the eye socket with a finger; the starting point is exactly where the bone and the eyeball meet. Use a round, fluffy-tip eye blending brush for optimized results — the operative word being BLEND. Do so until no hard edges can be seen anymore, while steering clear of darkening the so-called highlighting area just beneath the eyebrows.

Doll face

Run from heavily pigmented cheek color! A disaster in waiting unless applied by veteran and skilled makeup artist, the fight that lies ahead from using rich colored blush has already been lost. The poor little cheeks will be left with cockatoo-like rouge that echoes ‘80s Pat Benatar in a battlefield with more than a peaches-and-cream glow.

Solution: Use sheer-pigmented, texturally soft blush colors, as they are much easier to blend. Just take notice of the beautiful depiction of health staring right back in the mirror! In terms of color, bright pastel tones are a favorite of mine because of the uplifting result they offer. I also like a gentle cream-to-powder finish that mimics the appearance of a vigorous, oxygen-filled complexion. When applying blush, avoid the hollow part of the cheek normally reserved for contouring and try to remain on the upper-frontal part of the cheekbone. Smooth out all edges as a final touch.

Say no to this lipstick color

Time to retire those brown lipsticks. Not only are they making you look worn out, they suck the life out of any plump lips, with injectables or not! The brown-based makeup wave had a good run in the ‘90s - Jennifer Aniston in Friends, anyone? - but she quit wearing anything maroon on her pout long ago. In fact, she has never looked better.

lip gloss

Solution: Just like Jennifer, try on sheer or clear, pastel-based lip colors that illuminate the face and attract light. Brighter and more vivid lip stains can also have a caffeinating effect on your features and exponentially enhance any genuine smile. Just remember that the brighter the lipstick, the more defined the outer edge of the mouth has to be, since feathering or an uneven lip line tend to appear magnified. Additionally, staying away from too much lip balm or gloss can prevent lipstick bleeding.

Note

In our mind, aren’t we all five to 10 years younger than we actually are? Makeup should always be an anti-aging friend that enables us to project on the outside what we truly feel like on the inside. This holiday season, stay on top of it by not clinging to ancient makeup headaches, and hopefully that spiked fruit punch won’t leave as strong of a hangover. May these makeup solutions help keep the odds ever in your favor!

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