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Makeup tips for plus-size women

There are a lot of style rules out there, especially ones that apply specifically to plus-size women. Who made them, and why do we follow them? It’s time to throw the style rulebook out the window.

Plus size makeup myths

I find myself very lucky that while growing up, I didn’t encounter too many style “rules” related to my size. It wasn’t until I worked retail at a popular plus store that I ran into plus-size women who told me all sorts of crazy “rules” they followed, such as “I can’t go sleeveless” or “I can’t wear skirts.” The ones most surprising to me were the makeup and hairstyle rules.

In the midst of my research to find and disprove these myths, I found several pages that claimed to be “pro-plus-sized women,” but only served to limit a woman’s style and further instill insecurities. One article started, “If you think fat and beautiful do not go well with each other, think again. To be beautiful, you need not be size zero… The truth is that plus-size women have all the right curves and a beautiful voluptuous body.”

Not a bad start. However, this article went on to tell women that they shouldn’t wear a liquid foundation, bold eye makeup or neutral lip color as it will only draw attention to their flaws. Other “tips” were ones that all women should follow when wearing makeup, regardless of size. For example: Match your foundation and blend.

The real rules

I met with Jessica Frieling, photographer, makeup artist and stylist, to discuss these myths and get some makeup tips to help contour my face. She had never heard the “no liquid foundation” rule and grew up wearing liquid foundation, and she scoffed at the “no garish eye makeup” rule. In fact, she did a photoshoot with rainbow eye makeup.


Start with a good base

Liz Schluter Makeup Step 1

Jessica applied concealer (Make Up For Ever Full Cover Extreme Camouflage Cream) and a liquid foundation (Make Up For Ever HD Foundation) on my skin after applying a primer on my clean and moisturized skin with a latex-free sponge. She went back with the concealer on a pencil-shaped brush to cover any blemishes, and finished with a powder to set the makeup (Make Up For Ever HD Powder).

  • Concealer tips: Use a shade lighter than your foundation. Apply with a brush or your fingers and blend toward the edges. Apply around your lips, just above the bow, to make your lips look fuller.
  • Foundation tips: Apply with a sponge (the same sponge you used to apply your primer). Apply in a stippling motion for even coverage.
How to pick a shade? Go into a store and try several different shades and brands. Ask a store associate for help or bring a friend. Even professionals ask for help.


Liz Schluter Makeup Step 2

Pick a bronzer with little to no shimmer. Try MAC Bronzing Powder in bronze.

Apply with a brush to the hollows of your cheeks (suck in your cheeks and make a fish face to find the hollows). Apply from your hairline in the hollow about 2 inches, and stop about where your jaw hinges. It’s important to not take the powder too far. Blend the powder into your hairline, applying darker closer to your hairline. Also, apply the bronzer lightly to your temples and along your jawline, where you would naturally have shadows.

Experiment with color, shimmer and liners. Don’t forget mascara. Use a light shadow to highlight under your eyebrows and the inner corners of your eyes.

Tip: Fill in eyebrows. Sparse or light eyebrows can age you. When you were a child, you probably had dark and full eyebrows. NYX Push-Up Bra For Your Eyebrows is dual-sided and has a highlighter on the other side.

Finish the look

Liz Schluter Makeup Done

  • Clean up foundation with sponge.
  • Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks then sweep into your hairline. Try Bella Bamba by Benefit.
  • Finally, apply a bronzer/darker blush powder, as a bronzer this time. Consider Honour by MAC, and provide warmth to areas where the sun would normally hit you, like your forehead, nose, chin and cheekbones.
  • Finish lips with a natural color for day — Jessica used Rosewood by Prestige — and top with a gloss in a taupe/pink shade. Apply gloss to the middle of lips. If you want a bold lip, check out Lime Crime Velvetines in red velvet!

This is a lot to do on a daily basis, and it took a bit longer than my normal 10-minute face, even with a professional doing it. But it was so worth it for a special event. Use the tips and tricks from above that suit you, and implement them into your daily routine. Take the extra minute to add contour. This could be applied over your foundation, then add some mascara and lip gloss, and be out the door.

More makeup tips and tricks

Makeup tips for a girls’ night out
Makeup tips for round faces
7 expert tips for a flawless face

Photo credits: Jessica Frieling Photography.

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