Beauty 101: Your Special Occasion Makeup Questions, Answered


This week, our Beauty 101 series is focusing on special occasion makeup. You had questions, and your fellow readers have once again come through with the answers.

On Reducing Shininess/Redness In Photographs:

From commenter SharonBallBearings:

To reduce redness, use a slightly yellow base concealer. If you use a silica based setting powder (MUF’s HD powder specifically), the tiniest bit is all you need. Too much and you will get severe ghostface in pictures.

From commenter nonnijones:

Be careful with any foundation that has a SPF because it will photograph with a whitish cast and while you will look amazing in person, you will have ghostface in pictures. I love MUFE HD foundation.

From commenter amake616:

If you’re going to be photographed a lot you really do need to wear heavier eye makeup than usual if you want your eyes to have the impact they do in person. Eyeliner + mascara is the bare minimum, although two shades of eyeshadow well applied will work wonders. I failed to follow that very basic rule at my own wedding because I was afraid of looking overdone and very much regretted it as soon as I got the pictures back.
Eyeliner on the lower lid, applied only halfway across (stop at the center of your iris) makes your eyes look huge and if you smudge it a little, it doesn’t look intentional.

From commenter iceboxplum:

For weddings, please please please hire a makeup artist. Especially if it’s outdoors in hot weather. All those beautiful bride photos in magazines? Pros. So incredibly worth the money. Really. Don’t cheap out on it.
I say this as the wife of a photographer who has had to bend over backwards to produce flattering photos (aka photoshop) brides with inexpert makeup. Many women are happy with their standard makeup in pictures outside the wedding context, but the wedding myth machine has amped up expectations big time to be “the beautiful bride” aka the prettiest pretty you’ve ever been in your whole darn life. The glow of a happy new marriage does not make your make-up perfect on camera. A good expert (the sort you pay and has done it before) can help you come closer to what you want in both in-person look and photos. Else, please be reasonable in your expectations.
Otherwise, for special occasions you will be photographed at, take a flash photo of yourself to check for shininess, poor color match, and blending problems. Take multiple angles and a few different lighting situations. Set your camera on a timer so you can step back and check texture/tone/color difference between face and shoulders and chest.

From commenter paperispatient:

To reduce shininess, I love Clean & Clear’s oil-absorbing sheets. My forehead, nose, and chin get really oily throughout the day, and they soak it up well without taking off the pressed powder I wear.

From commenter GirlUnawares:

For skin that needs to be photographed, I use a long lasting liquid foundation as a concealer. Then I dust my mineral foundation all over, and then dab the minerals once again over blemishes I want to hide, under my eyes, et cetera. It creates a matte look so it’s photo-friendly, and lasts all night.

From commenter lodown:

Certain foundations can make your face look white with flash photography. This is especially problematic with mineral makeup, which seem to use higher amounts of light-reflective ingredients like mica or titanium dioxide.
Foundation or powder itself isn’t problematic, but just make sure the one you use doesn’t have mica, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in it. My plain silk powder, for instance, photographs fine even with flash. Ditto for light-reflecting concealers like Touche Eclat. Skip them in favor of normal concealer.
Finally, mineral makeup can light up strangely under black lights. I found this out the hard way after I wore a MAC Mineral Skinfinish powder to a party

On Getting Makeup To Last Throughout The Night:

From commenter metaphorsbewithyou:

Special occasions call for a makeup primer. I swear by Smashbox Photo Finish, which I apply before my powder foundation. It really helps makeup to apply smoothly, and prevent shine & smearing from occuring later on.
Also, Urban Decay makes an eyeshadow primer called Primer Potion that applies with a sponge-tipped wand. It also helps shadow to remain in place for hours, and eliminates creasing.

From commenter Dagneymedea

Intense, saturated lip colors will stay on for days if you:
Apply one thin layer.
Apply one more thin layer.
Apply a light dust of powder (use an old powder brush for this.
Brush on excess powder, then add juuuust a touch, and I mean a tiny bit, of gloss.

From commenter gherkinfiend:

To get your foundation to last:
A primer is essential to getting make up to last. MAC Prep + Prime is fabulous as is The Present by Philosophy which comes tinted and non tinted. Apply to a moisturised face and then apply your foundation/concealer/tinted moisturiser as normal. (Using a very light moisturiser and allowing it to soak in for 10-15 first is helpful too)
A primer evens out your skin, helps absorbs excess oil on oily/combo skins and adds an extra layer of moisture on dry skins that stops your foundation soaking in and discolouring.
A good pressed powder like MAC Skinfinish Mineralize is great on drier skins as it takes the sheen of products off without looking cakey. Prep + Prime Setting Powder (colourless) is better for oily skins as it soaks up the oil and doesn’t show up or discolour on pale skins especially. Use after foundation with a large brush.
But don’t keep packing powder on if you are prone to shine. Use oil blotting tissues instead. MAC Blot Films are amazing. They aren’t cheap but one film should allow 2 -3 uses. Just press and roll on shiny areas and it sucks the sheen up like a kitchen towel without disturbing your make up. They also come in a tiny packet compared to a powder compact and brush.
I use this routine on all my clients, even weddings where the make up has to last over 12 hours and none of them look shiny in their photos.
Remembering not to touch your face too often and keeping your hair off your face will help too.

From commenter honeydooo:

Primer is your best friend. It will help your makeup to last and look fresh. Lip and cheek stains provide more staying power. And, as far as touch-ups, I would use blotting papers in lieu of adding powder.

On Applying Fake Lashes:

From commenter jhuang:

0. Do all your eye makeup first.
1. With a new pair, hold the set up to your eyelid to see how long they should be, then trim to size. (Save the box!)
2. Hold one lash strip by the actual lashes, and with the side you’re gluing facing up.
3. Use ever so slight pressure on your glue bottle to produce a thin line of glue along the lash. It shouldn’t be super liquidy, so you’ve got some leeway (if you’re not sure how much pressure to apply, try just squeezing the tube so some glue comes out on your fingertip, so you get familiar and don’t make a huge gluey mess onto your eyelash).
3a. Make sure the ends of the lash have glue on them. These are the most important.
4. Let the glue dry for about 15 seconds so it gets a little tacky.
4. Still holding the lash strip by the lashes, tilt your face back in front of the mirror and place the lash strip as close to the lash line as possible, making sure the ends are in place. This takes practice but with patience and two hands, it’ll happen!
4a. The most important thing is securing the ends.. the glue has a little leeway in the middle and should be able to slide down more toward the lash line if you secure the ends.
5. Let the lash dry for a couple more seconds just to be sure.
6. Curl both your regular and false lashes together and apply mascara if desired.
7. Reapply eyeliner if necessary.
8. At the end of the night, after taking off your lashes, remove any leftover glue and put back in the box.
Practice makes perfect, but for special occasions false lashes are so worth the effort!

From commenter heartsrevolution:

You should practice beforehand, but get a pair of lashes that you like. That’s the most important thing. Also, make sure to have lash glue (like Duo) handy. You can buy ones that dry clear or dry black (so that they blend in with your liner/lashline). It’s your choice.
When you want to apply your lashes, squeeze a bit of glue on the back of your hand. Run the eyelash track along the dollop so that the track is coated in enough glue, but not too much. Make sure you concentrate most of the glue on the ends.
Wait 10 – 20 seconds for the glue to get tacky. Then, adjust your eye to your liking (close it, leave it open, close it halfway, etc.—whatever is easiest for you) and using your fingers or tweezers, place the middle of the lash along the middle of your lashline and quickly press the ends into place. You kind of have to be fast at this so that the glue doesn’t dry. Press in place and wait a few seconds so the glue dries and the lashes stick.
If it’s in a good place, you can curl the false lashes into your own and if you want, apply mascara. Also, you may want to go over small gaps with eyeliner.
Hope that helped!

Recommended YouTube Beauty Gurus:

MagicGrl111, recommended by commenter schrodinger:

A lot of the looks she does, especially in older videos, are easy to recreate, involve basic colors most of us have already and are really wearable.

xsparkage, recommended by commenter Les.Filles101001:

She has a wide variety of looks, and tends to go for the glam. Also a lot of product reviews and tips.

Iris, recommended by commenter WifeMotherCrip:

She does everything from pinup hair to how to do an Angelina cat eye or a create a Kim Kardashian look using inexpensive makeup. She also shows you how to use all kinds of products like a clipless curing iron or roller sets.

ScandalousBeauty, recommended by commenter Nappy3000:

If you are a brown girl and don’t know where to start scandolousbeauty and colouredbeautiful do inspirational things with colorful makeup. These ladies create beautiful makeup that work for ALL shades. They helped me realize that I don’t have to play it safe with browns and golds. With practice and working on technique you can rock out the glamorous looks these ladies produce.

TiffanyD, recommended by commenter hardlycore:

She has a tutorial for pretty much every look imaginable, including bridal makeup, as well as some general how-to’s (how do I do different things with eyeliner? how do I pick a good foundation? etc.) She’s straightforward and fun.

Michelle Phan, recommended by several commenters, including veekee:

I love her tutorials for different purposes – she has tutorials for clubbing, bridal parties, even for wearing glasses. I recently tried out her clubbing look and got a lot of compliments.

Pixiwoo, recommended by several commenters, including jasminetea:

Their makeup looks tend to be colorful and dramatic, but they also have a “basics” series meant to teach fundamental makeup skills, which is always useful.

Other recommendations:
Destiny Godley
Lauren Luke

Final Words Of Wisdom:
From commenter voxpulchra:

Don’t do your makeup drunk. I cannot stress this enough. It turns out awkward.

Didn’t see your question answered? Be sure to read through yesterday’s thread, which is filled with hundreds of tips and tricks. Disagree with something you’ve seen here? Feel free to set the record straight in the comments.

Earlier: Beauty 101: Special Occasion Preparation

Looking for advice on another beauty topic? Check out the other Beauty 101 Q & A sessions:

Beauty 101: Your Drugstore And Department Store Recommendations
Beauty 101: Your Makeup Removal Questions, Answered
Beauty 101: Recipes From Readers
Beauty 101: Your Scent-Related Problems, Solved
Beauty 101: Your Summer Beauty Dilemmas, Solved
Beauty 101: Your Blush And Bronzer Questions, Answered
Beauty 101: Your Skincare Questions, Answered
Beauty 101: Your Eye Queries, Answered
Beauty 101: Your Nail Questions, Answered
Beauty 101: Your Lipstick Questions, Answered
Beauty 101:Your Hair Questions, Answered
Beauty 101: Your Waxing/Shaving Questions, Answered
Beauty 101: Your Foundation And Concealer Concerns, Answered
Beauty 101: Your Eyeliner Woes, Solved

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