Monthly Archives: December 2014

Under Eye Concealer Application – How Not to Reveal What You Are Trying to Conceal

Concealer was designed to provide additional coverage to problem areas of skin by veiling dark marks/ disguising blemishes. Bad MUA ensures concealer does the opposite. This is especially evident with under eye concealer.

We’ve all met someone who appears to have inverted Panda Eyes, looking as if they have been tanning with their shades on.

Miley Cyrus sporting a tan line fashion that never caught on. So why apply under eye concealer in this way?

Miley Cyrus sporting a tan line fashion that never caught on. So why apply under eye concealer in this way?

The tendency to overuse product under the eyes has been fueled by the trend to sculpt facial features via contouring MU techniques. The use of shading (to define and hollow) and highlighting (to draw out receding areas) to create the illusion of balanced features.

An example of the contouring guides that being taken too literally

An example of the highlighting and contouring guides that are being taken too literally

Contouring techniques were originally used to provide definition to faces in black and white films and to counteract when intense lighting flattens features. If not used in a studio environment it works best at night. This is not an everyday look. If you must persist then use subtle shades and blend, blend, blend!!! Or risk making the same errors as the beauties below.

When Concealer is abused it cannot be ignored. Which is missing the point!

Tennis Player Serena Williams example of extreme evident contouring - Not a good look

Tennis Player Serena Williams example of extremely evident contouring – Not a good look

Singer Alexandra Burke example of evident contouring

Singer Alexandra Burke example of evident contouring – From a great distance this may work however in the plain light of day…

Singer/Songwriter Emeli Sande example of evident contouring

Singer/Songwriter Emeli Sande another example of over contouring specifically around the mid section of her face.

Some MotherPlucker tips and tricks to ensure you conceal not reveal

1. Start at the very beginning – Invest in a silky makeup primer with a high level of silicone to help lock in moisture and smooth out under eye fine lines. Natural beauties should try Inika Certified Organic Pure Primer £29.50 based on waxes and plant oils.

2 Step by step – Apply under eye concealer over foundation to prevent the concealer being thinned out. Lightly dab to blend.

Actress Kate Winslet - An example of flawless MU applicatiomn.

Actress Kate Winslet – Example of flawless MU and under eye concealer application.

Halle Berry another example of seamless MUA application. Her Base is invisible.

Halle Berry another example of seamless MUA application. Her Base is invisible. Attention drawn to the eyes for the right reasons.

3. Too Much of a Good Thing – Over zealous application of under eye concealer will cause the product to sit in fine lines and appear unnatural. The thicker the product the grainier it will appear and the harder it will be to distribute evenly. Try a liquid-based product such as M.A.C Select Moisturecover concealer £15.50.  Creamy textured and  easy to blend into delicate areas.

Tip: Thin your standard concealer by adding a few drops of M.A.C Strobe Cream/ Travel Size £10 or a generic moisturiser.

Singer and Presenter Melanie Brown - Drying and unflattering Concealer in the wrong shade

Singer and Presenter Melanie Brown – Drying and unflattering Concealer in the wrong shade

Melanie Brown's under eye concealer fails

One of  Melanie Brown’s many under eye concealer fails

Melanie Brown's under eye concealer fails

Another of Melanie Brown’s many under eye concealer fails

4. One Product does not fit all! – You are forgiven for assuming that concealers for spots can also be used on the eye area. Two separate shades and consistencies are required. Blemish cover up should be exactly the same shade as your foundation/ skin tone to blend flawlessly. Under eye concealer should be ideally liquid based and NO MORE than 2 shades lighter than skin tone.

Tip: If under eye concealer is too light apply a small amount of foundation on top. Blend with your ring finger (which has the lightest touch)

Television Personality Amy Childs. -Under eye concealer wrong shade and unflattering

Television Personality Amy Childs. – Under eye concealer wrong shade, excessive powdering and unflattering

Actress AnnaLynne Mccord - Concealer several shades too light.

Actress AnnaLynne Mccord – Concealer several shades too light.

5. Bright Eyes  – The idea of a brightening pen concealer initially makes sense. Great for under-eyes as the texture is slight and brightening hides the darkness. But light reflecting particles actually draw attention to the dark circles not camouflage trouble areas

6. Colour correcting concealers – Blue/Black under eyes can be corrected by blending a small amount of colour to your concealer before application. Peach or yellow is complimentary for paler skins and orange shades work well for olive/ darker complexions. Try NYX CJ-Concealer Jar £6 in shade CJ10 Yellow or CJ13 Orange. The product is cream based but blend-able.

Tip: Use sparingly 

Nene Leakes - Example of  Yellow being used incorrectly.

Nene Leakes – Example of Yellow being used incorrectly under eye area. Nene’s complexion would appreciate an orange/red undertone

7. Powder Cover AdjustersBen Nye Luxury Loose Banana Powder £9.95  from Guru Makeup Emporium is a fine milled powder with a yellow undertone. Ideal for covering dark purple shadows under the eyes.

Tip: Powders can cake in lines so are more complimentary to younger skins.

8. A light dusting only – Setting concealer with several layers of powder, will result in product clinging to every crevice and smile line. Making the skin appear dry and prematurely aged.

Tip: To set concealer and create a soft focus to the skin try Corn Silk Loose Face Powder £8.16 available from most good chemists.

Reality star Kim Kardashian guilty of using far to much powder undereyes

Reality star Kim Kardashian guilty of using far to much powder undereyes

8. White out – HD (High Definition) white powders provide a smooth finish, does not settle in fine lines and is invisible to the naked eye. However creates another error that often comes to light (excuse the pun) in photographs. Because it contains a high silica content which reflects the lights of a flash showing up white.

Tip: Use sparingly and not as a touch up powder

Actress Eva Longoria - HD  Powder Fail

Actress Eva Longoria – HD Powder Fail

Actress Taraji P Henson - HD Powder Fail

Actress Taraji P Henson – HD Powder Fail

9. Hydrate & Rest – To help stave off dark under eye circles. Look after your general Wellbeing. Eat clean, Drink water, Exercise and make time to Rest not just Work and Play!

Now go disguise those tired eyes correctly. In time for party season.

Enhance to Enchant! Nx

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Anti-Ageing Versus Pro-Ageing

The actress Julie Walter’s recently shared her pro-ageing thoughts on the celebrity obsession with face lifts ‘As people get older, they do this half-facelift stuff so they can pretend they haven’t had them! I think: don’t do it – be beautiful anyway.’

Julie Walters, Good House Keeping Interview, January 2015 Edition, written by Amy Lewis.

Actress Julie Walters - Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Actress Julie Walters a prime example of pro-ageing

Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping magazine.

I couldn’t agree with Julie more, although I work in the beauty industry I strongly believe in aging gracefully. Rather than trying to STOP time to appear younger. Buying into products and treatments marketed with fictitious promises of reducing, masking or preventing signs of skin aging. We should be embracing pro-aging to illuminate our natural radiance by applying the following to our daily lives:

  • Educating ourselves on health and wellbeing
  • Regular exercise
  • A good diet
  • Protecting our skin from over exposure to the Sun
  • Healing and sustaining our bodies.
  • Practicing none permanent or intrusive grooming techniques
  • Last but not least learning to love ourselves.

Anti Aging Fails – Despite great demand for anti-aging products the majority of treatments have not been proven to give lasting or positive effects. Below are some examples of celebrities that appear to have tried to stop time with lotions, potions, harsh make up, fillers, surgery and who knows what else?

 Ghost Face Fillers 

The celebrities (above) may think their faces look ‘swell’ I do too! However not for the same reasons. It is more apt to describe their looks as bloated, puffy and shiny.  They all have slender physiques and contrasting large pillowy facial features. This does not produce the appearance of youthfulness or attractiveness.  Frankly they look like frightening ghoulish apparitions.

Pro-Aging Wins  – In contrast below are some examples of celebrities that appear to agree with Julie and indeed look radiant, healthy and their age, whatever that happens to be. There are no visible signs that they have tampered with their faces in an attempt to turn back time.

Being  Beautiful Anyway

I’m team Pro-aging all the way. I’m aware that I am not qualified to assess whether a person has definitely had facial surgery or fillers, therefore I can only speculate. You can decide for yourself. I also know that some cosmetic surgery tweaks are so good they cannot be detected. However this positive outcome is rare and does not sway my opinion. Please note: I am not grouping corrective surgery with cosmetic surgery.

Still not convinced? Study the contrasting Anti and Pro aging images (below) of celebrities born in the same year. These pictures cannot account for natural genetics but they do highlight the disappointing results of invasive anti-ageing treatments.

Line Free Skin Does Not Equal Younger Looking Skin 

Plastic is NOT Fantastic – Anti-aging products were once sold as cheaper alternatives to botox injections and plastic surgery, the latter only being available to celebrities and the wealthy. As the beauty industry grows invasive anti-aging treatments are becoming readily available to all, via convenient payment plans and competitively priced surgery holiday packages. However until the surgeons to the stars perfect their techniques, I (themotherplucker) would advise against intrusive anti aging treatments/ surgeries until results improve greatly.

Just as a couch potato will not gain a Crossfit student’s body. A face full of fillers will not miraculously over ride natural genetics or make time stand still.There are no successful long term quick fixes to stop signs of aging; we cannot anti-age. The term ‘anti-ageing’ is nonsensical. We CAN actively look after our bodies and minds to optimize on what we have, to look and feel our best..

Enhance to Enchant Nx

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