In the previous post, part 1, we covered preparation before applying makeup. If you haven’t read the post, I highly suggest that you do.
Continuing where we left off from the previous post, we just prepared the face and are now working to apply the actual makeup. The next step is to coat your face with a foundation. Some people will know where their flaws are that need concealing, but if you don’t, just apply the foundation. The flaws will show through. Be sure you cover your whole face and all the way down to your neck (don’t stop at your chin). Blend it in well. How do you know you are using the right colour? The simplest test is to apply a little on the back of your hand. Does it match? If so, then bring it to your cheek and check if it matches there. If both match, then you have the right tone for your foundation. If not, adjust based on the tone that it already there on your own skin. As indicated earlier, you will see flaws that need to be fixed that the foundation doesn’t cover. For those, you will want to use concealer. There are two types of concealer: one like a foundation that covers and another that is a colour correcting. Both work well. The foundation like concealer just covers the problem with a lighter tone until it is gone. The colour correcting works by applying a complementary colour to neutralize the colour of the flaw. Once concealer is applied, re-apply your foundation over the top of the concealer so the shades blend. Depending on your concealer, you may have to repeat the concealer step a few times.
Stop to think about what you will be shooting. You will want to shoot with the least makeup first, then natural colours and matte colours, then lastly, the brighter and more conceptual makeup. In this way, you build up the makeup and minimize amount you have to start over. This can be a real time saver at a shoot, and keep from roughing up your skin during a complete cleaning. If you ever need a starting point for makeup, always start with matte colours and natural tones. Remember, the tones in real life will typically be brighter and more vibrant than in a photograph. This has led to the rule of thumb that all makeup photographs two tones duller than what is applied. I also stay away from glitter in the makeup. As indicated previously about mica and titanium dioxide, glitter is another one you have to be careful when photographing. Another thing to think about is if you are using any waterproof colours or stains. Once applied, they are difficult to remove. Worse, they tend to impact the tone of anything put over the top of them. Because of this, you will want to use them last.
Next, apply your eye makeup. Again, I suggest putting a special primer for this on top of your eye lid. This will keep you from wasting your eye shadow when you apply it, and also make the eye shadow last longer. With some brands, like Elf, you need that primer or a moisturizer to keep the makeup from flaking off as you wear it. As you apply your shadow to your eye lid, I suggest that you hold a tissue under your eye lid. This will keep from having spots of powder dropping on your cheek – instead they will fall on the tissue paper. You will need to fold the tissue in half before before you hold it up to your eye. I also recommend that all models fill in their eye brows. Very few actually do. The reason for filling them in is to give that perfect finished look. You will see the difference in the images, especially at the sides and thinner lines of eye brows. If your eye brows are blonde coloured, you probably have seen them disappear in photographs. By filling them in, this won’t happen. I also push models hard to wear fake eye lashes. While they are difficult to learn to put on, you will see that they make the difference in an OK photograph and a stunning photograph. Take the time to put them on. If you look at wedding images, you will see that almost every bride is wearing them. There are tricks you can use to make them last longer, like cutting them in half and applying on the outer edge of the eye for glamour shoots. Finally, with the eye, always use mascara. Black colour mascara is the most common and highly recommended. Other tones work, but I would suggest staying with darker colours like browns and greys and purples. Always bring and use your own mascara for cleanliness reasons.
On to the lips for covering them. Keep in mind that the tone will be softer and lighter than you apply. I tend to favour more tan and brown colours of lip colour that blend with the natural lip colour. Alternately, I will favour a subtle pinkish red colour that is a few shades brighter than a person’s own lip colour. I also encourage models to always use at least a clear lip gloss.
The final stages are to define the cheek with blush if you want. This will bring the shape of the cheek out in the images. You can do this by making the round part stand out (pinks and reds) or by shading the cheek line the ear (browns).
Complete this with a brushing of setting powder. The purpose here is to eliminate oily spots or bright spots. It will also set the makeup so it lasts longer, too.
What about the fingers? I also strongly recommend that models use fake nails if they don’t have perfect nails. Take the time to use a traditional French shaped nail. Once applied, I recommend rounding the edges to make them look more natural looking.
This should give you some good tips and direction when you apply your own makeup.