Part 2 - A guide to the application of makeup

makeupBefore discussing the application of makeup one might be aware that an artist would not conceive of painting a beautiful picture on a grubby canvass. In the same way the recommendations made in last week's article prepare the face for make-up.

Basic everyday makeup should enhance one's natural features with the least amount of time, energy and products. The type of makeup discussed will exclude fantasy, corrective and wedding makeup or that for occasions that call for specialised techniques.
Do remember that one's face is not flat like a dinner plate and the facial contours must be taken into consideration, neither should one think of the face extending from forehead to chin, rather that it extends to the base of the neck.


This is the first step to undertake, the purpose being for dry products to adhere thereafter and to conceal minor blemishes and flaws.
Obviously the choice is important with regard to oily, sensitive or dry skins.
One should choose a shade that truly matches skin colour. Some experts recommend the back of the hand as a guide, which catches as much sunlight as does the face.
Nothing can look more bizarre than a fair person attempting to capture the appearance of a dark complexioned Mexican for example!
Application – there are various methods namely using the fingertips, with a brush or a wedge-shaped sponge. The latter is ideal as one can blend evenly and apply into the hollow sections of the face [eg: around the eye sockets. Be aware to blend right into the hairline and down the neck.

Face powder

This is available in a loose or compressed form.The shade should never be darker than one's foundation as the end result appears dirty. Loose powder can be dusted on with a large brush but it will tend to fall downward. A better method is to press in the powder, using a puff which invariably comes with the product. To avoid looking like one has fallen into the flour bin, now one can use the brush to dust off any excess powder. Powder " sets" the foundation, gives that desired matt finish and has the ability to control excess shine.
Face powder [with colour pigment] should be one shade lighter than foundation or a translucent one, minus colour.


Nothing is more clownish than one who has had too good a time with this product!
Blusher has a marvellous way of accentuating the beauty of the eyes.
As for the application, there appear to be two recommendations, namely to apply it high on the cheekbone, the other just below.
An easy guide is to press the fingers on the mid-way cheek till a hollow is created. The cheek bone right above can be an ideal spot for dusting on one's blusher.

It is not important, but for the article, the following steps will commence at the eyebrows and finish at the lips, working from the upper to the lower face.


Because these can be problematic, special advice accompanied by a diagram will assist for those having lack of or sparse eyebrows.

Unfortunately in earlier times, around the sixties and even later, women waged war on their eyebrows, tweezing and plucking till the poor follicles had had enough and gave up on producing hair. One of the trickiest methods is to pencil in brows correctly. Place them too close together and one appears fierce, too high, surprised and lack of eyebrows gives the head the appearance of an easter egg!!

The sketch indicates 3 imaginary lines from the side of the nose upward. Use of a pencil will assist . By following this, the exact extent and highest point of the brow, the arch, will be achieved.

Strictly speaking the brows should, as nature intended, match one's hair colour, but darkening them slightly is absolutely fine.
The 3 products to be used include pencil, powder brush-on eye makeup and lightly running a not too loaded mascara brush over the hairs from the inner to the outer brow, so as not to lift the hairs in the opposite direction to which they grow.

Eye Liner

Applying this requires a steady hand and is probably the trickiest part of make-up, in order to place the line right along the roots of the lashes, but practice makes perfect!
Avoid overloading a brush and one should try not to stretch the upper lid, as this is very thin and delicate skin.


One's mascara can vary from light to dark brown, to black and even blue-black. One should again be guided somewhat by the natural [or coloured] hair.
Essentially it should be applied to the top and underside of the lashes.

A new mascara can be very "wet" and the end result can be spikey, with doll-like lashes . A good tip is to save one's previous brush, washed well and dried then to run it over the new applicator brush to prevent overloading the product. A dry, clean brush can be kept handy to separate the hairs.

Eye shadow

With the vast number of shades available, it can best be said that fair skins should select pale shades, whereas dark complexions; deeper tones.
The shape and depth of the eyes is a good guide too. For example, deep set eyes should avoid dark colours and prominent eyelids must not be further accentuated with light, glossy colours. A lot of common sense applies, and yet some peculiar makeup is still seen, such as bright emerald shadow reminiscent of an exotic lizard in the Amazon jungle!!

For some strange reason a number of women in their eighties suddenly "discover" make-up and the outcome is highly theatrical!!


It is often said that lipstick enhances the entire make-up and yet some frightening results are often seen as with some wishing to create lips larger than the natural ones.

Again the outcome being totally clownish! Colour choice is important. For example, tiny, narrow pinched lips will appear much smaller if dark lipstick is applied. It's the old rule, dark sets back or minimizes, whereas light brings forward or accentuates.
Many African women with their fuller lips make the grave error of applying glossy colours, whereas the lovely burgundy and deep chocolate shades are stunning on these lips.

What about pencil lip liners? These are popular and have a use but using a brown eye pencil is harsh and might once have been in vogue. A pencil nearest to the lipstick shade is desirable.

If one does not have a vast array of shades, then a deeper colour can be adapted for day-use by applying it, blotting off and gently running a finger tip over the colour. This will result in more of a pleasant "stained" affect.

Lastly, one of the finest make-up tips ever for keeping one's lipstick intact [other than chewing on a buttered mealie, of course!] :

Firstly apply face powder to the lips, then one coating of lipstick, blot the lips and repeat this twice more, leaving the gloss on the lipstick with the final coat
It sounds laborious, but it works!!