Q & A with BB: Corrective Makeup

{Image from Kevyn Aucoin "Making Faces"}

Q.  I just had a question regarding corrective techniques with makeup. When you are doing bridal makeup, or just any kind of makeup, do you always follow the corrective techniques in regards to various face shapes? To create the ‘oval’ shape, using the contouring and highlighting to alter the face shape. Same with the techniques for eye shapes such as droopy closed set, wide set, deep set, hooded, and large. Or can you just apply the makeup how the client wants without really listening to those techniques? Thanks, Courtney.

A. Thank you for your excellent questions Courtney. When it comes to corrective techniques using makeup, I make particular color choices and use certain tricks. I don’t really aim to change the shape of a client’s face, especially on their wedding day. Corrective makeup, highlighting and contouring can make the person look heavily made up. Not the look they are trying to achieve on their wedding day. Bridal makeup should be timeless, classic, and polished. There is no one right face shape, “oval” or otherwise. When I do an individual’s makeup I accentuate their best features; eyes, lips, skin, whatever it may be. Beauty, in my opinion, isn’t about perfection; it’s about playing up your assets and celebrating your uniqueness. I like to accentuate the positive, and there are always positives. For bridal makeup particularly, I like to highlight the cheekbones and brow bone as it photographs beautifully and just adds a little something extra. Bridal makeup isn’t really the time to do corrective makeup as the camera will pick up dark shades and read it as looking dirty and smudged. Again, not what a client wants on their wedding day. Corrective makeup techniques certainly have their place, but it’s traditionally in an editorial setting i.e. magazine photo shoots. Photographers can do digital retouching and Photoshop if necessary. Corrective makeup, with shading and contouring {see image above}, is not really wearable for everyday or special occasion looks.

As far as eye shape goes it’s certainly a factor, but again I don’t really use corrective techniques I prefer to use different color choices. i.e. if a client has hooded or large eyes I tend to use darker colors then, to help define the eye without making it appear larger or bulging. It’s simple color theory really. Lighter colors make things appear bigger and darker colors recede and make things appear smaller. It’s just like with clothing. The color black is slimming and flattering, as it makes you appear smaller. Whereas light colors tend to make you look bigger. {AKA unless you’re Kate Moss, white pants are the devil}. You may have heard about color blocking in fashion, a darker color on the bottom or on top to appear smaller, with a lighter color on top or bottom to appear bigger. When my clients have smaller, or close set eyes I use lighter shades to help bring light into the area. I use a variety of textures-matte, and shimmer to define the eyes without making them appear smaller. If someone has small eyes I don’t put dark liner on the top and bottom, only a thin line on the upper lashes to define the eye and make the lashes look more abundant {the real goal of eye liner}. Liner on top and bottom only works to close the eye, not what you want to do if eyes are on the smaller side. Same goes for lip colors. If my client has smaller lips I use lighter colors and glossier textures to create the illusion of larger, plumper lips. Whereas if my client has larger lips, and wishes to downplay their size, I would use a darker lip color and aim for a matte look with no gloss or shine. Color theory helps a great deal when it comes to accentuating features when doing makeup. I urge everyone to explore and experiment with colors and textures to find what works best for you. Thank you for your fantastic questions. I hope this helps. If you are interested in learning more about corrective makeup techniques the late and great Kevyn Aucoin’s Making Faces is a fabulous resource to have.

What about you? Do you have any questions you’d like answered? In the words of the great Vanilla Ice, if you got a problem yo I’ll solve it. Leave me a comment or send me an e-mail, your question could be featured in an upcoming post!

{Contouring and highlighting before and after}

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13 Responses to Q & A with BB: Corrective Makeup

  1. What a great post! These tips are great. It’s good to know what kind of makeup works best for every occasion and face shape. I only have problems with my little eyes. It makes sense what you say about the eye liner, but I tend to use eyeliner on the upper lid and on the water line to give depth to my look, otherwise, I feel like my eyes are undefined. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think it suits me well. Thanks Bre!

  2. Rachel-Marie says:

    Thanks Breanna that was a really fun read. <3

  3. Elaine says:

    This is perfect!!!! Thanks so much for this. I definitely need a lesson in contouring.

  4. Elle Sees says:

    ah! i’m totally bookmarking this post.

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Elaine Hearn, BreBeauty. BreBeauty said: New post:: Q & A with BB: Corrective Makeup http://www.brebeauty.com/2010/12/14/q-a-with-bb-corrective-makeup/ [...]

  6. Courtney says:

    yay! my question was featured on this! thanks for your answer. it really helped me!

  7. Breanna says:

    @Courtney thank you for such an awesome question! Keep em coming, I’m happy to help!

  8. [...] the bony prominences of the face-nose, chin, temple and forehead blending up into the hairline. To sculpt and slim your face, apply the dark brown powder directly under your cheekbones to contour, blending softly into the [...]

  9. [...] the bony prominences of the face-nose, chin, temple and forehead blending up into the hairline. To sculpt and slim your face, apply the dark brown powder directly under your cheekbones to contour, blending softly into the [...]

  10. [...] the bony prominences of the face-nose, chin, temple and forehead blending up into the hairline. To sculpt and slim your face, apply the dark brown powder directly under your cheekbones to contour, blending softly into the [...]

  11. [...] The colors are excellent, nothing orange or dirty looking here. The Gold-go-Lightly (a mid-tone golden tan brown) shade is perfect for those with fair skin (in M.A.C an NW15-NW25) and the Lush-Light Bronze (a mid tone rosy pink brown) is great for medium to darker skin (M.A.C. NW30 and above). A large, fluffy powder brush like M.A.C. 150 leaves you with an airbrushed, luminous effect. Due to the matte and blendable texture, these powders are great for contouring the face. You can learn more about contouring here. [...]

  12. [...] the bony prominences of the face-nose, chin, temple and forehead blending up into the hairline. To sculpt and slim your face, apply the brown powder directly under your cheekbones to contour, blending softly into the [...]

  13. [...] the bony prominences of the face-nose, chin, temple and forehead blending up into the hairline. To sculpt and slim your face, apply the brown powder directly under your cheekbones to contour, blending softly into the [...]

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