Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The process: an adventure in goth makeup

Without a doubt the most common request for a blog topic that I get is "can you show me how you do your makeup?" and so here is a blow by blow of my makeup routine. Remember that the finished product will only be as good as the starting canvas so I have a rigorous skincare routine that goes with it.

Start with a clean dry face, if it's been more than an hour since I showered I will usually cleanse before applying makeup. This is particularly important in Australia where the heat and humidity mean facial oil builds up fast, oil is the enemy of makeup stamina.

I then moisturise my skin using Lancome Blanc Expert Hydrating lotion and prime using Lancome UV Expert Makeup Base. Primer ensures that makeup 'sticks' and adds longevity to your makeup, it also reduces the appearance of pores. If a dedicated makeup primer is outside your budget then reach for one of the growing number of BB Creams on the market, Rimmel and Maybelline both make a BB Cream for under $15. If you're not convinced on the need for primer then have a look at this infomercial demonstration. 

I then apply a Mac Studio Sculpt liquid foundation in NC20, not a lot is needed for fairly heavy coverage. For guaranteed smooth even coverage use a latex sponge to spackle or a foundation brush, but when in doubt hands will do! I like to use a foundation with a cool tone to even out the pink in my natural skin.  I advise everyone to go to a cosmetics counter and have a makeup artist 'prescribe' the correct colour foundation, it makes a world of difference and you can often get a free makeover out of it.

I then lightly powder with MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus foundation in NC20, or NW20 if I want a more daytime friendly tone. This can be worn on its own without the liquid foundation but I find my T zone quickly gets too oily if I do this and repeated applications cake on my nose and upper lip. Liquid foundation plus a light coating of the Studio Fix ensures matte even coverage all day and I generally only need to powder or use blotting paper once during the afternoon. 

I then prime my eye area, there are any number of eyeshadow primers that keep heavy eye makeup oil and crease free for hours. If you're looking for a good brand try Benefit Stay Don't Stray however I'm not ashamed to say that the best eyeshadow primer I've ever found is a $2 Nivea Pearl and Shine Lip Balm. I don't use it on my lips of course it's only used for my eyes, but it's non sticky, goes on smooth and works as well as a $30 cream. 

I couldn't really get the camera to do this part of the process justice so apologies for the crappy picture. I have an astoundingly large range of eyeshadows, often colour matched to my hair at the time. The tint of your skin should really guide what tones you can get away with, being pale with light coloured eyes tends to give me a wide range of choices. I only buy good quality eyeshadow, you can't get the heavy gothic look with discount brands but anything dark or dramatic looking from MAC, Lancome, Benefit, Napoleon, Make Up For Ever (Pro) or Urban Decay can be found in my kit. I tend to use 2 colours, a metallic on my inside lid and then a darker matte for the crease and outer 'wings' in this case this is Fashion Label and Madison Avenue by Lancome Color Design. Sometimes a third highlight colour will be used on the 'shine' points like under the eyebrows but as I generally want dark eye colour this is unusual. 

Best advice on this part? Buy good products, in practice the skill will come but no amount of skill will make up for cheap eyeshadow.  Use good eye shadow with lots of pigment and fine milling with decent quality brushes including a clean blending brush, if you're looking for a good option here that doesn't require $50 squirrel hair brushes then I recommend Eco Tools bamboo brushes which have the added advantage of being fur and plastic free. Also, wash your brushes regularly using shampoo and conditioner. This avoids bleeding of colour between products and also helps protect against eye infections. 

Then I colour in my eyebrows, as you may have noticed they're naturally very blonde. If you're not going for that heavy gothic look then use an angled brow brush and a eyebrow tint or eyeshadow close to your natural hair colour. Pixiwoo is my favourite makeup guide online and does a range of excellent tutorials on their YouTube channel, she has a great demo for how to fill in eyebrows for a more natural look. Having tried the range of eyebrow pencils and tints I swear by Maybelline Expert Wear Brow pencil which has enough stickiness to keep down my natural hairs but is dry enough to sharpen to a gothic friendly point. 

Generally if I am going to apply shine to my eye shadow I will do it after this point to correct any misshaping in the brow. I also run my powder brush under my eyes to collect any stray eyeshadow pigment that may have settled on my cheeks. 

Then I apply Lancome Crayon Khol eyeliner in Ebony Black to the inside of my bottom lids. Another tip: always sharpen every pencil at least 1 turn through the sharpener every time you apply makeup . This keeps your tool sharp and also takes off dry pigment and any bacteria. If you're using good quality pencils they should not shatter and a turn through the sharpener every day still has me keep pencils for months at a time. 

I apply liquid eyeliner to the outside of my upper eyelids, for every day makeup I use a liquid eyeliner pen Revlon  Colour Stay Liquid Eyeliner Pen. Liquid eyeliner is worth practicing with, getting it right takes time but it's worth every minute. Once it dries it stays all day black as night and will show over even heavy eyeshadow such as I wear. It also opens the door to many vintage and costume looks that are difficult to create otherwise.

Then I add cats eye wing tips to my eyes extending the lines from the liner I've already applied. If you want gothic swhirls and effects then you want a thicker liquid with a very fine brush - either buy a solid gel liner like the one from Bobbi Brown or use a drugstore product like Rimmel Glam Eyes Professional.

Then I add false eyelashes to the outer corners of my eyes only; to do this I usually cut a false eyelash in half and use 1 lash for both eyes. I only use the outside because it suits my eye shape nicely and compliments the outer sweep style of my eyeshadow and liner. I have no brand loyalty for false eyelashes, I just buy cute gradiated lashes when I see them and use Revlon Precision Lash Adhesive to apply. You don't need a lot of adhesive so the bottle can last a long time, make sure to take note of how long it sits in your handbag and replace regularly as eye makeup can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Then I use pretty heavy mascara to blend the false lashes into my makeup and to cover any remaining blonde eyelashes. I am religious about Bad Gal Lash by Benefit, I long gave up using even sample mascaras as I am always frustrated that it isn't as good as my makeup kit staple. The brush that comes in the tube is excellent and full with many bristles that keep the hairs well separated even when using a heavy hand.

For work I tend to just use a nude or light pink lipgloss like MAC Tinted Lipglass in Viva Glam because I think heavy eye and heavy lip makeup is too much for day time. For night time I want a dark gothic colour so a lip liner is a must to prevent bleeding; buy a lip colour that is similar in shade to your preferred lipstick or a shade darker if you want that ombre look. This is Prune Caresse by Bourjois but I tend to buy whatever works best in the store when I'm out buying lipstick.

Then I fill my lips with lipstick, again like the eyeshadow you want a good quality colour with lots of pigment. One $50 lipstick genuinely will last longer than three $20 lipsticks especially since I have dry skin and want something rich in moisture. This is Rouge Dior in Rouge Hypnotic or for a more budget friendly option try Rimmel Lasting Finish in Starry Eyed. If you want to avoid reapplying lipstick regularly try sealing it with a light brushing of eyeshadow in a dark red colour like Crimson by Makeup For Ever.

If I'm going out to a festival or similar where I know I will be outside I also want to seal my makeup you can buy a makeup sealer like Urban Decay All Nighter or a quick spray of hairspray makes a cheap alternative. If you're heavy on the liquid eyeliner like I am this is an important step as one brief rain shower can cause panda eyes!

Then I pin one side of my hair. 

Roll the other. 

Then finish with hair bows, perfume and a finishing spray. 

Time count? About 20 minutes, but keep in mind I do this every day so plan for 60 - 80 for yourself and then see if it comes faster over time.