Paint a Natural Face
An article by Debbie Medina (Monave Mineral Cosmetics):
heard many bare-faced women state that they don’t regularly wear makeup
because they believe it would look unnatural. It takes great
effort on my part to convince them that in five minutes or less, I can
make them look better, without an obviously “made-up” look. Most
women have visited a cosmetics counter and gotten a makeover that they
wiped off as soon as they saw their face in the mirror. All of us
have seen women with tarantula lashes, bright spots of blush, and a line
of demarcation around the jaw. But I know from personal
experience, that a woman can improve her God-given looks without
detracting from her natural coloring and features.
Since we represent many different complexions here, I will break this
article down into four sections: Blond,
But first, let’s talk about why makeup often seems so unnatural looking.
cosmetics are produced with a combination of mineral pigments,
organic colorants like carmine, which comes from a beetle, and
dyes. As we all know, you can’t get neon green from natural
pigments. Nor can you achieve a bright red. Many a time, I’ve had
customers complain that my line of cosmetics doesn’t have a "true”
red. Well, it just doesn’t exist in the mineral world. So if you
shop for makeup, shop MINERAL makeup. There are many wonderful lines out there to choose from, and I
guarantee, that will eliminate the more unnatural colors from your
This having been
said, let’s begin.
Your best color choices for a natural look are
beiges, browns and peaches. This palette will work whether you have
blue, green or brown eyes. Some moss or light lime greens are also a
B e f o
A f t e
First, apply a loose mineral
foundation with a kabuki brush or a flat top bronzer. The brush is
very important to the application process. Mineral foundation has
no fillers, so if too much is applied, or it is not blended properly,
then the face can look pasty or chalky. A customer with very dry
or mature skin can blend a bit of the powder into their moisturizer, and
that gives a lovely finish as well.
If you are thinking about skipping this step,
don’t. Even if you have decent skin, you absolutely must wear a
sunscreen every day, and mineral foundation has a very high SPF.
As a makeup artist, I can attest that foundation, mascara
and lip color are the three most important products that you can apply
for instant transformation.
Next, brush a light beige or peach shadow over your
lid. You can use either shimmer or matte, depending upon your
mood. For the best application, use a very firm shadow brush made
of natural hair. Using a floppy, large-headed brush, or a
synthetic brush, will cause too much powder to be applied. To achieve a
natural look, it is important to use small amounts of your products so
that you see the skin underneath, not the makeup.
Next, apply a soft warm, brown shadow in your crease.
A loose powder is an excellent choice because of the fact that it won’t
look too heavy. Some women don’t know exactly what the “crease”
means. Simply follow the crack in your eyelid and blend the
product a little bit over the crease, so that you can see it. Don’t go
all the way up to the brow bone.
Some mineral powders can be used wet to create a liner.
Simply wet a taklon liner brush with tap or spring water, and then dip
the wet brush into the same brown powder that you used in your crease.
This ensures that your liner is not “fighting” with your shadow in terms
of color. The fewer colors that you put on your face the better,
for this kind of look. Make a paste with the water and powder on
the back of your hand or the top of the product, and then once you have
a creamy consistency, draw a very thin line as close to the lash as
possible. Makeup artists usually touch the lash as they are drawing the
line. A heavy line should be saved for a more dramatic look.
If you are leery of using a liquid liner, use the same brush with a
light brown liner pencil or in a potted liner. Simply rub the
brush into the pencil head or pot, and then apply it the same way as
To open up the eyes, some brown or brown-black mascara
is recommended. This is an important, but light touch. The secret
to mascara looking natural is not to spread it over the whole lash from
bottom to top, but rather to paint only the tips. Go ahead and
brush them twice, concentrating only on the tips, but no more.
People will tell you that you have beautiful, long lashes.
For a natural look, try using bronzer instead of blush.
The difference is that you are not applying more color to your face.
As pretty as a blush can be, even when done right, it is an obvious form
of makeup. It is girly, coquettish, and fun. A bronzer is simply a
deeper color than your skin tone. Because the base is brown, it
blends in more with your own natural coloring. Brush it on the
apples of your cheeks sparingly and your face will look healthy and
Finally, your lips. For your complexion, try a
peach or neutral pink lipstick. If your lips are highly pigmented,
you can also move into some brownish reds. Lipsticks tend to be more
sheer, and more matte than glosses. Skip the liner for this look.
Lined lips tend to look sexier.
Now your look is complete. Once you get the hang
of it, this look will take under five minutes to complete. For an
on-the go purse pack, look for cream to powders in your shades, and
purse size foundations and brushes. Mineral makeup does not easily
wear off, so you should be able to get through the day without much more
than a midday rebuff.
Now, on to our
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eye colors should be in the Earth family, including beiges, taupes,
and browns. Your lip colors should be brown-reds, or light mauves.
First, buff the correct foundation color into your
skin. Your color will probably be in the neutral or olive family
depending upon your background. If you have oily skin, follow up
with some pure serecite (untreated mica), or a light, natural setting powder. Avoid
setting powders that contain talc or cornstarch as their base
ingredient, as they will make your face looks powdery or chalky.
Next, spread a beige or pink-beige shimmer or matte
over your lids, using a small amount. Another trick to try is to
use a mineral foundation shade one color darker than your face, and
apply that to the lids instead of shadow.
Next, use either a taupe, a deep earthy green, or a
brown in your crease. Save a darker brown for the evening, as it
will make your eyes look too dramatic. Apply a very light amount,
making sure to blend it well at the corners of the eyes.
For a liquid liner, use your brown mixed with pure
black mineral powder (mica), and that will give you a lovely espresso
brown liner. Simply wet the brush, then dip it into the brown,
then the black, and mix on the back of your hand until the two colors
blend together. “Walk” your liner brush across your eyelid,
staying very close to the lash. This should make your eyes pop
out. Follow with black mascara, applied lightly to the tips of your
Skip the blush, but apply a light or medium bronzer on
the apples of the cheeks. Use it sparingly so you achieve a natural
looking glow. Look for a semi-matte or matte bronzer rather than a
Finally, for the lips, use a light brown- red brick
color on the lips, or a light mauve. Berry colors and reds will
immediately draw attention to the mouth, so save those for an evening
Medium Skin Tones:
Browns, grays and mauves all
look light and natural. Blues will show up more. Mauves and browns look
perfect on the lips.
Foundation: Most medium skin tones have a lot of yellow in them. Some
have some red undertones as well. Test your foundation choices on clean
cheeks, not on the neck, as your neck is naturally lighter. If you have
oily skin, make sure to gently exfoliate, cleanse and moisturize before
applying your foundation. To reduce shine, buff a small amount of
serecite over your foundation.
Next, choose your color palette. If you’d like the most
understated look possible, browns and deep gold will do the trick. First
apply a deep gold on your lid. Shimmer wears well on medium skin tones,
even during the daytime. You can also use the gold as a light
highlighter under the brow. It’s very important to blend a highlighter
very well, so that it gives a light glow without being obvious.
Next, brush a deep brown or plum in your crease. Start
with a small amount and build up color to your taste. A matte color is
preferable for this step.
For your liner, a deep plum adds more color than might
be desired, so stick with a plain black, or a deep espresso brown. Use
your wet liner brush, and walk the brush across the lid, following the
shape of the eye. A slight lift at the corner of the eye is always
For the lips, medium mauves and mauve-browns are
understated. Because your lips have a lot of pigment in them, a clear
gloss with a light plum liner is another good choice.
Darker Skin Tones:
Your best choice for a “natural” look is a
palette in golds and bronzes. Incorporating some deep plums and browns
is a nice touch as well.
Foundation: Your skin tone will vary from blue
undertones to red, to deep caramel. Be very careful choosing your
foundation color. Avoiding commercial makeup will help steer you away
from the “red” face that many dark-skinned women apply. You may need a
custom color that supports more than one undertone.
Your best option is to use it dry. Make sure to buff it
very well into the skin. For the under-eye area, mix a touch of the
powder into a handmade cream, and then gently spread it under the eye
area. Add more powder if need be to create heavier coverage. Finish up
with a light dusting of the foundation.
For the eyes, apply a deep gold, shimmer or semi-matte,
or bronze to the lid. This will open up the eye area, without being too
obvious. For some depth, apply a deep plum shading color in the crease. The gold could also be used sparingly under the brow as a highlighter.
For your liner, apply a very thin line of black or deep
plum liquid liner around the upper lash. Follow the directions above. Follow up with a black mascara applied to the tips of the lashes to
If you prefer a blush, stick to a medium plum with
brown undertones. Red would give the face a more “made-up” look, so save
that for a different occasion.
For the lips, line in a deep plum and add a touch of
plum mineral powder to a clear gloss and fill it in. If you don’t want a
glossy look on the lips, use a lip balm instead, and mix a touch of the
plum powder into to create a light, natural tint.
L i n e r B r u s h
of the Trade:
To apply mineral makeup, you
do need to familiarize yourself with brushes. While you can get away
with applying mineral shadows with a Q-tip, you need the right brushes
for the other applications. The brushes should be made of natural hair.
There is no cruelty involved. The animals’ hair is cut or shaved. Price
is a good indication of the quality of a brush. Natural hair brushes are
a life-long investment.
Firm shadow brush:
This is used for applying mineral powders to the eyes. The brush should
have a short, firm head, and be somewhat narrow. When working with loose
powders, there is the potential for a fluffier brush applying way to
Brush: For this brush, you want to look for a
yellow or white head that is made of taklon. This ensured that the brush
will remain firm when you wet it, and line the eye with it. Natural
hairs will tend to splay out too much. Some women prefer a straight
head, others an angled head. The head should be a about ½ inch wide.
For mineral blush, this is a fantastic brush, due to the sparse hair. If
you cannot find a fan brush, then a cotton ball works well. A typical
blush brush will apply too much powder to your cheeks.
Brush: This is the most popular brush for applying
loose mineral foundation. The hair is very soft, short and dense. This
brush is crucial for achieving a natural-looking finish to your
foundation. If you use a typical face powder brush, you will not be able
to “buff” the foundation into your skin. There must be some pressure
applied, and the short hairs stand up well to the pressure. There are
many kabukis on the market, so make sure to ask a supplier which one is
the softest, and densest.
Bronzer. This is an alternative to the kabuki for
applying foundation. It is my favorite, due to the shape of the head.
Because it’s flat, it “bends” around the nose and under the eye with
much more agility than the round-topped kabuki. Again, look for one with
short, soft, dense hair.
K a b u k i
B r u s h
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