It has been said that the pursuit of beauty is as old as civilization itself. In fact, our ancestors would even create their own cosmetics by concocting various substances in the hope of making themselves look more attractive. Make up, back then, was heavily used albeit its purpose varies from one culture to another. Some used it for ritual, some for status symbol, but most of them used it as a form of adornment.
Fast forward to the 21st century. Make up does more than just to paint a pretty face as it now serves both aesthetic and corrective purposes. You may ask, corrective? Why? Is there something wrong with my face that needs to be corrected?
Professional makeup artists use the word corrective which essentially refers to how they create proportion, emphasis, balance, unity, and rhythm on the client’s face. These are the five principles of design that they follow in order to produce a beautiful makeup design while, at the same time, taking into consideration the unique face shape and facial features of each and every client or model. For instance, a client or model has a protruding chin. As this can be a distracting feature, the makeup artist would have to apply contouring and highlighting techniques on the model’s face to create balance and achieve proportion. He/she may use a foundation with a darker shade on the chin to make it look less prominent, but highlight the flattering parts of the model’s face by using a lighter shade.
Emphasis can be achieved when a client picks a facial feature that he/she wants to be the focal point, while unity ensures that the client’s face still bears the cohesive or put-together look despite the various elements that may come into the make-up design. On the other hand, rhythm establishes harmony through the right combination of color choices, patterns, and placement.
Suffice it to say that makeup artistry requires creativity. You may often see various colors, patterns, and designs in fashion magazines and on the runway. Makeup artists would experiment on several designs and test them before coming to a final output. Oftentimes, they are inspired by different things such as works of art, nature, or even past trends. For instance, world-famous makeup artist Pat McGrath took inspiration from the Eighties’ makeup when she created the look of some of the models during the Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2017 fashion show. By using some wild colors for the eyes that extend to the temples, she brought back a funky 80’s inspired look. More so, she put emphasis on the eyes and kept the other features to a minimum.
While it’s true that the eyes are oftentimes the star of a makeup design, bold lips also have their own allure. And this was perfected by another well-known makeup artist Val Garland during the Giambattista Valli’s show for Spring/Summer of 2017 where the models sported a bold red lip with clean beautiful eyes and flushed cheeks. A simple yet sophisticated look that showcased how different makeup styles can also create moods and amplify a theme.
But more than just creativity, there is another aspect of makeup application that makeup artists carefully consider—the skin. Before applying makeup on a client, the makeup artist needs to do a visual assessment and a client consultation.
The consultation includes asking about any allergies that the former may have, his/her skin type, preference in makeup looks, and other skin conditions. This way, the makeup artist would be able to get to know the client better which is important when setting goals on the final look. Visual assessment, on the other hand, entails the makeup artist to inspect and look closely at the facial features of the client. By doing so, the makeup artist can identify what techniques he/she would need to do in order to execute a cohesive and beautiful makeup look. And once these stages are done, only then would the professional makeup artists decide as to which products are best suited for the client’s skin in terms of formulation and ingredients.
Contrary to what others may think, a clean and flawless finish doesn’t just happen instantly. Makeup artists need to consider several factors including the client’s skin type and skin condition in order to apply the best skin care and makeup products with suitable ingredients. If the client has a normal skin type, then the makeup artist won’t have so much trouble in the formulations and products that he/she would need to use, though it’s an entirely different story if the client has allergies or scars. In some instances, scars would still show up even after makeup has been applied, and so the makeup artist would have to take extra measures to make these scars less visible.
Now for oily skin type, the best recommendation is to use oil-free products to ensure that the sebaceous secretion becomes more manageable. It’s best to use products that are non-comedogenic or does not clog pores to avoid breakouts. For a non-greasy feel on the skin, opt for foundations and makeup primers with silicones like dimethicone.
Dry and sensitive skin, on the other hand, requires skin care and makeup products that contain added moisture as they make the flaky skin and fine lines less obvious. Look for products that have a combination of humectants and emollients such as glycerine, hyaluronic acid, and lanolin. Note that dry skin types are also prone to allergic reactions. The most common allergen is perfume, so it’s best to stay away from heavily perfumed products.
Applying makeup is a tedious work as there’s a lot of considerations and thoughts that go into the process. But so long as the products contain the ingredients that are best suited for a specific skin type, they can do wonders in makeup application. And to nail that cohesive and aesthetically-pleasing look, always choose the right base and follow the principles of design. Makeup is purposeful and beautiful – a fact that professional makeup artists constantly strive to achieve.