“I came into this thinking I wouldn’t really learn much considering I do my makeup on a daily basis and I’m shocked at how much I learned! Even the little things that made such a huge difference in how my makeup looks now compared to how it normally looks” is what one of my good friends Sarah told me after our makeup lesson.
You might actually recognize Sarah from my Instagram, Facebook and even my website as she is featured in many photoshoots I have done. She is my go-to girl for just about any time I need a model to sit for me and has also become one of my really good friends!
I reached out to Sarah recently asking if she would be willing to be my model for a makeup lesson. Considering they’re getting more popular by the day, I wanted to do one with someone I was close to that I knew would not only seriously benefit from it, but also give me the feedback I needed to perfect my craft.
Sarah models frequently on tons of local photoshoots but also has a job in her day to day life that requires her to look professional and well put together. I knew that not only would a makeup lesson benefit her when she’s on a photoshoot and needs to do her own makeup, but also in her day to day life considering she wears makeup on a regular basis.
The first thing I do when it comes to a makeup lesson is really dive deep into what look is best for this client. By answering a multitude of questions, I can really start to form a perfect look in my head that will suit their skin, their lifestyle, their time frame, their likes etc. With Sarah, she wears makeup to work everyday but also loves to play with her makeup for special occasions, photoshoots and even a night out. Creating a makeup look for her was something that needed to be versatile for whichever occasion she needed.
What’s actually funny is the two of us went over her pre-lesson questionnaire and when I asked what she normally wears on a regular basis she told me that question is not applicable because it’s always changing and never the same. She likes to play with different techniques and products on a regular basis so this information needed to come into play as well.
From what she told me, I knew I wanted to create a look that was a great base for everyday that I could then teach her to build on. You’ll see throughout this blog post that the building technique comes into play a lot.
She told me on a day-to-day work basis she wears foundation, concealer, powder, brows always, mascara, bronzer and blush. So, the look I created for her was a nice foundation base, a simple but impactful cheek and a simple eye that gave her subtle definition to make her eyes pop that I then taught her how to build on for a more defined look.
By answering the questionnaire I also learn where my client may be lacking. I learn what they feel they really need help with and what I should be honing in on when I teach.
For Sarah, her biggest concern was that her under eye concealer was creasing and cracking throughout the day. But, from our questionnaire I also knew she needed help with her skin care base, her foundation application and matching her skin tone properly.
At the start of the class, the first thing we discussed after the basic questions from the questionnaire were her dirty brushes. She knew they needed to be cleaned but it was something she’s been putting off. I explained to her the importance of cleaning your brushes but also that I was human and it happens to me too. We all forget from time to time but a class like this is a perfect time to remind my clients of how important it is to try and keep up with it for sanitary reasons.
Next we automatically went into her skincare. Makeup is only as good as the skin underneath it and I needed to know exactly what she does to her skin before makeup, so I could assess and recommend accordingly what would be best for her makeup.
Sarah cleanses and moisturizes always before makeup which was perfect, so I chose to focus on layered hydration that was applied before makeup. I had her layer Water Elixir and Water Balm from Sonia Roselli because although she has combination skin that is acne prone and gets oily throughout the day, I knew her skin needed moisture. Especially during the winter.
Not only did her skin need moisture, but she explained how she didn’t want that heavier, full coverage look anymore and she was into a lighter, natural feel so making sure she was properly hydrated was key to helping her skin be in optimum condition. The better condition we got her skin in with skin care, the less makeup she will need.
Another great benefit was that Water Balm is like a primer and moisturizer in one, so there wasn’t a need to even use a primer on her skin.
Because she wanted that lighter, more natural look, I recommended her getting the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation. It is lightweight, natural finish with buildable coverage so she could get more or less coverage when needed, didn’t have something heavy on the skin and worked well with her combination skin.
For the purpose of the class I had her use the foundation she had been using on a regular basis which was two different ones that she had been mixing together. She knew neither were her correct shade match so we discussed undertones and what she should be looking for when shopping for a foundation. Even though she had some redness on her face, I explained that when looking at her face to chest match she didn’t look too overly yellow, pink or cool toned. So, I advised searching for fair to light shades with neutral undertones when shopping for foundation. I even went on after and picked out her perfect shade match for the foundation she was looking into.
Next we focused on dotting foundation in the places where she needed the most coverage, then blending the rest outward. We also focused on using light layers and building only in the areas that needed more coverage. She later went on to say that this was one of her favorite techniques she learned. She really felt it made a difference in how her skin looked and that it was quite contrary to what you see all over social media.
This same technique was used for concealer and both were blended out with a beauty sponge. I always like to recommend what tool to use based off of personal preference and what’s easiest for my client. We focused the coverage on her dark circles and areas that needed the most coverage, then blended the rest outwards. Still working in light layers.
Sarah had previously mentioned she struggled with under eye creasing, cracking and heaviness so by focusing on light layers, blending out creases with our fingers and not overloading too much powder and concealer on the undereye we were able to get the perfect result that counteracted her creasing.
She was previously “baking” her under eyes as well which was giving her under eye a cakey, dry, crumbly look. When we got rid of this technique, it made all of the difference. The less product you use, the less there is to crease, crack and crumble. She went on to tell me that this was a “hack” she learned from YouTube and social media and while it worked for some people, I helped her realize it didn’t work for her.
I really changed her whole game when it came to bronzer/contour. I explained to her the difference between the two and she showed me the colors she normally uses which were either too cool or too warm for her. I then let her use a color that was smack dab in the middle, making it more flattering for her skin tone.
But, the big kicker was the placement. You see, Sarah has beautiful high cheekbones. But she was taking her contour down way too far on her face which was then defeating the purpose of what she was trying to do. I showed her where to place it that would best accentuate her bone structure and give her the look she was going for. I also explained how and where she should be blending it as well.
For blush, Sarah always uses powder but I had a feeling cream blush would look so beautiful and natural on her skin. So, I had her do one half of her face with powder blush and showed her the proper placement, then the other with cream blush in the proper placement to see the difference. She went on to say she didn’t think she would prefer the cream nor would it be something she would’ve ever reached for at all but ended up loving the look of it so much more than the powder.
For highlight we focused on placement as well. Like I said before, she has beautiful, pronounced cheek bones so anywhere she placed ”light” or the highlight, was going to accentuate them. So, for her bone structure our placement had to be very precise focusing it in one area and then blending softly elsewhere.
After highlight was brows where we decided that she needed a better color match for a brow pencil as well. The one she had was a little too warm for her brow hairs but also especially because she recently had her hair dyed a super ashy blonde. So, the warm brows with the ashy hair didn’t match.
For brows we focused on creating the shape, then filling in where was necessary and also how we could feather and use light strokes to get the more natural result she was looking for.
On an everyday basis, she just wears mascara to work. She also told me how she likes to take whatever bronzer she’s using and blend it into her crease for some added color. I agreed with this and told her it was great for an easy way to add some warmth and color to the lids everyday. I also explained how the warmth in the brown would help pop her blue/green eyes.
We then added a deeper brown to her lower lash line for some subtle, added definition before finishing off with mascara.
With the conditions right now and wearing masks, lips are really not in the picture. But, I still wanted to show her a simple application for everyday that would give her a nice sheer wash of color which is why we topped this look off with a lip gloss.
We also talked about lipstick colors that she loved but felt like they never looked good on her once applied. We determined that she was going in with a heavy hand when applying the color and instead I taught her the trick of dabbing your lipstick or liquid lipstick in the center of the lip and then blending it out with your finger. This gives a more subtle wash of color which you can in return, build up as you desire.
Then, to take the look up a notch I taught her a simple eyeshadow look that she could use with any color combination that could be light or dark. We focused on blending, building color where needed and also how to use eyeshadow as eyeliner to save time (my favorite trick).
A week after our class Sarah and I touched base on how she was feeling and how she was doing with her makeup. Here’s what she had to say; “After a full week of this routine my makeup is more even, the colors of my foundation match my skin tone, my makeup is lasting longer, I don’t look cakey at all and I’m not getting oily as fast as I was before”.
She also went on to tell me that anyone who thinks they know how to do their makeup should still take this class. She said “Makeup is definitely not a one size fits all thing so rather than learning random tricks from YouTube that weren’t working for me like baking, you taught me things that are working for my skin type and face shape making all the difference”.
Another big takeaway from our class for her was that the brushes I grabbed and used were completely different than the ones she had been using. She told me I grabbed brushes that she hadn’t touched in years! She also shared that her brush she used for brows that I had her use for eyeliner she has been using ever since and it made a big difference.
As an artist hearing all of this truly makes my heart happy. It’s always my goal to help my client but when I hear what they took away from the experience, how they’re implementing my knowledge at home and that they’re seeing a difference in their makeup is priceless.
I can talk about how necessary and life changing a makeup lesson is all day long, but nothing will ever beat the success stories from my clients. I truly feel that my clients don’t actually realize the priceless knowledge I have to share with them until they have it.
Makeup is something that is never going to go away. Whether the trend is full glam all the way to no makeup makeup, there will always be something to teach. Nothing is more worth it than investing in not only yourself, but something you put time and effort into on a regular basis.
If booking a makeup lesson is something that interests you, don’t hesitate to reach out! I would love to chat about your makeup needs and what might best suit you.