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Five things you learn when you get a makeup lesson with a pro.

As MakeUpMania reboots into makeovers, makeup lessons, and workshops, we may not be in your area, but we still wanted to share why a pro makeup lesson could be the best bet for your summer (and all-year) looks!

While we learn makeup in many different formats like teaching ourselves, watching others when we were young (like I did), and using social media — we really learn by experimenting on our own face.

I always loved makeup, and in my teens, the only way to experience what the rest of the world was doing with makeup was through magazines. I was not allowed to wear makeup out of the house until I turned sixteen, but my love of makeup started way before that. I would sit in front of the mirror and play with makeup. I would read what magazines said, look at pictures, and try to copy what I saw. Little did I know this would lead to a lifelong career in the makeup industry!

What I read decades ago hasn’t changed that much. I still hear the same thing from my clients on how they are told to do their eyes and their foundations, and many times the info is partly right, but it doesn’t always work for different face structures. So, the biggest reason to sit down with a pro would be to see how makeup theory affects YOUR face.

Need some more convincing that a trip to a makeup artist might be a good bet this summer? Here you go — five things you learn when you get a makeup lesson with a pro.

# 1 Skin Care Matters — A well-trained makeup artist has studied skin, and many states require an esthetician or cosmetology license to do makeup for the public. We know that skincare matters to your skin, but have you considered how much that affects your makeup? Getting your skin analyzed and addressing skin issues can greatly help your makeup. Put makeup on too-dry skin, and the makeup will sit on top and look powdery and cakey. Too much oil and makeup will not stay on all day. A good artist will help you with a skincare routine that will address your needs. This will help your makeup go on smoother, look more radiant and natural, and last longer. Be aware that skin that has been ignored may take several weeks of consistent good care to see results.

# 2 Skin Prep is a Big Key — How do you prep your skin for your makeup application? Specifically, the skin should not be too dry or too moist to apply makeup. After a good cleansing, apply a lightweight daytime moisturizer and let it absorb for about five minutes. This should give the feel of a “drag” on the skin — that is, you can feel a little pull when you drag your finger across your cheek. If your finger slips off without a drag — it is either too dry or the moisturizer has not been absorbed. If it is too dry, apply another coat of moisturizer. It is so dry here in Colorado that I have often applied two or three layers of moisturizers to get the right feel. Too oily? Let it soak in more. A good skin prep will keep the foundation from sitting on top of the skin and from soaking in along with the moisturizer if it is too dry. If it is too oily, the makeup will mix with the moisturizer and not set properly. The proper hydration level of the skin will allow the makeup to go on smoother and last longer.

# 3 Is it the foundation or the skin tone match? When someone tells me they love a certain brand of foundation, I wonder if it is the formula they love or if they found their perfect match. A perfect match is much more important than the brand of foundation. Of course, quality makeup counts for a lot, but a bad skin tone match and the best makeup in the world won’t make you look better. A pro can match your skin tone right on. And if you are set on a brand, and you can’t get your skin tone match in the colors offered — you will probably have to buy two and blend. Sorry — skin tone match is that important. Go with the skin tone match over brand.

# 4 Skin and Powder — To powder or not to powder and how to powder if you do powder. The rule is; all cream makeup should be powdered to set the cream. Ok — I have some rules and some laws in my makeup theory. Laws are universal and cannot be broken because it is physics or some really technical thing that makes it true no matter what — like gravity. In makeup one of the laws is: “All color has grey value.” It’s just that way — nothing you can do can change that. Ok, a rule is an idea to go by — and some say rules are meant to be broken — but they usually work, and you should learn them, so at least you know. So back to the powder rule. If you use cream or liquid makeup, it should be powder set so the make stops moving and lasts longer. But powder can make makeup look worse if you have extremely dry or mature skin. Oily to combo skin would be best served by the powder puff method of powdering (See my Stacking the Puff article HERE). Or if your makeup doesn’t stay on, perhaps your powdering method is too soft. Dry skin or mature skin can powder using the brush method, and for some skin and foundation combinations — you might not need any powder at all. When the skin is dry and in a dry climate it sets itself. Even though I fall in this last category, I would powder for photographs or special events where I don’t want any shine on my face.

# 5 What am I doing? A really big thing a makeup artist pro can help you with is explaining what you are doing when applying makeup. How to use a certain brush or should you use a brush or sponge to apply your foundation? How to do a powder puff set or contour your eye, why this color works so well on you, and why this one doesn’t. (Maybe the law of “all color has grey value” is at work here?) Good makeup is not an accident. You may have a “happy accident” like you put your shadow on a different way, and it looks so much better than the way you did it before — chances are you landed on a law or a rule, so there is a happy reason why your “accident” works. And in turn, there are reasons why you are still not getting the look you want, even after watching 18 different YouTube videos. A good makeup artist can show you the ropes in a short time and give you the confidence to try the techniques on your own.

Maybe it’s time to find a good artist in your area and take a lesson. Summertime is a great time to try new looks because there are so many things to get out and do. A summer concert, a romantic dinner al fresco, an outdoor party. Whether you want to look au natural or sultry hot, makeup completes the look.

Try and match yourself with an artist who performs makeup the way you want to wear it. Find someone licensed in your area with the clout in makeup artistry to pull off what you want to achieve. I find most of my clients are looking for the “no makeup” makeup look. The natural makeup look is a skill — to look fabulous and not look made up is not about wearing no or little makeup. It is about applying makeup in the right way to get that look. It is good techniques and the ability to control makeup that that pulls this look off. And this is where a good makeup artist comes in — to help you look like you, but the best you.

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