Tune In: A Celebrity & Editorial Makeup Artist On Her Best Tips For People Of All Ages
"When we look at ourselves in the mirror, the first thing we ask ourselves is 'What's wrong?' 'What can I fix?' What if you turn that on its head and ask yourself, 'What do I like about myself?' and that's the first thing you do? For example, you go 'I like my lips. What color should I put on my lips today?'" says celebrity and editorial makeup artist Simone Otis, lead artist of the makeup brand 19/99.
In the spirit of that, let's chat about how you can use makeup to enhance what you love about your look. In this episode of Clean Beauty School, I spoke with Otis about how to play around with dimension on the face, identifying your best feature, and why beauty standards need to embrace a spectrum of ages.
The entire episode is sprinkled with beauty insights and makeup tips for women of any age (so tune in to hear them!), but in the meantime, I pulled together some of my favorite tips from the episode:
Create and embrace dimension
A face should be full of life! One way to do that is to play with the face's dimension—carving out shadows and light, enhancing finishes and colors. To do so, the very first step starts before you pick up any makeup product: "It's important to approach your best self visually. I notice people don't necessarily look at themselves in a good light," she says. "I challenge you to find good, natural light."
From there, it's as simple as utilizing contour, highlighter, tones, and finishes. "The face doesn't all have the same tone on it," she says, noting that when you create a blank, "flawless" canvas with foundation, "it takes the whole face away."
Instead, Otis notes that she plays with where light hits the face and does so "in lots of light layers with the makeup. It looks more like skin. Plus your face is going to move, and this moves with it," she says. "It brings back the dimension by shadowing different parts but then highlighting others with a creamy lightness."
Cream products are great for any skin type or age
If there's one thing I've learned from chatting to makeup artists over the years, it's this: When in doubt, opt for cream textures. Cream textures tend to be more malleable—so they can be blended, layered upon, and so much more. This makes them not only user-friendly—but quite fun.
"I use a lot of highly pigmented cream colors that I can use in so many different ways, whether it's applied very strongly and heavily to create something bold or sheared out to create something more neutral," she says.
Color correctors can go a long way
I think color correctors feel like a challenging product to master in beauty. They seem like products for folks who want a full face of makeup, and love full glam—not for the barely there makeup gals, right?
The thing is, using color correctors in the right way means you can use less makeup overall.
"I use a color corrector in deeper parts around my eyes," says Otis. "The thing about color correctors is that you just do a light layer—so light that you don't see the color when you apply it. It's just there to blot out the color underneath and create a nice layer for the next step. Then you don't have to use as much concealer. I only use a small amount around my eyes because I've already used a color corrector to help brighten the area."
Want more makeup tips? Tune in here:
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.