Like most beginning makeup artists, when I first started, I wanted to do dramatic, bright and creative looks to show off my skills. However, I soon found out that just about any one can create a rainbow bright, cut crease look or do makeup that you would never walk out into the street in. I feel that many aspiring MUAs or women interested in makeup feel it is necessary to do dramatic makeup to prove they can do makeup. I partly blame this on Youtube and all these overly dramatic looks. Surprisingly, a clean makeup look is sometimes harder to do because on occasion it can be a challenge to make someone look naturally beautiful.
A friend of mine, (whom I look up to a lot), an agency represented makeup artist and hair stylist by one of the best agencies in the world told me: "Maria, master a clean face, I know you can do creative makeup but a clean face will get you respect and will be your key to opening the door to booking paid jobs." That is some of the best advice I have ever received. It is true, bridal makeup is clean, special occasion is usually always clean, and all of my clients that are everyday women simply want their natural beauty to be enhanced without pounds of makeup and need something quick and easy to do. Not to mention how most photos that you want and need in your portfolio as a makeup artist will be "clean makeup."
There are various styles of clean makeup: fresh face, barely there makeup, no makeup look and natural. However, the idea is pretty much the same and below are a few tips on how to achieve a clean makeup look...leaning more on the fresh face side. There is no right or wrong way to do it, but this is one of my styles of achieving a clean look. These tips are usually what I do when at a shoot doing a clean face look on an agency model for basic testing.
1) Exfoliate skin to remove dead skin cells & polish skin. Benefit Refined Finish Facial Polish is a great pick. Does the job and has a good price point. It buffs away dull skin and brightens your face.
2) Use an eye cream of choice and dab around orbital bone and under eye. Philosophy Eye Hope is an all around fabulous eye cream and using eye cream will set a perfect base for concealer to glide on.
3) Moisturize with your cream of preference. I use Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre, a french cream that moisturizes/cleanses on all of my clients except for those with oily skin. For those with an oily skin type, I opt to massage DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew. Clean makeup calls for supple, juicy, healthy looking skin, so even if i am going to use a tinted moisturizer, I still add moisturizer before.
4) I use Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Primer on most clients, but if you have a specific condition or concern, refer to my posting prior to this one, in which I break down the different primers and uses. The primer step can be skipped if you like but I like to use primer because I feel it fills in lines, and provides a smooth base for foundation.
5) Use concealer under eyes & to spot treat any areas needing extra coverage. My favorite is Cargo OneBase.
6) Foundation: Opt for a tinted moisturizer such as OCC Tints or a foundation such as MUFE HD foundation. Start from the center of face and blend outward.
7) This step is ideally for women who want to add a bit of color on lids. On most models I usually skip and use foundation on lids instead. Use a primer to serve as a base on lids such as Lorac Behind the Scenes. Apply a shadow one shade lighter than you skin tone all over lid, preferribly a matte one. Secondly, take a shadow in a brown tone two shades darker than your skin tone and with a blending brush blend from the outer edge of your eye, above your crease and blend to fade color upward. Then blend a bit more of the darker shade on the outer corner of eye inward.
8) Line bottom water line with a nude color such as Nars Rue Bonaparte a light almond.
9) Use a cream blush and apply right on the apple of your cheeks with fingers or a stippling brush and blend upward towards temples. My pick is Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Moist Glow in Bliss. Keep in mind you are aiming for a "just pinched" flush of color your cheeks.
10) Use a translucent powder and lightly dust over face with a kabuki brush. I use MUFE HD Powder.
11) Brush brows and groom them. If needed use a clear mascara or brow gel to tame unruly brows. If you must add some color or define brows, then opt for a powder. Anastasia is best.
12) Curl lashes and top with either brown or black mascara, top & bottom. (When doing makeup on models, I usually just add clear mascara vs. a colored one)
13) Apply a shade of lipstick that is the color of the inside of your lips. My go to color is: Kevyn Aucoin Elegant Lip Gloss in Molasses. I apply with a lip brush, then with a tissue or blotting paper blot to make it look like a stain.
For the everyday woman, this may seem like a lot of steps, but some of the ones listed should already form part of your daily skin care routine. Also, you do not have to use a primer or choose to do eye makeup. You should do whatever makes you look best and feel even better. 80) Remember, the key to great makeup is great skin. So never skip out on a good skin care routine.
For the aspiring MUAs, make sure you master a clean face. It will be your makeup look that will become your bread & butter and book you more jobs. Master a clean face and then get crazy with the creative looks after your book has plenty of clean makeup looks, all facets of clean.
*Photo copyright of Nick Suarez & Maria Ortega Makeup