Monday, July 20, 2009

Airbrush Makeup - The Facts & The Fancy

Like any good makeup, the airbrush approach can leave a beautiful, long-wearing "Photoshop" finish - or it can look thick, mask-like or shiny. And its worth repeating - all, and I do mean all, those magazine "airbrushed" pictures are done with Photoshop (or its equivalent) - literally. Everything is touched up in editing and truly manipulated to sell, sell, sell. So that said here are the facts and the fancy.

The Facts:

Its important to be aware that airbrush has not been FDA approved! In fact, a television station in Toronto recently decided to stop using this process when they discovered all the equipment in the makeup room had broken down as it had been coated with a build up of makeup from the airbrush particles that are airborne during the application process.

Tiny pixels of either water, alcohol, polymer, or silicone based foundation is sprayed through an airbrush hose and gun onto the skin at a low and tolerable airflow. Hmm...polymer, silicone - need I say more? Its very important to keep your eyes closed and hold your breath while the gun is firing. And like with any kind of "painting" work in a well ventilated room.

Airbrush is nothing new - modelers have been using it for years as it gives a higher quality finish and body painting has been applied this way for decades too. In fact, walls, machinery, manikins garden furniture and just about anything paintable can be done with an airbrush.

This method can't be done on yourself with any degree of satisfaction for obvious reasons - that's where a good artists comes in handy.

The Fancy:

For body work its definitely the preferred method - why even Michael Angelo would have been envious of the spectacular examples available.

Many of the SFX (special effects) artists use airbrush as ONE of the tools in their arsenal for creating spectacular characters, aging actors, constructing memorable monsters or fashioning over the top fashion forward looks.

As a finishing layer over tatoos, port wine stains, or Vitiligo (de-pigmentation in patches of skin) it gives a flawless finish, but this is a skilled technique.

Great Gam coverage for those summer days with short shorts. Airbrush can camouflage spider veins, discoloration, etc. beautifully - and this you can do yourself.

So from this makeup maven's pov - its great for body art or camouflage and occasionally for the face for special occasions. There are other products when used with the correct techniques can give you the same "Photoshop" finish. Its the artist and application of the tool that makes for a beautiful, flawless and natural looking finish - not the tools or product alone.

For Information, Lesson Manuals or Services

Sharon Danley, Master Artist


Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Truth About HD Makeup

There is a lot of hype about "HD" makeup - some good, lots not so. Check out this recent article. And yet another article on examples. Like everything new, the cosmetics industry is full of false claims jumping on the band wagon to sell, sell, sell to the unsuspecting public and it hurts companies and products that do what they say they do.

Be careful who you listen to and what you read. Just because an artist claims to have done say the "Geminis" for instance, doesn't mean they were the key or have years of experience, or can do more than the easy fresh, unblemished skin of a model. A great example is many articles I see in magazines touting the use of black mascara and eyeliner for Caucasian skins - yikes - who are these people and how do they achieve "expert" status?. If you're looking for "fashion forward" ok, but fresh, elegance? Run, don't walk away, from this kind of advice.

OK back to what works well for that "HD" look. Here's the deal - its simply looking fresh, flawless, natural - you know, the same old, same old. And what does that mean - "natural" most often takes more work than the drag queen approach to a finished look. What's really important is to achieve a fresh clean canvas (skin). Taking good care of it is #1 - but more on that in an upcoming post. So your choice of product and its application is next.

For this Maven's money here's what I use for TV, bridal, photography, film - and yes, myself. But first MATCH YOUR SKIN COLOUR EXACTLY checking at the jaw line. And remember if your face is a different colour that your decolletage due to sun exposure then match with the area that will have the most public exposure.

My Faves -

  1. MAC Face and Body, topped with Dermablend or Kett Sett finishing powder (white in colour) or MAC Blot Powder.
  2. Revlon Colourstay Softflex liquid foundation, topped as above.
  3. For more coverage, I use Cinema Secrets cream foundation (requires a light spray of water), topped with a finishing powder as above, Audrey Morris Dual Powder or MAC Studio Fix.
  4. For full coverage (including tatoos, Capillary vascular malformation/Port-wine stain), Dermablend and sometimes mixed with Cinema Secrets is fabulous. Topped with the finishing powder, which, by the way, waterproofs the makeup and lasts all day.
The trick is in the application with these or any other product that work for you.strokes so as not to disturb the fine hair on the face using either a triangle makeup sponge (which absorbs a bit of the product) or a foundation brush. Thin layering working from the center of the face outward, using a brush or sponge is the trick. Pay special attention to around the nose inside corners of the eyes and under eyes (if required). Makeup sure to clean your brush or sponge weekly with a light shampoo and air dry for perfect performance.

put cream or liquid on the eyelid if you want your eyeshadow to last all day. Use a primer or simply the dual finish powder works fabulously as a primer. However, cover the lid if you're not intending to use a shadow and only if your lid colouration needs the coverage.

Want that Jlo Glow? Lightly dust a soft shimmer powder over checks and collar bones.

Use 45 sunblock as a moisturizer (my personal fave is Umbrelle #60) under dual powder foundation and achieve a spectacular glow while also protecting your skin.

Information, Lessons, Manuals, Services

Sharon Danley, Master Artist


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Carving Out Personal Time

Jackie Kennedy adhered to a routine of devoting 2 hours per week to her personal care regime. This was when she would have a great soak, facial, manicure, pedicure and re-organize her wardrobe (or at least instructed others to - now that’s a treat).

Two hours a week for self indulgence
, organization of personal space and image skill development, is essential for self care (physically and mentally), improved proficiency and confidence, and an excellent investment in time and life management. Its important to commit to a specific time and place every week and then take action! If new and improved regimens are not practiced they simply remain nothing more than just plans.

The key word is implementation! Whatever skills you may need to develop to enhance your image could be studied during this time. Once expertise is honed and you are well organized, use these occasions for the more relaxing, self-awareness, creative or de-stressing activities. Make this commitment and take the action and I promise that you will reap tremendous rewards.

Little Self Indulgences
  • Buy one of your favourite cut flowers - or a whole bouquet - definitely something visual!
  • Use candles - even in the middle of the day if that’s your designated “self indulgent time”.
  • During your 2 hours play some favourite music (preferably something relaxing), use aroma therapy, and wear something that makes you feel wonderful. If necessary, buy an item just for this purpose.
  • Don’t answer the door, your iphone, cyber-beckonings or those from family members (unless it’s a dire emergency).
  • Make sure all your senses are involved for stronger associations.

Buy some special note paper and write, yes write, a letter of appreciation to someone afterward while you are feeling soothed and de-stressed and transmit it the old fashioned way with an envelope and stamp. Or journal your feelings - this activity is one of the best self-mastery activities you can indulge in. After about 4 or 5 “self indulgent” sessions, the music, flowers, candles and clothing will become a positive trigger and serve to reinforce the positive results you are creating.

Information, Lessons, Manuals, Services

Sharon Danley, Master Artist