Every couple years, or even every year, make up trends recycle themselves with a fresh new take on the previous look it originated from. This concept is no stranger to the make-up or fashion industry.
This particular collection of looks, brought to us by Carlos Palma, flash us back to those sun-kissed holidays when we sat around drinking fruity cocktails by the sea, anticipating the evening, when we could show off our golden tans (or sunburns), and imagining ourselves looking like Kate Moss in the St Tropez suntan lotion campaign.
There is a strong emphasis on luminous skin which seems to improve each year. There was a time when we were all covered in actual glitter, you know, like the stuff you use for kiddie projects? It would get in our eyes, on our clothes and all over the house. Not nice, but what some clever soul thankfully figured out, is that it is all about a gentle luminous shimmer in all the right places. Nicely hydrated skin helps too (drink your water girls).
For this series of looks, Carlos shares with us his secrets on how to get these looks right, and trust me girls, you will learn a lot. Even a make up addict like myself received a worthy education. Nothing out of this world…I promise, surprisingly doable in fact. Just take notes.
Dainty & Dewy
STEP 1 The Base of The Face – The Holy Grail Of Any Look
This look is all about getting the canvas right, which means choosing the right foundation and knowing where to illuminate. Carlos warns that many women mistake contouring as an essential feature to achieving sexy cheekbones and sculpted features, but suggests we leave that to the drag queens, as contouring tends to harden the face and look unnatural. He suggests we focus more on strobing (highlighting). I admit I giggled a bit.
For this look Carlos recommends a water-based foundation or tinted moisturiser. You can also use silicone-based primers underneath your foundation. It is often difficult to find tinted moisturisers that are 100% water based, so try to find one with the highest water content. He used an Armani water-based foundation in one shade darker than the models skin tone, which he recommends applying with your fingers down to the clavicle. Body heat from your fingers ensures better blending. Just make sure your hands are clean.
When choosing a colour go with the tone at the base of your clavicle, otherwise you end up looking like you are wearing a mask . It is important to blend the colour all the way down to the clavicle (base of the throat) for the most natural look. After foundation and concealer, use a clean make up sponge to seamlessly blend everything together.
Carlos isn’t a big fan of concealer. The best thing to do is build up the foundation over your desired area, it works beautifully once set with powder. If you are covering dark circles, he suggests the Triangle Method: Start under the (inner) eye, near the bridge of the nose, then work out across and towards the thinnest part of your lower eyebrow, but do not take all the way to the brow, then bring down to the corner of the nose…do this on both sides. This creates the illusion of a triangle.
Of course, be gentle with the skin around the eyes, don’t tug to hard. It is best to use a concealer brush. Be careful not to over apply, otherwise you will really look like you have been on holiday tanning with your sunglasses on.
Note: Products like Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Highlighting Pen are only meant to illuminate, not conceal and work great in the inner corner of they eye for a fresh open eye.
STEP 2 Defining, Highlighting and Setting – Second Most Important Step To This Look
Next, finish the entire face off with a light dusting of loose translucent powder with shimmer. He uses a fan brush in order to not over apply, so whatever brush you have on hand, give it a good shake to remove the excess. Always finish off the face with a fine translucent powder BEFORE applying bronzer and highlighter.
Underneath the hollow of the cheeks gently sweep a subtle amount of bronzing powder to define the cheekbones. His go-to bronzers are the brick palette bronzers that contain 4 shades, such as Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick or the Laura Mercia Shimmer Bloc. Of course, any brand will work, as long as it has a finely ground shimmer, as opposed to the ones that contain the dreaded ‘glitter’. Products made from finely ground pigments and minerals apply more naturally, are more colour concentrated and have longer staying power.
Next apply, a a subtle amount of blush onto the cheekbone, and gently sweep across. His product of choice, Shu Uemura Glow On. For this look he used #930 Soft Beige, but also recommends colour #780 Premium Bronze to define the hollow of the cheeks. Shu Uemura has mastered the blush market, this is a beautiful product.
STEP 3: Eyes & Brows
The eye for this look is radiant, simple and clean. To achieve this look Carlos used a bronze eye shadow stick all around the eye, making sure to blend any lines and highlight the inner corner of the eye around the tear duct only. His choice Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil . He sets the bronze shadow with a dusting of Shu Uemura Glow On #730, then finishes the eye by curling the lashes and applying a coat of black mascara. It’s best to steer away from brown mascara because it does nothing for the eye.
Next are the eyebrows, which tend to be neglected by many who don’t realize that well-groomed, beautiful eyebrows can enhance the eyes. Carlos recommends plucking rather than waxing, and says to never thin your eyebrows out too much. Thin eyebrows are hard to grow back and full grown eye brows always return into style (if that is why you butcher them so).
He recommends one of 3 techniques:
- Use the tinted Benefit Gimme Eyebrow Gel
- or use an angled brush to apply a matt brown eye shadow and work with the natural shape of the brow (thinner at the end)
- or simply use a clear eyebrow gel, which is also great for fixing the eye shadow, or all 3 in consecutive order for a more finished look (this can still look natural if done right, depends on how obsessive you are).
STEP 4: Lips and a Goodbye Kiss
Well, lips for this look are as radiant a statement as the rest of the look, but remain minimal and sensual. It is best to stay away from lip liner unless you properly know how to line your lips…you would be amazed to find out you aren’t doing such a great job, so just avoid it, but if you must be a rebel, just cover the entire lip area with liner, and then apply a tinted lip gloss.
Carlos absolutely loves Inglot Lip Pots and really went on for about 5 minutes about them. They taste and smell really fruity, they are really glossy but have great pigment, they are affordable, etc…I honestly could have listened for 20 minutes to be honest being a make up geek. He used lip pot #53. Depending on what part of the world you are in while reading this, you may have to use ebay or amazon to find these coveted lip pots. Otherwise, you can improvise with any products, you should have an understanding now of each product hopefully. Be resourceful girls.
This look has a military feel to it influenced by the slicked back hair that has dominated the SS 2016 runways, along with the strong smoky bronze eye, that has a sexy, dominant feel about it. This looks feels assertive but feminine.
Applying all the techniques described above in creating the canvas, defining, highlighting and setting, we can jump straight to the subject of the eyes for this one. You can use a translucent powder without the shimmer if you would like for this look…either way works.
Sometimes these looks don’t have a lot of longevity, and are mainly runway or editorial looks, but you can adjust them to give them day to day wearability. Carlos used a copper metallic grease paint for this look which he softly blended, then applied a shimmery golden brown eye shadow on top of that. Urban Decay eye shadows are recommended.
The grease paint alone would melt, or slide right off but the eye shadow sets it. You can also use a metallic lipstick (these are tricks of the trade…it is how it is done), instead of grease paint. Then use a dark brown eye shadow along the bottom and top of the lash line. Follow with a black kohl eye liner and use the smudging tip to blend neatly around the lash line. This gives a bronzed, smoky eye affect and is ultra sexy with a tan. Although, I don’t promote excessive sun tanning for reasons we are all aware of, and that includes wrinkles.
Finish up with a couple coats of black mascara and groom the brows as mentioned above. Keep the lip minimal and possibly use a similar lip to the Dainty & Dewy Look.
There is something very fierce about this look that brings Grace Jones to mind. She always had some form of crew cut pomp going on, wore flashes of colour across her eyes, and had a confidant man eater vibe about her. This look is certainly not for the faint of heart who is lacking in self confidence. This woman is curious about the world, and explores her feminine prowess…not to mention is one fashionable ‘brod’ who dances to the beat of her own drum. T
One thing I should mention, is that gold/copper/bronze has also manifested itself in other ways, such as on the lips. Pat Magrath, a make up artist who sets trends on the runway, and creates some pretty unusual and decadent looks alongside debuting couture collections, launched a new product last year on Instagram. A teaser shall we say to the launch of her own make up line. She released a gold pigment that sold out in minutes. These metallics are a big statement this year. If you aren’t into this look, we have many more to bring you, keep an eye out, you are sure to find some that you will love. If this colour palette isn’t to your liking, you can certainly use other shades. Read on and you will understand.
Do your usual foundation and concealing, but keep highlighting and defining completely minimal, just a flush. The eyes are talking here.
What is actually going on with the eyes is precision and contrast. In this look, Carlos uses a creamy metallic grease paint in copper, and a gold glitter eyeliner ( he swears by Collection 2000 Glam Crystals Gel eyeliner above all brands…cheap as chips!!).
Apply the grease paint in a precise line from the inner corner of the eye out to a flick, and then neatly down to the corner of the eye and fill in the lid. Then use gold glitter liner, to continue down from the flick lining against the copper line, and following the bottom lash line. Apply liner a couple times for a stronger, more noticeable line. Try to keep your eyebrows in balance with the eye shadow line. To give this look an extended life, set with gold powder.
You don’t have to use copper, you can use blue eye shadow with silver liner, just make sure to always use opposing textures. You can use any colour, and the textures can also be reversed. Get creative!
Note: Carlos recommends using a cream or powder brown eye shadow underneath blue eye shadow which fades and turns powdery shortly after application.
Hair and Make up by Carlos Palma. He is a freelance make up artist/hair stylist that has been working in print, television, fashion, and with celebrities for 20 years. He has worked alongside photographers such as Helmut Newton and Steven Meisel, and also runs an exclusive bridal business doing hair and make up.