“We are poor judges of how we look, what looks best and what to wear,” said the host of a recent TV segment. I was at the airport eyeing the tiny screen kilometros away from where I sat. No need to ponder, deep in my hairdresser corazón, I know this to be true. Add to this that everyone, except maybe your Mamá, will never come clean on the topic. People are nice. Or, are they? Shouldn’t a real friend call whatever current makeup flaw you are flashing? I don’t wear it, but following suit, my friends all heard “If I ever speak to you with taco breath, throwlots of mints at me.” I am considering this for my Holiday card message. Apparently, if halitosis is an accident, poor makeup applications are a seventy-five-car pile up.
According to Vanessa Camarena, makeup artist extraordinaria from El Paso, the most common mistake women of color make is choosing a foundation one or two shades lighter than their skin tone. “Because we (Latinas) are naturally tan, we want to look lighter. Unfortunately, this makes us look older,” she adds. Other pet peeves are trying to cover up imperfections with a concealer that is too light; the concealer should match your skin tone. Another biggie is contouring your face with blush, which makes you look pink or orange, but her ultimate missed opportunity is not powdering your face when you finish your application. Powder seals the cosmetics and blends everything nicely.
Alba Jimenez, the New York fabulosa makeup artist from the Dominican Republic shared her special secrets, not just tips. These are great if you are in a pinch and need to “make do.”
1. Mix tinted moisturizer with concealer to create a longer lasting foundation. Great tool against summer humidity.
2. Alba adds little dots of a golden peach eyeshadow to her foundation to create beautiful bronze looking skin on café con leche skin.
3. Grab the cornstarch powder and dust it on your T-ZONE to control that mid-day shine of oily skin.
4. To minimize enlarged pores,keep your primer in the refrigerator. Who knew?
Melissa Vega, a California chica specializing in makeup for TV, film, says eyebrows are critical, if you over tweeze, and they are too thin, your face will appear fuller, bigger, & rounder. Her expertise with close ups taught her about color tone. “Many women don't match skin color to their skin tone. Don’t match your foundation to your wrist or arm; I always match foundation by checking it against the skin right under the chin. This area doesn’t get exposed to the sun, so you are really seeing your natural skin tone.” Women with brown or dark skin tones should be very careful with bright eye colors and use them very sparingly; they make your skin look much darker. Melissa also says blush should be noticeable, but without looking like a clown. “Yes, my Latinas often do too much blush. Remember less is more. Latinas are sexy and have beautiful curves, make up is just an extra bonus, don't overdo it.”
My advice? Get to a professionaland learn how to apply your makeup from the expertos. You went a few years ago? You need an update, amiga; your application needs change as you move on in life (notice I didn’t say age). Wearing those teenage tricks is like wearing an invalid expiration date. Cuidado.
Hasta la vista,
Carlos Valenzuela is a Latino market consultant, author of i-Fabulous Life Skills, educator and motivational speaker. Contact Carlos at [email protected]
Follow Carlos onTwitter: @getcarlos01