Au Naturel.... kinda

A few weeks ago, I posted my thoughts on Duchess Meghan Markle’s royal wedding makeup. That spurred a conversation about natural makeup, which is one of my favorite conversations! 

One of the comments I hear the most, from women in my chair, goes a little something like this: “I don’t really know what I’m doing, I just sort of slap this on and hope it looks good.” While I always appreciate a free-spirited mentality that allows our heart to lead our movements, ‘Que Sera, Sera’ is a better song than makeup technique.

 

I hope after this post, you will see yourself as a work of art.

 

Think of who you take care of on a daily basis: A longtime client? Your spouse and/or a whole family? Or perhaps you spend quite a bit of time in your garden. Whatever fills your day, YOU should be on that list of people that you take care of. One way I take care of myself is allowing time to get ready in the mornings. I may have 10 to 20 minutes, or if I get to really stretch it out, one hour. I realize everyone has different responsibilities, so do what works for you. Surprisingly enough, taking 3 minutes (yes, just three) to cleanse your face, moisturize and apply an spf, or night cream, is an easy way to start and end your day by showing yourself some appreciation. All it takes is six combined minutes per day to tell yourself that you are worthy of love and care - and you’re worth a whole lot more than that! 

Now that we have established that you are worth the time, here are my favorite natural makeup tips as promised. 

 
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SIX STEPS TO A NATURAL MAKEUP LOOK

Makeup Meagan D'Von
Photographer Max Kütz
Wardrobe Stylist KJ Moody

 

1. Hydrate + Protect

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This is the most important step in your makeup routine. I know I have said it before, and I will continue to do so: Great skin = great makeup. Find a moisturizer that is right for your skin type. You will apply this immediately after your A.M. cleanse, then follow it with an SPF that is safe for your face. Be sure to either include an eye cream, before your SPF, or just take your facial moisturizer all the way up to your lower lashes, and onto your eyelid. That is a very delicate area of the face, and it needs all the TLC we can give it!
I love this dynamic daily duo from Circadia. I apply half a pump of the Aquaporin Hydrating Cream after cleansing, then one pump of the Light Day Sunscreen (so not greasy, it's a dream). Bonus: The Aquaporin doubles as my nighttime moisturizer! :)

2. Neutralize + Conceal

This step will take some practice in the art of moderation. We have all been there, we start with a tiny bit of product, and end up using half of the tube by the time we are happy. READ THIS: Perfection is ONLY achieved in photoshop. There are no exceptions. But we can get you to a beautiful, realistic place. For this step, I have a few options that I play with, depending on my day.

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- RMCA Foundation/Concealer - This is a vegetable wax-based product that contains a punch of pigment. So, truly, a little goes a long way.
- Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer - This contains micronized pigments, which means it is packed with color as well. I repeat, packed.
- Elf Cosmetics Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter - This was my beloved #1 choice for this step until I learned that this brand habitually rips off independent makeup artists and makeup brands on the come up without any intention of crediting or compensating them for the copied/stolen ideas. R I P ELF. You are more than welcome to consider this brand/product as an option, let’s just not talk about  ;)

 I have a shade in each of these products, with a peachy base, for my under-eye area that does not look like my foundation color. For the sake of natural makeup days, conceal just the under-eye area with 'darkness' or 'discoloration'. This is not drawing a giant triangle under your eye and onto your cheek. This is strategically placing the corrective color (your concealer) only in the small area that needs correcting. If you do not have 'dark circles' or 'discoloration' in this area of your face, replace this step by singing praise to your God because you are hashtag blessed -- and don't tell anyone as you may gain acquire a few jealous enemies. 
If this concealer cuts the darkness, but does not brighten as you would like, apply a light touch of your foundation on top of it. I mean a tiny dot, inner corner of the eye, stretch that small amount over the concealer, blend the edges with your ring finger and never look back. If you think too much about this, you will end up with a full face of foundation and there is just no coming back from that! Trust me. 

3. Powder

Yes, I said it: POWDER! Because  you are prepped, moisturized and hydrated, the next step is lightly powdering your complexion to even out your skin tone, control excess shine and  add a touch of color to your complexion. Use a big fluffy brush, for a featherlight layer, or a denser brush (like a blush brush) for slightly more coverage. This step, as the last one, is optional. Some of you just don't need it, or prefer it. If you're like me, and you don't mind another layer of product, try these powders on for size. 

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- Full Coverage, Matte Finish: MAC Cosmetics,  Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation
This is my personal top pick, because I have acne scars that I need to hide + I am excessively oily.
- Medium Coverage, Satin Finish: Mineral Fusion, Pressed Powder Mineral Foundation
- No Added Coverage, Semi-Matte Finish: Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder
- No Added Coverage, Oil-Control: MAC Cosmetics, Blot Pressed Powder

4. Define + Hold

Your brows need a little lovin' after you have powdered, trust me. Whether you use a clear brow mascara or a tinted gel. Love your brows as they are on these days and limit them to one product that will treat them right on the first pass. (“Do I discuss my brow journey in a future post?” she thought to herself.)

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My top pick for brow products costs a whopping $7 at Target.
- NYX Tinted Brow Mascara
I had to get used to this product and learn how to use it. But now that I understand that it carries loads of color payoff, I love it more than the high end products I have tried. Plus, the hold is amazing!
- Senna Brow Fix X
Senna is the leading makeup line in eyebrow products. This Brow Fix X is available in clear, for those of you who don't necessarily need the help of a tinted brow gel. 

 

Starting with the middle, or arch of your eyebrows, comb the brow gel through in an up-and over motion.  Without reloading product into the brush, comb excess gel through the front end of your brows. Allow the product to fully set  before adding another product like a powder, or pencil. Although, I challenge you to try the brow gel alone for a couple of days! :)

5. Lashes Out

Mascara is a very personal experience. As a mascara junkie, I have a few mascaras that I hold dear, and favor above the rest. I don't believe my product suggestions will contribute to your overall makeup look as much as the technique, so let’s talk a little about that:

1. Lightly coat the ends of your eyelashes with mascara. One or two passes, on each eye, will do.
2. Without reapplying product to the wand, use the pointed tip of the mascara wand and 'wiggle' the brush into the base of your lashes as you pull away from your eye.
3. Still without reapplying more product to the brush, run the width of the brush through your lashes to soften and separate. 

6. Pucker up + Polish

This is another step that is very personal, as well as dependent on your lip condition (whether they’re dry, or chapped) and daily tasks (so you need something long-wearing or something that will condition and absorb into the lips). I generally finish my look with a hydrating, colorless lip gloss. I also love a creamy lipstick, similar to my natural lip color, to add a bit of interest and color to the overall look!  Play with this step the most. Your makeup will take on several different styles depending on what you add to your lips. 

 

Have fun, beauties! xx

Meagan 

We need to talk.

How are you?

Friend, last week... was a week. I do not have a new blog for you. However, I want to check in with you to make sure that you are okay. Like, really okay in your heart and mind and spirit. 

With the unexpected passing of, both, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I am reminded of the importance of making sure that my loved ones are doing well - and if you are not, that you know you have a safe place to lay out your feelings, fears and frustrations. 

I understand that there are dark places that our mind can take us. Places that, although are just illusions, seem very real. At times, I have struggled to keep my mind out of those places. I know the fight all too well. Though mine may be very different from the battles of others, please know that you are not alone. 

If you feel close to the edge, like you  might not win this one, please ask someone to join your squadron. It is O.K. to have help from someone else when you cannot help yourself.


Talk to someone you trust. Talk to me.
 

If you are in a place where you do not feel you can trust another person with the weight of your troubles, contact a third party that is ready to listen and help you sort through your thoughts. There are people equipped to shield you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No judgement.
All you have to do is call 1-800-273-8255.

It doesn't cost anything to get help, but it could save you (and those who care for you) everything. 


You are loved, so so special and deserve the victory that is waiting for you on the other side of  your inner war.

You can win this. 


Love you, 
Meagan 

The Royal Wedding Makeup Review

Everyone is talking about Meghan Markle's makeup from the Royal Wedding. While I do not make it a habit to bash another artist's work, I think it's
important to talk about why her wedding day look is beautiful, why it is not and how it influences the current makeup trends. 

image source: Getty Images

image source: Getty Images

Meghan Markle has a history of natural, minimal makeup looks. Occasionally she is seen with a rich, red lip and maybe a diffused definition to her eyes. However, there are always constants that we can count on: natural-looking skin with a cameo from her freckles, softly enhanced eyes and pinkish lip color. 
Until the royal event, I knew very little about Meghan, her career and even less about her typical makeup style. Because of that, I would like to think of my initial reaction (head cocked sideways, one eye squinted, with a confused, 'huh' pushing behind my breath) as a totally unbiased one. 

From what I have gathered, it seems like Meghan Markle and her makeup artist, Daniel Hart, have worked together for quite some time. That kind of relationship and trust is so important when choosing who is involved in your wedding day, and other major life events, regardless of whether or not they are doing your makeup. I am a bit surprised, though, that Daniel did not execute her wedding day look with a more refined attention to detail. 

Daniel Hart is very talented, as we would expect from any artist on The Wall Group roster. I respect him as someone who has worked very hard to achieve such a great, and admirable, level of success. I also expect a great deal of consistency and flawlessness from that same caliber of artist. Now.. let's get to the meat of it: 

I was absolutely underwhelmed by the newly crowned Duchess' look, to say the least.

image source: W Magazine

image source: W Magazine

Let me restate that I do not make it habit to degrade another artist's work. And I don't even feel like this is bashing Daniel's work so much as trying to process the reason behind his choices.  

Let's not undermine the fact that 1. Meghan Markle is far too beautiful for something like makeup to steal her radiance, 2. The wedding wasn't about her makeup, and 3. There is so much happening on the day of a wedding, that sometimes breathing takes concentrated focus. As a professional who has done full makeup in bathrooms, or on street corners, in under 7 minutes (you name it), the struggle is real. So, for that, let us give Daniel Hart a bit of a break. 

image source: Getty Images

image source: Getty Images

What We Loved

Her foundation was flawless. Meghan's freckles were definitely given a part in the show. She had just enough color in her face, to create a healthy flush, and accentuate her bone structure but nothing that separated her head from her body. Her lashes were wispy, flirty and soft. And honestly, that cheek color and lip combo could not have been more spot on. She definitely knows her colors and what she can handle. These are the qualities of a well-trained hand, that place product with intention. Take note Instagrammers. This is beauty. 

What We Didn't Love...

We could just stop here. Meghan is a babe, she has freckles, she looks great in pink . Boom. Done. But then, anyone could have thrown some strip lashes on her and called it a day. And Daniel Hart isn't just anyone! He has worked with Jessica Alba, he is at the top of the Dior Cosmetics team and represented by one of the most esteemed agencies. Yet, we saw gaps along her top waterline which separates her liner from her eyelashes. You see this at certain angles where she may have a slight crazy-eyed look. Her eyebrows appeared as if they were drawn on with a blunt-ended pencil. I would have loved to see a lightly feathered in brow that doesn't look so sharp and intense on her feminine features. Yes, her foundation was flawless, but her skin was dehydrated. So even though she looked good, the proper hydration would have made her look great.  Her under eye area, in particular, could have been - quite frankly, should have been - brightened up just a smidge so that she appeared refreshed on television, in photos or in person (even though she may have been exhausted.)

In my time as an artist, I have learned the hard way that these, seemingly, minute details all detract quite a bit from a final makeup. The compound effect, anyone?

Overall, I am relieved to see that Meghan's makeup was so natural. There was no high-beam highlight or heavy contour. Her lips were not overdrawn. She was the focus. 
I can definitely see mainstream trends picking up on similar looks as we move in to the Summer. Skin is always in! I encourage anyone to make that the focus of your every day look, and then try enhancing one other feature, whether that is your lips or your eyes, or (if you can pull it off) your eyebrows.

If you haven't subscribed, already, please do so! In my next blog, I talk about how you can pull off a natural makeup look as I mentioned above, including some tips for under-eye concealing.

 

Light and love,

Meagan