You could say that I have a love/hate relationship with makeup. Some days I enjoy using all the different colors and get excited when my smokey eye turns out properly. But then there are those full days when my liner won’t continue directly, my bronzer makes me look crazy or my lashes won’t curl (Amy Schumer understands precisely what I’m talking about). That’s when I wish to toss my makeup handbag out my bathroom home window. I had one of those days the other day and after walking into work putting on two very different winged tips about my eyes, my editor assigned me a new story: Go to makeup college and reveal it.

Here’s how you can reap the benefits of my makeup education. At Napoleon Perdis’ Makeup Academy in Hollywood, Rebecca Prior, NP’s National Educator, begins the first lesson by presenting us to your tools. For example, suppose you were using mediocre brushes, mediocre products and had average skill. Just by improving the quality of your brushes and using more richly pigmented products, the application form would immediately better be, even without improving your technique.

Once you have your tools, you need to know how to carry them. Make Up For Ever educator Lijha Stewart. In general, if you evenly want to apply color, place your fingers on the center of the brush handle. Another tip: You can certainly turn a fluffy clean into a set, angled clean by wrapping your hand across the bristles and flattening them.

When I first head of Make-up Designory’s Beauty 101 class on base, I anticipated a bore-fest. I’m hardly paying attention as lead trainer Gil Romero goes through the three different types of foundation: liquid, cream and powder. Isn’t primer only supposed to go on before foundation? But Romero says this is a surefire way to wthhold the foundation’s coverage without it looking caked on. Plus, you get to reap the long-lasting strength that cream foundation has over powders and liquids. Prior says this also helps the makeup blend seamlessly with the first layer of primer on your skin.

I raise my hand at this time and ask if cream foundation is OK for oily epidermis. That is a selfish question, because I struggle with an greasy T-zone by mid-day. Make-up Designory educator Yvonne Hawker (who also wrote the school’s textbook) says everyone can use cream base, but those with oily pores and skin should use a damp sponge to apply it. Most foundations have oil in its method to give the coverage blend-ability.

Using the sponge will “pick up the pigment, but not the oil in the building blocks.” You’ll still get great coverage with no shine. For dry or combination epidermis types, “use your base brush and buff the building blocks onto your skin, concentrating on the guts of your face, which is normally where your skin has the most staining,” says Hawker. On the third day of makeup school, there’s a color steering wheel on the whiteboard. So when Sandler says “unwanted color,” I immediately tune in because I want to learn how to cover up my zits, the stubborn inflammation around my nasal area and the bluish hue under my eyes.

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She says opposing colors cancel each other out, so green-pigmented concealer addresses inflammation, and orange-y concealer eliminates blue. Once Sandler shows us how she eliminates zits, inflammation across the nasal area and under-eye hand bags on one of the learning students, she then pairs us off and has us practice on each other’s makeup-free faces. Immediately, all of my insecurities start bubbling up.

My bags, my zits, my dark places … is someone going to be inches from them seriously? It’s makeup school, but it starts to feel more like we’re in an organization therapy session. Sandler says practicing on one another is key because you quickly learn how to cope with all sorts of skin shades and facial features, which you shall have to become comfortable with if you want to be a professional.

So here is a not-so-secret confession: My face is rounder when compared to a Cabbage Patch Kid’s and I can’t stand my button nose. So when Prior says today’s lesson is learning how to contour properly so you can enhance that person form and features, I’m so eager to learn I actually volunteer to be her model at the front of the course. When you have a prominent forehead: Shade around the outer advantage of your forehead along your hairline to reduce the area with bronzer. When you have a flat or wide nasal area: Shade alongside your bridge beginning with your internal brows. Then highlight down the guts of your nasal area.