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amy says - part 1 (guest bloggist).

1. I am fair skinned and have really dark under eye circles. The problem is my skin gets very sensitive, especially during the winter and concealers usually irritate me under my eyes. I am only in my early 20's and don't want to use something too intense to cover my circles up. Do you have any suggestions?

This is one of the most common questions I get asked at the counter. If you are fair-skinned with chronic dark circles, the best products to use are soothing eye gel with cream followed by a lightweight concealer, and the best practice is a little ritual involving a cold compress. In the morning, give yourself an extra 15 minutes in which you can lie in an almost upright position (pile pillows) with something cold on your eyes, ideally chilled cucumber slices. I know it sounds old-fashioned but the antioxidants in these treats are just a benefit to the coldness, and the fruit acids in cukes can help to smooth dryness, irritation and milia (little bumps) in this delicate area.

Next apply your eye GEL, which should contain antioxidants as well. The very best I have come across in the industry are Mario Badescu's ceramide eye gel (a bright kiwi-green delight) and Estee Lauder's Eyezone (has a cool vitamin helix in the middle, with preventative grape-seed extract). Eyezone is probably a better bang for your buck although it costs a bit more. You should keep your eye-gel in the fridge to make it most effective. Your eye CREAM however should be kept at room temp, and since you are young and looking to fight darkness (not wrinkles), go for something *lightweight* and mostly for hydration, especially if you have sensitive skin. Stay away from anything fragranced - again I'd recommend Mario Badescu, but if you can handle a dab of fragrance, my all-time fave for your age-range is Shiseido The Skincare Eye Revitalizer. Check it out - shouldn't be discontinued and is lovely. For your purposes, EYE GEL should be applied with ring finger - your weakest finger - in quick, rapid (stimulating!) dabs ONLY in the under-eye area, going back and forth. EYE CREAM, same finger, more in the upper cheekbone area near corners of eyes and the outer upper corners - and not the under-eye area, where too much heavy moisture can add to puffiness. Your final weapon: Yves St Laurent Touche Eclat concealer. Usually I don't like falling prey to "this is the greatest ___ ever!" syndrome, but truly - after working both at Sephora and the high-end counters - this could definitely be considered the ultimate sheer, natural concealer for fair-skinned gals. Twist product into self-contained brush, you control the coverage. Brush it on lightly under eyes and FINGER-DAB to blend. If you wear foundation or powder for coverage, it's great to layer both under or over. If you're fair you're probably either a shade 1 or 2.

Let us know how it goes! A final tip: if you want to spring for the $99 wonderproduct Hylexin, it helped my gorgeous friend Hina with the dark purple circles under her eyes. Hina is Pakistani and was doubtful of the claims on this little yellow box, found at Sephora, but in a month of usage we definitely all saw a difference. Enjoy!

2. Could you explain how to do some great conservative eye make up looks? I am just entering the job market and would like to have a good look to go on interviews. Not too over the top or flashy. Also could you explain a smoky eye and the proper technique for doing one. Thanks.

Conservative eyes looks are all about two things: the right matte shadows, and your lashes! Depending on your coloring, you can usually get away with warm taupes and grays for fair skin, and light tans and
cocoas for darker skin. The first thing you want to do for any job-oriented makeup look is simple: CURL – YOUR – LASHES! This even helps my lashes out – I am Asian and my teeny little lashes invariably point straight due south, but the right curler opens up EVERYONE'S eyes. I wouldn't go near a bare-faced bride without first applying a curler, ideally the Shu Uemura or Trish McEvoy. Don't get sucked into all the current hoopla over gimmicks like the lower-lash curler: curled upper lashes are what you need to look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. If the skin tone on your eyelids is uneven (sallowness, veins), smear a little thick (not too creamy, a bit on the drier side) stick foundation on your finger and pat it over the lid. Iman makes one that is perfect for this, as does Bobbi Brown. Try to get something as close as you can to your natural shade. (If you're a super oily gal, look into lid primers – Urban Decay makes one of the best, comes in a wand.) Next, stick to two shadows – this is all you need for the corporate world – one lighter, one darker. If you can get your hands on Laura Mercier's pony-tail brush, you will find makeup application much quicker and more painless in the a.m. This is perfect for sweeping on your day look. Let's say you're fair: try a matte eggshell from lashes to brow-bone, then a very light taupe for the crease. Warmer complexions can do the same with a light-light tan and a conservative cocoa. Both can tap a bit of VERY pale matte gray into the outer third of the eyelid for a little depth. If you, like me, feel naked without liner, just work a smooth one into the lashline just for definition. Stick to brown, navy, gray, eggplant or, if you have black hair, BLACK! (You can't imagine how many artists have tried to get me to wear brown liner. Listen girls, the hair that comes out of my head and eyebrows is black. Why would I have a walnut-brown lashline? Make sure the look you sport for interviews makes you feel your very best.) Finally, sweep on mascara – something separating and volumizing is best, as opposed to dramatic allover maximizing products like Christian Dior's Diorshow. I like Lauder's new Projectionist mascara – very weightless but gives oomph. My oldest friend, Lisa, and I have been seeking the right eye look for her since we were eight, and the light-gray/taupe/mascaraed eye with a very soft rose blush saw her through her med school interviews.

As for a smoky eye, it's generally defined as one that emphasizes color and shading (especially in the crease) and exaggerates the shape of your eyes, resulting in a smoldering gaze that doesn't fade until you take it off. You can play around with the colors you use, but the following is a fail-safe technique in a natural palette that looks great at parties and won't make you look clowny. If you're going from the day job to cocktails, here's an easy formula: build on the eggshell or tan with a pale, shimmery gold, like LORAC Serenity – one of my all-time favorite colors that I use every day. Darken the crease color (a great pick: Estee Lauder's Mocha Cup) with that ponytail brush. Then work the darkest shadow you can do (I do black; you can also do espresso, plum, navy, charcoal, violet…) into that outer third, where you originally put the darker of your two day colors. You'll notice as you experiment that the higher you go towards the brow bone) and the more you add dark color to your crease, the more dramatic the eye. My friend Pavo holds a business card at a 60 degree angle against the sides of girls' eyes when he adds color to the outer crease for a perfect outline – a bit advanced, very effective. For girls like me with no crease, keep the dark color concentrated on that outer corner or you'll look raccoony, an unfortunate and consistent mistake of my later high school career. Then thicken up the lashes, DARKEN THAT LINER and even bring it up a tiny bit at the corners for instant Hepburn cat-eye! Don't be afraid to line underneath your eyes, unless they are very deep-set. To avoid looking death metal, unless that's your aim, keep the lower-lid liner thinner than the upper. But don't start in the very inside corners unless drama is on the menu. And for the final touch, one of the loves of my cosmetic life: Urban Decay eyeshadow in Baked. A touch of this crème-de-la-crème color, a flawless bronze, a true gold, can be placed in the dead center of your eyelid, just above the liner. Blend, bat your eyes and look like the lead Pussycat Doll in the Buttons video. Top with a slinky black shirt, bronzer, and a moist, pale lip. Grrrr.


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Stolen Beauty said...

I have dark under eye circles and haven't taken the plunge and tried the YSL touch eclat...I think I just might!

makeup loves me said...

i haven't tried it either! if you do end up trying it out let me know what you think ;)

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