Face masks have become the new unexpected fashion accessory. As they look as they are going to stick around for a good while, here are some professional makeup artist’s thoughts on mask makeup and tips and tricks on how to adapt your makeup routine.
Tip no. 1: Make your eyes stand out
With your lower half of the face covered, the obvious thing to do is to emphasize the upper half.
As a first step I almost always curl the eyelashes to open up the eyes. Every time I do this with a client I’m delighted to see their reaction when I show them what their eyelashes can look like. It’s almost magic!
For maximum impact catch your lashes the closest possible to your eyelids. In fact, when you feel the metal of the eyelash curlers upper part flat against your eyelid you found the right position. To give your lashes some extra bounce, warm your curlers with your blow dryer. Be careful though not to overheat them and hurt your eyelids!
Among my favorite eyelash curlers are the ones from Surratt and Kiko.*
Tip no. 2: Mascara is your best mask makeup friend
If there’s just one makeup product I may be allowed to use, I’d choose mascara. For me it’s the single most effective item. To create volume, thicken the lashes at their bases by applying rather more product with a wiggling movement. The ends however should be kept light if you want a natural look. I always finish mascara application by combing the lashes with a clean spoolie brush to separate them and remove clumps. One of my favorite mascaras is Lancôme’s Hypnôse.
If you’re interested in knowing more about mascara, which one’s are best and how to apply them for top results, please have a look at this article.
Tip no. 3: Let your eyes speak
Your facial expressions being greatly reduced, make your eyes speak! For some extra oumpff, without looking too made up, try this makeup artist trick: With a fine or pointed brush (like this eyeliner brush from Bobbi Brown) pick up some of your mascara fluid and draw some tiny dots just above your lashes. No worries about them being slightly irregular. This technique intensifies your eyes beautifully without actually being too visible as makeup. As a bonus, it’s extremely long lasting.
Tip no. 4: Emphasize your brows
If your preferred makeup style is very natural, a bit of mascara and some eyebrow grooming might be just enough. Brush up your brows to make your eyes more expressive. Transparent brow gels like Benefit’s 24h brow setter will keep the hairs in place.
If you want to correct the shape or fill in gaps, pick a color which isn’t too dark. Don’t think the actual color of your brow hairs but rather the in-between of the hairs and the skin underneath. The lighter color will blend in better and make your corrections close to imperceptable.
Fill in only where needed, in short strokes, following the direction of the hair growth.
Tip no. 5: Try some eyeliner
This might be the moment to try something new to make your eyes stand out, like eyeliner. Newbies can start tracing just a fine line along the lashes, using a felt tip style eyeliner, like the Eyecatching Liner from Bourjois.
Once you have a bit more practice, add a wing. A technique which works really well is to first draw the triangle at the outer corner and then connect it to your lash line.
For a very sophisticated look, I love to use a color like dark brown, blue or purple instead of black. The rich gel texture of MAC’s Pro Longwear Fluidline will give a beautifully intense result.
Tip no. 6: Steer clear of foundation
Any regular foundation will rub off on your mask, that’s for certain. To avoid looking blotchy better not wear any all over foundation at all, and instead just touch up imperfections and brighten up your undereye area with a concealer.
A makeup artists’ favorite corrector is Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage. It’s extremely covering and at the same time almost invisible due to its fine texture. The dense formulation makes it also very long lasting. You don’t want to think about retouching every half hour.
For the sensitive undereye area a fluid or creamy, hydrating formula works best, like for example Tarte Concealer. Make sure to use very small quantities, as all surplus will build up in the small wrinkles. For this reason I prefer using a pointed brush rather than the application wand.
As an alternative to foundation try applying a mattifying base or primer, like MAC’s Mineralize Timecheck Lotion. As implied by the name, these clear colourless products blur and smoothen pores and lines for a smooth and velvety complexion.
Tip no. 7: If you feel you MUST wear foundation…
You might suffer from rosacea or another skin condition you feel you must hide. In this case powder your foundation lightly with a colorless powder (like Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder) and then fix it with setting spray. The one I like best and find very effective is Kryolan’s Ultra Setting Vaporizer. (Kryolan is a German brand specializing in theatre and cinema makeup and their products are conceived to persist under the most challenging conditions.) This is as close as you can get to rub proof.
Make sure that your foundation matches your skin tone perfectly. In case the foundation comes off a bit here and there the damage won’t be as visible… (The best method I found to identify the perfect tint is described in this article here.)
Tip no. 8: You don’t have to sacrifice lip color!
Lipstick lovers admittedly are going these days through a bit of a dry patch. But while creamy and glossy textures definitely aren’t compatible with wearing masks, there are lip tints which will stay perfectly put, mask or not. One of my favorites is Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Lip Stain in Dusty Rose, a rosy nude hue, which will nicely intensify your natural lip color.
The fluid formulations dry after application and won’t budge for hours. They are very intense, one single swipe most often is enough. As you need to get the shape right on the first application attempt, rather than the wand I’d use a lip brush (like this one from Make Up For Ever) which allows for more precision.
By the way, these lip colors are also waterproof and kiss-resistant. Once you’ve removed your mask, obviously.
*I do not earn any sort of commission through my links to product pages, which are only meant for my readers’ convenience.
My recommendations are entirely unbiased and based on my personal experience.
By Louise Wittlich