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Finding the balance: makeup with fashion

Written By: Brigitte on January 11, 2011 2 Comments

Change Reaction – a feature in Allure this month – gave me the opportunity to explore how makeup can complement different fashion looks on a single model. This may be my favorite type of beauty story because I confess, I’m a real sucker for a good makeover. I see it as: one woman, endless possibilities.

With her porcelain skin and perfect features, actress Deborah Ann Woll, could have been the perfect model for a Dutch master like Vermeer. But the day of the shoot, she was my canvas, and she agreed to play different personae.

This first picture is what I call a “bare” or “no-makeup” look, for women who don’t want to appear made up but welcome a touch of eraser here, a dab of emphasizer there, to help them look their best. Think of this look as makeup magic giving maximum radiance with minimal change. The idea is to camouflage what needs to be hidden and bring out what is already there. With a light hand, make sure the lips are smooth, the darkness under the eyes is brightened and the cheeks have a hint of rosiness.

TIP: to master this look, work in natural daylight which will help you see all the subtle nuances in your coloring. Choose shades that are very close to your skin tone.



In the picture below, Deborah has a “fresh and natural” makeup look. It’s a very discreet approach that is meant to beautify without changing the features. It imitates and enhances what nature gave you: the skin looks flawless and glowing, the eyebrows are brushed and filled in, the lashes are curled, the eyes are framed with just a discreet eye shadow, the cream blush and the lip color are dabbed on. There are no dark shades, no harsh lines, no heaviness. What will determine the strength of the makeup is the richness of the lip color and the effect of the mascara. This is the perfectly soft makeup for women who prefer to look discreet and underdone.

TIP: A great way to look fresh and fabulous while not too made up is to choose tints close to your coloring but play with textures that are light reflecting. Add a little highlight to the top of the cheek bone, make your eyes pop with a touch of shimmer in the inner corners, pick a lip color with a touch of satin finish.



The next look is a fashion version of the “natural” look. Deborah Ann’s light complexion is accentuated and powdered perfectly matte. The palette is all light pastels: lichen on the eyes, baby pink on the cheeks and dusty rose on the lips. The effect is a slightly doll-like effect and works well with the big hair and the deep red dress. This is a makeup for the trend seekers who love to emulate what’s in the high end fashion magazines and runways. It’s in this week, out the next and back again. Although very of the moment, the matte finish looks best on younger skin.

TIP: The chic way to balance a dramatic dress (either by it’s color or it’s elaborate shape) is to strengthen either the hair OR the makeup but not both. If you go for a makeup statement, make sure the hair is away from the face and stays discreet. If you don’t there might be an air of looking not only overdone, but being in a time capsule from the 80’s.



Next is an example of a classic smokey eye makeup. It’s an all time favorite that will never go out of fashion because it’s sexy. Since Deborah Ann is a Venetian blond, a soft brown-based smokiness suits her well. It is done by lining the eye with a deep brown smudged eyeliner pencil, a bronzy eyeshadow, a lot of black mascara for sassy, curly long lashes. A neutral coral/pink lipstick finishes the look off.
This makeup complements the soft leopard print chiffon dress, the soft long curls and the mysterious floppy hat.

TIP: For a real smokey eye, avoid adding highlight colors to the dark shades. It takes away the beautiful “velvet” effect.



“Classic glamour” is how I would describe this look. It has all the timeless attributes of the ultra-feminine type: the shaped eyebrows, the long black lashes and the luscious red lips. To keep the look contemporary, I chose a light golden taupe eye shade as opposed to black. The cheeks are slightly contoured. I was mindful of the nude tone of the dress and wanted drama, not heaviness for the makeup, therefore I put the focus on the lips and kept the eyes subtle. Again, this is a way to balance a dress so minimal it might look drab if there’s no other excitement going on.

TIP: If you are blond and your dress is of a light color, stay light for the eyes. Wear hues of champagne, sable, taupe, gold and skip the dramatic black eye. If you’d rather not wear a red lip shade, opt for a balanced makeup: semi-strong eyes (brown shadow and eyeliner and lots of mascara) and beige, nude or tan lipstick.



On the other hand, what follows is an edgier version of a smokey eye in combination with a strong lip. Instead of the classic brown, black or grey hues to create the smokiness, I applied a plum shade from lash line to the eyebrow and under the eye as well (like a halo), then added a deep pink glitter from lash line to crease. A few individual lashes on the outer corner make the eyes longer and languorous. There’s a deep rose blush on the cheekbone for a subtle sculpting effect, and the lips are a satin cherry red. This makeup, hair and accessory style would work very well with a deep colored dress.

TIP: A monochromatic makeup is a strong and fashionable statement where the eyes, cheeks and lips are closely related color-wise. There are beautiful palettes to choose from: plum, terracotta, rose, burnt orange.



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2 Responses to “Finding the balance: makeup with fashion”

  1. Jon-Marc on: 13 January 2011 at 10:30 am

    Beautiful work! I’m tempted to try out the edgy smokey eye look on myself!

  2. Lynn on: 16 January 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I love this web site. I have bookmarked it on my Android so I can check it easily on a regular basis. Love the makeup and style tips. Thanks! Lynn

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