I’ve been trying to understand makeup. In order to get more knowledgeable I have actually had an appointment with a makeup artist to learn how to do my makeup. This is quite an adventure.  I’m not going to bother putting up images or video, you can find enough of those online or on YouTube.

But here are some things I am learning. Start with good skin care, Now I know that that is quite a blanket statement. But the problem is good skin care is different for each individual. You may have combination skin, maybe you have acne, or maybe you have mature skins (like me) and are changing up your skin care to find what works. Whatever spot you are in, you may need to be a detective about what is the best skin care for your needs. And remember, as you age, move, the weather changes what you need for skin care may change.  But work on developing a good skin care routine.

What we did for day to day makeup in order:

  • moisturizer
  • face primer
  • foundation
  • concealer (if needed)
  • eyes (shadow only this time)
  • blush
  • lips

Remember this is for day to day makeup. For this “class” I brought my own makeup and brushes/sponges from home. We went thru what I brought to make sure the colors are good for me.

Make sure your skin is well moisturized. Dry skin is not what you want to begin with. Moisturizer doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to leave your skin feeling moisturized – not greasy. Let it dry a minute (don’t wait 10-15 minutes it will dry too much).

Next put on face primer. Again, it does have to be expensive. You want to put primer where you want to put makeup. Makes sense, but think about that. If you’re just putting makeup/foundation on your cheeks, maybe you put primer on your cheeks only. You don’t have to put primer on your forehead if you’re not putting makeup there. But you might want to put your primer under your eyes, and maybe on your eye lids (I used a separate eye lid primer – your choice). Here we used fingers to apply.

I took liquid and cream foundation (some was BB cream-still foundation).  Here’s something I was told. If you want the sheerest coverage, use a damp sponge (triangle, round, etc. just wet it then wring it out). For more coverage, use your fingers. For the  fullest coverage, use a brush. The other thing to note, you don’t smear your foundation on. You are supposed to tap it. Think about what happens when you put a drop of ketchup on a bun then smash it down. The ketchup spreads.  That’s how you put on foundation. That’s also why you need moist skin to do this on. It will spread more smoothly, better on moist skin than on dry skin. So you are essentially spreading your foundation by patting it into your skin.

You put concealer on somewhat the same as foundation. You put a dot/dab on then smash it onto the area you want it. It will spread it out smoothly. For me I have puffiness under my eyes, but I don’t have dark circles. Mushing the concealer with a damp sponge  just in the area I need it is better than trying to spread it with either fingers or a brush.

For blush we used a powder blush (what I happened to have). You could use a damp sponge, or a brush. Because I have more mature skin, they suggested that I draw an imaginary line from the outer corner of my eye down my cheek. Blush should stay from that imaginary line to the hairline, but should also be on the cheekbone. Not sure where that is? Feel for your cheekbone. If there’s bone, you’re on your cheekbone. That’s where they want my blush. This is the same placement whether its cream, powder, gel, or even if using lipstick instead of regular blush.

As for lipstick, they suggest I line and fill in my lip with lip liner before putting lipstick on top. So you don’t just line your lip with a liner, you also use it to fill in the lip. This can be helpful as it makes your lipstick last longer. You can also change the color of the lipstick depending on the color of the lip liner. Something to consider when you want to make your lipstick a little darker or lighter – change out the lip liner to alter the lipstick color.

How’s that for an interesting lesson? For now I will try to remember and practice these techniques. I will go back in and do another lesson in a couple of weeks. I will also go in to learn how to amp this up for competition.

Happy dancing!


Makeup again

Things I am learning. Skincare matters when wearing makeup. I will keep using exfoliation (use a washcloth or one of the Korean “Italy towel” mitts), use serums if you need them, moisturizer both day and night, and use sunscreen. Using things like eye creams, snail creams or serums, oils, or other options are entirely up to you.

If you go to use a serum or cream, remember to use the right one and use enough. If you use a serum, make sure you have enough to spread it where you want it. You probably need to use less for just your eye area, but again, make sure you use enough. If you go to use a serum, put just a couple of drops on your hands and go to put it on your face and there is not enough to actually put on, you may just need more serum. Just because the instruction say to use one or two drops doesn’t mean that is enough for your face. The same goes for moisturizer.

I think of it as slip. If you use moisturizer and it drags against your skin when you go to spread it, you probably don’t have enough moisturizer. If you put moisturizer on and your skin still feels dry shortly after putting it on (like after a couple of minutes time) it may not be the right moisturizer for you.

As I’ve gotten older, I use a heavier cream. Lotion is rarely moisturizing enough for my skin. A lighter lotion may spread well enough, but after a number of minutes my skin feels just as dry as before I put the lotion on. If your skin is in better condition than mine, my skin tends to be dry, you may not need a heavy cream. But nonetheless you still need to find the appropriate moisturizer, and use enough.

Even if you have the right moisturizer, if you are not using enough as noted by it dragging on your skin, you need to make a change. Its more that just using the right product, its also about using enough product.

The reason using the right product and enough product is so important is if your face is dry when you put on makeup, the makeup won’t go on well. If your skin is too dry to begin with, foundation (even tinted moisturizer) will stick, blush will get patchy, and powder will just make your skin feel drier when you’re done. Its a nasty feeling.

There is makeup made for dry skin, oily skin, sensitive, mature, etc. You have to find the products best suited for  your needs. Sometimes its a lot of trial and error.

Back to makeup

I had the chance to go to a competition but not dance. Not really happy I didn’t dance, but under the circumstances it was best. I had gone on a trip mid September and got ill while I was gone. After three different medication tries and 6 weeks I was on the road to recovery. But that meant that dancing in early December was out of the question. But I had a room (I changed and paid regular price), flights, and other  reservations (it was in Vegas). I decided to go anyway.

I’m so glad I did.

I watched the other dancers and was able to order a couple of dresses. But while I was talking with the dress designer they said the funniest thing, but it got me thinking. I showed them pictures from previous competitions of me in my hair and makeup. They said I should consider wearing makeup more like what I was wearing right then. They didn’t care much for the professionally applied makeup. Except I didn’t have any makeup on. It was just moisturizer and sun screen.

That got me thinking. Maybe what I need to learn to do is a more natural makeup look, but still suitable for competition. So I’ve been working on learning a more natural look. I’ve been keeping pictures of what I would like to learn. Granted it might be helpful to find someone to teach me how to do it, but I can play with it myself.

Things I’m realizing.

  • Don’t use liquid eyeliner if you  have allergies or your eyes water. It gets messy and stings when it gets into the eyes.
  • If the eye shadow is glittery, shimmery, or sparkly beware of how well it stays on. I got flakes all over my face.
  • Good skin care matters. Figure out what you need. As the weather changes into winter my skin is getting drier. That means foundation tends to get sucked up into my skin without a primer. Use primer or something!
  • On older eyelids you may need an eye shadow primer or something to help the shadow stick. I’ve tried cream shadow like MAC paint pot as a base, but eye shadow primer would be good too (I didn’t have any). But again, if it has too much shimmer or shine it just might flake all over. And shimmer base can affect the color on top.
  • Use the camera on your cell phone to take pictures along the way. This way you know what works and what didn’t and have pictures to remind yourself.

Remember – play with your makeup. You can always wash it off. I tend to play late at night, before going to bed. This way when I’m done, I can wash it all off and just go to bed. Nobody else has to see it and I don’t have to worry about being noticed in lousy makeup.

So glad I went to DC

I am so glad I went to the Capital Dance Sport competition. I’m happy with how I did. It was my first time dancing rhythm so I didn’t have high expectations, I know lots of other students have been dancing longer than I have with their instructor. But I’m happy with what I did. I enjoyed myself too. I found the floor a bit sticky (we were the first heats out there), and that was a bit difficult, but we made the best of it. My instructor says he’ll work with me to learn how to get back on track when I get lost. That happened in this competition to me. Just means I need to learn more, that’s all.

As luck would have it I got there early, my instructor and I spent a day playing tourist. Wednesday morning I was able to find an outfit to wear (long story), and it worked well for the competition. I got both hair and makeup done and was very happy with the results. Now I know what it takes to get all those fun things in your hair, and what it takes to get them back out. I actually went to dinner with the hair up, though I was able to get the makeup off before going to dinner.

DH was supposed to go with me, but didn’t. I missed him, but still had fun anyway. Instructor and I went to various places in DC so we made the best of it. But its good to get home.

But home (Austin) is raining from Hurricane Harvey. At least it’s just rain and nothing else. Flooding may happen in some areas but we live up on a slight hill so water drains. Though the street below us may flood, but we’ll wait and see about that.

DC here we come

Well, my how fast things change. I’m still competing, and since my last post in June what fun we’ve had. The dress I got for my previous competition was for smooth and standard. I didn’t do great at the competition, but all things considered, I was fine with that. I am now preparing for another competition, in DC and about 2 weeks away.

My instructor convinced me to do rhythm. I ended up getting another dress made – I didn’t have a dress for rhythm. My instructor wanted something in green. Well, when I got the dress to try on (for fitting) I wasn’t thrilled. I felt like a leprechaun. Not a great feeling. But once I found out what the color are for the stoning, it should be better. The dress is due in a couple of days, along with matching earrings. We’ll see how it looks.

I’ve still been playing with makeup. I realize that its a good idea to know how to use it. As I’ve been playing with it I have learned a lot. Some may be basic information for other people but not for me. For instance, what do you really need to look good for day to day makeup? I’ve found that I don’t need a lot of foundation. To be fair, I try to take care of my skin and have a skin care system (various products) that I adhere to pretty well. I also am a fan of sunscreen. That makes a difference in my skin. But I still have good skin days and not so good skin days. I’ve learned to mix foundation with moisturizer to thin it out a bit. I don’t like the feel on full coverage foundation for day to day. I’ve also learned that blush for me helps. But getting blush to stay (also how much are you supposed to wear?) can be a problem for me. I like cream blush, but it doesn’t last. Powder seems to last better for me. Finding the right color that looks good can also be a problem. The wrong color can look strange (orange is not my best color), dead, too bright (am I running a fever?), or muddy (is that dirt, bronzer, or brownish blush?).

I’ve also have a few epiphanies about eye shadow. I think I have hooded eyes. Not the end of the world. I also have brownish eyes, with light to medium skin color. Its more medium in the summer, and more light in the winter. But I realized I can get away with a cream/light tan base (evens my eyelid color), medium tan in the crease (or skip color there), with a more shimmery or sparkly cream color in the center just above the eye and on the eye brow. Line with black on the top lid and I’m set to go. It is for me a great day to day look. Not much for competition, but great for day to day.

For my next competition coming up in DC, I have already made an appointment for someone to do both hair and makeup. I have no clue what to do with my hair for rhythm. And makeup for me still requires help.

Learning about makeup

Well I’ve been playing with makeup more. Actually I’ve been trying to war it daily. Here are some things I’m really starting to understand. 

  • Treatment, serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, primer then foundation is not always pretty. It can be too much. And they don’t always play well together. 
  • Try your foundation in different lighting. Sometimes it looks good in the house but not so good outside. Or the other way around. 
  • I need blush. I like cream, but it seems to fade quickly on me. Sometimes I need a pop of power blush on top. And sometimes bronzer can be used as blush. 
  • Use an eye lid primer that has a light color. Basically I need something to even out the color on my eyelids. And that’s not including any eye shadow. 
  • I have a lot of lipstick. And some make me look dead. I put one color on, and I looked like my mouth disappeared. You really noticed my eyes, but I looked like I had no mouth. 

I have actually taken selfies after putting on makeup, in the same room, in the same light. Bottom line is it’s helped me see what it looks like, if I do a decent job and I need to work on this more. It’s not that’s it’s so hard to put it on – practice and you’ll learn that. But figuring out good colors, layering properly, and how to not make a mess is the problem. Sometimes we are our own worse enemy and we sabotage ourselves. I’ll never look that young, but looking good is my goal. It should be easier than it is. 

I’ll continue practicing. 

Hair jewelry

I decided to try my hand at making those nifty hair jewelry pieces I’ve seen at shows. They are lovely, but can be pricey. So I decided to follow some instructions I found online to make them ( The first piece I made was a simple geometric design. I used a black power mesh I purchased online (my hair is dark), clear silicone (from Home Depot), Gem Tack (because that’s what I had), and spare rhinestones. I’ll add a picture as soon as I can.

I think it came out okay. I’m going to use that experience to make another one. The things I learned. If you use silicone, use a putty knife (I got a cheap plastic one) to mush/push the silicone into the fabric. I did the process in the garage in order to reduce fumes. I did one coat one day, let it dry overnight, then the next day added another layer and let that dry overnight before stoning. The advantage of mushing the silicone in is since I doubled the fabric over, the silicone could penetrate both layers of fabric. If you don’t mush it in it sits on the top layer. Also I did both the silicone layer and the rhinestone gluing layer on parchment paper. The silicone will just roll off the parchment paper when its dry. It also rolls right off the plastic putty knife. That’s really nice for reducing lumps.

As for inspiration for the designs I’ve been looking at geometric designs and coloring books. Some of the coloring book designs may need to be simplified, but they have nice options for swirls, and I find them good inspiration.

Once everything is dry, it is easy to cut thru the fabric and silicone with a pair of scissors. Just make sure your scissors have a sharp point for getting into corners. And if you do this much, you would probably need a way to sharpen the scissors. I’m thinking the silicone is not the best thing for scissors.