As much as we love dressing up, us girls also love playing with makeup. It’s one of those things that boys will never understand. 🙂 The previous weekend, I had a fun makeup lesson at the Bobbi Brown outlet in Pavilion. One of the biggest and nicer outlets, the whole store just screams ‘fun times’.
I met my makeup guru, Grace Tan, who came highly recommended. One glance at her, you just know that she knows her stuff. One of the biggest (and best) impression I got were from her amazing eyebrows. They were bold and thick (unlike the many girls who like em’ razor thin and… pathetic), Grace just pulled them brows off gracefully (pun intended).
*I think 3 brackets in a paragraph is probably my highest score yet for multiple use of brackets. That one pun, is a bonus.
The lesson began with Grace cleaning off my existing makeup, which is my daily staple of dark brown eyeliner and brow-liner. I’m a very boring person when it comes to makeup. Browns are my best friend, with zero skin foundation. My skin is then prepped with Bobbi Brown’s Hydrating Face Tonic, Hydrating Eye Cream and Hydrating Gel Cream.
Grace says,”A well-moisturized face is important to get a good canvas for makeup.”
Grace decided to show me the magic of a good skin foundation, and concealer can do. Working on only one half of my face, she worked the Bobbi Brown concealer (peach and beige hues) into my skin. Using an array of brushes (and her fingers), she then blends and smoothens the foundation stick (in beige) all over my face into porcelain perfection. Gone are my freckles and that uneven skin tone, and best yet – my averagely-dark eyebags are gone with a swipe of concealer.
Lesson #1: Concealer, it really works. Use them.
Once my skin has been perfected, she started work on my eyes. Today I will be going out of my comfort zone (no browns) with the new Surf & Sand palette. Grace told me she will be using the shimmery aqua green on me, to create a fun summer look. Now, the thing with shimmery colors, they never last on my eyes. I told Grace about how I stay away from shimmers because they either lose themselves into my eyes, or decorate my lashes like a bone-bare Christmas tree. She bestowed one of the most valuable lessons about shimmers to me that day.
Lesson #2: Apply shimmery eyeshadows vertically (with a proper brush) in a pressing motion, and do not swipe them horizontally.
This works because instead of just swiping the colors on (the way we amateurs usually do it) left and right, you are supposed to press it onto your eyelids in a vertical motion – because it pushes the shimmers into your eyelid crease where it will stay, as opposed to just brushing it over. Yes, a small lesson to learn, but a big difference in getting the most out of your product (and your buck).
After that, she applied a dark aqua eyeliner to my under-lids, Pacific. This is to help the green shimmer stand out more on my Asian eyes, where the double lid is almost nonexistent. So Asians have to make up for that by drawing on the under-lids, very close to your lashes. I’m not gonna lie, it’s very, very itchy. I had to keep my face from grimacing with discomfort and itchiness (dying to scratch my eyelids) as Grace drew the eyeliner on. I started tearing just as she was finishing off. It takes some a lot of practice and a certain amount of tolerance (like Herculean effort-sort-of-tolerance) to perfect this sort of thing, according to Grace. I for one, don’t think I can do it. Will stick to my plebeian style of eyeliner art.
One last touch for the eyes is a swish of mascara. I learnt another thing here – eyelash curlers are redundant and not a necessity. Grace told me that if you zigzag your mascara from the roots, and then pull it upwards, you will have naturally curled lashes. Of course, I tried it myself and voila, au naturale curls. They aren’t babydoll perfect, but they curl.
Lesson #3: Zigzag your way with the mascara from the roots of your eyelash and swish upwards – for natural curls, no eyelash curler needed.
The eyebrows, she filled them up with a Mahogany hue, need as much precision in brush handling (perhaps even more) than the eyes. But it is a basic thing all girls should know: Fill in the gaps, draw a starting point from the inner brow (straight/curved, up to you) and sharpen the lines to taper out towards the outer end of the brow.
Now for the enhancements. I love this part because it involves using a big, soft brush and brushing powder all over my face. She brought out the ‘rainbow powder’ or what’s known as the Brightening Finishing Powder in Porcelain Pearl. You are supposed to mix and blend all the pastel colors together – to create a wondrous ‘highlight’ for your cheeks and forehead. It creates this subtle highlight that makes you sort of.. glow.
But that’s not my favorite part, it’s the bronzer powder that I love. The Brightening Finishing Powder in Bronze Glow, is a rich combo of brown hues, she taught me to swill the brush in a reverse ‘E’ shape on my face and the difference? A lovely, healthy glow and a more defined face contour. No wonder the bronzer is Kim Kardashian’s favorite tool!
Lesson #4: Use the bronzer and brush it in a reverse ‘E’ shape on the face (top rung starts from the forehead, second rung on the cheek bone and third rung along the jawline to chin) for a healthy glow.
Eyes, check. Skin, check. Now for the lips. Apply lip balm first, as a rule of thumb before applying any lipstick, so you’ll get a smoother finish. Grace gave me two shades to try, one is a natural match to my lips, the Sandwash Peach. The other, a party color in Coral. I personally don’t like bright colors on me, and I was quite mortified by the brightness of the coral. But no matter, I gave it a go anyways. The coral turned out quite nice, surprisingly, but I would still stick to natural shades.
It made me realize that having a pro choose your lip color for you, makes a pleasant difference in the expected outcome. However, it doesn’t mean it will change your preferences. The fun was in trying out new things. I wore the coral lip like a boss and walked around Pavilion for a good hour, before ruining it by drinking a Boost Juice, and hence giving me a reason to take it all off, lest I look like an orange-gummy gobbler.
After that’s done (remember, that’s only half my face) Grace told me I could do the other half of my face on my own. *gulp*
Took a short breather to admire the store a bit before going on.
Here I go…
The foundation part was easy enough, as Bobbi Brown has a very handy foundation stick. Just smear and blend with a brush, finishing off with powder – easy peasy. The eye part, was a little tricky. I got the eyeshadow part down pat, but the eyeliner – Grace had to do it for me again. Can’t have the eyeliner on one side that’s thicker that the other, right?
I enjoyed highlighting and contouring with the bronzer, but need to improve my brush skills. Notably, holding a paintbrush and a face brush are two different things. The wrist needs to learn how to bend in other directions. Practice, practice, practice.
Lesson #5: If I can hold a paintbrush with expert ease, I can learn to hold a face brush too.
The lip part was pretty simple too, since I only have half a lip to fill. And voila, my look is complete! It was loads of fun learning from such a patient person like Grace. Goodness knows how many times she adjusted my brush hand and taught me a bit on brush pressure.
And at the end of it all, I not only look refreshingly great, I learnt a whole new load of things too! Grace had so very kindly listed down the products she used during the lesson, so that I can refer to it easily if I ever need to get something I like. This is the perfect close to a wonderful experience with the lovely people at Bobbi Brown.
If you’re looking to learn something new, head on over to any Bobbi Brown outlet where the lessons are offered. Bring along your Bobbi Brown products and they can teach you how to use them too!