In 2007, actress Jessica Biel became one half of an A-list celebrity couple when she married actor Justin Timberlake. You’d be forgiven for thinking this meant they would remain together forever because they have been inseparable since their wedding day. Or at least until he started dating Britney Spears’ ex-fiancé.
As if all these events weren’t enough drama for one pair, Biel also found herself being compared unfavorably to her husband by several critics who accused him of “stealing” her thunder. He hasn’t stolen anything from her or anyone else, but it seems people are just jealous of success no matter how hard we work. That said, there was never really any doubt about which star would end up top dog in Hollywood. She simply needed someone to help get them there. And now she has that guidepost in the shape of Michelle Lee of Allure magazine.
Lee has worked closely with numerous celebrities over the years including Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, Ashley Olsen, Rachel McAdams, Eva Longoria Parker and Charlize Theron. Her job involves making sure everyone looks beautiful without having to worry about putting on makeup themselves. Which sounds like quite an impossible task. Luckily, Lee generously agreed to share some of her secrets with us. So here’s what she did — and you can do too. Please note, however, that the following article contains strong language and adult themes. If you’re offended easily please don’t read further.
The trick to achieving the dewy finish that Biel always manages to pull off while looking fresh faced is actually rather simple. After applying concealer (or BB cream), follow up with a layer of translucent powder. This will ensure nothing shows through underneath. Then apply Foundation either directly onto the face or using a sponge to blend outwards toward the edges. Next comes the fun part where you start layering different shades of browns, pinks, reds and oranges to create subtle skin contours and highlights. To make blending easier, use a brush instead of your fingers, and try patting the foundation down gently before brushing away excess product. Once blended well, add more layers of color until you’ve reached the desired effect.
This next step might seem like a lot of fussing around, but once applied it really does transform your face into something resembling Angelina Jolie’s character Lara Croft. In fact, it could even fool Biel herself sometimes. It’s called Powder Blusher and is basically a combination of loose powder and pressed powder. The former sits on the surface of the cheekbone and blends outwardly, giving the illusion of fuller cheeks. Loose powders tend to give better coverage than pressed ones, though both perform equally well. Some brands worth trying include Hourglass, Smashbox Photo Finish Compact Blur Brush Set and Tarte Amazonian Glow Duo.
Once properly set, it’s time to move on to your lips. There are two popular ways to apply lip balm depending upon whether you want to go full Marilyn Monroe/Audrey Hepburn style or Kylie Minogue/Britney Spears circa 2003. For those wanting a bolder approach, opt for a thick line of opaque pigment across the center of your lower lip. Alternatively, choose a lighter shade of glossiness for a softer appearance. Either way, remember Lip Liner isn’t for long lasting effects. Use it sparingly, only covering bare spots, then reapplying every hour or so to keep shine levels high. Finally, take care not to eat right before bedtime otherwise you’ll wake up wishing you hadn’t eaten such large quantities of pizza and chips.
After all that effort, you deserve a treat. Sadly, most cosmetics contain carcinogens and other nasty stuff so stick to wine and cheese instead. Also avoid alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, sugar, salt, processed foods, fried food, dairy products, refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, meat, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, seeds, chocolate, coffee, tea, energy drinks and sodas. Oh, and raw onions. They should stay far away from you.
If you haven’t got much experience playing with blushers then rest assured you can still look pretty good. Just pick the wrong shade and you’re left feeling washed out. Fortunately, there are hundreds of colors available to suit almost every skin tone, so choosing the best option shouldn’t cause you too many problems.
For fair complexions Blusher #1 helps enhance natural coloring, adding depth and highlight areas. Apply lightly with the tip of your finger starting at the outer corners of the eyes and working inward along the brow bone towards the temples. Blend upward slightly past the crease and repeat another three times creating a slight gradient effect.
To compliment darker skin tones, Blusher #2 adds warmth and intensity to the overall complexion. Start at the outside corner of each eye continuing upwards along the temple and stopping midway between the ear and hairline. Run the brush vertically downwards diagonally passing through the middle of the forehead and back up again. Repeat horizontally four times ending halfway between the eyebrows and ears.
Both shades should be added gradually increasing opacity with each pass. Remember to moisturize after application to prevent flaking.
It doesn’t matter how perfect your lashes look, they won’t stand a chance against smudged mascara. Whether its waterproof mascaras or regular old water soluble formulas, they’re designed to coat lashes evenly without clumping meaning you may need to change brushes mid-way through. Try switching to a smaller round brush for better control.
Before setting, let wet lashes dry completely, then apply two thin coats of Black Smudge + Cleanse Mascaras separated by five minutes. Wait 10 seconds and apply second coat. Let dry for ten minutes, then buff with tissue paper soaked in rubbing alcohol.
When finished, curl ends under fingertips to remove unwanted hairs.
Lipstick & Blush
There are few things more disappointing than seeing a great lip or cheek color wasted due to poor application technique. Lips require extra attention to detail because they’re often difficult to see clearly especially in low light. Instead of attempting to paint individual lips individually, opt for a single swipe of color across the whole area followed by gentle blotting. Using small circular motions, drag lip liner slowly downward along bottom edge of upper lip. Hold firmly in place for 20 seconds before releasing. Do same thing on opposite side of mouth running liner down inside the curve of the lower lip. Follow these steps twice to form a semi-circle. Take a clean cotton swab dipped in Vaseline and run along sides of lips forming a narrow triangle. Gently press against flesh near the nose, then release. Repeat above process except replace Vaseline with hand sanitizer gel. Slowly run pencil alongside entire length of lower lip. Release excess pressure and wipe with soft tissue. Complete same procedure for upper lip. Rinse under tap for 30 seconds.
Apply blush with tiny dots moving outward from centre of cheekbones. Starting at outermost point, pinch circle tightly in hands and sweep upward toward hairline. Repeat below chin and continue sweeping toward ear lobes. With fingertip, trace lines demarcating inner and outer portions of cheek. Fill gaps with matching bronzer.
Either dab on lightly or use a damp Q-tip to dot-blot color along the entirety of your cheekbone masking imperfection. Reapply frequently throughout the evening.
Unless you’re fortunate enough to possess naturally dark skin and blue eyes, chances are you’ll need to rely heavily on makeup to bring your eyes forward. Most women aren’t blessed with very dark circles and bags under their eyes so the key is finding the right balance between highlighting and shading.
Using a medium size angled brush, begin filling in white space along underside of upper lid with creamy beige. Continue building gradual gradients working outward until reaching lash line. At the same time, fill in blueish spaces beneath lower lids with pinkish taupe. When blending these colors together, hold brush upright allowing pigments to flow freely. Work horizontally along entire width of upper lid finishing at outer corner. Lower brush diagonally down to meet lower lid completing vertical line. Repeat process along entire length of lower lid using identical techniques but swapping colors.
Begin horizontal eye shaping by dipping brush into darkest shade and lining outer third with navy. Build upward gradually to reach lighter hue at outer corner of inner third. As already mentioned, the goal is to maintain uniformity within each section. While doing this, pay particular attention to transitions between sections as they’re prone to mistakes. Keep a light touch, paying utmost attention to proportions and positioning.