So I can remember quite a few times having my makeup done at one of the cosmetic counters in the mall and very few times where I actually walked away thinking it looked great. I’m sure many ladies can relate. What I quickly learned was my definition of “natural” can be very different than someone else’s. Maybe I’m just very particular, but why do I feel most people at the makeup counter simply can’t match the right color of foundation for me or feel the need to darken and thicken up my eyebrows to the point I can no longer recognize myself??? What I just don’t get is how anyone can properly color match me by painting a small strip of foundation on the back corner of my jar over the old makeup I already have on my face. Seriously, how can you possibly know that color is perfect???
Sorry, I had to vent for a moment, which is terrible of me because I used to work for a cosmetic counter way back in the day. The problem with getting your makeup done at most of these counters is that very few actually get any professional training.
It’s also possible I may just be super picky, but there is one person that I trust to do my makeup because she’s simply talented and an expert at a makeup application. Her name is Julie Strating, and I’m so very excited that she’s allowing me to share a few of her beauty tips and experiences. Julie has over 10 years of professional experience with makeup for print, television and film, events, theatrical performances, and more!
If you love makeup and beauty products as much as I do, check out her tips below!
What cosmetic lines do you prefer to work with and why?
Too many to list them all! I have used countless lines through the years, but I’ve never found a one-size-fits-all brand. I certainly have my favorites but like most industries, cosmetics are ever changing, so I’m continually learning and trying new products.
A few that come to mind however, if I must make a list:
–Le Maquillage Pro for their absolutely amazing and versatile fard cream palettes. You can do anything your little heart desires with these genius palettes, from creating custom foundations, tinting an existing foundation, contouring, cheeks, and the list goes on.
–Senna for their amazing brow powders. Despite some awesome pencils out there, I have always preferred to do brows with powder.
–Eve Pearl for their SALMON CONCEALER!!! This is one of those game-changing products in the makeup world. I quite literally use this on anyone I work with, male or female. It is the perfect “happy eyes” concealer and blends in effortlessly.
–NARS for a lot of things but mostly their Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. I’m obsessed with the color saturation in these, the creaminess and the range of colors. They’re…divine. You touch one and then think “I need to collect them all.”
–Make Up For Ever for their HD Foundation because it works on everyone.
What are the top 2 foundations you typically recommend to clients and why?
Make Up For Ever HD foundation and Face Atelier Ultra foundation. Both provide buildable coverage, a fantastic range of shades and are silicone base. I usually prefer to work with silicone because it photographs beautifully and gives a very natural appearance. I recommend these to my clients because the application is effortless and fool proof.
Contouring is all the rage.. will you share some helpful tips for contouring?
Don’t overdo it. This is one of those things that can look great on a set with hot lights or from one angle in a photograph but if you saw it live, you’d probably think the person had dirt on their face. When done correctly, contouring is actually more of a muddy gray shade than brown. (READ: DO NOT CONTOUR WITH BRONZER.) If you’re still convinced you need contouring, look at a photograph (black and white works best) of yourself and notice the actual shadows on your face. These shadows can been seen in the temple area, below the cheekbones, below the chin or jawline, and from the hollow of the eye sockets down the sides of the nose. Use these hollow spots as your guide for placement of the contouring product. You can quite literally run your hands over your face (go ahead, do it right now) and feel where the structure of your face sinks in. Contouring hollows (ie: sculpts) those areas.
If you’re scared to contour, then highlighting may be for you. Think the reverse of contouring. Find the high points of the face: down the center of the nose, the area above and under the brow bone, tops of cheeks, cupids bow above the lip and the center of the chin. Sweep on a highlight powder, cream, gel, etc. on these high points and voila! This is a much more user-friendly technique! Just don’t use glitter 😉
PSA- You don’t need to highlight AND contour…you can choose just one because when you contour, you’ll have an automatic highlight and vice versa.
How do you keep you makeup looking fresh all day?
Don’t overdo it…again! The less you have on, the less likely it is to slip and move through the day. If I’m working on an application that needs to stay put for 8+ hours, I’ll apply appropriate skincare, prime the skin, apply the makeup (preferring to work with silicone bases, because they just don’t move) and set it all with a finishing spray. Urban Decay’s All Nighter is a great finishing spray. Through the day, simply patting under the eye to keep the under eye makeup from settling will help. Before you reach for the powder, take a tissue and gently blot the face. Removing the excess oils before applying more product will extend your wear time and require less touch ups later on.
If you only have 5-10 minutes to do your makeup in the morning, what can you do that would make the most difference?
Spot treat the under eyes as well as any blemishes/skin imperfections with a concealer stick that matches you skin tone. Apply a touch of mascara, bottom lashes optional. Sweep or blend blush on the apples of the cheeks. Dab your lips with a little color, whether a tinted balm or your favorite red lipstick. A little color does wonders for a face!
Your tips for a smooth, even tone, flawless face?
In the words of Coco Chanel “your makeup will only look as good as the skin underneath.” Great skincare and habits are my best tip for a smooth, evenly toned, flawless face. Makeup should really be supplemental to skin, so make that a priority. I recommend incorporating oils into your skincare, whether your products are infused with oils or you use them straight. A lot of people still believe that cleansing and moisturizing with oils will break the skin out and clog the pores, but it’s simply not true. Nourish your skin and it will thank you by way of a radiant, clear complexion.
What is the most memorable job you’ve done?
This is another difficult one because there have been so many, from spending many Saturday mornings with my hundreds of brides through the years, to working with amazing crews on commercials, films, documentaries or magazine shoots. So how about two…
One is when we shot Jeff Daniels for the cover of Guitar Afficionado. We went to his house for the shoot and while the journalist was doing the interview, the rest of the crew was invited next door to his sons’ house to hang out for a bit where they serenaded us with music on their guitars and we all chit chatted for a couple hours. It was just great FUN J
Another shoot that really spoke to me on a personal level and I’ll never forget was a documentary that we shot in Colorado. It told the story of a brother and sister who were skiing/camping in the mountains and they were in an avalanche. Tragically, she passed away but the legacy and the story left behind was moving and inspiring. The family was absolutely amazing to work with as we recreated the events. On the technical side, it was a really intense and challenging shoot. One example was snowshoeing up the mountain to the shoot location, creating special fx given the obvious limitations of the environment. I also had only what I could carry in my backpack with me, including my own concoction of fake blood.
There have been many jobs through the years and I remember all of them. Every job is different from the people, the style of makeup, the location and more but that’s what keeps it interesting!