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Deals & Steals

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Most women have experienced the confidence boost that comes with having their makeup applied professionally. Unfortunately, too often it’s just like getting their hair done by a stylist, virtually impossible to replicate once they get home.

By following these step-by-step techniques, you’ll be photo-shoot ready in no time!

Eye Shadow

Makeup Artist Cormier says using a medium tone on the whole main lid and then blending it up into the crease is a standard eye application that works well with everyone. She says it’s important to use a great eye lid primer that will help waterproof the shadow and battle the grease of the lid that can eat through the pigment, wearing it off too quickly. She suggests highlighting the eye just below the eye brow along its full length, with a slight champagne shimmer or golden beige that is satin-like, not frosted. Then, highlight the first 1/3 of the eyelid starting from the area closest to the nose and carrying the colour over to the outside edge of the iris of the eye (the edge of your colour). Blend a great medium tone shadow over the rest of the main lid and carry it just above the crease where you’ll blend it with a Q-tip or clean brush until it fades away. Cormier says there should be no sharp edges where you can see the colour ending. She says taupe shades are great on everyone but when choosing the best colour for you, simply use the colour that compliments your eye the most. She says it’s often the one that’s directly opposite your eye colour on the colour wheel. Here are her specific suggestions for eye shadow based on your eye colour:

  • Blue eyes: peach, oranges
  • Green eyes: burgundy, plums, eggplant
  • Blue/green eyes: choose burgundy to make them look more green, peaches and bronzes to look more blue
  • Brown eyes: all shades suit but cool tones like navy, purple, green are a stunning contrast
  • Brown/green eyes: burgundy brown shadow
  • Yellow/brown: violet will bring out the gold in the eyes
  • Cormier says a great makeup artist trick is to whisk a little bit of powder blush just above the lid shade between your crease and the brow shimmer because it finishes the blending while creating a seamless gradation of colour moving from one shade to the next.

    Cormier says after applying the shadow, line the upper eye with a dark brown (or occasionally black) pencil running from the outside of the eye toward the nose. She suggests tapering off the colour leaving the last 1/3 of the lid free of liner. The line will be thinner toward the nose and gradually get thicker as it moves toward the outside corner; this technique gives the eye a natural “Angelina lift,” she says. Use the edge of the colour of your iris once again as the guideline as to where the pencil should fade out. Then, Cormier says to smudge the same colour as the pencil over top of the creamy liner to smoke the line out and to set the waxy liner, offering some longevity to the application.

    If your eyes aren’t really huge, Cormier says it’s nice to line the lower lash line too so that it defines the size of the eye. Don’t make the common mistake of lining with the same pencil you used above, she says. It should always be a much lighter pencil in the same colour family, preferably a frost. For a brown pencil, she suggests using a bronze and then setting with a light bronze frosted shadow.

    Only bring this pencil a little less than halfway across the eye starting from the outside moving toward the nose, she says. You will notice it stops on the widest part of the open eye, then blend the end of it to fade it so you don’t see where it stops and starts. Then take a bright frosted shadow in light gold or light pink/peach and run it the rest of the way into the tear duct.

    Cormier says that if you find that one shade on the whole main lid isn’t intense enough, take a darker colour in the same colour family and smudge it on the outside 1/3 of the upper lid and down along the lower lash line just 1/4 of the way. It forms a sideways V shape.

    In terms of mascara, Cormier says black is best. She suggests always curling your lashes for the opening effect but to remember that when you curl your lashes, you often expose the fleshy part of the upper lid beneath the lashes. Take your soft brown or black pencil and run it up under the eyelashes to keep the lash line dark.


    Cormier suggests trying not to go too brown for your lipstick as it deadens your face, although she says a brown-based pink is great. If you are a gloss person, start with a little lip balm and then whisk a pencil overtop for some pigment and follow with the gloss. When the gloss wears off, which it usually does in 10 minutes, you’ll still have pigment, she says.

    Blush and Bronzer

    Cormier says she has clients who want the full on “bronze attack.” She says she cautions people on that because it is always going to come off a little brown or orange no matter what you use. Even when we naturally tan in the summer, Cormier says we still have a pop of rosy cheek that shines through the brown tan. If you must bronze, then she suggests whisking it on the upper forehead along the hairline, the strongest part of the cheek bones toward the temples, the nose and the tip of the chin, but always use a pop of bright blush dabbed on the apples of the cheeks.


    Cormier says that although most people shy away from foundation, she’s never met a face that didn’t look better with a little something since nobody has perfect skin. She says we all can benefit from some coverage because there are small imperfections on all faces whether it’s flecks of brown from sun overkill, little broken capillaries and red marks, small blemishes, little scars from chicken pox or blackheads. Cormier says if your foundation has SPF in it, beware of the effects it can have on your photos because SPF has an ingredient that creates an ashy white face when it reacts to a camera’s flash.

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