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Deals & Steals

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Television is getting another dose of reality — and another glimpse into celebrities’ trials and tribulations. But this isn’t another show, it’s high-definition television, which officially becomes the nation’s norm on June 12.

Digital TV aims to bring a clearer picture to viewers than analog, which, according to makeup artists, might be good for viewers but not necessarily for TV personalities. “HD is the too-much-information camera,” says MAC Cosmetics’ director of makeup artistry Gregory Arlt. “You have to treat the makeup like a tight, not-retouched beauty photograph.”

That means approaching makeup differently. Instead of covering up flaws, makeup artists now have to enhance what they’ve got. “You want to mimic real skin, just make it better,” says Los Angeles-based artist Marie DelPrete, who works on CBS’ “Rules of Engagement.”

The stars have to do their part, says Unique London, the makeup artist profiled in BET’s reality segments “Hair & Makeup.”
“We need revised products and makeup application. You have to tell your clients that they have to take care of their skin now. Makeup artists used to be magicians, and we no longer are.”

They still have some tricks, though:
- DelPrete starts off with a light exfolliant — even a washcloth — before she applies anything. It helps remove any dull skin, she says. Next comes an illuminator. “You know how a baby’s skin looks so light? That’s what you want.”

- Use a highlighter anywhere you see a recession: in nasal folds, frown lines, the eye socket. This creates an even canvas for concealer or foundation, DelPrete explains.
- Arlt, who counts Dita Von Teese and Michelle Trachtenberg as clients, says high-def cannot be approached with a heavy hand. While he prefers brushes to apply foundation and concealer, he goes over everything with a sponge before he’s done.
“Blend until it bleeds! Blend is your friend! I say these things every day.”

- Frosted cosmetics, with their light-colored sparkle, accentuate wrinkles, DelPrete says, but too-matte makeup looks dry. She looks for products with a satin finish.

- Comb brow hairs and eyelashes — and this goes for everyone, not just TV stars, Arlt says. “The HD camera will pick up clumps, but so would someone sitting next to you.”

- For color cosmetics, Arlt’s general rule is to err on the side of warm shades like bronze, peach and apricot. Pink, he says, can be too bright, especially if there’s a blue tint.

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