Anyone who thinks that makeup application is not a high art form has never flipped through the books by makeup artist Rae Morris.
Rae, pictured above, is a four-time winner of the prestigious Australian Makeup Artist of the Year Award and author of four books packed with photographs for the budding artist or the seasoned pro. I’m working my way through all of her books right now so I can share some of her trade secrets with you.
My first conquest? Beautiful Eyes: The Ultimate Eye Makeup Guide. In a word, brilliant. This little reference is ten bucks on Amazon and boy is it packed with useful tips.
Rae shares her years of professional wisdom in chapters on specific concerns such as brows.
“When I’m shooting beauty for high-end fashion magazines, I always cast models based upon their brows. There’s no point in doing glamorous or sexy eye makeup if you have eyebrows that look like caterpillars, slugs or tadpoles,” she said.
“Bad brows can make you look sad, tired, puffy, or unattractive…they can widen your nose and make you look hard or haggard,” she continued. “Most women think that thin, highly-arched brows lift the eye and make you look younger. However, they do the complete opposite.”
For more information on the topic, read this informative article here on BSSTW all about achieving perfect brows.
In addition to eyebrows, Rae discusses false eyelashes and their effect on your eyes, plus she gives information on proper fit when utilizing lashes. Rae uses some sort of false lash in nearly all her work. “You can completely alter your eye makeup with just a lash,” she said.
A critical part of the book is the eye color charts with valuable advice by personal stylist and color expert Bronwyn Fraser. Bronwyn has more than 20 years experience in the beauty and fashion industries, and Rae utilizes Bronwyn’s keen eye for color in the chapter on Eye Color Charts. It’s a must-read for developing your signature look and will save you money on bad eyeshadow colors in the long run.
In addition, Rae delivers advice on prepping the eyelids. It’s an absolute waste to put makeup on an oily lid that will betray your craftsmanship with creases by mid-day, if not sooner.
Most women do not realize that the eyelids are one of the oiliest parts of the face. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and wipe your eyelids. You will find the same kind of oil you would find in your T-zone.
“Oil is the number one killer of eyeshadow,” Rae said. Prepping the eyelid by cleaning with unscented alcohol-free baby wipes is her insider trick.
You want to make sure that you prep your eyes like you would a painter’s canvas before you apply your eyeshadow. Rae uses foundation that is lightly powdered to a matte finish. Why?
“Because your eyelids, if you look closely at them, have blue and red tones or tinges,” Rae said. “When you apply foundation, you knock out all the blue-red tones, giving you a great neutral canvas so your eyeshadows will be true to their color.”
For this particular job I prefer MAC Paint Pots over foundation. Even oil-free foundations tend to create an oily lid. MAC Paint Pots, however, are a brilliant creation for your eyes that will really last and look fresh the whole day through. All my makeup artist friends are hooked on them. If you’re not familiar with MAC Paint Pots, allow me to introduce you.
Paint Pots are awesome little pots of cream-to-powder pigment. They come in nine colors and last all day without creasing. You can wear them alone, or apply eyeshadow on top like I do. The eyeshadow will really stick to the Paint Pot, but you must press the eyeshadow on and “pack it” on the lid with a brush for a truly pigmented effect. Any MAC artist can help you learn this technique if you are not familiar with it.
When using Paint Pots, you will want to very, very, very lightly moisturize the brow bone with just a touch of eye cream or moisturizer after you wash your face but before you apply your Paint Pot.
This goes against all the rules I have mentioned, but Paint Pots are different than ordinary eyeshadow. Let the cream sink in so that your Paint Pot will glide on and look super smooth. You don’t want it to ‘catch’ on dry or flaky skin.
If you have pink undertones in your skin like I do, you will probably want to choose the color Painterly; for golden undertones, select Soft Ochre. Apply with a synthetic brush, just like a painter, and the pigment will dry to a matte finish, neutralizing blue-red tones and concealing any imperfections on the lid. In addition, your eye color will not crease. If it does crease, you are using too much moisturizer on the lid.
Next you can start painting your eyelids like you normally would. This is when Rae’s book gets really fun. I love the way she walks us step-by-step through application for all kinds of looks–from one of my favorites, “Rock Chick Eyes,” above to the Smokey Eye and the fabulous, colorful Jeweled Eye.