By Amy Koehler
These days, influencers on social media are drawing attention to products that most people would never even try.
They also demonstrate makeup techniques that most people would not dare try without their videos to explain. But the difference between them and a full-time artist is that the artist is typically doing makeup on clients for everyday use. The influencers’ style is to create a totally flawless look that only looks good under studio lighting. If you saw them walking around in regular daylight, you might change your mind about how good it actually looks. Here are several makeup techniques that influencers do that a full-time makeup artist would never do.
Baking originated from drag makeup, which was made to ensure the makeup stayed in place under hot stage lights and intense stage routines. When that type of makeup is applied to the average person’s face (over 13) it ends up looking very heavy, dry, and it tends to crack with time. A true makeup artist would use just enough powder to set the makeup, lightly dusting it on the face with a powder brush as opposed to a sponge or beauty blender.
Influencers tend to use things like shape tape, creating triangles all over the face, and then blending them out with beauty blenders. The technique was also used in drag or stage makeup to make a person look like another gender. The makeup artist, on the other hand, would use a lighter concealer based on the needs of the model’s or client’s skin to spot treat and cover just what is needed to create a fresh, more natural effect.
I see a ton of influencers using way too much foundation. This look is OK on young clients, but as you get to your mid- to late-20s, it ages a person. Instead of Instagram-worthy coverage, opt for something that covers just enough to hide your flaws in a formula that’s made for your skin type. It should be barely visible to the eye so that your skin looks healthy. Add concealer only where you need it.
We have all see, the video where the face oil is being applied by the dropper full on four or five areas of the face. Typically, this is only being done because of the dryness that is created by the overuse of powder. Most people who use a good skincare routine may only need one or two drops per day – at most. Or you may need to adjust your skin routine.
One thing that is very overused on Instagram and YouTube is highlighter. It looks absolutely stunning under the bright lights and on a young 20-something. But in real life, makeup artists are not piling on the highlighter. And it is especially not used on the tip of the nose or as a blush near the center of the face. In person, highlights look the best when lightly applied to the high points and outer edges of the face to create a subtle brightness. For days when you want to crank it up a notch, you can use a small amount of cream highlighter first, and then layer a powder highlighter over it to create a 3D glow.
Brows can definitely do wonders for the face. Adding depth and definition will give a lift that can take years off. But when it’s heavily applied and overly defined as the influencers typically do, it makes a person look more like a Disney villain than a princess. The true artist would use a powder-based pencil to draw in hairs though the brow, and if you have blonde or gray brows, use a gel to add color to the hairs.
Influencers love to create a lip that rivals Kylie Jenner, but it rarely looks good in person. If you want to create a smoother, plumper pout like the pros, use a clear lip pencil to build the outer rim so you don’t see the natural ridge. Then apply color in a coordinating pencil shade to define the lips, laying the pencil on its side to shade in the outer edges, and apply the lip color over the top.
With Instagram and YouTube pushing the idea of beauty on us that is truly unattainable, we are starting to lose our individuality and uniqueness. But what the full-time artist is trained to do is to naturally enhance the beauty that makes you uniquely you.
Koehler, a St. Louis and national makeup artist, works with many celebrity clientelle, including models, actresses and athletes, supermodel Devon Windsor and “Glee” star Erinn Westbrook.