Tag Archives: Holiday Makeup

Holiday Makeup Tips- Karin Noel and Lizza Monet Morales

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. 🙂 

In today’s last installment on Holiday Makeup, expert makeup artist Karin Noel, will share her thoughts on the topic along with Hollywood reporter, Fashion and Lifestyle Consultant, Lizza Monet Morales.

Here’s is the transcript of responses Karin and Lizza provided me.  Let’s read what the ladies had to say:

Q. What colors are right for me (ex. how do women pick the right shades that compliment their eyes and skin tone)?

A. Here is a a basic formula for picking eyeshadows that complement a women’s eye color. Depending on skin tone, the amount that you apply would be different. In general, the darker you are, the heavier your application of a color so that it always pops. But remember- rules are made to be broken if you know how to break them. 

* Green eyes do well with anything in the plum or cool tones

* Blue eyes do well with anything in the golden or warm tones, as they are the opposite of each other on the color wheel, which makes the eyes pop. 

* Brown eyes also do well with warm golden tones to dark chestnuts. However, for an extra WOW factor, try midnight blue.

* For everyone though, if you aren’t sure if you can pull off applying the color on your own then there is no shame in playing it safe with neutral tones.  Actually, you will embody a classic look, which is a guaranteed hit!!

Q. Am I too old to wear trendy shades?

A. A woman is never too old to wear trendy shades, it’s just how she wears them that differs. Take a runway look for example- more often than not, these looks are not intended to be exactly recreated for street wear. Instead, they are meant to be modified appropriately for individual use. Which means, that if you are 40 and are dying to wear a glitter than maybe just add a bit to the corner of your eyes for some pop. As opposed to putting heavy glitter on your whole eye, which doesn’t look well on anyone regardless of age unless you are going for costume make-up. If a trendy shade is used in a subtle way, it can make you feel so sassy.

If you are ever in doubt, then book an appointment with an experienced make-up artist and ask how you can modify the current makeup trends you are interested in to work for you. 

Q. What are the key tools necessary to get the best evening look?

A.  Makeup, like cooking, is about following certain steps to create a specific result. So why then can someone follow the same steps but get a different result each time? Like any great chef will tell you, the secret ingredient to recreating your recipe time and time again is the specific tools you use! The better tools, the better the results. The same theory applies to make-up. A good set of brushes is important to correctly applying eyeshadow, blush, and foundation. 

*Insider tip-Professional make-up artists like to mix-n-match the brands of their brushes and you can too. Don’t feel stuck to using the brush in a set you bought that might not be working for you. Better yet, rather than buying a pre-made set of brushes, make your own!! While one brand may make a fantastic blush brush, another brand may have the best concealer brush. Don’t be afraid to experiment and invest properly in your brushes. If taken care of, they will last you several years. Go to several makeup counters or stores and feel the brush against your skin and compare the textures of the brushes. They are available at all price points. Remember to bring this list with you and you will know exactly what brushes you need to buy for your personal make-up kit. 

If you are on a budget these are the 3 essential brushes you need: 

1. Angle Brush– This is a double duty brush that should be used for lining your eyes AND filling in your eyebrows.

2. Flat Brush– This should be used for applying the lightest color on your eye, for blending and for layering colors.

3. Crease Brush– This brush should be used to create the 1/2 circle arch on your eyelid. It does takes the guess work out of creating your smokey eye.

If you can splurge a bit more, then add these to your kit:

1. Blush Brush– This brush should be used with just your blushes and not your bronzer ladies.

2. Powder Brush– When buying this brush, make sure that it has a beveled end. This is so it can get to all the contours of your face which is angled.  

3. Bronzer Brush– This is a dedicated brush for your bronzer, which has a darker pigment than your blushes. 

4. Foundation Brush– Eliminate streaks and helps you naturally blend around your neck line. 

5. Concealer Brush– Gives you better control of how much is applied and allows you to spot treat.

Q. How do I apply eyeshadow, blush, foundation etc.

A. Now that we have our proper brushes, let’s start applying our makeup.


*Eyeshadow- start with lightest color first and work into the darker shades. 

* You want to finish with eyeliner then lots of mascara.

*If you want that extra glam look, don’t be scared to apply some lashes too!


* Blush- a general rule is to pick a color that resembles what you cheeks would look like if you were naturally blushing. Then place the blush on just the apples of your cheeks. 

* I also recommend a light bronzer for your temples, chin, neck line, any area you would like a little extra color. 


*When selecting a foundation color on your own, test a foundation shade on your neck to see if it matches. This is a better sampling of your skin color as opposed to the back of your hand. It will also prevent you from having a line of demarcation between what’s on your face and your natural color on your neck.   


* This all depends on how dark or light your eyes are. However, the color trend of the season is wearing red or wine tones are your lips. Have some fun the next time you are at the make-up counter or with your make-up artist and experiment with the different shades available and pick the one that is right for you. 


I’m a big fan of a smokey eye. Here’s an easy way of recreating this at home. 

1. You start by applying a highlight color for just under your brow. 

2. You then add a little darker shade next, maybe a taupe, a bronze, or a dark beige. This will go on your lid-brow bone area and under your eye. 

3. Then add a black or black-brown shadow on your lower lid of your eye. And also right at the lash line underneath the eye. 

4. Follow this up using a black pencil or liquid liner along the top and bottom lashes. For a more dramatic look, line inside the eye with a pencil.  

5. If you choose this look, I would stick with a light shade for your lips so it doesn’t take away from your eyes. 


This look is very easy to do and reflects the current trend of wearing your make-up as they did in the 40’s:  

1. Use a neutral eyeshadow on your lid.

2. Follow with a liquid liner just on the top lid. 

3. Fill-in a more dramatic brow. 

4. Your lips are the key to this look. You want to use a deep color on them.

5. Of course, you could add false eyelashes for an extra pop.

Q. Solutions for common mistakes women over 30 make?

A. It has been my experience that it isn’t necessarily mistakes that women make, but rather lack of education that is the issue. I believe that if every woman made an appointment with a makeup artist for a makeup lesson, it would make their lives so much easier. They would walk-away with a true understanding of their particular bone structure, their coloring, how to use their tools properly, and what does and doesn’t work for their face. As a result, they would be empowered to go anywhere and anyplace and buy makeup!!!!  

*Insider tip- Makeup is a mood, if you love it, it will love you and look amazing on you! always have the confidence to rock it!!!!


Q:  Are there any rules that women in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s+ should be following?

A:  As for general rules, there are three big ones that apply no matter what your age.

1. Never wear a dark liner just on the outside of your lips and a light frost lipstick just inside the liner.  While this is great for Halloween, it doesn’t make for a youthful attractive mouth! 

2.  It is vitally important to match you foundation properly to your face and neck. Otherwise, you will look like you had a head transplant which leans more on scary than sexy. 

3. Ladies, please don’t overdo the mascara!!  It’s bad for the lashes and you look like a crazed Barbie doll. Relax on the double pumping of the wand, all you are doing is pushing air into the tube which is bad for the mascara. The more air, the less your mascara lasts and the easier it clumps. 

The following is from Karin Noel and “Hollywood’s go-to Fashion and Lifestyle expert”, Lizza Monet Morales:

For all women 30 and above:

You should have a strong skin regime started by the time you are 30 and should be getting regular facials. As long as you can lift your arms and drive or be driven to the spa, this should be something you never stop doing. 

Women in their 30’s:

As Karin mentioned above, this is the time when you want to start with a regular skin care regime if you haven’t already. In regard to makeup- have fun with it and experiment. Personally, we both like to do our makeup according to how we feel that day. For example, If Karin is feeling sassy, she might choose to only wear a red lipstick and nothing else. Remember, makeup is a mood. If you like it, and are confident, it will look cool. For Lizza, your 30’s are all about being flirty not with just men but with life. Experimenting is your key word during this time. You are finally coming into your own and realizing that wearing  your confidence, not just saying you are, is the true secret to glamour. 

Women in their 40’s:

Women tend to freak out when they turn 40, but you are really just hitting your prime. Why do you think the media is now so obsessed with the concept of “cougar” women these days? Which proves that Ashton Kutcher isn’t the only one with his eye on older women!!  So, your in your 40’s…be proud of it!!  Don’t freak out all of a sudden and try to wear what you did in high school as a way of holding onto your youth. You want to find colors that will make you look polished and classy. There isn’t anything sexier than a put together woman. One of Lizza’s favorite quotes comes from Simone de Beauvoir who wisely stated, “one is not born a woman, one becomes one.”

Women in their 50’s:

Lizza points out that Baby Boomers have really defined 50 as being the new 20 by breaking the rules and creating their own. There isn’t a better time than now to be in your 50’s.  Whether you are volunteering, traveling, working or gardening, your personality comes out in everything you do and your make-up shouldn’t hide it. 

As a result, Karin suggests that following the less-is-more approach to your make-up to keep up with your active lifestyle. Let who you are shine with your make-up. A neutral shade on the lips with a blush that gives you a natural glow and some mascara are all you really need. You definitely want to try to avoid too much frost on the eyes and sparkle on the face.

Fashion Sensei readers also posed a couple of questions to our experts.  Take a look at what advice Karin had to offer:

Q:  “I am not very sure what base color of correctors should I use. Can you help? I am Asian, fair.” 

A:  First off, it is important to know what you are trying to correct. A concealer is meant for use around the eye area and camouflage is meant for other areas on the face, such as blemishes, broken capillaries, brown spots. The common mistake is to use concealer for everything and that doesn’t typically produce the results we are after. The reason for this is that concealer is more hydrating and softer than camouflage. Simply put, it doesn’t have the right consistency to do the tough stuff. Remember, it is meant to brighten and deal with dark circles if necessary.

That said, let’s talk about how to handle dark circles under our eyes. You would want to use a a warm beige tone to cover blue/purple circle. But if your circles are green, yellow, or brown, then a pinkish beige tone will do. 

Of course, if you are not correcting anything and are just after a little more of a flawless look, then you want the concealer to match your skin. After applying, you must set the concealer with a light powder, this prevents it from moving around. You will only need to use a small amount and pat it around the eye.

Now as I originally mentioned, if you are covering up any area beside your eyes then you will use camouflage instead. You will find that camouflage is dryer and has more pigment in it. As a result, it will stay in place better. I am a firm believer in mixing colors too in order to get the perfect shade that matches you.

Once you have your camouflage shade, you will need a small synthetic brush and setting powder to apply it correctly. You start with putting a small amount of product on the back of your hand. This warms it up and if you need to mix, it’s a perfect spot. You always want to layer, meaning start with small amounts and slowly work it around. you never want to look like you have cake batter under you eyes or on you face! EEK!! Definitely not glamorous.


Q:  (From a male reader) I would like to know the expert’s opinion/advice on makeup on men, and if it could work in a setting besides movies/television/media/formal settings…

Answer: I was soooo excited to get this question. Men can ABSOLUTELY wear makeup!!!!! My approach to make-up is the same whether a man or woman is sitting in my makeup chair. Meaning that one of the key goals of applying make-up is to even out  the skin and making it look as if you aren’t wearing anything.  This is in contrast to makeup that is used on TV, stage, film or even a formal event where the make-up is applied much heavier to compensate for dilution of color that happens when you are on camera or on stage. In this case, the makeup is very obvious to the eye in person but will appear softer on-camera or from a distance.

If I had to pick a foundation that works for men or women who are after a very natural look then I would go for two of Makeup Forever’s products. I just love them!!  Their foundation and HD powder gives the user a” natural no make-up” type of makeup look! Laura Mercier’s products would also give you winning results. Remember to have fun, go natural or glam it up, either way if you rock your confidence it will be sexy!!


Lizza Monet Morales is a notable entertainment and fashion reporter as well as a lifestyle consultant. She is not only a native Angelino, who speaks fluent Spanish, but conversational Japanese as well. Lizza can be seen reporting from; either the red carpet, various closed sets, fashion shows, press junkets for up and coming projects or out-and-about town at the hottest locations.  She has been on-air for Access Hollywood, Telemundo, EXTRA, Celebrity Justice and The TV-Guide Channel among others. In addition, she has reported for Us Weekly, People Magazine and as a featured columnist in Item Magazine. She can currently be seen co-starring in Vh-1’s top-rated show “New York Goes to Hollywood.”

Karin Noel is an established make-up artist with 19 years of experience doing make-up for editorial, run-way, special events and every day looks. She is part of the award-winning hair and beauty stylist team of Mars Salon in Costa Mesa, California.

Offer For Fashion Sensei Readers:

“Mars Studio is pleased to offer all Fashion Sensei readers the following special deals in the month of December:”

  • 60 minute Holiday Make-up Application and Lesson for $100 (50% off)
  • 45 minute customized Eyebrow shaping for $30 (10% off) 

For bookings, call Mars Studio at (949) 631-6890 and mention “Fashion Sensei” to receive your discount.

My thanks to Karin and Lizza for their time and expertise. They certainly had some very valuable information to share.  I hope you found it as useful as I did.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL now so you don’t miss a thing!

Be sure to check out the Fashion Sensei Services page for more information on Fashion Consultations in the Metro Detroit area and more.



Filed under Aging, Beauty, Cosmetics, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, Metro Detroit, personal shopper

Holiday Makeup Tips- Caraballoso Style

Today is our second expanded installment on Holiday Makeup.  If you haven’t already, be sure to read last week’s Holiday Makeup Fashion Lesson.

Today, we are fortunate to read the advice offered by My Hair and Makeup founders Deborah and Claudia Caraballoso.

About My Hair and Makeup

My Hair and Makeup (MHM) was founded in 2005, by sisters deb claudiaDeborah and Claudia Caraballoso.  After observing for many years how celebrities were catered to and were magically transformed, they decided that every woman deserves that type of star-quality service.  Located in the heart of Manhattan, MHM was founded on the concept of providing celebrity service at an affordable price.

The elder of the duo, Deborah, lindsey[1]took on her first real bride at the ripe old age of 14 and has never looked back. 

Younger sis Claudia, served as guinea pig and assistant in her early years, but has since grown into her own, completing courses at the American Academy McAllister Institute where she studied: chemistry, facial anatomy, microbiology involving skin diseases, restorative makeup artistry, theatrical lighting and photography lighting among other related courses. 

Why MHM?

The reason I am publishing MHM’s full transcript, first off  is because they have a fantastic sense of humor.  I was laughing out loud at some of their one-liners and I bet you will too.

Secondly, they called attention to one very important facet of makeup- choosing the right color.  More specifically, they ask us to consider what sort of skin tone we embody. 

But, before I reveal all their secrets, lets take a look at what the ladies had to say when I asked them about Holiday Makeup.

Q:  What colors are right for me?  

A:  There is one universal rule of thumb when selecting makeup for all age groups.  Get to know your skin tone.  Most people fall into two categories, warm and cool.  And there are the few fortunate ones that are considered to be neutral.   This is most crucial when selecting a foundation.  While the shade of your foundation is key, just as important is the undertone of the foundation.   Here are some general guidelines to help determine your skin tone:

You are likely to be cool if you have blue/gray eyes, possibly blonde (can be brunette too) and are fair skin.  Your undertone is pinkish and bluish. 

You are likely to be warm if you have brown, green or hazel eyes. Your hair color is dark and warm such as red or auburn.  Your undertone is olive, yellow and/or orange.  

Finally, the neutral has any hair color, eye color and looks good in anything and your undertone is hard to determine. Look for foundations that have the same undertones for a more natural, flawless look.

Cool tones: When selecting shadows, soft earth tones and pastels are probably best. Pinky and peachy tones give a nice soft glow to your cheeks and lips.  And for you bold ladies who love red, choose a red lipstick with a cool/bluish undertone. 

Warm tones: Shadows in deep earthy tones look amazing such as greens, purples, and browns.   For blush, deep peachy/pinks and plums highlight cheek bones.  Go ahead a play with color on your lips.  Warm tones are very versatile and can pull off pinky shades, and just as easily look great in red lipsticks that have a brown or berry undertone.

Neutral Tones: In a nutshell, go ahead and play you can wear almost anything!

Q:  Am I too old to wear trendy shade?  

A:  No one is ever too old to look cool.  On the other hand, you’re never too old to look ridiculous.  The right colors strategically placed can compliment your look.  But the wrong color slathered on the whole eyelid or cheeks will make you look clownish.

Don’t be afraid to try new looks. Look at 03[1] (2)magazines to get inspiration and ideas from like aged models.  If a look is too bold or too soft for your personal taste, adjust it to fit your style. For example, if the application of a smokey eye is what you are drawn to, but cannot get past the frosted green eye shadow, try using a softer color the compliments your skin tone.  Deepening or softening the complimentary color can keep you in with the trend while staying true to your personal style and most importantly, be age appropriate.

Q:  How do I apply eye shadow, blush, foundation, lip color etc? 

A:  Less is more when it comes to foundation and women over 30.   Our 30’s and beyond is the time where all of a sudden you wake up one morning and face the reality that that line you thought was there because you slept on one side of your face too long is actually a wrinkle.  Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! 

Choosing a foundation, such as a tinted moisturizer and using it only where needed blending well will look best.  Thicker foundations are more likely to settle in your wrinkles and creases.  Stay away from powder if possible.  Powder will accentuate your crows’ feet and wrinkles. 

Choose a cream base blush, applying it at the apples of your cheek blending upwards.  Blush should look light and natural, as if you were truly blushing. 

Eyeshadow is where we get to play for special event makeup.  However, it requires honesty.  You may feel like you’re 25, but your eye lids tell another story.  If you are fortunate and have nice taut eye lids, then go ahead and apply your shadow as you always have.  Of course, trading in the glittery pink shadow for a more sophisticated, complimentary shade.  Go ahead and highlight your brow bone with a light shimmery shade just under your eyebrow.  If done correctly, the result is an instant eye lift.  

If you are eyelid challenged then keep it simple, sweep a beautiful color on your lower lid and highlight your brow bone. Be careful not to add so much that you have now given your crows’ feet a stage, a spotlight and a microphone. 

If you are a true diva, and would like to play with gold’s, silvers, and shimmers, be strategic with it.  Don’t cover your entire lid with a gold shadow.  Highlight just the inner corners of your eyes with a shimmery gold or silver.  Chances are this area of the eye has not been dramatically affected by any loosening of the skin or wrinkles.  This is a good area to highlight and it gives you a red carpet look.  However, if you choose to highlight your inner corners, stay away from highlighting your brow bone.  You will end up dating yourself.  Choose one area or the other to highlight. 

Beware of your eyeliner.  This is where your normal routine should change.  Black eyeliner will age you.  Choose softer liners such as a soft brown or brown black.  Try using it only on your top lid.  Keep the bottom clean and fresh.  Begin applying liner as close as you can to your lashes working your way out from the inner corner and stopping short of the end and slightly angling the liner up almost in a wing effect.  This will draw the eye up.  Blend out the line slightly using the back side of your eyeliner pencil.  Be sure not to give yourself a rocker chick liner from the 80’s.  It should be subtle and soft. 

While we all would love to be Angelina Jolie- your 30’s is not the time to experiment.  You will end up looking like Goldie Hawn in “The three wives club”. 

Choose a lip liner close to your natural color and line your natural lip.  We simply want to prevent feathering and enhance durability.  Liner can do that for you.  Apply lip color over the lip liner within the lines of your natural lip not above. 

If you want your lips to appear fuller or larger, use a lip plumper and/or lip gloss.  A nice little trick to make your lips appear “poutier” is to take a shimmery champagne or vanilla shade eye shadow and softly dab a little on the center of your bottom lip over your lip color.  Be sure to blend it but keep it in the center only.  Then apply gloss.        

A final way to glam it up for that special event, is to explore false eyelashes.  You’re simply never too old for them.  If chosen correctly, eyelashes enhance any eye. Then can accentuate, bring drama or romanticize your eye. 

There are many to choose from.  You can buy them in your local drug store if you are handy and think you can apply them yourself.  Or if you have the budget for them, you can have permanent lashes professionally applied that will last up to 2 months.  If you are not a self-proclaimed makeup artist but can’t really break the bank for the night out, then you can opt to have temporary lashes put on. These will last up to one week and are relatively inexpensive.  Lashes are always a special event DO!

Q:  What are the tools necessary to create the best evening look? 

A:  Anything that enhances eyes and lips.  A 02[1] (2)seductive shadow coupled with the right pair of eyelashes or a bold or glossy lip can speak volumes.  Choose one, never do both at the same time.   Your blush and foundation can generally remain the same.  But eyes and lips will change your look every time.  Give yourself options, contrary to popular belief there is a shade of red lipstick for everyone.  Find one that suits you.  Keep a lip gloss handy for when you’re feeling bold and sexy.  Or if you want tantalizing eyes, have deeper and shimmery shades of shadows to play with.  However, remember to be kind with the shimmery shades.  Handle with care. 

Q:  Solutions for common mistakes women over 30 make.

A:  Women over 30 tend to go into a panic when they notice the first gray hair or that first wrinkle.  Almost immediately, they begin to try and hide everything.  They begin dying their hair if they haven’t done so already.  They begin to wear more and more makeup.  The foundation and powder gets heavier and heavier trying desperately to hide the dark circles or the wrinkles.  And before you know it, Tammy Fae emerges. 

The first thing women over 30 need to do is to go into to damage control.  If they haven’t been doing so already, they need to begin to take good care of their skin.  They should establish a good skin care regimen.  Start to use ant-aging products.  Be sure to exfoliate weekly.  Use SPF 15 or higher. Again, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.  Slow down the inevitable.  Taking good care of your skin only enhances how makeup will appear on your skin.  The better the skin, the better the application will look.

Go easy on the makeup.  When applying makeup, focus on enhancing your best features.  Not just trying to hide every flaw.  Many times you just bring the flaws to the forefront. 

Q:  Are there any rules that women in their 30s, 40s, 50s+ should be following? 

A:  While there are no real “rules” in makeup because it is a form of self expression, there are some principles we should bear in mind.

    1. Skin care is key.  If your skin doesn’t look good, you won’t look good.
    2. Foundation is the bases of your makeup.  It should be minimal and dewy.  Everything else revolves around a good foundation application.  The best smokey eye will not be showcased if it is overshadowed by an ill matched, wrinkle enhancing foundation application.
    3. Raccoon eyes are a no no!  Steer clear of dark eyeliner.  This will definitely age you.
    4. Remember you’re still you.  Don’t fall into the trap of trying to appear younger by following makeup trends that work for women in their 20’s, but is all wrong for the 30+. However, don’t be afraid to try new things always adjusting it to fit your personal style.

The reality is some of us are genetically blessed with great skin and some of us aren’t.  Preserve what you have, improve where you can and accept what you cannot change. 

To schedule an appointment or to learn more about My Hair and Makeup, go to www.myhairandmakeup.com.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL now so you don’t miss a thing!

Be sure to check out the Fashion Sensei Services page for more information on Fashion Consultations in the Metro Detroit area and more.


Filed under Aging, Cosmetics, Diversity, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, New York City, personal shopper

Holiday Makeup Tips- Dara Klein

In my last post, I mentioned that I would be publishing the full transcript and responses from three of my beauty experts.

Dara I feel very fortunate to bring you our first expert, makeup artist and educator Dara Klein. 

Based in New York city, Klein has traveled the globe as a makeup artist and worked with celebrities such as Lake Bell, The Pussycat Dolls, Paula Abdul, and Jennifer Coolidge.  She has participated in New York City Fashion Week for the past nine years, working for designers Diane Von Furstenberg, Nicole Miller, Alice Roi, Banana Republic, Lily Pullitzer, Nanette Lepore and many more.

After years of honing her craft and being trained by some of Hollywood’s top celebrity makeup artists, including: Jeanine Lobell (founder of Stila), Gucci Westman, and Sam Fine; Dara Klein launched Dara Mascara.  Dara is now training individuals, professional makeup artists and hosting large seminars to help “de-mystify” the world of makeup and “teaching women how to take the cosmetics and tools they already own and learn specific techniques for their face.”

Now that you know a little bit about Dara, let’s hear what she had to say when I asked her some questions for my Holiday Makeup Fashion Lesson last week.

Q: What colors are right for me (ex. how do women pick the right shades that compliment their eyes and skin tone)?

A: Holiday and New Year’s accessorizing isn’t just about your jewelry and shoes.  Accessorizing with makeup can tie your whole look together and evolving your application technique is just as important as evolving your outfit choice.  You’re not wearing the same daring number you were perhaps when you were 21.  Makeup should evolve as well- starting with shimmer products.

Now that you’re in your 30’s, focus on placing shimmer strategically where you have smaller space on your eye as opposed to shellacking it under the brow a la 1998.  Focus on defining the lash line with a charcoal or pewter as opposed to black and adding a few individual lashes on the outer corner to open the eye.  Defining the lash line, lends itself to product moving less and changing as the night progresses- it’s a sure way to make an impact without overdoing it!

Choosing shades:

Choose harmonizing color combinations for the eyes that are monochromatic- the more the color reflects “skittles” on the eyes, the more you notice the feature and not the makeup- especially with age. Keep the colors light, medium, and dark within the same shade range and you’ll see the features come alive. A lot of brands have nice white/silvery/pewter combinations for holiday which always work on almost every skin tone.

One rule of thumb– the warmer, more olive-y the skin tone, the further you want to stay away from shimmery shades of white. If you’re looking to wear silver and you have a warm skin tone- make sure the shade is deep enough so it does not read ashy on the skin. Emphasize the lash line with black liner really tight in the lash line and lots of black mascara.

Harmonizing your cheek and lip, like your shoes and your belt (for lack of a better example b/c most of these fashion ‘rules’ are a little dated:) will keep the makeup looking enhancing for example if you are all about the smokey eye and you choose a pink cheek and a nude-y beige lip- the overall look will work better when you commit to a nude-y pink shade to better harmonize with the cheek. So no matter what’s going on with the eyes- keep your cheek and lips matching and you’ll make more of an impact for your efforts!

Q: Am I too old to wear trendy shades?

A: Not at all! The evolution with age and makeup comes with the technique, not the shades/formulas necessarily. Keep the extreme frosts/shimmers away from ‘crepier’ parts of the lid/brow bone, so as to not emphasize any texture issues.

We all hear ‘less is more’ with age and all this means really is softening up with the amount of product you’re applying at one time as opposed to eliminating the types of product you wear. For example, my 70 year old mother still wears a full face- foundation, concealer, blush, powder, etc however, I have taught her how to lighten up on her brush technique and build the product as needed instead of trying to get in on all in one swipe. This is particularly important for colors that are ‘trendy’.

Every woman can wear shimmer somewhere on her eye- the smaller the space the more intense the texture of the shimmer can be to really enhance the space. The only time this does not apply is when a) the skin on the eye is too loose/crepey or b) the person prefers matte. Color wears differently as we age, so pick a focus feature- such as lash line or lips and try a trendier liner or brighter lipstick instead of trying to change up a whole eye shadow combination!

Q: How do I apply eyeshadow, blush, foundation etc.?

A: When applying eyeshadow: Use a full brush for an all over shadow from lash to brow and gently sweep up the eye as opposed to side to side. This eliminates all the product collecting on the side of the eye/temple and flaking all over the place.  Pat product onto the back of the hand first which eliminates fall out.

The best brush to purchase for a ‘wash’ of shimmer, matte base shadow, etc is what’s referred to as the “ponytail” brush. This is the full, soft, black haired brush every line makes which is crimped at the base of the ferrel of the brush and is full and almost round until the very tip which is tapered to a point. It is fluffy and easy for blending as well as rolling underneath the eye to set eye concealer with powder.

Cheeks: I always tell women to place the cheek color where the face is flat or has no bone structure. If you have high, protruding cheek bones and you slam some blush on those apples and sweep vigorously back and forth with a flattened blush brush from a gift with purchase from 1995, your application will be less than modern. Smile and find the area that is not as prominent and place the color with a soft, dome shaped blush brush blending down and back toward the hair line. Absolutely NO road striping please!

Foundation: The wrong shade is actually better than the wrong technique. A common mistake women make is applying their foundation like moisturizer and blending it in only to use too much pressure, and now you’re taking it off as your putting it on, and it does nothing for your complexion! Use a little drop on the back of your hand and pull from the edge of the dollop as opposed to dipping your finger into the whole drop. This will keep the foundation blending once you apply so you can apply AND blend with the same finger- too much product results in what I call the “5 finger rub”- using all your fingers to remove and blend at the same time is a sure fire sign you have too much product. Start in the center of the face and SKIP the ear to ear coverage. No one looks at you from the side and if they do they’re only noticing the ‘mask effect’ of your foundation!

Q: What are the key tools necessary to get the best evening look?

A: Best Tools for an Evening Look:

Lash curler- love Billy B’s. Everyone swears by Shu- but Billy’s is curved more to fit a rounder eye as opposed to an almond, wider shape which fits an Asian type shape with the Shu Uemura lash curler www.billybbeauty.com.

Small liner brush- I am a HUGE fan of Face Stockholm cake liners with the angled liner brush to apply. Every evening eye will look dramatic and MODERN with a defined lash line and these are the most simple liners to use without venturing into surgical steadiness needed for liquid liner.

Black mascara- layer and layer to emphasize the defined lash line. Don’t skimp on the mascara. Use a defining, volumizing like Lancome Hypnose or Oscillation or Diorshow Unlimited.

Smudgees- www.smudgees.com these are my favorite things EVER- pre moistened q-tips. Brilliant. Do your eyes first, clean up underneath and apply complexion afterwards. Carry around in your purse for any corner of the eye smudges.

Individual lashes- Plunk a few on the outer corner of the eyes and get that extra flirty eye. Looks really good with a defined lash line a la Marilyn Monroe.

Beauty mark- Easiest accessory to create and all it takes is a small stipple with the tip of a dark brown liner- I love Lancome Le Crayon Khol ‘Black Coffee’.

Lip brush- skip the lip liner ladies. So 1992. Use a lip brush to enhance the shape of the lip with a lipstick and keeps the lips looking soft and supple not applied. The most aging look can be an over drawn lip with sharp liner-y edges.

Q:  Are there any rules that women in their 30s, 40s, 50s+ should be following?”

In your 30’s:

Modify your foundation application. It’s not about the studio fix any more packed on with a sponge. Fine lines lend themselves to product settling and this looks aging. Switch to a Tinted Moisturizer and apply a loose powder through the t-zone instead.


Change your formulas and invest in good brushes. Use cream blush instead of powder and apply between your foundation and powder- barely using on your cheeks. If your eye shape is changing switch from pencil liner to gel to avoid running and PLEASE avoid wearing brown, raisin-y type lipsticks that look very drawn and lifeless on the face. Creamy cheeks with a sheer color on the lips will wake up your complexion.

50’s +

Time to work the lash line- keep the liner tight in the lash line- no skips or obvious skin showing between the lash line and lid. Keep your foundation that has great coverage and you love and lighten up on how you apply- blend it up underneath the eye so you can skip eye concealer.

Make sure you’re correcting your skin tone and the color you put on will work 10 times better (this can be said at any age) broken capillaries and ruddiness or sun damage takes away from color application and can result in the ‘just woke up in my makeup’ look. Your skin will determine how good your color shows up and enhances your features!

To learn more about Daramascara or how to schedule an appointment, got to www.daramascara.com.

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Be sure to check out the Fashion Sensei Services page for more information on Fashion Consultations in the Metro Detroit area and more.

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Filed under Aging, Cosmetics, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Writer, personal shopper

Fashion Lesson #28: Holiday Makeup


In my last post, I told you about my experience at the Nordstrom Holiday Cosmetics Trend Show.  That experience prompted me to send out a beacon to expert makeup artists throughout the country to help those of us over 30 figure out how to look our best this holiday season, including New Years Eve.

Today’s Fashion Lesson is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the wealth of information my beauty experts provided.  I will be publishing their answers to my inquiry in their entirety next week.  You won’t want to miss their valuable tips!

In The Beginning

Many of us start out experimenting with our mother’s makeup as young girls.  When we are old enough to wear makeup in public, some of our mothers took us to the local cosmetic counter for a makeup lesson.  Others, took their cue from magazines, television or our girlfriends.

As we grow and mature, it’s important that our makeup follows suit.  I can’t tell you how many women I see that are still applying and/or wearing the same colors they wore as young women first experimenting with cosmetics.

Start With A Clean Pallet

With age, the importance of regular cleansing, moisturizing and generally taking good care of our skin becomes critical.  If you have dry, scaly skin, it will be difficult to pull off a smooth, fresh finish.

Your regular routine should include these four basics steps: cleanse, exfoliate, tone and moisturize.  If you live in region that has particularly cold winters as we do here in the Midwest, dry warm air from your furnace tends to dry your skin out, so be sure to moisturize often.

“Not To Prime, Is A Crime!” – Napoleon Perdis

A step that may be new to some of you, is the essential application of primer.  Much like the primer you use before painting your walls, face and eye primer helps to even out your skin, making it smooth and helps to fill in fine lines.  It also helps to make your makeup wear longer.

Emily Kumler, President of Prep Cosmetics, recommends waiting for a few minutes before applying your foundation for the best results.  She goes on to say, “Don’t forget the neck!! Unfortunately, the neck is the first thing to go.  It’s so important to moisturize and prime your neck so that when you apply a little foundation or bronzer, it goes on smoothly.  There is nothing worse than seeing a woman with a beautiful face nicely made up who has completely forgotten her neck.  It’s just as important as her hair- they both frame the face.”

Tools Of The Trade

“Makeup, like cooking, is about following certain steps to create a specific result.  So why then can someone follow the same steps but get different results each time?  Like any great chef will tell you, the secret ingredient to recreating your recipe time and time again is the specific tools you use!  The better the tools, the better the results.  A good set of brushes is important to correctly apply eyeshadow, blush and foundation.”- Karin Noel, Key Makeup Artist at Mars Studio in Costa Mesa, California.

So which ones do we choose?  Dara Klein, veteran New York makeup artist, trainer and founder of DaraMascara highly recommends the following:

*For purposes of illustration, I have linked an example to each brush.  Unless specified otherwise, the links are for illustrative purposes and are not endorsements.

  • Pony Tail Brush– ” The best brush to purchase for a ‘wash’ of shimmer, matte base shadow, etc. is what’s referred to as the ‘ponytail’ brush.  This is the full, soft, black haired brush, that every line makes.  It is crimped at the base of the ferrel, is full, and almost round until the very tip- which is tapered to a point.  This makes it easy for blending as well as rolling underneath the eye to set eye concealer with powder.”
  • Angle Brush– Used for lining eyes and filling in eyebrows.  Dara recommends also using the small liner brush: “I am a HUGE fan of Face Stockholm cake liners with the angled liner brush to apply.  Every evening eye will look dramatic and MODERN with a defined lash line and these are the most simple liners to use without venturing into surgical steadiness needed for liquid liner.”  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Lash Curler– “Everyone swears by Shu Uemura- but the BillybBeauty eyelash curler is curved more to fit a rounder eye, as opposed to an almond, wider shape, which is best suited for an Asian women; which the Shu Uemura lash curler complements.”
  • Smudgees– “These are my favorite things EVER! They are pre-moistened q-tips.  Brilliant. Do your eyes first, clean up underneath and apply foundation afterwards.  You can carry them around in your purse for any corner of the eye smudges.”
  • Lip Brush– “Skip the liner ladies- so 1992.  Use a lip brush to enhance the shape of the lip with a lipstick which keeps the lips looking soft and supple, not over applied.  The most aging look can be an over drawn lip with sharp lined edges.”

Karin Noel offers this insider tip on brushes: “Professional makeup artists like to mix-n-match the brands of their brushes and you can too.  Don’t feel stuck to using the brush in a set you bought, that might not be working for you.  Better yet, rather than buying a pre-made set of brushes, make your own!!”

Here are more suggested beauty tools:

  • Blush Brush– Used for contouring cheeks.  Be sure to limit the use of this brush to blusher.  Use a separate brush for bronzer and powder.
  • Foundation Brush– Used to apply a smooth finish to your liquid foundation and blend makeup properly on your face.
  • Powder Brush– Karin Noel suggests: “When buying this brush, make sure that it has a beveled end.  This is so it can get to all the contours of your face which are angled.”
  • Bronzer Brush–  Due to the dark pigments in bronzer, it is wise to use a dedicated brush to avoid a demarcating look.
  • Concealer Brush–  Allows for better control in application for small blemishes or color variations.

Determine Your Undertones

We have a clean, moisturized, primed face and all the tools necessary to get started, now we need to ascertain which colors are best for us.

Deborah and Claudia Caraballoso, co-founders of My Hair and Makeup, suggest that we first consider the undertones of our skin.  Much like determining your “season” in fashion, understanding whether you have warm or cool undertones will help you create a complimentary cosmetic look.

According to Caraballoso, warm undertones are commonly found in women with brown, green or hazel eyes; rich brown, auburn or red hair; and olive, yellow or orange skin tones.

Cool undertones are likely found in women with blue/gray eyes; blonde or black hair; and fair, pink or bluish skin tones.

Choosing The Right Shade

Once you have determined the undertones in your complexion, we can move on to selecting shades for your eyes, lips, cheeks and foundation.

EYE COLOR- Opposites Attract


Image Source: tutes.tonebytone.com

For an evening look that “Pops”, consider using a color that is the opposite of your eye color on the color wheel.  For blue eyes, try brown tones that compliment your personal skin tone.  Brown and green eyed ladies may want to consider plums or violets.  And for a true “pop” of color for ladies with brown eyes, a deep midnight blue may make your eyes shine.

If you are still questioning your dominant undertone, the glints of light at the center of your iris may hold the key to your lingering question.

(click on each image for photo source.)

images eye

Notice the center of the iris of each of these eyes.  The first eye has a “warm” yellow/golden center.  The second eye to the right, has a “cool” gray center.  Factor these colors in with the rest of your attributes and you will have a better understanding of your undertones.

Cheek & Lips

Armed with a better understanding of a warm or cool undertone, choose a natural blush with a peach or pink tone that will add a hint of color to your face.

When selecting a lip color, it’s all about creating harmony within the color pallet you are using.  Select a cheek and lip color that is within the same shade range, such as a pink cheek and a nude or beige lip, using this combination will come together looking fresh and young.

Another interesting suggestion came from Rachael Shanethe Style Coach: “In your 30’s, don’t go lighter than the color of your gums.  Look at the inside of your lips-match the brownish-pink color for your best shade.”  She also recommends using tinted lip balms and layering them with lip gloss, for a simple evening lip.


Ah, the bane of many women’s cosmetic woes.  We’ve all seen them- heck at one time or another, we have been “that woman” whose face is a totally different color than her neck.  One suggestion to avoid demarcation, is to use a tinted moisturizer.  The sheerness of the product softens the look of your face without the harsh, thick foundation that can accentuate wrinkles or lines.

The most important point is, that your foundation should even out your skin tone, be sheer and un-noticeable.

Focus On Your Best Feature

“No one is ever too old to look cool- On the other hand, you’re never too old to look ridiculous.”- Claudia Caraballoso

I asked my beauty experts if women over 30 were too old to be participating in the trends they see on the runway or in magazines.  The resounding opinion was no, with one caveat- wear only one trend at a time.

Remember the midnight blue I suggested for women with brown eyes earlier?  You want to choose one focal point at a time.  In this instance, it’s the eyes.  All other aspects of your makeup should be neutral.  That means a light cheek and lip color so that your eyes are the focal point.

Packing in too much color will not only age you, but make you look like a clown in the process.

If you are looking to de-emphasize a feature, say small, close set eyes, keep the eyes light and neutral and go for a dramatic red lip.

One definite no-no, is wearing glitter.  Flecks of glitter sandwiched between wrinkles is just not a good look.

Another trend aging women should be conscious of, is shimmer.  As we age, the skin over our eyes begins to droop and sag giving it a “crepe-like” effect.  If you want to wear a shimmering color, experts agree, that you should wear it near the inside corner of your eyes.  This is one area that seems to remain taut and adding shimmer here will open up the eyes.

As Deborah Caraballoso put it- “Be careful not to add so much [shimmering eyeshadow] that you have now given your crows’ feet a stage, spotlight and a microphone.” 😉

How Did You Do That?

I am always curious to know how makeup artists perform their “magic.”  I asked our experts to give us some tips that we could incorporate into our holiday, photo ready look.


Several of the beauty experts that I spoke with, recommended using a cream blush, blending it in upward strokes on the apple of the cheeks.

Another suggestion from Dara Klein was to “place the cheek color where the face is flat or is under the bone structure.”  Adding color to this area with a soft dome shaped blush brush blending down and back toward the hair line will give you a soft natural look.

East coast makeup artist Béke Beau suggests that we use our fan brush to “apply a light touch of shimmer to the high planes of the face” to create a softer image.


Béke also commented that if she were allowed only one feature to focus on, it would be the eyebrows.  “Resist the urge to over-tweeze and learn how to make the most of your arch using a pencil or powder”, Beau says.


Another tip from Dara Klein is to, “layer and layer black mascara to emphasize the defined lash line, and don’t skimp.  Use a defining, volumizing  mascara like Lancome Hypnose, Oscillation or Diorshow Unlimited.”

After having my makeup done by a Dior makeup artist at the Nordstrom Trendshow, she gave me a sample of the Diorshow mascara and I really liked it.

One other tip that came up over and over from the experts was to experiment with false eyelashes.  Experts felt that using even a few lashes in the outer corner of our eyes, helped to counteract the droop that tends to set in with age and define our eyes.

You Asked- Dara Answered

Earlier this week, I gave readers an opportunity to ask our beauty expert Dara Klein of DaraMascara whatever was on their mind.  Here’s a look at the advice she gave two Fashion Sensei readers:

Stephanie asked:
Q: I am not very sure what base color of correctors  I  should use.  I am Asian, fair. Can you help?


A: Fair, Asian skin tones look nice in a pale pink/peach shadow base- try Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Peach.  Use something flat/matte to minimize the space from the crease to brow as opposed to shimmer since there tends to be more space there vs. the lash line to the crease.

realultimatepower asked:
Q: I would like to know the expert’s opinion/advice on makeup on men, and if it could work in a setting besides movies/television/media/formal settings…


A: Ok guys- don’t be afraid to get online and get some of these products- they are a sure way to enhance without looking ‘made up’.  My male clients love to enhance their features, so aside from a great skin care regimen of: cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturizing (in that order) anything you put on top of your skin will look enhancing.
Tinted moisturizer– corrects the ruddiness in your skin like a foundation with the texture of a moisturizer.  I’ll make shade selection easy for you- choose a shade based on the amount of redness you have to correct or neutralize not a shade you want to match your skin tone.  If you are medium olive toned with more ruddiness you want to choose a Medium to Dark shade.  Try the Stila TM’s, they’re the best in my opinion.
Brow Groomers: Clear mascara for the brows- use to comb brows into place and it deposits no color .
Brown mascara: Go to a cosmetic supply store and buy tester mascara wands (the tester wands they use at the cosmetic counters).  Dip this wand into the tube of Brown Mascara- this deposits less onto the brush then using the actual mascara wand that comes in the tube.  Gently and I mean, GENTLY sweep mascara once through top lashes just ‘hitting’ the lashes with the wand.  Avoid wiggling and really applying to avoid fake looking lashes.  Unless of course your name rhymes with mascara and you are mildly obsessed.  This will enhance your eyes without looking applied.  Try, Lancome Définicils Brown (NO Waterproof!)
Bronzer– kiss the skin through the t zone with a large powder brush and this warms the skin.  Avoid overly shimmery bronzers.  I’m a fan of Fresh ‘Here Comes the Sun’.

I hope that helps! -Dara

Ready For Your Close Up

Now that you have all the tools to look fabulous for your holiday and New Years celebrations, get ready  to have your picture taken.

In today’s Fashion Lesson we are reminded, that we are never too old to look beautiful.  With each new decade we can expect to wear less and less makeup, but I believe this just opens up our natural beauty to shine through.

I hope that you found this Fashion Lesson as beneficial as I did.  I want to thank all of the beauty experts who contributed to this Fashion Lesson, for their insightful and interesting beauty tips.

Once again, there were so many invaluable pieces of advice offered from my panel of experts that next week, I will be publishing unedited transcripts from three of today’s featured makeup artists.  In addition, the ladies will be dishing on their feelings about any “rules” women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s + should be following.

Let me know what you think of these tips or if you have any others that you would like to share, by leaving a comment.  Also, if you use these tips for your holiday, be sure to send me a picture, I will put them up on the site. 🙂

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL now so you don’t miss a thing!

Be sure to check out the Fashion Sensei Services page for more information on Fashion Consultations in the Metro Detroit area and more.


Filed under Aging, Beauty, Cosmetics, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Writer, personal shopper

Ask Fashion Sensei


Hi Everyone,

The holidays are right around the corner, and we all want to look and feel our best.

In achieving this goal, we need to consider not only our outfit, but our makeup.  Typically, the first place one looks when addressing you, is your face.

When was the last time you went for a makeup consultation?  Are you still using the same techniques that you learned when you first started wearing makeup?  Do you do anything special when getting ready for a big night out like New Years Eve?

For this weeks FASHION LESSON, I am working with national experts in makeup artistry, to help those of us 30 and over, look beautiful and current this holiday season.

But first,  I want to hear from you.  Do you have any questions that you would like our makeup expert to answer?  Then leave a comment here and your question may be featured in this weeks Holiday & New Years Eve edition of Fashion Sensei’s FASHION LESSON series.



Fashion Sensei

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Be sure to check out the Fashion Sensei Services page for more information on Fashion Consultations in the Metro Detroit area and more.


Filed under Beauty, Fashion, Fashion Lesson, Fashion Sensei, Fashion Writer, Metro Detroit, personal shopper