The right way to apply your products

by Rayna van Aalst November 26, 2017

The right way to apply your products

I’m often asked to share a video with makeup products I use and how I apply them. I haven’t done it (yet) because I have the nagging feeling that I'm probably apply my eyeliner and blush not entirely according the the books.

But then on the other hand – this is how I apply my make up when I go to meetings, including with makeup artists and I often receive compliments. So apparently although I do my makeup “my” way, it still looks good.

But what is the right way to apply makeup products?

Some time ago I watched a video Kristen Arnett from the Green Beauty Team shared from one of the New York Fashion Weeks. She interviewed three more makeup artists and they shared the pro tips for flawless makeup application.

Around the 3:08 mark, Kristen talks about how women/makeup artists draw stripes on their cheeks, right down the face when contouring which according to her and Fiona Lee, the makeup artist she’s talking to, would only make you look hollow, like a skeleton.

A few minutes later into the video Kristen talks to another makeup artist, Norma Jane. The tips Norma shares on how to get the pro tip at home are 1) prep your skin 2) make your makeup 3D 3) don’t mix textures.

The three dimensionality of your makeup is what makes your look “perfect” in her words. I would say it is what makes your makeup look alive. Anyway, she explains you do that with a soft contour and highlights. At the 6:13 mark Norma shares her tips for contouring and she shows how you do a stripe down the face. Yeap, that’s right, EXACTLY the way Kristen and Fiona had said a few minutes earlier people shouldn’t be doing it.

Then Norma explains how she never mixes textures (6:48) - she uses either powder base, powder contour, powder highlight or you do cream base, cream contour, cream highlight but you don’t mix textures. In her own words, it looks “awful”.

Then around 8:21 Kristen talks to a third makeup artist, Davisha Dadone, who recommends to peeps with oily skin to make their foundation stay but still want a dewy finish is to use loose powder first and then you apply liquid foundation. If your skin is very oily, finish with loose powder.

A 10 minute video, four makeup artists. The exact opposite opinions on how to use textures and do contouring.

And this notion about the “right” way to apply products, or rather seeing opposites about it isn’t limited to makeup only. Nor to skincare either.

You should use SPF daily. No, only on sunny days.

Double cleanse is good for your skin. No, double cleanse is too much.

You should exfoliate once a week. No, 3-4 times a week is enough. Are you crazy?! You need to exfoliate daily.

Physical exfoliators damage the skin. No, they are wonderful for the skin.

You should quit sugar altogether. Fructose (i.e. fruit sugar) is OK.

You should drink 8 glasses of water a day. No, "eat your water" and you don’t need to drink 8 glasses.

And the list goes on and on.

Is there a "right" way anyway?

Going back to Kristen’s video, obviously to work as a makeup artist during a New York Fashion Week, you need to be good at what you do. I might be getting compliments about my looks but nobody would let me do the makeup, even during the Nieuw Vennep Fashion Week.

First of all, I applaud Kristen for including Norma Jane’s segment in her video although there’s a part Kristen strongly disagrees with (contouring). She could have just left it out and go ask another makeup artist to share their opinion.

The fact however is that there are people who would follow Norma’s recommendations, other’s would agree with Fiona and Kristen’s. Even if Kristen left Norma's recommendations on contouring out, people who agree with Norma, would still most likely dismiss Kristen's opinion.

That’s normal because there is no absolute truth about the “right” way to do something. There is only your truth.

Probably the most important thing I’ve learned during my university education is that as a manager you don’t need to know everything but you must be able to find the information you need.

Finding information nowadays is too easy. Just google "how to contour my face?" and you will find bloggers, magazines, youtubers, Kim Kardashian and some scary images, all of them telling you the “right” way to do it.

This is where you need to be mentally alert. Just because you can find it on internet, it doesn’t mean it’s trustworthy. No matter how big their following is. Or because they are doing makeup for New Your Fashion Week shows.

When it comes to makeup, the worst that could happen is that you don’t look at your best, although again that’s very subjective too. With skincare things get scarier and more damaging, especially if you are into DIY products. Same goes for food, sports, health, etc.

Being able to “sift” through the information you find on a subject is crucial.

This is what has helped me tremendously when I started Reina Organics after 10 years in the corporate world and no skin care education. With every skin care book I read, brand training I have, an expert I meet, I ask questions, listen and most of all, try to understand the other persons reason, especially if they express opinion different than mine.

I often come across two established skin care experts advising the opposite. Although one of the sides is always more appealing, I never dismiss the other. I do my best to keep an open mind to what each of them is saying and I try to argue both sides. Only when you can defend both sides of an argument (or you have truly tried) you see the other side’s perspective and most of all their reasoning.

With the contouring example above, I can understand why Kristen and Fiona say no stripes - people with naturally strong cheekbones may not need contouring at all or a mature lady could be aged by those stripes. I can also understand why Norma suggests the stripes - if you have a round face, wouldn't those soft "stripes" make it look less round?

Keep an open mind. Be curious. Use your common sense. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if you think that might make you look silly. Listen. Have fun.

There’s no “right” and “wrong” way. There is only your way.

Rayna van Aalst
Rayna van Aalst


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