In a world where youthful beauty is queen, many women experience anxiety when it comes to aging. Makeup is something that we use to address what we perceive as flaws, and will never make us younger.
This is the first guiding principle of Beke Beau, an award-winning makeup artist and teacher, licensed esthetician, and founder of the Paint School of Makeup. Though she’s been working in the beauty industry for over 30 years and has done makeup on celebrities from Billie Jean King to Martin Short, Beke did not open her own studio until the age of 50. There, she teaches not what she can do for women, but what women can do for themselves.
“I don’t love makeup,” Beke admits on her blog, Beauty Sageist. “I love my clients, and have an abiding compassion for women who face the aging process in a world where youthful beauty rules.”
Thanks to the pure volume of cosmetic products that exist today, coupled with alluring advertisements and packaging like toys, it is inevitable that we buy makeup that we don’t need. And, according to Beke, we may not be using our makeup right, either.
“The number one reason we use makeup is to remove distractions,” Beke explains in her program with Girls Nite Live. “We can use makeup, and a very small amount of it to remove those distractions.”
Redness, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, blemishes, sun spots, fullness, and sagging are all examples of distractions. By using makeup to address them, your routine will become a lot more straightforward and involve a lot less product.
“We get a dopamine response when we buy things,” Beke explains. “It’s not because we need it, it’s because it makes us feel good.”
Before buying makeup, Beke recommends focusing on skin care. But, we are only human… so, when we are enticed by the newest trend, it is important that we understand why we’re drawn to it before opening our wallets.
To help us become more educated consumers, we asked Beke to tell us more about today’s trends: why they work, when they don’t work, and how to accomplish them with less product.
While the word “contour” only recently made its way into the common vernacular, this method of applying light and dark makeup to subtly enhance one’s bone structure has been around since the dawn of time. Still, it is a trend to approach with caution.
“The contouring that we see in the media suggests that you can use it to change your nose, for example, without surgery, “ Beke states. But, “once you take that contouring out into different lighting….”
It goes down the toilet. If you want to contour, make sure you’re in controlled lighting. And remember, makeup can only enhance… not edit.
The “Dewey” Look
“Dewey is a texture, like matte or shimmer,” Beke explains, “A dewey finish is reflective… [and that] moisture suggests youth.”
You may see products like glow sticks or highlighting balms that could help you achieve a dewey finish, but be warned: this look is difficult to maintain over a long period of time, and again, is entirely dependent on lighting. If you want to hop on this trend, there is some good news— it can be accomplished with simpler tools.
“A little bit of oil mixed into some foundation will give you a light shimmer without the heaviness,” Beke explains. She recommends high-quality, low-cost oils from The Ordinary.
Colorful Eyeliner, Eyeshadow, and Lipstick
Who hasn’t seen a model in bright mascara and eyeliner and added some to their own cart? Colorful trends are undeniably appealing, and Beke has some insights as to why:
“What I’ve been guilty of, and what I think many women are guilty of, when it comes to [shopping] is that we buy for the life we want, not the one we have,” Beke states.
While bright green eyeliner may look cool in a magazine, it may not work for your next meeting. However, color can still do wonders for one’s face… but only if we approach them like tools and not toys.
Next time you’re looking for a colorful lip or eye shade, take a look at a color wheel. Have blue eyes? A red lipstick will make them stand out. Brown eyes typically have green or yellow undertones, so pink or purple can enhance them, too.
Thick & Thin Brows
One trend that Beke regrets falling into was the eyebrow plucking of the 80s. “Anything that involves some kind of semi-permanent or permanent result is a problem,” she says.
Our eyebrows help communicate for us, so they’re an important part of your face. In this respect, Beke’s advice to women is to embrace what they’ve got.
To learn more about Beke’s philosophy on makeup and find a beauty routine that serves you, click here to sign up for her program: Makeup For Grown-Ass Women: Use Makeup as A Tool, Not A Toy.