Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

Do you rely on makeup to be more attractive?

March 7th, 2015

Celebrity Makeup News and Blogs:

In our podcast Episode 70 we discussed a research study which indicated makeup is not the key to attractiveness. One of our astute listeners, Nadia, pointed out that we neglected to mention other research which came to a much different conclusion. She graciously took the time to summarize these additional studies and, with her permission, I am reprinting her email below. Take it away Nadia…soofi_makeup_by_minelissa_robot-d4b9d49

A lot of blogs and the media, including The Beauty Brains were buzzing about a study in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology that implies women wear too much makeup based on misperceptions. However, it is only one paper right now. That matters because the replication rate in psychology is unknown, and a preliminary estimate is between 33 and 66%. Susannah Locke of Vox also questioned the conclusions and methodology of the QJEP article. The female models were told to do their makeup for a night out, but then photographed in daytime lighting.  It may be true that women would look better to most people if they wore less makeup, but replications and papers that address these limitations are needed to say for sure.

Broadly, several studies have examined how cosmetics affect female facial attractiveness. They demonstrate that women are judged more attractive, on average, when they are wearing cosmetics in photos. A French psychologist with a gift for designing naturalistic experiments has done some related work that shows these effects emerge in behavioral interaction as well. Gueguen and his associates found that female waitresses are tipped more by male customers when wearing makeup. In another study, he looked at how many males approached a female confederate in a bar when she was wearing cosmetics compared to not. She was approached more frequently when she was wearing cosmetics. The weight of the existing evidence is pretty conclusive: cosmetics enhance female facial attractiveness.


Cash, T. F., Dawson, K., Davis, P., Bowen, M., & Galumbeck, C. (1989). Effects of cosmetics use on the physical attractiveness and body image of American college women. The Journal of Social Psychology, 129(3), 349-355.

Etcoff, N. L., Stock, S., Haley, L. E., Vickery, S. A., & House, D. M. (2011). Cosmetics as a feature of the extended human phenotype: Modulation of the perception of biologically important facial signals. PloS one, 6(10), e25656.

Guéguen, N. (2008). Brief report: The effects of women‘s cosmetics on men‘s approach: An evaluation in a bar. North American Journal of Psychology, 10(1), 221-228.

Gueguen, Nicolas, and Celine Jacob. “Enhanced Female Attractiveness with Use of Cosmetics and Male Tipping Behavior in Restaurants.”Journal of Cosmetic Science 62.3 (2011): 283-90. Print.

Jacob, C., Guéguen, N., Boulbry, G., & Ardiccioni, R. (2010). Waitresses’ facial cosmetics and tipping: A field experiment. International journal of hospitality management, 29(1), 188-190.

Mulhern, R., Fieldman, G., Hussey, T., Lévêque, J. L., & Pineau, P. (2003). Do cosmetics enhance female Caucasian facial attractiveness? International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 25(4), 199-205.

Osborn, D. (1996). Beauty is as Beauty Does?: Makeup and Posture Effects on Physical Attractiveness Judgments. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26(1), 31-51.

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MAC Autumn/Winter 2014 Runway Trend Report

August 20th, 2014

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For Autumn/Winter 2014, makeup has become something of a beautiful paradox: it’s about artistry to achieve something that looks essentially un-cosmetic (thanks to ever more sophisticated and subtle makeup formulations and applications). Masking and morphing feels irrelevant this season; a quiet alchemy of product and technique that nonchalantly amplifies what is unique in the face is the new stealth wealth of makeup. “The new luxury is in individuality,” confirms Gordon Espinet.

There is a confident subtlety in all these beauty directions. “There is no absolute formula to how makeup has to look to appear modern now,” says Lyne Desnoyers. “There is a freedom to experiment and a confidence to break away from conventional means of constructing beauty.” Hence nuances of texture (transparent lightness is more important than heavy opacity this season), combined with unpredictable colors (“off” colour is distinctly “on” trend) and non-prescriptive placements form the new technical vocabulary that makes these trends look distinctly fresh and “now”.

Trend #1: Streamlined
Eyes are indisputably the feature to focus on for the season ahead; framed with an architectural liner, these eyes add a strength to the face that sits somewhere between glamour and grunge (but, vitally, looks like neither of the two). “Tomboy” and “tough around the eyes” were common descriptors of these lean, horizontally focused shapes: complemented by similarly present brows, they lend a beautiful edge to the face that is not anything angry or extravagant. Liner now is an ornament, but not an excessive one. What breathes new life into liner for AW14 is as much to do with the entire treatment of the face as the eyes in isolation. Nothing in the métier of these faces feels labored.

Trend #2: Off Color
A drab-inflected palette is being used in a beautifully paradoxical manner this season: grungy color that creates the effect of luminosity and life in the face. These decayed shades prove that color absolutely does not have to correct or complement in order to be beautiful. Their inherent grey-ness and extreme transparency takes them away from looking like evident pigments; they add mood, not makeup, to the face.

Trend #3: On Reflection
Just as textural contrasts informed the fashion collections, reflective accents are a dominant beauty refrain for AW14. Punctuations of shine against matte provide an endless repertoire of plays on light, from neutral metallics (predominantly gold with forays into copper, pewter and silver) through to literal gloss. So whilst reflection this season is not about conceptual minimalism, it is a designed minimalism: thoughtfully applied with consideration on specific placement and weight of shine (from sheer balm to high vinyl), this is a luxurious, but not glamorous, approach to shaping the face.

Trend #4: Unprocessed
How about we don’t talk about “natural” makeup any more? Let’s call it “real” instead. Because that’s what a barer-faced look is really speaking about now. The individual. Applying the tag “natural makeup” to any face created in a palette of skin-akin tones is an outmoded concept; “real” is not 3D-perfect skin that has had all the contours and highlights artificially added back in. Yes, all makeup is, by definition, not natural, but minimal makeup in AW14 is about the purely democratic idea of accentuating reality, of reveling in normality. Neither masculine, nor flirtatiously pretty, neither glam, nor grunge. This is, quite simply, how a strong, self-assured, cool, relevant woman today probably wants to look: like she has not tried too hard.

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The Makeup Show Chicago 2014 Recap

June 10th, 2014

Celebrity Makeup News and Blogs:

After 2 days of immense fun, learning and shopping, The Makeup Show Chicago 2014 has finally come to a wrap! Read on for a brief recap of some of my favorite moments from this year!

Deconstructing Artistry: Techniques for Unconventional Beauty by OCC

Deconstructing Artistry: Techniques for Unconventional Beauty by OCC

At Deconstructing Artistry: Techniques for Unconventional Beauty, Founder of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics David Klasfeld teamed up with Brand Manager & Director of Makeup Artistry Courtney Tichman to create 2 powerful, organic looks. The duo also show us a few non-traditional ways to use OCC’s iconic Lip Tars, including using the Clear one as a primer on the eyes and the Metallic formula as a blush.

OCC's David Klasfeld working his magic on the model

OCC’s David Klasfeld working his magic on the model

Next, I sat in at the How To Create A Multi-Dimensional Smoky Eye seminar by NARS Cosmetics artist Justin Heslop. Using the latest Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow, a wet/dry shadow that made its debut at the show, Justin created a gorgeous smoky eye look and shared with us a few ways to nail Francois Nars’ signature makeup style: 1) Always do the complexion – primer, foundation, concealer and set with powder – before the eyes. 2) Lay out the basic shape of the smoky eye with shadows then use Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder to diffuse the edges and sweep away any shadow fallout. 3) Add in a bit of blush on the crease then blend towards the temple to make the smoky eye less disconnected from the rest of the face.

How To Create A Multi-Dimensional Smoky Eye by Justin Heslop for NARS

How To Create A Multi-Dimensional Smoky Eye by Justin Heslop for NARS

At Creating Celebrity Style, top notch celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff, who has a long line of A-list clients including Naomi Watts, Natalie Portman, Kate Bosworth, Eva Mendes and more, shared with us a few of her must-haves and tricks. Pati pointed out that the key to nailing red carpet makeup is to work with the stylist and create makeup that complements, not distract. Instead of using powder, Pati is big on priming and loves a mattifying primer in the center of the face and an luminizing one on the sides. Some of her faves? L’oreal RevitaLift Miracle Blur, Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector and NARS Light Optimizing Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 (also one of my HGs!) She is also a HUGE fan of SUQQU Foundation (a Japanese line only available in the UK and Asia) and uses 2 shades on her clients – a lighter one in the center and a darker one on the sides, which helps to contour.

Creating Celebrity Style by Pati Dubroff

Creating Celebrity Style by Pati Dubroff

Then at the Runway Trends seminar, MAC Senior Artist Victor Cembellin, whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at the MAC PRO Sculpting The Face Master Class, gave us the low down on the hottest trends from the Spring/Summer 2014 runways. 1) Day Glow is all about “raw” or as the everyday customer calls it, “real” skin 2) CC-Through Colour involves the use of color (lilac and peaches) but in washes for a “real” effect 3) Light FX, is the use of light and white, as seen at various shows I attended including Altuzarra and 4) The New Eye-Deal, which involves making classic beauty statements like block eyeliner but in a modern, never-before-seen way. The end result? An insanely beautiful yet modern runway look.

S/S 2014 Runway Trends by MAC Senior Artist Victor Cembellin

S/S 2014 Runway Trends MAC Senior Artist Victor Cembellin

Let’s not forget Make Up For Ever. During Color Explosion: From Beauty to High Fashion, Make Up For Ever educator Jessie Powers demonstrated how to create a vibrant eye look using Make Up For Ever Flash Color Palette. Jessie stressed the importance of building a classic base before working with color and to always start out sheer when working with creams and setting with a powder – be it eyeshadow, blush or even loose powder – to prevent creasing.

Color Explosion: From Beauty to High Fashion by Jessie Powers

And lastly, a few more highlights from the show.

Makeup demo by Kanesha Perry for Stila Cosmetics

Model getting blinged up at Oliv Ares Haus of Glam

Makeup Demo by Smashbox’s Lori Taylor

Temptu showcasing its best – airbrush!

Body painting by Nigel Beauty

Makeup demo by Make Up First

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What is Clarins Beauty Flash Balm?

September 24th, 2013

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Madeira must know…What is Clarins Beauty Flash Balm? Is it a primer? A moisturizer? What does it do? (If anything).

The Beauty Brains respond:

According to Clarins this product “instantly moisturizes, brightens, and tightens facial contours so skin looks rested and relaxed.”   It also “prepares skin for perfect makeup application.” We suppose you could call this a “moisturizing primer.”

Flash in the pan

A quick look at the ingredients (see below) reveals that the product is water-based and contains the following key ingredients:

  • Hygroscopic agents (propylene glycol and glycerin) which will help bind moisture to skin. However if the climate is very dry these kinds of ingredients can actually pull water out of the skin.
  • Octyldodecanol – a hydrocarbon-based emollients that will help make skin feels smoother.
  • Starch which is a film former. That means as it dries on your skin it will make it feel tighter. This can have a temporary effect on reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

It’s also important to note what this product does NOT contain. There are no highly occlusive moisturizing agents to seal moisture in the skin, such as petrolatum or dimethicone. There are no skin resurfacing agents that would truly make this product “brightening” such as a retinoid or an alpha hydroxy acid.

The Beauty Brains bottom-line

This product should do pretty much what it claims as long as you don’t get your hopes too high. It will certainly provide some degree of moisturization (although there are much better moisturizers on the market); it will also smooth skin and help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The starchy film combined with the octyldodecanol should provide a good base for make up. Just remember that it won’t provide any sustained benefits to your skin – once you wash it off the benefits will disappear.

Beauty Flash Balm Ingredients

Aqua/Water/Eau, Propylene Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Glycerin, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Stearate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Bisabolol, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum/Fragrance, Butylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Citrate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Algae Extract, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Coumarin, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxycitronellal, Citronellol, Geraniol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Eugenol, Limonene, Isoeugenol, Ci 15985/Yellow 6E.

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Marc Jacobs Beauty Is Finally Here!

August 9th, 2013

Celebrity Makeup News and Blogs:

The long anticipated Marc Jacobs Beauty line is finally in stores today! Born from a synergistic collaboration between Marc Jacobs and Sephora, the expansive Marc Jacobs Beauty collection contains an assortment of 16 innovative complexion and color cosmetics and four chic and luxurious makeup brushes.

Marc’s inspiration for the collection stems from the spirit of “The Girl” and her makeup ritual. “I think the idea of transforming into this person you want to be is a lot of fun… it’s this idea of a young woman enjoying creating her look, getting ready for her night out, or her night after her night out.”

A few things I’m looking forward to checking out are Magic Marc’er Precision Pen, Style Eye-Con No.7 Plush Eyeshadow and Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation. And Marc’s personal favorites from the collection? Boy Tested. Girl Approved. Lip Lock Moisture Balm, Brow TamerGrooming Gel and Remedy Concealer Pen.

Will you be getting your hands on the new Marc Jacobs Beauty Collection?

Marc Jacobs Beauty is available now exclusively at Sephora, select Marc Jacobs stores and Prices range from $18 to $78.

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