Another from our Q & A Series:
What do YOU look for in your Makeup?
So this is a GREAT question, because I think many women have difficulty shopping for makeup- because they are overwhelmed with choices. And really HOW can you tell what Is good and what is poor quality makeup?
Now, Instead of me just naming great brands, and believe me, there are a lot of them out there, It would benefit you all much more if I tell you, as a pro makeup artist, what pros look for, and what constitutes a quality cosmetic. This way you will be armed to TRY for yourself brands that appeal to you, from every type of store, and any price point, and determine if, they are worth your time and money.
Number one is- Does it actually work as it’s supposed to. Let me clarify- because I know you’re all thinking, well DUH! But hold up-
Nowadays more and more I am seeing people, especially in social media, going through some very elaborate prep in order to use a product for it’s intended purpose. The best example of this is Primer. If a primer actually works to correct something in the skin, such as smoothing skin surface or minimizing pores, and enhances the final outcome, then fine, that’s its job. But if copious amounts of primer are used to make a secondary product actually be effective, then that product is worthless.
I see this constantly with eye shadows. Thick layers of primer are slathered over the lid and then shadow is literally packed on. Let me be clear- if it doesn’t work as a decent shadow without the primer, then it is a horrible quality shadow.
Now I get you may like a primer- especially those that Foil or deepening a shadow, or those of you with oily lids ( though skipping moisturizer on eyes, and prepping with a bit of translucent, oil absorbing powder is a pro trick for this), but to HAVE to use it for a good saturation or longevity, means you are wasting your time and money. You are better off spending a bit more for a shadow with great color pay-off, than using twice the amount, or more, of TWO products you now have to pay for.
This is even more true for foundations, as they are used over a greater surface area, and tend to be much more expensive to boot. If your foundation ( sans primer) has gravitated off your skin after a few hours, please check first that you are applying and setting ( if necessary) correctly. If you are, then the problem is with either your choice, (meaning not appropriate for your skin type) or its terrible quality. If the only way a foundation “sticks” to your skin or shows up at all, is with primer, yeah, time to find a better one.
So what do I look for in the foundation I choose, or really, any makeup I choose? The color, when swatched once along my skin has good color payoff. I want the color to SHOW, and look reasonably like what I see in the pan or jar. ( obvious exceptions to this are color shifting shadows-but the color should still SHOW up and be saturated.)
If it is a foundation, I need to see that it gives the amount of coverage it says it will, ie Tinted moisturizer, medium coverage, full coverage, medical grade coverage etc. It also must have a smooth, skin texture, and that is regardless of what type of finish- matte, semi matte, dewy, etc. Concealers need to have a tad more coverage and opacity, they can be anywhere from creamy to a bit dryer based on your needs, but if they aren’t opaque and pigmented enough, they won’t conceal anything.
Blushes and bronzers actually benefit from being a tad bit more sheer so your own skin tone glows through, BUT the color still needs to show when it is brushed or pressed onto your skin. You should still be getting color payoff even if the opacity is less. If you have to dip back in again and again into a product to see any color transfer to skin or to even pick it up on your brush or applicator, that is a sign of poor quality.
Another thing to look for is textures. Good makeup should have slip, this is the ability of makeup to be smoothed onto skin, and blended. The texture can be creamy or silky or powdery, but if it ever feels gritty, chalky, greasy. etc., anything generally unpleasant to skin feel, It’s another sign of a poorly developed finished cosmetic.
Another thing I tend to demand from my products is transparency. I know that seems to have nothing to do with the actual product, BUT I think it says a LOT about what ends up as a final product in your jar. Can I TRUST this company?
I really require clear ingredients. Do they list them on website? I want to know before I spend my money, what’s in that bottle or jar. I want to read reviews, if I can.
I also want to see real descriptions of products, not weirdly made up pseudo-sciencey sounding words, I want to hear, from the company, what they expect their product to do, and then I want to see, Does it do what it says? Period. If it does SCORE! if it doesn’t? Well, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me!” I can promise I won’t buy it a second time.
Now that’s not to say it’s an absolutely a bad product, just because you didn’t like it, not everything is for everybody; you do get to have some preference as well. But if it consistently DOESN’T or CAN’T perform, that’s a fairly glaring issue.
I hope this has been helpful to my lovely readers- because I can tell you I HATE wasting my money on terrible products. More and more there are RAVES about products that, frankly . when I’ve tried them, simply don’t live up to the hype. This is particularly true about many consumer based products with large social media followings. Most especially if the reviews have been sponsored. With the onslaught of social media advertorials we are inundated with the newest, latest, must have, viral product; but also, never before has the adage “buyer beware” been more true.
I’m interested in what YOU think makes great quality makeup! Comment here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.