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Tips for a make-up noob? 
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 4:01 am
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Location: Beaverton, OR
Unread post Tips for a make-up noob?
First off, let me say that I am a complete noob when it comes to all things make-up related. My mom never taught me to use make-up, and since I was always a tomboy and busy playing soccer while growing up I never had the time nor desire to learn anything about make-up. I also tend to be very blinky/flinchy about anything that comes near my eyes... As an extra fun twist, I tend to have allergies to a lot of make-up, lotions, perfumes, etc. That said, I'm hoping to debut my Aayla costume at the Eugene Film Festival troop my local garrison is doing this weekend, but I have no idea where to go or what to look for when it comes to make-up to put the final touches on my costume. I know I'll need the following at minimum:
Lipstick
Mascara
Eyeshadow

I went through the boards and have some brand names to keep an eye out for, but I don't have time to order any make-up online... Does anyone know where the best place for hypo-allergenic makeup that will stay pretty well with minimal fuss that's pretty noob-friendly? Also, a shopping list of what I would need in addition to the list above would be handy. I'm using Reel Creations body paint with Aquasealer, if that helps. I have makeup sponges for applying the base layer of the body paint, and I have the Reel Creations body paint remover stuff, but otherwise assume I don't have any make-up related tools/products/goodies. Thanks!

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:07 pm
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Unread post Re: Tips for a make-up noob?
Almay is usually good as far as make-up goes for people with allergies but I'm going to say this as clearly as I can: DO A PATCH TEST. Everything - do a patch test for everything you buy, on the underside of your forearm where the skin is most like that around your eyes and face - and do it in a pattern where you can circle each patch with a Sharpie, and write down what each dot is so you know what you react to and what is okay.

There is no such thing as hypo-allergenic make-up, no matter what the marketing people say on the package. There are no guidelines, no requirements necessary to make that claim!

Most people with make-up allergies react to some of the most commonly-found ingredients - and the cheaper the make-up, as a rule, the more likely it is to contain them. Look for formaldehyde, cobalt, paraben, and ANY form of 'fragrance'.

Lipstick: I suggest a lip stain rather than a lipstick, so you won't have to keep applying it throughout the day. It will feel dry, but resist the urge to put on chapstick for the first hour. After that it should be pretty safe.

Line lips. Don't make the stretchy-mouth to do this, because the point of lining the lips is to form a barrier at the edges and keep the lipstick from bleeding. The stretchy mouth makes the liner cake in areas, and then flake off, allowing the lipstick to bleed. Smudge the liner just a little with your middle, ring or pinkie finger - index and thumb tend to be too heavy. Fill in lipstick with a brush so it doesn't go on too heavy.

Mascara: You will need this or false eyelashes no matter what (unless you're getting your lashes dyed), and either way you're going to need to practice a lot beforehand so you don't get twitch about it being near your eyes. Keep in mind that your eyeballs do not have any touch-sensitive nerves! Whenever we feel something in our eyes, or our eyes hurt, it's actually the inner (soft, moist) eyelid lining that is irritated. If you get twitch about the skin around your eyes being touched at all, try just using your fingertips to brush at your eyelashes when you're bored. (Basically just fidget. It helps the tissues get used to being touched and builds up your self-trust to not poke your eye out.)

I suggest looking for a straight rather than curved brush. Wipe off excess mascara on a tissue, layer slowly. Let it dry between layers.

Eyeshadow: Take a photo of a set of make-up brushes, then head to a craft store and buy the same brushes (with natural bristles) there for under ten bucks. Brushes make a difference in application and blending, especially over theatrical make-up, which can have a slightly chalky texture compared to unadorned skin.

You'll put a medium intensity color on the eyelid, a lighter color under the eyebrow and blend (with a brush) down to the eyelid. Then you'll use a darker color in the crease. Blend. Use the same darker color, applied with a brush, at the base of all your eyelashes, top and bottom.

I do not suggest lining the inner rim of the eye. It requires constant touch up and I'm pretty sure it's not good for us.

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:43 pm
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Unread post Re: Tips for a make-up noob?
Yeah, I pretty much already knew I was going to forgo the eyeliner on the inner lid after reading all the threads about the trouble and pain it was to do on the other threads here. I figure that with as inexperienced a hand as mine is, it's best to avoid the overly difficult high-risk make-up maneuvers :P

Great tip about using craft store brushes rather than the specifically make-up marketed brushes. I'll keep that in mind! For the lip stain idea... Pardon the dumb question, but what exactly is the "stretchy mouth" motion? As I mentioned before, I'm a bit clueless in this area...

For the mascara/false eyelashes I'm planning on sticking to the mascara as thankfully I've been blessed with very long and thick lashes, and my memories of how annoying it is to work with false eyelashes are still lingering since the last time they were used on me (only time too, on my wedding day a couple years back). I guess it's time to start training my eyes to ignore fingers brushing at the lashes, despite the funny looks I might get here at work ;)

Any particular suggestion about what stores to check out for the make-up? There's a huge Sephora store at the mall near here, as well as a Sally's Beauty supplies and the other typical big-box mall stores (JCPennys, Nordstroms, etc) and I really don't know which is the best place for both price and quality... Unfortunately my schedule is pretty hectic until the troop, so I don't have extensive amounts of time to go store hopping to compare stock and prices. Thanks!

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:34 pm
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Unread post Re: Tips for a make-up noob?
Luananeko wrote:
Great tip about using craft store brushes rather than the specifically make-up marketed brushes. I'll keep that in mind! For the lip stain idea... Pardon the dumb question, but what exactly is the "stretchy mouth" motion? As I mentioned before, I'm a bit clueless in this area...


Remember that we're all n00bs about something, and we're all n00bs at the beginning.

"stretchy mouth" is when someone is putting lips on and they open their mouth wide like a goldfish, stretching the lips over the teeth to flatten the lips (no teeth showing). Since that's not how we normally hold our mouths, anything we put on our lips ends up too heavy, so it feels funny and it smears or clumps.

Sephora is amazing for selection and customer service. I highly, highly recommend their "Sephora Collection Cream Lipstain" - the website only shows a few colors, the stores have many more in stock. Don't be afraid to ask for help; that's what the sales associates are there for, and since they sell brands like Urban Decay, Make Up Forever and the LAMB (Gwen Stefani) offshoot, they're used to people going for a photo/theatrical look. Bring pics on your phone of Aayla and the look you want to emulate, for help with color and texture matching.

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:47 pm
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Unread post Re: Tips for a make-up noob?
Ahhh ok, that makes sense about the stretchy mouth, thanks! So I need to keep my lips as close to how they normally are as possible when doing the stain, got it. Sounds like a trip to Sephora after work tomorrow (tonight I have to head down to Aysel's again to finish up the costume bits) is in order!

I love the n00b-friendly atmosphere here, that's why I always go to you guys for advice :)

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Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:55 pm
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Unread post Re: Tips for a make-up noob?
I'm a complete girlie-makeup noob, too. People always make such a big deal out of the body paint when they ask me about Twi'lek costuming, but to me the eye makeup is about 6,000 times more difficult! (The airbrush has never once tried to poke me in the eye, afterall!)

A great way to learn some application techniques is to run a search on youtube. Granted, while there are some professionals on there, many of the videos are made by everyday folks who may or may not have a clue about the best way to do things. But, use some common sense in judging what they're doing, and you'll learn a great trick or two. Simple videos like how to apply eye shadow can make you go, "Ooohhh... so THAT's how they do that!" Sometimes just watching someone else applying the makeup can make you feel more confident about doing it yourself.

Good luck, and make sure to practice before the event!

Pam :-)

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Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:26 am
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Unread post Re: Tips for a make-up noob?
How did the trip to Sephora go?

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Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:37 pm
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Unread post Re: Tips for a make-up noob?
Nara - Heading to Sephora today after work. Yesterday was another long day at Aysel's finishing up the headwrap, belt, and flaps. Didn't quite finish the little leather patches on the top of the front flap, but we'll do a temporary thing for the troops this weekend and then make it perfect and ready for Rebel Legion approval next week :)

Pam - I completely agree with you! I caught onto the airbrushing pretty quickly when working on the lekku, but makeup has always been way "scarier" for me. I don't like things in my eyes! I've been watching the youtube videos, but I'm still pretty apprehensive about it... It's so much different to watch someone do it because you can see what they're doing. You can't see what you're doing to yourself as easily! I want to practice, but I'm on pretty tight timelines for this weekend as it is, so most of my "practice" will be on the morning of the troop. Nothing like learning on the job I guess... Thankfully my garrison is super understanding and helpful about helping out first-timers, and it's been so long since they had an active Aayla that they're really excited to see it this weekend and are bending over backwards to help me out :)

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Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:36 pm
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Unread post Re: Tips for a make-up noob?
Soooooo how did it go?

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Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:52 am
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Unread post Re: Tips for a make-up noob?
Sorry for the delayed update, this weekend was a bit of a disaster :(

Sephora trip went great, the people there were super helpful and got me everything I needed with no fuss and went the extra mile to make sure that the colors matched my reference pictures as closely as possible. They even gave me a crash course on how to apply them! Only had to spend $70 to get a clear nail polish, eyeshadow primer, eyeshadow, and a lip stain. I was expecting to spend way more than that with how expensive good cosmetics seem to be, so it was a pleasant surprise.

The troop itself unfortunately was not so good... The container I had almost all my paints in managed to open up at some point in the drive down, leaking all but my 3 tiny airbrush vials of paint all over the inside of the car trunk and backpack it was in... Over $125 worth of paint. Thankfully the backpack had waterproof dividers in it keeping the paints separate from my actual costume, plus the backpack was against the side of the trunk, so only the one backpack section and the other bottles in there got turned blue. Unfortunately since we arrived in Eugene late and went straight to bed, I didn't realize this until the morning when I was starting to get ready for the troop. I woke up early (5:15 in the morning) to do last minute costume adjustments and because my nerves wouldn't let me sleep, and realized the paints had spilled around 8:30... We tried to salvage a paint job using the 3 vials of paint, but it just wasn't enough... I even tried eeking out more paint from the emptied paint container by mixing in some 91% rubbing alcohol, but it just didn't work at all... So we washed it all off and went to the troop with the intention of having me be a spotter instead.

Got to the troop, everyone was super supportive and understanding, and recommended that we go to the Halloween store on the other side of the mall to see if they had any paints we could use as a backup. All they had was grease paint.... The workers there promised that the paints wouldn't rub off on my costume, so we figured they were cheap enough we could give it a go. Spent about 4 hours with my sister-in-law and her girlfriend's help of trying to blend some white and blue grease paint in the bathroom, but every time I moved or touched anything the paint would smear off onto EVERYTHING... Turned both my bra and everything all greasey blue and gross. Tried spraying my Reel Creations Aqua Sealer all over it to stabilize the paint, which just made it clump and get even more sticky and gross...

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law went off to try and get some baby powder to soak up the stuff and de-shiny-fy me, then brushed powder makeup over it... Nothing worked. I still had the stuff smearing off on everything I touched, and it now both clumped and flaked and oozed at the same time every time my skin moved. Positively the grossest feeling imaginable. With 1 hour to go in the 5 hour troop, we gave up and attempted to wash everything off since there was no way I was coming within 10 feet of my costume with the paint rubbing off and staining everything I barely touched... It looked like we murdered a smurf in there. Got most of the stuff off, but still was stained blue, blood sugar had cratered since I missed lunch, and I was dehydrated as all get out and dizzy from the fumes of all the crap we had been attempting to put all over me. Add to that sleep deprivation and I felt like utter crap... My husband also had to bail out of the troop early due to bad blisters and overheating in his TK outfit, so it was an all around disaster of a troop :(

Ah well... It was definitely a learning experience, albeit a painful one. My husband got practice in the best way to apply the paints while using as little as possible while still keeping it nice and even, and I've learned never to touch grease paints with a 10 foot pole. I've also learned to get a paint container with a more secure top and to keep it with me in the front of the car rather in the trunk in a backpack. I've ordered a new batch of paints from Reel Creations and specified in the comments that I need them by this Friday so they could go ahead and upgrade shipping as necessary to get here in time for the next troop. Well try again on our Saturday troop and hope for better luck this time.

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Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:27 pm
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