Each week our no-holds-barred contributor Grace Gold picks apart a hot beauty topic. It’s our version of an op-ed—with hair, eyeliner and lipstick.
Can you imagine what a year's worth of makeup looks like?
Wonder no longer. Dutch artists Sander Plug and Lernert Engelberts have created a short film chronicling the application of 365 layers of makeup to the bare complexion of Belgian model Hannelore Knuts.
Nine hours, seven bottles of foundation and three lipstick pens later, the blonde beauty emerges with about eight ounces of cosmetics swirled on to her face.
The crew was so dedicated to accuracy that Knuts' visage remained wedged between white construction panels all day, and she was straw-fed juice for sustenance. (No details have emerged on how they handled the bathroom situation.)
The final result, with the products resembling the thick ripples atop a banana cream pie, reminded me of what a full face of makeup used to feel like at the end of a long day. Heavy polymer-laden foundations, viscous lipstick you could feel and smell (eau de synthetic rose!) and clump-prone mascara used to be common pitfalls of getting pretty.
But in recent years makeup has undergone a makeover of its own, if you will. Brands have realized that women hold steadfast to products that make it seem like they're not wearing makeup. As someone whose threshold for heavy makeup lowers as I get older, I've actually made it a priority to lighten up the load. After all, makeup is the most fun when it's a creative joy to apply it in the morning instead of feeling like you're subjecting yourself to a multitude of unbreathable layers.
This season's newest foundation launches are making weightless wear more possible than ever before with the help of some spiffy technology. It's usually foundation application that can feel most like a chore, but it needn't be.
Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation fuses pure pigment to your skin with a formula that instantly dries down to a finish that is so undetectable, I'm not sure I've ever experienced anything like it before. It's actually a bit of a thrill to apply! (Really, you've got to try it!)
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H joins hydrocarbon with silicone in a new polymer that is lighter and airier than traditional coverage particles. And Bare Escentuals boasts an even more micronized powder in its latest BareMinerals Ready SPF 20 makeup, which is a pressed mineral foundation that feels refreshingly bare on skin.
Certain application techniques can also lighten your makeup. I've found that heating my eyelash curler with a quick blast of the blow-dryer opens and lifts my lashes all day, which is a more effective way of capturing flutter than by piling on heavy coats of mascara. As an added bonus: it makes your one or two coats of mascara last longer, so you can invest in those fancy formulas that may be cost-prohibitive otherwise.
Also, instead of spackling on layers of concealer under my eyes (thanks for the circles, mom!), I use a light-reflecting highlighter pen followed by a thin layer of concealer for a more natural, brightened, fresher effect. In place of my lip liner-lipstick-lipgloss routine, I now wear lip color balm, thanks to the truer pigments you can find on the market today. (You will still have to pry my hands loose of lip liner!)
Touchups can add more weight as your day goes on. As an alternative to continually applying powder as oil forms on my skin, I simply blot my face with a napkin or tissue to neatly absorb shine.
They may have called makeup "war paint" back in the day, but I say it's far better to make peace with your face.
What tricks do you use to lighten the feel of your makeup?