Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pumps & Pleats’ makeup guide

Story and photo by Michèle De Meglio

Beauty magazines like Cosmo and Glamour convince women that in order to be considered chic, they need the hottest fashions, most expensive purses and slickest stilettos. Don’t forget makeup.

Most gals would tell you that Sephora is the No. 1 shop for super luxe (and super pricey) makeup. But in these hard economic times, sometimes all you can afford is a strawberry Lip Smacker from Walgreens.

Pumps & Pleats visited our favorite Brooklyn drugstore to get the skinny on (hopefully) fab and fantastic beauty products.

Some ladies go to town with their makeup (spackle anyone?) but that’s never a good look at the end of a hard day in the office. Instead, it pays to have a fresh face — and wear makeup that’s so subtle it doesn’t look like you’re wearing any makeup at all. Gosh, I remember when Becky gave that same advice to a teenage D.J. on “Full House.” Sorry, I’m straying from the subject.

The makeup aisle at CVS is jam-packed with goodies from Revlon, Almay and Maybelline, just to name a few. (You can find many of the same products at other chains like Duane Reade and Rite Aid but I find that the shelves at my local CVS are always well stocked.)

Since we’re on the hunt for light, tasteful makeup, let’s start with foundation. That’s where many ladies go wrong. It’s time to stop suffocating your skin with a thick concealer stick, heavy liquid foundation and pressed powder. Your pours need to breathe!

You definitely want to stay away from heavy makeup if you’re prone to breakouts. Instead, opt for an oil-free tinted moisturizer or try Neutrogena’s SkinClearing Blemish Stick, which is a light cover-up with acne-fighting salicylic acid.

Flush your cheeks with Sally Hansen’s Sheerest Cream Blush which offers a soft look and blends smoothly. Here’s a tip — use your finger to pick up a thin layer of the blush and lightly pat it on the apples of your cheeks for a sun-kissed sheen.

If you struggle to apply mascara or eyeliner (jabbing your eye is never fun), ditch the sticks and try a sparkly eye shadow that’s easy to apply and will make your eyes pop. CoverGirl’s Eye Enhancers palettes offer four shades for the price of one so you can pick which is best for you.

Of course lipstick provides great color but the product can often seem gooey when applied. It’s also terribly annoying when a gust of wind leaves your long hair stuck in the shiny substance.

To avoid this sticky sensation and still get some snazzy color, try a lip tint or stain. CoverGirl’s Outlast Lipstain promises hours of color but is very difficult to remove. (Pumps & Pleats thinks the best stain on the market is Benefit’s Benetint, which washes away without fuss and retails for $20 at Sephora.)

Once you have your stain, lock it in with a clear gloss, which will add shine and lipstick’s gluey consistency, or a clear lip balm, which is matte and lacks stickiness. Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm is a perfect choice — and it will treat chapped lips.

Nail polish can also add some, uh, polish to your look.

It’s always fun to wear the trendiest colors like Chanel’s coveted green jade hue or OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark shade. But sometimes, a fad can go bad.

A few weeks ago, I coated my nails with what appeared to be a rich burgundy. Not quite. It was more of an incredibly deep brown — nearly black. My hot Saturday night date wasn’t so impressed, saying, “Time for Halloween?” Not the reaction I was looking for.

After the dark shade chipped, I traded it for a pleasantly sweet translucent pink. Sometimes pretty is better than trendy.

Michèle De Meglio is a native Brooklynite addicted to all things chic. Check out Pumps & Pleats each week for more adventures as she scours the borough for fab duds and accessories.


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