Your face is the perfect canvas

February 28, 2012

Beauty and Anti-aging, Skin

We all start with a basic “blank canvas,” and learning the techniques to build from there can enhance our beauty exponentially.

by Linda L. Leibl — 

For those of us who want to look our very best, having flawless makeup to create a more beautiful and natural-looking face is job one. We all start with a basic “blank canvas,” and learning the techniques to build from there can enhance our beauty exponentially. I assure you that you would hardly recognize most movie stars without their makeup. The following are steps that will help you create an absolutely flawless look.

Preparing your canvas

• First, you need clean, healthy skin. Make sure all the products in your skincare line are pH correct, not just balanced. This includes cleanser, toner, serum, eye crème and moisturizers. If you are using additional products such as a wrinkle filler, a lift product, facial scrub, deep-pore masque or enzyme peel, you are many steps ahead of the game for healthy, radiant skin.

• Apply toner and moisturizer products, followed by a moisturizing sunscreen with an effective UVA absorber on your entire face, neck and chest area. Products with avobenzone, arnica, rosemary, linden and chamomile can be beneficial.

• Next, use an advanced primer that will create a perfect canvas on which to apply your makeup. This primer works in harmony with other anti-aging products to help tone, smooth and minimize the visual appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores. Make sure to wait five minutes for it to work its full magic and to prepare your skin for your foundation or mineral powder.

• Your liquid foundation should be highly concentrated and applied with a convenient applicator to help beautify and protect your skin from the daily effects of aging. Make sure you are color tested correctly.

• Your concealer should be in a cream with a blend of antioxidants to reduce the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles.

• Next, apply either a translucent loose or pressed powder. Loose powder should be applied with a clean feather brush and rolled in small circles starting at your forehead, moving left to right, all the way down your face. This will leave a radiant, transparent finish. Your translucent pressed powder should be talc-free and can be lightly infused with pure jasmine oil, leaving your skin with a light luminescent glow.

If you are under 40 and have nice healthy skin, a mineral powder can be gently used on dry, normal and combination skin types, creating a perfect-looking finish with realistic coverage and sun-protecting properties.

You are the artist now. Your face is the perfect canvas to apply your favorite glamour items, which will only improve upon your already beautiful visage.


• Use a fanned brush to stroke a sun-kissed type of bronzer below the cheek, from the bottom of the ear. Make the strokes obvious. These will be blended in later.

• Next, use a brush to stroke a white, oyster or pearl highlight shadow above the cheekbone from the top of the ear, again obvious, to be blended later.

• Apply blush next, in a cool or warm base color, with your blush brush. Do this below your eye, and stroke back toward the middle of your ear, again until obvious color is seen. Now, blend all of these colors with a sponge.

• Remember when contouring, light colors come forward and dark colors recede back.

The eyes have it

Krista Embry, a professional makeup artist for more than 20 years, has worked with countless performers and celebrities in Hollywood and across the country. She is happy to share her tips and techniques to help women achieve a flawless look.

Her most popular eye look, which she calls the “Audrey Eye Look,” is done in five easy steps.

Step 1. Using a shadow brush, cover your entire eyelid with a very light, soft, creamy beige eye shadow, shading above and below your lash line.

Step 2. Apply black liquid eyeliner to the upper lash line. Start near the corner of your eye and make sure the line directly above your pupil is thicker than the line in the inner and outer corners.

Step 3. Using a shading brush, apply a very light, soft pastel pink eye shadow to the eye crease and blend.

Step 4. Apply a smoky medium-brown eye shadow with a shading brush, from the inner to outer corner crease of the eye.

Step 5. Finish the look by applying a very pale oyster or pearl eye shadow over your eyelids.

Luscious lips

• Choose a shade brighter than your natural lip color — either warm or cool — depending on the coloring of your skin. Look at your lips and decide whether the top or the bottom is fuller. Now line your lips so that the top and bottom are equal.

You may use this as a color and just apply gloss on top for a simple look. For a more dramatic look, you can line your lips with a lip pencil, using a coordinating color. This will make your lipstick last longer because you are using very little product. Finally, you can apply a sheer shine (if you have small lips for your face), or you can use a lip-saver sunscreen.

• Finish by lining your eyebrows proportionately with a color that is close to the darkest color in your hair.

• Lastly, apply a coat of mascara, touch up your lipstick, then go back and reapply your mascara for an even fuller look.

With just a few good tools and some smart techniques in your makeup arsenal, you will be looking more fabulous than ever.


Linda L. Leibl, B.S., therapeutic aesthetician, founded Advanced Skin Technology in 1993. 480-443-3445 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 5, Oct/Nov 2009.

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