Rethinking Makeup for the Mask Era

Rethinking makeup as the coronavirus pandemic plays out has left many of us feeling divided on the look we want to pursue. While our fantasy selves want to experiment with drama as a route to escapism, makeup artists say they expect a move toward eye makeup that’s expressive yet simple. Our practical selves want makeup to be basic and natural when we wear a mask that obscures half the face. The new basic face is focused on brows and amplified lashes and uses foundation sparingly if at all.

Who needs foundation that smears all over that essential health/fashion accessory—the mask? A light foundation application is all you need on exposed areas. Use concealer right under the eyes in the most hollow part of the eye socket and press the formula into the skin to achieve a natural look. Save the lipstick for your Zoom closeup.

Put focus on your brows

Grooming unruly brows allows for a more polished appearance. Unkempt eyebrows stand out when the bottom half of your face is covered. Pluck stray hairs and apply a tinted gel to groom brows into place. One thing we should focus on now when half the face is covered is how to properly fill in the brows. Brush the brows up and outward and fill in only where you need more hair. Avoid the mistake that most people make in filling in too much at the inner part of the brows. Instead, focus on the tail where most brows are sparse.

Makeup artists warn that most people tend to get their brows too dark. Use a brown pencil to fill in any sparse spots.  An eyebrow pencil will give you more control over color density than powder, which can be blotchy. Choose a pencil with an angled flat tip. This shape will help you achieve the look you desire and mimic the direction of hair growth.

Aim to open up your eyes

Emphasize your eyes if you want your makeup to have an impact when you wear a mask. The goal is to open up your eyes when half your face is covered. Some makeup artists advise skipping eyeliner entirely and opting for only mascara, while others suggest using eyeliner to introduce more color. A bright color is interesting and fun and can be used as both a liner and an eyeshadow color. A brown eyeliner with a cream colored waterline color can also make your eyes pop naturally. Whichever technique you choose, skip the black eyeliner. Heavy eyeliner is a quick way to close your eyes up.

Start by curling your lashes and applying a few coats of mascara. Use several coats of a dark black mascara and carefully build up the lash line and the root of the lash. You will open the eyes up and give them definition without having to wear eyeliner. Adding another layer on the center lashes only will further enhance the eye. If you use individual lash extensions, add a couple lashes to the outer ends of your lashes for more drama.

Introduce color with eyeliner and shimmering shadow

If you’re inclined to favor more drama, try a winged eyeliner look in a bright color such as pink, blue, or burgundy. You can work up to a wing from a simple line along the lashes by starting with a triangle drawn at the outer corner of the eye. Then gently create a line that connects that triangle to the inner corner of your eye.

Shimmery eyeshadows and highlighters add additional creative expression if you have the time for them. Use a shimmery shade that’s easy to apply. An eye gloss will draw in light and dry to a metallic finish so that the attention immediately goes to the eyes. Apply shadow underneath your eyes to open up your eyes even more. Finish off with a touch of highlighter in your inner corners to reflect light.

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