Best in Class

Brooklyn Dolls’ own, J, post-makeover

Last weekend I did something I’ve always wanted to do. No, I didn’t take skydiving lessons. That would be dumb. No, I didn’t run a marathon. Though, my back did hurt after this two day-long activity. Ok, enough suspense. I took a makeup course! Introduction to makeup fundamentals, if you must know. After searching the web for courses offered on a weekend (thanks day job for making life inconvenient), not equivalent to the cost of a Disney vacation (because let’s face it, I’d choose Disney), and seemed to have a reputable portfolio, I came across DEX NY Cosmetics. The brand was started by stylist/makeup artist Dex Phillip in 2008, specializing in mineral skincare. Price is reasonable, plus they give you a credit to shop at their studio. Students are asked to bring their own model. I invited J and her gorgeous cheekbones (as our instructor pointed out) to come strike a pose one day, as well as BD superfan with flawless skin, D, the other day.

The studio itself is really chic, a place where you’d want to live really, meaning it has an insane chandelier. Enough said. The space lends itself to only a few students per class. Our instructor T was great. She knew exactly the colors that would complement you without even having to think. Her background was at MAC Cosmetics, so I was an instant fan. Anyone who once put makeup on a drag queen, is allowed to touch my face.
To continue along BD’s path of sharing, here are some tips from the class (and products from the outside) that might change your life. Ok, maybe not life, but will make you prettier. And that’s what’s important.

1. Tighten a saggy old neck / keep a drag queen from looking like a dude: Use duct tape! Drag queens and Park Avenue old ladies have more in common than you think. Some (of each respective group) use duct tape to keep their faces looking tight, youthful and ladylike. Just apply behind your ears, neck and across your forehead. Clearly if you wear a wig, the tape becomes easier to conceal. Voila, new face.

2. Prime, prime, prime: Instructor T could not say it enough: primer is the most important part of your makeup regimen. Use a good primer and your makeup will stay put all day. Good for those who don’t have time to re-do their makeup for at least 8 hours. (sigh) Use an eyelash primer if you have particularly hard-to-curl lashes, like model D. Try L’Oreal lash primer for a cheap fix.

3. Don’t be scared of liquid: Many women fear the liquid foundation because they think it will feel too heavy or look too overdone. Get over it. Liquid is actually better for your skin. Try BD recent favorite Makeup Forever and oldie but goodie, Neutrogena Healthy Skin. Pressed powders could make your skin look old and dull, so use with caution. DEX makes a great Mineral Loose Foundation to set the liquid and keep it from appearing shiny.

4. Complement the heck out of your eye color: Go to a Home Depot and pick up a color wheel. Confused? A color wheel will help you pick colors to make your peepers pop. It’s pretty simple once you see the wheel. Here’s a plug for DEX’s Mineral Loose Eyeshadow. Not one to try loose powder because it’s messy (and I’m lazy), this changed my mind. The colors are so pigmented and rich, I don’t think a pressed shadow can do the job.

5. Cut the redness: If you have red undertones (like moi), look to use a blue primer that cuts the redness. Like I said, buy the color wheel. I’m in love with the Makeup Forever HD Microperfecting Primer. It covers the redness before you apply any foundation.

6. Don’t start all over if you make a mess: No need to wash your face every time shadow falls onto your cheeks. Q-tips could be your best friend. Just dab some makeup remover on it and clean the mess. Even better, apply some powder concealer over the fall-off and no one will ever be the wiser.

7. Chisel your face: Any good face needs some definition. Even the roundest of faces could look more angular with the right products. Practice contouring your face with a shade darker than your foundation. Follow underneath your cheekbone and carve it out. Stay away from the bronzer, it’s too much. Then take some highlighting dust and apply to the top of your cheekbones. Benefit makes a great highlighting liquid, High Beam, that J & I (and our cheekbones) can’t get enough.

8. Multi-purpose your tools: It’s tempting to buy the next shiny product: brush, foundation, lip liner. But remember your lip liner could be used as lipstick, which is preferred over the
dark line, light lips look. 1995 left the building people. Your kabuki brush (my fave) can be your contour brush, highlight applicator etc. Your contour powder or shadow could double as your eyebrow filler. And your kitchen spoon could be used to curl your lashes.

9. Get on top: Line the top lid of your eyes to make them appear larger. Try a liquid liner or a gel liner to make the line more dramatic. Pencil liners don’t provide the precision that liquid or gel does. If you want some color under the eyes, be bold with your shadow and dust it across the bottom lid. Try DEX’s Luxe Crème Eyeliner for a great selection of color.

10. Be good to your eyes: The eyes are the windows to your soul, and to your age. Skin is thinnest around the eyes, so it’s the first to go south. Do not pull on your eyes when you apply your liner. If you apply the liner on the top lid, tilt your head back a bit. If you line the bottom, look forward. You’ll get rid of the shadows blocking your view. And again, limit the eye pencil. It’s usually the pencil that gets stuck on your skin and pulls that delicate area.

I highly recommend checking out DEX’s fall/winter class schedule. The tips above are just a mere few to what you could learn. You’ll love, and tell T the Brooklyn Dolls say hi.


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