Friday, February 26, 2016

Make-up Secrets for Tangueras Part I

In my previous life, I was a makeup artist. I worked for over 20 cosmetic companies, both as a freelance make-up artist and as a full-time counter make-up artist. When I started my own online, and for a short time print, beauty magazine, I worked as the editor, photographer and make-up artist with 3 models and 2 contributing writers. It was fun - which was lucky because none of us made a dime. Chalk it up to one of those character-building experiences. I also did make-up for events, worked on teams with artists for pageants and runway shows. Sometimes I still miss the job. I don't miss being on my feet for 8-10 hours a day and I certainly don't miss the selling aspect of some of the jobs. But the artistry and creativity, I miss that.

Back to the topic at hand - I've gotten to use some of my cosmetics/skin care problem solving skills while preparing for milongas, and as I've been asked for some advice a few times, I thought I'd put to virtual paper some things that have been very helpful. I'm also going to divide this piece into social/milonga make-up and performance or stage make-up. These are distinctly different techniques.

Part I: For the Milonga - Make-up for Social Dancing

If you dance close embrace, temple or cheek to cheek, wear as little make-up as possible. This isn't just a matter of make-up coming off on your leaders, but also that up close, makeup is much more obvious. Choose items that are as sheer and transfer resistant as possible. Also choose unscented products whenever possible.

My favorites:

Face and Complexion

Complexion primer makes makeup look very smooth and even, and less "make-up like" up close and from far away, so I use it pretty much every time I apply make-up. It also prolongs the wear and "trueness" of the colors. I use Smashbox's in Photo Finish in clear, but there are many varieties and most work pretty well. Photo Finish comes in correcting colors, but I don't use those for dancing up close and personal. It comes in its original form, and in a light version. If you go to shops like Ulta and Sephora, you can try it first to see which formula suits you better.

If you have to wear foundation, wear as little as you can get away with, and choose one that's transfer resistant. In the mass market, I prefer Revlon's Colorstay foundation. They have several varieties now, each one appropriate for a different skin type. I highly recommend purchasing mass market foundations and concealers in stores with a no-questions-asked return policy. you frequently can't check the colors on your skin, so there might be some trial and error. In the department stores, I prefer Lancome's Teint Idole not only for it's natural look, and superior wear but also because it you don't have to move quite as fast before it "sets" and becomes hard to blend.

For concealer, which again I recommend keeping very, very minimal, I like L'Oreal's Infallible line. Their concealers blend and wear well. Their foundations in that range don't have the best colors, and I don't find them to be as transfer resistant as Revlon's. But they can be slightly less drying for very dry skin types.


Waterproof mascara. From the drugstore, I prefer L'Oreal's varieties even though they do sometimes have a very faint scent. Waterproof mascaras can be harder on your lashes, more drying and harder to remove. L'Oreal's varieties seem to be the least damaging out of the bunch. If you curl your lashes, it can be especially important to use high quality mascaras. One thing that's helped strengthen my lashes was L'Oreal's Eyelash Boosting Serum (that I got to try thanks to as part of a marketing effort.)

In the prestige market, I prefer L'Oreal's subsidiary, Lancome, for the same reasons. The main difference between L'Oreal and Lancome's mascaras is that Lancome's are less drying and wear a little better. It's not a big enough difference for me to pay twice as much however, so I stick with L'Oreal.

For eyeliner, by far my favorite, in mass market or department store, is Maybelline's Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. It has a gel-paste texture, a lot of pigment and still manages to go on very smoothly. It wears all night long through hours of dancing and sweating without budging. You can also blend it out to work as a softened "eye shadow" line along the lashes.

Lips and Cheeks

For lips and cheeks, I recommend using tints and stains whenever possible. They wear all night and don't rub off. If you prefer something more opaque, L'Oreal's Infallible line will do the trick. Their lipsticks (liquid and stick) are very transfer resistant and come in beautiful colors. The gloss in that range is much too sticky for my liking, however.

Take away tips:

1. Wear as little make-up as you can feel comfortable doing. Remember that your partner is going to be looking at your make-up efforts very up close. Less really is more.

2. Choose options that have little to no scent and are transfer resistent.

3. Refrain from glitter products which rarely stay where they're put and will most likely end up on your partner's face or clothes.

4. Keep products as sheer as possible - gels, stains, and tints look more natural, especially up close, and don't end up decorating your partner's cheek or clothing.

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