Summer Babe





Continuing on from the Ponytail post, at the same shoot I had a chance to see makeup artist Suzy Gerstein work her amazing magic and also learn some really great makeup tricks for her. She did this beautiful sunkissed eye, that was actually done with bronzer as an alternative to traditional eye shadow:

"I often will use a bronzing stick or powder on the lid as an alternative to traditional eye shadow.  It imparts a subtle warmth that really compliments all eye colors. The textures of both powder and cream bronzers these days tend to be quite sheer as well, which is great for building a natural tone without the heavy look that some eye shadows can deliver."

Suzy recommends choosing a color a couple shades deeper than your skin tone. MAC sent me a compact of their Bronzing Powder, which I love because it goes on super light, along with some of the MAC products Suzy used to create the eye. Here are Suzy's steps and her very useful tips like a mascara technique that is a great alternative to wearing eyeliner in hot weather...


Step 1) Apply a layer of bronzing stick or powder all over the lid, from lash line to just above the crease. Use a fluffy dome-shaped eye shadow brush in back and forth strokes worked in thin layers to get a sheer wash of color.

Suzy's tips on brushes:

"Use a nice fluffy brush so that the application is soft and even. I used a MAC #224 Brush - a mainstay in my kit for all shadow looks- to both apply and blend. For bottom lash lines, NARS Eye Contour Brush is the perfect softly tapered shape. 

Hold your brushes lightly. It might sound silly but it makes it way easier to get a good blend and really move color around than if you grip your brushes tightly."

Step 2) Add a thin haze of the color under bottom lash lines with a smaller fluff brush. You can stop here, add a swipe of mascara, or continue onto the steps below for a more finished look.

Step 3) Using another smaller fluffy brush (try Shiseido The Makeup Eye Shadow Brush), layer MAC Cream Color Base in Dark Brown over the top of the bronze, stopping just below the crease. This will give you a nice gradation of color.

Step 4) Blend the 2 colors out with a dry, fluffy brush with nothing on it to diffuse and soften any edges.

Suzy's tip:

"The key to this sort of a soft application, if you are using creams or powders, is to skip anything heavy on lids like primers, shadow base or concealer so that the color remains really transparent. Be sure to work to in thin layers- it is easier to blend and you can always add more. And remember, you can always erase or blur any edges with a damp makeup sponge thats been dipped in tinted moisturizer or sheer foundation. I do this all the time to get the shape I want without having to start all over again."

Step 5) Put some MAC Teddy Pencil (a warm, shimmering brown) into the waterline to anchor the eye and give more depth.

Step 6) To keep the end result soft and free of any hard lines, instead of using eyeliner on the lid itself, opt for three generous coats of YSL Shocking Volume Mascara. Apply the mascara with a MAC fan brush to really get into the roots.   Suzy's tip:  

"This mascara technique is a nice alternative to liner as it really pushes color into the lash lines and gives the same eye-framing effect as liner, without the look of wearing eyeliner.  You don't need the fan either- just hold the mascara wand horizontally and really wiggle it into the base of lashes. I like to tell clients to bat their eyes or even blink into the wand so I can get a nice amount of product into the roots. Then pull the brush out to the tips of lashes. No liner needed. To get the clumpy effect I used a mascara that was on the older side so the formula had some weight to it and did what I wanted it to. I also pinched lashes together - about every 3 lashes- to get a more spidery look."

Step 7) Finish up the eye by patting on a teeny tiny bit of lip balm, Shiseido 'Benefiance' Full Correction Lip Treatment, to give it a bit of sheen and that worn in, effortless look. You can also put the balm around the tear duct (that side-ways v at the inner corners of eye) and onto the brow bone to create a nice subtle highlight - though this is better for photos and fashion shows than sticky summer nights!   Suzy's tips for oily lids:   "For a more long-lasting alternative to these shadows that has the same luminous effect with more staying power, I love Shiseido's Shimmering Cream Eye Colors in Leather and Sable. The formula goes on like a cream so it is super easy to blend without the crumbly fall-out powders can have. It sets to a long-wearing powder. If you are more comfortable with a powder formula all together, try Shiseido's Luminizing Satin Eye Color trio in Strata- it has a gorgeous golden bronze, a rich brown and a pinkish gold highlight. Try getting that extra sheen by dusting a thin layer of pearlescent powder (shimmery white and gold shadows work great for this when applied lightly) over the brown shadow. For the inner corner of eyes, try wetting the brush before you dip into your shadows so that the flecks do not fall inside your eyes. Blend with a q-tip or finger."

For more of Suzy's work:

BeautyBernadette Marie