How has your makeup application evolved over time?

I think my ability to combine color has gotten worse over the years because I wear so much that clashes on a daily basis that my “eye” feels weaker for all of it now. I think my blending has improved, and I’m better at incorporating a mix of finishes into a look. I am better at applying base products and shade matching (balancing between my ridiculously light neck and darker face).

— Christine
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A lot of my daily techniques are the opposite of what I used to do, and particularly they go against a lot of accepted wisdom about application. I used to want a very matte face with just pink blush, but nowadays I’m more into bare skin with highlight.
I also used to do the “dark color on the lid, lighter color on the brow” 2-color thing from the 90s, and that’s gotten more dimensional over time. I also learned not to highlight the inner corners of my eyes! A dark color in my inner corner makes everything look right, and I didn’t figure that out for a long time.
Overall I think my makeup’s become more subtle and less colorblock- I used to do a jolt of color on eyes or lips, with everything else bare. Now I tend to do allover makeup with less color.

My makeup application has evolved HUGELY over time. I’ve been wearing makeup for more than 40 years and the biggest changes have happened in the last several years as I got into more HE makeup, blogs like this, and YT videos. I cringe a big to look at how I used to put on makeup 10 years ago after all I’ve learned recently!

Because of the better tools that have become available, for me the biggest “improvements” have been with base products – foundations and BB/CC creams – and concealers. Brushes like the Shiseido foundation brush, some Real Techniques brushes, Sephora’s (discontinued) #23 cream eyeshadow brush for concealer and several other Sephora brushes along with Beauty Blender and a few good imitators have all made for a better finished product for me. Shadows and blushes, powders, etc. were never really a problem but getting a “my skin but better” look with foundation has been much easier to achieve with the introduction of good tools, and the same holds true with concealer. Mind you, I’d old enough to remember when there was no such thing as a foundation brush and the only brushes that were readily available were those that came in compacts with powder blushes (hello, Revlon…I remember!)

I’ve been using makeup for about 35+ years, so there have been a lot of changes over the decades. The biggest would be using proper brushes instead of whatever applicator came with the product.

I use a wider variety of products and do more complicated eye looks than I used to, since my kids are grown, and I have more time and money to spend. The last few years I’ve been contouring a little, and filling in my brows (they’re not as full as they used to be).

As I have matured, there has been less “real estate” to play with around my eyes so precision becomes more important. Also, as my brows have thinned out, I spend about half of my eye makeup time beefing them up whereas, in my youth, I did nothing with my brows. Finally, many years ago, I was able to get away with bright blue and purple eyeshadow – not so much nowadays. Now I usually use subdued browns and beiges with the occasional mauve or gold for a change of pace and when I’m not at work.

Those quads you create out of large palettes and your own eye looks are so wonderful that I must take issue with your self criticism of your ability to combine colors.

A huge change for me was learning to use application tools. When I first started to wear makeup, I used my fingers for foundation, although a very long time ago, when I wore Max Factor Pancake Makeup, I did apply it with a wet sponge (it looked amazingly bad ). Occasionally still I use my fingers but follow immediately with a foundation brush. A sponge and a brush are absolute musts now.

I was referring to a cohesive look – eyes, cheeks, lips, etc. not just one feature 🙂 Because I wear different makeup on each eye, different cheek colors, and lip colors… and none of it is designed to coordinate because it’s largely based on what I’m testing, the way I “see” myself is very different now than before to the point where I’m not sure I know what looks “good” on me any more.

I have a better sense of what colors suit me and work together. Since my competency and knowledge of colors, products (e.g., highlighters), brushes and placements has improved, I think I actually wear less makeup but I look better.

Knowing technical points — like the range of foundation and concealer coverage; shimmer versus satin versus matte; blending and mixing — helps a lot. Like, now I know to use lighter coverage on better skin days, whereas in past years I would have just kept using that one foundation.

I am not sure if my application has evolved or if it is driven by the change in my face as I have aged. Although my face is fuller, the hollow under my cheeks is more noticeable than it use to be but doesn’t extend all the way back to my hairline. I sort of look like I have a divet in my face in that area. My already hooded lids have become even more hooded and the space between my crease and my eyebrows has increased. I have small wrinkles and large wrinkles and lip lines, texture and hyper-pigmentation and if that isn’t enough ripples have appeared, LOL!! So my makeup application has had to change/modify to keep up with my face. I am also not sure if my application has changed or if actually using good quality products and tools has been the real difference. I certainly can tell the days that I use my Wayne Goss/Hakuhodo/Sonia G brushes for application. My somewhat iffy applications skills are not needed with these brushes. I haven’t changed my shade preferences and I try not to allow my age dictate what shades I will wear and where I place them. Having said all of that, there is a bit of a difference and that is centered more around my eye shadow application. I have adopted Tara’s method of applying my eye-shadow and I know it isn’t for everyone but with super hooded eyes I think it works pretty well. She doesn’t apply a true transition shade but rather powder’s down her primer and then goes in with a deep shade in the crease which she blends up to the brow bone with the transition shade. I use to apply my transition shade and then go in with the deep shade and then transition and apply until I liked it. My old method made for a lot more blending needed and it always seemed like my crease color wasn’t as strong as I would like. This process also helps me to get the shades in just the right place. I am not super good at picking combinations of shades to use. This is an area for growth for me. My daughter is amazing at this, if I do say so myself. She has a natural eye for where to apply shades and which to mix together. I have found following Temptalia has helped me in this area and the new posts showing possible combinations for a given palette is really helpful to someone like me.

My base application game has gotten much stronger over the past decade, so have my brows. Up until I discovered face primers, my foundation would always look like crap after 5-6 hours. Because I have oily leaning combination skin and larger pores, my base products would break up and settle in my pores and deep expression lines. Application with a foundation brush or Beauty Blender type sponge, primers, and FAR superior shade matches available today have been my major gamechangers! For brows, it has basically been letting them grow in fuller instead of plucking them into two thin, sparse strips!
Another big change; stepping away from the spongetips for eyeshadow around 10 years ago and using brushes. Plus, a return to doing adventurous and bold eyeshadow color combos again after a 20 year “dry”, dull, boring spell!

Wow, in depth question! I’ve been wearing makeup for about 30 years, give or take. Mid-eighties, I started with colored mascara, lipstick, and blush. The very next week, I got into everything. Always been drugstore until about 10 yrs ago, I fell in love with mid range. The application, and the way it can make skin look!! <3 !!! Been following make-up artists by magazine prior to the net, so many of the applications have been the same. Always used some type of sponge for foundation, and other tools for specific types. When a teenager, used cheap brushes, and applicators in the package. The format for placement changes about every 7 years, if you keep up with the trends. In the past 15 years, I discovered color and smokey for myself. I LOVE COLOR!!!! Not much has changed, except learning how and what to apply on others. I just can't wait to be licensed!

Thanks for the real evolution explanation! I don’t even remember what I did as a teen other than lip gloss. Ha!

Definitely better – as I now regularly use a variety of neutral, olive, green, gold and now plum shades, I have expanded the range of shades and finishes over the past 5 years or so. I have bought better quality eyeshadows too, thanks to this blog. I am still working on blending my eyeshadows better.
The improvements in various kinds of eyeshadow brushes has made such a difference too.
Also my use of foundation has really improved since I have learnt about undertones and realised that mine was a pink one.

Definitely eyeshadow blending, though I could still use much work on being creative with color combinations. I still need work of selecting lipstick colors (and more quickly) to go with a look. I find I have to mix colors to get the lip color that finally complements an eye and cheek look.

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