Mask-wearing which was already strongly recommended when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out earlier this year, is now mandatory in public.
Our health and safety come first, and as the last quarter of 2020 draws near, everyone is adapting to the new normal.
Going out with a full face of makeup may be a thing of the past, but this doesn’t mean we can’t still use makeup in creative ways.
Two local freelance makeup artists who have been in the business for more than a decade weigh in on Covid makeup: what’s hot and what’s not.
Emphasis on eyes
Rose Marie Thavaganam, 31, a freelance makeup artist, fashion photographer and creative director, says that when painting your face in the time of Covid-19, one should focus on the peepers.
“It’s all about the eyes!” says Rose, who has been doing makeup for 10 years. “There’s definitely a new emphasis on this. The hues of your mask, outfit, hijab, hair colour and skin tone can be incorporated into the look you want to create for your eyes.
“As for me, I like my makeup to compliment the colour of the mask I’m wearing, ” she adds.
With clients ranging from individuals for personal shoots to TV shows and commercials, among other things, Rose recommends adding eyeliner.
“Brown or black pencil eyeliner is always great for daily wear, and a liquid version is fantastic if you are confident enough to wing it, ” she advises.
When it comes to eyeshadow, don’t be afraid to go darker or bolder than you normally would, says Rosie.
“Keep it exciting. Do a smokey eye look during the day if you feel like it, ” she says, adding that mascara is a must, as it makes a huge difference to the entire look.
“If you prefer a more dramatic look, opt for false lashes, ” she adds.
Freelance make-up artist Kenji Kim opines that apart from eyeshadow, one should highlight their eyebrows as well, as they frame the face.
“Focus more on your eyebrows, I like really bushy eyebrows but that depends on your overall look. For eyeshadow, try a really bold, colourful palette for just a bit of glam to help you stand out, ” says Kim, who has been doing personal, bridal, stage, TV and event makeup since 2004.
“The eyes are the most visible part of your face now, so, mascara, eyeliner, these products will be doing very well on the market, as heavy contoured looks are out. Bold eyes are all the rage at the moment, ” says Kim, who also conducts workshops on makeup.
Kim has a piece of advice for those who wear glasses and may be unsure about their makeup, as a mask already serves as an additional “thing” on their face.
This is where brow shape comes in, he opines.
“If you wear smaller frames or have naturally thin eyebrows, filling them in with a natural colour can help attract attention to your eyes. Full, defined, arched brows are in vogue right now, ” he advises.
“However, if you wear big, bold frames, you might want to avoid heavy eye makeup.”
Rose’s advice for the bespectacled is to experiment with bold or coloured eyeliners.
“Don’t be afraid to try different styles of wearing your eyeliners such as the retro, cat eye, winged liners, or even the double winged!” says Rose.
Keeping it light
So what happens to the rest of your face when the focus is on your eyes? Don’t pile on other products, say our makeup artists.
With a mask covering more than half your face, even in the chilliest air-conditioning, there’s going to be some stuffiness and sweating, and “mask-ne” (mask acne).
It may be new to those who until now, were not required to wear masks regularly, but in some professions where protective or surgical masks are needed, breakouts can happen for several reasons.
Breathing and talking traps hot air, creating a humid environment and the perfect setting for bacteria to grow. These bacterial imbalances, along with friction from your mask are the perfect storm for acne and flare-ups around the nose, cheeks and mouth.
Add moisturiser, primer, foundation, concealer and powder to the mix and you’ve got yourself the ideal breeding ground for undesirable skin conditions.
Still, some may need to wear a little bit of foundation if they are having meals out or attending events where masks may need to be removed temporarily – for instance, when food and drinks are being served.
Or, if you are so accustomed to wearing foundation that you just aren’t comfortable with an almost “naked” face, Rose and Kim recommend using minimal amounts of foundation and concealer.
“Because much of the face is covered, foundation should be used sparingly, if at all, ” says Kim. “Instead, blend concealer under the eyes and on any uneven spots above the nose. If you are using foundation, a light application on the exposed areas is all you need.”
According to Rose, foundation and concealer, if needed, should be applied only on the eye area if dark circles need to be covered.
The same goes for lipstick, a long-considered makeup staple.
“As for lipstick, even though no one can see it underneath that mask, you are wearing it for yourself - knowing how beautiful you look with the lip colour you are rocking for the day, it is definitely a confidence booster!” says Rose, who encourages using a tinted lip balm.
“Use this opportunity to give yourself a break from dry matte lip colour and condition your lips accordingly, ” she says, adding, “My current daily makeup consists of concealer, eyebrow pencil, mascara, eye shadow, lip stain and lip balm. I also use the lipstain for my cheeks as blush.”
Kim recommends going for a long-lasting option when it comes to lip products.
“Lightweight products are proving popular, as are long-lasting, non-smudge lipsticks that will not transfer onto masks, ” he says.
Save your skin
Caring for your skin has always been important, and there’s no time like the present to up the ante.
With people spending more time at home, it’s the perfect opportunity to just let your skin breathe, and put in a little extra TLC when it comes to the largest organ of your body.
Hydration is key, and with less running around to do, try to remember to consume more water as you go about your day, an important daily routine when it comes to skincare.
Wash your face more regularly and keep it moisturised, says Rose, and don’t forget sunblock when you do go out.
“We are all just getting used to wearing masks and in our Malaysian weather, and being outdoors during the day can take a toll on your skin – it may become tired and dull. I would highly recommend a hydrating face mist to keep your skin feeling fresh and moisturised all day, ” explains Rose.
“Breathing into a mask also creates a hot and moist environment that leads to a build-up of sweat, oil and bacteria, ” says Kim. “I suggest going for a more lightweight, water-based product underneath the mask. A lightweight moisturiser can also act as an additional protective barrier and prevent chafing.”
In short, go heavy on the eyes, light on the skin, and drink plenty of water!
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