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Which Makeup Look is Right for You?

How to decide if you want to go natural, dramatic, girlie or classic

As proven by the red carpet or even out on the street, makeup can dramatically change your look and take you from super girly to the dramatically alternative, with lipsticks, shadows or even a simple liner setting the tone for your overall aesthetic and capping off your fashion and hair. So in the spirit of makeup’s magic, here are four different looks you can achieve that will take you from day to night to next week and beyond.

Face 1: Natural
Like Alexa Chung or Diane Kruger, natural makeup can turn just as many heads as a face boasting dark shadow and dramatic lips, and with only a few items and steps, you too can prove that less is more. Using a fine black liner across the lids, blend with a thin shadow brush, and use a nude shadow on the lid, and light brown or olive tones at the crease.

Blend both to prevent a smoky aesthetic (but to create multi-dimension), then cap off with brown mascara and sheer lipgloss, using a light bronzer to highlight cheekbones, or a light pink to create a fresh-faced vibe.

Face 2: Dramatic
Showcased by the likes of Angelina Jolie or Kat Dennings, a dramatic look focuses heavily on smoky eyes and statement lips, while blending the two to prevent makeup overload and to make an eye-catching statement. Start by using black or dark brown eyeliner across and beneath the lash line, blending with a dark shadow to prevent the raccoon aesthetic a la Taylor Momsen.

Afterwards, apply the same dark shadow to the eyelid crease, then blend with a lighter shade that you can also apply to the lid. Top off with mascara, and select a striking lip tone (brown shades or dull reds work best with dark eyes) then cap off with blush. Apply it from the cheekbone downwards (in the direction of your nose), and rub it in to create a natural highlight as opposed to the streaky look of the mid-1980s.

Face 3: Girlie
Fresh-faced, peachy and perfect for springtime, the uber-feminine look of Emma Stone and Zooey Deschanel capitalizes on the girl next door aesthetic, while adding a touch of glam to an otherwise safe makeup option. To begin, use a brown liner at the lashline, and blend with a shadow of the same colour. Then, apply a pink or light brown shimmery tone to the eyelid crease before using a champagne or neutral shade on the actual lid to brighten eyes and create that sparkle.

After applying mascara, opt for a pink-toned lip gloss and a shimmery (not sparkly) blush, applying it to the cheekbones and very lightly on the nose, capturing a sun-kissed look that charms and glows.

Face 4: Old Hollywood
Perhaps one of the most popular faces of the last couple seasons, the Old Hollywood aesthetic sees a revival every award show season, and as showcased by the likes of January Jones at this year’s Golden Globes, the combination of rich eyeliner and red lips reminds everyone why Grace Kelly remains a cultural icon.

Like the dramatic look, opt for a darker shadow shade at the eyelid crease, but instead of blending eyeliner into the lashline, extend it past your lid for a 60s look ala Audrey Hepburn. Apply black lengthening mascara to the top and bottom lashes, then opt for a classic red lipstick to channel the likes of Marilyn Monroe or even Mad Men‘s Joan. Use a shimmer-free blush to highlight your cheekbones by sweeping from the eye down towards to the nose, but stay away from bronzer as the matte look truly channels Old Hollywood glam.  

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