The pandemic has changed some habits or cultures drastically on this planet. Face masks are becoming part of the ‘new normal’ as we head out of lockdown, but what does that mean for how we use make up?
Keita Moore, famous make-up artist observes that the people wanted make-up that correlates with the face-masks. “Dismissing makeup as frivolity would be easier than ever now. Our professional and social lives are scaled down, and we’ve withdrawn inside. Collectively we’ve gone back to basics, and makeup is plainly nonessential. But it is also a cultural artefact, reflecting the aesthetics and ethos of the era. What will our faces show as we live through months or years of the pandemic?” Moore asks.
Nick Barose, a makeup artist, looked back and found makeup’s future. At the beginning of his lockdown in March, he organised his Brooklyn apartment “to make it more homey, since I’d actually be home”, he says. Makeup, he predicts, will take two distinct courses as the pandemic plays out. The first will be practical and edited, emphasising long-wear products and natural brows and lashes. But for some, makeup will be an escape.
Make foundation transfer-proof
Most women choose foundation for the look. They are going for colour match and finish and not at all concerned by performance. Premiere settings spray can keep make-up in place. “A lot of drag queens use it when they perform onstage,” Moore says. “It makes your makeup absolutely transfer-proof. You could lie down on a pillow and there’d be no foundation on it after you got up.”
Erin Parsons, another makeup artist, predicts that foundation formulas will evolve to focus on skin care. “Masks will shift how we think about foundation,” Parsons says. “When you take them off, your skin is irritated and red. I keep thinking the next generation of foundation will be soothing and protecting.”
Emphasize brows and lashes
The new basic face is filled-in brows and amplified lashes. “If there’s one thing we should learn now, it’s how to properly fill in your brows,” Moore says. Eyebrow pencils give users more control of colour density and most people go too dark on brows. So he prefers them to powders, which can be blotchy.
“People tend to fill in too much at the inner part of the brows,” he says. “Focus on the tail because that’s where most brows are sparse. Brush your brows up and outward and fill in only where you need more hair.” Pick a pencil with an angled flat tip, like the Lip Bar Hi-Brow Gel + Pencil. This shape helps you mimic the look and direction of hair growth.
Introduce colour with eye-liner
As our time in masks wears on, makeup artists expect we’ll transition to eye makeup that’s simple yet expressive. Eyeliner is the best tool for these times because it’s uncomplicated. A bright colour is interesting and fun without requiring the layering and dimension of eye shadow.
An eyeliner newbie can start with a simple line along the lashes and, with practice, work up to a wing.
Embrace the freedom of masks
During his lockdown, Barose made himself up in the style of celebrities representing different eras, like Grace Jones, Donyale Luna and Elizabeth Taylor. “Because I’m being someone else, I feel more free to do things I’ve never done,” he says. “A mask covering your face is similar. It’s a superhero effect because you’re incognito.”
If you prefer subdued or minimal makeup, this can be a time to explore, to try new textures and materials.