Star-Bulletin Features

Tuesday, July 9, 2002

Patricia Stevens, owner of Susan Page Modeling says the average woman has too many makeup products she doesn't know how to use.

Back to the basics
with makeup

More women are finding
less works best at any age

Editor's secret

By Nadine Kam

There are many new makeup products and techniques to keep women looking current rather than like a time traveler from the 20th century.

Even so, many learn how to apply makeup as teens and -- short of resorting to surgery, Botox and collagen injections -- are at a loss when it comes to dealing with newfound wrinkles, sagging flesh and thinning lips.

There is a less invasive way, and though the truth sounds too easy to handle, it's that when it comes to makeup, less is more.

"The average woman doesn't know how to use makeup," said Patricia Stevens, owner of Susan Page Modeling. "There's just no resource for her to learn it. She can go to a store counter and get a makeover, but she's probably not going to be able to duplicate the look without buying lots of product, and the average woman probably has so much product she can't use it all."

Stevens, who usually teaches modeling to teens, has introduced a new "Superface" course for any woman who needs to relearn makeup techniques. Although the school has its own line of Superface cosmetics, women are welcome to bring in their own war chests of foundations, shadows and blushes to learn how to use them properly by working with a makeup artist one on one.

Of course, what is "proper" is based on individual tastes and lifestyles.

Lisa Ansai, a 2002 graduate of Mid-Pacific Institute, showed up to learn how to tone down her usual glam look. "I love black eye shadow and black eye liner, but I'll be going to school in Las Vegas and I don't want to stand out. I want to look Las Vegas -- I don't mean showgirl, but blending in. I think the look is casual, more natural, with brown tones."

Tanya Paik, 20, confessed to being "horrible" with makeup and, with her active outdoor lifestyle, just wanted to learn a quick routine to help her look presentable for the day.

Their wishes were granted by makeup artist Sian Salerni, a convert to the natural look.

"When you talk to women about their faces, they talk about what they hate, and they try to use makeup to cover up flaws," Salerni said. "If they get a freckle that wasn't there before, they want to cover it up. They want their skin to be like a smooth canvas, but it's not realistic.

"They may have a great nose, great lips or beautiful eyes, and they should play up those features, focus on enhancing rather than correcting.

"I wear too much blush myself -- it's the round-face syndrome -- but blush should be used to give skin a glow, not sculpt."

In some cases it's as important to unlearn a technique. Alex Maehara, 37, said she's been guilty of wearing too much foundation and "trying too hard." She decided to mend her ways because she was simply tired of taking two hours to get made up in the morning.

She's also been a fad follower. "We used to put stupid stuff on our face, like egg yolk. I was a big fan of egg yolk masks, but you know what? I don't think it ever worked."

Salerni assures that less foundation is more. "Otherwise, in this weather, you end up looking like a Chantilly cake, melting in the sun."

Most important, she said, is to start with sunscreen and drink lots of water. Even those who work in offices are not immune to the dehydrating effects of air conditioning.

"The best thing is to feel good about yourself. You don't need a lot of tools, and you don't need to buy a lot of makeup," Salerni said. "This is not brain surgery."


What: Class in demystifying makeup
Where: Susan Page Modeling Agency and School, 1441 Kapiolani Blvd. No. 1206
When: By appointment
Cost: $35
Call: 955-2271


Editor’s secret

An editor's work is never done. Fourteen-hour days are a norm, and to prevent from looking too haggard, I rely on a trick I learned a couple of years ago from Yves Saint Laurent's national makeup artist, Joseph Costas.

Keep in mind it's my job to try new products, and I find very few that inspire loyalty, but I call YSL's Touche Éclat (Radiant Touch) a face lift in a pen. The formula can be brushed on over crevices and under the eyes to brighten complexions and draw eyes away from imperfections.

What's more, it can be worn over powder to freshen your look from day into evening, and it doesn't melt like concealer.

I have fair skin, so I'm not sure how the pinkish formula works on dark complexions, but testers are usually available where YSL products are sold, such as DFS Galleria, Macy's, Neiman Marcus and Sephora.

If Touche Éclat costs too much at $35, its success has spawned imitators. One of the new entries is Revlon's Illusion Wand from the Skinlights collection. At about $9, the main difference is the flat bristle brush which isn't as precise as YSL's, but it works, and there are three colors available.

You probably won't look like an ingenue again by using these products, but you can at least look like you got some sleep the night before. At best, it'll shave five years off your face.

By Nadine Kam

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