Me as Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter
And as The Joker
And as a skeleton
Halloween is my favorite, favorite, favorite holiday. I love being able to do a 180 degree transformation and go a bit off-kilter for the night (or the week, as I tend to celebrate the holiday for a couple of days). All of these looks utilize some fun makeup techniques, and a lot of assistance with costume looks can be found via YouTube tutorials.
Costumey looks aside, how many times have you seen a picture in a magazine of a celebrity or model sporting a makeup look, with an article on the side that claims to guide you in recreating said look on yourself? Very seldom are these "helpful guides" helpful at all. I love seeing pictures of celebrities at awards shows, but the how-to of their makeup is always shaky. Sometimes the actual makeup artist that worked with the celebrity will share her "secrets" and give the breakdown of how the look was achieved. Unfortunately, this breakdown usually consists of the artist telling about what inspires her or him (for example, "Imperfections inspire me because true beauty isn't perfect") what products she used and why (for example, "I love this red lipstick by (insert brand here) because of its staying power!) as opposed to giving a thorough play-by-play of how to apply each item, including hints and tips for application that non-makeup artists could use.
These magazine excerpts can be inspirational, but not very informational. How many of us have run out to buy an item that was mentioned in an article only to realize that we have no idea of how to apply it - with what brush, how heavily, at a certain angle, patting or blotting, etc. The day that I see an article where a makeup artist gives step-by-step instructions complete with accompanying photos showing each step in the process, then I will be a happy camper.
There are, however, great alternatives to staid textbook-esque instructions, and they come in the form of YouTube tutorials. Simply type the name of certain makeup trend that you'd like to learn about (for example, 'apply false lashes') - followed by the word 'tutorial' - and you'll get dozens of videos uploaded by regular guys and gals who go into detail about how to create that look using specific products. Some of these Youtube makeup masters have become uber-popular thanks to their videos, such as Michelle Phan who was tapped by Lancome to become the brand's official video makeup artist and Lauren Luke, who recently had her own book on makeup tips published and who has released a line of makeup called 'By Lauren Luke' that has been sold at Sephora and through other online vendors.
I have found these tutorials to be extremely helpful for a few reasons:
- You can actually watch each step of a makeup application be carried out from start to finish. Each step is thoroughly explained. This is much more helpful than a smattering of pictures that can't be explained by a paragraph of text. (Seriously, how many times have you read the term, "Simply swipe the (insert product) across the lips/eyes/cheek for your look!"? No, if it were that easy to "swipe" something across the face and have it look amazing in a hot second, then we'd all look like supermodels.
- Many of these makeup gurus will explain why they are using a product or technique and will describe which type of person will benefit from the tutorial. For instance, if someone is wanting to try a Clarins cleanser that will be more beneficial for those with dry skin, the user will say so.
- Most of the time these videos are uploaded by those that aren't endorsed by a company, and as such, give their true opinions on products and don't pimp out a certain brand. If there is a certain item that I've been considering buying, but want to see other consumers' opinions on it first, I'll hop onto YouTube and search for that product's reviews.
1. Pixiwoo - This channel is manned by two British sisters who upload videos on the regular. These ladies - Nic and Sam - do everything from giving reviews on products, to makeup tutorials based off of celebrity looks, makeup tutorials based off of looks seen in certain brand campaigns or in movies, tutorials for costume makeup (my favorite), makeup tutorials on how to deal with certain skin issues, etc. These ladies have lovely accents and are hilarious without meaning to be, as they pepper each video with deadpan comments that make them that much more endearing.
My favorite videos:
*Frank-N-Furter Rocky Horror Picture Show by Sam
*Raquel Welch Feline Makeup by Nic (Of course I would love something 60s-centric)
Should you want to quickly see reviews and not watch videos, though, the duo do have a consistently updated website as well.
2. Wayne Goss - A Wales-based makeup artist that, like the Pixiwoo sisters, is funny without intending to be, and is incredibly informative. He doesn't pull any punches, though, as he makes videos that state which products are worthless and which products are worth their weight in gold. He is great about giving personalized reviews; for instance, he will say which techniques/products/looks are good for certain types of people/skin tones/skin types, etc. He always states his preferences and WHY he believes such, but he asserts that everyone is different and that there is no tried-and-true way to do anything. Overall, I respect and follow his opinions.
My favorite videos:
*Adele Grammy's 2012 (It's a funny one, too)
*Kim Kardashian's Magic Line (Kim is contoured to death, apparently)
3. Promise Phan - Sister-in-Law to Lancome's official video makeup artist Michelle Phan, Promise transforms herself into various celebrities and characters using shades and contouring, and the likenesses are incredible! She is very to-the-point in all of her tutorials, and uses off-screen narratives to guide the viewer so that one can watch without seeing any pauses. She has transformed herself into the Mona Lisa, Princess Peach, Angelina Jolie, and more. I even followed one of her Lady Gaga tutorials and thought the ensuing result was pretty great (especially when I successfully scared a friend with the look).
*Lady Gaga photoshoot makeup (and following are my own attempts at the look)
I have fun.
*Michael Jackson (I really wanted to try this look on a friend for Halloween, but she opted not to be Michael at the last moment)