Tagged make-up trends

Invisible make-up; revisiting color theory

Make-up at it’s best should not show. Unless we choose to apply cosmetic color as an artistic statement we want it to feel texturally light with invisible color that blends in.  Right?  A mistake is made, however, in thinking that to achieve this make-up needs to be very sheer or rubbed in. In fact invisibility is only achieved if the color is directly related to the hues present in our skin. Correct imperfections with total coverage or simply highlight what is there, it all becomes invisible when the hues are correct.

Like the clothing fashion that they are designed to accessorize with, cosmetic trends go in and out of style and so does our concept of beauty. Sculpted & illuminated cheek bones, plumped & highlighted lips, defined & darkened brows are the current trends—a throw-back to the “glamorous” 1980’s. But whether we choose to embrace these recurring changes or simply choose our own timeless Personal Style*, the concept of invisibility surpasses all trends and is the difference between authentic beauty or painted surrealism. 

Make-up becomes invisible when the hues are correct.



As I wrote in my last blog post, solid color theory points to the fact that humans, as part of nature’s spectrum, are toned predominately with either a red, yellow or blue cast. The face is shaped with applied color most naturally when the hue of the cosmetic shares the same cast as the skin. This sounds obvious but it can be challenging. Cosmetics are manufactured, as I said above, to coordinate with clothing color trends. In any given season, there will be a predominance of one or two casts based on fashion leaving a group of people out. Each cosmetic company will specialize in their interpretation of color usually focusing on one palette or another.  The true make-up artist driven colors will fare best for most people as a full range of color is offered in all palettes.

From my own collection of colors here are some photos to help you understand “neutral color” as I define it.  Neutrality is what occurs naturally in you; your hair, your skin, your eyes and what color your cheeks become when they flush.


The RED neutral palette



The YELLOW neutral palette


The BLUE neutral palette


RED neutral eye color. What looks bright all alone tones down on the correct skin color.


YELLOW neutral eye color. The paper the color it is applied to is not yellow enough so the color remains looking bright.


BLUE neutral eye colors.

If you are curious about your own coloring click through to see all the services I offer.

*Personal style always dictates the way that color is applied to the face.  Invisibility can still make a statement tho, like Nora with her peacock feathered hair piece.  Make-up was artfully applied in shades of purple, mauve and green to coordinate while still working within her natural range of color.



The best of Fall Color for your face

copper eye collage best

Shimmering rose-copper, translucent autumn russet, burnished bronze and sparkling plum….red berry, claret, bordeaux and harvest grape….these lucious make-up colors that are so fashionable right now are to my eye the best of the 2014 autumn trends.  Wearable by anyone at any age – whether your personal look is a-la-natural or stylized – these glamorous neutrals make being woman quite fun this fall!

While most of us here in NH will not wear as much eye make-up as shown above, please notice how this copper eyeshadow trend really makes your eyes pop!

  • Plummier and rose copper shades make green eyes greener
  • Bronzy copper shades make blue eyes bluer
  • Hazel and brown eyes can steal from each of the palettes to mix and match picking up and complimenting their individual varied flecks of eye color.
  • This look is best set against a soft medium-toned lipstick and blush in a similar copper shade harmonizing the whole look.

Portsmouth’s Naturopathic Doctor, Angela Lambert, of Ancient Traditions Natural Medicine loves to feel feminine yet is concerned with make-up toxicity and wanting to remain her natural self.  I showed her a simple make-up look using my clean make-up products to give her a slightly bronzy look.  This is one version of the look.  What would your version be?Dr Angela before and afterDr Angela eyes

Alternatively, a very soft eye with a red or plum lip is also a gorgeous look for fall.  Reminiscent of 17th century royalty, this bold lip color set against a very pale, even complexion reminds me of winter snow and red berries.  There is a delicious version for any aged face. red:plum lip collage

  • If wearing the plum-reds team this with soft mauve or taupe eyeshadow and blush.
  • If wearing true reds, team with soft skin-tone brown eyeshadow and a similar blush to just contour cheeks.

02gothicbeautytrendfall2014Make an appointment to play with make-up with me and learn a new look!

Photo credit to Gothic beauty at Trussardi and Rebecca Minkoff. F/W ’14

Spring make-up trends for faces over 40


Make-up trends are dictated by the changes in clothing; new colors and new styles mean a new emphasis or de-emphasis on the face.  We all should have a classic make-up look based on our personal style but it is fun to sometimes change-up the make-up tones or application.  Spring is a great time to do that.

The color corporation, Pantone, has declared that Radiant Orchid is the color of the year 2014.  So make-up colors as an accessory have followed suit…spring make-up color

…honing in on that particular shade from the palette that fabric mills have created for garments to be made from this season.colors for spring 2014But a mature face does not do well with strong color.  What works well to create a dramatic statement on a younger face or runway model….radiant orchid make-up

…only looks garish and painted on a soft-focus canvas.

The rule of thumb for wearing color on a mature face is to use sheer hints of color combined with neutral skin tones.

To match the current fashion styles and vivid colors seen in clothing, make-up trends have become more subdued but more stylized.

Look number one: NUDENude looks 3

Using colors that naturally appear in the skin when you flush a little bit, they are applied on the natural curvatures of the face without changing the contrast.  On a mature face they translate like this, contouring through the crease of the eye to recreate that open look and defining the lashes…03-22-12-Mature-woman-using-blush-brush.-338x35001-Judi-Dench-80114494Look number two: BOLD LIPS, SOFT EYESberry lips red lips orange lips

Bold lip colors in orchid, berry, cherry red and orange can be worn as an accessory to match that color worn in clothing.  Because the color is so strong, cheek color is minimal/neutralish and eye color is simply a sweep of pale tone – often sheer white to brighten, lift and simplify the face.

On a mature face, the look translates like this – sheer strong lip color for just a wash of that tone and while the eyes are brightened with pale tones, they are still shaded for lift and lash emphasis:

th-1image-makeoversHere are some of the colors I keep in stock at Euchlora to accomplish these looks; lips…DSC05355 DSC05356

…and eyes…DSC05358

If you would like to have me design a spring make-up look just for you consider a Make-Up Enhancement Lesson.  If you have already had this session with me then all you need is an Update Session.

My make-up studio keeps a Banke of cosmetic color ready to fill into compacts chosen just for you.  In addition, I can custom blend any color or any texture of make-up foundations or lip colors and stock a many loose mica pigments that can be worn as-is.

Please contact me for a lesson, update or simply to try on some color.

Jane Balshaw – jbalshaw@comcast.net   603-491-7305

Spring make-up trends and personal style

Spring color collage 2013

You’ve heard me preach it over and over; to embrace our individuality, to enhance who we are naturally and be the best version of ourselves.  The world would be so boring if we were all “vanilla”.  And if you think about who stands out in a red-carpet situation it is always the woman being the most elegant interpretation of herself and not necessarily whatever trend of emphasis is being forced upon us (boobs or backs, long hair or short hair, lashes or lips, gaunt or curvaceous…)

And so it is with make-up.  Wearing what emphasizes our own personal style, face shape and coloring is far more fetching then trying to mimic what we see in fashion.  This is one place where “staying current” is a moot point; unless, of course, current trends just happen to be your style.

As shown above, make-up as a trend is the final accessory to the greater design influence in fashion.  These influences usually start with color forecast by color associations then the fabric mills create the cloth from that information.  Below: Lenzing Textiles released their fabrics well over a year ago.lenzing-ss-2013-colors-07l

The designers then interpret their work through the cloth colors available to them then make-up follows suit.  spring 2013 yellowWTFSG-gold-eyeliner-290x290-1Milan Mens Fashion Week Salvatore Ferragamo Spring-Summer 2013 Runway Show_0143spring 2013 aqua and orangeeye-makeup-trends-spring-2013-michael-kors-becomegorgeous

As any one good with color knows, the way hues combine, with their inherent contrasts and harmonies, is what drives style.  The high contrast and opposite (Complimentary) color schemes fashionable for several seasons now, have lent themselves to dramatic styling like color blocking on both the body and the face.  The fashionable thick dark eye liner and smoky eye make-up is a great foil against this.  This spring we are screaming into the most extreme versions of this styling with the addition of bold color too.  Below, Armani and Dior…Armani-Spring-Summer-2013-Makeup-Trends-Promo6dior_spring_2013_cherie_bow_makeup_collection9

But for the designers currently, the only way to relieve the consumers vision and remain fresh is to go backward.  So soft is coming back.  Phew.Screen Shot 2012-10-13 at 3.52.11 PMtrends 2013 orangeSpring pinks 2013

But to my mind, it never left.  Every face has the need for a soft look; that day off or work-out or I-don’t-wear-make-up look.  Low contrast on the face, monochromatic color schemes…DSC04392

I have a combination of colors I wear on the week-ends that are just extensions of “me” to uplift and brighten just a bit.  Left to right EYES; my eyebrow color, my go-to soft contour color, my neutral lid color (it just disappears but adds a bit of light-catching luminescence), a brighter lid shade for a bit more color and my darkest hair color to line lashes.  CHEEKS: Sheer no-color to contour a bit.  LIPS: sheer peachy nude and darker coppery peachy nude.DSC04398

photoMy personal at-work style is more dramatic.  I like a fair amount of “neutralized” color on my eyes using Complimentary color tones to bring out the green or the blue in my hazel while coordinating with the color in my clothing.  Anyone who knows me knows I like a fairly pigmented lip color as well (as we age we need more).

And since I will probably wear some of the current clothing colors this spring, I will experiment with a new palette of make-up color in my personal color range, taking into consideration my age.DSC04403

Why change?  Because it is fun!  If I can help you discover your personal make-up style and show you come current colors in YOUR range, please click here for more information.  Happy spring!