Revealed: Kim Kardashian’s Greatest Makeup Secret

Kim Kardashian has got that look: that flawless, sculpted look – and we’re not just talking her butt. How do her cheekbones look like two isosceles triangles?  And how does her face radiate like a celestial sunrise? The answer, of course, is contouring. And we have our own international hair and makeup artist Leah Bennett – whose work has graced the runways of London, New York, and Australia’s Fashion Week – to break down the celebrity technique into simple steps for any skin tone. Find out what beauty products – including what she calls “Kardashian & JLo in-a-bottle” – are best for the job. Here are the secrets, in Leah’s own words.

1. Get good tools. Leah recommends:

  • The Mac 168 large angled brush ($38: "This can be used for blush and bronzer, and also helps to blend away any harsh lines.” The Mac 191 square foundation brush ($33): “You’ll use this to apply your flawless base and camoflouge the dark and light tones of contouring." The Mac 195 concealer brush ($23): “This sharp concealer brush gets into the crannies, and creates definition in smaller areas of the face, such as the bridge of the nose.”

2. Clean your face, and apply a primer.
“The primer minimizes large pores and holds the makeup in place. I like to use Make Up For Ever HD Microperfecting Primer 7 Pink ($34) as it brightens the skin, on top of all the other fantastic benefits of a normal primer. You can never overdo healthy-looking skin.”

3.     Add a concealer. 

  • "Depending on your skin coloring, you are going to want a dark concealer and a white concealer. I find a cream texture works best as the pigment is more dramatic and longer-lasting. Even with an oily skin tone, creams are suitable since you will always finish a look with a loose-setting powder anyway, which will keep your face looking fresh.”
  • The Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer ($38): “You get two colors: one light and one warm tone.”
  • The Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick ($40): “I use this to achieve the darkest color, as the creamy consistency creates instant drama on the face.”

4.     Apply the method.

  • “Suck in your cheekbones and, from the top of the ear to the middle of the eye, draw a line with the darkest color of your concealer.
  • Take that same color, and apply it from the top of where your eyebrow starts along the ridge of your nose to your nostril. This creates the look of a smaller, thinner nose. If want to disguise a larger nose, take the color on the tip of the nose and spread it out.
  • Then, using your lightest concealer, swipe out under the eye, all the way to your temple. Take that same light color, swipe the bridge of the nose, and take the color all the way between the eyebrows. Highlight underneath the eyebrows and the cupid bow of the upper lip. The finished result should be contrasting, like a lion.”

5.     Now for the fun part:

  • “Use a foundation brush and base to blend everything in."
  •  Leah recommends: The Make Up For Ever HD Foundation ($40): “It’s suitable for all skin types since it comes with a range of colors. It’s used for TV and photography work, and celebs love it. Using light brush strokes, blend using the foundation, until there are no visible lines showing. Let the base dry and reapply a second coat. I like a medium coverage.”

6.     Bronze away. Leah recommends:

  • The Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna ($38): “I love this bronzer. It’s a golden tan without any orange tint, and it doesn’t oxidize and turn orange on the face.”
  •  Using the Mac 168 large angled brush, swipe the temples, cheekbones, and the underneath-the-chin area. I like to call this technique the ‘E,’ since it’s the pattern created on the outer part of the face. 
  • Then add a soft blush color. I adore the Tarte Cheek Stain ($28). Make circle motions with the brush on the apples of the cheek.”

7.     The finishing touches:

  • “By now, you can see how defined your face is, but to make this look really pop, my secret weapon is the Benefit High Beam Highlighter ($28). This is your Kim Kardashian-JLo-in-a-bottle. It contrasts against the darker bronzer, and reflects and radiates light, creating a flawless ‘celebrity’ canvas. This product comes with its own brush, so apply it around the eye and temple – on your cheekbones, and below and above your eyebrows –  creating a C shape around the eye.
  • Finally, lightly dust your face with the Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder ($32). This will leave no color or extra layer of makeup, but simply remove shine and hold makeup in place.
  • These advanced tips can be used for every look, whether it is coupled with a smoky eye or a red lip. Contouring sets you apart from the everyday girl, and transforms you into an instant celebrity. Voila.”

Love what Leah Bennett has to say? So do we. Check out her official website here

Midsummer Meltdown: Makeup Tips for Beating the Heat

Ah, the pleasures of melting makeup. What’s summer without constantly battling to keep your mascara from running, your foundation from shining, and your lipstick from forming sticky little clumps on you some-how-still-dry lips? I’ve found that the only way to a avoid a Raiders of the Lost Ark-style facial meltdown is to completely change your makeup in the summer, just as you swap wool sweaters for cotton dresses. Here are a few tips for looking fresh till Memorial Day rolls around.

You don’t have to switch over to gloss for fear of a goopy lipstick. Cover Girl’s Outlast collection offers waterproof, long-lasting lip stains and colors that stand up to the heat and humidity.

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This mascara delivers with “air volume powder.” Whatever that means, I just know that when I’m wearing this Shiseido favorite, I’m not worried about black streaks under my eyes. It’s oil and sweat proof, which means it’ll be in my purse this summer.

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Switching over to a tinted moisturizer will provide a two-in-one solution. It won’t cake, while giving you a more natural and light feel. Laura Mercier does it best. Her products can be used for sheer coverage or be layered up to cover dark under-eye spots or blemishes. It has an SPF 20 and comes in an oil free formula.

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Great 2010 Holiday Makeup Collections That Aren’t Sold Out Yet

Gift-giving during the holiday season is good for the soul and all, but it’s also fun to treat yourself to some seasonal gift items, especially if you’re into limited-edition products and creative packaging. And if you’re really into makeup like we are, you know that there’s nothing more exciting than a good holiday makeup collection, complete with new color palettes, brushes, and goodies you wouldn’t normally buy on their own. Never ones to deprive our readers of a good tip-off, here’s a list of some of the best makeup sets available now, for a limited time—so act fast!

Clockwise from left: MAC Cosmetics Glamorous Mineralize Kit, $49.50; Stila Holiday Lip Glaze Collection, $25; NARS Hopelessly Devoted Gift Set, $53; Lancome Holiday Deluxe Brush Set and Makeup Case, $59; Laura Mercier Colour Wardrobe, $98; Chanel Smoky Eyes, Simplified, $99.

Pretty in Pink at Custo Barcelona

Custo Barcelona made a splashy debut at the tents over the weekend showcasing an “air show,” as designer Custo Dalmau called it, which focused on the texture and lightness of his carefree frocks, bathing suit cover-ups and airy suits. It was a poppy debut that played with texture (yarn and chiffon) and shape (bra tops with sarongs skirts). But makeup took center stage to really drive Custo’s concept home. Though giant pop art red lips appeared on several of the wispy dresses, the makeup was ostensibly light, pairing fluffy blowouts with peachy-pink eyeshadow and rosy cheeks. Seeing pink is not cause for alarm during spring fashion shows, but it’s significant that the makeup trend was also apparent on fall runways. Are fashion houses looking out for the penny-pinching consumer trying to stretch their purchases?

For fall, ADAM showcased artsy watercolor stripes on cheeks and eyes, Rocco Barocco had bright pink blush and matching pouts, and Anna Sui brightened up skin with baby and hot pinks. The fact that we’ve seen the color on so many fall runways will prove to bolster it, positioning the palette as a lasting trend (a scary thought considering the association pink has with Barbie, a Victoria’s Secret boudoir, and well, the popstar). Custo proved the color was very wearable, sending Sessilee Lopez down the runway looking flushed and subtly rosy, as bottle-blond Iekeliene Stange seemed ethereal in pink shadow that popped against her pale skin. Though it looks scary in the package (or way too sweet), the color is easy to pull off.

Eyes Subtle: Dior 5 Couleurs Pallette in Tender Chic, which has a soft baby pink color along side mauve, sable, and yellow hues to blend if you are gun shy. Estee Lauder Signature Eyeshadow in Rose Gold, which has a gradient theme to build upon a pink base. Barbie: MAC Pink Freeze eyeshadow, and MAC shadow in Playful. Both are bright clean pink, and is a specialty line created for, you guessed it–Barbie. Popstar: MAC Technakohl Liner Full of Fuchsia which is a fat-tipped liner that gives a shock of color.

Lips Subtle: Maybelline Lip Gloss in Born With It and Laura Mercier Lip Watercoulours, which has primer along with six shades, and is a fantastic investment. Barbie: MAC Lipglass in Sweetness, which is a light baby pink with just a touch of pearly shimmer, and MAC Lipstick in Real Doll which is more of a Skipper-friendly bubblegum pink Popstar: MAC Lipstick in Rocking Chick and Lipglass in Malibu Barbie–both are highliy pigmented fuchsia colors.

Cheeks Subtle: Laura Mercier Cheek Duo in Whisper, Stila Convertable Color in Peony, simple colors that blend well into the cheek. Barbie: Victoria’s Secret Blush/Highlighter Duo in Runway, which has a baby pink shimmer to it, and MAC‘s Powder Blush. Popstar: Rock & Republic Pressed Blush in Contrived and MAC Powder Blush in Fab, which is a plummy hue that stands out.