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The Empty Basket: Makeup How-To


I use three colours for blush – a plum, a shimmery rose, and a light brown. The trick here is to highlight the cheekbones and blend the whole face. Finding the cheekbones is simple – just smile. Wasn’t that easy?

With a stiff brush, put the darker plum colour on the UNDERSIDE of the cheekbone. Sweep from a point directly under the center of the eye to the nose, to the center of your ear. GO NO LOWER THAN THE CENTER of the ear, and SWEEP the colour or you’ll look like a tennis ball hit you. The lighter rose shade goes on the TOP side of the cheekbone sweeping to the center of the ear. Use a stiff brush for this too. Now with a soft brush loaded with a light brown powder, scrub the cheekbone to blend the colours together, and sweep toward the ear. Using the same brush – lightly loaded – sweep it across the eyelids and brow bones to the ears. This will tone down the eyes and pull the face together. You will have destroyed that blotchy “clown” look by doing this.


There are more theories than people when it comes to nails. The best tricks are to keep the fingers well manicured- use orange sticks to keep the cuticles pushed back. NEVER cut them! Keeping them pushed back and with a bit of moisturizer will avoid getting hangnails. Eat lots of calcium to prevent ridges and gelatin to keep them strong. Keep them cut neatly and only file from the outside edges to the center.

A visit to a nail technician is worth the 20 bucks just for a lesson in care. If you have one of those tough dirty occupations, an investment in a good hand cream is essential and easy to hide from the guys in the locker room. Some of the better industrial hand cleaners have lanolin in them which is ideal.

Before applying polish, put on two good layers of a polish foundation. This will prevent staining of the nail by dark colours and also makes it much easier to remove the polish before “buffy” sees you! Apply two or more coats of the polish allowing adequate drying time – see bottle for details. Finally apply a topcoat to help prevent nicks and chipping. I like to apply polish early before anything else is started (ie. before the shower) to give it lots of drying time.

If you use glue-on nails, for God sakes read the instructions!!! ALWAYS, ALWAYS clean the nail bed with alcohol before gluing them on. To avoid doing so risks losing the nail(s) to fungal bacteria and damage to the nail bed. Also only apply enough glue for the length of the event – it is really hard to remove cyanoacrylate glue from nails. For this reason I usually prefer to use stick-on double sided tape pieces. The trick to using these is to make sure you clean both the natural nail and artificial nail with alcohol before application to erase any oils. Press the nail on firmly and hold it for a few seconds before the next one is applied.


Hey we’re almost done – in fact this is the last thing I do before exiting my humble home. This timing allows me to get the best look for the colour combo’s of the makeup, wig, and clothes. It is not necessary to match the finger nail polish though.

One mistake we all make, in my opinion, is to screw up the lips with the incorrect lip liner. A few years ago it was common to use a liner much darker than the lipstick. It looked great if you were 14, or a professional model. It is passade now and unless you want that “look” get a pencil that closely matches the lipstick. A dark liner also tends to bleed more and is super visible against a lighter foundation – it almost magnifies any mistake. So when you purchase a new lipstick, grab a matching liner too. If you can’t find a match there are clear liners available which are tricky to use but really great once mastered. These clear ones will sharpen a lip line after the lipstick is applied If really stuck, go for a shade just slighly darker than the lipstick.

With a sharp lip liner put three dots on the lips – one dead center on the lower edge of the bottom lip, the other two on each side of the upper lip directly below the centre of the nose on each side of the little valley between the nostrils. Draw a line from each point outwards to the corner of the mouth using your natural lip line. sometimes it helps to form your mouth into an O shape. Fill in the lips with the liner to provide a coloured foundation for the lipstick. Apply lipstick with a lipstick brush – not directly from the tube or pot. Blot the lips with a piece of toilet paper. Wet your finger in your mouth and clamp your lips around it and slowly withdraw the finger. This will prevent lipstick from transferring to your teeth (UGH). If you have lip gloss or glass apply it to the bottom center (only) of the lower lip so it looks really shiny and full.

To prevent lip stick from coming off (impossible really) there is a product called “My Lips Are Sealed” available at most drug and grocery stores. It works well, although I haven’t tried it with lip glass yet. Before you drink from a glass or coffee mug, lick the edge of the container to get it wet. Remember wax and oils do not stick to water.


Needless to say, clean the bathroom when you’re finished. Family members don’t like getting coloured powders and greasy mascara smudges on their clothes.


When you come back home, removal is the game plan. First, if you wear contacts take them out. (but only after taking off the added length finger nails – ouch).

Using makeup remover pads (quilted type) and baby oil, or ANDREA EYE-Q remover, gently wipe the makeup off the eyes. I lay a “wetted” pad on the eye for about 30 seconds to first soften the makeup then start to remove the mascara by sweeping down the lashes toward the tips. Once cleaned, gently wipe the rest of the eye socket area. After this, I use a facial scrub soap (Johnson & Johnson CLEAN & CLEAR) applied with finger tips over a dampened face. Rub lightly in a circular fashion – let the soap do the work not your fingers! Wash off with warm water and pat dry. Apply a facial toner to seal the pores, and then a good coat of moisturizer to add oils that the cleaning removed.

Use a quilted pad and nail polish remover on the nails. Allow the moistened pads to sit on the nail for a few seconds prior to rubbing – makes the job easier. Or get one of the “pots” filled with polish remover. These work really well especially if you used a couple of coats of nail polish foundation. Following this, rub cuticle cream into the cuticles.

Have a shower the next morning and a gentle shave with a sharp razor. Inspect the whites of your eyes for black specs that occur from the use of mascara. A dab with a Q-Tip will pull them off the eyeball.


I hope this little essay will be of some use to some of you and it has aided in filling that “empty basket” of knowledge. As I pointed out at the beginning, this is how I do it with the products I use. Your implementation is up to you. Please tell others of your successes and failures so we may all learn and be better for it!

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