Dorothy D., part 3: Add some color to your eyes

You’re taking care of your skin and drinking plenty of water. You’ve got the face basics all down. You are staring into the mirror at your flawless-skinned self.

Now for the fun part: add some color. The key to adding color the retro way is to remember that the extensive palette of colors we have today was not available when Ms. Dandridge was slaying them (of course this means that you can play around and have fun. Dorothy’s beauty was in the fact that her bone structure spoke. The cheeks, the chin, the eyes. Nothing was overdone, and everything was harmonious.

I can’t offer advice tailored to every face shape, proportion, and skin color. If you are looking for inspiration for looks and different techniques, try Beautylish, Pinterest, or Youtube. Below, I have broken apart the key pieces of Ms. D’s look. This is not necessarily the order you should apply the pieces in. When I’m in a rush, I swipe on a little BB cream, make sure my eyebrows are groomed, and then a little mascara.

I’ve been through a number of eyebrow products, phases, and fads. I’ve finally settled on threading and an eyebrow pencil from Milani. It has a useful spooled brush on one end and a waxy, highly pigmented pencil on the other. The one complaint I have about this particular pencil is that it isn’t a fine point. You have to use a light hand and feathery strokes. The spooled brush should be used prior to color to get your brows into the right shape and during coloring to keep your eyebrows looking soft and natural.

Word to the wise: unless your eyebrows grow naturally with a point, I would not suggest inventing a 45 degree angle in your brow shape.

Eye shadow
Look at Dorothy’s eyes. The key to a good retro look is a neutral/natural palette. Neutral means colors that go anything; natural means colors that go with you! I’m not particularly into matte (flat and non-sparkly) finish eyeshadow (because my fine lines become YIKES lines). However, if you must embark upon matte shadow: make sure to use high quality product and apply it evenly. Low quality product tends to be neither highly pigmented nor easy to blend. Cover Girl, Sephora, MAC, Mary Kay, and Milani all make high quality matte eye shadows. These same brands also make good pearl (slight lustre) finish eye shadow.

I use loose mineral eye shadow (which tends to be sparkly). For a retro look (and no matter what finish of eye shadow), I suggest using no more than three colors. The first color (1) should be a color close to your own skin tone (for most, that will be some form of pink, gold, or brown). The second color (2) should be just slightly lighter than your skin tone. The third color (3) should be your favorite brown.

1 should be applied over your entire eyelid from lashline to brow bone with a soft, fluffy brush (like the longer, fluffier end of this one). Such a brush will apply this natural color thinly, leaving just a hint of color. 2 should be swept lightly with a stiff, short bristled brush to lightly (lightly lightly) highlight the great shape of your eyebrows. Usually, I end with that part of the eye routine.

You can, however, continue with two additional steps. You can also apply a small dot of color 2 on your eyelid, close to the lashline and right above your pupil to make your eye look a little larger. Finally, if you desire, get your soft, fluffy eye shadow brush back out and pull a soft line through the “crease” in your eye lid. To find your crease, look up. Your lid will automatically crease under your brow bone.

Next time: eye finishers (mascara and eyeliner…two of my favorites).