Tionne Tomae usually charges up to $40 an hour for a makeup consultation, but Friday while she was beautifying makeover contest winners Ashleigh Clyde and Kimiko Laughlin, she shared some free advice specifically for Native women.
• Don't be afraid to experiment with color. Just because your skin is brown doesn't mean you have to stick to tans, peaches and taupes.
"We look good in pretty much any color," Tomae said. "Just stay away from the light-light pastels."
Clyde's pouty lips really popped in a glossy, porcelain pink, for example, and Laughlin's eyes were mesmerizing in a surprising combination of pink and grey.
• Use a moisturizer even if you have oily skin.
"If you let your skin dry out, it's going to react by producing even more oil," warned Tomae.
Look for a product made for oily skin.
• When choosing a foundation, pay attention to tint and not just saturation (how light or dark it is). The base color varies from yellowish to pinkish. Most Natives look best in a peachy tone, Tomae advised.
• Don't try to look paler by applying a foundation a shade lighter than your skin.
"All that does is let people see where your foundation leaves off and your skin begins," Tomae said.
• The new "smoky eyes" are flattering but tricky to apply correctly.
"You have to have a dark tone, a mid-tone and a highlight," explained Tomae. "If you use three dark tones or three light tones, it just looks off."
If you're going to use shadow with gloss or sparkles, keep it to one color and not all three.
• If your eyebrows are wispy, don't try to pencil them in. It can look phony. Instead, buy a new mascara brush at a beauty supply company, dust it lightly with dark brown matte eye shadow, and brush it on with short, upward strokes.
• If you have a round, cherubic face like Clyde's and Laughlin's, it may benefit from a little sculpting. Buy a bronzing powder a shade or two darker than your skin, and apply it along the jaw line, under the cheekbones, at the temples and, if you have a broad nose, along either side of the nose as well. Your face will look more sculpted - but be sure to blend well so you don't have stripes of color!
• If you have slightly close-set eyes like Clyde's, apply a little highlighter at the inner corners. It gives the illusion of more space between the eyes.
• If you can't afford expensive makeup, don't despair.
"There are some very good drugstore brands," Tomae said.
However, high-end makeup brushes are worth the investment, and can last a long time if you clean them regularly with soap and water. Look for ones that are soft but dense.
• If you feel clumsy with makeup, at least one session with a professional like Tomae can make a big difference. She can tell you what type of skin you have, recommend products, and teach you both a dolled-up and an everyday look.
"It's a fun way to pamper yourself and boost your confidence," Tomae said.