Answers To All Your Beauty Dilemmas From Our Q&A WIth Lauren Napier

We recently sat down with professional makeup artist Lauren Napier to talk about what it’s like to work on shows like Saturday Night LiveBoardwalk Empire, and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Since that went so well, we decided to let you readers ask her your own questions, leading to a great Q&A session on Thursday to which Lauren gave her expert answers.

Whether you asked a question or not, we promise that you can get some great information on makeup, skincare, and how to avoid squeezing your blemishes ever again. Check out Lauren’s answers below!

1. Lorna McMenamin: “Could you recommend the ideal method of concealing very dark circles under the eyes? Thanks!”

Lauren Napier: Hi Lorna! I recommend applying a peach-toned concealer+foundation. Here’s the secret, Don’t just apply the combo under the eyes but throughout the cheek for a more seamless coverage throughout your face. Good luck!

2. Alexis Rhiannon: “I’m someone who has a bad habit of squeezing pimples, and I’m trying to stop, SO — if I have one, is there some product I should get to treat it while I’m wearing makeup, or should I just be ignoring it? It feels like more stuff is going to get into the pore if I put makeup over the top, so helpful!”

Lauren: You’ve got to stop picking, it just causes scarring and bruising and that requires more concealer tricks. Picking will also age your complexion. Let those pesky pimples got through their own cycle and spare your skin! I love the Mario Basescu Drying lotion – apply it at night directly to your problem area. It will zap the pimple and you won’t have the desire to pick.

3. Candice Huffer: “I have super oily skin, but it also gets dry in the morning and at night. Is there a morning/night moisturizer that you recommend I could use that has mattifying capabilities and that’s super nourishing?”

Lauren: You’ve got combination skin. Combo-skin types require a bit more maintenance.

Night Care: Skin rests and replenishes at night, so feed your skin a healthy moisturizer. I like to add a pearl-sized drop of organic coconut oil to my bedtime moisturizer. It makes the skin look radiant and unless you’ve got a coconut allergy your skin will love it. A jar costs $20 bucks but will last an eternity!

Daytime care: Try blot papers to absorb oil production a toner will also help balance your skins’ PH and reduce oil production.

4. Katie: “What blush/bronzer/general face brushes would you recommend?”

Lauren: I am a huge fan of Youngblood and Cargo. These lines are fantastically pigmented and have blush and bronzer shades for all complexions. Brushes are one of my favorite accessories. I can’t get enough of Sigma aDesign and Tom Ford Beauty and Shu Uemura Brushes.

5. Alana Vincenza: “I have a serious lack of cheekbones, it’s just basically face and cheek all up on there. Is there a way to give my face more definition without looking like I’m just throwing some bronzer where there shouldn’t be bronzer? I want to look like I have cheekbones!”

Lauren: I love this question! Highlighting is an optical illusion. Light reflects creating a more prominent surface. Apply a lighter concealer shade through the center of the face. Under the eyes, then blend your concealer into the center of your cheeks. Then apply a foundation throughout your face. Blend so that there is no separation of color. Apply a blush/Bronzer combo to the apples of your cheek. Light will reflect more boldly along with the lighter concealer tones, creating the appearance of a natural cheekbone.

6. Sara Steinfeld: “So this is probably embarrassing to put on the Internet, but I always sweat under my eyes and around my nose in the summer, and there doesn’t seem to be any product that stays on pre-or post-sweat. Should I be using a different kind of powder, or maybe a primer to help everything stay in place?”

Lauren: Try applying a product called Sweat Stop along with your problem areas. Sweat and perspiration will cause makeup not to adhere to the skin causing your makeup not to last and powders not to absorb. I recommend CLEANSE by LAUREN NAPIER facial cleansing wipes to cleanse away any perspiration residue. This will allow you to reapply your makeup for a longer-lasting finish.

7. Kaitlin Cubria: “Along the same lines, my back gets INSANELY sweaty on my walk to work. Is there a quick swab/pad I can use to wipe down in the bathroom — or a way to prevent the pre-work sweat altogether?”

Lauren: Again, CLEANSE by LAUREN NAPIER cleansing wipes are ideal for your issue. CLEANSE by LAUREN NAPIER cleansing wipes formula include marshmallow root extract which reduces acne-causing bacteria, cucumber which will cool the skin and the wipes are individually packaged so you can carry 1 or three on your walk to work and your bag won’t weigh a ton!

8. Charmless: “If I’m not too late to the game: I’m a redhead (almost strawberry blonde, not RED-red) with brown eyes. I’d say my skin is neutral; I’m not pink and freckly, but I’m very pale and I can’t do a smoky eye and nude lip without looking like I’ve been on a sleepless bender for four days. I find most “brown eyes” palettes either clash with my hair or my skin because it’s not a very common combination. I’d love any suggestions for colors that won’t wash me out.”

Lauren: Charmless, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a redhead. Here are a few simple tricks.

  1. Apply your eye shadow first, wipe away any residue then apply your concealer and foundation.
  2. When rocking a smoky eye defines your brows. Brows frame the face and eyes creating a focal point.
  3. Have you ever tried pearlized copper tones eye shadows? Or something with flecks of gold? These colors will help you to achieve a smoky eye without the heavy look of matte browns and blacks.

9. Nicole: “I have trouble wearing a cat-eye look because I have extra skin on my eyelids, any suggestions?”

Lauren: I do too! I don’t have a natural crease, but I will rock a cat-eye. The trick is to look down into a mirror (this way your lids are open. Begin drawing the eyeliner in the center of the eyelid. Once you’ve reached the outer corner of the eyelid extend your liner upward toward your temples. Don’t forget to go back and fill in the rest of your liner.

10. Christine Silva: “How do you achieve a sexy, smokey look while still looking natural?”

Lauren: Want a smoky eye to look natural? Avoid matte and dark colors. Try soft shimmering browns, golds, and peach tones.

11. Anne Marie Hawkins: “You can see from my picture that I’m super pale – heck, in that photo, I’m as close to tan as I ever get. Are there any contouring colors that are good for the ghostly? I’d really like not to disappear into a solid wall of light whenever someone uses a flash.”

Lauren: I like contouring, it must be applied with care. I recommend using a fluffy powder brush and a light bronzer throughout your forehead and temples, cheeks and cheekbones, through the neckline, and beneath the chin. This will offer a natural and effortless-looking contour.

12. Caitlin Corsetti: “I don’t get eye bags or dark circles (#soblessed), but I feel a lot of pressure to use an eye cream from makeup artists and skincare experts I’ve talked to. To me, it feels like a waste of money and an extra thing I don’t need to put on my face. Do I really need to be using one?”

Lauren: Don’t feel pressured to overspend. Cleanse and hydrate if you do nothing else.

13 Ashley Reese: “Like a lot of black women I have some seriously uneven skin tone, dark spots, and light spots. I swear, the skin on my face is comprised of about 5 different shades of brown! Do you have any tips for using my foundations, concealers, CC creams, etc, in a way that makes my skin tone look less, well, janky?”

Lauren: I feel your pain! Most brands offer between 6-8 shades to match “brown skin tones” I recommend concealing the darker portions of the face with the appropriate concealer shade and countering that with a lighter foundation until you get the exact shade. There is never an exact out-of-the-bottle solution when it comes to makeup – we’ve got to blend dah-ling! Try L’Oreal’s True Match or NARS – they’ve got a variety of foundation colors that should meet your blending needs. Good luck!

14. Christine Silva: “With contouring, how do you choose the appropriate light and dark color?”

Lauren: Contouring is tricky. If you want the effect to look subtle choose colors that are closer to the natural skin tone.

We Have A Professional Makeup Artist Here Today To Answer All Your Questions

You may think you know a lot about makeup, but you definitely don’t know as much as Lauren Napier, celebrity makeup artist for Saturday Night Live. Lauren has worked on countless television shows, movies, and magazine spreads, so she’s learned a thing or two about being one of the best in the makeup business. We chatted with her recently and asked her all of our questions, but now it’s YOUR turn.

Are you still confused about the uses of BB cream? Does it take you 5 tries to get that cat-eye just right? Are you bored with your lipstick colors and want to try something new? Maybe you’ve tried to pick the perfect foundation shade and are failing miserably. If there’s a beauty question that’s been bothering you for years and the makeup artists at Sephora just can’t help, this is finally your time to shine. Over the course of the next few days, any question you ask in the comments will be answered by Lauren Napier.

This is your chance, everyone! Don’t hold anything back because it’s time to finally to get all your makeup questions answered!

Hey Readers, What Beauty Questions Do You Want Us To Answer?

help a reader out
What Are Common Beauty Questions You Want Answers To?

As you may have noticed, over the past several weeks, we have been doing a new column called Help A Reader Out using questions we have received via email, comments, and Twitter. From talking about preventing ingrown hairs to adding volume to thin locks to finding the best cheap dupes for everyone’s favorite expensive makeup palette, we have had lots of fun thus far answering your inquiries. But now we need more of them!

Obviously, you readers are clever and creative folks with lots of knowledge on both fashion and beauty. Still, everybody’s got at least a couple concerns or uncertainties when it comes to those topics. We want to answer questions about or give advice for any beauty dilemmas you feel like this about:

Here are some ideas along the lines of what we could (and would love to!) talk about:

  • Skincare. If you’re unsure of which products you should be using for your skin type or with your particular complexion issues, we can recommend products or even ask a dermatologist on your behalf.
  • Makeup. Don’t know which colors, textures, or techniques work for you? Ask away!
  • Hair. Remember how I crowdsourced my hair makeover, and it wound up working out? We would be happy to do the same for you! Provided you’re interested in getting opinions from strangers, of course. One of our coworkers actually asked about whether she should get a pixie cut and then totally loved the results. General hair questions are also welcome, of course, whether they’re about hair removal, care, coloring, or styles.
  • Fashion. Freaked out by a certain trend? Aren’t sure if you can wear a specific style? Don’t know where the best stores are for your body type? Wish I’d stop posing questions? Ask, and we shall investigate.
  • Fragrance. We are really, really obsessed with perfumes, colognes, and everything related to them around these parts. If you need recs, we got them.
  • Holidays. Last but certainly not least, if you need recommendations on what to snag for other people for the holidays, or even ones for yourself, we would be happy to point out the best picks.
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