Denise Burrell-Stinson, Before
Denise's beauty stats: African-American; mid-30s; relaxed hair; combination skin with discoloration.
"I spend around 10 minutes on my hair and makeup if I decide to wear any that day," says Denise. "If I'm going out on the weekends, I'll spend maybe 15 minutes. I really should take longer! The problem is, I have a range of colors that I stick with and I am afraid to experiment with anything else."
Create a base
"When you're going from day to evening, it's best to focus on the eyes and then the face," says Natalie DiStefano, makeup artist at the Rita Hazan Salon in NYC. "Since Denise's eyelids have a few different tones, she should start with an eye shadow primer to even it out and create a base for the shadow to stick to."
(Try Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer, $20, sephora.com)
Accentuate the eyes
To open up Denise's eyes, Natalie used a creamy black pencil and ended the line with a slight upward slant. "You want to keep your liner as close to the lash line as possible, if not right in it." Using a very soft plum pencil in lieu of eye shadow, Natalie drew a thick line, then, using a brush, blended it up into the crease. She topped it off with a coat of lightweight mascara on the top and lower lashes. "If you know you're going out that night, wear a lightweight formula," says Natalie. "It will be easier to add another coat later on, and your mascara won't look clumpy."
Clean up the brows
Natalie quickly cleaned up Denise's brows. Even in a five-minute morning crunch, a clean brow, curled lashes with mascara and a swipe of blush will turn a plain look to office-appropriate, says Natalie. Little extra hairs create a lot of "static," so tweezing is essential to opening up the face. Last, Natalie filled in Denise's brows with a shadow just lighter than her hair color.
(Try Revlon Matte Eye Shadow in Rich Sable, $4.99, drugstore.com
Even out skin tone
Natalie touched up Denise's skin where areas were lighter, and then applied a pressed powder all over, bringing it down the neck. "Women of color have more than one skin tone, so she won't be able to get by with just one foundation shade," says Natalie.
(Try MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation, $26, maccosmetics.com)
Add a pop of color
Natalie used a darker blush to make Denise's cheeks pop, a surprising choice to her. "If I saw that shade at the makeup counter, I would just breeze past it," said Denise. "I would never think that this shade could look this good on me!"
(Try LORAC Baked Matte Satin Blush in Velvet Rope, $24, sephora.com)
Brighten and highlight
"Normally, I don't love putting a highlighter underneath the brow you end up highlighting the little hairs underneath the brow and that looks sloppy," says Natalie. But to make Denise's eyes really pop, she added a touch just underneath the brow for a very slight shimmer effect. "You don't want it to look like a bunch of color from lash line to brow line. It becomes too much. There needs to be a balance," adds Natalie.
Layer on lip color
"There wasn't anything during this makeover that I haven't been completely happy with!" beams Denise. "I usually wear brown lipstick, so the berry hue is a surprise for me. I'm going to stop by my mom's before I head out — I want to see if she'll recognize me!"
Dr. Rolanda's Skin Tips for Denise
"As the camera highlights Denise's smile, I recommend that she compliment her skin too, by using products that minimize and protect against hyper pigmentation and discoloration, which can show up as dark spots. She should also focus on moisturizing: Strengthening the skin's natural moisture barrier can help maintain an even complexion and smooth texture, and reduce appearance of dryness and wrinkles. These additions to her skin care regimen will help her have radiant skin, even under the office lights."
Try: Olay Regenerist Targeted Tone Enhancer
Dr. Rolanda Johnson is a P&G Beauty Scientist.