From girl’s night out to candlelit dinners with your beau, feeling flawless and sexy on the 14th is a must! And since busy work schedules don’t always leave us enough time for an appointment with a professional, it’s helpful to have a few easy-to-use products to prep for the occasion.
Makeup Artist Britt Davis, who has been on the red carpet at celebrity weddings and works regularly with actress Mariel Hemmingway and designer Ryan Roche, gave me the rundown on this holiday’s best products and how to put them to work. “Valentine’s Day is when we want to go for a romantic, sultry and sexy look,” says Davis, “and because it’s such an intimate holiday, we really want to emphasize the eyes.”
As a strong believer that everything starts with flawless, glowing skin, Davis breaks down the looks that are trending this season and which products we can use to create a subtle – or bold – Valentine’s Day look.
“When it comes to creating a beautiful base, Diorskin Airflash is my go-to,” says Davis, “it’s super lightweight and provides buildable coverage.” What Davis loves most about this product is that it enhances – but doesn’t hide – natural skin features like freckles. To give yourself a subtle glow, she recommends using the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Trio on top to create highlights and lowlights. While it has the same benefits as contouring, the overall result is softer and less “done up”. For best results, she recommends applying each shade with a large powder brush, treating it the same way you would a finishing powder.
Romantic blush is about shades of pink and for that reason, Davis’s favorite is Make Up For Ever’s High Definition Blush, which makes the perfect pinks for every skin tone. For a brownish pink look, she chooses #335 and for a rosier look, she reaches for #220.
“For both natural and bold looks, I’m such a fan of dark bronzey brown shadows like Laura Mercier’s Burnished Copper and Mac’s Tempting,” says Davis, “it’s almost like they’re universally flattering!”
Since Laura Mercier’s shadow comes in a tube, Davis recommends applying it all over the lid with your finger and then using a brush to add Mac’s Tempting to the crease and outer V. For a smokey effect, lightly apply a chocolate brown or a black shadow on top of it focusing in on the outer V. Finally, to finish the look, create a cat eye with Mac’s Fluidline liquid liner in Blacktrack.
While falsies certainly add drama to the eyes, they can be tricky to get just right on your own. That’s why Davis recommends sticking to a traditional mascara – and believe it or not, the best products have the same effect. “I’m blown away by Benefit’s They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara – even my husband asked if I was wearing falsies after I put it on,” she says.
Davis admits that mascaras can work differently from client to client, so her personal trick is to try Sephora’s Best of Lashes kit at the start of each year. With seven samples in the box, you’re bound to find one that works!
Full, romantic lips:
“The biggest myth about lips is that lining thin lips makes them appear fuller,” says Davis, “the reality is that defining the edges can actually make them look thinner. That’s why I tend to stick to nudes and glosses. Buxom Full-On Lip Cremes, for example, are awesome and hydrating and they come in a million colors.” Hot Toddy and Snow Bunny are two of Davis’s go-to Buxom shades.
While nudes are beautiful, Davis understands that a night out sometimes calls for more dramatic colors. “If you’re going for a classic red, Ruby Woo by Mac is one of my favorites and L’Oreal’s lipstick in Rose Elixer is incredibly moisturizing and beautiful as well,” she says. “If you want something a bit softer, try Fresh Sugarberry Tinted Lip Treatment.” To deepen the color, finish the look with Laura Mercier’s True Red lip pencil.
Photo credit: Hillary Mayberry, http://www.hillarymaybery.com/