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OFF THE CUFF : Eyes: Foundation of Good Makeup

This is another in a series of first-person columns that allows people connected to the fashion industry to talk about their encounters.

November 17, 1994

D esiree Tourville McDermott admits she's a little obsessed with looking good. It's just part of her job. McDermott works as a "cosmetician/aesthetician" at Salon Lujon in Fullerton, which offers complete makeup care, including application and styling lessons. McDermott, 32, says her fascination with makeup started early. In the sixth grade she was already sticking false eyelashes on her mother and would rag on her sisters if they left home without a touch-up. "I would chase after them saying, 'You need hair spray," McDermott recalls.

In high school and college, she gave her friends makeup advice. "I'd work on anyone who would hold still long enough," McDermott says, adding that she became a professional a decade ago.

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Makeup in the '90s is just like fashion--it's very individual. Hard, fast rules don't apply anymore. Years ago, they used to say that everyone with blue eyes should wear brown eye shadow. But today, there are no rules, or for every rule there is an exception.

This makes it a wonderful time because anything goes if it works for that person. The most important thing is to make a person feel confident. Makeup should enhance beauty. If you look and feel good, that's glamorous. Confidence is attractive.

With every season there are color changes, and the popular look now is a makeup that doesn't make someone say, "Your makeup looks great," but instead, "Your eyes are pretty. What nice lips," or "You look great today." The colors today reflect this natural look: soft, earth tones with mauve and pink rose.

The eyes have it. Women should put their attention there because the eyes are the most expressive part of the face.

Eyes should be enhanced with soft neutral colors--stay away from blues and greens. For eye shadows, use brown shades--depending on the woman's coloring, either taupes with rosewood or peach. Eyeliners should be dark brown or black, and there should be lots of mascara. For cheeks, use subtle colors such as mauve.

Eyebrows are really important; they are the beginning of a great look. A nice shape in the eyebrow frames the face and opens the eyes, making them look bigger and more wide-awake. Eyebrow color should be a shade lighter than a woman's hair color, and eyebrows should always be well groomed.

One thing women do wrong is wear too much makeup and not blending it all in. There should be no visible lines; you want everything to look natural and soft. But the biggest mistake women make is not being themselves, but trying to look like someone else. They need to know what looks good on them and what makes them feel comfortable. Not everyone can wear red lipstick.

For holiday parties, you may want to wear more makeup than usual to add a little excitement. Experiment with artificial eyelashes. Wear eye shadows with a little glitter or shine to it, which is very different from day makeup, which is more matte. And wine-red lipsticks are good for the holiday fashion colors.

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