By Gary Wong
For the average female, taking the necessary time and effort to transform from the groggy, sleep-ridden beast into a polished and pretty vision may not be high on the list of priorities when rest and comfort are jeopardized. Running late for work certainly isn’t fun either, especially when a professional appearance and dress code are expected to be maintained, regardless of morning time constraints. A large part of this professional image lies in makeup and cosmetics, a feat all on its own for many women. For some time now, women have been trying to find a way to cut down the time of a full makeup routine without jeopardizing the final result.
Cosmetic companies are currently introducing many new products to the market which are either a more efficient alternative to their original counterpart, or are even surprisingly multi-purpose. Beauty Balm (BB) cream is the new powerhouse product that is taking Asia by storm. This product appeals to the Asian aesthetic of having a fair complexion as most companies only produce BB cream in a maximum of 1-3 shades. BB cream is also the beautiful hybrid of a foundation, primer, pore filler, SPF and skincare making it the “holy grail” of all facial products. If fussing with a cream is still too much hassle, Dior has developed the Airflash foundation, an aerosol foundation. That’s right - with a quick spray, a layer of skin-perfecting foundation is applied all over the face. L’Oreal recently developed the One Sweep eye shadow, a product that in theory would be foolproof, quick and effective. With one swipe of a curved sponge, three eye shadows can be applied to the entire eye area, saving women from having to spend precious minutes fussing with brushes and individually packaged eye shadows.
Makeup artists and enthusiasts vary in their opinions on time-saving products, but most agree that artistry should never be sacrificed for efficiency. An aerosol foundation may sound like the perfect solution for a quick application, but can easily end up in your hair, clothes, simply anywhere but the face. The time spent cleaning up after that “efficient” product might as well be put into properly applying and blending foundation. Makeup artists, whether freelance or at your local department store, are there to assist and guide you through application and technique. Learning and educating is commonly found to be a passion among makeup artists. The feeling of helping someone believe that they are beautiful is the ultimate reward. A customer’s visit is also how cosmetic companies stay in business and how artists make a living. Products like the One Sweep detracts from artists and cosmetic companies alike, causing women to believe that eye shadow can be applied beautifully and tastefully without proper general technique (i.e. blending). Time may be saved in the morning, but have these products accomplished their purpose: to enhance the complexion? Does patchy foundation and uneven eyeshadow sound like qualities of a sophisticated, polished woman?
Alternatives serve to simplify, not to replace. Especially in cosmetics, products are usually sold individually not to drain your wallet, but to be customized and tailor-fit to your own personal aesthetics. Artists at makeup counters can actually show customers how to remedy those late-to-work mornings with an under-five-minutes makeup routine. Rather than spending extra dollars trying and failing time and time again, why not make an investment and spend time with an artist, learning about their products and tools? After all, it is your own face.