Contributing Author: Luis Casco
I started my career as a makeup artist almost 20 years ago. At that time, I was one of the few Latinos in the Fashion industry and rarely did I work with a model or celebrity of Hispanic heritage. What a contrast to now when Latinas are virtually everywhere and starting to be seen more and more in Fashion campaigns, magazines and mainstream movies and television shows. It’s a great time to be Latino and I am immensely proud of my heritage and of the amazing and beautiful Latina women that I’ve met and worked with from all over the world.
Today there are so many high profile Latinas that there is no shortage of beautiful and chic women to admire and emulate. From Salma Hayek and Jennifer Lopez to Zoe Saldaña and supermodels like Arlenis Sosa, there are women representing Latinas across all spectrums. No matter what skin tone or hair color you have, there is a glamorous Latina celebrity to model your look after!! I’ve always known it, but today the world recognizes that Latinas are beautiful proud and consumers to be wooed. Latinas take pride in the way they look and they “own” their look, whatever it might be.
It is important to realize that cosmetic companies are paying more and more attention to Latinas as consumers. They are hiring Latinas as spokes models and are finally creating choices in makeup and foundation colors that are created specifically for the Latinas. Even just a few years ago, there were few choices in make up for non-Anglo women. The thing to remember chicas is to embrace your look and to enhance features that you like and downplay others. Love your full Selena lips? Showcase them! Have great Eva Longoria eyes? Highlight them!
My best tip for you this year is to look at yourself in the mirror, find the feature you love and OWN it, flaunt it, show it off. Then walk around the mall, your job or wherever and the “piropos” will come about how awesome you look!
For those of you who are hesitant when it comes to makeup or maybe would like to try a slightly different look, here is a simple, wearable look that I’ve created with Latinas in mind. It works for anyone from light skin to morenas because the colors I’ve chosen allow you to control their intensity and make the look your own. This is a non-complicated, easy to do look that should take you no time to achieve but give you results that will be noticeable.
If there’s one thing you can do to give yourself a quick facelift is to have your eyebrows properly shaped. Whether you have them threaded, tweeze them yourself or have them professionally waxed getting a great shape will change and brighten up your whole face. As far as daily maintenance, just be sure you maintain their shape and when filling them in don’t make them too dark. If you have really unruly brows get an eyebrow sealer or gel-you’ll love it!
Eyes: For this look all you need are two eye shadows. One should be a slightly iridescent light gold or champagne and the other a matte neutral brown or gray. Combining a matte shadow with a slightly iridescent or textured one, will give your eyes a fresh glow.
First apply the golden eye shadow as a base from lash line to brow bone. A champagne-like tone works really well and will make your eyelid radiant! *My Tip…Decrease the intensity as you blend up toward the brow. You don’t want a solid gold area from lid to brow. * Also, you can use a cream eye shadow here, it will have the perfect texture and help any other color you put on top of it to stay on longer!
Then, on the lid (on top of the gold) and slightly above the crease you will apply the neutral (brown or gray) matte shadow and blend it. Carefully carry this color around the eye and under the lower lash line, thinly. Concentrate more of the neutral shade on the outer corners and blend it in.
As for eyeliner, find a pencil that’s not too creamy. If it is too creamy it may have a tendency not to wear so well. Get it as close to the upper lashes as you can and smudge for intensity. You can also carry it on the lower lash line and smudge. *My Tip… Gel or cake eyeliners also work great. I find the ones you apply with an eyeliner brush to have the best staying power. Make sure you practice getting the line thin and close to the lash line.
Mascaras come in so many different versions now that you really have to make sure you know what your goals are. Lengthening? Thickening? Waterproof? It’s all up to you. I find that when it comes to mascara even drug store brands have great ones to try.
Cheeks: For blush look for a cheek color that is not too brown. Brown blush tends to give the face an old fashioned contoured look. Make sure that it’s not too matte either. Matte blush can look “chalky” and is harder to blend. You may want to try a cream blush, which can look amazing but may take some practice to blend properly. Remember you want your cheeks to look radiant. Try to find a color that adds a little sparkle to the apples of the cheeks and a color that has a rosy hint. It will really give you that healthy sparkle that we all love.
Lips: As for the lips, look for a color that is close to your natural lip tone, just intensified. Don’t pick colors that are too pink, light or frosty. *My Tip… Think what would happen to your lips if you pinched them. That deeper tone is the color you want. It should be a slightly reddish brown. Lipstick or gloss is your choice but remember that layering will always give you a longer wear.
To Recap: This is all you need:
2 eyeshadows (slightly iridescent gold cream or textured eye shadow and a neutral brown or dark gray matte version)
1 eyeliner (pencil, gel or liquid in black)
1 eyebrow sealer
1 cheek color (a dual tone one that you blend as you apply works great)
1 lipstick or gloss
Luis Casco was born in El Salvador and moved to Paris in the 90’s to pursue his career in makeup. Continuing his career in New York, Luis worked backstage at major fashion shows and his work was featured in countless magazines.
This piece appeared in The New Latina Guide to a Fabulous 2011 Year!, a collection of insights and tips from a group of talented Latinas (and one Latino) on how to live life to the fullest. To download the free New Latina Guide, click here.
Photo 1: D. Guillemot, Hair:Rick Gradone, Makeup: Luis Casco Styling: Brett McCall; Photo 2: Luis Casco