A Beauty Pioneer’s Do’s & Don’ts for Flawless Skin
Sonia Kashuk began a career in the beauty industry alongside Oribe, Nars and Steven Meisel. They shared more than just talent; they perfected their crafts and made beauty assessable to everyone. Sonia leads the path as one of the first celebrity makeup artists to create a quality makeup collection at affordable prices.
Read further to discover the secrets of an-easy holiday smokey eye, which makeup essentials a woman should have in her bag-of-tricks, a 5 minute makeup routine for a flawless canvas and for a special treat, Sonia’s famous Do’s & Don’ts and as usual we couldn’t resist and had to ask about Red Lipstick.
HN: Thank you Sonia, we appreciate your time.
SK: It’s my pleasure, really.
HN: The Inspiration behind Sonia Kashuk
SK: I look upon my background as a makeup artist and a woman to determine how I approach my collection. I position myself as a makeup artist, an editor and a real woman so my collection is tightly edited and focused.I get my inspiration for my products everywhere, from seeing a great bag or print in a magazine, to a beautiful silverware set, to the bamboo calligraphy brushes I found in an antique store. The opportunity for inspiration is everywhere, you just have to take time to look, watch, and listen. Product development is such a creative process and something that I am very passionate about. I love being able to do things that no one else is doing.
HN: What separates Sonia Kashuk from other drugstore brands?
SK: I believe strongly that I am a unique, one-of-a-kind brand that has truly been one of the pioneers in bridging the gap between mass and prestige. I love the fact that my collection is affordable and accessible to all women and able to make people look and feel better about themselves.
My brand at Target is like a mini store within a store because my collection includes offerings that address all different aspects of beauty from accessories, makeup bags and brushes to cosmetics– no one has the range or diversity that I have in terms of product assortment.
HN: You began your career alongside Oribe, Nars and Steven Meisel – what was that like?
SK: We were a strong team of artists and respected one another. That era was incredibly fun. We spent a lot of time laughing. We were helping create fashion moments, but we were having fun while doing so. It was at the beginning of our careers, and we had this fearless energy about us.
HN: Red Lipstick?
SK: Red lipstick serves as a good example of how application can help you achieve multiple looks. Classic red lipstick is a secret weapon that every woman should have in her makeup bag. The color and tone will brighten the face and completely transform your look. That shock of color will become the focus to make a powerful statement, while still looking super feminine, sophisticated and strong. Keep the rest of the face fresh and allow lips to take center stage, it is all about the power of one! But keep in mind that red doesn’t have to be intense- you can apply it as sheer or opaque as you desire.
-Moisturizing is a must because it readies the skin for foundation and color products that bring tone back to the skin.
-After moisturizing, always begin with a primer to retexturize and prep the skin for makeup application.
- A good foundation will ensure the skin looks its best- look for formulas that leave you with a radiant, dewy finish. I am a believer that if your skin looks beautiful, you are already halfway there, so I think foundation is most important in your makeup routine. Blush is a close second, because it energizes the skin and adds a gorgeous glow.
- Make sure foundation is really blended into the skin so you don’t see it and always test color on your face; if you can’t see it when blended, that is when you know you have the right shade.
- Go for color! Color has become rather seasonless. Before you would stay away from corals or bright colors in the winter, but those rules don’t exist anymore.
- My mantra is to always use a specific brush for the size area you are working on. So for instance, if you want to eliminate shine on the bridge of your nose with a translucent powder, using your regular large powder brush will get product over a larger area than desired. Try using a small powder brush, such as my Small Multipurpose Powder Brush to target that space.
- Stay away from foundation shades that are too light. Always use a foundation that is slightly warmer than the skin.
- The worst thing you can do in a makeup application is to leave harsh lines on the face – you never want to see where color starts or ends, so remember to blend your makeup well.
- Don’t use a blush to create contour- bronzer or other skin-toned powders create depth while blushes are used to added brightness and tone.
- Never use liquid liner at the lower lash line, as it is a too severe. Instead, go in with a soft, smudged powder liner to give a shadowy effect rather than a solid line.
- “Spider Lashes” may have been all the rage on the runways, but in real life this clumpy style is never pretty. Avoid arachnid eyes by running a metal-toothed lash comb through eyelashes after your mascara application to separate lashes for a lengthened, polished look.
- Don’t over shimmer, too much sparkle with look artificial and childish. However, shimmer in moderation can be beautiful and surprisingly flattering.
- Overly defining a strong mouth is always a don’t. When using lip liner to prep for red lipstick, keep the edges as soft as possible by using your finger to smudge out the outline of your lip, blurring any harsh, unnatural lines.
HN: If a woman only had 5 minutes in the morning for makeup, which products should she use and why?
SK: On a rushed morning, the absolute minimum is best. Your daily makeup routine should include core basics just like a good wardrobe always has a white shirt or black dress. You’ll want to start with a good foundation to ensure the skin looks its best. Remember you do not have to apply foundation all over the face. Only apply it on an as-needed basis, which will save time. Then I like a bit of blush- I tend to go for crème blushes so your skin looks dewy. Next curl your lashes and add mascara. Lastly, I like to apply a berry mauvey lip color that looks like your lips only better. I suggest my Satin Luxe Lip Color with SPF 16 in Roseberry or my Velvety Matte Lip Crayon in Berry Nude. After these simple steps, you’ll look polished and pulled together in no time!
HN: What products do you recommend for a woman to achieve a flawless canvas?
SK: The first step to achieving a flawless finish is beautiful glowing skin. Start with an intensive moisturizer, allowing time for the hydration to sink in, followed by a primer to retexturize and smooth lines. Next, I like using a tinted moisturizer or foundation with a radiant finish and then dust loose powder on top to set the product. Try my Brightening Powder, which can be used over almost anything to blend and brighten at once. Use a highlighter to illuminate the cheekbones and bridge of the nose. I recommend choosing a highlighter with a neutral base tone, such as my Perfecting Translucent Illuminator, so the luminosity is understated and subtle. Swirl a light application of a coral blush, such as Crème Blush in Rosey, for a translucent flush, Also, for me, the key to a flawless face is the proper application tools – Voila!
HN: The biggest mistake women make with regards to makeup?
SK: I’ve found that the most common mistake is not knowing the right shade of foundation and concealer to use. People tend to go lighter, especially with concealer, but it’s always better to go slightly warmer. Anything too light will look artificial and attract more attention to problem areas.
HN: Basic makeup essentials a woman should never be without?
SK: Foundation which can also double duty as concealer, crème blush or lipstick because you can apply either formula to the lips and cheeks and mascara. Also, my Instructional Eye Shadow Palette in Eye on Neutral is a makeup bag must-have!
HN: Holiday Smoke Eye Tutorial?
SK: A sultry smokey eye is a star staple for any occasion, especially during the holidays. The key to creating a smokey eye is understanding how to layer the color.
1. Start with the lightest color first and then blend your deepest tones into the lash line and crease for definition and drama. Keep in mind when working with dark, deep colors it is important to minimize and manage fallout by shaking excess powder off the brush before applying to lids.
2. When working with particularly dramatic dark makeup, a trick I use is to apply my eyes first and then go in with my foundation and concealer to eliminate the hassle of fallout altogether. Finally, don’t forget lots of mascara!
3. My Instructional Eye Shadow Palette in Eye on Neutral is perfect for creating a classic smokey eye with 12 shades of greys, black, browns and taupe’s, plus step-by-step instructions to create 3 stunning, sexy looks. I always keep this palette on hand because it makes creating a dramatic smokey eye easy. And when I’m really in a rush, for a quick simple smokey eye, I simply line my upper lash line with a kohl liner and then smudge it out with mySynthetic Domed Crease Brush.
4. And remember, smokey doesn’t have to mean black and grey- experiment with different colors for a fun twist on a classic, as long as the gradation of hues is there, the final effect will be just as sultry and flattering.
5. This upcoming season, plum is going to be huge and what better way to rock this trend than to incorporate it into your smokey eye routine. Try a mixture of purple hues, like shade 4 and 6 in my Instructional Eye Shadow Palette in Eye on Dazzling Color, for an updated, modern smokey eye. Finish by pairing with a plum lip for a monochromatic face that’s pretty and fresh.
6. For a show-stopping look sure to shine at your next holiday party, try incorporating shimmer into your smokey eye. The sparkle shadows in my Formal Affair Face Palette are stunning and add glitz without looking too overdone. Pump up the glamour by adding a pair of false eyelashes for ultimate drama and pair with nude lipstick to really emphasis the power of the eyes.
HN: Thank you Sonia, we learned a lot, Happy Holidays!