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Scott Barnes's Blog: Seriously, Take a Beauty Cue from Ke$ha
Thanks for welcoming Scott Barnes to PEOPLE StyleWatch! The celebrity makeup artist has been hard at work lately, releasing his second book, Face to Face, and blogging for People.com. This week, he tackles the topic of beauty risks — and gives a shout out to one of his favorite clients.
In getting to know me through these posts for People.com — and I promise to tell you everything, whether you like it or not — you’ll see that I have lots of what my friends and clients call “Scottisms.” I’m always saying, “As I like to say …”
Having worked in the makeup business for so many years, I’ve developed a number of mantras about beauty, makeup, and, really, life in general, because beauty is such a great metaphor for life. How you choose to present yourself is a direct correlation to how you feel inside.
So every week, I’ll be offering you one of my Scottisms. Use those you like as inspiration or just a good laugh. I truly believe we’re most beautiful when we’re laughing, which is one reason lots of my favorite sayings are simply things that make me chuckle. Sometimes you need a dose of laughter just to get through your day.
Last week, we started talking about the idea of transformation. How — if you let it — makeup can help you transcend whatever mood, shape, or state of mind you’re experiencing at any given moment. And how the better you feel about yourself on the inside, the more beautiful you’ll appear to others on the outside.
But I want to be clear: Transformation isn’t about making yourself into someone new. Makeup, at least in my mind, isn’t about creating something entirely different or even covering up what’s already there; it’s about taking the gifts you already have and putting them to their best possible use. It’s about expressing who you are on the inside. And sometimes, fear can get in the way of us doing that.
It seems counterintuitive, but it can be scary to try to be our best. It means making an effort, putting ourselves out there. Not everyone will like what they see, or maybe they’ll feel threatened by it.
Courtesy Scott Barnes
Which is why Ke$ha is such an inspiration to me. She’s completely unique, and unafraid to be exactly who she is, even when she struggled early in her career to prove that she had talent, and to make a name for herself. Now — insanely successful, of course — her song lyrics reflect her commitment to individuality. She realizes that beauty isn’t perfect, just as life isn’t perfect, and she makes no apologies. And that’s why I dedicate this week’s Scottism to the one and only Ke$ha: As I like to say, “Fear is like Spandex. It will only hold you back.”
This week, I’ll be making the rounds with Ke$ha as she promotes her new album (above). We’re also shooting the music video for “Die Young,” the first single off her upcoming album, and I’m super excited. As you saw last week, I like to blow people’s expectations away, and that means creating something they’ve never seen before — so stay tuned to see what we come up with.
In the meantime, though, a tip for you: When I’m doing Ke$ha’s makeup, I like to use one of my most favorite ever eye pencils. You’re going to thank me for this one, because it’s so amazing — and so cheap! It’s Maybelline’s Expert Eyes pencil, and it comes two to a pack for less than $8. In my opinion, it’s still the best pencil on the market.
On Ke$ha, I use Velvet Black — the blackest black — to create a smoky, sexy eye. What’s so great about the smoky eye — and so very Ke$ha — is that it doesn’t always have to be perfect. There’s room for error. Of course, you want to watch out for some of the smoky eye pitfalls. Messy can be sexy. It can also be a mess.
So try this: Before using, soften the pencil tip by waving it through the flame of a cigarette lighter a few times. This will help the pencil go on easier and reduce the need to pull, which can create wrinkles. Let it cool before using, of course, and it’s a good idea to test it on your hand first. (For a more detailed how-to for creating the perfect smoky eye, check out my book, Face to Face.) And play around with it! You’ll only get better with practice.
I hope what you take away from this week is the idea that makeup, and life, is about experimentation. It’s about taking risks. And it’s about mistakes. Mistakes are OK — necessary, even. Mistakes are how we grow. Taking risks is how we reap big rewards, whether you’re a wannabe pop star or a regular woman who wants to feel good about herself every single time she leaves the house. I want that for you!
Which brings me to your assignment for this week: Wear something, say something, do something totally out of character. Maybe it’s choosing a cherry red lipstick. Maybe it’s standing up for yourself at work. And then let me know how it feels.