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The Look: Beauty School 101

A local makeup whiz schools a helpless beauty junkie.

Kevin A. Roberts


I’ve visited my fair share of cosmetic counters and heard advice from countless makeup artists. As I nod through their step-by-step instructions, however, I often know the words of wisdom won’t stick. I’ll get home, sit down at the vanity...and 15 minutes later, I’m the modern-day Tammy Faye. That is, until I met St. Louis makeup artist Paula Lee. —N.B.E.



What’s your advice on using bronzers?

Use them very sparingly to avoid diminishing good features. Don’t slather it all over your face—it just makes every feature darker. Remember: Bronzers are meant to give you a sun-kissed look, not an all-over tan. Polish the tops of your cheeks, forehead, and nose with bronzer, lightly with a large, soft powder brush, as if the sun only shines from above—which it does!


Smoky eyes are tough to do. What are your suggestions?

Build on the base color, and make sure to use at least three colors, starting with the darkest color at the lash line and using the lightest color right below the brow, making the color lighter as you move up from the lash line. If you overlap, you won’t see harsh lines from one color to the next.

Most people just want to draw a line and be done with it. Think of a collage made with tissue paper and how you overlap all of the tissues. The key thing to remember is overlapping the colors and working your way up to the brow. Go over the very outermost lines with face powder, and it will blend the color so it doesn’t have a distinct start-and-stop point.


Is it true that you should not do a smoky eye and a bold lip?

Only do it if you are wearing something very simple, or it will get too busy. If you do both, it’s more of a 1980s look. It’s always best to do a smoky eye with either nothing else on the face or a softer lip, so the eye is the focus.


I’ve heard that if you have blue eyes, you can’t wear any shade of blue eye shadow. Is that true?

Generally speaking, your eye color consists of many different shades that appear to be one color. When you wear a truer color, it actually cancels out that color in the eye. The trick is to find the right blue. Inspect your eye color at close range. Now try to find objects in those colors; this is when I like to use magazine clippings. Hold each color up to your eye, and you will see which colors make the blues in your eyes pop. Trust me, there is a blue for you!


Paula Lee is available for private makeup applications and lessons. For more information, contact 636-544-9006 or

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