Common makeup mishaps: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

woman with bad makeup

We’ve all seen them on the red carpet, walking down the street and even in our own mirror – yikes! As a working makeup artist for Three Custom Color Specialists, I have seen it all, and then some!

Let me help you to look your best with some quick tips to make sure you look your absolute finest anytime, anywhere.

Foundation problems

Everyone needs a little foundation or concealer. The key is getting the perfect match. More than likely the color you wear in the winter is not going to work in the summer. Make sure you have two! You can always blend together as the seasons change. Never go lighter than the skin tone — otherwise you will look ghostly. If you do go a shade darker, be sure to blend. One of my all-time favorite tools is beauty blender. With this terrific sponge, blending and smoothing is a dream — giving a flawless finish to your skin with any coverage foundation. Never rush the application of foundation. Be sure to blend into the hairline and jaw line so there is no line of demarcation.

Stained smile

Working makeup magic requires being up close and personal. Don’t get caught with severe coffee breath before a morning meeting, grimy teeth after a round of cocktails or a stained smile from a longstanding love of soda or tea. That not-so-fresh mouth and those less than perfect pearly whites aren’t at all desirable. One swipe with my newest favorite must-have in my makeup kit is Pearly Wipes by Borracha. They will clean, freshen and protect your teeth, lips and tongue. Drink too much red wine? Try their Wine Wipes too!


Three Custom Color Specialists Clarifier Penci

Tired glassy eyes

Let’s face it — we all have allergies, puffy eyes, are sleep deprived or all three. One little item, which is a major secret in Hollywood on both male and female stars, is Clarifier. This magic pencil is to be used on the eyes’ waterlines to whiten and brighten the eyes, making them look bigger, brighter and clearer. Try Three Custom Color Specialists Clarifier Pencil, which is designed for the most sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Light is for light to medium skin and Medium is for medium to deep skin tones.


Dark vs. light

Lighter than natural skin tone lipstick is definitely on trend and fresh off the runway but can make you look ashen or sickly. If you really want that neutral mouth, instead try a lipstick one shade darker than your natural lip color. It won’t look as severe and you’ll be surprised at how natural it looks when the focus then gets shifted to your eyes! If you choose to use lip liner for definition, always match it as closely as possible to your natural lip color, regardless of what lipstick color you are wearing. Too dark lip liner makes the lips look smaller.


No underlining

That look of just lining the lower lash line with an eye liner has to be put out to pasture. It is not defining the eye… all it’s doing is bringing the eye down. Instead, line the upper lash line with a thin dash or pencil and a good amount of mascara. All the attention should be on the upper lid only! It will open the eyes and make them look bigger. If desired, smudge a bit of pencil on the lower lashes only to shape.


Three Custom Color Specialists

Powder puffs

I am sure you have all seen celebrities on the red carpet with strange patches of discoloration all over their face. Well, that is powder that hasn’t been set properly and when a flash goes off — look out! Use a translucent powder sparingly. Less really is more. Try a translucent powder like this one from Three Custom Color Specialists which looks good on ALL skin tones. Use a soft, fluffy domed eye shadow brush and blend as needed. If you are going to be in flash photographs, do a few test shots at home in various lighting environments and make sure you do not see the powder!


Chad Hayduk, co-founder and creative director of the NYC-based indie beauty brand Three Custom Color Specialists, is an expert in makeup artistry and education. As a leader in color analysis, matching and custom blending, Chad lends his precise eye to developing new colors and products designed to meet women’s beauty needs — regardless of age, skin type or tone. Chad’s work has appeared in magazines, film and television, on the runway and in the theater. For more about Three Custom Color Specialists, visit and follow @Chad3con twitter.


Q&A with Makeup Artist Patricia Regan

Patricia often calls upon Three Custom Color Specialists to create custom colors for her high profile work in film and television. Her recent credits include: Remember Me, Shutter Island, Burn After Reading, The Good Shepard, Factotum, Flight of the Concords, and HBO’s five-part miniseries Mildred Pierce, based on the 1941 novel by James M. Cain. Kate Winslet stars as Mildred Pierce and Evan Rachel Wood also stars as Veda Pierce. Click here for a preview on HBO.Com

A native of Switzerland, Patricia originally moved to New York with a scholarship to study dance. It was then when she first became enamored with the power of make up to enhance the arts. “I always loved theatrical make-up and its ability to bring characters alive,” Patricia says. Thereafter, she made a gradual transition to becoming a makeup artist, at first working with photographers for fellow performing arts friends, and then journeyed through all aspects of music, television, rock ‘n’ roll, the beauty industry, commercials and ultimately, creating characters for feature films. Patricia says, “I am so lucky and forever grateful, for I love what I do.”

Patricia’s favorite Three Custom Color Specialists products are featured on our Pro’s Picks page. Read on to get to know more about Patricia and her work.

Q: How were you introduced to Three Custom Color Specialists?
A: We met several years ago ( 2002 I think…… ), I used to sit for Will Cotton, who’s an amazing painter. I believe it was a birthday party for Will, during which his girlfriend Rose introduced me to Chad and Scott. She had told me all about them prior and I found them so lovely that I wanted to know more about their product.

Q: What’s it like to work with us?
A: I enjoy the fact that I can go see them. The turnaround on orders is very quick and they are always a pleasure.

Q: It seems that you work on a lot of period pieces, how do you begin designing makeup for these types of films? How do you approach it? What are your biggest challenges or favorite parts of the process?
A: I guess I have done a fair share of period work, just getting ready for another……… my designs are based on extensive research and my directors visions as well as the actors character. I always try to find little nuances to tell the story, of course working very close with the hair design, costume designer and further the set design. My favorite part, I guess that would be the finished product when everything comes together and looking right for the time period.

Q: What qualities do you look for in products that you bring on set?
A: I need the products that I bring on set to work smooth and simple, as time is always very limited.

Q: Can you describe the makeup looks in Mildred Pierce?
A: Mildred Pierce story spans from 1931 to 1940 roughly, during which tie young Veda is coming of age. Post depression child to the glamour of the late thirties becoming a ‘coloratura soprano’… that’s all I can say at this time…

Q: What Three Custom Color Specialists products did you bring with you on the set of Mildred Pierce?
A: Custom blended eye shadows, Cream to Powder Blushes and gorgeous lip colors.

Q: What are your favorite Three Custom Color Products?
A: I would have to say my absolute favorites are the Cream to Powder Blushes, I am never without them! They are versatile – I use them continuously on men, children and (of course) women, to enhance the complexion all over, or simply as blush. The application is flawless and I find I have complete control over the saturation of color. The Lip Stains are fantastic; giving me the opportunity to add or change natural lip color without looking like painted on lipstick.

Q: Any particular colors you like the most?
A: For the colors, I would have to say my favorite is a custom blended Creme to Powder blush in a true red that Chad first created for me for Havana Nights, a movie set in the late fifties. I have used it ever since – I think it should be called “Patricia’s Red!” The other blush shades always with me are: Beige, Brown, Red and Pink. I love their lip pencils – Warm and Cool Pink, Warm Brown and Burgundy – as well as the Clarifier, fantastic for quick touch ups on set! The lip palettes are definitely great to have on hand. I like that they are small and easy to carry. I have all of them and they have been trusty little saviors!

NYFW FALL 2011 Trend Report

This fall, designers played up the drama with magnificent tailoring (we loved the fall collections of Michael Kors, Dianne Von Furstenburg, Jason Wu) and billowy, opulent gowns (see: Rodarte, Derek Lam). Though we were impressed by the clothes, these dramatic looks were often paired with makeup that may have been kept too simple or just too garish. Here’s a rundown of the trends we saw on the catwalks and tips on how to make these work in real life!

BERRY LIPS – Pretty, romantic and instantly polished.
As seen on the runways at: Luca Luca, Rebecca Taylor, Peter Som, Carolina Herrara, Cynthia Steffe, and Lela Rose
For bold berry red lips inspired by the models seen here at Luca Luca (Photo: Racked.Com) – Line the lips with Burgundy Lip Liner and apply Rosie the Riveter Lipstick (a rich, blue- red).
This look is probably the most wearable on it’s own. However, for a softer take, try Mauve Lip Liner with Santorini Lipstick. Remember, the focus here is on the lips, so keep the eyes soft.

CAT EYES – Perhaps an homage to the makeup seen in Black Swan, these dramatic eyes are tough to pull off the runway into real life (we don’t recommend bleaching out your eyebrows either!)
As seen on the runways at: DKNY, Derek Lam, Vivienne Tam, and Jason Wu.
For the look inspired by this model at Jason Wu (Photo: Getty Images) — Layer Cool Aubergine applied with a damp eye shadow brush on the upper and lower lash lines and along the crease, tapering out to a triangle shape. Fill in the triangle with Gold Eye Shadow. Use Wallflower Lip & Cheek Stain to softly contour the cheeks and apply Whisper Sheer Lipstick for shimmering nude lips.

For a real-life version of this look, try Cool Black and gold instead of aubergine (the combination of purple and yellow on the skin can look like a bruise!) Also, if you have deep set eyes, stay away from this look. Since dark colors recede, dark shadows will make deep set eyes seem even more sunken.

STRONG BROWS – The 90’s came back in a big way, with a strong, masculine brow.
As seen on the runways of: Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Monique Lullhier, LAMB, Naeem Khan, Marc by Marc Jacobs.
To re-create the look seen here at Proenza Schouler (Photo: — Match your hair color with a Brow Powder (Brow Powder #5) and fill in the brows with our Brow Brush.

We love a well-groomed brow, it anchors the eye, though we’d prefer to see more polished and defined eyes rather than this heroin-chic look.
For a real-life version of this look: fill in sparse areas of the brows with a coordinating brow powder and apply Clear Brow Gel to lift and shape the eye. Define the lash line with Opaline Creme Eye Definer, and avoid this reddish-brown shade that makes the eyes look tired (try Warm Brown Sugar, instead).

NUDE LIPS – The nude lip is a staple regardless of season. Versatile nude lips were showcased in a variety of finishes; from matte, to pearly, to glossy, and some with a touch of coral. As seen on the runways at: AnnaSui, Carlos Miele, Tommy Hilfiger, Erin Fetherston, Charlotte Ronson

For the look scene here at Nicole Miller (Photo: Andrew Burton, AP) — Apply Cool Brown Sugar Eye Shadow with a damp brush to line the lower lash line and create a precise rectangular shape on the upper eye lid. Highlight under the brow bone with Cool White Eye Shadow. Apply Light Clarifier on the lower inner rim of the eye. Use a sheer layer of our Creme Concealer/Foundation as lip color and apply Translucent Powder all over the face for a finished, doll-like complexion.

For a real-life version of this look: Blend the eye shadow for a softer contour of the eyes and avoid looking washed out with a layer of Nude Attitude on the lips, our new coral-based nude.