Is your make-up ageing you – tips from the Jennifer Lopez film El Cantante


NEW YORK: In the film El Cantante, Jennifer Lopez’ character first appears at age 17 and continues on screen till her 53rd birthday. Unlike many other actresses, the 30-something Lopez (pictured right) actually plays every version of herself. How?

Makeup artist Scott Barnes wielded a magic brush to make the always radiant J-Lo take on the even more youthful looking glow of a teenager and then again to transform her into an older woman. Here, his secrets to turning back the clock and the makeup mistakes that unwittingly advance it.

Say I Dew: “Ever notice how children have that sort of pretty sheen about their skin all the time?” Barnes asks. “That’s because their skin has optimal amounts of water, fat, and oil-all of which keep their faces looking plump and radiant.” As we age, our production of these things declines and skin gets drier and more drawn looking. In addition, when skin is dry, lines, wrinkles, and other imperfections appear more prominent. To create a vibrant looking complexion:

— Keep skin well hydrated
— Choose moisturizing foundation and lipstick formulations over matte ones, which can “suck the life right our skin.”
— Skimp on powder. “In addition to settling into lines wrinkles, too much powder creates an overly dry and pasty complexion,” he says.

Get Even: Redness, brown spots, and an uneven skin tone are just as aging as lines and wrinkles, so a good foundation is essential. But there is a fine line between makeup that creates an immaculate complexion versus an unnatural looking mask.

— Choose a dewy formulation that’s not too heavy. “Your skin should look and feel like it’s breathing,” he says. “If it doesn’t and it’s not, you’re adding years to your face,” he says.
— Use a light hand, “Over doing foundation in the hopes of looking younger only makes you look older,” he says. “When I had to age Jennifer, I literally spackled on ultra-heavy foundation.”
— Think gold. “The majority of us have yellow undertones in our skin and so should your foundation,” he says. “Anything too pink will look chalky and mask-like and definitely not youthful.”

Be cheeky: There’s nothing like blush to create a youthful looking glow. But shade and placement are crucial. “Young skin isn’t just tighter skin, it’s plumper and rosier skin, especially on the tops of the cheeks,” Barnes says. “As we age our face tends to get longer and more sallow.” If you haven’t actually blushed since the time your high-school crush finally spoke to you, here’s how you can fake that fresh, youthful looking flush:

— Apply blush directly onto the apples of the cheeks to help round them out and create a more youthful looking “fleshy” effect.
— Avoid sweeping it directly underneath cheeks (“contouring”) or you’ll make your face look drawn and hollow.
— Choose a healthy-looking, natural shade. “Too bright or too dark blush not only looks fake but can also wash you out,” Barnes says, “There’s a reason people speak about the beauty of a peaches and cream complexion,” he continues. “A peach radiates good health and vibrancy. It’s firm, plump, round, and its skin is that perfect combination of pink, gold, and peach.”
— Get your cheekbones gleaming. “I love to use a shimmery highlighter on the tops of Jennifer’s cheekbones” he says. “It makes the face look more lifted and adds a fresh radiance. When she had to look older, we skipped that step.”


Lash out: “I always tell my older clients to use less eyeshadow and more mascara,” Barnes says. “Too much eye makeup can make the eye look heavier. And as we age our lashes get sparser and don’t grow as long as they used to. When Jennifer had to look older, I didn’t give her lashes any extra attention.”

To up your batting average:

— Try using individual false lashes to add length and thickness
— Break out your eyelash curler. “Curling your lashes raises them up and away from the eyelids and so makes your eyes look bigger and more lifted,” he says.
— Apply two-three light layers of mascara, versus one heavier one to create naturally longer and thicker looking lashes without clumping.

Brow in: “A well-shaped brow can make the face look more lifted and defined,” Barnes notes. “Pencil thin eyebrows look harsh and severe. Overly bushy ones can make the eyes look heavier.”


Plump them up: “As we age our lips get drier and thinner so keeping them moist by using creamy lipstick formulas is essential,” Barnes says. “Topping lipstick with gloss will also make your lips appear fuller because of gloss’ light-reflecting properties.”

Think natural: But that doesn’t mean neutral. “Beigey nude lip colors can literally “eliminate your mouth, while too dark or bright colors can not only wash out the complexion but make lips look thinner,” Barnes says. “When Jennifer’s character was older we gave her an extra matte, drying purple lipstick and it definitely did the trick.” The best lip tints, Barnes notes, are the ones that closely match your lip’s natural color pumped up a notch or too.

Celebrity makeup artist Scott Barnes has worked on numerous films and covers for magazines, such as Marie Clare, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar. He is the creator of the Scott Barnes Cosmetics Line, which is sold on QVC, at select Saks Fifth Avenues, and Holt Renfrew. The first specially created Scott Barnes beauty boutique in the U.S. was recently installed at Equinox Fitness Clubs’ West Hollywood location. His first book is due out in early 2008.