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Want to put your best face forward?
Special to The Globe and Mail
As spring preps us to bare ourselves to the elements, we can't help paying more attention to our flesh. Which may be why, days after we ceased deconstructing the Oscars, we're still talking about the bosoms.
That is, the stunning glow radiating from the décolletage of so many of the actresses up on the podium. How did they do it?
Makeup, of course, but not the usual makeup, according to industry observers. Now that TV is going high-definition, there's been a return to an old technique that's suddenly very au courant: airbrushing.
Not to be confused with post-photography retouching, this spray-on makeup system is being seen as the answer to the challenges of HDTV, which shows everything from crow's feet to pores. And like regular on-air makeup, it's being used on necks and shoulders too.
"It's like putting your makeup on with one of those Evian spritzers," says This is Wonderland star Kathryn Winslow, who has had her makeup applied using an airbrush for many publicity events. Not only does it look more natural, she says, it means less time in the chair.
In Hollywood, the system of choice is Dinair Spray-On makeup, created by Los Angeles-based former actress Dina Ousley, who also pioneered the spray-on tan. MAC also has an airbrush system, consisting of a compressor and an air "gun," sold under its MAC Pro line for about $425 (U.S.).
And TV personalities as diverse as the hosts of The View and the stars of CSI and Law & Order are all over a system produced by makeup artist Sheila McKenna.
"The HDTV lens sees through most makeup. Airbrush makeup is like laying a soft veil over the skin," says McKenna of her Kett Cosmetics line. "It tricks the camera into believing it's skin, not makeup."
But according to McKenna, not only do scores of on-air personalities use her waterproof liquid Hydro Foundation, so do an increasing number of regular gals preparing for their big closeup: brides.
"In the past, if you were a bride, you looked fine in your wedding pictures but in person, you looked like you had a lot of makeup on," she says. "Now, you look beautiful to both the eye and the camera."