Celebrity Makeup Artist Empowers Women Through Beauty

For many, daily makeup applications have become a mundane ‘rinse and repeat’ type routine. But for Eva Longoria’s makeup artist, Elan Bongiorno, there’s a technique for everything and we got an inside look into her biggest tips and tricks.

The Emmy-award winning makeup artist is passionate about cultivating a feeling of strength in women through makeup which reflects in the various charity work she does for organizations such as the Cancer Cartel, the Beauty Bus Foundation and Dress for Success.

“I like to be with organizations I can grow with,” Bongiorno explains of her philanthropic efforts. “I don’t like to do one and done. I like to really put myself in there and commit myself. It feeds my soul… because when you do a woman’s makeup who is not well, who is down on her luck, who has cancer, or just doesn’t feel well and she turns to you and says ‘I never thought I could feel this beautiful going through chemo,’ that to me is everything and I did my job.”

The celebrity makeup artist encourages others to get involved in charity work as well. “There’s a lot of ways people can give back,” she explains. “You can use your money, if you want. But if you really want to get down and dirty and get involved with an organization, start locally. That’s my advice. Start in your community. There’s churches, there’s schools, there’s mentoring, there’s food banks, I can go on and on.”

As so many of us have been riddled with the ‘quarantine blues,’ trying to fill our time at home, Elan has been busier than ever doing virtual makeup sessions with her clients and charities. Through her recent partnership with Kusshie bags, she has been providing complimentary makeup lessons to healthcare providers as a way to give back during the pandemic.

“I’ve been constantly doing my artistry, it makes me happy,” Bongiorno exclaimed. “Whether I’m getting paid or not, I love it. I just want to bring people beautiful products that I love, that I use, that I know you’re going to love.”

The makeup maven has captured over 52 thousand fans on Instagram through her hands-on makeup tutorials on her page @beautybyelan. It’s loaded with educational makeup videos that answer a wide variety of makeup questions, covering every beauty-based topic under the sun.

According to the beauty queen, here are 7 musts for women Over 40

1. Bronzer

“Get yourself a matte bronzer,” she stated. “You can do a full face with a bronzer. One of my essential products in my kit is a MAC Give Me Sun Bronzer. It’s a mineralized bronzer. If I’m on the go or if I’m with a client and I want to create a quick face, this is perfect. You can go in and warm your skin. It makes your skin look alive, especially for my ladies over 40.”

She instructs that the trick with bronzer is that you don’t want to go too dark. You want to get one to two shades darker than your skin tone and you want to keep it on the matte side. “You can do it on your eyes, you can do an eyeshadow and create a kind of monochromatic look.”

2. Lash Primer and Mascara

“Mascara is so important, especially for us ladies over 40. Why? Because we lose our eyelashes. But don’t put that mascara on without first using an eyelash primer.”

3. Eyelash curler

“If you can, get yourself an eyelash curler, it is life-changing,” Bongiorno instructs. “What does it do? It opens up your eyes in an instant. It makes your eyes pop in an instant. It preps your eyes.”

4. Concealer

“I don’t even care if you don’t wear a foundation,” The Beauty expert states. “Concealer is a must have product. It brightens up your eyes instantly! Every woman over 40 needs to keep a stock of concealers.”  

5. A multi-use cream (Lip and cheek tint)

“I use Stila Convertible color for a quick out-the-door product,” Bongiorno says. “It’s a creamy cheek and lip tint and it gives a beautiful glow to your skin, especially for my women over 40. You want that beautiful luminous glow? You do a lip and a cheek. Quick products out the door.”

6. Any SPF Product

“SPF is essential whether it’s mineral or chemical based before you do anything,” Bongiorno educates. “Winter, spring, summer, fall, I don’t care how old you are. Put an SPF on, especially with all the rays. It’s going to protect your skin. Not just from the sun.” She explains that those with sensitive skin should stick to a mineral-based SPF which means it lays on top of the skin. Whereas a chemical SPF seeps into the skin. She also mentioned the importance of using an SPF that is broad-spectrum. This means that it protects from UVA (protects your skin from cancer) and UVB (burns your skin) rays. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money,” She notes. “If you’re staying home and not leaving the house, use an SPF 15. Once you put your SPF on, then you can put your foundation and everything else on.”

The biggest advice Bongiorno gives to women is that makeup should be easy. “Find your essential products,” she says. “Don’t look for trendy products. Look for products that work for you. Find your classic, essential palette. (lipstick, blush, bronzer, foundation base that you love) If you see a fun trend, (eyeshadow, pencil glitter) just buy one or two, don’t buy a whole new arsenal of products,” she suggests.

She also noted to keep the weather in mind. “During winter, you want more hydrating products because you get dry. In summer, you might want creamier products.”

Do you have a hard time finding the right foundation? Bongiorno says there are two important aspects to picking a foundation: skin type and skin tone. Learn about those two things first and then work on technique.

“A lot of women over 40 still do their makeup like they did it when they were 20. Sometimes as you get older, you have to change your technique,” she teaches. “It’s not that you can’t wear powder, you’re just not going to wear as much powder. It’s not that you can’t do a smokey eye, you’re just going to do it in a different way.”

For instance, she says if you have a hooded eye, you might want to concentrate on your lash line. Those with hooded eyes want to stay away from putting black all over their eyes.

She often teaches women not to be afraid of trying new things and changing technique. “As we get older, our skin loses collagen. It loses the elasticity, Bongiorno teaches. “We lose hydration. We want products that are going to illuminate and glow up our skin. Creamy products do that, not glittery. And that’s why I love a cream highlighter and blush, they melt into the skin and they make us ladies look alive.”

The last piece of advice she gives to women over 40 is not to be afraid of powder. She says to use a translucent powder under your eyes and on your base to set your makeup.

“Use a drop of it. All powders now are made so finely milled, they are like air and you press them into your skin and your skin will stay beautiful all day.”

Makeup lovers on a budget have no disadvantage in the makeup game as Bongiorno says there are tons of amazing drugstore products out there. In fact, she says it’s about the technique, and that she, herself, has an arsenal of both high end and drugstore products.

“L’Oréal is the #1 beauty brand in the world, she says. “They have the best scientists in the world. The product inside the tube is GOOD. And whatever the bigger brands are doing, drugstore brands are always copying those brands. Don’t be fooled by packaging or brands. Eva Longoria uses L’Oréal herself.”

Addicted to perfecting your makeup? Follow Elan on her socials:

  • Instagram : @BeautyByElan
  • Twitter : @BeautyByElan
  • Facebook: Beauty By Elan

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