Ahhh… Carnival… You fill our hearts with joy, fill our bodies with rhythm… and completely empty our bank accounts!
Oh, wait… did you think you’d just be paying for your costume or for fete tickets? Think again! What about trendy boots? Nails? That perfect sweat-proof hairdo? What about the treatment you’re going to have to get for that flawless, completely hairless skin? What about Monday wear? What about assorted glitter and gem adornments? What about… your FACE?
I’ve always done my own makeup for Carnival, but I’m no pro, so I decided to recruit some of the most knowledgeable ladies in the makeup game and share their advice on how to work some makeup magic on Monday and Tuesday! If you’re on a tight budget or if your ride or die MUA is fully booked for the season, take heed!
I must make special mention of one contributor before we even begin; Trini Makeup Artist Daviellá Marie Singh essentially co-wrote this guide with me… She trained with Ephraim Hunte and she’s an absolute genius… thank you beautiful!
Now, let’s go through this in steps, more or less in the order in which you’ll be applying your makeup.
The sweat, the sun and the liberally flowing spirits are not your friends… Ok… maybe they are your friends, but if you don’t use a good primer, by midday they will be the only friends you have left!
When asked for their top tips, a surprising number of makeup connoisseurs focused on this; not all the colour you’ll be adding to your face, but the invisible products you should use so your face can have just as much endurance as your waist!
1) Moisturize 2) Prime 3) Setting – Karlene Andrea Ledgerwood
Sunscreen is a definite must! Both for the face and body! – Crystal Mc Donald
Mehron skin prep pro is a must-have for carnival makeup.. it prevents your face from sweating or becoming oily so your makeup stays flawless! – Sher Isse
For primer I use Milk of Magnesia – this is great for oily skin and it stops excess grease. Although silicone primer stays matte, it doesn’t hold the makeup. – Daviellá
Don’t forget the bottom lash-line. You can neglect if for the rest of the year, but a Carnival look practically requires that you use colour above and below your eyes… This is a major trick that helps make your eyes look bigger!
Also, cream or gel eyeliner… #thatisall
I always try to make sure and use a GOOD primer, light application of foundation but get good pigmented shadows on the eyes with shadow primer of course […] If I sweat or have a meltdown (God FORBID), if my eyes stay “done” I continue to LOOK “done” even if I wipe all the foundation off my face. – Evo Bruce
If I’m using glitter I use the Ardell lash glue to hold the glitter. – Daviellá
Instead of using colourful eye pencils to line the bottom lid of the eye, which tends to tear up sometimes, use some eye shadow primer then pat your favourite colours on… That way, you can have various colours will pop for longer! – Crystal Fonrose-Hendrickson
Regardless of what your usual brow routine looks like, make sure to use a waxy product, pomade or eyebrow gel to keep those babies looking sharp all day!
I use the Anastasia pomade and then I use a brow gel to the set the pomade so my client’s eyebrows won’t run away. – Daviellá
Foundation & Concealer
Have a couple of shades in your arsenal. I’m ALWAYS a bit darker on Tuesday, no matter how much sunscreen I use, so I like to have options so I don’t look ridiculous on the biggest day of all!
For my Carnival dolls I use a full coverage foundation and my HOLY GRAIL brush is the Tarte airbrush bamboo kabuki brush it gives that doll-like finish before applying powder […] For under-eye concealer I normally use a full coverage concealer, which is the MAC pro longwear concealer. – Daviellá
Do a photo test beforehand to make sure your setting powder won’t betray you on the road! You’ll be wearing a lot more makeup than normal, but cake-face is never a good look.
I mix the Laura Mercier and the Sacha buttercup powder to bake. […] the reason I mix the both is because the Laura Mercier has an ingredient called talc, talc is a clay mineral that turns into powder and it can add a lot of flashback in pictures…
To finish up, I lightly powder the client’s face and I block my clients eyes and then use setting spray.– Daviellá
Apply a light misting of setting spray between layers. e.g. foundation, spray, light dusting of powder, concealer, spray […] Give your face time to set with each step [Use something] like UD all nighter instead of the alcohol-heavy ones like model in a bottle. Model in a bottle can be used as a a last step – Khadija Beddeau
Blush, Highlight & Contour
I like to use cream highlight / contour products for Carnival because I find that they blend well with the foundation and stay in place a lot better once I set them with powder.
For highlighter, I spray my fan brush with my DIY setting spray and use mac strobe cream for a more radiant finish. – Daviellá
Go for it girl! Even if you never wear lashes, trust me, you should make an exception for Carnival. Not only do they make all that bright eye-shadow and glitter make sense, but big lashes also hide a multitude of sins… Make sure you use a good glue though!
[First] I add mascara to eyes with a bit of eyeliner and I use DUO eyelash glue to apply the lashes. – Daviellá
Use lip-liner and a lipstick with some serious staying power.
Also, nix the nude lippie. It’s better to make a statement than to do something that essentially looks like you’re not wearing any lipstick. This is not the time to ‘balance things out’ by having understated lips!
Above all, ladies… take your time! One fateful Carnival Tuesday morning I did ALL my makeup, went to add lashes, started tearing up and ruined everything! I had to do some serious damage control.
Even if you were partying hard the night before, make sure you wake up early enough to get your face done and allow for potential mishaps.
If you use any of these tips please tag me on Instagram (my link is… somewhere on this page lol). Also comment below if you have any questions or any other tips to share!
Ahhh… Carnival… Whatever you may do to our bodies and our bank accounts… We, the Sunshine People, love you still.
P.S. Much thanks to the ladies of the beauty chatroom for all your help in crafting this post. Want more DIY ‘slayage’? Click the link to learn how to make your own pressed glitter shadow!