Depict yourself 

For true makeup lovers, there’s nothing more seductive than the allure of possibility inherent in a tiny tube, glossy pot or color-flecked brush. Like any craftsman’s implements, cosmetics in all their various hues and consistencies (with a little help from artful packaging) give form to imagination – and forge the multicolored stuff of dreams.

Livonia-based makeup artist and creator of up-and-coming cosmetics line Motor City Makeup (MCM), Tiffany Palizzi was an early recruit to the art of beauty.

"I started out when I was 19," she says. "It’s fun. I get to play with makeup all day. And it makes people feel good about themselves. It’s amazing to watch the transformation in their (attitudes)."

Palizzi landed her first gig at About Face in Royal Oak where she studied under Robin Manoogian.

"Robin took me under her wing and was very patient with me," she laughs. Now 26, Palizzi operates primarily from Michele’s Salon and Day Spa in Brighton. Although her career in artistry certainly has proven rewarding, Palizzi’s enthusiasm for both cosmetics and the city of Detroit led her to start her own line of lip products, which will debut this July at various area retailers.

"I wanted to create a lip line because it’s something fun that doesn’t involve huge decisions. Every woman will want to buy lip products."

The MCM line was designed to flatter all skin tones and includes lip pencils, glosses and more solid lipshines.

"They feel great on your lips, that’s why I chose them. The pencils are creamy – the glosses don’t feel tacky or gooey and the lipshines have a built-in SPF of 15."

To avoid selection overload, MCM features a basic range of versatile shades that translate well for virtually all colorings and lifestyles.

"Everyone can wear them, from teenagers to moms to rockabilly girls."

Sticking with what’s natural is a cardinal consideration for Palizzi.

"I like to bring out what people already have, not put a mask on them," she says.

For the look featured here, Palizzi played natural, glossy lips against iridescent, lime-shadowed eyes.

"They’re showing a lot of color for eyes this year, like green and pink. And orange is huge for summer. But if you do colorful eyes, it’s important to keep a sheer lip. A subtle shine is better than metallic, because it’s an update from the ‘70s."

Here, the model’s mouth was lined with a nude liner and filled in with a subtly frosted shine in a delicate pink.

"It’s all about the less-is-more look," Palizzi says.

She’s also a big fan of shimmer – in moderate doses, that is.

"Not disco glittery, but I like to see people’s skin accented with something pretty. You can’t get too much shine on the face or it looks greasy. And instead of foundation, moisture tint is great for evening out the complexion in the summer."

Every makeup artist packs a few secret weapons and Palizzi’s favorites include several industry standbys. A specialist in eyebrow arching, she likens a scraggly pair of brows to "a window without curtains. Eyebrows make the face and bring the eye out."

But good brows require a bit of custom design.

"I tailor each brow to the individual’s face. For instance, a small-framed girl can’t wear super-big brows."

Other top recommendations include eyelash curling ("It makes the eye stand out more, since uncurled lashes drag the eye down."), a brush of gloss in the center of the bottom lip for added pout, and, for extra evening drama, a touch of shimmer on the eye area.

What’s next on Palizzi’s agenda?

"I’d like to see MCM do well in the metro area. It’s something fun to play with for now. I’ll see how it goes. I don’t want to be Estée Lauder or anything."

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