From what I can tell, the average non-makeup artist feels that she is lacking in the makeup skills department. If I had a nickel for every time someone said to me “I have no idea how to put on makeup!,” I could buy a Diorshow mascara every day for life. But it’s okay! I only know how to do this stuff because it is my job. I couldn’t do your job. Being a nurse? Professor? Yoga instructor? I wouldn’t have a clue where to start.
But I can help you. I want to help you. As corny as it sounds, I feel that it is one of my life’s missions to help women learn how to apply their makeup. Not because I can’t stand seeing a mascara smudge or an unblended foundation line, but because I know that when people look good, it gives them a little extra confidence. I don’t think my job is something that makes a huge impact on society, but I do think I have some skills that I can pass on to help people feel better about themselves. And although I’m not saving lives or curing diseases, knowing that I can possibly make someone feel a little better is something that makes me happy.
Okay, enough of that. Below are some of the pro tips that will really make a difference in your makeup routine.
1) Skincare: This deserves a blog post of its own, since it is so essential. Know your skin type and buy skincare products formulated for that type, with ingredients that will tackle any problems you are experiencing. Because everyone’s makeup–with no exceptions–looks better when their skin is in good shape.
2) Let the liquid/cream products you apply to your face–moisturizer, primer, concealer, pore minimizer, foundation, etc.–absorb for a minute or two before you apply the next liquid/cream product. If you don’t do that, you might be wiping away some of the last layer you applied. This is why I jump back and forth around the face when I’m applying makeup. I want to give the products on one area of the face time to absorb (for example, I apply primer after the eyes are done, then apply mascara, then go in with foundation).
3) Fill in your eyebrows, then brush through with a spooly. Unless you have very full brows, your brows can probably benefit from a little brow powder or brow pencil. Many people have sparseness at the front of the brows, and a brow that “stops short”–another common problem–can easily be corrected. Eyebrows do have a huge impact on your face (imagine how you would look without them!) so it is worth putting in a little effort here.
4) Find a foundation (or tinted moisturizer) that matches your skin. If you get any sun at all during the year, it’s a good idea to have two shades. That allows you to mix and customize as your skin gets darker or lighter throughout the seasons. A good professional makeup artist will always match your foundation to your skin, so getting the right match is huge. If your ears are visible or you are prone to getting red ears from blushing or when you are hot, apply a tiny bit of foundation to your ears too. And if you’re one of the many whose neck is lighter than your face, carry your foundation down onto your neck. Just use what is left on your brush after you apply your face foundation. (If you prefer to apply with hands, dispense a small amount more for your neck).
5) Don’t use a shimmery bronzer (or any bronzer, for that matter) all over your face. If it’s shimmery, applying all over the face will probably make you look shiny, and a matte bronzer all over can look muddy. Bronzers can be used to fake a bronze glow, or to contour. For detailed bronzer how to’s, take a look at some YouTube tutorials.
6) Blend blend blend. One of the biggest differences between an amateur makeup job and a professional makeup job is the amount of blending that goes into it. If you are someone who wears (or wants to wear) more than one eyeshadow color, do yourself a favor and get a 217 brush from MAC. This fluffy blending brush will make a world of difference. When blending eyeshadow, don’t blend the entire area. Just blend the edges, where the shadow meets your skin or another shadow.
7) Always lightly powder over your undereye concealer before applying mascara. If you do this and use a quality mascara, you will not get smudges. The oils from concealer eat away at mascara, so applying powder there adds a protective barrier.
8) Don’t be afraid to blush. Having a little cheek color will make you look polished and awake. If you use a foundation, tinted moisturizer, or concealer on your cheeks, you will want to add some color back in so your makeup doesn’t look flat.
9) If you want your lipcolor to last all day, line and fill in your lips with a lipliner first (in a shade that matches your lips or that matches the lipcolor). This gives the lipcolor something to adhere to so it will stay on longer.
10) Want to make your eyes look bigger, brighter, or more awake? Apply an off-white eyeliner pencil to the inner lower rim (waterline) of your eyes. It makes a huge difference.
There you go! Now no one will know that you are not a pro makeup artist…
Have a beautiful day 🙂