How To Change Up Your Makeup Routine

Sheryl Crow, change
Sheryl knows what change will do for you.

You: Knows how to apply makeup, but wants to take it to the next level.

Me: Full of tips and tricks!

This is a post for gals who are at an intermediate level of makeup application (on themselves). If you’re in this group, you probably have at least one primer, good quality mascara and foundation color that matches your skin in your makeup bag. You are confident that you are doing a decent job applying your makeup, and you understand what the terms “contour,” “tightline” and “Cupid’s Bow” mean. But maybe you feel like you’ve reached the top level you can get to on your own. Or you’re in a rut. Either way, I can help you.

Below are some suggestions on how you can up your makeup game, depending on what you normally wear. You in?

If you normally wear a nude lip, try a berry lip. I mean, what are you afraid of? That someone is going to know you’re wearing lipstick? Come on! You can do this. There is a berry out there for every skintone, and you’ll be amazed at what a berry lip color can do for you. The right one will make your eyes–yes, your eyes–look brighter and your eye color will be emphasized. If you want to dip your toe in first, apply a berry lipcolor that you’re drawn to, then blot blot blot on a tissue. You’ll be left with a lip stain, which is more subtle than a full-on lipsticked mouth. After you get used to that, try it as a regular lipstick. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Love LibertyMAC Lipstick in Amorous and Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N50 are all good berry shades that work on a lot of people.

Charlotte Tillbury Matte Revolution in Love Liberty
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Love Liberty

If you normally wear bronzer, try blush. I get it–bronzer people love their bronzer (sometimes a little too much). I think what bronzer addicts really like is the look of color on their skin, but guess what else can do that? Blush. The right blush color will make you look more awake, more put together and dare I say prettier? If you have dry skin, you might want to choose a cream blush, like the Make Up For Ever HD Cream Blushes. For powder blushes, I like MACNARS and Benefit.

Make Up For Ever HD Blush, cream blush
Make Up For Ever HD Blush

If you normally line your waterline with black eyeliner, try off-white. Instant bigger, brighter eyes! (And when off-white gathers in your tear ducts, no one will ever know.) It’s such a small area of the eyes, but a black to white liner change makes a huge difference. Off-white liner is used frequently in editorial work, runway shows and movies, so making this change basically turns you into a celebrity. The off-white liners I like keep getting discontinued, so you’re kind of on your own here. Sorry! If you are in the market for one, just make sure you choose an off-white, as pure white looks too obvious on the waterline.

Off white eyeliner
The eye opening effect of off-white liner on the waterline.

If you normally wear powder foundation, try liquid foundation. I’ll be honest–I’m not into powder foundations on their own. I sometimes use a powder foundation over sheer liquid foundation on areas that need more coverage, but I generally don’t like the way it sits on bare skin. I think powder foundation can easily settle into pores and fine lines, accentuating them, and it can get streaky on a really oily skin (oil can come through and make dark streaks as it hits the powder). A sheer liquid foundation with concealer on the areas you need it can give you the coverage you want, and it allows cream products you put on top of it to blend easily. It’s also more suitable if you have dry skin or get dry in the colder months. At least think about it, okay? And then maybe try MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation. It’s lightweight and buildable so it’s a good gateway drug to the foundation world.

MAC Face & Body, sheer foundation
MAC Studio Face & Body Foundation

If you normally use a pencil eyeliner, try adding shadow to it. After your apply your eyeliner, trace over and slightly above (top lashline) or below (bottom lashline) it with an eyeshadow in the same color. This will not only give dimension to liner, but will also help the liner stay on better. I believe that’s called a “win-win.” A shimmery eyeshadow usually isn’t the best choice for this as shimmery shadows aren’t packed as tightly so they don’t stick to an eyeliner the same way, but any good quality (sorry, not drugstore) matte shadow you like will do the job.

Eyeliner, bridal makeup
Eyeshadow over eyeliner on this beautiful AB Beauty bride.
Photo: Meagan Emilia Photography
Hair: Emily Buffi for Allison Barbera Beauty
Makeup: Allison Barbera

If you normally wear powder eyeshadow, try a cream eyeshadow. Changing your shadow consistency–even if you stay in the same shades that you normally wear–will look (and feel) new and fresh. As a bonus, cream shadows take less time to apply. I think they are going to become more popular in the coming years, so switching up your shadow texture may also make you an Early Adopter in the beauty world. Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Color Paint cream shadows are long-lasting and easy to apply.

Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Color Paints
Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Color Paints

If you normally wear liquid eyeliner, try gel eyeliner. You can get a defined line with gel, but it also gives you another option that liquid doesn’t–smudging (the on-purpose kind). If you draw a thin line with gel liner then use a brush to pull it up onto your lid (top lashline) or down (bottom lashline), you can still get definition, but in a soft way. Gel liners also tend to be a little more forgiving, whereas a liquid liner mistake usually causes a lot of swearing and a complete do-over. Just give it a shot! I use MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline gel liners, but Clinique Brush On Cream Liners are said to be really good too.

MAC Fluidline gel liner, gel eyeliner, MAC Blacktrack
MAC Fluidline gel liner

If you normally wear only top lash mascara, try applying it to your bottom lashes too. I’ve noticed that a lot of intermediate level makeup civilians only wear mascara on their top lashes. But applying mascara to the bottom lashes can immediately add definition to your eyes. Just make sure to concentrate it at the lash roots instead of the full length of the lashes, unless you are going for a spidery look. Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara is made for this.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

If you normally wear matte lipstick, try a lip crayon. Lip crayons tend to be more moisturizing and have some level of sheen to them. Matte lips got overly trendy there for a while, so if you have found yourself in that rut, it’s time to move on. You can still do the same color, but a refreshed version of it. You’ll love it. Clinique Chubby Sticks are a pro artist fave.

Clinique Chubby Sticks
Clinique Chubby Sticks

If you normally ignore your brows, try filling them in. It takes a little practice, but filling your brows in–and I don’t mean overdrawing them into dark, blocky stripes–can make a huge difference. Your eyes will look more defined and your overall look will be more polished. I prefer brow powders and pomades to pencils, but you do you.

Thin eyebrows, eyebrow fill in, 2004 makeup
Do better than I did with my eyebrows in 2004.

You feeling invigorated by the change or changes you’re going to make? Good! I’m so glad you are on board. If you have any difficulties or questions, you know I’m here for you. I’m just a comment away.

Have a beautiful day 🙂




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