The 25 Most Important Beauty Skills You'll Ever Learn

Updated 04/26/19
Woman with red lipstick
J.Crew

Ask any woman who has (finally) perfected a cat eye or found just the right shade of highlighter how she feels afterward, and she’ll most likely say one word: powerful. In an effort to create more of these world-conquering sentiments, we’ve put together an extensive list of the 25 beauty skills we think every woman should learn and master.

Skill #1: Applying Bronzer Without Looking Like an Oompa Loompa

Nars Bronzer
Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna $40
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It’s all about the natural glow—keyword being natural. Avoid bronzers that veer orange or sparkly, and instead, reach for matte taupe formulas. Here’s exactly how (and where) to apply bronzer in five easy steps. 

Skill #2: Contouring in a Natural Way

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit
Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit $40
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Contouring is an art and even we have trouble perfecting it.

Skill #3: Highlighting All the Right Places

Chantecaille Liquid Lumiere
Chantecaille Liquid Lumière Highlighting Fluid $44
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For example, above your cheekbones, and below your brow bone.

Skill #4: Applying False Eyelashes Without Screaming in Frustration

Ardell Natural Lashes
Ardell Natural Lash $5
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Perhaps one of the greatest feats of all time, we know—but this makeup artist’s tip might just change your life forever.

Skill #5: Executing a Perfectly Flicked Cat Eye

Kat Von D Eyeliner
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper $19
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The most sought-after beauty skill, perhaps? Luckily, we’ve got seven hacks to help you perfect your technique.

Skill #6: Creating a Daytime-Appropriate Smoky Eye

Givenchy Eye Pencil
Givenchy Magic Kajal Eye Pencil $32
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One of the easiest ways to make a daytime smokey eye. Apply it on the lashline, smudge with a brush or your finger, layer on the mascara, and you can ensure your eyes smolder.

Skill #7: Tossing Your Hair Into a Cool-Girl Ballerina Bun

Beachwaver The Wrap Up
Beachwaver Co. The Wrap Up $10
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Anyone can do a haphazard messy bun and it will easily take you from the office to evening.

Skill #8: Creating a Smudge-Proof Bold Lip

Ilia Lipstick Neon Angel
Ilia Neon Angel $26
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Hint: Lip liner and concealer are involved. We know, bold lips can be quite tricky to master.

Skill #9: Covering Panda-Reminiscent Under-Eye Bags

Because faking a good night’s rest is one of our specialties.

Skill #10: Rocking a No-Makeup Makeup Look as Well as Beyoncé

Milk Makeup Eye Pigment
Milk Makeup Eye Pigment $24
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Okay, getting to Queen Bey’s level might be a stretch, but we sure can try.

Skill #11: Mastering “I Woke Up Like This” Hair

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray $46
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Because you might as well take advantage of the fact that bedhead is chic, if only for now.

Skill #12: Wearing Lip Gloss Like an Adult

Marc Jacobs Lip Gloss
Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Gloss Lip Lacquer Lipgloss in Love Buzz $28
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Because not all shine is bad.

Skill #13: Faking a Plump Pout à la Scarlett Johansson

MAC Lip Pencil
MAC Lip Pencil in Spice $18
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Before you go for the needle, why not consider one of these tricks?

Skill #14: Banish a Shiny Face in One Fell Swoop

Tatcha Beauty Papers
Tatcha Original Aburatorigami Blotting Papers $150
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Here’s what you can do other than blot the shine away.

Skill #15: Curl Your Lashes—and Get Them to Stay Curled

Eyelash curler
Shiseido Eyelash Curler $22
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Our tip? Heat your eyelash curler before curling—it’s like a DIY perm for your lashes!

Skill #16: Staying Within the Lines

Vaseline petroleum jelly
Vaseline Lip Therapy Original $2
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We know it sounds like a crazy feat, but we’ve got one super-effective tool on our side: Vaseline.

Skill #17: Knowing What Foods to Put on Your Face

Fage Greek Yogurt
Fage Low-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt $5
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It’s not as crazy as it sounds—we like Greek yogurt because it’s filled with acne-busting probiotics and clarifying honey.

Skill #18: Applying Perfume the Right Way

YSL Black Opium Perfume
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium $124
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Or rather, knowing which unlikely spots you’ve been missing all these years.

Skill #19: Getting a Streak-Free Faux Glow

Tanning mitt
James Read Tanning Mitt $6
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First things first: Always exfoliate before putting anything with the words “self-tan” on it.

Skill #20: Removing Gel Polish at Home

Nail file
SpaRitual Sanitizable Eco-Nail File 180/240 $7
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Our love-hate relationship with gel polish has a simple, pain-free conclusion.

Skill #21: Correctly Grooming Your Brows

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyebrow pencil
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz $23
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Everyone wants brows that wow. Curious about tinting your own? Our editor shows you exactly how to DIY at home.

Skill #22: Mastering Beachy Waves

Bumble and bumble surf spray
Bumble and bumble Surf Spray $27
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The ultimate cool-girl vibe is achieved when you rock beachy waves on and off the shore.

Skill #23: Knowing How to Polish up Your Look in a Pinch

Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer
Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer Oil-Free SPF 20 $34
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So you’ve been at the beach all day and now have to jet to a fancy dinner (lucky you). Save yourself a trip home and bring a few key products that are full-proof.

Skill #24: Adding Instant Volume When Your Hair Looks Flat

Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray
Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray $26
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Because everyone deserves to have bombshell volume.

Skill #25: Picking the Right Hairbrush

Mason Pearson Brush
Mason Pearson Handy Mixture Nylon & Boar Bristle Hair Brush $175
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If you’ve been using the same plastic hairbrush since your middle school years, it might be time to consider swapping it for a brush that's better for your hair.

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