The 25 Most Important Beauty Skills You'll Ever Learn

Updated 04/26/19
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.

Keep flipping to see what they are—and if you’re still shaky when it comes to some, we’ll show you the ropes!

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

Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna $39
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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 $40
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Contouring is an art and even we have trouble perfecting it.

Skill #3: Highlighting All the Right Places

Liquid Lumiere
Chantecaille Liquid Lumière Highlighting Fluid $39
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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 Lash $4
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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 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

Sephora Magic Kajal Eye Pencil $27
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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 Co. The Wrap Up $12
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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 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

Eve Lom Light Illusion Concealer $40
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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 $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 $44
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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 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 in Spice $17
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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 Original Aburatorigami Blotting Papers $12
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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

Shiseido Eyelash Curler $20
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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 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 Low-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt $2
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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 #19: Applying Perfume the Right Way

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium $90
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Or rather, knowing which unlikely spots you’ve been missing all these years.

Skill #18: Getting a Streak-Free Faux Glow

James Read Tanning Mitt $10
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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

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 Brow Wiz $21
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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 $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 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 $26
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Because everyone deserves to have bombshell volume.

Skill #25: Picking the Right Hairbrush

Mason Pearson Handy Mixture Nylon & Boar Bristle Hair Brush $150
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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.

What do you think? Are you a pro at these? What other beauty essentials do you swear by? Tell us in the comments!

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