When a makeup artist reveals a new tip to us mid-application, it's as if we've seen a unicorn in the wild. Those never-before-seen tricks cause us to do a double-take. We treat them as gold, really. Then we write them down and share them with you, dear readers.
These tricks are industry secrets that make us feel like insiders when they're revealed to us—like we've gained membership to the makeup artists–only club. So in an effort to remain cardholders (and so you, too, can join the club), we asked makeup artists to reveal some of the best tips that they've never told anyone else, and they did not disappoint. Keep scrolling to learn their secrets!
"I love using a touch of blush in the crease of the eye before eye shadow. It warms up the look and makes the eye color pop, especially if the blush is rose or pink in tone. When you pair it with neutral shadows, it gives an unexpected and unexplainable pop to the eye." — Beau Nelson, celebrity makeup artist
"For a Hollywood glow, grab that nude shimmering eye shadow you never use. Then, take a large brush and dust the shadow lightly on top of your cheekbones. Eye shadow and cheek color ingredients are basically the same, but with different pigments." — Rob Harmon, celebrity makeup artist and creator of The Magic Pads ($20)
"Waterproof mascaras are great for holding the curl longer but harder to get off. A little trick is to layer your waterproof mascara on top of your regular one. It will wipe off easier and the regular mascara will have longer staying power!" — Mélanie Inglessis, celebrity makeup artist
"All you need is one great thick black mascara and a smudgy bronze-brown cream or powder that can be applied with your fingers to go from bare to a fab makeup look." — Mary Greenwell, celebrity makeup artist
"If I'm planning to use mascara, it's the first makeup that I apply after prepping skin as opposed to the last. The reason being that it can transform the eye and face and often can be enough on its own. I build around the mascara instead of the eye makeup, and if there is any mishap or mascara transfer, you don't have layers of makeup underneath to worry about." — James O'Riley, celebrity makeup artist
"Sometimes I use a neutral shade of lip liner to prep and prime the eyelid. It adds a little warmth under the eye shadow. They tend to be creamy because they're made for lips, so it looks great when I want that beautiful warm, summery eye. I'll take the lip liner, blend it to defuse the color on the lash line, and then I'll set it with a soft pale or sometimes shimmery eye shadow to get a glowing look." — Vincent Oquendo, celebrity makeup artist
"I often use an oxygen machine infused with vitamin C for some clients to give a glow to their skin, especially if they have been traveling on a plane. It's a great cheat for great skin." — Marni Burton, Kiss makeup artist
"A simple trick I never tell anyone is to paint mascara on the upper waterline. Take your favorite mascara, and with an eyeliner brush, swipe the end of the mascara wand to pick up some of the product. Next, wiggle it between your lashes, filling in the spaces between the lashes to give the effect of a dark, full fan." — Kelsey Deenihan, celebrity makeup artist
"I spray rose water and glycerin onto a complete makeup look. It settles the makeup and gives a natural light, dewy effect to the skin." — Lisa Storey, celebrity makeup artist
"My go-to trick for lashes is that I sometimes mix a couple of false individual bottom lashes and use them for the top lashes to give some definition. I love a fluffy, wispy lash look, but with a hint of definition. I'm all about breaking the rules and finding different ways to make things work. I love this trick because you can really make the eyes pop in such a subtle way. For me, it's all about the details." — Kira Nasrat, celebrity makeup artist
"One tip I have never told another soul is to brush baby powder on the lashes between mascara coats. It is my absolute favorite trick. Dusting baby powder on the lashes makes them appear thicker and fuller. It’s the perfect way to get a full lash look without putting on extensions or strips." — Rocio Matos, Blushington makeup artist
"When you're in a bit of a bind and you need to correct fallout from your eye shadow application but don't have cleansing water close to you, concealer is great to use for touch-ups! The concealer absorbs and diminishes the fallout because of its texture, but it can also camouflage and conceal as well." — Daniel Martin, celebrity makeup artist
Ed note: Quotes have been edited and shortened for content.