These 7 Makeup Tricks Are Better Than Facetune

Updated 05/01/19
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We admit it—Facetune is addicting. A little too addicting, perhaps. Anyone who’s tried it (ahem, guilty) can attest to the rabbit hole that is the refining, smoothing, and patch features. One quick zoom and a swipe (okay, a lot of swipes) later, and suddenly our eyes are brighter, lashes longer, and cheekbones protruding like a Delevingne’s. It’s enough to make any woman shell out four whole dollars for an app that basically lets you Photoshop your whole face. There is one downside, however (other than going way, way overboard and looking like a Sailor Moon character).

While Facetune might give you the airbrushed skin and eye bag–free visage of your dreams on a phone screen, there’s still the real-life thing. And since we’re, you know, humans, and live our lives interacting with other humans, this proves to be a problem. Enter makeup: the Facetune alternative and the OG face enhancer. Sculpting, brightening, and smoothing can be achieved IRL—and we’ll show you how. #NoFacetune, indeed.

Keep scrolling to seven makeup tricks that rival the magic powers of Facetune.

makeup vs facetune
Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer $39
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We like to describe the smoothing function on Facetune as the gateway drug to a full-blown addiction. Even the technologically handicapped can appreciate how one simple sweep with your finger can suddenly make your pores and lines disappear. To achieve this effect in real life, we have a couple tips. If you have large pores, consider using a smoothing, glow-giving primer before applying foundation (we’re partial to Honest Beauty Everything Primer, $27, and Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer, $39). Make sure to tap—don’t rub—the primer into problem areas.

According to makeup artist Daniel Martin, this will stabilize the formula and prevent it from rolling or peeling off.

Make Up For Ever Mix & Fix Setting Spray $30
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Next, try this makeup artist trick: “Warm up” your foundation brush by buffing it in the palm of your (clean) hand before using it to apply foundation. This will soften and warm the bristles, giving your foundation a more airbrushed appearance. Or grab a damp beauty sponge and lightly press the foundation into your skin; finish with a dusting of translucent powder or a makeup-setting mist like Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix Setting Spray ($30), depending on the finish you desire. Voilà—smooth, poreless skin.

Algenist Reveal Concentrated Color Correcting Drops $38
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The patch tool in Facetune allows you to make blemishes and unevenness disappear by simply replicating the area next to the offending area. If unevenness is your concern, concealer can always help, but we offer another choice: color correctors. The new generation of color correctors are light, silky, and blend so easily. Choose a green shade to balance any redness on your face, a peachy shade to counteract dark spots and under-eye bags, and a light blue to neutralize sallow yellow areas. We recommend Algenist Reveal Concentrated Color Correcting Drops ($38) or Stila Correct & Perfect Color Correcting Palette ($45), which houses all the shades you need in one sleek palette.

You can spot-treat using color correctors, or, if they’re in liquid form, mix them in with your favorite foundation.

Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor Lipgloss $25
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This one’s easy—to make your teeth appear whiter in a flash, choose a blue-based lipstick, and avoid any shades with orange undertones. We’re partial to Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor Lipgloss ($25) (we tested it out on camera right here), which adjusts to a flattering berry shade based on your skin chemistry. If you really want to go all-out, try one of these makeup tricks (yes, bronzer can help).

Lorac Pro Contour Palette and Brush $45
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Ahhh, the reshape and refine features—like staring into a mirror of a more chiseled version of yourself. Suffice to say, there are certainly deeper ramifications to this feature (hello, self-image), but we’ll just say this: Ever heard of contouring? Kidding, but also kind of serious. The easiest way to sculpt your face involves choosing a cool, taupe-based shade—powder is easier for beginners—and swiping it below your cheekbones, along your jawline, and below your hairline. (We’re partial to Lorac Pro Contour Palette and Brush, $45, which gives you all the silky sculpting shades you need.) Then blend.

Want to add more definition to your nose or make it appear slimmer? We’ve got an easy visual guide for you. What about your lips—want those to be more defined? Try this easy trick.

Eyeko Black Magic Lash Boost Brush-On Extensions $35
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Define is the Facetune equivalent of Photoshop’s (fine, Instagram’s) sharpen tool. Most selfie masters use it on their eye area to make their peepers appear wider and brighter, as well as to magically lengthen their lashes. Want to copy the eye-defining effects in real life? We suggest doing as Ariana Grande’s makeup artist does and adding just a few cluster lashes on the outside corner of your eyes for a fluttery effect with little to no effort. If you’re on team mascara, make sure you’re curling your lashes and swiping mascara both below and above your lashes.

Look down, then place the mascara wand on top of your lashes near the base (it’s best if it’s a skinnier one) and sweep from root to tip, just like you would do from the bottom. Trust us, it’s a game changer. And finally, if you feel like putting in the extra effort, add a lash-thickening product, like Eyeko Black Magic Lash Boost Brush-On Extensions ($35) in between coats for extra drama—baby powder can work in a pinch, too.

Tom Ford High Definition Eyeliner $42
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To mimic the bright-eyed, slightly Kewpie doll–esque effect of the define tool, you can also enlist another makeup tool: eyeliner. Swipe a navy-black eyeliner like Tom Ford High Definition Eyeliner ($42) along your top waterline and a nude eyeliner along your bottom waterline to really make the whites of your eyes pop. And of course, these eye-brightening contacts won’t hurt, either. Lastly, if you’re willing to go the extra mile, we can’t get enough of Acuvue 1-Day Define Lenses ($40) in Natural Shimmer—they make your limbal rings just slightly more defined, which (apparently) makes you appear more attractive to others.

Take that, Facetune.

Next: learn one editor's number one tip for being more photogenic.

Opening Image: Urban Outfitters

This story was originally published on March 21, 2016.

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