Whether it’s backstage, on set, or in the Byrdie offices, when there’s a makeup artist in the room, we’ve got our ears tuned in. We’ve made a habit of catching every tip and trick—no matter how big or seemingly small—that the pros happen to share. Today, we’re sharing the wealth. Scroll through for the 13 most magical makeup artist tricks we’ve learned (so far)!
Rethink your product order. Makeup artist Erik de Soto likes to dab a lightweight water-based primer (like Kat Von D's Lock-It Featherweight Primer, $32) over foundation for a smoother, glowier finish.
Don’t just wiggle the mascara wand—sculpt. Use the tip of the mascara wand to lightly tilt your lashes up and out, toward the outer corner of your eye. Hold the wand there for a few seconds, creating the winged-out effect. The key, according to makeup artist Lauren Andersen, is to use a mascara with a precision-tapered brush, like Butter London's Iconoclast Mega Volume Lacquer Mascara ($20).
Switch up your concealer. If you have a scar that’s caused a depression or created a dark spot, makeup artist Wendy Rowe suggests using a product that’s slightly lighter than your true match shade. This lifts the scar up to the same lightness as the rest of your skin, giving the appearance of an even surface. (We love Boots No7 Stay Perfect Blemish Cover, $12.)
Don’t apply straight from the tube. To create a stain-like finish on your lips, makeup artist Benjamin Puckey recommends using a concealer brush (like Sigma's F75 Concealer Brush, $14)—not a lip brush—to press the color into your lips. Then press your lips together, use your ring finger to push the color in more, and repeat until you get the desired effect.
Ditch your basic eyelid primer. Makeup artist Denika Bedrossian uses Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes Inner Rim Liner ($20) as an eye shadow base. Just apply it directly to your lids and smudge it out with your finger for a brightening eye shadow base (or just brighter eyes, sans shadow).
Follow Dick Page’s lead and apply blush in the shape of a chevron. First brush down toward the center of your cheek, then back up toward your temple—be sure to smile when you’re doing this. The result? Blush that doesn’t look like blush. Try the trick with Kevyn Aucoin's The Creamy Glow ($26).
Keep a damp Beautyblender ($20) on hand. Makeup artist Fabiola likes to dampen her sponge with Liz Earle's Instant Boost Tonic ($25) and then lightly pat it over skin to refresh midday makeup and give a softly flushed, glowy finish.
Grab your scissors and snip your strips in half. Makeup artist Kirin Bhatty says this makes makeup application easier and more mistake-proof because it helps the lashes lie flatter, like individual lashes. We love Make Up For Ever's Eyelashes ($16).
Makeup artist Mickey Fitzpatrick relies on a little brushwork. He likes to twirl and swirl his foundation brush on the back of his hand to “warm up” the bristles. This allows it to distribute foundation more evenly for an airbrushed effect. Try this technique with Hourglass's No. 2 Blush/Foundation Brush ($58).
Brush them down. Makeup artist Dick Page says this little trick will help you stay true to your natural shape for full brows that don’t look overdone (i.e. overdrawn). Brush your eyebrows down toward your eye, fill them in, and then brush them back into place. Try this trick with our favorite brow pencil, The BrowGal's Skinny Eyebrow Pencil ($23).
Look no further than your trusty lip balm. Makeup artist Lottie Stannard likes to use Maybelline's Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm ($3) on the tops of cheeks, on the bridge of the nose, and along the brow bone to give skin a dewy highlight. Want glossy lids? Use it on your eyes, too.
Mix up brushes and formulas. Just because your favorite mascara dries up doesn’t mean you have to toss it—at least not all of it. Makeup artist Rosie Johnston says you can recycle your expensive wands and use them to apply your favorite drugstore mascara formula (ours is L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Origial Mascara, $8).
And to avoid a powdery finish, makeup artist Kristee Liu says to use a cotton swab to scrape a tiny bit of your powder blush (Lancôme's Blush Subtil, $32, is one of our favorites) into your palm and mix it with a little eye cream. Then, just dab it onto your cheeks with your fingers for a natural flush.
What’s your best makeup trick? Tell us below!