I’ve Watched Over 3000 Hours of Makeup Tutorials—Here's Everything I Learned

Portrait of BIPOC Woman with Dewy Skin and Natural Makeup
@tylauren | Design by Julie Bang .

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My obsession with beauty doesn't stop when I finish work at the end of the day, not by a long shot. In fact, I'm admittedly hooked on watching makeup tutorials—they are everywhere on social media, from IGTV and Insta-stories to YouTube. It's pretty amazing that we can all access makeup tips from the world's biggest artists and influencers, 24/7. And, quite frankly, my makeup tutorial obsession has changed my face. I now know how to expertly apply winged liner, thanks to Katie Jane Hughes. Until I watched her tutorials, I was convinced it wasn't for me (but turns out I'd just been doing it wrong all along, more on that later). You see, without the expert advice I've soaked up over the years, I wouldn't be able to wield a makeup brush with quite the same confidence as I do today.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no pro and my makeup skills could still do with some improvement (I'm never going to be someone with a sculpted contour), but my skills are a lot better than they once were. I have the internet, and, more specifically, the makeup artists who are happy to share their secrets to thank for that. Keep reading for the 6 makeup tricks I've learnt from online tutorials that have changed my face.

Amy Lawrenson
 Amy Lawrenson


Influencer CC Clarke recommends applying translucent powder over liquid foundation before layering on contour powder. That way, your base isn't tacky and the powder doesn't cling where it shouldn't. So simple, so genius. If you prefer to use a cream contour, she recommends drawing it on exactly where you want it and then blending with a Beautyblender. Use a tapping motion so the product doesn't move. Then, under your cheekbone, she suggests using an upward pressing motion to get it just right.


Like Katie Jane Hughes, I have hooded eyelids, which makes perfecting liner on the upper lash line tricky. But, rather than draw your liner onto your eyes while they are closed, she recommends applying with eyes open and relaxed. That way, you can better see how it'll look when others look at you (more often than not they're looking at you with your eyes open, right?) It works wonders. If you find your hand shakes when applying liner, Hughes suggests resting your pinky finger on your cheek or your elbow on a flat surface. I also notice that Katie often concentrates the liner towards the outer corners, which keeps the eyes looking wide and open.


Nikki Wolff swears by Soap Brows to get that Insta-famous bushy, volumized brow look. You simply wet the soap and load up a spoolie brush before working it through the brow hairs. According to Nikki, the soap makes for the perfect primer for any brow products you apply after. Head to Wolff's Instagram account and check out her highlight "Brows w/Alex" to see the Soap Brows in action.

Soap Brows
West Barn Co. Soap Brows Kit $15.00


I remember applying strip lashes for the first time on New Year's Eve about 16 years ago. At about 10 p.m., one of my friends looked at me like I had a tarantula on my face. "What is that on your cheek?" she shrieked. It was, of course, one of my false lashes. I steered clear until coming across Lisa Potter Dixon's, the head makeup artist at Benefit Cosmetics, genius tutorial for fool-proof application. Some of her top tips include wrapping the false lash around your finger so it better hugs the curve of your lash line for easier application, as well as adding a little extra glue at the corners so the lashes are less likely to lift. Watch the tutorial below.


Sir John has a few genius lip-related tricks up his sleeve. In a video he made with Nikkie Tutorials, he suggests applying eye cream to your lips and leaving it to sink in before applying a matte lipstick. See, our eye and lip skin are quite similar and the cream seriously hydrates the lips before layering it up with lipstick (which can be especially drying when it's matte).

Another bonus tip from Hughes, she suggests using a small brush to blur the edges of bold lipstick to make it look more lived-in, and I swear by that trick these days. In fact, Katie uses smaller brushes for everything from foundation to contour, as it's easier to control where the product goes and you tend to use less (but still get a great effect).

Check out Katie's Instagram stories highlights for tons more tips.

In another video, this time with Karlie Kloss, he shared a trick that he learned from another celebrity client, Beyoncé (!!!). Apply lipstick to your bottom lip, then imprint your bottom lip onto your top one, going slightly over the lip line for a plumper-looking pout. I never apply lipstick without doing this now.

Also, notice when you watch Sir John how he holds the brushes at the end, rather than near the bristles. That's so he has a more delicate touch and can layer up makeup gradually for a more professional-looking finish.


Patrick Ta did influencer Desi Perkins' makeup, offering up a ton of genius tips. But this is the one that stuck. Rather than shelling out cash for an eye primer, he simply blends foundation onto eyelids, followed by a dusting of powder before applying any eyeshadow. It's a great way to create an even base for shadow, plus with a totally neutral base, the eyeshadow color looks more saturated on your lids. I've tried this and it definitely helps the shadow stay put for longer.

Next up, 7 essential makeup tips for anyone over 50.

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