If it wasn’t for professional makeup artists, we never would have discovered the magic that is a damp Beautyblender, or how to contour without looking like a paint-by-numbers art project. Makeup artists offer a wealth of beauty tips we’ll never stop tapping. Some of those tips are so simple and straightforward that it’s almost laughable we didn’t think of it first, and then others make us a pause for a moment. These makeup guidelines are a bit more out there, but they work.
Opening your eyes to apply makeup may not seem like an unusual tip, but when it comes to liner- and eye shadow–heavy looks, many women close their eyes. Celeb makeup artist Kira Nasrat says keep them open. If you tilt your head back slightly, you’ll be able to see the full eyelid and still be able to see what you’re doing (and where you should be doing it).
Ever feel like eye shadow primers just don’t cut it? Steal this trick from Denika Bedrossian. Apply one of those inner rim–brightening eye pencils to your eyelids and smudge it out with your finger. You’ll get true-to-tone eye shadow or just brighter eyes sans shadow.
Want dewy, glowy, radiant skin? Silly question. To get it, Patrick Ta, Erik de Soto, Afton Williams, and basically every other makeup artist out there wants you to switch up the order in which you apply makeup. For a natural flush, apply cream blush before foundation. Williams says your foundation or tinted moisturizer will diffuse the color seamlessly. Try smoothing your face primer over your foundation, too. De Soto says this trick will give you a glowy finish. Ta suggests setting your makeup with a translucent powder, and then applying highlighter to get dewy skin without the greasy factor.
Sparse brows can find a solution in an unlikely product: concealer. Pat concealer on any bare spots your brow powder isn’t catching. Then, go over those spots once more. This way the powder has something to grip and the gaps will fill in.
For that stained, just-bitten look, you don’t need to buy an actual lip stain. Just take any lipstick and press it into your lips using a flat brush (makeup artist Benjamin Puckey recommends a concealer brush). Use your finger to blur out the pigments even more.
Maybelline global brow expert Maribeth Madron says the best way to apply brow gel is to start at the tails and work your way to the front. With this reversed technique, you really coat each hair, adding more definition and hold. Try it this way and you’ll end up needing less pencil or powder.
When covering up uneven skin like a depressed acne scar, go a shade lighter with your concealer. Celebrity makeup artist Wendy Rowe says this will lift the scar and shadowed area up to the match the rest of your skin, creating the illusion of even skin.
Dick Page suggests applying your blush in a V-shape right on the apples of your cheeks for the most natural-looking flush. It’s simple. First, brush down toward the center of your cheek, then up and back toward your temples. Be sure to smile when you do so—it helps you hit the right spot.
To keep your skin looking like skin (and not like makeup), finish with a mist. Afton Williams likes to use a finishing spray because it helps settle the makeup, making your skin look less makeupy. Your favorite rose water spray will do the same.
Instead of brushing your brows up and away before you start filling them in, makeup artist Kate Lee likes to brush them down. When you fill in your brows this way, you’re able to clearly see the maximum shape of your eyebrow and the highest point of your arch. Try it this way and you’ll avoid the overdrawn, penciled-in look.
Celebrity makeup artist Beau Nelson adds a small amount of argan oil to his brush when applying full coverage foundation to increase the emollience of a heavy foundation and create a dewiness on the skin. This tip works great for foundation sticks and concealer you want to sheer out.
If you want your waterline eyeliner to stay put, Wendy Rowe says prep it and set it with powder. Before applying eyeliner, brush setting powder under your lash line. That powder will act as barrier, preventing your eyeliner from moving south. After applying your eyeliner, set it with powder in the same shade to seal the color in place.
Makeup artist Luis Casco says one brush for your contour and highlight doesn't cut it. Whatever you're doing on your face needs to be blended with a clean brush. Same goes for sponges. You can't control the amount of makeup you're using if you don't have separate tools for application and blending.
Bronzing the outer perimeter of your face is step one. Carrying that color along your jawline and down the sides of your neck is the very important step two. It ties your whole face together, warms up your features, and, most important, has a slimming effect.
For liner that comes as close to the lash line as possible, Dick Page says to apply it in short strokes. Rather than attempting a straight line, brush in toward the inner corner of your eye and down toward your lower lash line.