18 Tips And Tricks Makeup Artists Won’t Tell You, But We Will

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Image: iStock / kitzcorner

There aren’t a whole lot of times that we get to dress to the max, put on our most fierce makeup, and hit the town. When we do have such an event — like a wedding or something — many of us opt to visit our favorite makeup artist because they have some sort of magic up their sleeve. They have all the tips and tricks to make us look our best and for some reason, we can’t seem to do nearly as good of a job, no matter how hard we try.

Makeup artists are known for making us look flawless and they do it so effortlessly. But the truth of the matter is, these artists are not only talented but they’re holding onto valuable secrets to keep them in business. From makeup products to application, we have the tea on all the makeup how-tos and don’ts. Check out these wonderful tips makeup artists wish we’d keep to ourselves.

Never Sleep in Your Makeup

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Image: YouTube

Most people who don’t mind sleeping in their makeup have never had to wash matte lipstick from their pillowcase or bed sheets. Others think cleaning your face before bed is based on an old wives’ tale”¦  But makeup artists know better. Sleeping in your makeup is a definite don’t, and if it’s a habit, it will definitely cost you.  It can lead to acne, excessive dryness, and clogged/enlarged pores. This is why having a skincare routine is so important. Dead skin gets replaced with new skin cells while you sleep, but if you have a ton of makeup on that process is 10 times harder. If your skin is often clogged with old makeup, your pores become enlarged and congested. Overtime, you can expect premature aging and a dull complexion.

Avoid Face Soap With Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

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Image: POP

While these soaps may work OK for the rest of your body, they can be pretty drying on your face.  You want a luminous glow and a balance between too oily and dry.  When your skin is too dry, your pores and wrinkles are more visible. This is the last thing you want, so try to use products with SLSs seldomly — if at all. Sodium lauryl sulfate can be found in numerous beauty products like mascara, shampoo, acne cleaner, and body wash/cleaner. SLSs are known to cause damage to the skin, lung, and eyes over long periods of time, and have also been linked to kidney and respiratory damage.  Best to look for safer alternatives.

Choose A Quality Mascara With A Good Brush

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Image: Ellarie Noel

Ask any makeup artist and they will likely tell you that the mascara formula itself doesn’t matter as much as the brush. There are many mascaras that claim to give you more volume or length for your buck, when it’s not the mascara doing the work, it’s the brush. Take a look at Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara.  It’s known to thicken, lengthen and curl lashes with dramatic results — in just one coat. If you examine its brush, you’ll see it’s not a typical brush shape. It has varied lengths of bristles which are actually curled around the spool. Its shape is very unique and therefore gives you stunning lashes with great length and volume.

Always Use A Primer Before Applying Eyeshadow

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Image: iStock / jacoblund

If you’re doing a smoky eye or even want your eyeshadow to stay on for the rest of the day, make sure you use an eyeshadow primer — or at least, concealer. Experienced makeup artists don’t leave home without primer especially when they’re using 2-3 shadows or doing a smoky eye. Clients love a blended look with lots of color, but if you have oily/combination skin, you need to make sure you give the eyeshadow something to hold on to. Primer guarantees long-lasting results, and the word is that concealer with translucent powder works even better than primer. Try one of these tricks and test out the results.  You won’t regret it.

Apply Eye Makeup FIRST, Then Your Foundation

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Image: MakeAGIF

If you’re a beauty YouTuber-fan, you may notice many makeup artists doing a full-eye BEFORE applying their foundation. This may seem strange because the process is usually the other way around, but artists do this because some of the eye palettes have a lot of fallout, and they don’t want to ruin their other makeup. Sometimes, the excess shadow ends up falling on your cheeks, and you’ll need to wipe it — messing up the whole look.  If you apply your foundation AFTER you’re done with your eyes, then you can sweep away the eyeshadow fallout with a brush — without worry.  Doing the eyes first, makes makeup application way less stressful.

Use The Bottom Lash Line For Straighter-Looking Wing

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Creating the perfect eyeliner wing can be the nemesis you never wanted. In fact, there are so many makeup video gurus that still struggle with the technique, they will often say that they need to go off-camera to apply their eyeliner.  When they return, they laugh at how hard it is for them to do their liner — knowing that we can all relate. Good liner technique is not an easy task.  But beauty experts have various tricks to get the job done. They know that you can use your bottom lash as a guide to create the perfect wing that you want. First, line the bottom lash and have it extend as far as you’d like for your wing. Then line the top lash in the same manner, and connect that top line with the line from the bottom wing.

Blend Foundation Onto Neck And Into Your Hairline

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Image: iStock / VladimirFLoyd

Often when you’re doing your makeup, you’re so fixated on your face, that you forget your neck and hairline. The neck and hairline are just as important as your face, and need to be the same color as your face. You don’t want to have a flawless face that doesn’t match your hairline. That just looks weird. You want your makeup to be uniform, so blending into all see-able parts of your face and upper frame make your makeup look perfect. The Beauty Blender works wonders when it comes to softening harsh makeup lines, and it comes in various sizes for the face and the body.  Getting blending girl!

Stay Clear Of Unflattering Concealers

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Image: Warner Bros.

Lots of people have taken to the idea of using white concealers to cover up dark circles and blemishes under their eyes. Like celebrities, they want to use the white concealers to brighten their faces for the cameras — thinking it makes for great pics. This may be true in the celebrity world where people have teams of makeup artists following them around all day… but in real-life, too much white concealer can stand out in a bad way.  Unless you have a  makeup team to refresh your makeup, it’s best not to use white concealers. If you can’t touch up your concealer throughout the day, it can leave white circles under your eyes, and the color contrasts too much with the bronze skin and blushing cheeks. It’s an unnatural look you’ll want to avoid. Best to check out concealers close to your skin tone. Sephora offers on-the-spot color matching for walk-in customers, so you can find the foundation and concealer that’s best for you.

Get Color-Matched For Different Times Of The Year

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Credit: iStock / jacoblund

Some people may need to purchase more than one foundation/concealer for their skin. Your skincare needs change depending on the weather and times of the year.  In the winter, your skin will call for a moisturizing liquid or cream foundation to soothe drier skin.  In the spring and summer, you’ll want a bronz-ier foundation for sun-kissed skin, and it will need to be more of a lightweight, water-based foundation with SPF.

Weather isn’t the only reason you’ll need to get more than one color foundation”¦ Depending on how much coverage you like you may need to purchase another. For work, you may want only light coverage, so as not to appear overdone.  But at night time, when you want that BEAT face, you might opt for medium-to-full coverage. Bet you didn’t know choosing a foundation could be so complicated.

Add Subtle Touches Of Contour And Highlight For Depth

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Image Mariya

Contouring is still uber-popular”¦ but it’s not the end all be all. You can still get away with just a few contouring tricks instead of the full Kardashian contour technique. If you want to add some depth to your facial features, try adding a foundation that’s one shade darker than your skin tone on the outer edge of your face. This will make your eyes and lips the center of attention. You can also add along the sides of your nose to lengthen it or make it look narrow. While you’re at it, let’s not forget to add some highlighter above those cheekbones and down the bridge of your nose.

Pick Your Best Feature

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Image: NYX Professional Makeup

When it comes to makeup, don’t try and do too much. Choose your favorite feature, and play it up. If your lips are your favorite, add a dark or really red lipstick for a bold lip. But when it comes to your eyes, go soft and only use one shadow with some liner. Don’t try a smoky eye with a bold lip unless you’re going for a Goth look OR don’t mind looking like you’re trying too hard.  If your eyes are your favorite, think about colors that would best flatter your eye color and create a dramatic look with that set of colors. For instance, for green eyes, purple shadows look amazing. Use these colors to bring out your best feature, while considering your overall appearance. You want to flatter your features without completely overdoing it.

Stop Over-Plucking Your Eyebrows

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Image: memecrunch.com

Eyebrows really do frame your face, so don’t over-pluck or  neglect them. You should get them professionally done at least once a month depending on how fast your brow hair grows. You can use a brow trimmer for touch-ups and maintenance in-between visits. Some people decide to get rid of their brows altogether, but the look is so dramatic, it’s off-putting rather than flattering. With a brow kit in your correct shade, your eyebrows will steal the show.

When applying the brow gel, you might want to try using a lighter shade at the base of the brow and a darker shade as you move towards the end of the brow. This technique makes the brows look more natural especially compared to using straight black brow gel to pencil and shade in brows. Benefits Cosmetics Soft & Natural Brow Kit makes brows look effortless.

Place Your Foundation Strategically

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One of the oldest mistakes people make is applying foundation ALL over their face. Many makeup artists still do this, so it’s no wonder that novices are doing it. Applying foundation is not as simple as it seems. You need to properly match the color of your skin, and apply subtly to ensure your makeup doesn’t look too caked-on.  You can do this by zoning in on specific areas that need the most coverage like your T-zone or any harsh lines around your jawbone. These zones usually have enlarged pores and excess oil. With a fluffy brush or a slightly wet Beauty Blender, you can smooth out these imperfections in no time.

Brush-Up On Your Color Theory

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Image: Tumblr / Experiments In Processing.

If you’re serious about makeup, you need to get serious about color theory. All makeup artists should know basic color theory. It’s the foundation of makeup mastery. You need to know which colors compliment your skin tone and eye color.  In order to figure these out, you need to use the color wheel and review the fundamentals of color theory and makeup application.  Primary colors: red, blue, and yellow can be combined to make secondary colors like green, orange, and purple.

Complementary colors are contrasting colors like blue and orange, red and green, and yellow and purple.  Makeup artists use red and green to color correct blemishes, pimples, and small facial scars.  These colors cancel each other out, so if you have a pimple (which usually appears reddish or irritated), you could use a green color-corrector on your blemish followed by concealer to give you that extra coverage.  Color theory also works miracles for eye color. If you have blue eyes, bronze shadows are a stunning contrast and for brown eyes, purple shadows make your eyes dazzle.

Vitalize Your Eyes With Eye Drops

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Had a long night last-night? Up late with a sick child? Good eye drops can make you look like you’ve had the best night’s sleep ever.  The Visine Maximum Eye Relief drops have even been known to disguise a pink eye or two…(speaking from experience).  Eye drops usually contain ingredients like Tetrahydrozoline HCI (a redness reliever) that constrict the blood vessels in your eyes and make your eyes appear clear.  This miracle product also doubles as a pimple reliever. If you dab some drops on a swab and put it on your blemish, you’ll notice the redness will start to fade. Add concealer around your eyes and you’re good as rested.

Try Castor Oil To Revive your Brows And Lashes

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It happens to the best of us. You used a little too much lash glue for your false-ies and now your REAL lashes are damn-near gone.  OR maybe you’re a pro at the lashes but not with the brows — and it’s gonna be a while before they grow back on their own.  Castor oil is a great, natural way to get your brows and lashes to grow back quickly. It contains ricinoleic acid and Omega-9 fatty acids that provide rich hair vitamins and promote speedy growth. Using a Q-tip, apply a few drops of castor oil to your brows and lashes every night. After a few weeks to a month, you’ll notice longer and fuller lashes and luscious brows.

Use Powder, Prime, Foundation, and DON’T FORGET Setting Spray!

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You’ll be surprised how many makeup artists use powder when applying their makeup. Some use baby powder while other have opted to using translucent powder due to the long-term effects related to using baby powder consistently. The best way to make sure your makeup lasts all day is to set your primer with a powder before putting on foundation. Make sure not to add too much. A light dusting is best. This method is the start to locking in your foundation. Next, you’ll need to use a setting spray to ensure your makeup lasts for the long-haul. Makeup artists rave that Urban Decay All-Nighter does the job well. It dries quickly and keeps your makeup smooth and long-lasting for up to hours.

DO Have Fun

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While it’s important to know the right techniques and show the skills you’ve mastered, your makeup should also reflect your personality. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it. A bold lip never hurt anyone. Try a purple lip topped with a shiny Buxom gloss.  Jump from your comfort zone and try a new palette with wild colors like Rihanna’s  FENTY Galaxy Eyeshadow Palette. If eyeshadow isn’t your thing, go all out with a beautiful highlighter like Farsali Jelly Bean Illuminator.  Dab some (LOTS!) on your cheeks for a wonderful glow. You never know, you might like what you try and incorporate it into your regular routine. Life is short. Make it up as you go.

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