If you’re like most women, you probably have a love/hate relationship with your makeup depending on the day. Sometimes it goes on perfect, other times nothing looks right. We’ve all had makeup mishaps when liner zigzags, bronzer looks comical and blush turns you into a clown.
Your makeup doesn’t have to be your enemy. You can be a professional makeup artist, at least for your own face, by following these secrets students learn in makeup school. The following tips come from three different beauty schools including Make-up Designory in Burbank, California, Napoleon Perdis Academy in Hollywood, California and Make Up For Ever Academy in Los Angeles.
Tip 1: Your Tools Matter
The first lesson you learn at most beauty schools is the importance of using the right tools. Skills mean little without the proper makeup or application tools. Spend the money to buy professional, quality tools. To get started, you should always have a foundation brush, concealer brush, fluffy powder brush, blush brush, small blending brush, flat eyeshadow brush, precision angle brush and lip brush in your tool collection.
The next step is knowing how to hold your tools. Holding your fingers close the brush equals more pressure on your the brush’s head. For a more even color application, hold the brush in the center of the handle. If you don’t happen to have a flat brush on hand, use a fluffy brush and flatten the bristles by wrapping your hand around them.
Tip 2: Primer and Foundation Mix
Most people put their primer on before applying foundation. Mixing primer in with cream foundation creates a longer lasting, better looking result. It also helps blend in foundation with the primer already on your face. It is important to note that cream foundation should be applied using a damp sponge for oily skin. Other skin types should take advantage of their foundation brush to buff foundation onto the skin. Remember, you want more coverage in the center of the face and less as you go outward.
Tip 3: Conceal Your Flaws
No one wants their flaws showing through. This is the purpose of trying to cover them up. Most of us use a beige or yellow based concealer for everything. However, you should always use opposite colors to cover flaws. For instance, redness covers best with green concealer. Orange takes care of blue veins or under eye circles. The lesson – you’ll need more than one color concealer.
Tip 4: Reshape Your Face
You don’t have to have surgery to reshape your face. By contouring your face with makeup, you can reshape your face and hide those features you’re not so proud of. Essentially, by shading and highlighting, you can change your entire look.
For round faces, create an oval shape by applying a bronzer that’s one to two shades darker than your natural skin tone. Apply in a 3 shape on your face which includes your temples, cheek hollows and chin.
Reduce a prominent forehead by shading the outer edge of the forehead along the hairline with bronzer.
Change your nose by shading from your inner brows alongside the bridge of your nose. Finish by highlighting only on the nose’s center.
Fight gravity on sagging cheeks by applying highlighter just above the cheekbone and continuing to the temple. Apply blush on the cheekbone and follow with a bronzer on the cheek’s hollow under the bone.
Finally, make all your contouring work stand out by using a sparkling highlighter. This helps reflect light. When using bronzer, use a matte finish to absorb light and create a more stark contrast for better contouring.
Tip 5: Change Your Eye Shape
Contouring isn’t just for your facial structure. Use these same techniques to fix narrow-set eyes, small eyes and even dropping lids. It’s easy to add more definition by sweeping a light colored bronzer along the crease of your eye. Mature skin appears younger. If you have blue eyes, consider using an orange based bronzer to make baby blues pop.
For narrow-set eyes, you’ll want to elongate your natural eye width using black eye liner to just the outer half of both the top and bottom lashlines. Connect the lines at the outer corner. If your problem is small eyes, open eyes up by applying beige-colored liner to the lower inner rim. Follow up with black eye liner along both the upper and lower lashlines and connect at the outer corner. Blend the liner with your shadow. Smudging the lines slightly gives the effect of larger eyes.
Lift drooping lids by highlighting and shadowing. Use highlighter just above the crease starting from the inner lid and going to the outer part of the lid. Blend your shadow up to the area you want to push up. Blend the shadow edges to the highlight.
For natural definition on your eyes, apply black eye liner to the upper inner rim. You’ll lose the hard edge associated with liner while lengthening and sharpening the eye’s appearance.
Tip 6: Use Opposite Colors To Stand Out
Opposite colors may cancel each other out, but when placed side by side, they stand out instead. If you want eyeshadow that truly pops, you’ll want to use something opposite your eye color.
For brown eyed girls, you’re lucky. Pretty much any color works though blues and purples tend to stand out best.
Blue eyed girls should look for orange based colors. From bright orange to softer colors such as peach or gold, orange is your best friend.
When pairing shadow with green eyes, look for red based colors. Even bright cherry reds are gorgeous. Colors with a red undertone also work well such as wine or plum.
Tip 7: Apply Eyeliner Correctly
Eyeliner can be the bane of makeup existence. The mistake most women make is drawing the liner across the lashline in a single motion. You’re just asking for zigzags as loose skin bunches up. Instead, start from the inner corner and stop at the center of the lid. If using a brush, add more color and then go from the outside corner until you meet the end of the existing line.
If you’re doing wing tips, always start by lining the lower lashline first. This allows you to create the proper angle for the top lashline to meet.
Tip 8: Plump Lips Without Injections
You don’t need injections to have celebrity style lips like Angelina Jolie. Ideally, your top and bottom lip should be the same size. If they’re not, simply recontour them.
Start by applying foundation to your lips. This makes lip lines stand out and allows for a truer lipstick color. Lightly feather white eyeliner over your lip’s natural contour. For thinner or fuller lips, draw the liner more within or outside your natural line.
Cover the line you just made with liner the same color as your lipstick. Use a lip brush to apply your lipstick. Go from the cupid’s bow to the outer corners and then go from the outer corners to your lower lip’s center. Finally, apply a light base foundation around your lip’s new line. Blend carefully with a soft lip brush.
For a more full appearance, use lighter lip colors which reflect light. For thinner lips, look for darker colors. You can also use a small amount of lip gloss on just the center of your lips.
Tip 9: No More Fake Looking Brows
Fake brow hairs shouldn’t look fake. With a few tricks, they can look real. Start by choosing a brow color that’s a few shades lighter than your hair’s color to avoid looking older than you really are. When using a brow pencil apply the most pressure where the root would naturally be. When you stroke up, reduce pressure so the result is realistic looking hair.
If you use a powder instead, start by brushing the powder from the brow’s outer corner and go against your hair’s natural growth. This creates a natural looking finish as brow hairs remain over the powder, preventing the dire drawn in look. Use color to emphasize your arch and taper off as you get to the inner corners to avoid looking angry.
Tip 10: No More Under Eye Circles
No one likes dark circles under their eyes. Instead of trying to find the perfect match for your skin tone, try concealing circles with the secret Hollywood V. Use your concealer brush to apply color correcting concealer in a V shape under your eye from the outer corner to the inner one. Lightly buff the concealer until you get the your lower lid’s center. Then, lighten the application by feathering the concealer. Using this method will truly erase circles instead of showcasing them.