Even professional makeup artists can sometimes struggle to get a perfect wing or flawless base.
Effective beauty tips can cut your time in front of the mirror in half and give you a perfect cat eye with ease.
Do You Struggle With Your Concealer Creasing?
Popular with drag queens, baking is a goof-proof way to ensure smooth, natural concealer all day long.
You simply apply a thick layer of loose powder, such as Coty AirSpun or Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder, over top of your concealer before it sets with a damp sponge. Continue doing your makeup as normal, then sweep away the excess powder with a fluffy brush.
The powder traps in your body heat and fills in any lines, setting the concealer and preventing it from settling.
The result is a flawless finish that lasts all day.
Having Trouble Blending Your Shadows?
It actually may not be your eyeshadow’s fault!
After applying your eye primer, sometimes shadows can feel as if they’re sticking to the base a little too well.
Simply find a matte shade that matches the lightest area of your face then lightly apply it over any area where you originally applied primer.
Your shadows will blend much better while still getting the benefits of the primer.
This works well for those who prefer to avoid eye primers, as well, as the initial layer of powder will act as a barrier between your natural skin oils and the shadow, giving the shadows greater longevity.
If you are prone to acne, get a primer for acne prone skin instead.
Do your eyes appear small or tired?
Black liner in your waterline could be the culprit!
To make yourself look more awake, avoid applying black or other dark shades to your waterline.
Instead, pop a white or nude liner into the area; the light shade will create an illusion of larger, brighter eyes.
You can still smudge black liner or shadow along the lower lashline for a smoky, dramatic look, as the bright liner plays well with comparable darker shades while still retaining its brightening effect.
Sometimes Eyeliner Pencils Can Feel Hard Or Stiff.
To make the liner softer and easier to work with, all you need is a simple vintage tip.
Run a lighter over the tip of the pencil for just a couple of seconds then allow the liner to slightly cool.
The flame will heat up the product, making it smoother, richer, and easier to apply.
If you do not feel comfortable using an open flame, you can just as easily hold the pencil to a hair dryer, though this make take a few moments longer to achieve the same level of creamy usability.
Clumpy Mascara Is The Worst.
No one wants spidery, clumped lashes.
As a tube of mascara dries out, you may notice your lashes clumping more than usual.
Having to declump lashes is painstaking and one slip up can accidentally result in you ruining your eye makeup entirely.
An easy way to avoid this and make your mascara last longer is to pop your mascara tube into your bra or under a warm cloth for a few moments.
The heat will loosen the product, making it easier to apply.
Be careful though, as sometimes heat can cause bacteria to grow. Always follow the recommended expiration dates on any cosmetic products and use your own judgement on if you feel something is no longer eyesafe.
Is Your New Palette A Huge Letdown?
We’ve all been there, you buy a new shadow palette and are beside yourself with excitement.
You go home, start playing with the shadows and...it's a huge letdown.
The shadows are dusty, crusty, patchy, and unpigmented.
Though you have every right to be disappointed, there may be a way to salvage your purchase.
Apply a white cream shadow or pencil to your entire lid then set it with a white shadow.
The white will allow the shadows applied over top to pop and just may help with those shades that lack pigment.
The fact that you’re using a creamy product should also help with fallout from powdery/dusty shadows, as it will help them adhere to the eye.
Some shadows cannot be saved, but it's always worth a shot!
Winged Liner Can Be A Massive Struggle.
It totally does not have to be, though!
Many people find that they really cannot get their wings straight and even.
A quick cheat to help create a pair of crisp lines that totally sit at the same angles is to use a bit of scotch tape.
Simply tear off a small piece and stick it to your face so that it creates a guide for your wing. Match it up on the other eye, too.
Trace your liner along the tape, carefully, then peel it off to reveal a perfect line.
Fill in the liner along your lashline then repeat on the other side.
Viola! Perfect wings.
This method may take a little practice but it can be a serious time saver. Be careful when using tape, as some may experience a sensitivity to the adhesive. If you find it unsuitable, many cosmetic brands sell skin safe guides that can be used as an alternative.
This method also works to create a crisp shadow line for super smoky eyes.
Sparse Lashes Can Really Put A Damper On Dramatic Looks.
Countless women have been found to describe their lashes as “sparse” and “lacking volume”.
Volumizing mascaras can be notoriously clumpy and unnatural looking while also not living up to their packaging claims.
A cheap and easy way to help pump up your lash game uses a product you likely already have: translucent loose setting powder!
Simply dip a clean brow spoolie or dry mascara wand into the powder and apply a thin layer between swipes of mascara.
By placing powder between each layer of mascara, you’re allowing the product to better grab onto your lashes, creating an illusion of volume.
If you do not have a clean wand on hand, use a fluffy eyeshadow brush to lightly dust powder onto your lashes between mascara applications. It will work exactly the same but may take a little more time.
Want To Try The Metallic Lip Look But Cannot Justify Buying A New Product?
The metallic lipstick trend is super hot right now on social media.
Beauty Influencers everywhere are flaunting super futuristic, glowy looks featuring a plethora of products that can honestly be a bit pricey, especially if you do not see yourself wearing a metallic look in your everyday life.
An easy way to be on trend without breaking the bank or requiring you to buy another one purpose product utilizes two things many of us have already: clear lipgloss and a loose eye pigment.
Simply mix a tiny bit of the gloss with lots of the glittery pigment to give an illusion of wet, sparkly lips.
If you want a more pigmented, true metallic look, just apply the pigment directly over a lipstick in a matching or complimentary shade or use a cream liner.
Problem solved with no new purchases necessary!
Dark Circles Got You Feeling Blue?
If you’re like me, you were told to apply concealer in light dots.
The dots created a sheer coverage that looks natural but honestly does not do a lot for dark circles.
A way to still retain the natural look but also beef up your coverage is to apply product in a downward pointing triangle under your eye.
The shape allows the concealer to blend further down your face, catching any dark spots you may have missed around your eye and seamlessly blending into the rest of your makeup.
Just layer it up until you’re satisfied with the coverage and you’re all set.
Make Your Eyes Pop!
If you want your eyes to really stand out, choose a liner that has undertones that are the opposite color of your eyes in lieu of traditional black/brown/grey.
For blue eyes, choose a brown or copper liner create the illusion of brightness.
For brown eyes, navy blue.
Green eyes are best suited by shades of purple.
Cannot Find A Brush You Like?
Let’s be real, makeup brushes can be expensive, especially if you’re hoping to do makeup as a career.
It’s also sometimes hard to find brushes that work exactly how you want them to.
Struggling to find a brush that fits your needs at the right price? Follow in the footsteps of many professional makeup artists and just use paint brushes!
Tons of craft store brushes work amazingly for makeup application and are cheaper than traditional makeup brushes.
Stores like Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Joann’s all have massive sales too, making it an even more affordable alternative.
Sometimes Eyelashes Can Have A Mind Of Their Own.
One of the most common makeup complaints ever has to be lashes that refuse to curl.
You spend what feels like forever putting on mascara and painstakingly curling lashes, avoiding pinches and pulls, then when you look in the lighted makeup mirror an hour later, your lashes are flatter than ever.
If you’re in this same boat, maybe try a heated lash curler!
Women have recommended heating your traditional metal curler with a blow dryer for ages; this product is a safer alternative to the vintage trend.
Heated lash curlers follow the same logic as hair curlers and are far less dangerous than potentially burning your eyelid with a hair dryer torched curler.
Pencil Thin Brows Are A Thing Of The Past
Current trends favor thick, powerful brows.
This is a complete 180 from previous popular styles, which featured thin, narrow, sparse brows.
To achieve this without looking bushy, simply use thin, light strokes with a brow pomade, powder, or pencil.
Setting your brows with a gel will keep them in place all day and help your handiwork last.
Mascara Smears Are The Worst
There is nothing as frustrating as ruining a gorgeous shadow look with rogue mascara.
Fix this easily by first letting the mascara fully dry then simply wipe it away with a q-tip.
Touch up any shadow that may have also been removed and you’re all set.
The mascara should just flake right off, saving you tons of time!
Be A Bronzed Goddess
A sunkissed glow is one of the most classic, healthy looks to ever become a possible trend.
Unfortunately, it is quite easy to go from bronzed goddess to oompa loompa if you are not careful.
An easy way to get the perfect look is to apply the product in a “3 shape”, starting at your temples, looping to just under your cheekbone, then looping once again down to your chin, creating a three shape.
Use a small amount of bronzer and blend with a clean, fluffy brush after for an airbrushed, healthy glow.
Set Yourself Up For Success
It is a no brainer that using primers and powders can seriously up the longevity of your makeup.
One other long lasting savior has recently garnered some attention: setting spray.
Setting spray, also known as finishing mist, goes on as a last step in your makeup and locks in your cosmetics.
Use it through the day to refresh your face or spray your brush before dipping into pigments or metallic shadows to increase the intensity.
The Eyeshadow Order
If you feel like your shadows always end up looking muddy or not cohesive, maybe try following a simple order of placement for a soft, everyday look:
First, swipe a shadow that is close to your skintone but a couple shades darker into the crease of your eyelid.
Second, place a light color to the inner half of your lid.
Then, add a midtone color to the outer third.
Finally, in the outer fourth, add your darkest shade.
Blend all of the shades as you go, creating a seamless gradient.
For an extra pop, add the lightest shade to your inner corner to brighten your entire eye.
Add some liner and mascara and you’re all set!
In a world of Kardashians, luscious, full lips and lip plumpers have gained popularity.
If you do not want to dish out the cash for fillers or maybe just do not want to, simply follow this easy tip for a little oomph in your pout instantly:
Add a white pencil product to the center of both of your lips, blending it carefully so that it retains pigmentation but is not going to show starkly through your lip color.
Apply your lipstick and/or gloss as normal and you’re done.
You should notice an immediate difference.
This sounds like a no brainer, but to help fight back against blemishes, drink more water.
Being properly hydrated has a ton of health benefits, one being clearer skin.
Drinking several big glasses of water a day and avoiding sugary sodas could make a huge difference in your skin texture and give you a nice glow.
Plus it will make you feel better in general.
Fight Back Against Dryness
Dry skin is not only often times a blow to one’s self esteem, it also can be quite uncomfortable and frustrating.
Dry skin is a persistent affliction that may leave you scratching your head.
An excellent way to help mask dryness is by moisturizing your skin.
A less obvious answer to the dryness issue is to understand foundation formulations.
A super matte foundation is going to be more prone to clinging if your skin is dry, giving it a patchy appearance.
Dry skin makeup lovers should consider using glowy or dewy foundations to help disguise the dryness and keep skin from feeling tight and uncomfortable.
If you are prone to acne, consider getting a foundation for acne prone skin.
Do Not Want To Buy A Million Lip Liners?
If you are like me, you probably have a billion lip products sitting in your vanity.
A lot of people seem to feel that each and every lip shade needs its own lip liner to match perfectly.
This is not actually true.
You can buy a clear, universal lip liner that prevents feathering and fading.
The universal, multi-purpose product will cut your collection down and save you tons of cash in the long run.
Keep Your Lip Line Crisp
Sometimes, it feels almost impossible to get a crisp, clean line around your lips.
An easy fix is to use an angled brush and concealer to carefully trace the area, cleaning up any excess product.
The same logic works for brows and winged liner too!
Soft Lips Are Happy Lips
In your beauty routine, your lips can often go ignored.
An easy way to keep them kissably soft requires minimal effort.
Simply invest in/make your own lip scrub. A ton of recipes exist online but typically they all contain sugar, coconut oil, and flavoring.
Sugar lip scrubs gently remove dead skin from your lips, leaving them soft.
After scrubbing, apply a thick balm to moisturize them from the inside out.
A Little Known Liner Saver
Do you ever mess up so badly you wish you had a tiny eraser to clean up your wing?
What if I told you several brands sell exactly that!
You can buy makeup eraser pens from tons of companies at many different price points.
Simply use it like any other eraser and fix makeup errors without removing your entire face.
Liner Looking Patchy?
When a liner is almost ready to be tossed, it can quickly begin to dry out and go patchy.
A quick fix for this issue is to apply a matching shadow over top, creating a luxe, lush, full color.
Shadows also act as setting powders, upping the wear time of your liners exponentially.
Is your lipstick fading quickly or smudging all over everything?
You could invest in potentially drying liquid lipsticks but you could also just as easily follow this handy tip that utilizes products you likely already have!
After applying your lipstick, blot your lips with a sheet of tissue then dust a thin layer of translucent setting powder.
Tired Of Not Having Enough Of Your Favorite Brushes Clean?
Invest in a color switch, a nifty product that allows you to remove excess pigment from your brushes and ensure a clean blend.
If you are not interested in buying any new expensive products, just use a hair donut or bun mold. The fibers are the same and will have similar results.
This does not replace regular cleanings but can work in a pinch if you need to use a specific brush for a look. A makeup organizer can also work wonders to help you keep things neat and tidy.
Be Your Best You
One of the best things you can do to enhance your makeup skills is learn to identify face and eye shapes, especially your own.
Get to know your features, specifically your eyes, cheekbones, and jawline.
Before working on a client try to figure out what they fit as.
This technique may take some time to master but investing time to learn it will make your applications infinitely easier.
Struggling With Liner Application?
Looking down while applying top lid liner will open up the space, preventing a line to form in your crease if you look up.
It will also make your application much easier, as you can see your entire lid space.
Add Some Height!
Via highlight! Add some height to your brows by highlighting directly under them.
This practice makes your entire eye area look larger and more awake.
It also helps to make your brows appear more crisp.
Just apply a white pencil or powder thinly under your brows and blend thoroughly.
If you find yourself unsteady while applying eyeliner, there are two possible solutions for you.
One is obvious: stabilize yourself. Rest your hands on your knees or a flat surface before applying the liner.
The other is a great possibility for anyone. Instead of drawing one line for your liner, draw a series of dots then connect them.
The second method gives you more control, allowing any errors to be caught early.
Mascara Clumping Up?
If you find your mascara is clumping and nothing else is working, try waiting a bit longer between applying a second layer.
Waiting allows your lashes to settle and gives the second layer something to grab onto which helps prevent clumping.
Nice lashes are key to most makeup looks and this hack really helps ensure you nail it everytime.
Are your eyes red? Irritated?
Is it hurting your self confidence?
Apply a liner with a blue undertone, specifically a white one if possible.
This will help mask the redness and make your eyes look bright, healthy, and awake.
The Plastic Spoon Trick
This one may make you laugh but it really does work!
The plastic spoon trick prevents your eye makeup from being ruined by rogue mascara spots.
Simply hold the spoon against your upper or lower lashline, correlating to which you are currently applying product onto, and apply as normal.
The plastic spoon catches any product that would have potentially ended up on your eye, ruining your makeup.
Learn Where To Highlight Your Eyes
Your eyes are the windows to your soul.
Learning where to highlight them can make a huge difference in your overall makeup appearance.
The typical highlight layout is a trio of placements: your browbone, inner corner, and the center of your lid.
Placing a shadow in the inner corner opens your eyes and makes you appear awake and bright.
The browbone highlight makes your eyes appear larger and your brows appear crisp.
Finally, the center of the lid highlight gives dimension, especially if you use a shimmer shade.
Matching your foundation can be a big pain.
No one wants their face to be lighter or darker than their body, as too light can make you look sick and too dark often pull orange and juxtapose against your natural tone.
To match your foundation effectively, match it to your neck instead of your face.
Your neck will peek through whatever foundation you use and is often lighter than your face, so matching to it prevents any harsh lines and gives a seamless appearance to your upper body.
Put Makeup On Your Neck
One key way to create a flawless, natural makeup look is to blend foundation down your neck.
This may sound silly, but applying makeup only to your face can leave a defined line on your jaw that may appear masklike.
Blending down your neck only takes a few seconds and can really help everything meld together perfectly.
Another extra step that may come across as silly, this tip will likely only be appealing to a specific few people.
Contouring your cleavage is a great way to add oomph to any evening event attire.
To do this, trace around your natural cleavage with cream contour and blend.
Also contour your collarbone area, adding highlights to the high points of your body.
When you put on foundation, it may be tempting to apply it as quickly as possible and not pay much attention to the movements of your brush.
If you have peach fuzz on your face, applying it in downward strokes can make a huge difference, as it sticks the hairs down.
With a sponge, try to use patting motions while downward stroking. This gives an even blend while still pinning down the fuzz.
If you’re going to be out in the sun, full coverage foundation may not be appealing.
To prevent having to buy a new foundation for hot days, just play cosmetic chemist and make your own do-it-yourself tinted moisturizer.
Just mixed some foundation into your favorite moisturizer and voila! You’re all set.
Save Your Mascara Wands
Have you ever found the absolutely perfect mascara wand that was paired with an awful mascara?
Save the wand to use with your favorite formulation!
Also, saving random wands over time can prove to be a very smart practice.
They can be used as brow spoolies, for special effects, to pin down baby hairs around your face, and a host of other uses.
Just rinse them off then clean them with alcohol.
Do you struggle to apply false lashes?
Cutting lashes in half gives you more control, allowing you to better place your corners to prevent them from peeling up.
Proper placement ensures they will look natural and feel comfortable all day.
Check Your Expiration Dates
Did you know that most cosmetics expire?
Cosmetics come in contact with your skin, brushes, and the air, exposing them to a host of bacteria.
The average rule of thumb for most common products is currently:
Mascara: Three Months
Liquid Liner: Six Months
Liquid Foundation: Six Months
Concealer: Six Months
Lipgloss: Twelve Months
Lipstick: Twenty Four Months
Cream Eyeshadow: Twelve Months
Brow Gel: Twelve Months
Lip + Eye Pencils: Twenty Four Months
Powder Products: Twenty Four Months
Some products may last longer so always read the labels on your products.
Use Lipstick As Blush
If you want a natural, glowy blush, check your lipstick bin!
Lipsticks give a sheer, brightening cheek color and are perfect for more natural days.
Always check your ingredients but if you’re all clear of pore cloggers or breakout triggers, definitely give it a try!
Cover Those Dark Circles
If you find yourself battling dark circles, grab a salmon color corrector!
Anything peachy or orange toned will help mask the purple and blue of a dark circle.
If the concealer clashes with your skintone, apply a thin layer of your normal concealer over top and foundation.
You will have flawless under eyes in no time!
Red lips are timeless. They’re the epitome of vintage glam while also being so on trend.
Finding your perfect red can be a truly revolutionary experience.
Once found, your red shade can be thrown on with any outfit, hair, or look to give a touch of bold sass.
I personally lean towards blue based reds, as they make your teeth appear very white and bright.
Invest In Your Brows.
Your eyebrows frame your entire face.
Invest time and money into them above most other things, as a good brow can save everything while a bad brow can cause your other makeup to fall flat.
Research brow shapes for your face and either do it yourself or pay someone to pluck them down.
Learn what products work best for you and stick with them, form an arsenal of brow slaying tools.
Your brows can truly make a huge statement, choose them wisely.
Get Sexy, Wet Looking Lashes
On natural days, you can still amp up your lashes and make them really play into your look.
Use a clear brow gel lightly to give definition and a “I just returned from the ocean” vibe.
This tip is super understated and sexy while also finding a second purpose for a usually unitasking product.
Pat Magrath’s Natural Blush Hack
Pat Magrath is renowned as one of the greatest makeup artists of all time. If she recommends something, you know it's going to be good.
Magrath recommends blotting away foundation from your cheeks before applying blush to give a natural, real life look without caking up.
This hack gives you the essence of a youthful, fresh face, with less work and product used.
If you like natural, fresh-faced flush makeup, this tip is perfect for you.
Match your blush to your lipstick for a perfect touch of cohesion.
It is a great way to look put together and public ready without much thought.
Fill Them First
Shaping your brows can be a daunting task; one wrong move and you’ve gone from artfully arched to dreadfully thin.
An easy way to ensure you do not pluck too much or leave a bit more than you planned behind is to fill in your brows first.
Using your usual product, fill in your brows normally.
Pluck whatever stray hairs remain.
If you are still struggling with getting everything in line, fill in your brows heavier than usual with a strong, dark outline to clearly show where desired brow line ends and scraggles begin.
Eyes Appear Small?
If you are doing a smokey eye and notice your eyes look closed off and small, do not worry!
A simple tweak in your usual routine could make all the difference in the world.
Instead of lining your eye entirely with black, try just shading the outer corner. This in tandem with a inner corner highlight will brighten and open up your eyes, making you look awake and bright.
Skin Discolored Or Dull?
Try an illuminating primer!
The illuminating agents in the primer will catch the light, making your skin appear glowy and not at all dull.
The same light catching technology will help direct attention away from discolored areas.
Plus you will look positively lit from within.
Vintage Lash Tricks Sometimes Actually Work
For an instant lash boost, place a clean cotton bud or brush handle under your lashes near the base.
Keep it there as the mascara dries. The added lift will stay when the product is set, giving you plump, bold lashes in seconds.
This tip is not for everyone but it definitely does work!
Highlight Too Glittery?
While glittery, intense highlights may be stunning, some prefer a more low key look.
If your highlighter appears too glittery on the skin, maybe consider that it could possibly have an overspray.
A lot of brands will spray glitter in a thin layer over the top of a product to make it look prettier in the pan and encourage sales. The glitter does not translate well to the skin, but fear not!
With a steady hand, you can scrape away the glittery top coat and reveal a stunning product below. Many lower price bronzers do this as well; removing this glitter often reveals pretty lovely results.
Is Your Liquid Lipstick Not Drying?
Liquid lipsticks are all the rage right now, especially the matte ones that are kiss proof and dry down for a long wear time.
The only issue is that sometimes they can feel and look incredibly dry on the lips.
Do not apply balms before application!
Applying a balm directly before your liquid lipstick can prevent it from drying down and drastically reduce its longevity.
Instead, start a nighttime routine of exfoliating with a sugar lip scrub and applying balm before bed. Your lips will look and feel better than ever, making application much easier without compromising the product.
Want An Instant Face Lift?
When applying contour to your cheeks, try using a cream.
Apply the cream just below your cheekbone and blend upwards instead of down.
The upward blending will create a soft contour without dragging your face down, giving the illusion of youthful skin.
Love Cheek Stains?
Cheek Stains (think Benefit’s Benetint) are incredibly popular in many areas of the world. Ranging from liquids to creams to sticks, there truly is something for everyone in this realm of products.
When using cream or stick stains, you may find it hard to apply the product smoothly.
To fix this issue, try mixing a small amount of product with a carrier oil (like sweet almond, jojoba, etc) then blend it in layers over the skin. The oil will help ensure a smooth consistency and help alleviate any patchiness.
Oils will also improve the skin’s texture over time and help disguise any skin texture to give a flawless finish.
Check Your Texture
If you find that products often crease into your lines, wrinkles, or scars, consider that it may be time to swap your cosmetics.
Thin, watery foundations are more likely to slip into lines while stiffer products will fill them.
Using a filling primer will also help a lot, as pore fillers use silicon to bridge uneven textures in the skin and give a smooth base for other products.
Brow pomades are all the rage right now.
Many are super creamy, pigmented products but some options may be a bit harder to work with.
If your pomade feels waxy or stiff, try warming it on the back of your hand. Scoop out a bit from your pot with a spatula or brush and knead it on the back of your hand with your utensil of choice. From your hand, apply it to your brows as normal.
Your body heat will warm the product, making it easier to apply.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.