Makeup techniques can be tricky, not only for the novice who doesn’t know her lip stain from her lip balm, but also for the beauty maven who can draw the perfect cat eye each and every time. Plus, there’s always something new to learn or a better way of doing it. We asked some of our favorite makeup artists to demystify the process and share some of their best beauty tricks and tips that will make you look unstoppably gorgeous.
Plump, Natural Lips
The exaggerated Kylie Jenner lip is not something that appeals to everyone. To achieve a more natural pout that defines lips without creating harsh lines, celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose suggests, “Instead of lining all around the mouth with a lip pencil, which can look harsh and obvious, sketch with a nude pencil that’s a bit darker than your actual lip tone along the outer corners and the Cupid’s bow. It will add shape but without the unnatural ring around the mouth.”
Natural-Looking False Lashes
“Individual lashes with a knot at the base always look costumey,” says New York-based makeup artist Brian Duprey. For the most natural-looking false lashes, short black knot-free individual ones are the way to go. He recommends applying them after curling and mascara. “Using clear lash glue, add a drop to the back of your hand and dip the base of the lash in the glue adding only a dot. Place on top or within the lash line and let dry. Do not apply more mascara to keep them soft and feathery.”
Dramatic, Long Lashes
To get more drama with mascara, Barose instructs us to curl lashes and then “apply the first coat [of mascara] by holding the wand horizontally and comb from roots to tips. Then add a second coat by holding the wand vertically and use the top of the wand to push the lashes up. Focus the second coat on outer corners to accentuate the shape.”
Wonder how the J.Crew models get their dewy, fresh look? Industry veteran Troi Ollivierre achieves the glowy finish by smoothing on “a hydrating emollient moisturizer right before applying foundation.”
Powder can be aging, making you look older than you actually are. Duprey likes using a matte foundation instead to help reduce shine. “Less is best.”
Thick, Full Brows
Not everyone is born with Cara Delevigne’s envy-inducing brows. For the eyebrow-challenged amongst us, celebrity brow expert Anastasia Soare prefers brow pomade over powder to fill them in. “Brow powder is great but if you don’t have hair, the powder has nothing to adhere to. Brow pomade is perfect for those with sparse hair because it’s waterproof and smudge-proof, making it last all day, even on your oily T-zone. It goes on like a cream but dries with a powder finish for an extremely natural look.” Blend the product in with a stiff brush with a spooley at the end to keep it from looking harsh.
Modern, Matte Lips
Highly pigmented matte lips were all the rage on the Spring 2015 runways, but how you apply the lipstick is key. “Straight from the tube gives a richer, luxe effect but dabbing with your fingertips results in a tinted-stain feel,” explains Ollivierre.
The No-Blush Blush
For a rosy natural glow, use a cream blush. “Creams work better. If you use too much, just dab a light touch of foundation over the area so the blush still shines through,” advises Ollivierre.
The New Smoky Eye
Messy, smoky eyes give off a cool, danced-all-night vibe. “Shades like plum with a bit of red in it look more badass than regular brown,” says Barose. “The key is to blend it out so it looks a bit smudged and lived-in, messy but hip, and not overly precise. It’s sexier that way.”
Softer, Defined Eyes
If you have dark eyes and lashes, instead of using a dark pencil to define the eyes, try switching to a lighter shimmery pencil, like gold or bronze. “It defines but looks softer. Plus, the glimmery metallic shade against dark lashes makes them really pop,” explains Barose.