Professional Makeup Secrets
Part of having the best skin of your life, at least for many people, also includes enhancing it with beautifully applied makeup. Now that you’ve discovered how to have clearer, smoother, and more radiant skin, applying makeup just became much easier and more enjoyable as part of your beauty routine.
Skincare is essential, while makeup is more of an accessory. Skincare has very specific rules when it comes to having healthy, young, perfected skin.
Makeup is just the opposite, where everything is optional, and personal taste and experimentation are all part of the process—and the fun.
Makeup can be anything you want it to be, from alluring to classic, sensual to casual, or minimal to dramatic. In this guide, we go beyond the normal step-by-step routine makeup information you typically see, and instead focus on the most helpful, unique makeup tips we’ve learned over the years. We’ve joined forces with some of the top makeup artists around the globe to give you the best makeup advice, tricks, and tips available.
Much of what you’re about to read was inspired by the questions we receive from fans like you, asking us to help with the makeup problems you just can’t seem to fnd solutions for. Most of these tips apply to everyone, to one degree or another, so we urge you to try at least a few of them—you might just be surprised at the results.
One crucial tip before we start: As wonderful as it can be to put makeup on, it is also vitally important to make sure you take it all oﬀ at night. Leaving makeup behind can cause irritation and make eyes puﬀy, or can cause clogged pores and dry, ﬂaky patches of skin. Use makeup remover or a well-formulated toner to be sure every last trace is gone. Your skin will thank you in the morning!
It’s also important to steer clear of alcohol-based, strongly fragranced makeup. Avoiding irritant-loaded formulas is just as critical for makeup as it is for skincare, and for all the same reasons we explained.
But you already knew that, didn’t you?
TIPS FOR COMPLEXION PERFECTION
» Regardless of your natural skin tone, opt for neutral foundation shades. That means no obvious overtones of ash (grayish), copper, orange, peach, or pink. Those shades have an unﬂattering eﬀect on skin and tend to look artifcial or mask-like. Also be wary of overtly yellow-toned foundations, which can make skin look jaundiced.
» Match your foundation shade to the skin on your neck, but also take your décolletage into consideration. The skin tone on your face often is slightly lighter or darker than skin on your neck, so matching your foundation to the neck avoids the dreaded noticeable line of demarcation where your foundation starts and stops. If you’re wearing a low-cut top, take the color of your décolletage into consideration as well. If your chest is darker than your face/neck, you may want to use a slightly darker foundation or strategically use bronzer around the edges of your face to complement the undertone of your décolletage without making your whole face look too dark.
» Don’t test foundation on the back of your hand. The color of the back of your hand has nothing to do with the color of your face. Instead, test foundation on bare skin by swatching it on the side of your jaw and then checking it in daylight to make sure it looks right (store lighting just doesn’tcut it).
» If you have acne-prone skin, avoid thick or solid-form makeup products like stick, pancake, cream, or cream to-powder compact foundations and concealers. The same goes for bronzers or blushes in stick, cream, or cream-to-powder form. The types of ingredients that keep these products in a solid form (often waxes) are iﬀy for those with breakout-prone skin because they can lead to clogged pores.
» Resist the urge to cover your entire face in a blanket of full-coverage foundation to cover up minor ﬂaws. If you need to conceal breakouts or other imperfections, opt for a medium- to full-coverage foundation that is easily sheered out and strategically apply concealer only where you need it.
» Apply foundation on your eyelids up to the brow. Applying foundation on your eyelids will help eyeshadows go on smoothly and cover any redness, giving your entire face an even and smooth appearance.
» Apply foundation as much as possible with downward strokes, especially if you have peach fuzz. Applying with upward strokes will coat the peach fuzz with foundation, which can draw more attention to the hairs and create a thick cakey look.
» After you’ve applied foundation, use a clean makeup sponge and spotcheck for blending along the hairline, near the temples, along the jaw line, and on the upper lip. All of these spots can “collect” foundation, so a quickspot check and blending out with the sponge can make a big diﬀerence.
» Smooth out fne lines and large pores with a cosmetic wrinkle-fller before you apply foundation. These types of products, which typically rely on silicone polymers for their smoothing eﬀect, once applied, temporarily expand and “fill” in crevices (whether wrinkles or large pores). More to love, some wrinkle-flling products go the extra mile and include anti-aging ingredients that also help skin in the long run. Our professional favorites include: Mary Kay TimeWise Repair Volu-Fill Deep Wrinkle Filler ($35) and
NARS Instant Line & Pore Perfector ($37).
» Consider a foundation that contains sunscreen. This is our favorite foundation recommendation. Even if you are wearing a moisturizing sunscreen, you can add a foundation with sunscreen; layering a foundation that’s SPF-rated is a great way to get extra protection. If you have oily or blemish-prone skin and hate wearing a traditional moisturizing sunscreen, a foundation and pressed powder with sunscreen (assuming you’re willing to apply it liberally and it is at least SPF 30) can be the only sunscreen
» Be cautious with powder foundations. These can work, but they also can tend to look grainy and uneven. In addition, for dry skin they can be too absorbent, and therefore drying; if you have oily skin they can look choppy as the oil starts to pool during the day.
» DO NOT use under-eye concealer that’s two shades lighter than your skin color. Despite what you might read in magazines, using lighter concealer under the eye can end up having a reverse-raccoon eﬀect. A concealer that’s half or one shade lighter than your foundation (or, if you don’t wear foundation, your natural skin color) will brighten the under-eye area without creating a strong, distracting contrast.
» When concealing under-eye bags or pufness, be sure to blend the concealer beyond the under-eye area, about ¼ inch to ½ inch below. If the concealer is applied only in the exact area where it is puﬀy, it will exaggerate the problem, not conceal it. You must blend it properly to avoid drawing attention to that area.
» Under-eye concealer is NOT the same as spot-coverage concealer. For spot coverage (think pimples, red marks from acne, brown spots) a higher level of coverage and matte fnish is best to keep those areas tenaciously concealed. Under the eyes, however, a matte-fnish concealer can be too drying and may enhance fne lines and wrinkles. A light- to medium-coverage concealer is the best way to go, with a slightly hydrating, satin fnish.
For a slight brightening eﬀect, look for a concealer with a hint of luminosity, and the thinner the texture, the less likely you are to experience creasing.
» What about covering dark spots? A strategically applied full-coverage concealer can help cover dark spots, but in many cases, those spots are just too dark to cover convincingly; the more concealer or heavy-coverage foundation you apply, the less natural your skin looks. That’s where good skin-lightening products and diligent sunscreen use comes into play. See How to Treat Special Skin Problems, for recommended skin-lightening treatments.
» Prevent under-eye concealer from creasing by using a lightweight serum/ moisturizer around the eyes during the day, as opposed to a rich eye cream, which can cause concealer to slip into lines. You want that area to be hydrated, but not slick!
» If you have dry skin under your eyes and need to touch-up your concealer, try dabbing a teeny amount of moisturizer under the eye area before
reapplying your concealer.
BLUSH AND HIGHLIGHT TECHNIQUES
» Lift and sculpt cheeks. Apply matte bronzer in the hollow of your cheeks to sharpen your bone structure and add more definition to your face. Above that, apply a touch of blush on the apples of cheeks to create a lifting eﬀect for the face.
» DON’T smile as you apply blush to the apples of cheeks. Doing so raises them, so when you stop smiling and cheeks return to their normal position, the blush color ends up being lower on the face and closer to the mouth.
» If you happen to go a little too heavy with blush or the color grabs too intensely in an area, try toning it down with a bit of extra pressed powder, and if that doesn’t work blend it out using a foundation brush (or sponge) with a little bit of leftover foundation on it.… Voilà! Problem solved.
» Strategically illuminate skin for a youthful glow. Before applying makeup, prep your skin by layering lightweight hydrating products (toner, serum, ﬂuid moisturizer) and then up the ante by adding a subtle glow. Enlivening skin can be as simple as infusing cheeks with a soft, luminous blush or restoring radiance in key areas (cheekbones, bridge of nose, cupid’s bow) by applying highlighter, in powder, liquid, or cream form. It’s a great way to
add another dimension to enhance the benefits of the contouring step of your makeup application.