IMO, whether you’re a legit beauty pro or a total newb, you can always profit from some makeup tips. Like, why struggle with your cat eye or contour when there are so many simple hacks to make the process 100 times smoother? So in the spirit of “sharing is caring,” I went ahead and found the best makeup tips and tricks for each damn occasion, including when to embed concealer, how to finally perfect your winged eyeliner, and so much more. So grab your makeup bag and that one product you never learned how to use and lay down.
1. Apply your foundation before concealer.
Hot tip: The easy path to leveling up your makeup routine is to try applying your foundation before concealer. Think about it: Starting with a flake of foundation will help minimize any redness or discoloration—almost like you’re creating a sleek basis for the rest of your products. You can then go in with your concealer to spot treat any zits or remaining redness, and you’ll end up using less pathogenic product in the process. Another plus? Foundation before concealment is a talent fix for preventing caking and creasing.
2. With a stoolie blush, you can keep your brows in place.
On days when I don’t have time to fill in my eyebrows, I like to do the next best thing: quickly comb up my arches with a stoolie brush. And even when I do have time for powders, gels, and pencils, I still like to prep my brows with my stoolie—it takes ten seconds max, and it’s a simple way to make sure all of my brow hairs are in the correct spot before I go in with my products. Pro makeup tip: You can purchase spoolie brushes in bulk for very cheap (I like the Cutter Disposable Mascara Brushes) or go for something reusable.
3. Exfoliate your lips before applying lipstick.
Okay, you know when you embed lipstick and it doesn’t go on sleek? Try prepping your lips with a gentle lip scrub (I like the Beauty Bakeries Sugar Lip Scrub or the KNC Beauty Lip Scrub)—the physical division will help buff away any dry skin sitting on top of your lips, leaving you with a smoother, softer canvas for your products. One thing to remember: Lip scrubs should only be used once a week at most—anymore and you risk irritation (which is the opposite vibe you’re going for).
4. Don’t sleep on blush.
It might seem like a clear step in your makeup routine, but IMO, blush is a very underrated product. A couple of sweeps of cream or powder blush along the high points of your cheeks will give your entire look a brighter, warmer finish that is also completely comfortable.”I use blush on each of my clients—it gives the skin that fresh and rejuvenated look, and it adds the ideal amount of depth to the face,” makeup artist Lakeisha Dale has told Cosmo. And, no, that doesn’t mean you’re required to select a bright-pink blush or anything like that—try going for something soft and glowing, like one of the picks below.
5. Melt your pencil liner to help it glide.
Fact: Creamy makeup products mix better when they’re hot. So if your kohl eyeliner pencil skips or tugs on your eyelid or takes various coats for a decent color payoff, melt it down slightly before you begin lining. To do so, hold the tip of your kohl liner down the flame of a lighter for a second or until it becomes tacky, allow it to cool slightly (swatch it on your hand to ensure it isn’t too hot or melted), and then watch the stability change right before your eyes.
6. Make your eye shadow pop with white eyeliner.
To make a sheer or less pigmented eye shadow appear much more vibrant on your eyelid, blend a white eyeliner pencil over your entire eyelid first. Then, lay your eye shadow on top. The opaque coverage of the white liner will intensify any eye shadow shade and make it pop.
7. Revive mascara with saline solution.
Only use a tube of mascara for three months, max. Beyond that point, it can gather bacteria. This can lead to eye infections and other unlucky things you wouldn’t desire to search for on Google Images. But does your mascara annoyingly dries up within those first 3 months? Add a couple drops of saline solution to the flaky formula to get it back to its smooth consistency.
8. Heat your eyelash curler with a hair dryer.
DIY your own hot lash curler by blowing hot air on your eyelash curler. The added heat will help your lashes curl faster. It will help hold their shape for longer. Just hit your lash curler with a blow dryer until it heats up. Wait until it cools slightly but is still hot. Test it on the inside of your arm. So you don’t burn your eyelid. Then press under on your lashes to curl them.
9. Plump your lashes with translucent powder.
Dust a little clean setting powder on your lashes between coats of mascara to plump up your lashes. The clean powder helps grip the mascara in between coats. It leaves you with fuller, more voluminous lashes.
10. Use a brush handle as a contour guide.
Everyone’s face is shaped differently. So where your BFF might be doing her contour cannot be the best place for you to do yours. To tell where you should be dusting on your bronzer or contour powder, roll a pencil, pen, or makeup brush handle right down your cheekbone. It can be directly in the pocket underneath the actual bone. It is to find the correct angle for your face. Once you’ve found the right placement, dust a few bronzers below it with a contouring brush. You can then mix the color out to soften it.