What Are the Best Makeup Tips & Tricks You’ve Learned From Others?

January 26, 2010

In my most recent NARS makeover, I learned quite a few tips/tricks to brighten the face with the NARS multiples and it made me appreciate the artist’s knowledge and creativity in giving me a look that made me feel like a better version of myself. I’m one of those girls who has a lot of stuff but doesn’t always know how to use it all, so I find beauty events are a great way to get advice, tips and tricks from the pros.

Over the years, the best tips I’ve received from others that work for me are the following by category (these are by no means new tips, these are just the ones I didn’t know about that I found worked for me from advice of others):

* Mascara Tips – I have the straightest thinnest lashes in the world. Without mascara they are practically invisible. I’ve learned that curling the lashes does indeed make a huge difference – but you need to find the right curler for your eyeshape which is difficult since you’ll need to do this through trial and error. I’ve found some lash curlers pinch my eye because they are either too deepset or too small. My favorites today are Trish McEvoy and Shu Uemura. Also – if you find your mascara has gotten clumpy on the brush, just wipe the entire brush with a piece of paper to remove the build up and then it will work just like new again.

* Even Yet Natural Foundation – Sometimes my favorite foundations just don’t look right on the skin because of a bad skin day or weather changes. I typically apply with a sponge after moisturizer. I’ve tried numerous primers but don’t like having so many layers on my face so I’ve learned two tricks: 1) Apply moisturizer and a spritz MAC’s Fix+ on your face and let it sit for a minute, then apply foundation, or 2) Mix a small amount of the primer with your foundation so it applies smoother and sheerer without having that heavy feel. My favorite primers are MAC Prep + Prime (regular), Nars Primer (regular) and Chanel’s Le Blanc de Chanel. Right now I’m alternating between the Chanel and Nars.

* The Multiple Uses for NARS Multiples – I’m a HUGE fan of multiples but have always used them either under blush, over blush, or as a cream eyeshadow. I find some of them to be a bit too emollient but it doesn’t stop me from using them. A few tips I learned from my recent makeover and in the past:
* Apply South Beach on cheeks before you apply foundation for that inner-glow
* Mix a lighter shade like Luxor/Copacabana with concealer for brightening under eyes
* Mix Luxor w/concealer and apply over browbone to lift up the face and define brow
* Layer powder blush over multiples to intensify color of the powder

* Layering Blushes – I love blush. It’s probably the item I have the most of in my stash. I wish there were more perfect shades of blush for me, but I find that I layer 2 different colors of blush about 90% of the time. This is typically the case I’ve heard from most makeup artists. I don’t know if it’s just a selling tactic to sell more blushes, but they’ve showed me in the mirror the before and after effects with 1 versus 2 layered blushes. 1 blush is often good enough, but the effect when you see 2 layered together is “wow.” Artists layer just about anything together: pink over peach, peach over pink, bright pink over lighter pink, pink over bronze, gold over orange, gold over rose, light over dark etc.

* Contouring Tips – Contouring is something I’ve never really known how to do until I learned from several Trish McEvoy events. Trish McEvoy is another line I love because their artists are really phenomenal. For contouring the face, they recommend taking a bronzer brush and applying bronzer in a 3 motion from the temples to the cheeks and down to the jawline. For someone who has a round face, I have to say I was amazed that this trick did make my face look a bit less round and it gave me some depth without having to get a tan.

Are there are any tricks or tips you’ve learned from others that work for you? Please share them with me, I’m always up for learning more about the application process!!!

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  • The best tip is definitely the business card trick i've learnt from the lovely Michelle Phan. I'm much happier about the way my lashes look now i use it!

  • Anonymous

    Lina, another fantastic post.
    – dot a little Nars Multiple in Copacabana in the center of the lower lip; makes lips look fuller.
    – Slightly blurring the cupids bow of the upper lip with a nude pencil, rather than outlining the bow, will also make lips look a little fuller.
    – When countouring with bronzer, run the brush just under the jawline on both sides and under the chin; helps the jaw look a little more chiseled.
    – Special brow powders are a bit of a scam; any matte taupe to brown shadow works to fill in with a good brush, then use a spoolie to brush brows and soften the color.
    – And lastly, a lot of the blush shades I've bought over the years could have been "created" by combining two shades I already had!

  • Great tips/tricks Sabrina! I don't have a lot experience with make-over events so most of my tips are from blogs and youtube! But here are some that may be useful:
    1. To avoid getting mascara smears on your eyelid look down into a mirror and apply mascara
    2. Smiling a cheesy smile really is a foolproof method to apply blush– I have around face with non-existent cheekbones so it can look weird to just swipe on blush randomly. I find this way the blush looks more natural and contoured!
    3. Another mascara thing I do is to wiggle the brush on my eyelashes, especially at the roots, sometimes i'll even blink on the brush… it sounds weird but this gets a lot of product on the base of the lashes and makes them voluminous
    4. instead of tightlining my eyes, I just line my lower waterline with a kohl like MAC's Smolder and then immeditaely shut my eyes tight– this trasfers the kohl on to the upper waterline without any scariness πŸ˜›
    Hope you are having a good week! πŸ™‚

  • Great post, Lina!

    1) A very thin line of pale pink pencil just under the bottom edge of my eyebrows really cleans up the line and opens the eyes. I use Julie Hewett's Omit Pencil, and I also use a little bit under my lower lashes as well. In general, well-groomed brows makes for instant polish.

    2) Tightlining the upper lashes instead of regular liner looks so much better on my deep set/hooded eyes. And I totally agree with you about curling the lashes and wiping your mascara brush with a tissue!

  • Kiu

    A Vincent Longo taught me how to remove the smudges underneath the eyes flawlessly on the go. But you have to be comfortable with your own saliva though because you lick a Q-tip and run it over the smudges and everything comes off! Then I just dab a bit concealer back on and reapply my eyeshadow underneath my lashline. I do this everyday now because everything smudges on me!

  • Great tips, thanks!
    My favorite tip is to do with concealer application. Put the concealer where you need it, then press it into your skin. It makes the concealer apply easily and stops it sinking into fine lines under the eyes.

  • Anonymous

    I saw your photo of the comparison of Chanel's Trapeze to Golden Sand and Antilope on this blog:


    Not sure whether it was by permission or not but thought that I would let you know. I don't have anything to add about makeup tricks, but I do love your blog.

  • Oooh, thanks for the great tips!

    I totally agree with your thoughts on eyelash curlers. I have the opposite problem though lol. All the ones I tried before I found the Koji Soft Curve were all too big or too curved for my flat, flat eyes. So, my curler actually has an 18mm radius instead of the average 22mm one. It's made such a HUGE difference!

    I totally agree with you on layering blushes too! I layer blushes almost every day – somehow it just adds so much more dimension and life to my face! I can't even really explain why.

    I love the tip on Fix+ and foundation application too! I'm gonna try that tomorrow with my L'occitane Rose mist!

    As far as tips of my own… I don't really have any except that well-groomed, defined brows and the right lipstick (you know, the one that magically lights up your face when you're not wearing anything else) can do WONDERS for waking up a face and making one look polished with minimal effort. =)

  • Thanks so much for this post! It definitely helps a newbie blogger like me πŸ™‚ I've bookmarked it.

  • Thanks ladies for your tips! For those who just commented today, I apologize, but I accidentally hit delete all instead of publish. I'm so sorry!

  • This is what I ALWAYS do:

    1)Shape the brows and use highlighter under the brows.
    2)I use bronzer to contour, 2 blushes and.With these products I look amazing.

    When I do those 2 steps I actually don't even need anything else but I can use a mascara and a light gloss.

    I realized that no matter how beautiful your lipstick or eye shadows are if you have problems with your brows or cheeks it's not gonna work.

    I hope that was helpful!

  • Hi Ladies, I had so much fun reading your tips/tricks. I'm definitely going to try some out in this next week.

    To the commentor who noticed my pics on another website, thank you for bringing it to my attention. I did not grant her permission to use my photos, unfortunately, even though I have copyrighted all my content (photos included) people still think it's ok to break the law and steal photos without permission.

    There are very few bloggers I have granted permission for publishing/republishing, they include Karlasugar and Makeup and Beauty Blog.