Makeup should enhance your beauty and build your confidence – it should never be a mask or make you feel that you have to follow a trend or look like somebody else just to feel pretty. Here are some makeup hacks that will help you apply makeup so it looks more natural and takes less time to apply.
Mix skincare and foundation
Adding a few drops of beauty oil (or a glow-enhancing product like MAC Strobe Cream) into your foundation can work magic. It thins out your base so you even out your skin tone but your skin texture shows through. It’s like getting a post-facial glow, every single day!
Look straight at the mirror when you apply concealer
We’re trained to look down to reveal all the shadows on our face and then cover them up like mad with tons of concealer. But that often leads to too much concealer, which leads to caking and ashy under eyes and white cast in photos. (Read tips from makeup pros on how to apply concealer.)
It’s better to apply less concealer, and put it only where you need it. Look straight in the mirror and apply concealer where the darkest shadows appear. Blend outward, patting it in with your finger or damp sponge, and then going back with a second layer only if you still see discoloration.
Set with a yellow powder or translucent powder and remember that most people won’t be scrutinizing your undereye circles the same way you do! They probably won’t notice some shadow – but they will notice dry, crumbly makeup. Less is always best.
Try using existing makeup products in different ways
Your bronzer can be a great eyeshadow powder. Your lipstick can double as a cream blush. That matte brown eyeshadow palette may work on your brows. Even that wrong foundation shade can be repurposed as a subtle contouring or highlighting powder. Instead of paying attention to makeup labels, feel free to experiment with your makeup stash to see how and where you can use it to enhance your face.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – and erase them
A lot of women say, “I don’t know how to put on makeup!” because they think that they have to the mad skills of professional makeup artists and beauty influencers.
Let’s put things into context. Makeup pros spend the whole day (and their whole lives) studying makeup products and looks. It’s their job to apply makeup on themselves and other people. Even beauty influencers will spend hours testing makeup. And that video tutorial? You never know what’s been edited out, or the kind of lighting tools they use, or the time they spent practicing their looks in front of a mirror. Makeup is their job, and you can’t judge yourself because you can’t be them – just like a surgeon can’t judge other people because they don’t know how to use a scalpel.
You don’t have to be an expert in makeup. You just have to know what works for you – your face, your preference, your schedule, your skin type, your lifestyle. And when you have time, play with your makeup! You’ll make mistakes, but the great thing about makeup is that you can wash it off.
Opt for definition, not drama
The best makeup doesn’t look like you’re wearing makeup. It defines your best features without screaming, “I did contouring!” (But we do have an awesome article on how to do subtle contouring!)
And if you’re really short on time, just focus on your best features.
If it’s your eyes, just apply a black or brown eye pencil close to your lashes. Then take a cotton bud and sweep off the excess. (If you use a gel liner, you can also use something small and thin like a Laura Mercier tight lining brush to press the product right into your water line.)
If it’s your lips, try a bright lipstick colour but blot it off to get a pretty stain. You can also use lip liner, then add highlighter along your cupid’s bow, to enhance your lip shape.
Try this foolproof blush hack
To mute down any blush and achieve a natural flush, just go over your blush with a foundation brush. This takes off any excess product and softens the edges and blends it into the rest of your foundation.
This is also a great makeup hack if you’re using a super bright blush (or a bright lipstick) and need to create an “inner glow.” Just make sure your brush doesn’t have too much foundation left on it: either swish it on your wrist to get rid of excess product, or do this only after you’ve applied foundation on your face and neck. (Also read: where to apply blush according to your face shape.)
Apply bronzer in the right places
Never apply bronzing powder all over your face. It just looks like a really bad fake tan! Instead, get a natural finish by applying it around the edges of your face and under the cheekbones. You want to warm your face, not change your skin tone.
Choose the right bronzer, too. For facial definition, use a matte bronzer and apply where you would normally get shadows. For a sun-kissed glow, get one with subtle highlights and apply where light would hit your face. In both cases, apply sparingly and blend, blend, blend!
Turn your matte lipstick into a lip stain
Matte lipstick has been a huge makeup trend for years, and we know a lot of women will be wearing this look well into 2019. But if you’re ready to try a more natural lipstick look, you don’t have to actually buy another product. Just change the way you apply your existing lipsticks.
Dampen your lipstick brush (wet it and then dry it off with a tissue paper) and then use it to apply matte lipstick on the edges of your lips. Blend it in towards the center of your lips, or buff it off by blotting then applying a lighter colour in the center. You get a diffused, long lasting lip stain and a pretty ombre look. You can also try experimenting by applying a darker colour in the center and then making it lighter at the edges. We also like playing with pigmented lip pencils and lip balm or lip tints – anything goes!
The point is to create a more natural, diffused lip colour that looks like you just ate a very bright fruit popsicle. Have fun playing with your lipstick stash and seeing what kind of effects you can create!