Not-so-secret things that makeup artists do differently

It happens to the best of us: you read or watch a makeup tutorial by a famous makeup artist, copy every step, and still end up not getting the same results. In those moments, the (500) Days of Summer split screen scene “Expectations vs Reality” comes to mind. It makes you wonder what they did differently to get that on-point FOTD. Well, for one, famous and well-trained makeup artists have years of experience behind them, but that doesn’t mean we can’t cop a few tricks up their sleeves to up our makeup game. Scout’s honor: you don’t need years of training to pull off these tips.

Get face makeup to look like second skin

We all know Bobbi Brown has perfected the no-makeup look, but would you believe it doesn’t even start with the foundation itself? It all has to do with the moisturizer. Choosing the right moisturizer before makeup application is the key.

According to Brown, sometimes our face has different hydrating needs every day, so you have to be aware if you need more or less moisture for the day. It’s the moisture that can make or break your face makeup; too much and your face products will slip and slide around your skin, and too little will make your makeup cakey. Apply the right moisturizer for the day and your foundation will just naturally blend with the natural oils in your face, making it look like second skin.

Same goes for under eye concealers. If you skip the eye cream before concealer application, the concealer will tend to feather and settle in the fine lines of your under eye area. If you don’t have the time to put eye cream before under eye concealer during your daily routine, do it at night when it’s supposed to work best. Check out our list for eye creams that really make a difference.

Lastly, don’t put concealer before or after foundation. “It’s neither,” affirms Bobbi Brown. “Apply concealer under the eye and your foundation on the rest of your face to even out skin tone, camouflage wrinkles, and cover blemishes. And don’t forget—concealer should always be one to two shades lighter than your foundation.”

Make your lip products work better for you

Pat McGrath, most influential makeup artist according to Vogue, actually applies lipstick using her fingers, and not just lip stain but full color lipsticks. Pat says it makes the lips look natural and not too drawn on.

To make a pout appear fuller, McGrath recommends tracing your cupid’s bows with white liner to make your pout appear fuller by emphasizing the lip shape. If this look is too stark for you, she recommends trying a nude liner or concealer for a more wearable “real life” take on the look, and a more subtle effect.

Image via Vogue

Image via Vogue

Molly Rancal, makeup artist to Beyonce, recommends a similar trick for natural-looking plumper lips. To enhance your pout, she says, if you don’t want to wear a bright red lip, first add concealer on the sides of the mouth. Use a lip liner that is one shade darker than your lips and apply it only on the sides of your lips to make your lips recede. Finish with a lip gloss with a bit of sheen or a cream finish MLBB lipstick.

Use highlighters to your advantage

We’ve found a lot of complex highlighting tips out there, but here is a very easy trick from Carmindy from the makeover show What Not to Wear: highlight the top of the cheek bones, underneath the eyebrow, and inside corner of the eye. It’s quick, it’s idiot proof, and best of all it works well for girls with oily skin types who are afraid of sheen.

And how do you use the right highlighter? Carmindy shares that again it’s all about skin types. Choose a cream if you have dry skin or powder highlighter with subtle shimmer for if you have oily/combination skin type. To use the cream version, apply it after foundation and before powder. For the powder formula, highlight after you've applied face powder. What’s the best highlighter color for your skin type? Think shimmering vanilla for pale skin, champagne for medium skin, and sunset gold for dark skin. Do also check out our list of highlighters to try for ideas!

Are you a makeup artist or has your face been done by a makeup artist? What did you notice about your pro look? What tricks do you love as a MUA?