The fact is that while I die for fashion, makeup has always been a sort of necessary evil, and one I used to avoid. So when it comes to sitting in front of the mirror with the painstaking task of creating a perfect makeup look that rivals red carpets, I’ve done my research. What I’ve found is there are two types of advice when it comes to getting the perfect look at home: the advice you can use and the advice you can’t. You know, you get all excited to read a “pro” tip list and it’s “go out and buy $100 worth of brushes and this expensive product from France and this powder no one has ever heard of from M.A.C.” Well, I’d do much better as an amateur makeup artist with pro products, too.
What can you, or I, really do? From my own trial and error, I’m here to tell you how to start walking out of your house looking every bit the movie star. After all, before they sit down in their stylist’s chairs, those movie stars pretty much look just like us.
Lips that look fuller and more defined
Line the skin on the outside of your lip line with the cream highlighter you typically use on your dark circles. Blend it in. Your lips will stand out and look more defined.
Perfect lipliner every time
The next step for a perfect lip job? The colored lip liner you use on the inside edge of your lips. It’s hard to get it just right and perfectly even, but if you draw little markers that help even up your lines and fill them in, you’re basically home free. So start by creating an “X” in the top-center of your top lip. The top half of the “X” should be drawn where your lip bow is. Next draw two short lines at the corner(s) of your mouth; they should look like the greater-than and less-than signs: < and >. These will give you a visual guide as you fill in the rest that helps keep your hand straight. Not to mention, many of us don’t get into the corners at all (a major mistake). Now yours are all set!
Turn your favorite lipstick into longwear lipstick
After you apply your favorite lipstick, place a tissue gently over your lips. Then gently tap translucent powder over the tissue (it will get through to your lips) with a brush. Now your lipstick will last much longer.
Not feeling lipstick but want a fuller look? Add cinnamon or peppermint oil to your gloss right before you apply. They’re natural, temporary, lip plumpers.
Grab your translucent powder and tap it on your eyebrows, then follow up with a tinted brow gel. Voila! That little over-plucking mistake is fixed.
We all know (thanks to the Kardashians) what a difference contouring can make. But there are so many ways to do it and so many powders involved it can feel like a hassle. So, here’s an easy cheekbone trick: Take an eyebrow pencil and draw two parallel lines underneath your cheekbones. Blend.
From pencil to gel liner without hitting the store
Need a dramatic line? Don’t have time to get to the mall or CVS? Hold your standard pencil liner over the flame of a candle or lighter for a couple of seconds. The crayon will melt slightly and now you’ve got longer lasting, gel-like lines.
Eye shadow that really pops
Every season there’s a bright “it” color of shadow we’re tempted to try, but it just never quite looks like it does on the runway. Maybe it goes back to those expensive shadows, but if you’ve got the standard Rite Aid fare on your makeup table, here’s how to really make them pop. First fill in your lid with a white highlighting pencil, then apply that electric blue shadow on top.
Lashes out to there (without falsie drama)
If you’ve got baby powder, you can have fuller looking lashes without the glue issues. First, apply a coat of mascara. Next, brush a Q-tip dipped in baby powder over them. Apply next coat. Repeat.
Dewy skin like you’re sixteen
Okay, this is the one brand name product I can’t find a replacement for that I highly recommend: High Beam by Benefit is a liquid highlighter with a touch of shimmer that will give your skin the perfect dewy finish that makes us all look a little more youthful. I use a stripe on the apple of my cheeks, the center of my forehead and center of my chin, all blended in of course.
A longer-lasting blowout
Ditch the hair tie. At night, twist your locks into a top bun and secure with a couple of hair pins. The next morning you’ll have soft waves that can be touched up fast. No more weird kinks or broken strands from elastics.
De-puff and conceal circles—for real
Oh, so many tricks abound to depuff eyes and get rid of circles. Here’s what works in a pinch: Forget the cold spoon or lemon juice or whatever the trend is this week, take out a can of soda from the fridge and hold it under your eyes to de-puff. Now, apply concealer in dots rather than stripes under your eyes. Pat to blend instead of wiping and you’ll have bright eyes like the best on the red carpet.