Listen, God already did his part. We were all born dewy-skinned and rosy-cheeked and flawless, but somewhere between 15 and, well, now, we’ve lost a little bit of that glow. Maybe it was age or heredity or teen acne that never quite went away, but I suspect it was something far more sinister. I suspect it was birthday cake.
You see, growing up, birthday cake was served at birthdays, which happened, for most people, only once a year. Throw in sibling birthdays and a couple of close friends, and you were consuming half a dozen slices annually, tops. But as we get older, we have more access to cake. We may even bake cake for our own kids’ birthdays, or for friends, or for ourselves to eat before anyone has had a chance to try a slice. When you count family parties, friend parties and class parties, our kids have not one but 17 birthday celebrations, each involving cake. On the surface, all of this celebrating seems innocent enough, until you break it down. A cake is sugar frosted with more sugar and studded with decorations made of, you guessed it, sugar. And sugar is a well-known thief of glowy and dewy and all of their youthful friends. Birthdays don’t help either, but mostly, it’s the birthday cake.
So what’s a once-rosy-cheeked girl to do? (Disclaimer: My skin is olive, so it was never, technically, rosy. It’s always been a little sallow, but who wants to go back to being sallow-cheeked? Not me!) Anyway, how do you recapture that glow? With makeup, of course. The right makeup, artfully applied, can transform your skin and recapture your radiance. All it takes is the right products and a little know-how. So here, from 110 Top Makeup Artist Tips, 10 tips for a flawless face, from some of the top makeup artists in the world.
Practice Makes Perfect
“One of the biggest mistakes that women make with their makeup is being intimidated by it. They make a mistake and never try it again. If they make a mistake with their baby or their boyfriend, they work it through, but if they curl their lashes once and hate it, they never try it again. Don’t be afraid of makeup. If you make a mistake, just wash it off. Many women also apply too much color at one time, and end up thinking that the color is wrong for them, when in reality the color is right but the application was heavy. How about a little color at a time? Just try it. For a little color on your lips, take the lipstick and mix it with lip balm for a sheerer application. Wipe off the excess bright blush so it’s not so heavy. Same thing with the eyes; a little goes a long way. If you’re tentative to try anything creative, start just around your lash line. Anything that you apply just there will not be heavy-handed. As with anything else, you have to persevere if you want to get better.” Stephen Sollitto
Beige is Boring
“Cosmetic companies know the general behavior of the public, so they sell colors that are not flattering to people. For example, they know that neutrals are safe and they sell a lot of them; ninety-nine percent of women wear all-brown makeup. I see a lot of people’s makeup bags, and their makeup is usually beiges, sands, and browns, with the exception of that purple lipstick from ten years ago. The women with vibrant colors are usually artists and creative types. I tell my clients that they are picking neutrals because they are safe. And I show them the proper placement of brighter colors. I’ll use a teal eye shadow, a bright-peach blush, and a pure-red lip gloss with gold sparkle. Color, color, color. Once they see colors on their face put in the proper place, colors that complement their face, they go out and buy them.” Diane Gardner
Five Minutes to Fabulous
“A woman can look polished with only five minutes to apply her makeup by choosing to emphasize either her eyes or lips, and spending thirty seconds on one, and four and a half minutes on the other. If she’s playing up her best feature, she’ll look special.” Peter Lamas
“Most women want contoured cheekbones and the only way to do that is to trace your cheekbone up to the hairline using a darker shade. I usually use a tawny shade that doesn’t have a lot of pink or red in it, like NARS Zen. It’s almost like a bronzer. I follow the cheekbone with that and then, on just the apples of the cheeks, I use a fan-shaped brush to lightly apply a bright pink or red or apricot. I like MAC blush in Frankly Scarlet. It’s a good contrast. I like the bronzer to contour and a light coat of the brighter color to brighten.” Meg Thompson
“Oval face shapes need no corrective contour, but the natural bone structure can be enhanced more with a contour powder. Apply contour below cheekbone and under the jawline to give the illusion of a slimmer oval to a round face. For a square face, contour the widest part of the jaw and below the cheekbone, and contour the harsh square edges of the forehead to make it look more oval. If your face is heart-shaped, do not highlight cheekbones or use a bright cheek color. Shade the temples to narrow the top part of the face, and shade the tip of the chin. Highlight the mid-to-outer jawline. Diamond-shaped faces should also shun bright blush shades, and highlight the chin and forehead instead. Triangle-shaped faces can highlight each side of the forehead to create the illusion of width, pencil the eyebrows out slightly beyond the outer corners of the eyes, and minimize the jawline with contour.” Debra Macki
“For a more flawless and smoother makeup application, I apply a thin coat of Hyaluronic Acid serum as a primer before makeup. It holds over one thousand times its weight in water, plumps the skin, smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles, and improves the texture of the skin. It is considered a super moisturizer, and it can be used as an anti-aging night treatment.” Lilly Rivera
“Apply liquid foundation with your hands, the way you would apply a moisturizer, and rub it into skin for a flawless finish.” Mala Elhassan
“A lot of people want to lighten the dark circles under their eyes, which only highlights them. Dark shades push back while light shades enhance. You want to push back your dark circles, not accentuate them, so you should choose a concealer color that is almost the same color as your skin, with the right undertone. Mix eye cream with your concealer, and you will get more of a hydrated look.” Giella
How to Blush
“A good rounded blush brush—it can even be used with cream blush—is essential for perfect application. Concentrate on the apples of the cheeks and blend out. Think about where we really blush in a natural situation and mimic it.” Terri Apanasewicz
“There is no hard and fast rule about women with warm skintones wearing warm makeup colors, and women with cool skintones wearing cool colors. Styles change. The more natural you want your makeup to look, the more you coordinate with your skin’s undertone. The more dramatic you want to look, the more opposite you go from your skintone. Warm skin looks earthy and natural in bronze lipstick, but at night, for impact, a warm-toned woman can wear cherry-red or magenta. It depends on the effect you want to create. Which feature do you want to draw attention to? That’s why I don’t like those types of limits. If you tell a cool-toned woman that she can only wear cool colors, then she will never have the advantage of wearing a warm brown and making her eyes appear less crepey, or using peach to make her blue eyes pop.” Hollis Wright
Unlike a makeup artist, you don’t need to be an expert on everyone’s face. Only your own. Whether you start with a single tip or try them all at once, with a little practice, you’ll be on your way to a flawless face!