Archive - Makeup Tips/How To

When You’re Applying Liquid Foundation, Always Give It Enough Time to Set Before Applying Powder

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

foundation with iphone

Here’s something that helps when I apply liquid foundation: ya gotta give it time. Always give it enough time to set before you jump in with powder, so like four or five minutes, because if your foundation is still wet when you apply your powder, all sorts of terrible, horrible, frightening things happen…

OK, not really. But sort of. :) The powder won’t apply evenly, because the wet areas will collect more of it, and that’s not great.

Another happy side effect of waiting until your foundation sets is that it’s easier to gauge your coverage. If I just layer all willy-nilly, and just keep building my foundation up in layers while each layer is still kind of wet, I can’t gauge how much coverage I actually have, and I end up in Cake Face Town.

Because nine times out of 10 I like to wear as little foundation as possible, I’ll apply my first layer, and then wait for it to set. Then it’s easy to tell if (and where) I need to add more.

Just another hopefully heartache-saving tip I learned the hard way.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. North & South! Where the heck was I when this show came out? I’m marathoning it on Netflix tonight. Episode 3 is about to start. :)

So. Much. Drama! I love it, but those 19th century British dudes didn’t have a lot of game. How would you feel if someone rolled up to you and said, “Marry me, miss,” seemingly out of the blue? You do one little thing like push your hair behind your ear, and they think you want to marry them.

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For Better Blending, Try Holding Your Brush at the End

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

tapered blending brush mac 224

Instead of holding your blending brush like a pen or pencil on the ferrule (the metal part on the end with the brush head), try holding it waaay back on the other end instead.

Just to try it.

You might find yourself naturally applying less pressure on the brush head and making nice, soft circles with the bristles.

Sometimes when I hold the brush up near the ferrule, aka the standard way, I press really hard without even realizing it, like, I dunno…I’m trying to literally force the eyeshadow particles into my skin. Holding the brush from the other end, though, encourages lighter pressure, which makes for nicely diffused eyeshadows and gorgeous gradients.

tapered blending brush mac 224

tapered blending brush mac 224

It’s one of those tips I picked up somewhere along the way but promptly forgot about (whoops!), but I’ve started doing it again, and now (again!) blending is a completely different world. I feel like the brush is doing the work now, instead of my fingers and wrist, if that makes any sense. Try it sometime! And let me know how it goes. :)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


For More Precise Eyeshadow Placement, Try Applying Your Crease Color With a Flat Brush

Published in: Eyes, Makeup Tips/How To

flat eyeshadow brushes

Oh, my gosh! So helpful. Give this a try one of these days when you’re doing your eye makeup: use a flat brush, instead of a domed or fluffy tapered brush, to apply your crease color.

I’m serious, MIND BLOWN. I watched a makeup artist do this recently, and to put it mildly, it was a freakin’ revelation, like with the clouds parting and the choir of chubby cherubs singing in five-part harmony, aaaaaah!

It’s just a tool thing, but it’s been incredibly helpful, and I think it could really help with your application if you have limited lid real estate on which to work, and/or you have a shallow crease (I have both of these issues).

It seems like most people apply their crease colors with fluffy tapered brushes or domed brushes, and that’s what I always did, too, because…well, it’s pretty much what most people do, ya know?

fluffy tapered brushes and domed shadow brushes

Whenever I’d see someone doing their makeup, fluffy tapered brushes and domed brushes were standard operating procedure for crease work.

And they still are.

But whenever I use a fluffy brush to do my crease makeup, I almost always end up getting color where I don’t want it. The fluffy brushes work great for generally placing color in the crease and quickly diffusing edges, but I have a hard time using them when I want to be precise. Whenever I use one, I end up taking my shadow too high up into the crease or too far into the outer corner.
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Back to School Picture Day Makeup Tutorial

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

back to school picture day makeup tutorial

If you’re heading back to school this fall, chances are you’ll have to make some timely decisions before you start. Some will be important, like what classes you’re going to take, whether you’ll join band again (all I have to say is BAND GEEKS 4 LIFE!) or whether you can finagle a ride home from a car-owning friend because you don’t have the wherewithal to brave the school bus. (The buses at my school were exactly like Thunderdome! Freshman year in high school, a mean girl almost poured a can of soda on my hair; thankfully, my friend stopped her.)

Other decisions, like figuring out what makeup to wear on picture day, seem like small potatoes by comparison, and yeah, in the grand scheme of your entire school experience, picking a lip color (bold or neutral?) seems pretty lame, but do you really want to look back at your picture in the yearbook and cringe? GIRL, I’ve done this, and trust me, it’ll be hilarious in about 20 years, but for the timebeing, it kind of sucks.

So! Here are some things to help you take your most brilliant pic on picture day. This step-by-step tutorial will walk you through a back-to-school picture day look that everyone, even makeup beginners, can handle. When you’re done, you’ll still look like yourself, just a little more polished, and the results should look great on camera.

back to school picture day makeup tutorial

And even if you aren’t heading back to school this month, you can still do this look. It’s a good one for all kinds of picture occasions, like I.D. pics, or perhaps if you’re doing a headshot, or if you’re going to an event and you want to look sharp but not completely over the top.

If you’re ready, let’s start!

1. Find a window

When you’re putting on makeup for pictures, it’s really, REALLY important to have good light, and natural light, like from a large window, is fantastic for this. It’s big, bright and diffused, so find a window, and set up shop next to it (but sit in the shade, not direct sunlight).

2. Apply primer

back to school picture day makeup tutorial

You’ll want your skin to look smooth and your foundation to appear even, so start by applying a primer all over your face and on your lids.

If you haven’t used makeup primer before, it works a little like paint primer by filling in the tiny gaps and lines on the surface of your skin so that products layered on top of it look smooth and even.

It also has the added bonus of helping your makeup last longer, and since you’ll probably also be doing a number of other things on picture day, like picking up your schedule or getting books, you’ll want your makeup to stick around.

Don’t worry if you usually skip primer in your regular makeup routine. If you don’t want to buy one just for picture day, head to a beauty store or counter, and ask for a sample. :)
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Dressing Room Makeup Hack: Use Your Shirt As a Protective Barrier When You’re Trying on Clothes

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

Anthropologie white and yellow striped top

Things I do inside dressing rooms…

Have you ever accidentally gotten makeup on the clothes you were trying on in a dressing room?

(Uh…I am totally guilty of doing this, and yes, I’m a little ashamed.)

Even though I always do my best to keep it from happening, sometimes it’s darned near impossible! — like if it’s a shirt or a dress that’s really hard to take on or off.

It almost happened to me a while back when I was trying on a white dress at Ann Taylor. I was wearing a full face of makeup, and the dress I wanted to try on had a very narrow opening at the neck.

Standing in the dressing room, I realized that there was no way I was going to get in or out of the dress without getting makeup on it…and that’s when I had an aha moment! I draped the shirt I was wearing that day, which happened to be black, over my face like a veil, where it could work as a protective barrier between my makeup and the dress. Then I slipped the dress over my head without leaving a mark on it.
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