5 Fantastic Makeup Secrets I Learned from Watching YouTube

Published in: Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To

audrey of makeup by audrey

Written by Audrey

Today Audrey of Makeup by Audrey shares five fantastic makeup secrets she learned from watching YouTube.


I’m a late bloomer when it comes to makeup. My two essential items had always been foundation and blush — maybe gloss if I wanted to dress it up. Then, just over a year ago, it happened.


I discovered the world of makeup tutorials on YouTube!

At first, I was just amazed by the amazing transformations that these wonderful ladies (and sometimes, men) would do. I mean, who doesn’t love seeing those befores and afters?

But then I started wondering to myself — could I do that??? I started experimenting. I’d watch a tutorial and then try the look on myself. Eventually I got the hang of things, building my makeup collection at the same time.

You can learn just about anything on Youtube… As for makeup, it’s a great place to learn the basics, like how to apply eyeliner, brow shaping, how to create a classic smoky eye, etc.

But what I especially love about YouTube are all of the random little makeup tricks. πŸ™‚

Here are five of my favorites:

1. Without a good base, just don’t bother

Click the picture above to see Loulud81‘s review of different eyeshadow bases and primers.

I never used to wear eyeshadow because it didn’t seem to do much for me. Either the colors wouldn’t show up on my Filipino skin, or they’d fade away before lunch. Then, I learned about eyeshadow primers and how they help prevent shadows from creasing and/or fading. Now, I literally will not apply eyeshadow without a base. Two popular ones are Urban Decay Primer Potion and Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

There are also other eyeshadow bases you can use on top of your primer that will really help intensify colors and make them “pop”. Some examples are MAC Paint Pots and Shadesticks, NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils, and Make Up For Ever Flash Colors.

I also typically use a primer for my face. It helps to smooth out my skin and make the foundation last. I love the silky feel of the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, but I haven’t been too thrilled with the $36 price for one ounce.

Here’s a secret — try the Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel. I think it works just as well as it has similar ingredients (i.e. dimethicone). I know that some of you may be scared by the brand (NOTE: This is not the yeast infection version), but just trust me on this and give it a try. πŸ™‚ You can find it at any drugstore (or even Target), and it’s much cheaper, around $8 for 1.5 oz.

Click the picture above for kitcat627‘s review of the Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel.

2. Paintbrushes are not just for paint!

Click above to watch EnKoreMakeup‘s comparison of MAC brushes and paintbrushes.

Personally, I love my MAC brushes. I do believe the quality justifies the price. But not everyone can afford a single eyeshadow brush that costs over $20. One alternative – head over to Michaels or a similar craft store and check out their paintbrushes. Specifically, the Loew Cornell line has a variety of brushes that are very comparable to MAC brushes at a fraction of the cost. As an example, the Loew-Cornell 270 3/8″ Maxine’s Mop artist brush ($4) is almost identical to the MAC 239 eye shader brush ($25), as shown in the video below. And my favorite go-to brush for lining my eyes with gel eyeliner is the Loew-Cornell 485 large tear drop brush ($7).

3. Making the most of your MAC palettes

Click above to watch MakeupGeekTV‘s tutorial on depotting a MAC eyeshadow using a flat iron.

My very first MAC eyeshadow was Print which was recommended to me when I asked how to create a smoky eye. I quickly then became hooked on MAC eyeshadows and started my collection, immediately buying them in pan form to use with their palettes. But I still had my lonely Print eyeshadow in its little pot.

Well, thanks to Youtube, I learned how to depot the shadow to add it to my palette with the others. It was actually quite easy. The video demonstrates using a flat iron to melt the adhesive, but I used a household candle (be careful!).

The other handy trick I learned was maximizing the most of your palette. This large MAC eyeshadow palette will hold 15 shadows. If you want to save money and conserve storage space, just pop out the inner tray. It’lll give you more room to hold a total of 26 shadows!

Click above to watch Petrilude‘s quick tip on expanding your MAC palette.

4. Scotch tape on your face? Yep!

Click above to watch xSparkage‘s makeup tutorial on a “Tinsel Twinkle” look using glitter

It’s holiday time, so there’s probably a lot of you pulling out your scotch tape for wrapping presents and whatnot. Well, guess what? That scotch tape can be a handy tool in applying makeup as well.

Say you decide to dazzle it up for a night on the town with some glittery, sparkly eyeshadow. Inevitably, you’ll get fallout and may end up with glitter all over your face.

No problem. Just take a piece of tape, and gently apply it to your face. It will pick all that glitter right up. Same concept as one of those lint rollers. πŸ™‚

Or, say you want to get really dramatic with a sharp edge effect to your makeup. Use scotch tape to help create that clean edge, just like using blue painters tape before painting a room. One suggestion — you might want to first apply the tape to somewhere less sensitive, like your arm, to eliminate some of the initial “stickiness” before applying to your face.

Click above to watch xSparkage‘s makeup tutorial on a dramatic Lady Gaga look

5. Cosmetics Company Store, the mecca for discounted high-end cosmetics

Click above to watch VanityEdge‘s tour of her local CCS

One of my favorite discoveries through YouTube is this wonderful place called The Cosmetics Company Store. πŸ™‚


It’s a chain located at various shopping outlets (you can find all of their locations here). I guess they primarily sell the Estee Lauder line, which includes not only Estee Lauder but their other brands like Clinique, Prescriptives, Bobbi Brown, and my personal favorite — MAC!!!

The beauty of the stores are that not only do they sell discounted makeup, but they sell discontinued products as well, and since MAC has so many collections that include limited edition products, you can really score!

They also sell some of MAC’s permanent products. I typically only purchase the MAC stuff and from what I can tell, they are usually priced at about a 30% discount (awesome, right?).

Next time you’re outlet shopping, make sure to look for The Cosmetics Company Store!

Hope this helps some of you! What are your favorite makeup tricks? Please post them below so we can all learn from each other!

audrey of makeup by audrey

Written by Audrey

This post was written by Audrey, a freelance makeup artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her makeup creations can be found on Makeup by Audrey. SheÒ€ℒs also a marathon runner and blogs about her running adventures on Run Audrey Run.


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So far, 26 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Hazel says:

    Ooh I learned some of these too! I didn’t know about the MAC palettes because I don’t own anything MAC atm.

    Oh, I received the package today! I blogged about it here πŸ™‚

    Thanks once again, Karen! You’re awesome and I love your blog~
    .-= Hazel’s last blog post… KOREAN FOOD =-.

  2. Jasmine says:

    Great post! Ooh and I love the CCO, wish I had discovered them sooner!

  3. amy says:

    Great tips, I love youtube, especially Pursebuzz videos. I wish there was a Cosmetic Company Store in Canada.
    .-= amy’s last blog post… EOTD MAC Love Lace Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Raven Swatch on Eyes =-.

  4. Coral says:

    When I first started wearing makeup I thought about using paint brushes. I didn’t see why not. Glad to know that I’m not the only one who thought that way.
    All the other tips were great too!

  5. noemi says:

    ohh the cosmetic company store ! love . that’s where i bought my first [& only] mac cosmetics . i’m pretty sure i spent a bit over an hour there ..only to leave with Two products . i haven’t even used them yet ..lol …
    there’s a make up artist on youtube that i particularly like . he is blunt and funny & not too bad on the eyes πŸ˜› his channel is gossmakeupartist . he’s from the UK & i love watching his videos . what he says seems like common sense but we don’t really think about it [ or at least i don’t !]
    for instance, oil & water don’t mix . therefore, look at the main ingredient list on your foundation & any other products used on yo face .
    as a primer for my uber oily shiny face, i use milk of magnesia as a ‘primer’ in the summer . it’s a bit drying, so i use moisturizer at night & exfoliate as needed .

    • HI have you try the new Foundation primer from Mary Kay profucts. and the new eye shadow cream to powder from the same line they last all day and the eye primer is the best to it last me all day and night.

  6. noemi says:

    that was a really long comment ..i’m sorry /:

  7. Great post! I didn’t now about the Cosmetic Company Store or about the palletes! I LOOOOVE watching youtube makeup vids. For some reason its extremely calming for me to watch makeup applications. I get mesmorized and end up kinda dazed out watching tutorials. Love it!

  8. Audrey says:

    Thank you everyone for your nice comments! Thanks Karen for letting me contribute to your wonderful blog!

    Hazel: Nothing MAC yet? Amazing! Congrats on winning the Philosophy prize!
    Jasmine: Yes, the CCO is the best, isn’t it?
    Amy: I love Pursebuzz videos, too! She was one of the first gurus I followed.
    Coral: Yes, they’re great! Some of those paint brushes work better for me than my traditional makeup brushes!
    Noemi: LOVE your comment! Yes, I’ve seen some videos by gossmakeupartist – he’s great! And thanks for that milk of magnesia tip! A friend of mine mentioned that, too, I will definitely give it a try!
    Khalia: Haha, I can totally relate! When I first discovered these videos, I would spend *hours* watching them πŸ™‚

  9. Ciambella says:

    You can fit 26 eyeshadows into a 15-pan palette just by popping that base out?! Holy cow! That’s a great tip for saving on storage space! Thanks for sharing, Audrey!
    .-= Ciambella’s last blog post… Fire in the Knee! =-.

  10. Kim says:

    Amazing post for makeup newbies! When I was discovering the world of makeup I found these tips out for myself but that took time on youtube and spectra.. Audrey great tips.. just wish this post was written a year earlier!! πŸ™‚
    .-= Kim’s last blog post… Iheartredcherry haul =-.

  11. diane says:

    Thanks so much for this. I actually knew a lot of them, but I am youtube make up tutorials freak and I like finding out about different videos.
    But I am so sad that we don’t have CCS here…:(

    .-= diane’s last blog post… My Christmas tree, new haircut and new nails model ! =-.

  12. Moni says:

    Awesome tips! I’m a Youtube make-up videos addict myself so I totally understand Audrey!

    Maybe you could do next a “more advanced user” tips? I love this kind of posts πŸ˜‰

  13. sharon says:

    I have three favorites on youtube:
    Gossmakeupartist-he’s great at explaining things and he does really honest reviews.
    makeupgeektv- she’s so sweet and really knows her stuff! Her contouring and highligting videos are amazing.
    Pixiwoo- these sisters are great! Their avante garde and haloween makeup looks are great, also the wedding makeup tutorials are well done. if you’re at a more advanced stage in your makeup you’ll love their channel.

  14. Audrey says:

    – Ciambella: Great idea, right? Save storage space and $$$ – what’s not to like? πŸ™‚
    – Kim: Thank you! Better late, than never, haha!
    – Diane: Thanks – Which gurus are your favorite? Keep an eye out for a CCS when you travel!
    – Moni: Thank you! That’s a great idea for a post, I will definitely look into that!
    – Sharon: Thanks for sharing your faves – I love them all too! Especially Pixiwoo – they are sooooo amazing and I love their accents, too, of course!

  15. Lisa S. says:

    Ooooo, the primer tip itself was worth lots to me! For 6 bucks even if it doesn’t work well
    I’m not really out anything.

  16. sparklehead says:

    Great list! It must have been hard to pick just 5!

  17. Ashey says:

    This is awesome, i’m so glad I came across this blog πŸ™‚ totally bookmarking!

  18. Courtney says:

    Oooohh. They have a CCO in my hometown! Hitting that up after Christmas for sure!<3

  19. DJ says:

    Thanks for the tips!

    I de-potted all my MAC shadows using rubbing alcohol; found a great tutorial on youtube that showed out to do it without having to apply heat. Makes life so much easier! And safer.

  20. DJ says:

    Or maybe it was hydrogen peroxide. I can never remember.

  21. auroragyps says:

    I knew about using tape to pick up sparkle & glitter fall out, but I found another great use for it.

    After you get a hair cut, use some scotch tape to pick up all the teeny pieces of hair on your face, that tissues or a brush won’t get off. I bought on of the new doughnut looking Scotch tape dispensers to throw into my purse just for this.. and other stuff, I guess.

  22. Julianne says:

    Great tips Audrey! I really need to start watching more stuff on YouTube! πŸ™‚

  23. knownever says:

    I wish we had cosmetics company store near me. nyc has its own peach of a store called cosmetics market that carries a range of stuff at big discounts
    .-= knownever’s last blog post… Cookies and Goodies =-.

  24. Art brushes really do serve someone who is on a strict makeup budget. My first set was purchased from an art store. Whilst they were not as good as professional brushes, they served me well in my first year.
    .-= Cassandra Rae Ferguson’s last blog post… Cassandra Rae Ferguson – Professional Makeup Artist Sydney =-.

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