I find that when I do other people's makeup I tend to overload them with a bunch of helpful tips to take away and use when they do their own makeup. There are two problems with this, and this blog post will only solve one of them. The first is that they'll probably forget (this is the issue I am tackling right now), and the second is that they probably don't care about makeup as much as I do and are unlikely to spend money on anything they might require to use these tips, or use techniques that would require knowledge of such tips.
So without further ado, here are my tips (with added photos to break up what is likely to be paragraph upon paragraph of text) in no particular order!
1. Let's start simple. For those of you who use baby wipes or any kind of packaged facial wipe for make up removal (or wiping babies) I suggest you store them upside down. This means that the moisture in the wipes will travel towards the next wipe that you will be using. Also, make sure you seal them tightly or they'll dry out and that's no good for anyone.
2. This is next just cause I have a picture for it (; When your mascara runs out it's useful to keep the mascara wand for future use. If you clean it (and maybe disinfect for optimum hygiene, yeah hygiene, woo!) then it can be re-used for brushing through eyelashes to separate them more without applying more mascara, which could lead to clumping or the dreaded spider-lashes. You can also use it for eyebrow taming. For instance, you can roll the brush through a little vaseline then comb through eyebrows to keep them in place instead of buying eyebrow gel.
|This particular one is Bourjois Maxi Frange (LOL) and I like it because it has a thicker 'toilet brush' end and a thinner 'nit comb' end. Plus this mascara was given to me so it all worked out very cheap for me (£0 to be precise)|
3. I am a big fan of false eyelashes, but rarely wear them because even I, after about 3 years of wearing them, still manage to struggle with them. To be honest I am sure they will always be difficult to use, but these tips will hopefully make life a bit easier. Firstly TRIM them. I don't care if you want the most massive-est eyelashes ever, I cannot stress the importance of trimming them any more. If you want them to look good then you MUST place them over your eyelashes (without glue) and see if they sit nicely. If they do not then trim them bit by bit from the end where the eyelashes are longest. By which I mean you cut the band shorter, not the actual eyelashes. When I started doing this I found the eyelashes looked so much better. SO do it, for Gawd's sake just do it. It pains me to see when girls walk around with these massive eyelashes that just look ridiculous. Which also reminds me, don't wear massively oversized ones unless you are going to balance out your bottom eyelashes with loads of mascara, loads of eyeliner/eyeshadow or false bottom lashes. It looks unbelievably ridiculous when girls walk around with huge eyelashes and that's it. It makes their eyes look tiny and the eyelashes lose all their effect and shape because they look almost like a second set of bushy eyebrows.
SORRY for that rant. I will now post a picture of when I didn't trim my eyelashes and it looked STUPID.
|I actually lost one of these (RIP) so if I do buy them again I will definitely cut them, since they were very nice eyelashes. But seriously, look how stupid and foldy it looks. Serves me right to lose one if I'm going to not cut them.|
4. In the same vein, when applying glue to false eyelashes do it to both and WAIT a little bit for the glue to become stickier as it dries. This means the eyelashes will stick better and not slide around because the glue is fresh and wet. Also, putting a thin line of black eyeliner (liquid, pencil, gel, doesn't matter) right next to the top eyelashes will help to blend the band of the eyelashes with your natural ones for the most seamless application. You can also try to blend them in with mascara, but make sure not to get (too much) mascara on the false eyelashes because it might make them clump and then you can't use them again.
5. I also recommend the use of eyelash curlers. Again, this was a cheap experience for me because my eyelash curlers were handed down to be by my mummykins. I have naturally straight and short eyelashes (woe is me) so I need the assistance of curlers to make them appear to have an upward curve. When combined with mascara it holds the curl all day and is wonderful. I would advise about five quick pinches of the curlers and THEN mascara. Do not put mascara first because it will make your eyelashes more brittle and they are more likely to break off.
|the aforementioned inherited eyelash curlers|
6. This is more of a pricey piece of advice, but will help for a better finish and cleaner more blended or precise makeup look. That is to buy the appropriate brushes for whatever technique or look is being attempted. For instance, for eyeshadow to be blended well then appropriate blending brushes are good to use. For packing on a lot of colour then small, dense brushes are best. I am reluctant to promote any particular brand since everyone is different in what they like, but my favourites are Real Techniques, Crown Brushes, Models Own, and MAC. Good face brushes are also key to making foundation look more natural and skin flawless, as well as lip brushes to apply lipstick more precisely. Also, lip pencils are very very good for making sure lipstick doesn't bleed and for longer wear.
7. If there are any areas of your face that you wish to either bring forward and enhance, or recede then highlighting and contouring can be done. Highlighting is placing some kind of illuminating powder or cream onto more prominent areas of the face that the light usually hits in order to make them more of a feature. For instance, MAC strobe liquid or Benefit Highbeam (or even an iridescent white eyeshadow) can be placed and blended well onto the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, cupid's bow and browbones to accentuate them. I ALWAYS put a highlighting eyeshadow on my browbones as part of any eyeshadow look I do, especially since it also helps to blend out any harsh lines. Placing a lighter colour on the inner corners of the eyes can also make them look brighter, more awake and bigger. This is true also for white eyeliner. Darker colours can be placed on in the hollows of the cheeks, along the sides of the nose, along the jawbone and in the eye socket to deepen the areas and accentuate, or give the impression of a strong bone structure.
8. For anyone who uses loose eyeshadows or pigments and finds them hard to use, I am right with you. Not only do they create mess (which, as everyone knows, I hate), but it's difficult to use the correct amount and also get a strong colour. The best advice I can give is to use some sort of 'palette' like a painter would. I personally use a metal tin lid, but you could use a paper plate or piece of plastic. Paper or tissue is a bad idea, and it will become clear why in a second. Loose eyeshadow can be tipped onto the palette, and this allows for more control over how much is used since more can be tipped onto it, and excess can be returned to the container. Next to the eyeshadow a very small amount of water (or a product such as MAC Fix+, or any kind of water-based makeup sealer) can be placed, then the two mixed together bit by bit and then applied to the lid. Because water is used, this is why paper or tissue are not a good idea. The water intensifies any loose eyeshadow and gives shimmery eyeshadows a more metallic sheen. Good loose eyeshadows are the super super cheap ones by Collection 2000, and Barry M available in Boots. I also love GlamourDoll Eyes. Loose eyeshadows can also be used wet with a lip brush (make sure the colour is lipsafe!) to make a new lip colour, or with an eyeliner brush to make precise lines. Here is a photo showing the process of Collection 2000 Pixie used dry and wet:
|Left: MAC Fix+, palette, C200 Pixie. Top right: C2000 Pixie next to a small amount of Fix+. Bottom right: dry swatch of Pixie, wet swatch of Pixie|
9. If you don't have a particularly steady hand and want to create dramatic winged looks, or for instance, an Arabic inspired makeup look, then sellotape is your new best friend. Tape can be placed along the edge of the eyes (using the edges of the nose and ends of the eyebrows as a guide), eyeshadow applied and the tape removed. I knew this explanation would suck, so here are some photos of the process:
|Using Collection 2000 Fairy Dust wet (combining tips, yeaaah!) along the tape and over the eyelid, then removing the tape.|
10. Another way of making eyeshadow bright, colourful and longlasting (particularly pressed eyeshadows that are risky to use wet since it can damage the shadow and make it bumpy) is to use a primer and or coloured bases. Eyeshadow primers tend to be skin coloured and liquid or creamy in texture, and can be applied over the entire eyelid and allowed to dry before applying any eyeshadow. Popular (expensive ones) are Urban Decay Primer Potion, Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Lime Crime Candy Eyed Eyeshadow Helper, all of which I own. I find them all to be satisfactory, as you would hope with those prices. Another point in their favour is that while they cost a lot they will last you a Very long time! Cheaper alternatives are any concealer or foundation you already own, or ELF's eyeshadow primer. Coloured bases I tend to use for brightness or colour rather than for lasting colours, so I always use them with a primer to make them last and stop them from melting/creasing, as is what happens with a lot of cream eyeshadow products. NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk is CHEAP, and extremely popular. If you get any kind of coloured base then get that because you can put any colour over it and it will be even more pigmented. I also love the new Sleek Eau La La Liners. I have Pumpkin (orange), Canary Yellow (guess what colour that is) and Cobalt Blue (I won't insult your intelligence) and I love them. Going off topic a little, you can use them as a coloured base, eyeliner, eyebrow pencils and lip pencils. I LOVE THEM. And I need more, plus in Superdrug they are only £3.99. Here are some pretty pictures
|MAC eyeshadows Aquadisiac, Chrome Yellow and Orange used without a base (bottom swatch) and with a base (top swatch). In order I used NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk, Eau La La Liners in Canary Yellow and Pumpkin.|
11. This is a bit of a multi-purpose tip that can help people out. For those of you that dye your hair you can use vaseline along your hairline so that any dye that touches it can be easily wiped off afterwards. Vaseline can also be used in the same way when applying nail varnish, especially for the more adventurous looks such as marble nails, and ombre nails. It's just one of those products that you can use for so many things.
|I felt like adding my marbled nails that I did ages ago because that relates to what I just said.|
12. Moisturise your lips as the first thing you do before your makeup. This means that when you do the rest of your makeup, by the time you get to putting on lipstick or lipgloss your lips will be moisturised nicely. This is especially helpful if you are intending to use matte lipsticks, which can be very dry(ing).
Unfortunately I have 12 rather than a nicely rounded 10 or even 15 tips. Regardless of this I hope even one person found possibly half of one piece of advice I gave remotely helpful. Although I enjoy writing anyway, which is probably why this is so damn long. I also decided to super-size all the photos because it looks better.
Have a fun day! And if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments (: