With so many makeup tutorials available on the internet, applying makeup has gotten a lot easier. Just type "smoky eye" or "bold lip" into Youtube's search bar, and you can find thousands of videos offering tips and tricks. Yet, when looking at celebrities on the red carpet, it seems obvious that even with all the makeup techniques being shared with us we still don't achieve the same "naturally" flawless results. So, when I recently attended a makeup class with celebrity makeup artist Jenn Streicher (who works with Emily Blunt, Mandy Moore, Lily James and more), I made sure to pay attention and ask questions, and I went home with a handful of game-changing tips.
1. Don't line your eyes, tightline them.
Unless you're specifically aiming for a graphic or cat eye look, opt for tightlining. It simply means that instead of drawing a line above your upper lash line you're going to fill in the space in between your lashes with your eyeliner — a pencil or gel liner work better than liquid liner for this purpose.
With extra gentle pressure, massage the liner into the roots of your lashes, from the inner start of your lashes to the outer end. If any liner ends up above the lash line, grab a cotton bud and remove it. This is going to subtly define your eyes and give the illusion of fuller lashes, while looking like you have no eyeliner on at all.
2. Customize your faux eyelashes.
If you weren't gifted with thick, voluminous lashes and you're not fond of the obvious look of faux lashes, you should try individual lashes. Even better, you should customize them. Individual lashes don't add that obvious black line to your eyes that a strip of false lashes does, and by cutting them down to the same length as your natural lashes, they are going to look just like your real lashes.
Lash placement, however, is key. Instead of applying them above your natural lash line, Jenn Streicher recommends placing them between your natural lashes, or as close to them as possible. This gives the extra benefit of a fuller but natural-looking lash line.
3. "Sheer out" your foundation.
Applying foundation on wrinkle-free skin can be relatively easy, but applying it on mature skin often results in the product settling into fine lines, which emphasizes them rather than conceals them. Sure, you can use a smoothing primer to give the appearance of a more even skin texture, but one of Streicher's secrets is much simpler.
The trick is to apply foundations in very thin, "sheered out" layers. Benjamin Ruiz, professional makeup artist and co-host of the makeup event, explained, "By using a foundation that matches your skin tone perfectly, you eliminate the need to cover your entire face with foundation. Instead, you should apply it exactly where needed. To cover pigmentation, redness, etc." To "sheer out" the foundation, use a damp sponge (like a beauty blender), and gently dab the area where you want to remove excess product, then apply a translucent powder to set it in place. Jenn recommends Laura Mercier's Translucent Loose Setting Powder.
4. Lighting is key.
This tip is especially helpful for doing makeup for photography. Always do your makeup in natural light (in front of a bright window is an ideal place). For best results in photos, do your makeup in the same lighting in which you will be taking photos. If the photos will be taken outdoors, do your makeup in natural light. If your photos will be taken indoor with artificial lighting, do your makeup in artificial lighting (preferably a bright, white light). Avoid doing your makeup in a warm, soft lighting because it is not going to give you an idea of what the makeup will look in a different lighting (the differences can be pretty dramatic!).
5. Skin comes first.
If you want to look polished but you don't have that much time to get ready, Jenn recommends spending most of your time perfecting your base. Whether you need a little or a lot coverage, you want to make sure that your skin tone looks even and that any redness or pigmentation are covered nicely. Once your skin look great, you can get away with as little makeup as you want. The quickest way to look glammed up? Opt for a bold lip color.
If I had to sum the whole makeup lesson into one quick tip, it would be: use less product, more strategically.