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Applying Makeup Tips

Read these 10 Applying Makeup Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Make-Up tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What can I do with only three minutes to get my makeup on?

Three Minute Makeup Tips

Sometimes when life gets a bit hectic, it becomes very easy to forget to take time to make yourself up or just feel pretty. Though hectic schedules are something that can in no way be avoided, there are some quick ways that you can shorten your makeup routine and still get full glamour. The first thing to remember is that if your base and skin look good, the rest of the makeup does not really matter all that much. If you have a perfect base, everything else is a bit more forgiving. Having smooth, even skin is a great way to look effortlessly done up. The next tip you can consider is to go light on the eye makeup. For a day look, minimal shadows are best in any case and by doing less with your eyes you can focus on the skin and on lips. Slap on some mascara and liner and you are ready to go with half the effort that it takes to get a perfect smoky eye. The last thing you need to consider to help get you out the door quickly is that a bold lip can instantly brighten up any look. If you are feeling a bit drab or like your makeup is not doing enough, try using a bright color on the lip to detract from the simplicity of other aspects and to help balance out your makeup for the perfect quick look.

What can I use my expensive makeup on besides what it is intended for?

Multi Purpose Makeup Items

Sure your husband and friends may not understand why you bought a $40 eyeshadow palette when there are far cheaper drug store solutions, but if you can get more than one use out of it, the product is well worth the money. There are some products that are perfect for crossing the barriers created by intended function and figuring out what products can pull double duty can save you time, money, and effort. The first item to think about is eyeshadow, finding the perfect shadow to both accentuate and highlight your eyes can be incredibly exciting, but finding a great neutral brown can also mean finding a fantastic contouring color.

Neutral shadows are wonderful for contouring cheeks, chin, and other problem areas without having to buy a separate contour powder. The same goes for highlighter, you can use a shimmery white or off white to highlight and accentuate your cheekbones and other areas rather than buying another product. Eyeshadow can also be used as blush when you find the right color that flatters your skin. Do not assume that just because it is pink that it works. It is important to try out colors to make sure they work with your skin tone.

Another product that is capable of pulling double duty is a flesh colored eye pencil. If you buy in the correct shade, it can help to conceal spots, make your eyes look bigger, and work great as a primer for intensely colored shadows. Flesh colored pencils are great for widening the eyes and brightening dark areas and they are almost always inexpensive. Still another product that does more than it claims is a good lightly tinted lip balm. This can be used to stain and color the lips as well as add hydration, can help to liven up the cheek as a subtle blush color, and can also add sheen to a dull and dreary foundation. Any of these products can easily pull double duty if you are willing to test them out.

I am going to be out all day and have no time for touchups, what can I do to make my makeup last?

Getting the Most out of Any Makeup Application

Taking the time to apply a full face of makeup takes far too long to simply wipe it off at the end of the day or when you are headed out after a night of work. There are some tips and tricks that you can use to transform your makeup and keep it lasting all day no matter what. The start of any long lasting makeup is a good primer or moisturizer. Using primers and moisturizers before you start your application is the best way to insure that the foundation you use really sinks into the skin and sets correctly. If your skin is dry, the makeup will flake and tug as it is applied and if your skin is too oily, the makeup will slip and slide as your face grows in oiliness.

After you get your base lasting all day, you should prime the eyelids to help intensify the color and prevent creasing. The same rules apply to the eyelids as foundation on the face. You need a blank canvas that is the right texture to keep your makeup lasting all day. After you prime, you should take care to apply the shadow generously. Try adding a thin layer at first to help set the primer then build up color as you go to get the intensity and lasting effect that you want and need. The more you blend your shadow, the longer it will last. As you blend, the pigment is pushed further and further into place preventing fall out and keeping the shadow from transferring when you blink. If you blend well your shadow will last far longer than if you simply slap it on and hope it stays.

If you have a good strong base, your face color will stay put as well. Adding things like blush and bronzer to a foundation that has been primed and blended well will not disturb it and your face color will stay as long as your foundation does. With lip color, it is almost always best to add a bit of liner under the color to help the natural wear look better and to keep it in place longer. Adding something like a liner underneath gives the lipstick a foundation that is not your natural lip and therefore it is not as wet, does not have as many factors working against a lipstick, and it helps the lipstick to set and stay put.

With any long lasting makeup, all you should need are routine touch ups like a blend of the shadow here to remove a crease or a light powdering to remove shine from the face. Major reapplication should not be necessary, even if you are going out for the night. To take your look from day to night just add a bit of darker shadow at the edges and lash line of your eyes and blend well. This adds depth and makes your look much stronger. Add some extra mascara to amp up the eyes and consider adding a darker shade of lipstick. If you have a good natural base makeup, you can add just about any colors or extras to take your look from night to day.

How can I avoid fallout when applying dark shadows?

How to Avoid Makeup Fallout

Fallout is perhaps one of the most unattractive things about any makeup and it should be avoided at all costs. Though most people do not have crafty shields for their shadows or blending palettes for their foundations there are some basic tips you can use to avoid fallout that can ruin just about any makeup. The first is to use a good, sticky primer, the stickier a primer is the more product it will hold on to keeping it up and off your face. With a primer that is formulated to hold pigment, it will attach to the shadow that you are using and keep fallout to a minimum.

Another good tip is to make sure that you are constantly tapping out any excess product from your brushes. This will make the color a bit less intense but building up slowly makes a makeup last longer and can prevent fallout. Tapping out the excess means that it ends up on the palette, not on your face. It may also be beneficial to invest in under eye shields, these are shields that have sticky back that affixes to the skin under the eye and forms a tray that catches any fallout. This is great if you are using pigments and glitters as they always fall out, no matter how much you tap. Using a shield can keep tons of fallout from under your eyes and all over your face. If these methods are not for you try using your concealer as a corrector of sorts. Hold off doing your under eye concealer until you are done with your eyes and use your concealer to move away any fallout and cover it up. The same can be done with foundation or your foundation brush with the remaining product that is left over after your base application.

What are lash extensions?

Lash Extensions, the Basics

For many, inadequate lashes is a problem that is not easily remedied by falsies or by plenty of mascara. For some, lash extensions are the only solution. For those that have suffered the slings of a bad set of lash extensions or had no idea how to care for them after application, hopefully these basics will shed some light on the situation. Lash extensions are essentially false lashes that are kept in place by a strong adhesive and last for about three weeks as opposed to the one day false lashes that you can apply at home. The secret is the glue, this glue is about ten times stronger than the glue used in typical false lashes and keeps the extensions in place through every day wear and tear.
The first thing to understand about lash extensions is that there is a good chance they will irritate your eyes for the first couple of days. The average lash extension is about twice as long as the average eye lash and it is quite bulky. Though these extensions are simply a cluster of two or three lashes, they can still prove to be irritating. The second thing to remember is that though they are a part of your natural lash line, they can still become dislodged or fall off if you use cleanser that is too harsh or if you pull at them. Much like hair extensions, you have to use cleansers that are gentle and that will not break down the glue. It is important that you treat your lash extensions as you would your own lashes, do not pull at them or tug, try not to pull them out with tweezers or anything else, and use products on them that will not encourage fall out. The typical lash extension lasts for about two and a half to three weeks before a touch up is needed to reapply lost lashes or remove problem lashes for good. The technician will have special remover that will loosen the glue without tugging which may damage your natural lashes.

I've messed up my makeup, what can I do?

Easy Makeup Mistake Fixes

For most wearers of makeup, a mistake can signal the end of a look and a need for total reapplication. Though the first instinct upon smudging your mascara or adding too much blush is to wipe the slate clean and begin again, there are a few tricks you can use to try and salvage your look before you start over. The first and most common mistake that many makeup wearers make is too much blush or other face color. While the initial application may leave you looking like Bobo the clown, with some blending you can fix it. Try using your foundation brush with the foundation that is already on it to blend out the excess color and mute it a bit. The key to fixing this mistake is blending, the more you blend the easier the excess product will fade into the foundation making it a subtle pop of color that you intended.

The second mistake that does not signal the end of a makeup is smudged eyeliner. While it would seem logical to wipe that eye clean and start over, it is not wholly necessary. Try thickening the line that you were drawing to hide the mistake. Sometimes a thicker line can help to lift the eye and give interest to a makeup. If a thicker line is simply not for you, try pressing some black eyeshadow over the line and pull up slightly, this will create a smoky effect that will help to hide any imperfections. The last mistake that is commonly made is using the wrong color lip pencil or lipstick with the gloss or stick that you have chosen. While choosing something that is several shades wrong as opposed to say just a bit wrong is almost always grounds for a do over, using a shade that is one or two shades lighter or darker is not a disaster. Try applying some of the pencil or stick to the outer corers of your mouth then put the other color over top; this will create a graduated effect that will help make the change seamless. Also, make sure you blend well.

What type of moisturizer should I use under my foundation?

Moisturizing Before Applying Makeup

Moisturizing is perhaps the most important pre-makeup step that anyone can take. Not only does it help to prevent and treat fine lines and wrinkles, it also helps keep acne and breakouts under control, helps to make application of makeup like foundation smoother, and it can help increase the longevity of your makeup. There are a few different things to consider when it comes to moisturizing before applying makeup that can make all the difference. The first thing you want to consider is what skin type you have. Understanding your skin type is the easiest way to know what moisturizer you need to get picture perfect skin. For those with very dry skin a gel or serum is a great solution. Something with vitamins and minerals to help retain moisture is ideal as a dry skin is severely lacking in natural moisture. Using something like a balm or a serum in your driest areas and a general moisturizer in areas that may not need as much moisture is a great way to even out skin texture and supply ample moisture to the skin. Even if you have oily skin, moisturizer is important. Opt for something light weight with green tea or other herbal extracts. Try to find a moisturizer that is oil-free and water based to prevent oil build up. If you are concerned with build up you can always wash your face and remove excess oils before you apply your moisturizer. If you have combination skin, using a moisturizer that has both vitamins and minerals helps lock in moisture. If you have problem areas that are drier than others, you can add more moisturizer or choose a moisturizer that is meant to help cure dry skin. For oily areas, you can add oil-free or oil reducing moisturizer.

What type of foundation do I need to use to get the perfect base?

Choosing the Right Foundation

Foundation is one of the most important elements of any makeup. With a perfect base, other mistakes seem a bit less taxing and other elements fall into place. There are a few rules that you should follow to help find the perfect base for any skin type. The first thing to consider is formula. Color is a bit more forgiving than formula for several reasons, first, with plenty of blending almost any color can work just so long as it is no more than three shades lighter or darker than your shade. Formula on the other hand can only be altered by adding elements to the makeup. This could mean adding moisturizer to a dry foundation, powdering a thin foundation, or mixing two foundations together. While shade can be faked, formula is everything. If you have dry skin, you always want to use either a liquid or cream foundation to ensure that it goes on smoothly and keeps your skin hydrated all day to keep the base from flaking. If you have oily skin, you want to lean toward powder foundations or toward liquids with a drier formula or those liquids that set as powder. You can also powder the skin if you have oily skin. If you have combination skin, you can use just about any formula so long as you work with the composition of your skin.
The next thing to consider is skin color and tone. For those with a reddish skin tone, you want to either buy a primer or concealer that has mint green or lavender in it to help cancel out unwanted redness. Reddish skin tones always need to find foundations that also have red or pink undertones to help work with the natural color as opposed to working against it. For those with a yellow skin tone, you want to use oranges or reds to help cancel out the yellow and even out the skin. You want to use a yellow base foundation to again work with your natural skin tone as opposed to working against the yellowness in your skin. If you have dark circles, you want to use corals and lavenders to help cancel out the darkness, this also works for dark spots and minor bruises. Overall the biggest thing you want to do is try out as many different kinds of foundation as you can in order to find both the color and formula that works best for you.

How should I store my makeup?

Storing Your Makeup

For all those people that rush out to buy the latest in makeup and beauty care, there is nothing worse than going to your makeup and finding that it has been smashed, separated, or destroyed due to improper storage methods. However, there are a few tips and tricks that you can use to help keep your makeup looking great as long as possible. Storage methods differ according to what sort of makeup you are working with. To start, liquid makeup always needs to be stored upright with the cap secured and with nothing stacked on top of it. Liquid makeup like foundation can easily spill, leak or get cracked if stored in a haphazard manner and can end up in your makeup getting ruined not long after you buy it. For makeups that are powder or cake, you need to make sure that the area in which you are storing them is dry and not exposed to too much light. Heat, wetness and light are a powder or cake makeup's worst enemy. You need to make sure with a cake or powder makeup like an eyeshadow or a powder foundation that you keep it dry and out of extreme heat and light to keep the consistency the same. With other makeup like eyeliner pencils, lip pencils and other pencil products, you need to be sure that the sharpened point of your pencil is always capped to keep the tip from getting blunt or from getting all over other items in your bag or box. Make sure that if you have a pencil product you keep the point secured to prevent injury. For cream products, you need to avoid extreme heat, keep them dry but not overly so, and make sure that the cap is always secured to prevent items from drying out. With any makeup, you need to be sure that you regularly go through and remove items that are overly damaged, that may contaminate other items, or that are expired beyond use.

I have no mirror, how do I apply my makeup?

No Mirror, No Problem. Applying Makeup Without A Mirror

Sometimes things just do not go your way and you find yourself in need of a mirror that is nowhere to be found. Though many would give up and go without makeup, there are a few things that you should know that can make applying makeup a bit easier. Though mirrors are incredibly helpful when it comes to applying makeup, it is not the end of the world if you find yourself without. The first thing to remember is that when you do not have a mirror to check your work, it is far better to use colors that are forgiving to prevent making mistakes incredibly noticeable. The first thing you want to do is use a lightweight foundation, perhaps even a BB cream, that has less pigment than a full coverage foundation. Using a base that has less pigment will make it far easier to apply without fault than a full coverage concealer. Make sure that you blend well, this means for at least a minute or two to make sure that the color is evenly distributed and that your base is as close to perfect as you can get it. After you apply your base, you want to move on to the eyes. Choose a shadow that has minimal color, something nude or with a bit of shimmer is best. Applying makeup with your hands when you do not have a mirror is the best as you can feel the location of your features and you have a bit more control of your makeup.
Using a cream shadow is also a great tip as you can blend it to get a satin finish which helps to make mistakes less noticeable. It is almost always best to forgo a liner when you have no mirror as liners are dangerous when you do not have full control of them. You should try to avoid liners but if you feel like it is a must, stick to the waterline as these lines are far more precise than upper and lower lash lines. Mascara is the simplest step to execute and adding plenty can help to distract others from your lack of liner or any mistakes you may have made on the way. For face color like blush or bronzer, it is always best to go super sparingly as you have no way of seeing how much you are using or where you have placed it. Try dabbing a small amount of color on the back of your hand to get a feel for how much product is needed to get your desired color. By getting your color right before you apply, you can save yourself having to remove product when you finally get a mirror. For lips you can use just about any color you want, it is easier to follow the line of the lip than it is to do brows, shadow, or liner on your eyes. You can start by using a lighter color then build up for boldness. Applying makeup without a mirror is a handy trick to have up your sleeve and as luck would have it, practice makes perfect.

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Mary White