With a few tips and tricks, you don’t have to be a professional to have fabulous looking makeup. It’s taken me years to learn my face shape, what colors flatter me, how much to apply, and how to apply it so that it looks beautiful and natural. But, I think I’ve finally perfected my morning routine! You don’t have to spend hours doing it, either. Once you have the know-how, you’ll see just how much makeup can accentuate your best features and hide those that aren’t as favorable. Here are a few makeup tips and tricks that you’ll wish you had known a long, long time ago!

1. Repurposed Plastic Spoon

Use a plastic spoon to easily apply mascara on your bottom lashes without getting any on the skin under your eyes. It also helps you to accomplish a much thicker coat.

2. Blush For Your Face Type

In order to apply blush where it will be most flattering on you, first determine your face shape. Blush not only adds color, but also contours and defines your cheek bones. The way you apply your blush can accentuate your best features and also soften those that are perhaps too prominent.

3. Scotch Tape Eye Stencil

This unconventional beauty aid will help guide you when applying eye liner and shadows, especially if you’re going for a more daring look such as the “cat eye”. It will also help you achieve an even and balanced look for both eyes.

4. Disguising Under Eye Bags

Most of us tend to just sweep a layer of concealer to the entire under eye area, but to really conceal bags, it’s best to highlight the crease and then apply a darker shade to the actual puffy area.

5. Eye Highlights

The placement of highlights is very important when trying to create naturally beautiful eye makeup. Your lighter colors (whites, creams, and pearls) should be applied in the inner corners, the middle of the eye, and just under your brow bone. Apply your lightest colors first, and then move on to your darker shades.

6. How To Fix Clumpy Mascara

Let’s face it, this happens to every tube of mascara over time. The problem is it dries out and then starts to form unattractive lumps. To help prevent this, don’t pump your mascara trying to get more on your wand; you’re basically pumping air into the tube causing it to dry out even faster.

Although mascara should be replaced every 3 to 4 months, I use to replace mine much sooner just because it dries out so fast and creates undesirable results. But, there’s an easy fix for that! Add a drop or two of Visine (or any brand of eye drops) into the tube, and then rub the wand around inside. The Visine softens the mascara liquid, making it apply as if it were a brand new tube!

7. Lipstick Ready

Use a baby toothbrush to exfoliate your lips. To really get the job done, you can make a homemade lip exfoliate with sugar and coconut oil, or easier but not as effective, cover your lips in lip balm or petroleum jelly before scrubbing.

8. Make The Best Of Your Eye Shape

As important as your color choices are, the placement of your shadows and liners is just as critical; you can create just about any illusion that you want. With careful placement, you can make your eyes appear wider, closer set, more prominent, deeper set, etc. Determine what shape of eyes you have, and then accentuate them accordingly.

9. Make Eyes Appear Bigger

If you don’t already own a white pencil, invest in one now just for this simple trick! Instead of lining your water line with dark eyeliner, use a white pencil to create the illusion of a bigger eye. If you squint your eyes a little at this picture comparison, you’ll see what a difference it really makes.

10. Tightlining

What is tightlining? It’s a way of applying your liner right in between your lashes. This is a great way to appear as though you’re not wearing any makeup at all, yet adding a little bit of color and definition to your eyes, and making the base of your lashes appear thicker.

11. Make Eyeshadows Pop

Have you ever purchased a vibrant color of shadow that once applied appears rather dull? The key to making those colors pop is a white base. Use a white eyeliner and cover your entire lid before applying the color of your choice.

12. The False Eyelash Look

False lashes can be a pain, not to mention time consuming! Here are a few ways to get the look without the hassle:

1. After curling your lashes, apply a thin layer of powder before applying your mascara. I just sweep a small blending brush across my compact and apply it to the top and bottom of my eyelashes. I’ve also heard that some people use baby powder, although I think they both have virtually the same effect; creating a base that makes them appear much fuller.

2. Apply two coats of mascara to the bottom and TOP side of your lashes, but wait 3-5 minutes in between each coat, otherwise they tend to get clumpy (not cute).

3. When applying your mascara, you don’t want to just move your mascara wand from the base of your lashes up. Make sure you are moving the mascara wand back and forth while going up. The left and right motion will make sure every lash is covered entirely, all the way to the tip.

4. Almost done! Now, check your lashes for any gaps. Use the tip of your wand to apply another coat of mascara to individual lashes where they look sparse. Even better, use a fine tipped liquid eyeliner to fine tune and fill in any gaps.

13. Lash Curling Secret

Get the most out of your lash curler by pinching at the very base of your lashes, and then lifting the curler up into an inverted position. This creates double the curl and lasts much longer!

14. Heat Your Lash Curler

Hold a blow dryer up next to your lash curler for about 3-5 seconds. The heat works the same way as it does with your curling iron, giving you those flirty lashes that will last all day.

15. The Perfect Match

This is the one thing that no matter how well it’s applied, if it’s the wrong color, it will look terrible! We all dread that our foundation will give us a ghost face or even worse, that dreaded orange jaw line. Because your neck isn’t exposed to the sun as much as your face, it is much better for matching your true color.

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