Makeup Steps That Really Make A DifferenceChristine Mikesell
It can certainly be easy to get caught up in a time crunch during your morning routine and start cutting corners. Over time, you’ll definitely be ready faster in the morning. Which little steps only add 20-30 seconds to your morning routine, but make a big difference in your look? Is it worth an extra minute to make your eyes pop more, or another 30 seconds to add concealer to look more awake?
Read on to see the makeup steps you might want to add back into your routine!
17 Makeup Tips 1 of 18
Each of these steps should take you under a minute, but adding one or two of them back into your morning makeup routine could make a big difference! Which of these will you add back in to your routine?
Fill In Your Brows 2 of 18
Have you ever heard of a makeup artist call eyebrows the "frame for your eyes"? It's amazing how much of a difference great eyebrows can make! I like to fill in my eyebrows with a pencil, but a powder or even just a tinted brow gel would also work.
Emphasize Your Brows 3 of 18
Once you've filled in your brows, it's a great idea to take the next step: conceal around your brows. Yes, really.
A little bit of concealer or highlighter just under your eyebrow and then a little bit of concealer or foundation along the top edge will really clean up the whole look, making you look like you've visited a pro makeup artist! To make this step go quickly, I recommend using a pencil product. Keep it matte on top of the brow, but you can add a little shimmer under your brow for fun.
Don’t Over Conceal, Color Correct! 4 of 18
Use the Triangle 5 of 18
The secret to concealing an under eye circle and looking awake is where you apply your concealer. You should think of your under eye as a triangle, rather than the half moon shape of your circle. The points of your triangle are the outer tip of your nose and the corners of your eye. Apply concealer into this triangle, blending up to your lower lash line, the inner corner of your eye, and a little onto your nose. Be sure to blend well!
Use Eye Cream 6 of 18
Prepping your eye area with eye cream before makeup can make your concealer application much smoother. You'll look more awake and younger since your concealer will be smoother without any creasing. Wait a minute or two for it to completely sink in before you start applying makeup.
Prime Your Face 7 of 18
It's amazing how much this one step can help your skin! There are basic primers out there, but it's better to pick one geared toward your skin's own problems. Go for a hydrating primer, one that helps fight aging or includes sunscreen. (If you need help picking one, check out There's a Primer for That.)
Clinique SuperPrimers $27
Blot Your Foundation 8 of 18
No matter how you apply your foundation, if it is a cream or liquid, you've applied more product to your face than you need. You'll depend on some of it to evaporate away and leave behind the pigment from your foundation. After you've applied your foundation, wait a few minutes and then lightly blot your foundation with a folded kleenex. You'll be amazed at how much liquid comes away, but what you leave behind will look more natural and will last longer!
Blend Your Foundation and Concealer 9 of 18
As I've grown older, I've found that perfect looking skin, even with foundation, is hard to come by. Taking a few extra seconds to pounce a Beauty Blender on your face makes a huge difference.
Beauty Blender Sponge $19.95
Highlight and Contour 10 of 18
This is the makeup secret that made Kim K a star (in addition to that tape).
The best HAC tutorial I've found is by MaskCara, but when you're pressed for time, just doing a little nose contouring is super fast and easy! In case you're wondering, I also have a highlight and contour post (I was trying to look all Day of the Dead on purpose), and later in the post you'll see I do look normal after blending.
Instead of using a typical bronzer, for quick contouring I like to grab a stick concealer or foundation that is a few shades too dark. Use the same product, but a few shades too light for the highlight. You can blend with fingers or a Beauty Blender sponge. Done in under 30 seconds!
Prime Your Lids 11 of 18
Is your eyeshadow melting away by mid-day? Do you wonder why you wasted the time to put it on? A good eyeshadow primer will keep your shadow looking fresh all day long without smudging, creasing, or fading away. I like the NYX for everyday use, since it provides a little coverage for my lids in the same step. Too Faced's Shadow Insurance has a bit of tackiness to grab onto shadows, which brings down fall-out.
Blend Your Shadow 12 of 18
Shadow that isn't well blended is probably the number one pet peeve of most makeup artists. Take a few seconds to sweep a large blending brush over your shadow. You'll want to eliminate any harsh lines between shade transitions, but don't overdo it!
MAC 217 Blending Brush $24
Curl Your Eyelashes 13 of 18
Curling your lashes will make a big impact on how your eyes look. It shouldn't be a severe curve; they should gently curl up and just be a bit more obvious than when they were straight.
When curling, the curler shouldn't be right at the base of your lashes (that would just pinch your skin and turn that curler into the torture device it looks like). Instead, put it near the base, press a few times, move it out a few millimeters, and repeat.
If you find your lashes are straightening during the day you, can also preheat your curler with a short burst of heat from your blow dryer (it should be warm, but not hot). Pulling out the base of the curler away from your cheek for a few seconds will also exaggerate the curl, helping it to last longer.
The Smudge Brush Is Your Friend 14 of 18
In high school, chances are you lined your eyes with thick black liner to your upper and lower lashes. Unfortunately, that look can look very harsh and age you. Instead of a heavy line, try lining close to your lash line and running a smudge brush over your eyes. The look is much softer. (You can check out more eye makeup brushes and how to use them.)
Avoid the Clumps 15 of 18
Remember Tammy Faye Baker and her infamous eye lashes? You can use mascara without having so many clumps! The secret is an eyelash comb. Look for a metal comb to really get between lashes to separate and remove clumps. You can also swap out to a mascara with a molded plastic brush such as L'Oreal's new Voluminous Butterfly, those will allow fewer clumps and help to separate your lashes. CoverGirl's Clump Crusher has reformulated the product to have fewer clumps and the molded plastic brush has bristles that are closer together than the typical clump, so you should have fewer over all.
Layer Your Mascara 16 of 18
Everyone has a certain thing they want out of their mascara: length, volume, or curl. I'm a girl that wants all three, and I've found that the best way to get this is to combine formulas. Use mascaras that have different formulations, and you'll get the benefits of both! You'll want to keep a lash brush close by to take care of any clumps.
Long Lasting Blush 17 of 18
Longer Lasting Lip Color 18 of 18
Layering is the key to lip color that lasts all day. We've all heard that lip liner under your lipstick helps it last longer, but have you tried layering a lip stain under your lipstick or lipgloss? With your lips stained, any wear will be much less obvious. A waxy lip balm over your stain, but under gloss also acts as a great primer for your gloss, grabbing onto it and making it stick around longer.