"How do I get that glossy eyelid look?"
The glossy eyelid look you've been seeing everywhere is actually pretty simple to achieve! The easiest way is to put a tiny dab of vaseline on your eyelids (you can pick some up here). You could also use plain clear lip gloss, which gives off even more shine, but will have a stickier feel to it. If you want to add gloss over top of an eyeshadow, keep in mind that the gloss will break down the eyeshadow and it will migrate & crease. The best way to combat this issue is to start with a waterproof cream eyeshadow (like this one from Make Up For Ever) rather than a powder shadow underneath the gloss, as it will break down less.
"Which do I do first--concealer or foundation?I'm confused!"
So many concealer questions! We better do more tutorials ;)
This is a question that you'll hear different opinions on, but we say: concealer goes on AFTER foundation. Here's why: When you apply concealer first, you will likely remove some of it as you're applying your foundation over it, and need to apply more on top anyways! Also, if you apply foundation first instead, foundation will begin to cover the areas you need to conceal, so you can use just the right amount of concealer on whatever is left showing through to finish the job. This allows you to achieve a really natural look by using less product. If you haven't seen it yet, check out our latest tutorial to see how to cover a zit completely and you'll get some amazing concealer tips! EVERYONE will need these techniques at one time or another.
"My under-eye concealer makes me look older...Help!"
If you've been noticing that your undereye concealer ends up enhancing your fine lines...you're not alone! The first thing you want to do is make sure you are using a concealer that has a moist (versus matte/dry) finish. We love these ones by Ellis Faas if you need a new one to try out. The moist finish will definitely help diffuse the appearance of fine lines. The second thing you want to do is focus on applying the concealer ONLY where the darkness is--typically under the inner corner and middle of the eye. Most fine lines congregate around the outer edge of the eye, and luckily for you, there's typically not much discoloration there. You really don't need to apply concealer anywhere except where the actual darkness is, so avoid putting concealer where it might cause trouble.
"How do you get rid of puffy eyes first thing in the morning?"
Puffy eyes in the morning are mostly caused by water retention in that area, so two things really help diminish it quick: coldness and caffeine. For the cold aspect, you can do something as simple as holding refrigerated spoons over your eyes for a minute, or you can use a jade roller that you keep in the fridge to gently roll around the eye area (here's one!). Lot's of eye creams contain caffeine since it's such a great de-puffer (we love this one by 100% Pure), so you can easily invest in one of those to use. I know puffiness can be annoying, but these tricks will truly help. The only thing to be aware of is that if your puffiness is caused by allergies, you may need to take an allergy medication to reduce the puffiness, because in this case it's caused by a histamine reaction in your body.
"Do I really have to throw out my mascara after 3 months? I've barely used it!"
We know this is a pretty common rule of thumb that you hear-- and our answer is--maybe! Liquid makeup products are generally the quickest to expire, BUT common sense will be your best judge. With any makeup product you question, you can use your eyes and nose to detect whether the product is no longer good. If you can see a change in consistency, or if it smells different than it used to...it's time to toss it! Do NOT try to revive a thickened mascara by adding water or anything else to it. If you've had a mascara for over three months and it still seems like it's in good shape, you can give it a try. The only caveat is that liquid makeup products can harbor bacteria (which they pick up from the air and also contact with YOU), so you should not keep a mascara indefinitely even if it seems normal. Again, use your best judgement and toss it if there's any question!
"I feel like my lipstick wears off in two seconds...any thoughts?"
We totally feel you! Sometimes it seems like you have to do a touchup every time you turn around. If you're struggling to get your lipstick to stay on, you can always try the newest liquid lipsticks (we love this one from Maybelline), which boast a long wear but do tend to have a drier, matte finish. If that's not up your alley, make sure you are getting a lipstick that is not too moist and has a lot of pigment (this Smashbox lipstick is amazing). Anything with a moist or glossy finish will migrate out of place quicker, and anything that's not deeply pigmented will fade quicker as well. This is where spending a few extra bucks can come in handy, because more expensive lipsticks are often more pigment-rich. Once you've got the right lipstick, apply a layer of it straight from the tube or with a brush, and then blot your lips on a tissue. This will remove some of the oil in the lipstick, and leave behind mostly pigment. Repeat this process once more (apply and blot), and you should definitely notice a difference in how long your lipstick stays on. If all else fails, invest in a good lipliner (Make Up For Ever makes great waterproof ones), and completely fill in your lips before you apply your lipstick over top. This is another great way to get the boost you need to make your lipstick last!
"How do I cover a zit without it looking cakey?"
Lucky for y'all...we just shot a video tutorial for this one!! Stay tuned in the coming weeks. For now, there's a few main things to know. Number 1, use a LIQUID rather than cream concealer. Liquid blends more seamlessly into the skin and automatically looks less cakey. Number 2, work in THIN LAYERS. Apply a dot of concealer just on the zit itself (not in a huge circle around it), and then pat to blend it out. Repeat until the zit is fully covered, using the least amount of product possible each time. Lastly, if you feel the need to powder, just pass a bare wisp of translucent powder over top. Powder is a quick way to ruin your work and make it look unnatural! Need a good concealer recommendation? Head over to this week's beauty dictionary highlight: Concealer and check out our current favs!
'My dark circles are really hard to hide. What color corrector should I use for them?"
This is a great question, and knowing you need to use a color corrector (rather than concealer alone), is half the battle to getting the results you want! First you’ll need to assess what color your dark circles are. If they are very purple, a yellow color corrector will do the trick. If they have more of a blue-ish, blue-ish purple, or grayish cast to them (this is the case for a lot of women), using a color corrector in the peach family will be your best bet. If your dark circles are brown, you’ll need to use a pink color corrector to brighten them up. Once you figure out what color you need to use (yellow, peach, pink), you then need to assess how deep your skin tone is to make sure your color corrector is rich enough to match it. You can’t use super-pale color correctors on deep skin, duh! The deeper your skintone, the deeper (or richer) the shade of your color corrector should be. For example, using a peach color corrector is great on light skin, but on medium to deep skin might end up too pale and ashy. You’ll need to find a medium peachy-orange shade for medium skintones, and almost a pure orange shade for deep skintones. This is true of the other color correctors too! If you need a yellow color corrector, the shade should get closer to a golden marigold color the deeper your skin tone is. If you need a pink color corrector, it should move closer to red the deeper your skin tone is. If you need some product recommendations (and more info on color correctors!), check out our beauty dictionary definition, but this should all get you going on the right track!
Weekly Q & A's
'What's a good mascara to use?"
Finding a good mascara starts with figuring out what it is you want for your lashes! Do you want them to be a little longer? Thicker? Both? Do you prefer a mascara that builds as much as possible…or one that looks more natural? Once you’ve got this figured out, you’re on your way. Every mascara will tell you what it specializes in right on the packaging, whether that’s length, volume, curling & separation, creating a ‘false lash’ effect, etc. so find one that’s in alignment with your goals. Another way to narrow things down is asking for specific recommendations. In a sea of makeup, getting a recommendation from the pros who work at places like Sephora and Ulta is a great way to avoid feeling overwhelmed, and they’re also likely to have tried many brands to know which are best. Here’s our personal favs if that helps get you going in the right direction.
For a natural look: Covergirl Clump Crusher mascara
For length: Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies mascara
For volume & buildability: NARS Climax Mascara
For length & Volume: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
'What are your eyeliner tips for oily eyelids?'
Obviously the main problem you can encounter when you have oily eyelids is that your eyeliner tends to smudge or even transfer from your lash line to your eye crease. A great way to prevent this is to ‘prime’ your eyelids, and then use a good quality waterproof eyeliner. Here’s our suggestions. Before you do any eyeshadow or liner, use either a pre-made eyeshadow primer (this one is great) or apply a bit of concealer to the whole eye area, and then dust on some translucent powder on top. This base helps keep the oil from your lids from building up immediately, and also gives the eyeliner something to grab on to. Next, make sure you have a good waterproof eyeliner. We find that even waterproof pencil liners can be more prone to smudge, so if you can work with a cream or pen-style liquid liner, these could be your best bet. Our two favs are this cream by L’oreal, and this liquid by Kat Von D. Hope this helps!
'I'm Black...do I still need to wear blush?'
In an answer: YES! It seems like blush is pretty underrated by women of all ethnicities, actually. It doesn’t just affect your cheeks…it also lights up your overall skin tone and brightens your eye color! Blush might have some old-fashioned connotations, but skin is always in and blush is a fast and easy way to pull your look together, especially when you’re short on time. If you have had bad experiences in the past with blush looking too ‘ashy’ on your skin, try out a cream blush instead of a powder. Cream blush is much less likely to contain talc and other light-colored powder ingredients that don’t suit deeper skin tones. Plus you can tap cream blush on with a finger, so you don’t have to have any special brushes on hand. If you wanna give cream blush a try, we love this one from ELF cosmetics…and it’s only a couple of bucks!
'How do I make my lips look bigger?? '
The easiest and most natural way to make your lips look bigger is to add shine to them! Shine reflects light, and gives the illusion of fullness…you’ll notice using matte products has the exact opposite effect! Lip gloss is a great option (you can nab one here), but you can also use lip products that have a bit of shimmer in them to obtain this light-reflecting effect. We love these tinted lip balms from Burt’s Bees for this. Sticking to lighter colors on your lips also helps them look fuller, as dark shades have a shrinking effect. Our final recommendation is to very slightly over-line your lips with lip liner in a shade that exactly matches your own natural lip color. This technique is probably what most of you are used to trying, but it can also look unnatural quickly, which is why we prefer using shine to do the work for us!
'How do you choose a more eccentric eye makeup based on your eye color? '
When it comes to wearing brightly colored eye makeup (whether that’s eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara…whatever!), you can definitely choose complementary colors that will make your eye color pop as well. For brown or hazel eyes, choosing purple or gold will enhance your eye color best. For blue or grey eyes, try orange or pink. Truly though, if you’re opting for a bright look…choose whatever colors you are drawn to! Bright yellow is a super fun eyeliner color that looks great on all skin tones (you can find one here), and who doesn’t love a good blue mascara moment (try this one!)?! Don’t worry too much about picking the ‘right’ color for you. It’s more about showing your personality through whatever colors you love!!
'How do I make my eyes stand out when I'm wearing glasses? '
One thing that’s important to point out is that even when a person is wearing glasses, their eyes aren’t suddenly invisible! I think this is a misperception and insecurity that some women have about wearing glasses. Unless they are sunglasses, everyone will still be able to make eye contact with you, and thusly, your eyes DO stand out. That being said, depending on the style and size of your glasses, some areas of the eye (like the crease) may be covered by the frame of your glasses, so your safest bet as far as eye makeup goes is to focus on eyeliner and mascara to make them pop. Black is always a great choice for both mascara and eyeliner, but using other shades that complement your eye color will make your eyes pop even more. For brown or hazel eyes, try a plum liner like this one from Urban Decay. For blue eyes, try a coppery-brown liner like this one from Kiko Milano. You can follow the same route for your eyeshadow if you want, and use colors that complement your eye color there as well!
'I have large pores-- what do you think will help? '
Having visible pores is very common, and there are several ways to approach this! From a skincare standpoint, you can always speak to a dermatologist or esthetician if you are very bothered by them. They may be able to recommend facial treatments or targeted skin care products that will help tackle this issue effectively. From a makeup standpoint, if you’d like to fill in the pores a bit, you can try a product like Benefit’s ‘The Porefessional’. It’s a makeup primer designed to temporarily fill in pores and reduce their appearance, and it actually works! Also, using foundations with a silicone base creates a smoother appearance to the skin (try Make Up For Ever’s Ultra HD Foundation), because silicone fills in and evens out skin texture. Avoid products labelled ‘luminous’ or that have a lot of shimmer in areas with large pores, as theses types of products highlight them. In fact, using matte products instead is a great idea (you can try a matte foundation or powder), because matte finishes will create a smooth appearance to the skin.
'How do I apply lipstick without getting it everywhere? '
The absolute best way to apply your lipstick is with a lip brush (you can get a retractable one to throw in your purse for only a couple of bucks here). Especially if you have smaller lips, this is a much better option than trying to use lipstick straight from the tube. Using a brush is less scary than you think— you’ll find you have way better control with it & you won’t end up with such sloppy results. If you are in a ditch where you don’t have your lip brush, try using just the pointed tip of the lipstick rather than laying the whole flat edge of the lipstick against your lips.
'Can you do a dewy look even on oily skin? '
When you have oily skin, you’re in luck because you already get dewy! Your main goal instead of adding shine is to control the shine you already have so that it looks pretty instead of greasy. Use blotting papers, anti-shine, or a lightweight powder throughout the day ONLY in your t-zone (forehead, chin, & the sides of your nose), leaving the rest of your face dewy. If you still really want to add a pop of highlight, use a powder highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones and down the bridge of your nose, but avoid other areas of the face.