I am not a makeup artist, nor am I particularly good at applying makeup, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Almost every time somebody points out that one of my brows is wonky or my blush isn't totally blended, I say, "Yep, I totally bombed that one." I like to leave perfection to the real experts: professional makeup artists. These are the people who create stunning styles for runway models and make celebrities look even more beautiful.
The great thing about the 21st century is that the internet has brought experts and their insider knowledge closer to us, including makeup artists. Some, like Lisa Eldridge, start their own channels and flood them with gorgeous tutorials and fun gift guides. Others, like Pat McGrath, create their own product lines, then pop up regularly in interviews to provide tips or breakdowns. Because these people would know better than anyone how to make a face look good, I decided to jot down some of their tips and attempt to copy them.
Lisa Eldridge: applying liquid highlighter with a flat brush
Lisa Eldridge is a talented makeup artist and a YouTube celebrity. It's almost impossible to find somebody who watches makeup videos and DOESN'T love Lisa. It's obvious why: she creates a wide range of looks on her channel and provides plenty of explanation on how to get the look. One of her big things is making the skin look as "real" and "fresh" as possible, which often requires highlighter. But unlike me, Lisa usually doesn't apply her liquid highlighter with her fingers--she tends to use a flat brush instead.
Mary Greenwell: "the famous Mary pummel"
Many people (including me) were first introduced to Mary's personality via Lisa's YouTube channel, and the differences between the two women left some viewers charmed and others flabbergasted. I'm in the former group; I think the woman is the personification of "WHEEEEE!" What stuck out to people the most is the way she just slaps makeup on to the model and rubs it in to their skin. In this video, the model refers to it as "the famous Mary pummel." That's hilarious, so clearly, I gotta try it. Mary also admits to using more foundation than most people would because she wants it to be blended all over and pressed in to the skin. Scary, but worth a shot.
Pat McGrath: using blush to shape the eyes
Rae Morris: keeping your lips youthful
Rae Morris doesn't seem to get a lot of credit or attention on the blogosphere these days, and it's really a shame. She's written some amazing books, and her brush range is top notch. (I don't own any of them, but I've fiddled with a friend's.) In this video, she provides numerous tips for making the mouth look youthful, including "don't overdraw the outer corners" and "apply shimmer to your top lip." I'm so set in my ways with lipstick that this kind of scares me, but the end result in this video is so gorgeous, I'm gonna give it a shot.
(in two weird lighting situations because I suck)
For the most part, these tips impressed me more than I ever expected, proving that makeup artists really know their shit. Rubbing the foundation in to my skin was almost smothering, there was so much of it, but it gave me an even more skin-like, lovely finish. However, using more foundation than usual was not a great choice for my deep fine lines.
I'm officially in love with that blush in my crease. Like, I totally suck at eyeshadow, but as long as I prep with some primer and a nude shadow as a base, the Tarte Paaarty blush blends wonderfully in to the crease. It's so natural and soft and beautifying...which makes sense, because blush shades are usually selected to flatter skin.
Avoiding overdrawing the edges of my lips looks a little better than my usual shape, though it's quite a subtle difference. I don't think you can even tell in these pictures, but at least for my initial application, I didn't overdraw the corners of my mouth and kept most of the fullness to the center of my lip. I kind of messed that up when I reapplied, and I hate to admit it, but it definitely didn't look as nice.
And I'm sticking with a flat brush for my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector. Yeah, I'll have to wash a brush more often, but I don't use the Becca highlighter every time I do my makeup, and I really should be better about washing my brushes, anyway. It's kind of embarrassing that I own all of 10 and will let them sit on the edge of my desk for weeks before scrubbing them.
The duds? Well, I didn't like putting shimmer on my upper lip, but I kind of expected that one. I also don't really like this amount of foundation, since it tends to settle in to my smile lines. In the future, I'll probably do a slightly gentler version of the "Mary Greenwell pummel," and I'll use less foundation to do it.
Don't believe that I actually rubbed my face that hard? Friends, I bring evidence!
What's your favorite tip from a makeup artist or beauty pro?