Backwards Makeup Tricks That Really Work

While there’s no real wrong way to apply makeup (have fun! It comes off!), every makeup artist has his or her own method for creating the ultimate effect. Ask five pros whether they apply concealer or foundation first, and you’re bound to get five different answers. Today, we share 5 common backward tips that most makeup artists does. Prepare to be amazed.

Apply mascara first.

—and last. After you’ve primed your skin, apply a coat of mascara to open your eyes, create that important definition, and map the rest of your makeup look. Once you’ve finished your eye makeup, then apply a second coat of mascara. When you’re completely finished, do one final assessment to see if you need another coat for a finishing touch.

Line your lips after applying lipstick.

When it comes to lipstick, we always advise lining the lips last to help contain the color and perfect the shape of the lips without creating a harsh, unnatural line.

Fill in brows from the outside in.

When filling in the brows, we recommend working from the outside in to create the most natural shape. Brows typically need more definition on the ends so by using this method you’re applying stronger color where you really need it. When you’re finished working your way in, brush the brows back into place for a natural finish.

Use concealer before foundation.

Before applying your base, use concealer to cover any areas of discoloration (e.g. under the eyes, around the nose and mouth, and any blemishes). Then apply foundation only where you really need it and blend it out to nothing for the most natural look.

Line your eyes starting at the outer corner.

To create the perfect angle for your eyeliner, line the outer corner of the lower lash line first and extend slightly beyond the corner of the eye. Then come back in toward the upper lash line. Using this line as your guide will give you a beautiful line that enhances the natural shape of your eyes.

Makeup Tricks to Slim Your Face

If you’ve ever seen celebrities looking completely unrecognizable without a full face of makeup, then you know exactly how transformative certain techniques can be. Armed with these same makeup artist tricks and tips, these eight easy makeup tricks can take 10 pounds off your look, instantly. We’ll show you how to slim your face, enhance your favorite features, and play with proportion—all with makeup. Optical illusions, indeed.

1. Just like in art (and life!), dark makeup shades recede, while lighter colors bring features forward. Use this concept to your advantage by investing in a contour color or matte bronzer one or two shades deeper than your skin tone and a luminous highlighter that’s a bit lighter than your complexion. Feel free to use either cream or powder textures as you wish, or even a combination of the two. Regardless of which formula you choose, be sure to use a makeup brush to blend—streaky contour makeup is a major don’t.

2. Create the illusion of slimmer cheeks by applying your contour shade in a diagonal line from the center of your cheek up toward the ear. Make a slight “fish face” (you know, the pucker) while you do this with your brush to figure out the perfect placement, and don’t forget to blend. The higher you place your contour shade, the sharper your cheekbones will look. Finish off by swiping highlighter across the tops of the cheekbones to really bring out the contour.

3. To fake a thinner nose, swipe a contour powder down the sides of the bridge, stopping before you get to the nostrils. Blend highlighter down the bridge of your nose in a vertical line to complete the effect.

4. Apply bronzer along your jawline to define the area, and blend the shade to create a seamless contour. You’ll never have a double chin in a photo again.

5. Full lips can emphasize roundness on the face, but eyes made to look large with makeup will make the rest of the face appear smaller in comparison, so try playing up your eyes with liner, shadow, and mascara while leaving lips natural with a tinted balm or gloss.

6. Choose the right eyebrow shape. A higher, more pronounced arch helps balance out a round face by vertically stretching its appearance, drawing the eye upward.

7. Playing with light to bring the center of your face forward will help downplay the width of your face for a slimmer look. Start by highlighting the center of your face, then b highlighter between your brows, on the bridge of the nose, on the Cupid’s bow above your upper lip, and in the center of your chin.

8. Don’t forget your forehead—blend your contour shade upward into your temples and around the hairline to emphasize the angular qualities of your bone structure.

10 Common Beauty Mistakes You Might Be Making

We all make mistakes—and occasionally, we make the same mistakes over and over again without registering that they’re mistakes in the first place. We’re the first to admit when we’ve made a beauty blunder, which is why we’ve rounded up the 10 most common beauty mistakes to spare you from having the same slip-up time and time again. We’ve learned from experience.

1. You’re over-exfoliating. Exfoliation helps skin layers turn over faster, which can make your complexion look younger and more glowing, but too much exfoliation messes with the skin’s barrier, causing it to lose moisture and even be more susceptible to redness and acne. It’s easy to overdo it when you’re using a mechanical exfoliant, such as a scrub or washcloth. Instead, opt for a weekly gentle-strength chemical exfoliant or peel, which loosens dead skin cells using an acid (glycolic, salicylic, lactic) or enzyme. Always moisturize and use sunscreen after exfoliating, and avoid scrubs made with particles such as seeds or crushed shells; these exfoliants have jagged edges that create microscopic tears in the skin.

2. You’re neglecting your neck. Our necks are exposed to the same aging effects as our faces—the skin there is similarly sensitive and sees sunlight almost year-round (turtlenecks notwithstanding). When applying your moisturizer and SPF, don’t stop at the jawline.

3. You’re using the wrong cleanser. Does your skin have a squeaky-clean feeling after you splash away your face wash? You may be overdrying your complexion by stripping away its natural moisture. Only the oiliest skin types should use foaming cleansers or washes with scrubbing beads. If your skin is dry (and most of us get drier as we age), choose a moisturizing cream cleanser. Combination skin can handle a little bit of lather, but opt for a gentle formula that won’t irritate dry patches.

4. You’re washing with hot water. Whether you’re showering in it, splashing it on your face, or rinsing your hands with it, hot water strips your skin of its natural oils and leaves it parched. Rinse with warm or cool water instead.

5. You’re using mineral oil-based moisturizers. Lip balms and moisturizers made with mineral oil or petrolatum don’t get absorbed; instead they create an occlusive barrier on skin’s surface. This helps trap moisture in, but doesn’t hydrate skin that’s already parched. Instead, try a product with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or even an oil, all of which penetrate skin to moisturize beyond the surface.

6. You’re not tending to your skin type. Don’t just settle for any old cleansing, toning, and moisturizing routine—addressing your specific skin type and concerns is a must, because using the wrong products for your skin can exacerbate the problems you already have. Pay close attention to what you’re buying, and really choose your products carefully rather than sticking to that same so-so cleanser you’ve been snagging at the CVS checkout counter for years.

7. You’re washing your face too frequently. Once in the morning, once at night may even be too much for some people, and forget about any more than that. Unless you’re working out, there’s no reason to wash your face with the full-on cleanser and water routine more than once a day, in the evening. It’s super important to get rid of makeup and the day’s grime each night, but in the morning, your skin is fresh from a night of sleep, not dirty. Splash with water and follow with moisturizer instead, or use a micellar water for an extra clean feeling.

8. You’re drying out your skin with too many acne treatments. Over-treating is very real, and bringing out the big guns on breakouts isn’t always the best thing for your skin. Acne-fighting ingredients are intended to dry out blemishes, but using too much or using them too frequently can cause the opposite reaction and dry skin out to the point that it begins to overproduce oil. Limit yourself to one application in the morning beneath makeup and one at night, and stick to one treatment rather than layering or experimenting.

9. You’re trying to scrub away pimples. It can be tempting to try and buff away raised breakouts, but you’ll only wear away the top layer of the skin, resulting in more breakouts. It’s a vicious cycle, so treat your skin gently.

10. You’re washing your face without removing makeup. Some cleansers are meant for makeup removal as well as deep cleansing, but others are meant to cleanse the skin after you’ve removed your makeup. Using a makeup remover first ensures your cleanest skin possible, as you’re less likely to leave residue behind—and you’ll avoid rubbing makeup further into your pores as you cleanse.