Today I thought I would do a little tutorial of sorts. I often assume that people know most of the makeup basics. But then I actually hang around human beings that aren’t Johnny Clyde, and realize that unless someone teaches you or you seek out tutorial online, most people really don’t know many little tricks there are that make our makeup lives easier.
I guess this post is inspired by Mother. I got her a cushion upon her request and sneaked a peek at her applying it. That is when I realised that unless you happen to come upon videos of people applying cushions, you might not automatically dab it all over your face. After all, dabbing is really not the most natural of actions for us. And yes, in case you were wondering, she did indeed rub the cushion all over her face. The finish is not too bad when that is done, but it is a tad streaky and thick.
So after explaining to Mother how to use a cushion puff, she just blinked at me and told me to demonstrate. I guess explaining some movements and actions with words can be a little confusing.
I remember when I got a beauty blender and the internet told me to bounce it off my face.
Well, that first try didn’t end well.
The beauty blender landed on the floor and my face stayed makeup free.
So here are a few of those little tricks that I have learned over the years that some of you might not be entirely familiar with. Demonstrated through the miracle of video and photography.
How to Curl your lashes
This is one that I haven’t been doing right for most of my life. I mean this is not science but changing up the technique really gives you much more natural results. I used to just squeeze close to my roots and call it at day but it made my lashes stick straight up and look a little strange.
The secret is to curl them gradually. First you find a spot as close to your root as possible without pinching your skin, then you slowly close the curler and hold for a few seconds. You then work your way up a little and repeat. You do this until you run out of lashes. This techniques ensures a nice curve instead of a 90 degree edge.
How to apply Mascara
This was supposed to just be a trick on what not to do with your Mascara but since I was already filming I thought I might as well show the application method. When working as a skincare consultant, I got the chance to meet a lot of wonderful makeup artists. One of these knowledgeable fellows explained a few of the Mascara basics to me. First of all, wipe the tip of the wand on a tissue.
This has two reasons: if you leave it on there is too much product on the wand which will turn your lashes goopy. The other is that when you wipe it on the tube instead (what I used to do of course), it makes the mascara get clumpy. And yes you need to do that every time of course!
The second thing is, never ever pump your wand in the Mascara tube. It enables air to get into it and will make your product dry out faster. These might not seem like super important steps but let me tell you. Since applying these I have never had a Mascara clump or dry out on me. Even though I don’t use them often I end up replacing mine eventually, but I have Mascaras that are a couple of years old (which I don’t use) that are neither dry nor clumpy.
When it comes to application, I noticed that people often don’t pay attention to the root or tips of their lashes. First off you go as close to your lash roots as you can and with an upward motion wipe the wand to the sides. I like to slightly close my eyes to give it an even better push.
When this is done, you then separate the lashes in the middle with the same wand and to finish it off you go over your tips. The tips are often so light they are practically invisible (my lashes are very black but I can’t see my tips either) so applying Mascara on them makes your lashes look even longer. Repeat one or two more times until desired effect. I usually only use one dip into the product for both eyes. And remember it is always better to layer a few thin layers than start with one thick one.
How to tightline your lashes
Tightlining lashes is done to make them look longer and thicker by blackening the roots and or the upper waterline of your eyes. It is also a technique used in moments where one wants defined eyes without a visible liner or for people with small eyes that have no space for thick black lines.
I personally love tightening and have been doing a version of it for years. Since I discovered my current method, I practically stopped using mascara, something that I love since I am not fond of removing waterproof products. Back in the days some people said to “stamp” the Mascara wand on the roots to tightline the lashes. Guerlain even came out with a very practical two sided mascara.
With one end containing a wand to easily tightline them.
Now people generally use pencils or gels. I usually use pencils since I do not own a black gel.
For this demonstration I used eyeshadow by wetting the brush first and then picking up the color.
I actually really like the effect and prefer it to the way the pencil looks.
But for every day makeup I will continue using the pencil for convenience sake.
One way to tightline is to simply put the pencil in the corner of your eyes, close them and drag the pencil across. This usually also blackens the bottom waterline. This is the easiest way to do it but I find it is more like a tightlining cheat than actual tightlining since it darkens the upper waterline but doesn’t really get in between the lashes. The differences aren’t huge though and this method looks great too.
|I confess I was excessively drawing on my waterline. For demonstration purposes of course!|
The second method is to simple draw really closely to the roots of your lashes. Some people like to hold their lid up but I prefer to not do that since it is hard to coordinate for me.
To tightline with gel or shadow you simply dip your brush and sort of “stamp” draw really closely to your roots. I like to do this as the first step of my makeup, with either method, to be able to clean anything up in case I draw on my lid.
|You can see that my left eye looks more defined due to the tightlining|
How to apply concealer
This method is widely circulated online, but I thought I would just add this one too since I was already doing a full face of makeup. This technique can be used with concealer or even BB/CC creams/foundation.
Dot a triangle shape under your eyes. The amount of dots differ but I usually do 3 - 4 since that pretty much covers the entire area.
Then either blend the color by dabbing with your finger, the small tip of a beauty blender or a cushion sponge. This way it will simply give you a better shaped brightness to your face while concealing the dark circles.
How to apply Foundation with a beauty blender
I used to always apply foundation with my fingers since I couldn’t be bothered to use a brush.
I was also complaining that my foundation never looked as natural as I would like.
Eventually I decided to pick up a beauty blender since I read that the finish was more natural than when a brush or regular sponge was used. I have to say this is one of those internet must-haves that is completely true. Beauty blenders are great and applying anything on your face, using them gives you a really natural finish.
I use them for foundation products (in this case BB cream), concealer and sometimes blush.
First you wet the sponge and squeeze as much water out as you can. This avoids the sponge to soak up too much product and lets you apply a sheerer layer. Then either dot the product on your face, or add it to the blender. Proceed to bounce it all over your face. Use the small tip to get into the corners of the nose and around the eyes.
Repeat as necessary to cover imperfections. I often skip concealer and simply layer it until my face looks even in the areas that need a little bit more coverage.
How to apply Foundation with a cushion sponge
I admit I don’t actually own a cushion. It is not that I don’t like them but I never really use foundation on my face yet I still own a few BB and CC creams. I do not see the point of actually owning any cushions if they won’t be used. Luckily I got to extensively test them though so I am not completely new in the cushion world. I love cushion sponges and have already bought a few different ones to use on their own. To me they are the Asian version of the beauty blender.
They help give a very natural looking finish only that they are more convenient since they don’t require water and are easier to travel with. When using a cushion sponge I either dab the foundation on my face like I did with the beauty blender or dip the sponge gently into the product that I have on the back of my hand. Then I proceed to dab the sponge all over my face. You can go back and apply more layers to areas that need it as well.
How to use a Lip Tint as Blush
I have seen this technique shown in Korean beauty shows that I don’t watch as often as I would like.
I actually don’t use this myself unless I don’t have blush on hand, or don’t have a matching blush in my collection. The principle is simple, you mix some foundation with some tint until you get the desired color. You then dab the mixture in whatever shape you like on your face and follow up blending it with either a beauty blender or a cushion sponge. The finish is very natural and glowy.
It can of course be layered until desired strength is achieved.
Lip liner might be out of style but I still love the way it looks and line my lips any time I wear proper lipstick. Using a liner can change the color of your lipstick and also give it way better staying powers. Some lip liners can also be used as your sole lip color which can be great since they tend to be longer lasting than lipsticks. Also a lovely way to get the perfect matte shade!
Start by defining your cupids bow and then simply trace the corners either down or up to finish the shape of the top lip. Then draw the line in the middle of your lower lip and then unite the sides with that middle line. Some people like to make a few shorter lines to better control the movement and shape and some people draw their entire lip with one sweep.
I generally do four strokes on the top and one or two at the bottom. It is up to you and what you are more comfortable with. Then proceed to fill in your entire lip area. Doing so avoids the dreaded 90s liner look.
That was it for today, dear Batlings. I hope these were a few helpful tips that might make your next makeup application a little easier.
If there is any other methods you would like explained let me know and I am happy to oblige.
What are your favorite makeup application techniques?
À bientôt and until another time!