Seven Real World Makeup Tips from Makeup Artists

Seven Real World Makeup Tips from Makeup Artists

You guys give me the best inspiration for blog posts, it sure does make my job a lot easier!  Today’s post comes to you courtesy of Shelane who recently sent me this note.

Hi Alison, I love the looks you put together and was wondering if you have any makeup suggestions.  Thank You! – Shelane

Yay!  Makeup.  One of my absolute favorite things to talk about.

In my years in the acting and modeling world, one of the things that I loved most about it was getting my makeup done by professionals.  Even though I never worked on any huge productions, I was fortunate enough to have A-list makeup artists on several shoots.  Ones that worked on a few people you may have heard of, like Barack Obama, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey.  (Hey Alison, why don’t you pick up those names you just dropped?)  Oh, and if any of you ever get famous, be nice to makeup artists.  They love to dish dirt on celebrities!

I learned a lot from these professionals.  Everything from how to pick the right foundation color to how to grow back my overly waxed eyebrows (Biotin, it works miracles).  They also converted me from using eye liner pencils to lining my eyes with dark eyeshadow.  They taught me how to mix lipsticks and glosses to create the perfect lip color.  And they introduced me to my must-have beauty product – primer.

[On set for a film shoot.]

Today, I’m going to tell you how I’ve combined seven of their best tips and tricks to create my own every day “real mom” makeup routine.  It takes me about 7 minutes from start to finish.

Step 1:  Moisturize

Makeup Artist Tip #1:  Flawless makeup starts with a good moisturizer.

Find a moisturizer that works well for your skin type and contains a good SPF for daytime.  I use Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew with SPF 28.  It’s light, non-greasy and absorbs quickly.

[Garnier Skin Renew]

Step 2:  Prime

Makeup Artist Tip #2:  Primer creates a perfect canvas for the rest of your makeup application.

You might be tempted to skip this step, but trust me, you shouldn’t.  I can in all honesty say that this one product has gotten me countless compliments on my skin over the past few years.   Primer fakes great skin.  It hides little imperfections, smooths over lines and makes foundation application flawless. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer is my absolute fave.  They should be paying me commission for all the friends I’ve turned onto this stuff!

[Smashbox Photo Finish Primer]

Step 3:  Even Tone

Makeup Artist Tip #3:  There’s no need to buy a separate product to conceal with. Foundation looks more natural.

I use foundation as my base and concealer.  No need for an extra product.  After applying primer, dot foundation around your nose, under eyes and on any other area that needs evening out.  Use a make-up sponge to blend it, working from the center of your face outward.  My current favorite is L’Oreal Visible Lift Smooth Absolute.  The colors are natural and the coverage is light.

[L’Oreal Visible Lift Foundation]

Step 4:  Set

Makeup Artist Tip #4:  A dusting of a light mineral powder will help set your foundation for all day wear.

Next, dust a lightweight mineral powder over top of your foundation to set it.  You can skip this step if you have really dry skin.

[Bare Minerals Loose Powder]

Step 5:  Contour

Makeup Artist Tip #5:  Contouring with bronzer and blush gives a natural glow and enhances facial features.

I use a blusher/bronzer duo for this step.  Brush the bronzer under cheekbones, on temples and down bridge of nose, where sunlight would naturally hit.  Smile, then swirl a pinkish or coral blush onto apples of cheeks and blend out toward ears.  I’m in love with this cheap set by ELF, the colors are amazingly natural and have a subtle sheen.

[ELF Blush and Contour]

Step 6:  Eye Shadow

Makeup Artist Tip #6:  Blending a sparkly shadow in the inner corners of eyes makes you look more awake.

Swipe a sparkly champagne color over lids and apply a small amount to corners of eyes.  Use a darker neutral for the crease (taupe to chocolate brown) and highlight brow bone with the champagne shade.  I bought a big palette of colors from Smashbox two years ago and it’s still going strong.  Great investment.

[Smashbox The Master Class Palette]

Step 7:  Eye Liner

Makeup Artist Tip #7:  Use eye shadows to line eyes, they create a more natural look.

I use dark eye shadow from my palette for my eye liner.  It creates a softer line and is easier to control than a pencil.  Use a very thin brush or the point of an applicator.  Dampen it slightly then dip it in the eye shadow color of your choice.  Some of my favorite colors to line with include navy blue, turquoise, plum, chocolate brown and gray.  Line both upper and lower lash lines.

Step 8:  Lashes

Makeup Artist Tip #8:  Always curl lashes.  It makes eyes look brighter and more open.

Curl lashes and then apply one to two coats of your favorite thickening and lengthening mascara to upper lashes only.  I’ve been digging Lancome Definicils lately.

[Lancome Definicils Mascara and Curler Set]

This might look like a lot, but it’s not.  I’m all about low maintenance when it comes to cosmetics. You can pick and choose the steps that work for you and leave the rest.

A note about lipstick:  Yes, that step is missing from above and there’s a reason for that.  I only apply lipstick on my way out the door.  If I’m staying in for the day, I apply Burt’s Bees lip balm to keep my lips moisturized.

Recently I posed the question to my Facebook fans asking which beauty products they couldn’t live without.  Here were the results:

Tinted moisturizer

Mascara (specifically Maybelline Great Lash)

Lip stain



Aveeno hand lotion

Eyelash curler

Powder foundation

It’s Your Turn:  What are your must have beauty products and brands?  Tell me in the comments!

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