Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Top Makeup Tips and Nightmare High School Makeup

For this entry I wanted to show you how I used to do my makeup in high school. I couldn't find a good photo, so I recreated the look:
My go to look, circa 2001-2003
This makes me cringe, and it's not just because my eyebrows aren't filled in. On my face is nice thick layer of too-light foundation, one colour of eyeshadow, applied with my finger, black eyeliner top and bottom, mascara and some weird shimmery pink-copper lip gloss. I prettty much always did the same thing. If I had breakouts I didn't use concealer, I just wore MORE foundation. If I wanted to look really done up, I'd do thicker black eyeliner. Point is, I didn't know very much about makeup. Then YouTube came along. I wish it existed when I was a teenager-I always loved a good reason to NOT do my homework. But maybe I also would have learned a thing or two about how to do my makeup right, and I wouldn't have looked like a pasty racoon all the time.

I've been watching beauty videos for years, starting with drag queen tutorials for Halloween makeup looks. I think everyone has an internet "thing" they waste their time on, and YouTube is mine (well, that and, but that's everyone, right?). Over time I've learned a lot about makeup application. But some things really stick out as advice I put to use on a daily basis.

Here's a list of the best makeup tips I've learned, just in case you don't have hundreds over hours to dedicate to watching all the videos I have seen over the years.

1. Do your eyeshadow first. I don't know why this never occured to me in the past. I'd always have to touch up my face makeup because of smudging or fall out from my eyeshadow. If you do your eyeshadow first you can just wipe off any mess and not have to worry about ruining your face makeup.

2. Don't use more foundation than you need. You don't need to paint your whole face. Keep it to the areas that actually have some uneven tones. Don't use it under your eyes if you're going to put concealer there-you don't want to layer products. This is how much foundation I generally use now:

I just dot it on my t-zone and blend it out. Then I use concealer to cover any breakouts I have. It looks way more natural this way, when you can actually see your skin and not just makeup.

3. When you do your undereye concealer, don't just put it directly on the darker part below your eyes.Extend it downwards towards your cheeks, and also across your temple area, like this:
That's pre-blending obviously, but you get the idea. When I do my concealer like this I feel like it just really brightens up that whole area and is much more effective than just trying to cover the circles themselves. It also works to highlight the upper cheekbone area.

4. Instead of putting blush on the apples of your cheeks, put it higher up, on your cheekbones. Here's the video that taught me this, because Wayne Goss is one of my favourite beauty gurus, and he explains it perfectly:

5. Use an eyeshadow primer. I use on every time I wear eyeshadow. Like if I start doing my eyes and realize I've forgotten to put on primer, I'll take it off and start over. It really makes your eyeshadow stay put and not crease all day. I use Urban Decay Primer Potion.

6.  When you do your mascara, do the bottom lashes before the top ones. You won't get little specks of mascara on your top lids if you do it that way.

7. Figure out what your eye shape is, and learn a few techniques to best flatter them. I have pretty small eyes, and the all-around black liner I used to rock wasn't doing me any favours. I've since learned a few ways to apply eyeshadow and liner to make my eyes look bigger. If you have small eyes, hooded lids, if they're close together wide set, there's ways you can wear makeup that will best suit your eyes. Figure it out and then look up some YouTube videos. YouTube knows all.

8. Blend all your makeup. This goes for foundation and concealer obviously, but it's also important for eyeshadow, bronzer and blush. There shouldn't be any harsh lines on your face. I have brushes for my eye and face makeup that are just for blending. It's an important step that makes everything look more natural and professional.

9. Eyebrows are sisters, not twins. I used to get really frustrated when I couldn't get my eyebrows to look the same. But then I realized that my face is SUPER asymmetrical-which made me feel worse about myself in general, but better about not being able to make my eyebrows match.  The same goes with eyeshadow. Don't stress if you can't get both sides to look the exact same. Your eyes are different from each other, and thats why it's so hard to make the makeup look the same on both sides.

10. Most importantly, do what makes you feel good. That's the whole point of makeup-to make you feel more confident. So don't worry too much about following the rules. And don't feel like you HAVE to do something just because it's trendy or everyone else is. If you think you look good, that's what's most important. You look your best when you feel confident. And when you look good.

These are just a few of the things I've learned from spending an obscene amount of time watching people I don't know talk about cosmetics on the internet. I know it's kind of a weird past time. But thinking about how I used to do my makeup makes me happy I've learned so much. There's a lot of things I haven't gotten better at since high school-relationships, setting life goals, taking library books back on time(or ever). But I can do a pretty good smokey eye, and for that I am thankful.


  1. Loved this post! Don't you feel good about yourself when you realize how much better at doing your makeup you've gotten? I'm still trying to come to terms with the whole eyebrows are sisters not twins thing, I hate when my makeup isn't perfectly symmetrical

    1. My one eye is seriously twice as big as the other lol it's a losing battle for me. Glad you enjoyed!!!!

  2. It's so funny because my friend and I were talking about differences between eyebrows(and eyes) when I read this. I don't often put mascara on my bottom lashes, but good to know about doing the bottom ones first!