I’ve been doing more makeup tutorials lately and realized I tend to mention these little tricks I’ve learned over the years that work better on me than other, more common, makeup techniques. I thought it would be helpful to compile a kind of master list of some of my most used “makeup hacks” in case you have similar struggles and are looking for something new to try!
I, by no means, invented any of these techniques. I’m actually not sure how I figured them out or where I learned them from, and some of them I’ve been doing for years, whereas some are more recent discoveries. Happy experimenting!
Eyeliner For Hooded Eyes
If you have hooded eyes, maybe you’ve come across these problems in your attempt to do winged liner:
When you make your liner very thick, it will get lost in the fold of your hood and the liner might transfer to the skin on the fold and look quite messy when you close your eyes.
My favourite way to do liner on hooded eyes is the ol’ stamping-under-the-lashes technique and a little baby half wing at the end. I think this is one of the more common hacks, but it’s really taken me a while to figure it out. Now that I have, I can’t go back.
The idea is bringing your liner lower down and making it thin enough that when your eyes are all the way open, it won’t reach your lid’s fold. Simply stamp the lash line underneath your lashes with your liner and then draw on a wing, connecting it to the top of the lash line, only going as far as the middle of your pupil. Keeping it as thin and as close to the lashes as possible will help to not overwhelm the small amount of lid space you have or cover the liner when your eyes are open.
I recommend using liquid liner for this. I find that pencil and gel get a little messy since you’re touching the wet, inside part of your lid somewhat. Also, the way liquid liner tapers to a point offers way more precision.
No Foundation Or Concealer On Textured Areas
I know a lot of us wear makeup to hide our facial imperfections, but I firmly believe that highly textured areas will not benefit from makeup. Specifically, cream/liquid foundation or concealers. I’m talking flakey skin, whiteheads, angry pimples, and sebaceous filaments. I don’t think creamy makeup is made to blend properly with these kinds of surface imperfections, so it often makes your skin look worse. It will either cling weirdly to your skin or not smooth on at all.
(Full disclosure, I’m not sure how this applies to other texture problems like wrinkles or large pores etc. My experience is mostly with the issues I outlined above.)
Instead, work on your skincare routine to try and “treat” these areas. Easier said than done, I know! But just so you know, I’ve struggled probably for about 10 years with these little bumps all over my forehead which I think are called closed comedones, sebaceous filaments all over my nose, and flakey, dehydrated, yet oily skin. But now, I’ve finally found products and a routine that works pretty well for me. It doesn’t solve all my problems, but it greatly improves them. Don’t give up on your skincare journey!
(By the way, in case you’re wondering, I use chemical exfoliants in mask and toner form, mainly AHAs and BHAs. My closed comedones and flakey skin are much more under control!)
In the meantime, try to use a light hand or nix the makeup completely on those textured areas. For example, I never put foundation or concealer on or around my nose where I have a ton of sebaceous filaments and flakey skin. Without makeup, the area around my nose is slightly more red than the rest of my face, but all those texture issues are much less noticeable. And it’s okay to let the little imperfections and redness show through, it’s not the end of the world! As long as the rest of your face makeup isn’t heavy/full coverage, I find that you really can’t notice that I’m not wearing makeup on my nose.
Use Foundation As Concealer
This tip is specifically for blemishes. I find that using concealer over my spots (especially during the peak/starting to heal phase) will make the whole area more flakey and noticeable than if I didn’t use any concealer at all. I think this is because concealers tend to be quite mattifying or drying. See how the middle photo with concealer kind of accentuates the ring of dry skin around the blemish? The redness is reduced, but the texture is really emphasized.
So I’ve started only applying a concentrated amount of foundation on those areas and it works much better for me. I dab a bit of foundation on my finger and pat it all over the blemish, followed by a light dusting of powder. The powder will set the foundation, plus when you’re dealing with raised texture, taking away any excess shine in the area will help it to look more flattened.
This probably won’t work with a sheer foundation or one that is especially mattifying, but it could very well depend on your skin type. Once the blemish has mostly healed and I’m left with a hyper-pigmented scar, I go back to using concealer like usual.
Overdraw Cupid’s Bow
Everyone knows about overdrawing your lips to cheat a fuller pout, but something I’ve discovered more recently is that if you overdraw your cupid’s bow so that the shape is less pronounced, it will really make your upper lip look bigger.
If you have a very pronounced cupid’s bow like me, go over it with your lip pencil/colour so it’s more of a straight line across. But don’t exaggerate it too much or it will look weird.
P.S. I just want to point out that I don’t think that faking fuller lips is necessarily a more attractive or desirable way to wear your lipstick. I’m just sharing this in case you happen to want to cheat a fuller top lip.
In my opinion, thinner lips pull off the “casual French red lip” way better. Red lipstick on a fuller pout often comes off as vampy no matter what, and sometimes, that’s really not the look I’m going for. I might just want more of the cool, effortless chic of Kate Hudson, and less of the glam-bot, femme fatale of Scarlett Johansson, you know what I mean? Not that there isn’t a time and place to be vampy, ’cause I can appreciate that, too.
I’m just saying, we should all feel free to overdraw our lips if we want to, but a full pout is not the be-all end-all of beauty!
If you’re wondering how all these “tips” look on a full face of makeup, here’s the finished product:
I think you can kind of see how my blemish, though still visible, (all textured skin will still be visible under makeup) looks fine from a distance. And besides a little extra texture and discolouration around my nose, you can’t really tell I’m not wearing foundation or concealer on it.
If I think of any more “makeup hacks,” I might do a part 2, if you guys are interested. I am by no means, a makeup expert, and this is more of a fun post than anything, but who knows? Maybe some of you find these tips helpful! Just remember never to take makeup too seriously and what works for one person, might not work for you.
It’s all about experimenting and having fun!