9 Makeup Tips That Aren't Just Fads

I'm compelled to try all the application trends, but I've learned not all makeup tips are created equal.
Publish date:
December 1, 2015

Every day, it seems as if there’s a hot new way to apply makeup that you didn’t know before (helloooo red lipstick to cover your dark circles!), and suddenly everyone from your local news anchor to your favorite YouTuber or beauty editor is talking about it.

Since I’m a beauty addict, I, of course, am compelled to try out these makeup application trends, but I’m typically disappointed more times that I’m impressed—either because the tip simply didn’t work or didn’t agree with my skin or bone structure.

From all this trial and error, I quickly learned that not all makeup tips are created equal. But on rare occasions, I do find some gems—and then I end up using those tips all day every day.

These nine tips didn’t just work, they also made a huge impact on my beauty game.

Apply concealer only on your dark shadows to make your eye bags disappear.

When it comes to the darkness below our eyes, there are a ton of articles and videos that teach you to either slap on some orange corrector and then concealer and call it a day, or do the triangle application (made famous by Kim Kardashian’s makeup artists) using concealer in a shade lighter than your complexion. Neither of them works for me.

Then one day, I came across a video on how to cover up eye bags that suggested putting concealer only on the dark shadow below your eye bag, and it worked AMAZINGLY WELL—the reason being I had more of an eye bag issue than a dark circles issue all along. Now I use this technique every day, without fail, to look more awake and to not frighten children.

A concealer brush dipped in foundation fixes all.

This makeup trick is something I learned about fairly recently, but I’ve taken a liking to it very quickly.

I use a concealer brush dipped in foundation to clean up the edges of my lips when I’m wearing dark lipstick, to sharpen the edges of a smoky eye or cat eye or to shape my brows. It makes my overall makeup look seem very polished, and it makes me seem like I’m more precise at application than I actually am.

To enhance full lips, wear deep or opaque colors.

Growing up, I really disliked my full lips, particularly since they were so lightly pigmented. The 2000s' gloss trend didn’t help either; it just made my lips look fuller but still pale and under-pigmented as heck.

When I started experimenting with deep and opaque colors, however, I saw how well those shades added definition and how good they made my lips look. Now I love having full lips and wearing impactful shades.

Blend it out. Blend everything.

Every time I’ve ever had a professional apply makeup on me, he/she has always spent a good amount of time blending. I used to think it was unnecessary until I started getting into the habit of blending more, too, and now I’m hooked.

A well-blended finish is everything since it ensures your makeup looks as soft and as natural as possible.

Your brows and eyeliner should be sisters, not twins.

While pretty, symmetry in our makeup is freaking hard to achieve, especially considering the fact that most of us don’t have perfectly even faces. When I started following the sisters-not-twins, rule for my eye makeup, I ended up being able to go through my beauty routine so much faster (and with much less frustration).

Always use an eyeshadow primer.

I used to avoid wearing eyeshadows for years since the powders would disappear on my oily lids in hours. Then I started wearing primer in college, and for the first time in my life, my eyeshadow looks would actually stay on ALL DAY like they were supposed to.

Ever since then, I’ve made it a point to wear shadow primer every time I do my eye makeup, just to get the most mileage out of my shadows.

Keep your tools—and anything else that may touch your face—as clean as possible.

Brushes aren’t the only things worth cleaning in your makeup collection; your tweezers and eyelash curler should be cleaned, too.

I know this because I’ve gotten zits (and even some cysts) on the very areas where my tweezers and eyelash curlers have touched my face. Coincidence? I think not! Also, fewer pimples = smoother canvas for your makeup.

Makeup sponges are your best friends.

I didn’t use the Beautyblender or any of its knockoffs for the longest time, since I didn’t think they were worth the bucks, but now I’m kicking myself for not purchasing them any sooner.

I sometimes end up with a streaky finish when applying my foundation with a brush, but when I use a makeup sponge I always have a perfect finish.

Moisturize first.

In my experience, my foundation always blends a hundred times better when I put on a moisturizer first.

Since it’s getting very cold in New Jersey, I’ve actually been layering up with Sulwhasoo Essential Balancing Water and Balancing Emulsion, and they work well with my matte foundation. They’re pricy, but if I wasn’t so obsessed with their brand, I’d replicate a similar regimen using a thin glycerin-based product followed by a light moisturizer.

  • Which tips have made the biggest impact on your makeup routine?
  • Which do you think are just fleeting fads?