My make-up education started at a young age when I used to accompany my mom to her Mary Kay meetings. Not entirely satisfied with Mrs. Kay’s old school ways (may she rest), my voracious appetite for beauty knowledge was self-satisfied via beauty magazines and YouTube videos until I finally found a school devoted entirely to make-up application: The Make-up Designory here in New York where I scrupulously studied every detail of information given to me. 

Despite nearly two decades of a relentless obsession with the beauty industry, the best and most impactful beauty tips I’ve learned are the most subtle ones.

1. Prep and Prime
If you want your makeup to look amazing I cannot stress to you enough the importance of taking care of your skin. Yes, it’s totally okay to use makeup to cover a pimple here and there, but makeup cannot disguise dryness, flakiness, peeling skin, moderate to severe get the drift.

If you’re having a hard time finding the best skin care routine for your skin, trust me, a trip to the dermatologist is well worth it!

A great way to care for your skin, to make your makeup look amazing and to help it last all day (or night) is to use primers. I will say this is a case-by-case basis situation… I know some people who can wear makeup sans any type of primer and their makeup stays in place all day without causing break outs.

Personally, I’m not that lucky. A paraben-free, mineral based primer such as Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer does a great job of preventing your make-up from seeping into your pores while also making it sweat-proof and water-resistant. That whole sweat-proof thing is my lifesaver.

I am obsessed with Tarte’s eye shadow primer, which gives me over 16 hours of eye makeup wear, even despite it’s claim of providing 12 hours of wear! I love not having to worry about my eyeshadow getting all up in my creases or my eyeliner transferring to my eyelid. 

2. Tightline

Speaking of eye makeup, I want to talk about my all time favorite eyeliner tip, a tightline. When I use this on clients, they sort of freak out a little. We all know a great way to define to eye is by using a dark, sometimes bold liner. Have you ever tried lining your inner, upper lash line? This is a little hard to explain through typing, so check out the picture below.

That’s right ladies, lift those lids and get a little black liner up in there! I’m aware this doesn’t look like the most comfortable application of eyeliner, and may not be at first, but if you are a regular eye makeup user I can assure you that you’ll get used to it.

Now you’re all, “Okay, that looks weird and she’s also telling me it’s gonna feel weird, all for a teeny tiny black liner… not interested.” Trust me! I was that way at first too, but you will thank me for giving it a shot.

There is something about a tightline that gives your make up the most beautiful and finished look, not to mention it makes your lash line look so dense and full. I’m addicted.

3. Multitask Your Bronzer

When a client tells me she’s not crazy about her bronzer, my first questions for her is always “Where are you applying your bronzer?”. Now y’all know I’m anti-beauty rules, but I can tell you that using a bronzer all over your face or like a blush just isn’t gonna get you anywhere.

The most impactful way to apply bronzer is just below your cheekbones, in your temples, on your forehead at the hairline, below your jawline and on your neck (confused? See the picture below). Not only does this give you the lovely bronze glow you’re going for, but it also subtly sculpts the face to make you look sleek, refined and put-together. 


Brown = bronzer, and be sure to blend, blend, blend! If you want to go really hardcore with the contouring, follow the chart above using a super light concealer in the place of all the white patches. Again… blend!

4. Highlight For Radiant Skin

While we’re on the topic of contouring, a note about highlighting is in order. Going back to topic number one: Can makeup hide problem skin? No! Can makeup make good skin look incredible? YES! If you’ve ever wondered why no matter how well you take care of your skin and done your make up it still doesn’t look as amazing and glowing as the stars on the red carpet, highlighting is your answer.

Some people swear by liquid highlighters such as High Beam by Benefit but powder highlighters are my poison, namely Shimmer Softlights by Smashbox. I prefer the powders as they stay in place much longer and don’t mess up any makeup underneath, as liquid highlighters have a tendency to do. Just a sweep of highlighter on the tops of the cheekbones, below the arch of the brows, the inner corners of the eyes and a little down the bridge of the nose takes your skin from okay to astronomical. 

5. Use Lip Liner All Over The Lip For Ultra Long Wear!

I really wish makeup companies would change the name of lip liner to “all over lip defining pencil for elongated wear of lip products”, but I can definitely see where that might be too long to fit on a tiny, little pencil. I know some of y’all are already hip to this trick, but using a lip liner to not only line the lips but to fill them all the way in to create a base for your lip product will really lock that color down.

Notice I’m using the term “lip product” rather than just lipstick… Yes this trick will help keep lipgloss, even tinted lip balms in place longer also. Just find a lip pencil the same color as your lips and go crazy. 

So, those aren’t too hard right? Do any of you lovelies already use these steps? If not, do you see yourself using them? Let me know!

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