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In my many years of playing around with makeup, experimenting with looks, and watching countless YouTube videos, I've gathered a few tips and tricks that I use on a daily basis. They're easy to use, and I hope you end up trying a few!

*As always, please please please leave a comment or a private message if you have any questions about the products I've used.*

Step 1: Mascara Smudging

It's happened to the best of us. Your eye makeup is almost finished. Everything is blended perfectly, your eyeliner is nice and even, and your eyebrows are flawless. The only thing left to do is put on some mascara, and you're finished. You sweep it on a few times... and the unthinkable happens. A huge black dot of mascara is smudged on your eyelid.

Do NOT panic! Mascara, depending on what type you're using, dries very quickly into a flaky formula. Before you break out your makeup wipes and remove all the great work you've done, wait 45 seconds to a minute and simply scratch it off with your finger. It should come off cleanly and not remove any makeup under it. Just be gentle if it's smudged over eyeshadow; if you pick it off too hard you could smudge your eyeshadow.

(Mascara here is NYX Pin-Up Tease Mascara. Amazing but unfortunately a little messy.)

Step 2: Wearable Lipstick

Personally, I don't like lipstick. Don't get me wrong, certain colors look beautiful and I love the sophisticated look it gives, but actually wearing it is such a pain. I tend to look best in darker, deeper colors, which require a lot of upkeep and careful eating. I'm a student, so I don't have much time to constantly be checking myself to make sure that it still looks okay and that there is no smudging.

So, when I don't feel like doing a lot of eye makeup but I still want to look pulled together, I create almost like a stain with my lipstick. I put some directly from the tube onto my finger and dab it on my lips. It makes a thin layer of color on my lips that doesn't smear or ball up. When I apply lipstick directly to my lips, it creates a thick layer that smears very easily. Using the finger-dab method lipstick becomes more wearable and easy to maintain.

This works especially well with glossy lipsticks that tend to fade easily or travel to the edges and corners of your mouth.

In the first photo I applied straight from the tube. It looks fine, but feels heavy. In the second photo, I used the finger-dab method. It looks almost exactly the same, but it feels lighter and won't travel as much.

(This is e.l.f. Studio Mineral Lipstick in Ripe Rose- one of my favorites!)

Step 3: Concealer Application

I've always been more of a handsy person when it comes to makeup. I use brushes on my eyes for blending, on my eyebrows, and for contouring. Foundation, eyeshadow base, cream blush and everything else is where my hands and fingers come in! The natural heat from your body is amazing for cream and liquid formulas because it melts the product right into your skin. It's much more natural looking, even though it can get messy!

I know some people prefer to use brushes for nearly everything just because it's a bit easier, but I ALWAYSrecommend applying concealer with your ring finger. Brushes can smudge, smear, and create streaks in your concealer. Dabbing it on with your finger is so easy and you'll get great results.

Dot your concealer 3-5 times under your eye area. Then, give it a bit of time to absorb heat from the skin. When you're ready to blend it out, use very circular dabbing motions. This will give the most natural and flawless finish. Also, it is higher coverage than using a brush.

( Just one (!!) coat of Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer in Fair. Excuse the lips, I tried to take off a really persistent stain.)

Step 4: Quickest Way to Look Polished

If you're like me, getting ready in the mornings can be a little overwhelming. I allow myself about half an hour, so that leaves around 15 minutes for getting dressed and fixing my hair, and then 15 minutes for my face. Which, if you need as much fixing up as me, is hardly any time at all.

I've found that the absolute quickest way to look polished and put-together is a bright lip. Personally I love winged liner, but since it takes a while to get it to look perfect, I stick with a bold lip on most days. Of course, using the finger dab method. Hee hee!

In the photo I have concealer on, brown shadow in my crease, mascara, eyebrows, and tinted moisturizer with a bit of setting powder and bronzer. This is the staple of my makeup every day, and it's also about as minimal as you can get with eye makeup. If I have time I'll wear some eyeliner, but like I said it saves time to just do a bold lip. Red, as you can see, is my favorite!

(Rimmel Exaggerate Lipliner in Red Diva, with a bit of loose translucent powder over it. If you have any other questions about the products I'm wearing, please drop me a comment or private message.)

Step 5: Eyeshadow Primers Are Overrated

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE (love love!) high end makeup products. Just something about the luxury and prestige of them gets me. One of the most popular items that come from prestige brands is usually eyeshadow primer, especially Urban Decay Primer Potion (which has a retail value of $20- who wants to drop 20 bucks on a little tube of primer?). I've found that many things that are commonly found in makeup kits work just as well as expensive primers, and here are a few:
-clear lip balm. The texture is a little sticky, so eyeshadows will stick to it no problem.

-use concealer on your eyelids too. It provides extra coverage and again, eyeshadows will stick.

-eyeshadow pencils, like NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk, which seems to have a cult following. It creates a base that powder eyeshadows will adhere to.

-cream eyeshadow, in the same color as the powder eyeshadow you'll wear with it.

In the photo, my base is NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk. I went out with friends on the day it was taken and everything held up quite nicely.

<p>I need that new MAC foundation. I wanted to go into NYC from Brooklyn, but the Pope is in town and it&rsquo;s utterly packed. I&rsquo;m going to the Pocono Mountains for my anniversary next week, and this quick makeup look seems perfect. I know my hubs will not be down for my 30 min makeup extravaganza lol. I may just pick up a BB cream at http://www.slgmakeup.co.uk today in lieu of my foundation. Thanks for the inspiration!</p>
<p>Just one word GORGEOUS!!</p>

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Bio: Simple instructions for simple makeup. If you want to see me do a certain look or tutorial, please don't be afraid of dropping me ... More »
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