4 Essential Make Up Tips




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Having worked in the beauty industry for a global brand and having dealt with many consumer's questions, I have picked up a few tips over the years.

The 4 featured here are the ones that always surprised my clients.

  • Labeling expiration dates on your beauty products.
  • Getting the true color of a lipstick or eyeshadow.
  • Reconstituting a dried up mascara, concealer or cream eyeshadow.
  • Getting your products to give you a professionally finished look.

I hope you find these tips useful and feel free to comment with any questions.

Step 1: Labeling Expiration Dates on Your Beauty Products

Most of my clients were unaware that there is an expiration date on cosmetics and beauty items. It is normally on the back side of the product. It looks like a small compact or open jar. You will see a numerical value and a letter in it or next to it. See picture above. For example 12M is 12 months. Essentially once the product is opened, it is good for the amount of time it is labeled. In the picture above, the mascara onced used is good for 6M (6 months). An easy way to label them (and avoid using any possibly bad product) is to use a fine tip permanent marker and write the future expiration date on the product, on first use.

Doing this will help in avoiding possible eye infections and skin irritations from products gone bad.

Step 2: Getting the True Color of a Lipstick or Eyeshadow

When trying out colors of products, individuals will check the color on ones hand. When doing this we see the true color of the product. The issue here is that our eyelids and lips are not the same color as the skin on our hand. Our eyelids have discoloration, they may have pinker color,redness or brown discoloration. Our lips maybe naturally pink, violet or brown in coloring. These existing colors on the lips and eyelids will affect the tonality of the color we are applying. That is why the color on your hand is not the color on your lids or lips.

The solution: Eyeshadow Primer/Concealer. This applies to the lids and the lips. You can also use your foundation on your lips. Once applied,the product will have an appearance that is closer to the color of the original product. The primer/concealer will also help the color stay put longer.

Step 3: Reconstistuting a Dried Up Mascara, Concealer, or Cream Eyeshadow.

This is a fairly simple trick and works well. Many times I would have a client purchasing mascara frequently. I would ask if it dried out, if they stated yes, I would give them this tip. Products normally dry out quickly due to improper temperature storage and not being properly closed. To reconstitute dried up product, pass a hair blowdryer on low over the tube while holding the cap for about 60 seconds. The heat will create condensation in the tube. Bring the applicator wand up and down in the tube, this will mix the dried product and condensation. After that the product will be ready to use.

Step 4: Getting Your Products to Give You a Professionally Finished Look

This is one that surprised most of my clients. To get your products to give you a professional finished look, use make up brushes.

The brushes/applicators that come with products are the bare minimum. The images associated with most products show the product after being professionally applied with brushes. The foam applicator in an eyeshadow will load too much product and will not allow for precision. The brush included in most blushes will not be large enough to properly sweep your cheeks. I know brushes can be expensive, I recommend starting with a cheaper brush obtained at the dollar store, on clearance, or by a value brand like elf. Once you have mastered using these, you can choose to upgrade, if you wish. There are many types of brushes out there, I would recommend looking up what look you want to achive with your product and what are the brushes needed to do so.

For example, a smokey eye is best done with an eyeshadow brush, a blending brush and a stiff flat shadow brush.

Different brushes will deposit different amounts of product and create different shapes.

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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago

    hi, this is a bit later than the other comments, but I have been having a problem with the application of my eyeshadow. When I was in my teens and twenties, I used clinique and Mac, only, but I never heard of brushes. The padded applicators that I used were easy to get a good pigment and contrasting shades. I have had a lot of health issues over the past several years and had to stop wearing makeup. Only recently I've been trying to find a look that suits me. I have elf shadow and Mac, and some cover girl and other lower end types. But using multiple kinds of brushes, I don't know how to get the brightness and contrast that I used to with the pads. I've tried many different combos of brand and primers, and more..But I don't see much difference between the brands or brushes. Am I missing something important for getting colors to really apply? Thanks for the tip.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Fluffier hair and fiber brushes will always diffuse the color. Tighter and smaller tipped brushes will help deposit more color. Foam tipped applicator brushes do deposit much more color. Most come with make up and can be purchased separately. Most people don't use them because they wear out over time compared to hair and fiber brushes.

    Many people use a colored primer or cream shadow as a base and amp up the color with powdered shadow. Another way to amp up the color is to apply the powdered shadow with a wet brush. Wetting some powdered shadows also intensifies the color.

    Hope this helps.


    4 years ago

    I was told by a makeup artist (and have since found it to be true) that the only noticeable difference between brushes is real vs synthetic. A synthetic brush tends to deposit more product and a brush of animal hair offers a more delicate, sheer coverage.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I agree on the first sentence, "that the only noticeable difference between brushes is real vs synthetic". However, it really depends on the build of the brush. There are many synthetics that give a sheer application and natural fiber brushes that have a heavier deposit. The manufacturer of the brush, the materials used to make it and the care of it once purchased all affect how it works. Some natural brushes are chemically treated and/or conditioned to give better feel or performance. The same goes for synthetics. Depending on what brush cleaner you use, you can strip the fibers of any chemicals and change the way a brush works. I know make up artists who condition their brushes to make them softer prior to use and others who use harsher cleansers to get a stiffer brush.

    These are great tips! I've been using brushes that I got from ELF and I've been thinking about upgrading to some MAC brushes. Do more expensive brushes make a noticable difference?

    2 replies

    No they don't. There really isn't a difference in how they apply make up. The price difference is because of the materials and how they are made. More expensive brushes are normally hand set and hand trimmed when made. The fibers will be crimped in place on the neck of the brush vs. just being glued. Also, the fibers used affect price, normally animal hair and fur. Squirrel, mink, sable, horse and goat hair. Sometimes they will use exotic animal hair, like fox, which raises the price.

    Inexpensive brushes are normally machine made and sometimes made with synthetic fibers. However, not all synthetic brushes are inexpensive.

    The last thing that affects the price is the brand, a Chanel make up brush will cost you more than an ELF one, even if they are made with identical materials and methods.

    I have inexpensive brushes that I purchased before working for a major brand and expensive brushes given to me by a higher end brand while in their employ. Both have worked well for me and are still in my kit. The key is taking care of them, using with the intended product, and cleaning them properly.

    Cool, thanks for the info! A lot of blogs I read swear that some brands work better than others, etc. but I'm always skeptical of things and don't really want to spring for a $30 brush if it will work just as well as my $3 ELF brushes, haha.