Trial and error is key, but once you find a product you like, stick with it.
Same goes for moisturizers and lotions under your foundation -- they don't have to be expensive if they work for your skin type. Don't forget SPF!
Before applying your foundation, use a washcloth or a gentle exfoliator to slough off dead skin as foundation is attracted to dry patches.
Blend, blend, blend, and don't forget your neck!
A little powder under the eyes does wonders for darkness and those lack-of-sleep bags.
Do your daytime makeup under a mix of natural daylight and artificial light.
From Our Panel:
Angela from Tiaras & Trucks says: "Mastering a well-done smoky eye is a holy grail of makeup application that I'm still working on achieving! My best results come from sitting in front of a mirror with eyeshadows in shades of grey and purple, a well-sharpened eyeliner pencil or the smallest eyeliner brush I can find, and various brushes. I start small and just blend, blend, blend; it's always easier to add more dramatic color than it is to take off too much!"
Daisy from Daisy, JD says putting on blush/bronzer while looking natural & not clown-like is that hardest makeup trick to master. "I follow the contours of my face, and I use high-end brushes made specifically for blush & bronzer, so they pick up the proper amount of product. Not too much, not too little!"
JJ from Reproductive Jeans says applying eyeliner is the most difficult makeup challenge and her best tips are:
Put your eyeshadow color on first. Put a light base color all over your lid, and then an accent color over top of it.
Make sure your eyeliner pencil has a sharp tip! Dull liners tend to make uneven lines.
Use a pen instead of a brush, and then use a small brush to smooth out the edges if you make the line too thick.
Make a last touch-up with eyeshadow again to get the desired effect -- whether you want the eyeliner or the shadow to be the most prevalent.
Barbara at Long Hollow says: "Midlife eyebrows! They get sparse. I take a brow or eyeliner pencil and just darken the hairs that are there to make them blend and pop a little more."
Mrs. Bridges from Crossing Bridges says: "Eyeshadow is BY FAR the hardest makeup trick to master -- especially the smoky eye! I try to purchase eyeshadow palettes that include 3 or 4 different shades that can be combined to make one perfect smoky eye, instead of being faced with the challenge of combining shadows from different palettes. I also ALWAYS use a good shadow brush instead of the spongy thing included with most shadows -- brushes are much easier to control."
Amanda at Twice the Love...Half the Sleep says that for her, the way she lines her eyes can make or break her makeup look for the day. "You want to keep your eyeliner sharp and choose a color that compliments your eyes. I wear a dark brown that has a hint of sheen in it -- it really brightens my eyes and makes those bags I carry underneath them less noticeable. I also curl the line up at the corners of my eyes -- it almost gives a 'lifting' feel and really opens the eyes."
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