beauty tips

Pardon me, I didn't mean to so violently toot my own horn with that title, but here we are. It's been ages since I've done a beauty tips post and, seeing as I'm practicing a lot more on real human faces (a relief for my guinea pigs), I've got some new ideas. We'll start with a little skincare and move onto tricks for foundation, contouring, eyeliner, etc.

1. Applying foundation on top of dry, flaky skin in a dangerous game. Use a fine physical exfoliator (such a the Josie Maran Exfoliating Powder) to buff away the flakes, then massage a large amount of moisturizer into your skin (really work it in) before you go in with foundation. This should help with the texture.

2. Salicylic acid is often used to treat acne, but it can also cause your skin to dry out and overproduce oil, which can set you back to square one. For that reason make sure to always moisturize and never use a drying cleanser when using this ingredient.

3. If you want your skincare to last, store it in a cool, dark place. Also look for skincare in opaque packaging with a pump. Sunlight and air can damage skincare.

4. For dry skin or peach fuzz, apply foundation with a paddle brush, using only downward motions. Buffing motions will lift the dead skin/hairs.

5. Baking will help to lock concealer in place and absorb excess oil.

6. Talc based powders are good for oily skin as they soak up a lot of oil, but bad for dry skin and they can dry your skin out further. For dry skin types look for silica (MUFE) or mica based powders (Cover FX).

7. If you've got very oily skin, apply your powder with a powder puff. If you've got dry skin apply your powder with a brush.

8. When filling in your brows, draw in the top edge first – that will be your defining shape – then fill in the rest of the brows by feathering up towards the top edge.

9. If you're using gel liner and a brush for your eyeliner, clean your brush off with cleansing water multiple times throughout the process of application. It stops the product from drying on the brush and creates cleaner lines.

10. Use more than one product for your winged liner. Pens tend to make the finest flick, gel is easiest to manipulate, and powder will smooth out any mistakes.

11. When doing a smokey eye, first lay down a cream/translucent powder. It will help to blend your shadows seamlessly.

12. When applying liquid lipstick, get some product on a lip brush and first outline and cupid's bow/bottom middle of the lip and the corners of the mouth. Then connect those areas like a connect the dots. Now you've got your outline you can fill in the center of the lip.

13. Make sure your primer/moisturizer matches your foundation. Water based foundations need water based primers, otherwise they tend to separate.

14. The new generation of water based foundations don't work well with very oily skin. The natural oils your skin produces break up the foundation. P.s. You'll know that your foundation is water based if you have to shake it before using it.

15. Silicone primers are not well suited to oily skin types, despite their marketing. They tend to cause product slip.

16. If you want to make your skin a shade darker with foundation, do it with a sheer, moisturizing formula. It looks a lot more realistic.

17. Physical sunscreens (titanium and iron oxides) and silica can cause flashback in photographs. Beware on nights out.

18. The amount of SPF in a sunscreen should be determined by how easily you burn. A high SPF doesn't mean it will last you throughout the day. Sunscreen needs to be applied every two hours if you're in direct sunlight.

19. Make sure your sunscreen has broad spectrum protection (UVA and UVB). UVB will cause an immediate burn, whereas UVA will cause long term ageing effects.

20. Try mixing your powder blush with a cream or liquid highlighter. It will create a gorgeous, glowy, creamy blush.

21. Liquid bronzer/blush/highlight (try Perricone MD's No Makeup Makeup Line) are great for a natural look because they mesh with the skin, rather than sitting on top of it.

22. When applying mascara, try placing your finger behind your eyelashes. That way you can wiggle the wand against your finger without worrying about blobbing on your lid.

23. To intensify your cheekbone contour, shade a little line along your temple. That will create a more 3D effect to your cheekbone.

24. For nose contouring, the further in your contour, the slimmer your nose will look.

25. Unfortunately, contouring is not ideal for those with rounded cheeks. It tends to look like a floating line. The best advice I can give is to give your contour a very clear gradient effect and don't try to go too intense, that way it'll look less like a line.

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