3 easy makeup artist tips you can try at home

Sponsored by Maybelline

I’m far from an expert in the makeup department but I am very much like the proverbial (makeup) sponge when it comes to building my knowledge in that department.

A bit like you can layer your foundation to build coverage on your face, I’m all about layering all the information I’ve ever learned from makeup artists during 15-plus years of writing about beauty and putting those tips to good use for the every day.

And if I’m actually having my makeup done by a makeup artist, I’m there watching and taking notes as to what they’re using and applying on my face. Because no matter how much I take in, there is always more to learn.

One of the most entertaining and creative makeup artists I’ve ever had the chance to grill is Maybelline NY Australia’s Nigel Stanislaus.

I met Nigel last year when I first blogged at Australian Fashion Week for Maybelline NY. Backstage at a fashion event is always a flurry of people – fashion people, hair people, makeup people, media people and model people. It can get super stressful as everyone works towards a time deadline for a show.

What I’ve observed with Nigel is that his team is always on it and focussed but not in an OMG-it’s-a-pressure-cooker-environment-here kind of way. And then he’ll oblige people like me with witty answers to very basic makeup questions. He is what we call in the media business “good talent”.

A few weeks ago, I put the word out to SY readers to find out what burning makeup questions they had for Nigel. It was ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Festival Sydney and 10 of those reader questions won those readers a chance to meet Nigel and see him and the Maybelline team in action back stage.

Today, I’ve chosen three of the questions and hit Nigel up for his responses. These are makeup artist tips you can try at home, playing with affordable products you can pick up next time you’re doing the grocery shopping.

Question 1

How to create a dewy makeup look for women in their 40s
If 40 really IS the new 30, what are the top three Maybelline products (and corresponding tips) that will have us fooling the world (or at least ourselves) into believing we really are still in our dewy 30s?

It might go against your natural desire to cover up but bring back the dewy glow of your 30s with less foundation and clever contouring.

1. Look for a lightweight, light-to-medium coverage foundation with mother of pearl extracts like Maybelline NY’s Instant Age Rewind Foundation range ($25.95). It not only nourishes skin and provides the perfect coverage for mature skin types but it adds a very subtle dewy shimmer for that youthful glow.

Another alternative is swapping a foundation for a BB Cream. If you need a little more coverage, simply dust a little loose powder to help set your base.

2. When contouring or shaping your face (an optical facelift), select a natural bronzer (FITme bronzer $14.95) that complements your skin tone and delicately, dust the bronzer just below your cheek bones and temples to add depth and definition.

3. Thickening your brows will also give you a younger look (see brow tip below).

4. To finish your youthful look, always avoid dark, matte colours and opt for a radiant pop of colour instead. Whether you opt for a subtle wash of colour or a bold and powerful lip look, a universally flattering shade is Color Sensational Lip Color in Coral Crush ($16.95).


Question 2

How to create fuller brows
Two words. Eyebrow pencil. I have always been wary of its existence in the depths of my cosmetic bag and have long suffered from opportunity overwhelm. I have only ever been game to go there after a few lunchtime vinos, applying liberally in a metrical frenzy. Please explain its purpose and how using it (properly) can make me look less Freida Kahlo and more smouldering sexpot with just the perfect arches, all the while illuminating the windows to my soul?

Brows are such an important part of every look and here are a couple of failsafe tips to create beautiful brows (not caterpillars). These tips will help you create beautiful brows for a fuller and younger look.

1. Select a brow pencil a shade lighter than your brows (Eyestudio master shape brown pencil $11.50). This will ensure you add depth and fullness to your brows and avoid a harsh Freida Kahlo look.

2. The biggest mistake many people make when creating fuller brows is drawing one straight line. Never, ever do this! Use soft, feathery strokes along the natural line of your brow. Once you’ve achieved the optimum depth of colour, brush a brow comb through your brows to buff out any obviously lines and to lightly soften the look. Set your brows into shape by spraying a little hairspray onto the pad on your finger and dabbing it across your brow.

Question 3

How to apply gel and liquid eyeliner
I’d love to know how to apply liquid or gel eyeliner to get that retro cat’s eye look, without looking like my 92 year-old Nanna has tried to do my make-up.

1. First of all, consider the colour of the liquid liner or gel. For fairer complexions or more mature ladies, I always recommend a soft charcoal or brown shade as it is far more complementary and softer. If you are after impact, opt for blackest black. There are three Maybelline NY products, I recommend: Eyestudio HyperGlossy ($13.95); Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner ($16.95); and Master Precise Liquid Liner ($13.95)

2. To achieve the perfect flick or a retro cat eye, it does take practice but the first step in creating this look is to stablise yourself. Sit at a table or somewhere where you can rest your elbow on a flat surface.

3. Place a mirror below your eye line so that you are forced to look down and naturally create a flatter base.

4. Whether you use a liner brush or a liquid pencil, start at the inner most corner of your eye and lightly feather the liner across your lid and as close to your lash line as possible. When you get to the outer corner, the most complementary flick angle will line up to the outer tip of your brow. The extent or length of the flick is up to you.

5. One little trick to help create a precise and clean flick is to place a little tab of sticky tape to the outer corner of your eye. This way you can take the “free-hand” out of the equation and guarantee the flick angle is precise.

6. Be aware that when applying eyeliner it should always be in thirds. Never stop your eyeliner half way across your top or bottom lid as it will create the illusion of a smaller and more closed eye.

Maybelline NY products are available at supermarkets, Priceline and selected pharmacies.

How are your brows? Do you find it tricky to apply eyeliner? Yearning for a dewy complexion? Or maybe you have a makeup tip that you’d like to share with us?

Coordinated by The Remarkables Group

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  • Marguerite Sheldon

    Well done brows seriously complete me, I don’t know how I ever left the house without having them done! I feel as naked without it as no mascara :P

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      That’s what happens when you start focussing on them!

  • Deb

    Great tips, as usual – thank you Nikki. I also get regular beauty product updates from my 14 year old daughter! She’s obsessed with watching Essie Button beauty videos on YouTube, so much so that she often talks to me in a similar Canadian accent! Thanks again, Nikki – love your work!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Hahaha – that’s funny. Youtube is amazing for tutorials in makeup!

  • Nic

    Really great post – thanks so much Nikki, and Nigel! x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Nigel is such a great source of info!

  • A.Anderson

    Simple but helpful makeup info – thanks!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh glad it’s helpful!

  • http://bumparella.blogspot.com.au/ Michelle Barraclough

    I’ve been waiting for 40+ years to learn about applying makeup. Brilliant post, thanks Nikki and Nigel. No need to worry about thickening the brows here though. It’s almost a full time job keeping the mono-brow under control. All this time it was making me look younger and I didn’t even know it. Phew!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Hahaha … let them loose for a 40 is the new 30 look!

  • http://www.woogsworld.com/ Mrs Woog

    Eyebrow Pencils are the best invention ever!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      They suit my lazy-girl ways!

  • GoddessMel

    Some great tips from Nigel – thanks for sharing :)
    In relation to eyebrow pencil, a make up artist taught me that a blonde pencil – regardless of brow or hair colour – is the most flattering and least likely to look heavy-handed. Even on my super dark brows she was right!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      That way you’re just highlighting, not creating Nikko pen markings above your eyes!

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Great tips Nikki,my brows are very fine and sparse and going grey I do tint them but have found brow powder to be better for me than a pencil and I always use a taupe colour ,I also prefer eye liner in a charcoal grey or a brown ,black is too harsh for me and I am glad to know I am getting that right!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I switch between black and brown for my eyeliner … will still do a black if it’s night time but brown definitely in the day.

  • Nell Raphael

    Nikki, what is your opinion on brow powder to make brows appear fuller? I’ve not used before.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      My brow shaper uses it and it works – it’s about sourcing the right shade for you! At home I get lazy and reach for a pencil first.

    • Lisa Mckenzie

      Nell I use Brow Powder and find it works very well to make your brows appear fuller,and I use a taupe colour I have dark blonde and foiled hair,just don’t be too heavy handed and use an angled brush and then comb them through,I hope that helps :)

    • Nic

      I use brow powder with wax, Nell – I apply the wax sparingly with a brush, then use the powder, just as Lisa has described. The wax helps the powder to adhere, but it’s a soft look. The one I use comes in a little compact with both the wax and powder together, and I buy it from the Brow Bar.

    • Johanne Taylor

      My eyebrows are naturally very sparse and even with tinting still require a little help.

      But you don’t even need specific brow powder. I use a matt taupe eye shadow and fine brush on my brows, as a make-up artist once recommended this to me. The benefit is the massive choice of colors to get this right for you.

      • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

        Great tip Johanne!

    • Ally

      I’ve always had light sparse eyebrow hair…and then I discovered the Benefit Brow Kit – oh my goshballs! You brush a little wax over, and then fill with the powder (my kit has two shades, not sure if the kit comes in different ones) and it’s got a little highlighter pot in there too. Even if I only do my brows and slap on some hot pink lippie every day, I manage to look ‘done’ – it’s all about the brows I reckon.

  • Julie

    You had me at ’40 really is the new 30′ … at least that’s how I read it! Great tips – I’m adding one of those eyeliners to my grocery list. My beautician tames my eyebrows but I need to remember to apply hairspray to them! Used to do that years ago (when hairspray was part of my big hair routine!). I’m also going to check out that universally flattering lippy xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      40 IS the new 30, you know it Julie!

  • http://www.lovemeagainboutique.com.au/ Bev – Love Me Again Boutique

    I’m off to buy me some of that Age Rewind foundation today for sure! I love beauty tips – you can never have enough advice when it comes to make-up application…Right I’m off to set my eyebrows with some hairspray :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Hahaha – get that spray out! I might wait until after yoga!

  • Vicki Loadsman

    Fantastic tips! I’m loving the Age Rewind Lifter foundation. So easy to apply and smooth on evenly. Also, I’d recommend getting your brows professionally shaped at least once and then you can follow the brow plan at home. I use The Brow Bar in Brisbane (Bulimba) and they are brilliant! Nikki, the Paddington store is also great for when you move.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Agree re professional brow shaping – have been getting mine threaded at Get Threaded for 2 years and it’s made all the difference!

    • GoddessMel

      I agree with the professional eyebrow shaping… if you find someone good! Years ago I had mine done at a local salon and came out looking like Joan Crawford!! Not flattering… and it took me years to get over. But I recently went to a Benefit Brow Bar in my local Myer store and got a brilliant result; a colleague – who had never had a brow shape/wax – turned up at the same time and she was also very happy with her result. That was 2 weeks ago and all I’ve had to do since is pluck the odd stray to maintain the glamorous shape :)

    • Nic

      Completely agree regarding the Brow Bar – i’ve been going to the Melbourne salon for about a year now and my brows have never looked better. It’s like having a facelift!

  • http://www.icurvy.wordpress.com/ iCurvy Blog

    Great tips Nikki! I’ll be heading out to buy a brow pencil in a lighter shade!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I know – thankfully I’ve had a lighter one but something so simple!