8 makeup artist tips to try at home

Nikki ParkinsonBeauty 37 Comments

Since launching my book (insert shameless plug #432 here) I’ve been on the receiving end of some very glamorous makeovers.

I’ve always had a lot of respect for the work that makeup artists do.

They can take a dull, tired and lifeless face and turn it into a fresh and defined TV or event-ready face.

In this case, specifically MY face.

Whenever I’m in the makeup chair, I’m always quizzing the makeup artist doing my makeover for his or her tips.

There is always something new to learn – or a different way to try applying makeup – or a different product to play with.

Here are 8 makeup artist tips to try at home

8 makeup artist tips

1. Apply your eye makeup before your foundation. This is not a new tip but one that I’ll keep on reminding us all about because it’s one that I am a shocker for remembering at home. The reason why makeup artists do this is because you can clean-up fall-out from the eye makeup without destroying your foundation application.

At-home tip: Make a note to yourself – EYES FIRST – and attach it to your bathroom mirror as a reminder.

2. An even complexion is everything. Covering imperfections and differences in skin tone is the key to creating a fresh-looking face.

At-home tip: get your foundation colour matched to your skin. Foundation ranges with an extensive range of shades will make it more possible to get an exact match without blending shades. Try Illamasqua Skinbase foundation.

3. Work your best feature. Got stunning lips? Make them the feature. Eyes more the stand-out? Define them.

At-home tip: try both looks. Work out which one works best for you. It doesn’t mean you drop a statement lip but you might (like me) decide to reserve it for times when you’re mostly going to be wearing sunglasses or specifically want to contrast a neutral outfit with a pop of colour.

4.  If the eyes have it, it’s about creating definition without “closing” them. 

At-home tip: if the space between your eye crease and brow is narrow then don’t bring dark colours up to the brow – keep the definition around the line of the eye.

makeup artist tips

5. False lashes will open up your eyes like nobody’s business. My lashes are short. Mascara does help but nothing opens them more than the addition of false lashes … well maybe eyelash extensions but I’m not up to keeping up the maintenance on them.

At-home tip: If you’re not keen to try adding lashes yourself, work with an mascara like Benefit They’re Real mascara where the tip at the end of the brush can be used to add mascara and lengthen out and open the lash.

makeup artist tips

6. Find a nude lip colour that works with your skin tone. When my eyes are defined by the professionals, they are best counter-balanced out with a nude lip colour or gloss that’s almost like a cinnamon shade.

At-home tip: Find a nude gloss that you can keep in your handbag at all times. This way if your eyes and foundation are done, completing your look will be super easy. This is my fave for such a task: bareMinerals Marvellous Moxie Lipgloss in Spark Plug.

7. Master the art of cheek contouring. Makeup artists will use a combination of blush, bronzer and highlighter to create colour and contours on your cheeks.

At-home tip: Practise! Apply bronzer to the hollows of your cheeks; blush to the top and apple of your cheeks and highlighter to the top of your cheekbone and around the temple. For an all-in-one product try Revlon Blush Highlight Pallett.

8. Learn how to use airbrush equipment and makeup. I’ve had my makeup airbrushed twice now and each time I was blown away by just how much it left my complexion looking like it had had an Instagram filter applied to it. Plus it lasted all day without budging.

At-home tip: If this is something you’re keen to know more about or DIY (I think that would be tricky with your eyes closed but if you had a daughter or sister or mum who you could team up with), then I suggest looking at courses such as this one at Latonas. My main at-home tip would be asking for recommendations next time you need a makeup for a special occasion and see if you can find an artist offering airbrush makeup. You won’t be disappointed.

makeup artist tips

So, over to you … have you got any event makeup tips to share? Had a professional makeup application recently?

Comments 37

  1. Another great post, Nikki. The tip I’ll try today is the ‘eyes first’ one. I keep reading about contouring so I might see if I can get a proper lesson on that. Planning on a foundation lesson anyway. Also like the ‘more lips if you’re wearing sunnies’ tip. Never occurred to me! Thanks.

  2. Looking great Nikki and fantastic tips.
    I wish I had such lovely complexion. Now that I’m nearing 45, my skin is dull and what’s worse there are breakouts like I’m a teen! What! Still trying to figureout the best regimen (maybe a post on that – hint hint :)).
    I’ve had to change the way I do make up as well (more BB/CC creams, lighter shades, etc).

  3. These tips are GOOD. I haven’t had my makeup done up for ages. I guess that’s what happens when you become a mum and don’t have many functions to attend. The eye make up one is one that I need to do and I can’t believe I didn’t think about doing that before!

  4. love this blog my make up tip is to clean your make up brushes with shampoo and conditioner- once in a while and they need cleaning – rinsing etc every second application, also dont use your fingers cos they have heat and so does your face and most of your foundation will be off before its even on your face esp important if you are in a hot climate- foundation first and then concealer thats my new tip and i love it also dont smudge and rub in your make up dab it into your skin and let it dry between coats e.g moisturiser let it dry a little, then foundation, a minute to dry, concealer let it dry- then the rest. it makes a difference.

  5. You look amazing in your photos Nikki. My daughter in law had her bridal makeup airbrushed and she looked beautiful. She has lovely eyes, and the makeup made them really stand out. I’ve never had a professional do my makeup, it’s one the things that I would like to do, but never get around to. Will add it to my bucket list! 🙂

  6. If it’s a special occasion (with lots of photos being taken), treat yourself to having a professional do your makeup and apply some lashes. You will feel (and look) a million bucks.
    My at-home tip would be to add a touch of very soft gold eyeshadow to the inner corners of your eyes to open them up and give them a bit of twinkle.

  7. Airbrushing for me would be akin to using the torch-thingummy to make creme brulee – best avoided! But I’d love to have it done in a salon. Liked your tip about eye make-up first – would never have thought to do that 🙂

  8. I do not have the brain space for airbrush make up right now. I only just wrapped my head around primer… which I LOVE! I’m going to try some cheek contouring… I’ll let you know how it goes.

  9. Airbrush make up is just fabulous, perfect for weddings too. You look flawless and youthful…fabulous!
    I am trained to apply eyelash extensions, it’s painstaking to apply and also the aftercare is very specific. Eyelash curlers are great for those that don’t like falsies, especially if you heat them gently with a hair drier first. Doing eye make up first is a great tip too! Hope you enjoy cup day!

  10. White eyeliner on the bottom lash line will make your eyes look wider/open
    Try using bronzer/highlight by drawing a “3” shape – start at hairline around temples, then bring down to cheek bones and then bring out down the edge of face and along jaw bone (I hope this makes sense, you can google it!)
    Powder can be aging so only use to t-spot
    Dab and blend a bit of bronzer/highlighter on your cupids bow on lips before lipstick – gives a good effect
    Make sure any brow product you use to fill in and shape brows has a shine to it, like natural hair. Otherwise matte products can give you big hairy catapillars.
    That is all I can think of!

  11. Thank you so much Nikki your makeup looks so lovely and fresh. I LOVE the eye makeup before foundation tip, never knew that. AND as a lady with a husband who is an airbrush artist, I must say I didn’t know anyone airbrushed on makeup but it makes perfect sense. x

  12. no but thanks for the tips nikki!
    they are gorgeous photos of your makeup looking perfect and
    they highlight your beautiful eyes! … enjoy your day! love m:)X

  13. Great tips Nikki I’m also a shocker for not doing the eyes first will have to remember that one! You look like you have flawless skin in all your pictures Nikki.I think my best feature is my cheekbones and I will have to practice to highlight tips,have a great Melboure cup day Xx

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