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Get the right tools for the job
Investing in some good-quality brushes, sponges and applicators and binning your old worn-out gear will mean you get the most out of the make-up you buy.
Get advice from a professional
If you’re not sure what make-up suits you, a one-off session with a beautician or make-up artist could open up great new ideas and colours to try, or simply help you to streamline your daily technique. It doesn’t need to be expensive, most department store make-up counters offer this service, and the cost can be redeemed against any products you buy.
Go for long-lasting options
Look for long-lasting mascaras, lip colours and foundations – modern formulas are designed to stay put all day, saving you the hassle of constant retouching.
Keep it light
It doesn’t just look more sophisticated to use a light touch rather than slapping on thick make-up: it’s quicker too. If you work gradually, you can build up to exactly the effect you want. But if you start by piling too much on, you’ll have to cleanse it all off and start again from scratch.
Focus on one feature
For a subtle, elegant look concentrate on one of your face’s finest assets and then add just a hint of cosmetic support elsewhere. Try pairing smoky, emphatic eyes with a barely-there lip colour, or balance your glossy, come-hither pout with just a light outline of mascara. Less is more.
A colour that looks mildly terrifying on the tester might actually be totally wearable once it’s on the face. For example, a deep dark blue lipstick might sound weird, but get the tone right and it could have the same dramatic impact as a vampy dark berry colour. Experiment away and you might surprise yourself. If you need inspiration, then online tutorial videos are a great place to start.
The styles that pop on a cleverly lit magazine cover can look over-the-top on your local high street or even out on the town. When using metallic eyeshadow take care that it doesn’t make your eyelids look crêpey. Super-glossed lips can look great, but if you overdo it, they might get sticky.
Be afraid to experiment
As your make-up skills grow, you may find you want to try colours that you previously shied away from. A touch of vibrant hue can lift your face and give you a confidence boost: try switching from a nude, brown and beige palette to something soft and pink – or vice versa – for an attention-grabbing new look.
It’s easy to focus on eyes and mouth because they’re the first things you notice when you look in the mirror. But making use of a subtle blusher on the apples of your cheeks works wonders to give you a glowing complexion, banishing the signs of tiredness, winter blues and the occasional late night.
Hang on to outdated techniques…
Dark lipliner was once considered essential to stop colour bleeding around the edges, but hard outlines can look dated these days. The same goes for bands of blusher underneath your cheekbones.
…Or feel obliged to learn new skills
Contouring has been the buzzword of recent times, and while it can look great, it can also look awful if done badly. If you don’t have either the time or the inclination (or the budget to buy a brand-new bunch of products!) needed to learn it properly, then give it a swerve.
Leave home without concealer
It’s not just for eyebags and spots, either – dab it lightly over any blotchy area before you put foundation on to even out your skintone. Or try Olay Total Effects 7in1 CC Cream Moisturiser in Fair To Medium or Olay Total Effects 7in1 Pore Minimizer CC Cream Dark SPF15 it combines skin-perfecting powders with an anti-ageing moisturiser, so you can effortlessly fit smoother skin into your daily routine.
Remember – rules are made to be broken! These make-up do’s and don’ts are the guiding principles, but creativity is one of the key joys of cosmetics so let your imagination fly and bend or break the rules as much as you please!
What are the make-up tips and tricks you swear by?
Let us know in the comments below!