If there's one thing we've learned about makeup it's that there's more than one way to make it look HOT. Toe-may-toe. Toe-mah-toe. Right? Case in point: we interviewed a handful of top makeup artists for these ten genius (and completely different) ways to apply your makeup. Poe-tay-toe. Poe-tah-toe.
#1 Tap on mascara
According to makeup artist Stephen Sollitto, who works with celebs Hailee Steinfeld, Amy Adams and Emily Deschanel, long strokes of mascara aren’t actually the best way to amp up your lashes. “I like tapping deep at the base of the lashes, working outwards to the tips. That way you’re creating depth—the roots are dark and rich and the ends are soft, not clumpy,” he says.
#2 Soften pencils
Lip liner tends to be dry, which results in uneven coverage. Kayleen McAdams, actress Rachel McAdams’s sister and makeup artist, suggests dipping the pencil in sheer balm before applying. “It glides on much smoother, making it easier to accurately fill your lips,” she says. Warm the tip of a stubborn eyeliner pencil between your thumb and forefinger for a similar effect.
#3 Master the art of stippling
Stippling is an artist’s word for shading with dots instead of solid strokes. (Think Seurat.) However, techniques of the old masters can work for you too. “Stippling your foundation creates the most natural finish,” says Sollitto. The technique also works for blush—build color at the apple of your cheeks, dotting back towards your hairline.
#4 Fight grease with gel, not powder
A dusting of powder is an intuitive way to blot away grease—but it can also dull your complexion. Sollitto likes finishing the face with a dab of mattifying gel along the T-Zone and under the eyes. “This ensures you’re not shiny in photos later,” he says.
#5 Give your lips the middle finger
According to Sollitto, a smudge of lipstick on your middle finger is the best way to give your lips that perfect heart-shaped pout. “Put a dab on your middle finger and place it in the center of your upper lip, sweeping outwards to the left. Repeat towards the right,” he says. “There’s just something about the feeling of it and the way you will move your head that creates that perfect lipstick line.”
#6 Repurpose your lipstick
A smidge of peach or coral lipstick blended in with your concealer is an unexpected antidote to dark under eye circles. “The orangey red shade brightens and diffuses the darkness,” says makeup artist Robin Black, who works with Bryce Dallas Howard, Cindy Crawford and Demi Moore. Sollitto tells his clients to smudge whatever lipstick their wearing on cheeks and lids before stepping out the door. “That way, there’s a continuity of color on the face,” he explains.
#7 Line your lashes
The key to lush, thick lashes isn’t just in your mascara’s formulation. A steady stroke of ultra-thin gel liner along the base of your lash line is key to creating the illusion of extra lashes. “You want to fill that spot between your lashes and your lid,” advises Black. “Only when that line looks solid should you start applying mascara.”
#8 Clean up with foundation
For simple smudges of liner or errant swipes of mascara, eye makeup remover can whisk away more than you intend. A foundation dipped Q-Tip will wipe away any mistake—use a tapping motion to get the best results.
#9 Crimp in falsies
When it comes to false lashes, an eyelash curler is your best friend. After placing full strips or individual clusters and allowing them to dry, apply a few coats of mascara. Then crimp gently with an eyelash curler, rocking the device back and forth while you clamp. That way, your faux hairs will blend in seamlessly with your real lashes.
#10 Contour with highlighter
Luminizing highlighter can make your cheekbones pop—but not when applied directly to them. Instead, smooth highlighter in a C-shape starting at your temples and extending along the bone just below your eyes. A slim line of highlighter down the center of your nose can also create the illusion of straighter bone structure.