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How To Apply Makeup: Tips & Techniques For Professional Looking Makeup

Updated on August 3, 2012

Growing up I have never been one of those girly girls, you know the girls who always wore dresses and knew how to apply makeup. That just wasn't me. I was too busy being a tomboy, climbing trees, playing ball with the neighborhood boys until I grew up and become a grown woman. It wasn't until than did I want to express my more soft, feminine side. I'm no longer that little girl with messy rouge over her cheeks and lipstick clumsily swiped over her lips, no I'm a grown woman and I should know how to apply makeup properly. Sadly though I'm fairly clueless when it comes to applying makeup so I set out on teaching myself all the tricks of the trade.

How To Apply Makeup Using A Skin Color Chart

Choosing the right colors to complement your skin tone is crucial if you want to look beautiful rather than dull and washed out. Warm toned skin has yellow and gold undertones while cool skin has pink or blue undertones.

How do you figure out which skin tone you are? This is relatively easy to do. Look at the veins on your arm in natural daylight and determine the color of your veins. If the color is blue than your skin tone is cool. If your veins are green than you are warm toned.

What colors should you use for warm toned skin to complement your looks? Look for earth based colors such as yellow, orange, brown, yellowish-green, orangish red. Stick with ivory over white and do not wear too dark colors such as black. This will completely wash your face out making you look drab.

What colors look best for women with cool toned skin? Women with cool tones should stick with jewel tones like blue, green, pink, purple, bluish-green, magenta, blue based red and white. Cool tones are able to pull off wearing black.

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How To Apply Makeup Tips

Only focus on one area of your face. For instance if you are emphasizing your eyes with liner, shadow and mascara play down your lips and cheeks. You don't want to overdo it or you can run the risk of looking like a clown.

To plump up your lips to make them appear fuller apply some lip liner along the outside of your natural lip line than dab some gloss or petroleum jelly in the middle.

if your teeth are not as pearly white as you like than Use a shade of lipstick with blue undertones.

How To Apply Makeup Using The Right Tools

Having the right set of tools in your arsenal of beauty tricks is important. Whatever look you are going after whether that be natural, all glammed up or somewhere in between the right tool will help in achieving your desired look.

What makeup brushes do you need? If you want truly professional, precise results ditch the brushes and applicators that come in the cosmetics you bought. Instead choose a more professional brush. Prices range anywhere from $10 on up to $250.

Foundation Brushes - Most generally made from synthetic fibers, are small and rounded like a little spatula.

Concealer Brushes - Is like a mini version of the foundation brush. This brush is used to cover up any blemishes plus reach hard to get areas like between the eyes.

Powder Brushes - Large and fluffy, this brush is used to apply loose powder on the face.

Blush Brushes - Smaller than a powder brush with a slope rounded tip.Use to apply blush or bronzer.

Eyebrow Brushes - Firm with angled brushes. Used for application of creams, waxes and powders over the eyebrows.

Eyeshadow Brushes - Has a square head and used to put on powder or cream type eyeshadow across the eyelids.

Blending Brushes - Just like the name implies this brush is used to blend products together to soften lines. These brushes come in a variety of sizes and shapes.

Crease Brushes - Fluffy and soft brush that comes in different shapes for applying over the crease of your eyes.

Lip Brushes - It is better to use a lip brush instead of putting lipstick straight from the tube. A lip brush will ensure a thorough and exact application with the color coming through more vibrant.

What is the proper way in cleaning your brushes? The best way to clean your makeup brushes is with just a gentle baby shampoo with water or you can wipe an antibacterial wipe across the head of your brush. Some makeup lines carry liquid solutions for brush cleaning too.

Want To Make Your Eyes Brighten And Pop Even More?

Use a white pencil along your inner rims and tear ducts to brighten up your eyes.

How To Apply Makeup For The Eyes

Making your eyes stand out and pop is something you can do with a little creative application of some makeup. First, start off with some kind of primer. A primer will prepare your eyes to take the eye shadow allowing you to blend the colors of your shadows easily and will also hide any imperfections such as discolorations. You can use either concealer, shadow primer or a creme shadow.

Apply eyeliner to your lids before the eye shadow. If your eyelids happen to be too small be sure not to draw your line too thick or your eyes will look even smaller. Be sure when drawing the line to make it as close as possible to your lash line.

Wear a shimmering shade of shadow in a contrasting color to bring out your eyes even more.

When filling in your brows don't use a pencil. Use one of your shadows instead.

How To Apply Makeup For The Face

Depending on the type of skin you have and the degree of coverage you are searching for will determine which type of foundation you will use.

Liquid foundation gives a sheer coverage and is more for a natural look. Liquid is best for women who relatively have a clear, smooth complexion. If using a matte liquid you may have noticed it drying fairly quickly. For this reason you will want to put a little on at a time in one area.

Cream foundation comes in either compact or stick forms. They provide good coverage with a creamy and flawless finish. Creams are easier to apply than liquids. Use long sweeping motions with a cream based foundation. Foundations with a cream formula are excellent for drier skin, mature skin or someone requiring heavier coverage.

Powder foundations have both powder and foundation combined in one compact. These are great for the on the go busy woman. Powder foundation is more suited for lighter color skin providing good coverage. For applying this type of foundation, apply like you would a normal compact powder.

Before putting foundation over your face you should invest in a good foundation primer. Why do you need to use a primer? A primer is beneficial for a number of reasons:
♦ Prepares skin for the foundation
♦ Smooths wrinkles and fine lines
♦ Makes large pores appear smaller
♦ Fills in uneven skin tone
♦ Reduces shininess
♦ Helps makeup to stay on longer

How do I apply my primer? First you will want to put your regular moisturizer on than let it absorb in your skin for a few minutes. Use just a dime size amount of primer and spread over your face, rubbing gently like your moisturizer. Wait a few minutes letting the primer settle before applying your foundation.

More How To Apply Makeup Tips

For a sun kissed look all over dab on your forehead, chin and nose lightly some bronzer before your blush. It is important to do this lightly and with a big brush otherwise you could end up with a big stripe down your face.

To liven up tired dull skin try opting for a shade of dusty pink.

Use a little blush that is a shimmery color on the top of your cheekbone close to your eye.

How To Apply Makeup For The Cheeks

Blush can accentuate your cheekbones and liven up your skin. Remember to choose the right color that will match and enhance your skin type. Once you have the right color you will have to decide do you want a powder, cream, gel or liquid? Powder can be used with oil and combination skin. Cream is great for drier skin. Liquid and gels handle oily skin well.

Put your brush in the blush than tap off any excess you have. If using gel just dab a little on tip of your finger.

Smile looking into the mirror so you can find the "apple" of your cheeks. Once you have found the apple of your cheeks sweep your brush across your cheeks using long motions in one direction.

If you happen to get too much on, don't worry you can always fix this by dusting some translucent powder over to absorb some of the extra color. For cream color blushes you can take a tissue and blot any extra blush from your cheeks.

How To Apply Makeup For The Lips

Are you wanting to have a fuller, sexier pout? You should always start off your lipstick application with the right brush for accurate coverage. Using lip liner will help your lipstick stay on even longer. Be sure though that your liner matches the color of your lipstick. Don't use a shade of liner too dark with a light lipstick. It just doesn't look right.

When should you put on your lip liner? Some people prefer to put it on first, when others do it after their lipstick. This should be a personal choice on what you think looks best. I have always applied liner first myself.

Here's a few handy tricks when putting on lipstick. Have you ever after putting on lipstick had someone tell you that you had some on your teeth? How embarrassing, right? Well next time place your index finger inside of your mouth than pull out. Any extra lipstick will be on your finger and not on your teeth!

Feel free to comment below for any tips on how to apply makeup.

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      Emily 4 years ago

      You should not go in only one direction with the blush brush. Most women go in one direction; from the cheek and up towards the ear, but you should also reverse and come back down the same path you just did; it will give a softer finish to your blush and make it look even more of a natural flush, as well as well blended.