how to get better at makeup | City Beauty


How To Get Better At Makeup: 8 Easy Tips To Improve Makeup Skills

July 27, 2020 By

Want to get better at makeup but aren’t sure where to start? Not everyone has the time or money to take a professional makeup course or hire a pro makeup artist. But if you know a few key secrets, you can improve your skill set  in no time.

Here are some quick tips to get the most flattering look for your face shape, lips, and eyes  without a beauty team in tow.

Get a Complete Set of Makeup  Brushes

The first commandment of makeup application is “know thy brushes.” A good brush – one designed with a specific purpose in mind – can be the difference between immaculate application and a smudgy mess. 

Makeup pros use the eight types of makeup brushes listed below.  Using these brushes can help you apply makeup smoothly and professionally. But you don’t have to buy all eight brushes at once — one at a time works as you learn how to use them. 

  • Foundation brush
  • Concealer brush
  • Face powder brush
  • Blush brush
  • Small blending brush
  • Flat eyeshadow brush
  • Precision angle brush (for eyeliner)
  • Lip brush

Use a DIY Color Corrector for Better Results 

Color correction uses colored concealers  to hide skin imperfections better than the average skin-toned concealer.1

How does this illusion work? Well, certain colors cancel out their opposite color on the color wheel. For example, green sits opposite red on the color wheel. So, it’s able to hide red-toned blemishes. 

You can, of course, buy a color-correcting palette at the makeup counter. But you can also make a pretty good DIY version using eyeshadow. 

How to Make a  Color-Correcting Concealer Using Eyeshadow

Take an eye shadow in one of the colors listed below (depending what skin issue you wish to hide) and mix a little of the pigment  with your normal concealer. Be sure to avoid shimmery eye colors and stick to matte.

The right amount will cover the blemish for a natural look without making you look like you’ve been coloring on your face.

To apply, tap your colored concealer over the blemish with your ring finger until blended. Then, blend your regular concealer on top. 

Here’s a Cheat Sheet of the Color Wheel:

Green Concealer 

Green pigment helps cover redness. For blemishes, just pop a little green concealer on each spot. For larger areas of redness, like on your cheeks, you should use a color correcting green primer from the makeup counter – as these more easily blend into large areas.

Orange Concealer 

Orange sits opposite blue on the color wheel, so it’s a great choice for disguising dark circles or dark spots. 

Pink Concealer 

For lighter skin tones, pink or lighter peachy concealers are your best choice for dark spots and circles.

Yellow Concealer

Yellow lies opposite purple on the color wheel, so it’s effective against purple imperfections – purple blemishes, veins, dark circles, or bruises.

Make Sure Your Primer Complements Your Foundation

Your face primer and foundation should always share the same base. 

moisturizing hydrogelBlue Defense Hydrogel, $65

This means  oil-based primer should be used  with oil-based foundation, and likewise for water-based products. This is because water and oil repel each other. So, applying a water-based foundation over an oil-based primer will make your foundation difficult to blend. It will also be more likely to lose coverage throughout the day. 

Priming Your Eyelid Before Eyeshadow Makes a HUGE Difference

Speaking of primer – eyeshadow primer can be a great tool for helping your eyeshadow last longer. Plus, it helps the colors appear more vibrant. It may also help shadow (and eyeliner) stay put if you have particularly oily skin.

eye lift creamLid Lifting Treatment, $67

Now, a little goes a long way – you only need to apply a small amount of primer for it to be effective. So, don’t be heavy-handed, and your primer will last far longer. 

Apply Eye Makeup First 

To avoid eyeshadow “fallout,” apply your eye makeup first. Then take a makeup wipe and clean up any makeup residue it may leave behind.

This way, you won’t have to worry about flakes of eyeshadow or mascara smearing and ruining your perfect foundation, blush, bronzer, or concealer base-layer. 

It might feel counterintuitive at first, but once you get in the habit of doing this, it will help you apply flawless makeup, faster. 

Line the Inner Rim of Your Top Eyelid 

Want to create the illusion of big, open eyes? Here’s a trick.

After you’ve applied your eyeliner, go back and fill in the gap between your eyelash roots. You can use either a  liquid liner or pencil eyeliner.

This is known as tightlining. It effectively makes lashes look thicker and bolder while lifting eyes to make them appear bigger and more open.

Finish with a few coats of voluminous mascara, and you’re all set.

strengthening mascara

Beyond Mascara

Get a Perfect Pout With Lip Liner 

Lip liner doesn’t always have to appear harsh and unnatural.  When used correctly, lip liner can be invisible, yet effective. Here’s how.

  • Apply foundation across your entire lip.
  • Now, using a white eyeliner pencil, trace your natural lip line. Or make lips fuller or thinner by drawing just a tiny bit inside or outside your natural lip line.
  • Now, go over the white line with a lip pencil that matches your chosen lipstick.  
  • Apply lipstick with a lip brush for precision.
  • Blend your base foundation around the new lip line – also with the lip brush.
  • Finally, blot your lips with a tissue. Then, continue to hold the tissue over the lips while you tap a thin layer of translucent powder over the top of the tissue. This helps set the color (while preventing too much powder from getting onto the lips).
  • You can also grab a glossy lip balm and apply a dab to the top part of your Cupid’s bow and to the center of your bottom lip to give your lips a fuller look. 

Pro tip: Light colors reflect light, so they give a fuller appearance. Dark colors absorb light, so they might make your lips look thinner. 

Apply Blush the Right Way

Knowing how to get better at makeup is also about knowing your face shape and skin tone. This is how you can use this theory with blush.

Choose the Right Shade 

Just like  with lipstick or eye shadow, different skin tones simply look better in different blush colors. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Fair skin tone: seek out pale pinks and peaches.

Medium skin tone: seek out soft berries and rich mauves.

Olive skin tone: seek out rosey pinks and golden bronzes.

Dark skin tone: seek out bold reds and terracottas.

Choose the Right Formula 

Cream Blush
is best layered on creamy foundations where they effortlessly “melt” into the skin. 

Powder Blush should be used with powdery foundations – or when you want a more “done up” look. It also works really well for oily skin types. 

Liquid Blush is heavily pigmented, but it’s actually the most natural-looking. It’s commonly known as a cheek stain.

Think About Your Face Shape

Your individual face shape determines where you should apply blush to your cheeks. This ensures the most flattering look for you.


Accentuate cheekbones by applying blush in a semi-circular motion. Start at the temples, and curve down your cheekbones, finishing just below the apples of your cheeks. 


Swipe blush a little lower than the apples of your cheeks. Then, diffuse it back toward the temple. Keep blush away from the nose, as it may make your face appear rounder.

Square / Rectangular

Sweep blush across the apples of the cheeks and closer to the nose. This will make your cheeks appear rounder. Lightly blend all the way to the tip of the brows to further soften the angles of the face.  


For  best results, begin right in the real middle of the actual cheek and blend your color both down toward the earlobe and up toward the temple. This will help to create the illusion of more width.

The Best Makeup Tips Are Often The Simplest

Being great at makeup doesn’t always mean you need to know a ton of tricky skills. Sometimes, the most effective tips are also the simplest.

One of the best ways you can learn professional, easy makeup tips, is to watch tutorials online. There’s no shortage of these videos, and you can easily rewind and replay until you masker the trick.

If you need advice on the right application tools, you can also ask a pro makeup artist at your local makeup counter for their best advice.


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