How to apply make-up like a pro

What are some make-up tricks I should keep in mind to apply my make-up like a pro?

We asked the global make-up artistry director of Estee Lauder, Mr Blair Patterson, this question when he was in town last week to train the brand's global and local artists. Mr Patterson has more than 14 years of make-up expertise.

Here are his tried-and-tested tips.

Base make-up:

The purpose of foundation is to even out the skin's undertones. So apply just enough - around one to two pumps of liquid foundation - and cover up the imperfections with concealer.

To make your eyes look clean and bright, don't forget to apply concealer on the inner corners of the eyes as well.

Always wait for your liquid foundation to dry, before applying blusher and bronzer. Otherwise, the coloured powder will look darker than it should. The foundation should dry in about 30 seconds. If it takes longer than that, it means you have applied too much.

To take away the shine after applying liquid foundation, dust on some loose powder. Otherwise, fold a piece of tissue in half, place it from your nose to your ear and blot your face while rubbing a powder brush on top of the tissue to help it absorb any oil. Repeat on the other side of the face.

To re-apply concealer around the eyes at midday to freshen their appearance, use this trick: Blend one part eye serum, like the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Infusion ($100, available at Estee Lauder counters from next month), with two parts of concealer. Mix it on the back of your hand and apply with a concealer brush. The serum hydrates the skin and helps to smoothen the make-up.

Freshen up your make-up at midday by applying Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II ($106) with a sponge or fingertips over the foundation on the cheekbones for a dewy shine. For an alternative serum, Urban suggests you use any formula that comes in a lightweight gel texture with a pearlescent finish.

Contouring:

A bronzer is not supposed to make you look tanned but to help you create the illusion that you have killer cheekbones.

Apply the bronzer in the shape of a figure "3" from the forehead, to under the cheekbones and jawline.

Stay away from pink and plum blushers for contouring; they will make you look like you are stuck in the 1980s.

If you do not want the contouring to be noticeable, apply the bronzer before the foundation.

Bold eye make-up:

To give your eyeshadow extra staying power and prevent crease lines, smudge pencil liner on your lids first so that the eyeshadow powder will adhere to it.

Use a stiff brush to apply intense colours and a fluffy brush for blending.

To soften stubborn harsh edges, use a finger to blend them away.

To subtly define eyes, draw on "micro-wings". Slick on your regular cat-eye flick and make it super thin by cleaning away the excess with a cotton bud. It is not really noticeable at first but people will give you a second look.

At night, you can thicken the line with minimal work because you have already laid the basics of the look with the micro-wing.

Alternatively, you could try drawing a rhombus at the outer corners of the eye, like what Chinese model Liu Wen had on at Derek Lam's Spring 2014 show (above).

When she opened her eyes, she looked like she had winged liner on. There is no need to apply liner on the rest of the eye.

Fuller-looking lips:

Take a metallic or pearlescent white shadow and apply it just above the cupid's bow. Use a pen highlighter and apply the make-up along the top and bottom sides of the lips in four strokes and blend.

To make lips pop even more after you have applied the lipstick, gently push the colour from the middle of the lips towards the edges, but not beyond the lip line, with a finger or brush. This will give lips a natural and sexy just-bitten look.

Trying a new make-up look:

Approach a new make-up colour the way you would with a new hairstyle: bring tear sheets to a counter, show the make-up artist what you want and try it out there.

The best time to try a new look is at night, when you are sitting in front of the TV with nothing else to do. The worst is in the morning when you have somewhere to go and are all stressed out.

When you have no time for a full face of make-up, pick one feature and go with it. It could be the bold lips, full lashes or winged liner.


This article was first published on June 6, 2014.
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