14 secrets professional makeup artists swear by
These makeup tips are gamechangers
If you’ve always wanted to know the makeup habits the pros stick to day in, day out, the wait is over. We asked a panel of leading makeup artists to reveal the insider secrets they swear by so that you can take your makeup game to pro status.
#1 / They update the classics
“I love this red lip trend from Korea,” says Laurent Martin, Dior International Training Manager for Makeup. “I apply red lipstick, concentrating the colour on the inside of the lips. Then I take a Q-tip and spread it slightly over the edges.” To ramp it up for night, “apply an intense burgundy shade to the centre of the lip, blot, then spread it slightly with a Q-tip.”
#2 / They live for luminosity
“Young skin has rosy, peachy tones, so I use those tones in all my [makeup products] to add luminosity and light to skin,” says Terry de Gunzburg, makeup expert and founder of By Terry. “You don’t see the peachy colour, just the glow and freshness; it’s like candlelight.”
Product to try: By Terry Compact Expert Dual Powder in Apricot Glow
#3 / Double duty makeup is their go-to
Makeup these days can work like skin care to deliver complexion benefits along with coverage. “We wear makeup for 10 hours a day, so it gives you double the benefits if your makeup has skin care properties,” says de Gunzburg.
#4 / They love seeing skin
You’ll rarely see a top makeup artist pile on the foundation. “The minimal makeup look is about enhancing your skin and skin care routine,” says Alphazeus Sadsad, National Artistry Lead at Sephora. “My favourite look is fresh skin, dewy eyelids, curled lashes, a bitten lip and a natural flush on cheeks.”
Product to try: Lancôme Cushion Blush Subtil
#5 / They’re not afraid of colour
“There’s a true comeback on colour,” says Martin. “Applying a thin line of colour such as blue, yellow, purple or magenta on the top lashes is the perfect way to add that touch of subtle colour. Pair it with mascara and a subtle tint to lips.”
Products to try: Revlon ColorStay Exactify Liquid Liner in Mermaid Blue
#6 / Matte lips are their current crush
If you haven’t tried matte yet, it’s time because makeup artists are still obsessed. “[Look for] formulas which give lips a matte, tattoo-like colour that is lightweight and non-drying,” says Ross Andrewartha, Director of Artistry for Yves Saint Laurent Beauté Australia. To find the perfect shade, experiment with colour. “Test a number of shades against your skin tone, particularly if you are not used to such bold lip colour,” says Andrewartha.
#7 / They understand that less is more
“When in doubt, start with less and build up to more,” says Lex Smith, Pro Artist at Tarte. Blush and bronzer are two makeup products easily overdosed. Smith has this tip: “Swirl a fluffy blush brush in the pan, tap off any excess pigment, then glide it along your cheeks.”
Product to try: Tarte Park Ave Princess Chisel Palette
#8 / The body is never ignored
“I’m obsessed with head-to-toe glow, where we highlight the body as well as the face,” says Kerry Cole, Global Style Director at Becca. “I love highlighting the apple of your shoulder and the clavicle; it is so pretty.” Don’t stop there; Cole also recommends highlighting your legs. “I take [a natural bristle] makeup brush and buff a liquid luminiser all over my legs before adding a little champagne-toned luminiser down my shins. It gives the illusion of long, lean, perfected legs.”
Product to try: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Opal
#9 / They won’t go anywhere without their tools
“The most common mistake women make is not using the correct tools,” says Sadsad, who always has an array of applicators in his kit, such as “Beautyblenders, fluffy brushes and lip brushes”. Don’t forget to wash them regularly. “Clean tools will help with a professional-looking application too,” he says.
Product to try: Beautyblender Original in Just Chill
#10 / They understand lighting
“Perfect lighting will enhance features, make your skin look flawless and pick up the colours and finishes of your makeup,” says Smith. “Poor lighting, like fluorescent bulbs, will make your skin look dull and tired, so [do your makeup in] natural light or warm lighting, like candlelight.”
#11 / They multitask their products
“When I travel and I can’t get my roots done, I’ll take a little bit of powder luminiser and sweep a makeup brush over it to touch up my roots,” says Cole. “It lightens my roots and it also acts as a dry shampoo.”
#12 / They can’t work without concealer
“I like to use concealer as a foundation on the parts of the face that need extra coverage,” says de Gunzburg. “Just tap it into the skin.” When applying around the eyes, don’t forget the inner eye area on either side of the nose. “Darkness and yellow shows here.”
#13 / They love brows
We know you’ve heard about big brows before, but here’s an update: “Brows are going nowhere,” says Clint Dowdell, Nude by Nature Global Brand Ambassador. “What’s changing is we are now seeing a return to the natural brow.” The trick to born-with-it brows? “Try not to be so obvious about filling your brows in,” advises Dowdell. “I find using a powder formula gives a subtle effect that looks as if it’s the shadow of your naturally full brows.” Start by defining brows with a lighter shade of pencil, then add boldness with a “darker shade through the turn and towards the tail”, suggests Dowdell.
Product to try: Bourjois Brow Palette
#14 / They concentrate on one feature
With bold lips a big trend, makeup pros are paring the rest of the face back. “When rocking a bold matte lip, I love my clients to have dewy skin [and just] a fine liner on the eyes,” says Andrewartha.
Product to try: Nude By Nature Contour Eye Pencil in Black
marie claire Beauty Director, Sally Hunwick joined the marie claire team in 2017. Previously Sally has worked on Cosmopolitan as Beauty and Lifestyle Director, Women’s Health as Contributing Beauty Editor, and Harper's BAZAAR and Dolly as Beauty Writer and Beauty Editor respectively. An award-winning journalist with a long-running career both in Australia and in the UK, Sally is passionate about all things beauty and health.