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  • Elleven Salon

Beauty Secrets of Makeup Artists

Get ready for your close-up with gorgeous makeup and flawless selfies! Top makeup artists have given us some insight into the art of making people the most beautiful they can be. We're here to give you the down low on all you need to know to perfect your makeup routine. Say goodbye to uneven skin and makeup mistakes. You're about to go from novice to professional!


Good lighting is everything when doing your makeup! With poor lighting, colors and blending will be wrong, but you won't know it until it's too late. That cringe-worthy moment doesn't have to exist. This can actually be a total life changer! So many women say "My makeup looked great in the bathroom," but alas, in public it can turn out to be a little embarrassing. Try to use a warm, natural light source if possible. This will give you the truest look at your skin's tone and any makeup you've applied. If that's not an option for you, white light is best, but don't confuse this with fluorescent light. It's the worst lighting out there and will backfire almost every time. We recommend a ring light to achieve the white light. They have adjustable brightness and warmth settings that make it so much easier to get the perfect lighting.


Start off with washing your face and moisturizing. Moisturizing is one of the key elements to get that even look you're going for. Neglect this step and it can lead to the dreaded cake face. Caked-on foundation or concealer can ruin any look. It creases in certain places on your face and looks extremely thick. Makeup artists say for best results, use a face mask the night before. Always make sure to start with a clean and moisturized face for the perfect makeup canvas.

Start out Light

Remember that less is more with makeup products. This is especially true for foundation and concealer. We can't stress that enough. This can actually end up drawing attention to what you're trying to hide. Stipple your concealer instead of rubbing it in for unbelievably better results! If you can find one that works for you, it helps to have a concealer with a small sponge at the end of the wand. Just think - you can always build if you need to, but it's not easy to start over!

Eyes First

We've all experienced the fallout after perfecting your eyeshadow, panicking as we notice the eyeshadow specks on our freshly applied foundation or powder. It may seem a little odd to do your eyes first, but it can be an absolute time and life saver. If you start with the eyes, you'll have an easy cleanup and save yourself the stress! Don't forget to wait until after the under eye concealer is complete to do the bottom lashes or you may have some overlap with your concealer on top of your lower lashes.

Eyeshadow Tips

First off, it's time to address the brush you should be using. Your eyeshadow brushes should be fluffy. This is especially true for those with crinkles or crepey skin. What you use can either accentuate these or diminish them. A flat brush is often the root of these mistakes. The fluffier brushes give that airbrushed look. Flat brushes are precise, but the fine tip can deposit too much pigment into those fine lines and make them pop. Fluffy brushes will diffuse the shadow and won't leave harsh lines.

Perfect Mascara

For the longest lashes, apply mascara from base to tip. Make sure to coat both sides of the lashes for a fuller effect. For a natural look, apply 1-2 coats, but if you're looking for a bolder, more dramatic look, go with three coats. Bottom lashes should never have more than one coat so it prevents spider lashes, which are incredibly easy to get on the lower lashes. If you develop some spider lashes from your coats of mascara on the upper lashes, take a metal-toothed eyelash separator and gently separate them. This will remove any clumps safely and allow you to continue finishing your perfection. Gently add a little mascara if needed after eliminating the clumps.

Foundation & Concealer Tips

Again, don't forget to moisturize first! Leave that cakey look behind and set the stage for a more natural look. Use concealer to hide any flaws and a powder with warm undertones that matches your skin as closely as possible to top it off. Lightly dust on the powder, tapping it before applying to remove any excess. Smooth out around hairline and neck to blend. A thought to note if you plan on taking pictures with flash: You may want to avoid HD Powder. The flash creates the look of white splotches on the face. Use a translucent powder or setting spray to keep your look fresh and lasting all day long.


Contouring has been on the radar for a while and right now it's hot hot hot! Sculpting the face gives you better definition by pronouncing cheekbones, making the forehead look smaller, and even slimming your jawline. If you're a beginner, grab a powder contour palette. Use an angled brush or contour brush. Use the darker shade on cheekbones, jawline, hairline, and sides of the bridge of your nose. With the highlighting shade, apply to the middle of your forehead, down the bridge of your nose, above the cheekbones, and the center of the chin. Blend with a foundation brush. Afterwards, use a fluffy brush with a slight bit of bronzer to bring a little color back to your skin. You'll be shocked at the difference dimension and definition can make!


First, always use a lip scrub or scrub lips with a toothbrush to remove dead skin cells that give your lipstick that dry, cracked look. Pick a color that compliments your outfit and use lipliner that's slightly darker than the lipstick color. Lipliner really is a godsend. Women who have hit their 30s all come upon a realization that's a bit of a buzz-kill. It's those dreaded lines around your lips. Those can be tricky as lipstick can feather into those lines. Don't worry, you'll be relieved to know you can fix this simply by using a lipliner. It acts as a barrier and makes your lipstick stay put.

Application Hacks

  • For flawless cat-eyes, rest your elbows on a hard surface

  • Use a puff for powder's finishing touches to minimize shine

  • Wash your makeup brushes regularly

  • Only wet the bristles when cleaning your brushes

  • Clean your brushes with baby shampoo or brush cleaner

  • Use sponges to apply face makeup and wet each one slightly

  • Always build product, never adding too much up front

  • For unruly brows, try a clear brow gel to tame them

  • Do a deep dive on your eye shape for shadow application

Now that you've gotten the skinny on how to hack your makeup application, you're on the road to flawless makeup! Apply these simple suggestions and you'll be shocked at the difference it makes. It may even unlock a whole new you. Boost your confidence and say goodbye to taking 20 selfies just to find one that you like. Unlock that beauty potential!

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