Perfect Makeup: 8 Super-Easy Steps for Looking Flawless -- Fast!
The first step of all: Apply a moisturizer with SPF to help concealer glide on smoothly.
Then use concealer only where you need it, like on undereye circles and blemishes, advises makeup artist Ana Marie Rizzieri, who created the look in these photos. Try a creamy formula, like Laura Mercier Secret Concealer, in a shade that matches your skin tone. “Choosing a shade lighter is a myth,” she says. “Too-white circles under your eyes look like you wore goggles while tanning.” Apply in little stripes with a pointed concealer brush. Then blend using your ring finger for the lightest touch, and don’t tug on delicate undereye areas, Rizzieri instructs.
Expert tip: To get at fine lines, use the point of your brush.
To get perfectly even skin the speedy way, use a foundation stick.
It’s easy and gives you plenty precise application. We like Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick. Try Rizzieri’s technique: Using the stick like a giant marker, draw thick lines down cheekbones, the sides of your nose and above brows, and blend with your fingers. Want to look a little more sun-kissed? Before blending, use a second stick that’s two or three shades darker in all the same places for a streak-free glow (it looks dark in the pictures, but we promise it melts right in). Mix both colors together over your face and down onto your neck using your fingers—the heat from your hands will warm up the foundation and help it glide.
Expert tip: Want lighter coverage? Rub moisturizer on your hands before you blend for a sheer, dewy finish.
If a pesky zit or mark is still poking through, go back and hide it with an extra layer of concealer.
Use the same kind as in step one (it worked for Alice’s forehead scratch), or try a cover-up that contains salicylic acid, like Almay Clear Complexion Concealer, which helps shrink blemishes while it camouflages. Dab it onto problem areas with a pointed brush instead of slicking it on from the tube. Right on top of the blemish, “it’s not meant to be totally blended in,” says Rizzieri, but to avoid cakeyness, use your ring finger to pat its perimeter outward until smooth.
Expert tip: For staying power, apply powder over top with a puff to absorb oil and to keep cover-up from sliding off midday.
Forget shading and sculpting cheekbones with a brush and powder, and try a cream blush instead for that glow-from-within effect.
Apply to the apples of your cheeks, as seen here. (The fast way to find yours: Smile!) Then blend the color up toward your temples with your fingers. Our pick: Yves Saint Laurent Creme de Blush in No. 6 Rouge Passion. Bright, bold hues like the berry shade used on our model can look natural, but if you’re color-shy, build the intensity by gradually layering it on.
Expert tip: Gone overboard? Defuse a clownlike situation by applying a bit of foundation over top instead of washing it all off and starting from scratch.
For pro-looking eye makeup in no time, apply a wash of sheer, shimmery cream shadow from lash lines to brow bones using your pointer finger.
Try Illuminance Creme Shadow in Copper Canyon, which comes with all the shades you need to create this look. (Bonus: Shimmer helps hide stray eyebrow hairs if you don’t have time to tweeze!) If your skin is fair like our model’s, try a silvery white shade. For medium to dark skin tones, opt for a champagne color instead. To get an extra bright-eyed effect, dot the color onto the inner corners of your eyes too. Celebs use this trick on the red carpet all the time, Rizzieri says.
Expert tip: If your lids tend to be on the oilier side, use a primer all over them first to help shadow last.
Next, use bronze and gold cream shadows (both are in that same palette) to give eyes more depth.
Apply the bronze shade in your creases with a flat shadow brush for more control, and use your fingers to smudge it down over the lids—avoiding the brow bones. There shouldn’t be any harsh lines or stripes of color, says Rizzieri; it should look blended and effortless. To make everything budge-proof (important with creamy formulas like these), set the cream with a matching powder eyeshadow, or dust a colorless translucent powder on top (like the kind used in step three). Then, to make eyes look even bigger, pat some gold cream shadow onto the centers of your lids and run a little along your lower lash lines with your finger or a small brush.
Expert tip: Using gold under eyes looks luminous; darker shades can draw attention to undereye circles.
For more intensity, rim your upper lash lines with a brown liner pencil and smudge it upward with your shadow brush.
Then set with the same powder eyeshadow used in the previous step. Finish off with two coats of mascara, like Smashbox Hyperlash Mascara, on top and bottom—focusing on the outer lashes with the top of the wand. If your brows aren’t as full as our model’s, lightly fill in any gaps with a pencil and use a disposable mascara wand to brush the hairs up.
Expert tip: To give eyes an even bigger boost, use an eyelash curler before you apply mascara. Start as close to the roots of your lashes as possible and gently pulse the curler forward bit by bit to the ends.
If your lips are dry or at all chapped, gently buff with a damp washcloth and apply lip balm.
Let it sink in well, and blot with a tissue if it feels slippery. Using a strawberry-color lipstick, like Maybelline New York ColorSensational Lipstick in Very Cherry, straight from the tube, apply it to the center of your mouth (make a kissy face!), where color tends to wear off first, says Rizzieri. Blend the lipstick out over your lips, patting the color on with your fingertip to help it last. “This gives you that fresh, just-ate-a-popsicle look,” she says. To amp up things for night, add a layer of gloss for extra shine.
Expert tip: Run a piece of ice over your lips before slicking on gloss to help color last all day and prevent it from bleeding. Ta-da, you’re done!
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No glam squad needed! Follow our step-by-step guide for a makeup look that's great on every face, every day. (It took our testers an average of four minutes, 38 seconds!)