My Top Makeup Tips

Recently, I attended the Lori Foster Reader Author Get Together. This was my first time doing a reader-centric event (as opposed to a writer's conference) and it was SO MUCH FUN. I had a blast hanging out with readers, making new friends and spending an entire weekend talking about books (although my Kindle is now at bursting point again!)

Along with the signings and general shenanigans, I hosted a makeup tutorial event where I showed everyone some simple but effective tips to take your makeup to the next level. Since the session went down so well, I thought I would share some of that information here.

I'm a trained makeup artist, although I no longer work in the beauty industry. But I learned most of what the techniques I use today through watching YouTube videos. They're an invaluable resource! A few of my favourite Beauty YouTubers include:

  • Mariah Leonard - general reviews and tutorials, with a focus on natural-looking skin.
  • Arna Alayne - if you're super fair-skinned like me, this channel is a fantastic pale skin resource.
  • Kathleen Lights - Great glam makeup tutorials, perfect if you want to try something for a special event.
  • Karima McKimmie - another channel focused on beautiful skin. Really high quality videos!
  • Jackie Aina - fabulous resource for my deeper-skinned makeup pals. Plus, she's hilarious.

There are so many more channels I could mention! But I selected these for their focus on tutorials as well as reviews and because I love the style of makeup these artists create. Maybe I'll do a part II at some point, with more recommendations.


Onto the tips!

Tip #1 - prime your skin. The key to evenly applied, long-wearing makeup is to ensure you adequately prep the skin underneath. If you've got dry skin, make sure you've moisturized well. If your skin tends to look dull, try an illuminating primer. Oily skin? Look for a primer that is oil-free and aims to lock makeup in place. Use a primer under your eyeshadow too. It's not a gimick, and it can make a world of difference not only to how your eyeshadow applies, but also to how it wears through the day.

Stefanie's product recommendation: NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

Tip #2 - conceal after foundation. Back when I was younger, the trend seemed to be that people would apply concealer before foundation. But that often leads to a heavier-than-necessary base. You also risk ruining your hard work by disturbing the concealer as you apply your foundation. Use a foundation with a coverage that appeals to you, and then go in to "spot conceal" only the areas not effectively covered by your foundation. Result: a more natural-looking base that's quicker to apply!

Wearing my faves: Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette & Holika Holika lip tint.

Wearing my faves: Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette & Holika Holika lip tint.

Tip #3 - invest in your brushes. Quality tools are the quickest way to up your makeup game. You don't necessarily need to spend hundreds of dollars buying a 50 brush kit, either. A small collection of quality brushes in shapes that work for you is much better. This could be a post all of it own (I'll write one in the future!) but to start with, look for a dome-shaped eyeshadow brush (to apply shadow) and a fluffier eyeshadow brush (to blend harsh edges).

Stefanie's product recommendation: I'm a die-hard MAC Cosmetics gal, but if you're on a budget check out the Real Techniques Instapop duo.

Tip #4 - be more effective with your lip liner. Instead of applying your lip liner only to create a ring around the edge of your lips, try filling in the entire lip area. This has two benefits: 1. it gives your lipstick something to cling onto, meaning it will wear longer. 2. When your lip products start to fade, it will fade evenly rather than leaving a weird-looking line around your lips.

Stefanie's product recommendation: Bite Beauty lip pencils are amazing. Plus they're a Canadian brand, cruelty free and made with food-grade ingredients!

Tip #5 - messed up your eyeliner? A cotton bud is your best friend. If you're learning to get that perfect eyeliner, sometimes things don't always go according to plan. Been there! If you don't have time (or can't be bothered - no judgement!) to wipe it all off and start again, simply get a cotton bud (Aussie speak for Q-Tip) and dip it in a little shadow close to the colour of your eyeliner shade. Then use that to smudge the eyeliner out. Voila! Sexy, smoky eyeliner that looks like you totally meant to do it that way. Even after decades of wearing makeup, I still have days where my eyeliner won't cooperate. I use this trick so often!

I really hope these tips help you out! Stay tuned for some more makeup-related posts in the future. And, if you like seeing pictures of my makeup, be sure to check me out on Instagram, as that's where I post about makeup most often.