Women's Journal

Level Up Your Look: Essential Makeup Techniques You Need

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Ever flipped through a magazine and marveled at those flawless faces? The secret isn’t just good genes (although those don’t hurt), it’s makeup techniques! Knowing how to apply makeup strategically can enhance your natural features and boost your confidence. Whether you’re a makeup newbie or a seasoned pro, there’s always a new technique to add to your arsenal. This guide dives into six essential techniques that will take your makeup game from good to glam.

1. Sculpting and Defining: Contouring vs. Strobing

Contouring: This technique uses darker shades of makeup to define your facial features. Think of it as creating shadows and highlights to sculpt your cheekbones, slim your nose, or minimize a round jawline. While it can be dramatic when done heavily, a light touch can add subtle definition.

Strobing: Strobing takes the opposite approach, using highlighter to bring forward areas you want to emphasize, like your cheekbones, brow bone, and cupid’s bow. It creates a dewy, illuminated look that’s perfect for those days you want a more natural, radiant appearance.

Choosing Your Technique:

Both techniques are great, but the best choice depends on your desired outcome. “Contouring is fantastic for adding definition and creating a more sculpted look,” explains a makeup artist, “Strobing, on the other hand, gives a more natural, dewy finish that emphasizes your natural features.” Ultimately, it’s about what makes you feel confident!

2. Setting Your Look in Place: Baking

Baking is a technique where you apply a generous amount of loose translucent powder under your eyes and other areas prone to creasing. Let the powder sit for a few minutes “bake” on your face, then use a fluffy brush to sweep away the excess. This technique helps absorb oil and set your makeup for a longer-lasting, flawless finish.

Pro Tip: Not a fan of loose powder? Try a baking spray instead! These mists work similarly to set your makeup without the mess.

3. Feline Flicks and Beyond: Winged Eyeliner Styles

A perfect winged eyeliner can take your look from daytime casual to glam night out. The key is finding the right wing shape for your eye shape. For hooded eyes, try a straighter wing with a slight lift at the end. Almond eyes can rock a classic upswing flick, while round eyes might prefer a slightly more dramatic wing.

Practice Makes Perfect: Don’t worry if you don’t nail the wing the first time (or the tenth). Lining your eyes takes practice! Start with a thin line and gradually build it up to your desired thickness. Use angled eyeliner brushes for more control, or cotton swabs dipped in makeup remover for easy cleanup of mistakes.

4. Defined Drama: Cut Crease Eyeshadow

The cut crease eyeshadow look creates a dramatic, defined crease where your eyelid meets your brow bone. It adds depth and dimension to your eyes and can be as dramatic or subtle as you like. There are countless tutorials online for achieving this look, but generally involves applying a concealer or lighter eyeshadow shade to the crease area to create a defined line.

Blended is Beautiful: While a sharp cut crease can be striking, don’t forget to blend! Use a fluffy brush to soften the edges of the crease color and blend it seamlessly into the rest of your eyeshadow shades.

5. Falsies for the Win: Applying False Lashes

False eyelashes can instantly add drama, volume, and length to your lashes. However, applying them can seem daunting at first. The key is to measure the lash strip against your lash line and trim if needed. Apply a thin line of lash glue along the lash band, let it sit for a few seconds until slightly tacky, then secure the lash to your lash line, using tweezers for more precision.

Practice Makes Perfect (Again!): Applying false lashes takes practice. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a few tries to get the hang of it. There are also magnetic lash options available that are easier to apply for beginners.

6. Red Hot Perfection: Finding the Perfect Red Lip

A bold red lip is a timeless statement. But with so many shades of red out there, finding the perfect one for your skin tone can be tricky. Cool-toned reds with blue undertones tend to flatter fairer skin tones, while warmer reds with orange or pink undertones look great on olive or deeper skin tones.

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment: The best way to find your perfect red is to try different shades! Head to a makeup counter and ask for recommendations based on your

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