5 Makeup Tips Every 20-Something Should Master

Photographed by Winnie Au.
Even if you’re a complete makeup junkie, there are some looks you probably steer clear of in order to make it out the door before noon. Most of us can't just wing faultless cat-eyes. And while many of us have some sort of foundation method up our sleeves, knowing how to keep our base from caking after 16 hours of wear is a trick that still tends to elude us.

So — since we’ve gleaned countless tips and techniques from makeup artists over the years — we thought it was time to share our wealth of knowledge with you. These are the hacks that have saved us hours of struggle (or gotten us through the uneven-concealer panic attacks) time and time again.
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To Get Your Cat-Eye Even:
Tilt your chin slightly downward as you stare into the mirror. This will help draw down your eyes a notch as well, which will in turn make line placement easier. Draw your lines with pencil liner first, and then go over them with liquid liner to seal everything in place. Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes recommends cleaning up any smudges with lotion on a Q-tip instead of makeup remover (which will end up being a little oily, while lotion just absorbs into the skin).

Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner, $22, available at Eyeko.
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To Make Your Berry Lip Stay All Day:
First things first: Always exfoliate your lips before applying lipstick, and then add a little bit of moisturizer so that you start with a great base. Then, line your lips with a lipliner (a natural tone or the tone of your lipstick — your choice), but make sure to follow your lip and try not to overdraw — unless that’s the look you’re going for, à la Kylie Jenner.

Once your lips are lined, press them together to diffuse the edges a bit. Then, fill in your lips with your lipstick and blot with a tissue. Pull apart that tissue (so it’s just one-ply instead of two-ply) and hold it right up against your lips. Apply pressed powder through the tissue. This will ensure that your lipstick stays put. Now, gently pat on more lipstick to improve the color tone, and your lipstick will stay all day. If your lips feel a little dry, pat a tiny bit of balm into the center so that the color doesn’t crack in the middle.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Glastonberry, $38, available at Charlotte Tilbury.
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To Get An Easy, Natural Contour:
The easiest way to nail contouring is the oldest trick in the book — grab your contour stick (ideally a color three shades darker than your skin tone) and draw a “3” shape down the side of your face, from forehead to jawline. Then, simply blend. If you want to get a little more technical, remember that you should always keep the darker, shadowy shades along the outside of your face, and your highlighting shades toward the center.

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Palette, $35, available at Make Up For Ever.
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To Really Cover That Pimple:
If you’re struggling with breakouts and find that your makeup always seems to slide off or cake up throughout the day, put an end to that ASAP. Start with a long-wear foundation — if you find that your skin is a bit on the oily side, make sure that it’s oil-free. After your foundation is set, dab on a matte concealer with the pad of your finger to help melt the product into it. Finally, set everything in place with a powder.

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, $48, available at Sephora.
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To Get Flawless Foundation Coverage:
Few of us are blessed with flawless skin — but we can all fake it. To get that perfect, seamless coverage, make sure you moisturize well before applying any products — whether it’s a lightweight moisturizer in the summer or a heavy-duty formula in the winter. Makeup artist Tom Pecheux is a big fan of spending the time to fully massage the moisturizer into the skin, which helps to counteract flakes.

Next, wet a makeup sponge (like a Beautyblender) and apply your foundation with it. By doing this, you’ll be able to get lightweight coverage and achieve a bit of a dewy glow. Lock it all in with a setting powder for lasting coverage.

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream, $65, available at Sephora.
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