12 Makeup Artists Spill Their Beauty Secrets

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Even if you're just a mascara and lip balm kind of gal, there's no denying the effect a pair of red lips or a smoky eye can have every once in awhile. But, if you're airbrush gun-shy when it comes to getting gorg, no worries. We asked 12 of Chicago's top makeup artists to dish their tricks of the trade that are guaranteed to inspire the timid and experimental alike.
These gurus have worked on everyone from celebs to local ladies, and they are far from one-trick ponies. We can't think of anyone better to teach you how to best conceal a blemish, look more awake, or master the perfect brow. So, whether you're getting ready for a big event, a night on the town, or a day at the office, the tips ahead will help you put your best face forward — one brush stroke at a time.
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Photo: Courtesy of Shannon O'Brien (headshot); Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Shannon O'Brien

Go-to tool of the trade: "Paula's Choice Lip Perfecting Gentle Scrub. You can't have a flawless-looking lip without prepping it first. Less than a pea-sized amount of this rubbed in with your fingers will slough off any dead skin and leave your lips looking smooth and soft. It's a real lifesaver because the payoff is instant!"

Quick tip for pre-prep before a makeup application: "SK-II Facial Treatment Masks! I absolutely love this product. It can seriously revitalize your skin in just 10 minutes. It's an intensive moisture-boosting mask that plumps, hydrates, tones, and leaves your skin radiant. It is the perfect pre-prep for a makeup application — particularly, if you have a special occasion."
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Photo: Courtesy of Nika Vaughan (headshot); Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Nika Vaughan

Go-to tool of the trade: "Because I’m so into thin washes of cream product, I love synthetic fiber brushes for blending. One of my favorites is the Finish Brush from Glamcor."

Quick tip for wearing colored eyeliner at any age: "Instead of a flat black eyeliner, try a deep blue-black or plum paired with neutral eye makeup. And, if soft brown or grey are your daily eyeliners, then try a soft mauve or darker green paired with a sheer wash of eyeshadow for a night out. For the more daring, try a neutral-but-thicker liner on the top lid, and a thin, brighter colored liner (with a slight wing) on the lower lid."
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Photo: Courtesy of Factor Artists (headshot); Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Fredy of Factor Artists

Go-to tool of the trade: "MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palettes in shades light, medium, medium-dark, and dark. They are amazing for correcting and contouring — a makeup kit must-have!"

Quick tip for looking more awake: "Cold eye cream and eye drops!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Adriana Aude (headshot); Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Adriana Aude

Go-to tool of the trade: "Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage is something I cannot live without. I use it as a face concealer, lid and lip primer. I also mix it with coconut oil for an under-eye concealer. It is literally the most amazing multitasking product in the world."

Quick tip for luminous skin: "Start by applying a primer such as L'Oreal Magic Lumi. Next, use a small foundation brush to apply a cream concealer only to areas that need extra coverage; set with a finely milled translucent powder. This will prevent the creams from slipping throughout the day. Lastly, use a shimmery pink blush, such as classic NARS Orgasm, just to the apples of the cheeks. Skip highlighters and other products that just sit on top of the skin."
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Photo: Courtesy of Elle German (headshot); Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Elle German of Ford Artists

Go-to tool of the trade: "The Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler is one of my absolute favorite products. The design is a perfect fit for all eye shapes. Just one or two clamps creates a beautiful and long-lasting lash curl."

Quick tip for spring makeup: "Go orange or go home! Orange lips are hot this spring. Find the perfect shade for you and rock it!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Sonia Roselli (headshot); Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Sonia Roselli

Go-to tool of the trade: "Cream products never get enough love. My [Sonia Roselli] Cream Blush in Crush is a must-have in every makeup kit."

Quick tip for looking put together: "Colorful lips! Lipstick is the one thing you can do in less than 30 seconds to really look pulled together. Mascara, concealer, and lips."
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Photo: Courtesy of Iris Guevara (headshot); Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Iris Guevara of Factor Artists

Go-to tool of the trade: "The BeautyBlender is my go-to makeup sponge. No need for brushes that can leave streaks. The BeautyBlender gives skin a flawless, airbrushed look."

Quick tip for covering a blemish: "It is best to start by adding a little green corrector to the blemish, always dabbing lightly as this will cancel any redness. Apply a light concealer with a pointy brush dabbing it until it is covered. Finish with a light setting powder."
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Photo: Courtesy of Darcy McGrath (headshot); Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Darcy McGrath

Go-to tool of the trade: "Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Sticks are flawless and come in a vast range of colors."

Quick tip for the makeup shy: "It's all about confidence, being yourself, and learning how to create your own personal style that is effortless from day to night. Makeup is fun and magical, and at the end of the day, it can be washed away."
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Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Mertz (headshot); Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Jennifer Mertz

Go-to tool of the trade: "Bobbi Brown Extra Soothing Balm. Press on skin after makeup for instant freshness. Use on cuticles, lips, eyes, blemishes — it's amazing."

Quick tip for perfect brows: "Starting at the arch and working inward, make short, light strokes with a brow pencil. Fill in the gaps with brow powder. If the brow color turns red, lightly dust a yellow-based powder on top to correct the color. Set with a clear brow gel. Finish by using a touch-up concealer brush and a little eye brightener under and over the brow to clean up the edges."
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Photo: Courtesy of Jenny Patinkin (headshot); Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Jenny Patinkin

Go-to tool of the trade: "Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer for under the eyes. It's oil-based, so it glides on smoothly and keeps the delicate skin under the eyes from looking dry or crepey. Plus, it's super pigmented, so it really covers up dark circles!"

Quick tip for lazy perfection: "It's all about knowing where to spend your time, and what details will create an impact — not every feature on your face is the star of the show. So, when you have to get out the door fast (and who doesn't?), it's important to focus on the areas that will give you the most bang for your buck instead of spinning your wheels with products that won't even be noticeable."
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Photo: Courtesy of Aga Kaskiewicz (headshot); Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Aga Kaskiewicz

Go-to tool of the trade: "Too Faced Candlelight Pressed Powder adds a velvety finish to every complexion."

Quick tip for spring makeup: "A sheer tangerine lip stain a must."
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Photo: Courtesy of Nicole Rogers (headshot); Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Nicole Rogers

Go-to tool of the trade: "Burberry Lip Cover in Tea Rose No. 8. It's the perfect pop of pink for most skin tones and very popular with my bridal clients."

Quick tip for cleaning up eye-makeup mistake: "Every woman has an inner bombshell; makeup helps bring her to the forefront. But, if you have disaster, apply a moisturizer directly on top of any area with fallout and tissue off until the area is clear. This will moisturize the skin of the affected area and prep the skin for foundation application."
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