Master these three basic makeup tips and you’ll look flawlessly fresh-faced every day. The best part? The whole routine only takes five minutes! By Dawn Chen
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Ace your base: How to apply foundation.
To choose the right foundation colour, swipe at least three shades along your jawline, says Ho Mei Kit, senior studio manager at Bobbi Brown. “The right foundation shade will blend seamlessly into your skin from the jawline to the neck,” she adds. An ashen or muddy finish suggests the foundation shade is either too light or dark.
Also, instead of using a sponge or your fingers, blend foundation into skin with a brush. This prevents streaking. Start from the centre of your face and blend outwards. Pay attention to the nose and nasolabial folds (the smile lines) as skin here tends to be redder. Then set your makeup by dusting loose powder all over.
Frame your face: How to draw eyebrows.
“Filling in your eyebrows will frame your face, and darkening them makes you look instantly more alert,” says Lawrence Tan, Benefit’s training manager.
Choose a brow shade that is one or two tones lighter than your hair colour. Lawrence recommends using an angled brush with soft bristles to pick up brow powder or wax. Be sure to tap off excess product. Next, use feathery strokes to fill in your brows. Repeat as needed. The key is to layer it on lightly instead of using a heavy hand during the first application. Finally, fill in the inner corners of your brow towards the arch. Doing these steps in sequence ensures that your brows look naturally full – and not as if you’ve tattooed them on. If you need help shaping your brows, try the Benefit Brow Waxing ($24) service that’s available at selected Benefit counters.
Define your eyes: How to apply mascara.
Mascara really works wonders when it comes to making eyes appear larger and more awake. However, many women don’t know the right way to apply it and end up with clumpy, droopy lashes. When using a brand new tube, let it sit open for a minute to dry out the formula slightly so that the mascara adheres to lashes better. Meanwhile, curl your lashes. “Doing so after applying mascara makes lashes more likely to break!” says Larry Yeo, a freelance makeup artist.
Next, wipe off any excess mascara on a clean tissue. Then, holding the wand horizontally, coat your lashes from root to tip in small zig-zag (left-right) motions. A common mistake is applying mascara from the middle of lashes – this causes them to go limp.
Keep your hand steady by resting your elbow against the wall or on the table while applying mascara. And as much as you want volume, don’t apply more than four coats, adds Larry. Otherwise, your lashes will clump – or worse, you’ll have specks of mascara under your eyes before the end of the day.