Makeup Artists' Tricks of the Trade
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Makeup Artists' Tricks of the Trade

With a little help from our celebrity makeup artists, even the plainest Jane can have a red-carpet-worthy face in no time.

Step Out Like a Star

Ever wish you had a team of stylists, hairdressers, and makeup artists fussing over you at the crack of dawn, spending hours just to get you ready for the day? Okay, neither do we -- not really, anyway. But it would be nice to look as if you went through all that trouble every once in a while. You know, without actually going through all that trouble! That's why we set out to discover the best tricks that celebrity makeup artists use to get their clients looking radiant. Armed with these easy-to-try-at-home tips, we promise you can shine like a star every day.

Muted, Nude Lips

Rie Omoto, makeup artist to the likes of Rachel Bilson, Kelly Preston, and Portia de Rossi, uses Custard concealer from Nars ($20) under Shiseido's G1 gloss ($20) for a natural lip that glistens without stealing the show. Don't underestimate the power of a good moisturizer, because without it, the concealer will dry out your lips and leave them looking chalky instead of sexy.

Barely-There Eyeliner

For women looking for a luscious lashline without a heavily lined look, Genevieve, makeup artist to Christina Ricci, suggests gently dotting the lash line with an eyeliner pencil and then blending with a Q-tip. This thickens the appearance of your lashes without looking like eyeliner.

Perfectly Groomed Brows

Want perfect eyebrows a la Ashley Judd? Try this tip Moyra Mulholland uses on the actress: Instead of using an eyebrow pencil or eyeliner to define brows -- these create a harsher line that can look unnatural -- use a 3B or 6B graphite pencil. Women with lighter brows should be cautious, because the dark pencil will create too much of a contrast for blondes.

If you're looking to give your brows a clean look between shaping appointments, try this trick Angela Levin uses on Nicole Kidman: "I pencil in her eyebrows and then use a highlighter around them. Underneath the hair or the pencil, I draw a line outward and I draw a similar highlighter line above the brow, and that really cleans up the edges of the eyebrow and gives the illusion of a lifted brow." To create a precise line, use a highlighter brush (or a flat eye shadow brush) with a highlighter stick. We love the Multiple stick in Copacabana from Nars ($36).

Clean and Curled Lashes

For a great curl without too much fuss, makeup and eyebrow artist Robert Bolanos, who has worked with Nicolette Sheridan, Teri Polo, and Regina King, holds a spoon against the upper lashline and applies mascara against it. This gives the lashes a little curl and also protects your lids, guaranteeing clean and goop-free application.

For another lash trick sure to make your eyes pop, try an individual eyelash curler. Bolanos uses one to curl just two to four of Kim Catrall's center lashes to make her eyes pop: "Drawing attention to the center like that gives the eyes a lift and helps to open them up more than curling all of the lashes together." Vincent Longo's Mini Lash Curler ($16.50) is an affordable and easy-to-handle version of these little-known miracle workers.

More Tips and Tricks

Sky-High Cheekbones

For a higher cheekbone, Levin suggests using a cheek color with a hint of frost: "I love Senna Cosmetics' sheer face color in Charmed ($18). Use a fan-shaped brush instead of a large blush brush, hold it at an angle parallel to your hairline, angle it up toward your ear, and brush the color from your hairline inward toward your nose (you should not go all the way to your nose, but get pretty close). You don't want to smile when you apply it, but smile when you are done. If you see a tiny bit of shine on the cheekbone, you'll know you've done it right. Next, use the same brush for a completely matte version of the same shade, right above your jawline, in an angle from your ear to your mouth. Be sure not to apply too heavily if you want it to look natural. For a more olive skin, try a bronzer; for fair women, a pinker shade; and for a medium skin tone, try a mauve."

A Natural Blush

For a slightly flushed, no-makeup look, Mulholland suggests glossing your cheeks with a large blush brush after tapping most of the blush off of it. Stroke the apples of your cheeks with the brush for a few minutes, and you should be left with a shiny glow in just the right places.

Full and Fabulous Pout

Want an age-defying pout like Desperate Housewives' Nicolette Sheridan? Bolanos suggests lining the outside of the mouth with a white highlighting pencil. Softly blend it all around on the skin to camouflage lines and wrinkles, and you'll look anything but desperate. Bolanos recommends the Shu Uemura Eye Light double-sided pencil in white ($18), which gives you a pearl and a matte option, depending on your mood.

Another fantastic tip for fuller lips from Linda Cantello, makeup artist for YSL and head of her own cosmetics line: "To naturally plump, draw a tiny line, using your lipliner, right beneath the middle of the bottom lip. Follow with your favorite lip color. You'll notice a slight line gives the illusion of a shadow and a fuller pout -- perfect for the girl who needs instant gratification."

Complexion Perfection

Cantello also has the secret to a perfect dewy glow. "Mist Evian water on the face after moisturizing, but before applying foundation. This gives skin a moist and youthful quality, while helping to increase the wear of your makeup."

If you want a camera-worthy glow on top of your summertime tan, try this tip Levin uses on Goldie Hawn: "Goldie has kind of a tan, California look, but if I put a dark base on her, I notice that it makes other makeup not show up as well. So I work with two different shades of makeup and blend really well. On the outside of her face, starting where the eyebrows and forehead connect, I shade with a color close to the shade of the tan on her body (1 to 1 1/2 shades darker than the rest of face). I use the darker shade all around her hairline, underneath her ears and below her chin, and then blend to her neck. I then apply the lighter shade to the inner part of her face (and I avoid applying too much powder there). This creates a glow that draws attention to the center of her face." Be sure to blend really well with this trick, otherwise you may just end up looking like you're wearing a mask. Levin uses either a sponge or her fingers to make sure no makeup lines are visible.

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