One thing that always surprises me when I’m doing a clients makeup is the ‘wow, I’ve never thought to do that before’ response when I mix and match my products. Cosmetics are marketed so explicitly nowadays that it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and want to buy everything in the makeup aisle, but I promise you that this isn’t always necessary. Many products can actually have multiple uses, which saves us all money, time, and a bit of room in our makeup bags. And who wouldn’t want that? Keep reading to find out how to milk your makeup for all it’s worth…
Powders (Eyeshadows, Blushers and Bronzers)
Swapping around powders is one of my favourite beauty hacks, and not only because it’s so easy to do – sometimes I find that it actually totally pulls a look together when I use the same product on different features. I love using bronzing powder and blushers in the crease of the eye to add subtle definition and to warm up a more dramatic look. Neutral, matte brown eyeshadows can work amazingly as a contour powder. I’m always mixing eyeshadows to use on the brows, as this is a great way to get the perfect shade. And there are some incredible shimmer eyeshadows on the market that will give you a highlight Kim K would be proud of.
Kiko Wet and Dry Shadow in ‘106’ as a highlighter
Mac Powder Blush in ‘Gingerly’ as an eyeshadow
Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow in ‘Vernau’ as a contour powder
Setting sprays (or fixing sprays) have been used by makeup artists for years but have only recently become readily available to the public. Generally, they are used once the makeup is completed in order to diffuse any cakiness and ‘set’ the makeup in place, and it feels pretty fantastic too (yes, I do spray my face on the regular for no particular reason other than this). But setting sprays can also be used to intensify the pigment in powder products such as eyeshadows, shimmery pigments and highlighters. Spritz a small amount on your brush before dipping it into your shimmery powders and I promise your highlight will be visible from out of space.
Mac Fix + (top swatch with Fix +, bottom swatch without)
The most popular way to use liquid highlighters is the apply it on top of your foundation in the usual spots – the cheekbones, centre of the nose, you know the drill. But I actually prefer using liquid highlighters all over the face (but avoiding the culprit oily areas) in between applying primer and foundation to add a subtle glow to the skin. I also love mixing a drop with foundation for that same ‘glowing from within’ effect.
NYX Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator (top swatch foundation only, bottom swatch foundation mixed with Born To Glow)
I carry a huge array of concealer shades in my kit, not only to match different skin tones but also so that I can use them for different purposes. My first tip is to use concealer on the eyelid if you don’t have an eye primer to hand. I apply a small amount and blend all over the lid, and then set the whole lid with a flesh-toned powder (very important, it’ll be near impossible to blend any other eyeshadow over the top if your concealer is still sticky). This will prolong your eyeshadow, and will make your eyeshadow much more true to colour. My second tip is to use concealers to highlight and contour if you prefer working with a cream. I use a concealer a couple of shades lighter than my clients skin tone to highlight the centre of their face, and then use a concealer that is a few shades darker to contour, blending it all with a brush or a sponge. This is perfect if you have any concealers that are totally the wrong shade for you, or if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to a full cream contour kit.
LA Girl Pro Concealer (top swatch ‘Porcelain’ to highlight, bottom swatch ‘Beautiful Bronze’ to contour)
Whilst primers are traditionally used under the foundation, in some cases it can actually be beneficial to mix your primer into your liquid foundation. I use this trick when I want to sheer out a foundation if it is too heavy or pigmented for a clients skin, or I will use it myself if my skin needs a bit of nourishing. It’s really important to think about your skin type and the type of primer you are using before trying this. This works best with primers that are more ‘lotion’ based, rather than a gel, as they will mix better with liquid foundation. I also wouldn’t recommend this for skin that is particularly oily, as too much primer may slip around on the skin. But if you have normal to dry skin, and want a more lightweight, nourishing base, mixing a moisturizing primer with your foundation will do the trick. Want an added bonus? The setting power that most primers have will make your foundation even more longlasting.
NYX Angel Veil (top swatch foundation alone, bottom swatch foundation mixed with Angel Veil)
Happy experimenting guys!