Beauty, Life & Style

20 Professional Makeup Tricks You Need to Know

I learned the following 20 professional makeup tricks at a Charlotte Tilbury Makeup Masterclass. The class was lead by one of Charlotte Tilbury’s senior lead makeup artists, Grace Sloan.

The 20 Professional Makeup Tricks You Need to Know

1. There is no such thing as over hydrating

Therefore, moisturise away darlings.


2. Not all foundation is applied equally

Not all of your face will need the same amount of foundation. Most of your foundation will need applying to the centre of your face with lighter amounts being applied to the outer of your face.

3. The method of applying of foundation can alter the coverage

For a more full coverage, opt for dabbing on with a brush. This method allows for an increased concentration of foundation on your face. Conversely, if you are looking for a lighter finish apply with a brush in little circles. The circular motion of application will cause the foundation to blend and diffuse over your face leaving a much softer, lighter finish.

4. Apply Concealer to you Tear Ducts

The tear duct is the most neglected place of the eye. This is especially true when it comes to concealer. Which is ironic given that this is where we tend to need it most. For best results, apply to the tear duct and blend down trough. This will also prevent creasing.

5. Apply with Purpose

Just because you saw someone on YouTube apply huge triangles of concealer under their eyes, doesn’t mean you should. For many, when it comes to concealer the old saying ‘less is more’ should really be observed.

Failure to apply product with purpose could have the opposite than desired effect. For example, sticking with the application of concealer, Applying concealer right up to the lash line will actually make the eyes appear smaller rather than the desired effect of making the eyes appear bigger and brighter.

6. The ‘golden’ rule of ‘3’

This one has been around for years and sometimes, it’s the oldies that are goldies. They obviously stand the test of time for a reason. To achieve a natural sun kissed look, take a big brush and apply bronzer in the shape of a number three on each side of the face (obviously one of those 3’s will end up backwards). This way the bronzer is hitting the high points in the face, as the sun would on holiday and creates a naturally sun kissed appearance.


7. Follow the hollow

If you follow Charlotte Tilbury at all you will definitely have heard this saying before.  When looking for a more defined contour, as oppose to sun kissed finish, apply contour from the top of the ear and drag it down to the hollow of your cheek. This has the effect of a push up bra for the face.

BONUS TIP: if you are struggling to find the hollow, suck your cheeks in and there you have it.

8. Always Highlight

Yes, we are highlighting. But we want to glow not look frosty. Take the highlighter and apply by lightly drawing a ‘c’ shape around the outer of the eye. From just above the end of the eyebrow down to the top of the cheek bone, just above where the contour begins.

9. Brows look better when they don’t perfectly match

It’s amazing how important brows are to us isn’t it? The trick is to keep them looking natural. Work with the brows you have rather than the ones you want. Remember the rule of sisters not twins. When eyebrows are exactly the same it actually ends up looking a little odd and causes people to look for imperfections elsewhere on the face. Charlotte Tilbury’s signature brows are kept looking natural and fluffy with more definition at the ends.

10. You don’t need hundreds of makeup brushes

Contrary to popular belief and 99% of all make up artists on YouTube, there is no need to have a gazillion brushes. Not even for eyes. Charlotte Tilbury artists only actually use 2 brushes to create their eye looks a blender and a smudger.

Halfway Through the Professional Makeup Tricks

As we reach the half way point, how are you finding these tricks? Have you learnt anything new? Let me know in the comments.

11. Apply winged eyeshadow with your eyes open

Winging eye-shadow. When applying the ‘wing’ part of eye-shadow, it is actually more beneficial to do this with the eye open. That way you can see exactly how it is going to sit and you can follow the shape of your natural eye. Rather than applying to a closed lid as the eye folds and creases can change the appearance of makeup when they open. Again, work with the shape you have rather than the shape you desire.

12. Red toned eye shadows work well on any eye colour

Fact. Nothing more needs saying on this point.

13. Use eyeshadow tones and shades wisely

Lighter eye shadow colours pull the eye out, darker colours sink in. So, when applying shadows and colours, think about where you want to look bigger/stand out i.e the inner corners of the eye and where you want to look darker i.e the outer ‘v’ to create shape.

14. Follow the line of your lashes

When applying eye shadow under the eye, don’t come down any lower than your lower lashes otherwise this is when you start to look like you haven’t slept properly in a while.

15. Stop wasting product

Yes. We are talking brush tapping. Debunking another technique which seems to be implored by every.single. makeup YouTuber. Don’t tap your brush. You are literally tapping off the product you intend to apply to your face. Very counterproductive. Instead, dab the brush onto your hand so you really work the product into the brush for maximum results and precise application.

16. Curl your lashes

Always curl your lashes. Do so using a pulse and set method. You want bouncy eyelash curlers. If they are too stiff you end up with square looking lashes. With bouncy curlers, do 6 pulses then set immediately with mascara. Think of mascara as hair spray when curling your hair. Once you’ve done it, set it immediately.

17. Mascara – Use the wand to your advantage.

Charlotte Tilbury’s first love. Perhaps the most important of the Professional Makeup Tricks in this series!? In Charlotte’s world you can never have too much mascara (a bit like Shelly in My Girl could never have to much blue eye shadow – gotta love the 70s haha). Anyway, Charlotte’s mascaras don’t clump so, you really can apply as much as you want until you are happy.

That being said, application should be in a wiggling motion, really working it onto the lashes. For the bottom lashes, turn the brush onto its end and apply by pulling the lower lashes down to create a more exaggerated doll-like finish.

18. Use Blusher for balance

If you do a coloured lip then blusher it balances out better across your face.

19. Blend your eyeliner

Eyeliner in the waterline. Always blend it out slightly or it makes the eyes look smaller. – This one was probably the most surprising professional makeup trick for me. I am an eyeliner fanatic but I have never thought to blend it out on the waterline.

20. Follow your lower lash to draw your liner wings

For winged eyeliner follow your natural lash line but never come lower. You want to drag out and up – how far depends on how dramatic you want to be. No matter what your eye shape though you can wear winged eye liner.

The Professional Makeup Tricks Applied

This is the final look achieved by Grace Sloan after implementing all of her Professional Makeup Tricks. Showing that these makeup tricks can be utilised whether going for a natural daytime look or a full glam, evening look.

Looking for more Professional Makeup Tricks?

If the above 20 Professional Makeup tricks didn’t quite satisfy your craving for knowledge, you can check out Charlotte Tilbury’s website. Here she regularly posts makeup tutorials from her artists. You could also have a read of my 12 Makeup Tips from Dior Backstage blog. Let’s face it, you can never have too many tricks up your sleeve when it comes to makeup can you. Keep on leveling up your skills babe.

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