Our jobs make it such that we're around makeup artists a lot, whether it's over Instagram and email or in person. That means we've had the chance to soak up some of their genius tricks through both intensive lines of questioning (we love tips) and osmosis. It's those tiny, subtle little changes that end up making all the difference.
So we decided to round up all the best ones—the most helpful makeup tips that have garnered the most compliments post-application. Below, the editors of Byrdie share their most prized makeup tips, where they learned them, and how to re-create the look yourself.
Use cream products for a natural daytime look.
"A makeup artist once told me that for daytime makeup, cream products (eye shadows, highlighters, bronzers, blush) are almost always the way to go because they're less cumbersome and look more natural than powders. I promptly became obsessed with cream formula everything, and that eventually led me to my favourite eye shadow: Tom Ford Cream Colour For Eyes in Sphinx and Opale. I just tap the multidimensional rosy-gold Spynx onto my lid and dab the light champagne Opale in the inner corners. It's so simple, but I get compliments every time I wear this stuff." — Amanda Montell, features editor
Never wear just one foundation shade on your face.
"Beyoncé's makeup artist, Sir John, once told me you should never wear one foundation shade on your face. Our face isn't just one colour, and to avoid looking one-dimensional, it's important to highlight, contour and sculpt your skin accordingly with one lighter foundation and one deeper foundation. He loves the Dior DiorSkin Star Foundation (£35) for this technique." — Maya Allen, assistant editor
Soak your Beautyblender in rose water.
"A few months ago, my favourite GlamSquad MUA, Alyna Ajere, soaked her Beautyblender in the Heritage Store classic rose water elixir before applying Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer on my face as both a foundation and a concealer. I don't know why I had never thought to dampen my blender with anything other than water before that, but now I do it every time, and it's completely changed the way my skin looks. My foundation stays on longer, looks more natural, has the prettiest dewy finish, and I feel like I'm simultaneously gifting my skin with some additional rehab while I'm making myself up." — Erin Jahns, assistant editor
Try lipstick as eye shadow.
"By now it's not news that two years ago, Burberry Beauty model Iris Law taught me about putting liquid lipstick on your eyelids, and I've been slathering lipstick all over my lids ever since. The monochromatic pairing of the same colour on my eyes and lips always yields much praise. After over a year of experimenting, these eight are my favourite lipsticks to use as eye shadow." — Amanda Montell, features editor
Apply concealer with a fluffy eye shadow brush.
Katie Jane Hughes, the queen of all things natural-looking and impossibly glowy, taught me a concealer trick I've used almost every day since. Rather than caking on foundation, Hughes opts for a more effortless, real-skin makeup application by blending on concealer in any problem areas—and nothing else. She applies the concealer to her hand to warm it up and buffs it on with a fluffy blending brush in small circles. That way, you're never adding too much product but you can still get the coverage you crave.
Allow the mascara on your top lashes to add definition to your bottom—without adding more product.
"Adele's makeup artist, Michael Ashton, said that if you don't want to apply mascara onto your lower lashes or don't like how heavy it looks (I have super-long lower lashes, so they can look scary and spidery really quickly), just close your eyes for a few moments immediately after applying mascara on your top lashes—while it's still wet—so that it kind of just naturally touches and layers or lower lashes to add really subtle dimension. It's genius!" — Erin Jahns, assistant editor
Use a foundation brush to apply false tan to your face.
"A makeup artist once told me that the best way to apply fake tan to your face is by using a foundation brush, as it gives you total control. Pump one pump onto your fake tan mitt as usual, and then use a flat foundation brush to apply it onto your face and neck. You're left with the most natural-looking tan ever, and you never have to worry about orange fingertips again!" — Chloe Burcham, freelance beauty editor, Byrdie UK
Use cream highlighter to fake a post-facial glow.
"So my tip isn't strictly from a makeup artist– but a friend I used to work with. She has the most incredible skin, it always looks like she has had a facial, but when I complimented her on her skin she told me it was RMS Living Luminizer. She warms it up between her fingers and pats it onto her skin, and it gives her the most amazing complexion that looks dewy and fresh. If my skin is ever looking dull and a bit lacklustre, I use this and get so many compliments too." — Amy Lawrenson, editorial director, Byrdie UK