Sure, stars like Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Blake Lively are blessed with natural beauty. But make no mistake; they don’t tumble out of bed and onto the red carpet. Instead, they rely on their beauty team to help play up their assets and disguise their less-than-perfect parts. We asked a few top makeup artists for their best tips on getting your gorgeous on.
1. Dress your eyes from inner to outer corner, not bottom to top.
Long ago, most makeup artists tossed out the technique of applying different shades of eye shadow to the lid, the crease and just under the brow bone. For a modern look, apply color in a subtle graduation of lighter to darker, working horizontally – not vertically – says Sharona Rahimian, co-owner of Style Bar Beverly Hills, a hair and makeup studio. A fresh summer nighttime look: a touch of gold on the inner corner of the eye, a wash of pink on the lid, and a swipe of a darker color – green, purple or bronze – on the outer third of the eye, extending just past the corner.
2. Blush believably.
“Perfect blush application is all about placement,” says New York City makeup artist Raychel Wade. “Ideally, you want the burst of color to be directly on the apples of your cheeks. A foolproof way of finding this is to nestle the brush directly under your eye pupil and across from the tip of your nose, and blend up and out 2 inches.”
3. Boost a bold mouth with concealer.
When Hollywood makeup artist Brett Freedman uses lipstick in shades like red, plum or berry on celebrities such as Katharine McPhee, Lucy Liu and Patricia Heaton, he preps their mouths by applying a pale concealer over their lip lines before applying liner and lipstick. “It gives you a really crisp lip that’s a very grown-up look,” he says. Touch up after dinner by blotting lips with a tissue, then reapplying concealer, lip liner and lipstick.
4. Wear false eyelashes for the flirtiest fringe.
Mascara goes a long way in adding length and fullness to the lashes you have, but it takes some extra enhancement to achieve those lush red-carpet lashes. “Nothing opens up the eye and offers the density and glamor of false eyelashes,” says Kerry Herta, an Emmy-nominated makeup artist. It takes just a little practice to master strip lashes; just remember to trim the strip to fit the length of your eye, and apply the teeniest amount of adhesive. To blend your real lashes with the false ones, trace a very thin line of liquid eyeliner at the base of your lashes and apply a final coat of mascara.
5. Shimmer, but just a little.
For a super-flattering incandescent look, skip the sparkle and glitter and go for subtle sheen. Apply a touch of a highlighting powder or cream in gold, pink or champagne on the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose and just under your brow bone. If you have dark under-eye circles, you can add a dot of highlighter just under the center of your eyes too.
Don’t neglect your body. “Every inch of skin that’s exposed should have a bit of gleam to it,” says Freedman. That includes shoulders, arms, decolletage and collarbone. What’s more, a light veil of a luminescent body lotion “will scatter the light to hide flaws, like skin dimpling, and make every body part look a little more perfect,” he says. Secret tip: To make your legs look longer and leaner, put an extra stripe of highlighter up the front on your legs, along the shin bone.
Shelley Levitt, managing editor of The Style Glossy, is a former West Coast editor of SELF and senior writer at People.