Celebrity Makeup Artists Reveal Tips They Use On Their Famous Clients

Many of us aim to replicate the gorgeous looks celebrities sport on the red carpet or in films. If anyone knows how to copy those lovely trends, it’s the celebrity makeup artists behind them! Fortunately, they aren’t keeping their beauty tips to themselves.

From getting the clumps out of mascara to achieving the perfect contour, these makeup artists really know their stuff. Read on for expert advice on applying lipstick, penciling in eyebrows, picking a concealer, and much more.

Exfoliate Lips With A Toothbrush Before Applying Lipstick

Applying Lipstick on Fashion Model
David Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
David Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Lipstick can dry out lips over time, which is why it’s especially important to be sure to remove dead skin cells before applying it. While there are plenty of fancy lip scrubs on the market, there’s a cheaper alternative anyone can try.

Makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic recommends scrubbing the lips with a toothbrush. The bristles are rough enough to pull away any loose skin, just avoid being too abrasive. Dedivanovic says he especially uses this technique before applying liquid lipstick since it’s so drying.

Chill Your Eye Lotion To Reduce Puffiness

cream
Stux/Pixabay
Stux/Pixabay

There are plenty of eye creams on the market that promise to reduce puffiness, but makeup artist Petra Strand found a way to ensure they work right away. The Pixi by Petra creator advises that you put your eye lotions in an icebox.

The chilled cream will cause the skin to tighten and bring down any puffiness. Petra advises applying the cooled lotion right before putting on eye makeup for a photoshoot-ready look that will last all day.

Warm Concealers Neutralize Blue Undereyes

Backstage At Mizrahi Show
Catherine McGann/Getty Images
Catherine McGann/Getty Images

When it comes to dark circles under the eyes, concealers can work magic. However, it’s important to pick the right shade. Makeup artist Sir John recommends going with a warm tone that’s “one shade deeper than your complexion.”

He explained to Vogue that the shade enhances the eyes. Sir Johns also mentioned that peach or pink-based concealers neutralize any blue that’s underneath the eyes. The result is a major transformation that looks subtle and natural.

Base Your Perfect Shade On The Inside Of Your Arm

Binnur Ege Gurun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Binnur Ege Gurun/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

When looking for the right shade of foundation or concealer, it can be tempting to apply a small spot on the back of your hand. Maggie Ford Danielson of Benefit Cosmetics explained to Marie Claire that this isn’t a true indicator of the right shade.

She says that complexion products “should match the inside of your arm.” This way, you won’t end up with a shade that’s too dark for your face and leaves a chin line.

Layer Different Tones Of Blush And Bronzer

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Blush and bronzer should make a notable difference without being too overt. Makeup artist James Vincent told Marie Claire what he does to get it just right every time. He applies any shades of blush that are in the red family directly on the apple of the cheek.

Blushes that fall into the orange family, such as coral, he puts at the highest point on the cheekbone. Lastly, he applies bronzer to areas of the face that the sun naturally hits, such as the cheekbone and chin.

Mix Foundation And Moisturizer For Lighter Coverage

M. Von Holden/FilmMagic for Kaplow Communications/Getty Images
M. Von Holden/FilmMagic for Kaplow Communications/Getty Images

If full coverage seems too heavy but no coverage is too natural, there’s a happy medium that won’t break your wallet. Makeup artist Caitlin Wooters told Marie Claire that mixing a little moisturizer into foundation is “an easy way to lighten your coverage options.”

Not only will your skin be less likely to dry out, but the coverage will appear more natural-looking, making it harder to tell if you’re wearing makeup or just glowing today.

Use Flesh-Toned Eyeliner To Make Lips Look Fuller

Henry S. Dziekan III/WireImage/Getty Images
Henry S. Dziekan III/WireImage/Getty Images

Lipstick is one of the most eye-catching forms of makeup, but that’s also why it can make or break a look. To help prevent feathering and make the lips really pop, Pixi by Petra creator Petra Strand suggests flesh-toned eyeliner to outline the lips.

She told Marie Claire that the result is fuller-looking lips, as the eyeliner creates a subtle barrier between the lip and the skin. That’s right, even the pros use eyeliner on lips sometimes!

Use Concealer And Powder As Eyeshadow Primer

John Lamparski/WireImage/Getty Images
John Lamparski/WireImage/Getty Images

Makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic explained to Self magazine why purchasing an eyeshadow primer isn’t really necessary. He says he prefers to use concealer on the eyelids since it matching the skin tone.

Then, he tops it off with a little powder before layering on the eyeshadow. It’s an old technique that still works like a charm. Plus, it will help prevent eyeshadow from becoming discolored, and saving some money is always a good thing.

Prime Your Eyebrows, Not Just The Lids

William Connors/Condé Nast via Getty Images
William Connors/Condé Nast via Getty Images

Whether you’re using eyeshadow primer or substituting it for concealer and powder, as Mario Dedivanovic suggests, be sure to cover the eyebrows, too. Niki Metz of Jouer explained to Marie Claire that priming eyebrows keep the color in place.

It may seem like the hair would hold the pigmentation just fine, but that can all change the minute you go to scratch at an eyebrow. Primer is your first line of defense against accidental smudging.

Opt For Creams Over Powders

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Gábor Adonyi/Pixabay
sjajolika/Pixabay

While products like eyeshadow and blush often come in powder form, makeup artist Gad Cohen tells AARP that he’d rather work with cream variations. He explains, “Powders settle into lines and creases.”

The result is dry, fragmented makeup that looks noticeably altered by the end of the day. Creams, on the other hand, often double as primers, offering moisture while still staying in place. Plus, they have a sheen effect that is popular in recent makeup trends.

Follow Sir John’s Order Of Application

Arthur Elgort/Conde Nast via Getty Images
Arthur Elgort/Conde Nast via Getty Images

While not every makeup artist follows the exact same order, makeup artist Sir John told Vogue his precise routine. There’s a method to his madness, so it may be worth taking some notes.

He starts with moisturizer, then does the eyes so he can clean the fallout before applying the foundation. Concealer comes next, followed by a setting powder. Next is the bronzer, highlighter, and blush. Last is the mascara followed by the lipstick or gloss!

Contour With Skin Tone-Appropriate Shades

Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Though the name bronzer implies a bronze color powder, different skin tones require different shades of the contouring powder. Those with lighter skin may find it’s easier to blend in a taupe bronzer as it will stand out less.

On the other hand, people with darker skin tones may be better off doing reverse bronzing. Makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic explains that placing a highlighting color along the face can create more of a contour on darker skin than trying to go for a deeper shade.

Only Put Eyebrow Liner At The Ends

Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images
Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

Overdoing it on eyebrow makeup can make them stand out for all the wrong reasons. To avoid making them look too boxy, makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic applies eyebrow liner to the edges only.

The stand-alone hairs at the inner part of the brows help make them look more authentic, so there’s no need to cover them over with liner. Dedivanovic then adds a layer of shadow and finishes the brows off with a gel to hold everything in place.

Clean Brushes With Baby Shampoo And Tea Tree Oil

makeup-brushes
nanshy/Pixabay
nanshy/Pixabay

Makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic has a ton of makeup brushes, but he doesn’t waste money on a cleaner for them all. Instead, he just gets an inexpensive bottle of baby shampoo and some tea tree oil.

Dedivanovic mixes the two together and uses it as a cleaner for his brushes. The mixture effectively kills bacteria while lifting pigments out of the bristles. Plus, it leaves a pleasant scent that you’ll enjoy the next time you do your makeup.

Rest Your Elbow On A Counter When Putting On Eyeliner

Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images
Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

Bottom eyeliner is relatively easier to apply since the waterline forms a ridge for you to follow. The eyeliner that goes on the upper lid, though, is a whole different beast. That’s because it’s nearly impossible to keep your hand perfectly still.

To help, makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic recommends placing an elbow on a counter to steady your hand. This is especially helpful when doing a winged eyeliner look since one little shake can make a huge difference.

Fill In And Build Up Eyebrows To Look More Youthful

Lisa Ducret/picture alliance via Getty Images
Lisa Ducret/picture alliance via Getty Images

Makeup artist Tim Quinn told AARP that full brows are the key to a youthful look. The thin brow trend has evolved back into the big, beautiful Brooke Shields eyebrow look, and there’s a reason for that.

Larger eyebrows make the eyes pop and shape the face in a flattering way. Quinn suggests using a brow comb and powder eyeshadow to fill in the brows and elongate them. He also suggests aiming for a color that’s one shade lighter than your natural brow color.

Add Saline Solution To Make Mascara Last Longer

SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images
SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images

Over time, mascara dries out and can become clumpy. That’s why Kerry Cole of Becca Cosmetics recommends adding a few drops of saline solution to the lash product. She told Marie Claire that it adds moisture to the formula, creating a cleaner finish.

Be sure to swirl the brush around the tube to mix everything together evenly. This trick can make applying mascara much easier and save you money since you won’t be running to buy a new one as often. Be sure to replace yours every six months, however.

Help Eyebrows Grow Fuller With Nourishing Balm

Anthony Harvey/Getty Images
Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

As Tim Quinn said, larger eyebrows are back in style since they give a more youthful look. For those who are eager to grow theirs out, By Terry founder Terry de Gunzburg has some advice.

She advises applying a nourishing balm to brows every night before bed. Gunzberg explained to Marie Claire, “This will guarantee extra strength and growth—thicker eyebrows in two weeks.” The nutrients in the balm will have your brows filled out in no time.

Set Makeup With A Puff, Not A Brush

Cyd Charisse
Archive Photos/Getty Images
Archive Photos/Getty Images

Makeup puffs are a classic item that you may not see in every makeup artist’s array of tools. Though they have been more or less replaced by powder brushes, makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic still swears by the power of the puff.

He explained to Self magazine that the puff is more effective at pressing the powder into the face than brushes are. As a result, they tend to be better at preventing shine and keeping your finished look flawless.

Put On Moisturizer Before Applying Foundation

Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images
Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

While it’s always important to keep skin hydrated, this is especially true before putting on drying makeup like foundation. That’s why makeup artist Mary Greenwell suggests putting on a face mask for 20 minutes before doing your makeup.

She follows it up with a moisturizing serum and then applies the foundation. Greenwell says the added moisture not only is good for skin, but it actually makes the makeup appear brighter. Plus, it creates a barrier between the foundation and skin.