Not long ago, I had the most amazing chat with London-based makeup artist (and global Pixi pro) Amanda Bell.
So amazing, in fact, that I had to break down the interview into two parts.
In part one, we learned about Amanda's career path, her makeup philosophy, her favourite products... and her seriously excellent words of wisdom on beauty self-esteem.
Today, in part two, we get into the tips!
Amanda shared 10 juicy ones with us—stuff that very well could change what you've been doing with your makeup. Here we go!
1. Chances are, you can wear less foundation.
"I see a lot of people with lovely skin wearing heavy foundation. They think they need to.
"We've all had bad skin days, but you can create a flawless skin base using the finest texture you’re comfortable with. It's pointless wearing heavy coverage foundation all over. You don't want to put it where you don’t need the coverage—especially toward the outer perimeter of the face and the hairline.
"So use something very light in texture, and then go in with a concealer so that you're only spot-concealing."
2. Find your best foundation match by testing it in three spots.
"You should only ever test foundation on the back of your hand for texture, because you're not going to wear it on back of your hand.
"Otherwise—and I know this is going to sound weird—but you need to draw a strip from just above the jawline down the neck and décolleté, and blend it out. (Ideally, I’d love to think people are taking foundation down the neck and on to the décolleté.) There are potentially three different tones there. The chest might be slightly redder, and the neck can be pale because it's obviously shadowed by the face.
"I would just buff the foundation in with a circular movement and see how it works with all three areas. I know it's more time-consuming, but it's definitely worth it. Also try to check it in daylight."
3. Blend your foundation for a seamless finish.
"People are NOT blending well. I'm so insanely dedicated to blending. The more you blend, the more of a pro finish you get, and the more you will look like a really gorgeous version of you. It's a lovely compliment when someone says, 'I love your makeup,' but it's even nicer when someone says, 'Your skin looks good.'
"If you want to blend colour into the skin, then you use little circular movements all over the face. It's a buffing movement. What that effectively does is pushes the pigment into the skin so you get this seamless effect.
"Always apply foundation with small strokes going downward, so that you don’t lift up small hairs and you glide the product over the pores. Buff it out in circular movements going downwards, so again, you're going with the grain of the hairs and buffing the product beautifully over the pores."
4. Use a smaller brush to apply and a bigger brush to blend.
"I personally like to use a slightly domed nylon foundation brush, not too large. Sometimes I even use concealer brushes to apply foundation for a real precision finish.
"Imagine working in HD; if you’re using a really large brush, then there's more potential for brush strokes to be seen across the face. So I tend to use a smaller brush to apply the foundation, and then I buff it out with a slightly larger one."
5. Warm up your skin with blush and eyeshadow (not bronzer).
"If you are naturally pale and want to add warmth to your skin, you should still choose a foundation that matches, and add warmth with a light touch of blush.
"Or instead of going cool or neutral on the eyes, you can go a little warmer, so that the whole effect is warmer in the makeup.
"Do that rather than having a heavy deposit of bronzer that’s too dark for your skin, or a foundation that doesn’t match."
Try: Pixi Sheer Cheek Gel
6. Don't forget your ears.
"If you're wearing your hair up and you're an emotional person, your ears can turn bright red.
"If you are one of those people, run a bit of base around the rims of your ears. This is especially important for wedding makeup or if you're wearing an updo, so that the look is seamless."
7. Apply eyeshadow from the outside corner in.
"Everything to do with makeup is about using small amounts and building up. It's always easier to build colours up than to take them away.
"Women need to think about where they start with their eyeshadow. That’s where you have strongest deposit of colour.
"It's best to start at the outer corner of the eye and then work inwards, so the colour becomes softer. I've seen women take a brush on the middle of the eye or the inner corner, and get a really intense pat of colour that they can't blend out.
"For eyes, I like brushes that have a rounded or domed finish. If you want to spread a colour—whether it’s a colour wash across the lids or on the cheeks—then use sweeping movements. That's helping push product from side to side; from point A to point B. You get a lovely stroke against the skin."
8. Apply eyeliner looking down.
"The trick with liner—whether it's a liquid, gel or pencil—is to get the actual colour as close to the root of your lashes as possible. This is where liner needs to go. When you work it along the lash line, you can blend it out or take it higher. But to create the illusion of thicker, lusher lashes, you need the deposit of colour close to the lash line.
"If you don’t have a steady hand, the easiest way to put liner on is to look down into a mirror. Don’t have it at eye level. Looking down, the eye area relaxes and you can see the join between the lash and lid—and that’s exactly where you should apply it."
9. Draw your cat's eye flick from the lower lash line.
"The trick for doing a kitten flick, or flicking up, is to approach it from underneath—from the lower lash line. Sometimes women go along the top lashes, and almost as an afterthought flick it out. This can drag the eyes down.
"If you're using a liquid, just do a little dot to get the angle—it’s almost like creating a template for the shape. Then trace from your upper lid to the dot, and it will give you the perfect angle.
"If you just want a very small flick, trace from below and maybe go about the width of a finger—if you can imagine putting your smallest finger on the outer part of the lid. Dot above that to just get that small flick. Then just carry the line up to meet the dot. It gives a really beautiful lift, rather than pulling it down."
10. Blend your smoky eye from the lash line.
"When women do smoky eyes, they usually start with the shadow. But the absolute easiest way is to start with a pencil—to first frame the eyes.
"The whole idea is to keep the maximum deposit of colour at the lash line. You take that deposit of colour and you graduate the smokiness from the lash line up. If you go in with a heavy smoky shadow at the crease and try to blend it across the lid, it looks too heavy.
So start with liner close to the lash line. Blend it out with a Q-tip, and then graduate up. This creates a diffused smoky look. It also suits your eye shape more, because you're keeping it to the natural contour of the eye, rather than heavily depositing colour across the lid."
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