Create Your Best Glam Look With Make Up You Already Own

Michael Brown

Beauty Expert

I have often over the years, had women bring to me their entire makeup kit and asked if I can go through it and tell them what’s hot and what’s not. Basically, what to chuck and what to keep!

So many of us have way too much unused makeup lying around in our kits or bathrooms and some could be gold in creating the perfect makeup look for you. Getting the most out of your existing kit is all about understanding some of the basic makeup artist tricks that transform any look. So, take some time to learn the tricks that makeup artists swear by and start to make good use of all that makeup you already own.

Image via pinterest

There are some important things to remember about makeup

1. Knowing your skin tone/underbase

This enables you to know what shades to use and the one’s to avoid.

*If you are more a pink/fair undertone, avoid pink shades and use warmer, more summer colours to reduce the pink present in the skin.

*If you are more a pink/fair undertone, avoid pink shades and use warmer, more summer colours to reduce the pink present in the skin.

*If you are more a yellow/olive undertone, you need a little colour to lift what can sometimes be a dull complexion!

2. Pop your best feature

We should all know what our best feature is.

If we have full lips, pop them! If we have a balanced, upturned eye, wing them. Know what works on your face and only have one focal point at a time.

3. Opposites attract

Just like with our skin tone, using a contrasting shade on the eye can really benefit your look and put more focus on the eye colour you have. For example, if you have brown eyes and use a matte brown eye shadow, they will get lost and have no focus.

– Blue eyes go your nudes – chocolate, caramel, taupe, gold

– Green eyes go Earthy/wine – copper, bronze, plum, purple

– Brown eyes can really use any colour, but when nude, use a metallic shade to pop the eye.

4. Matte Vs. Metallic

I like to use a good balance of matte and metallic, or sheen, on the face. All of one can be a little too much, in both areas, for an everyday look.

Matte shades are great to sculpt, contour and use as the ‘shade’ in highlight and shade.

– They are great for areas where you don’t want focus, as they don’t attract light being not light reflective.

– Perfect for a hollow area/under bone of the face as they recede the area to sharpen that feature

– Being a flat colour, they are normally used as a stronger pigment

Metallic/sheen shades are great to lift and highlight an area.

– Being light reflecting, they attract the light, putting focus on an area, therefore bringing it forward.

– Best used when adding next to a shade tone for contrast

– Often chosen because they look ‘pretty’, but are they right for the area you are putting them on? Do you want that area to be a focus and come forward?

– Lighter pigment as it is not a flat solid colour, but a light-reflecting glow.

And lastly, the most important step.

5. The wear time of Long Wear

All products have a wear time, but it is different from person to person.

This could be because of your skin type, the environment you are in, or the facial movement throughout the day. It is important to know and recognize these elements to avoid disappointment, or unnecessary touch up time throughout the day.

6. What is your skin type?

– Oily skin needs a mattifying, oil free finish in foundation for it to last all day. (Highlighter can be added over the top, on the cheekbones for a glow if matte scares you)

– Dry skin needs a great base of moisture and a creamy finish foundation for it to go the distance. If not, your skin sucks the foundation in, craving for moisture – you are then quick to blame the foundation, but it is actually your skin, crying for help. 

7. Know your facial muscles/movement.

Look at your expression lines, know where creases occur. In these areas, you should be applying less product to avoid creasing later in the day. (e.g. forehead/crows feet)

My tip is to scrunch up the face to see these areas and then apply makeup accordingly – less is best – only cover what is needed (usually the centre of the face, where there aren’t as much crease lines).

8. Eye Folds

If your eyelid is puffy, has a heavy lid, it is likely that eye shadow creases on you. There are a few ways you can instantly fix that:

– Avoid cream/glossy shadows

– Always prep with a cream to matte concealer as a base – going to light or liquid has no hold and will crease in seconds.

– Matte shades last longer than metallic, plus being matte and if you use a deeper tone than your skin, it will help recede away these puffy, heavy lid areas, to open your eye, plus avoid creasing for long wear.

9. Keep your lips

No matter how good the ‘Long Wear’ lipstick is, some of you just literally eat it off. Dryness is a problem, if your lips are well looked after – smooth and plump – lipstick has more chance of staying put. In addition:

– Don’t paint on lipstick, this will allow lipstick to sit on top of your lips which can then be easily eaten off/transferred. Press lipstick pigment into the lip so it will lock in and stain.

– If you always have dry lips, don’t go too matte as it will crack and fade, try a creamy texture instead.

– If you are talking all day and lipstick fades, keep your lip moisture levels up, use a matte shade, and apply lip liner after application to create your lip shape for longer.

Now that you have a crash course in Makeup Artistry, ask yourself these questions when going through or applying make up.

– Are these shades correct for me?

– Why am I putting this product/shade on this area? What is it really doing?

– Do I know what this product/shade will do for me? Or is it just habit that I am applying it.

– Do I know my face well enough to use this product?

They should help you decide to either chuck some of your old makeup items that don’t suit you, or keep and apply to actually get the results you are after.


Don’t be fooled by the dull, less pretty shades in your kit. The basic nudes, bronze and matte shades may look dull, but these are KEY in any makeup artist’s kit as they sculpt, lift, recede and give shape to a face. Sparkly is fun, but is not always right – it has its place.


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