By: Jessica Estrada
Whether you’re a total newbie to the beauty world or you’ve had your makeup routine down pat since your middle school days, it’s safe to say there is always room for error — even with products you’ve been using for years. We’re all guilty of using one or two (or more) products incorrectly, but as is true with most things in life, it’s never too late to step up your game. That’s exactly why we tapped San Francisco-based makeup artist Eliza Desch to help us out.
Here, she breaks down the 5 beauty products she often sees people misusing and provides tips on how to actually use them. You’ll want to take note since the following beauty products are likely tucked away in your makeup bag as we speak.
“Whether you're using pencil, pen, gel, or eyeshadow as liner, if there is a gap between your lash line and the liner, you're applying it incorrectly,” Desch says. “The goal of eyeliner is to make your lash line look thicker and more defined, so you want to get your liner right in your lash line.”
No eyeliner gap? Got it! So, what’s the best way to apply it? Desch recommends applying your eyeliner from underneath your lash line. This is called “tightlining” in industry lingo.
“For every day, just doing this will make your eyes look defined, open, and bigger because your liner is not too thick making your lid appear larger,” she says. For nighttime, however, she suggests elevating your look by adding liner to the top of your lash line, too.
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Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen on their face to actually get the job done. “Make sure you apply at least a dime size amount and spread it all over your face, neck, ears, and décolletage,” Desch says.
For a typical day, applying sunscreen once in the morning under your makeup is all you need. But if you’re planning to be out in the sun a lot, Desch recommends reapplying every two hours. Pro tip: Go with a zinc-based sunscreen that moisturizes and primes.
As tempting as it may be, you don’t need to apply powder all over your face. Instead, apply your powder to certain areas and go powder-free on your cheeks to create that coveted glow.
“After you apply foundation and concealer, gently tap a small brush in your powder and apply to your t-zone, chin, upper lip, nose (including the sides), and forehead,” Desch says. “Mattifying the t-zone will help your makeup last in those areas where redness occurs, and makeup tends to wear away.”
Concealer truly is your best friend, especially when you’ve missed some sleep. But Desch says too much of a good thing doesn’t necessarily create the most flawless result. The key is to use your concealer strategically.
“It does not need to be applied under the entire under eye area,” she says. “Only apply where there is darkness.” Try to avoid the areas where there are fine lines as the concealer will make them look more pronounced.
She recommends applying the concealer with a brush, letting it sit for a moment, and then patting out any creases with your ring finger. Lastly, finish by setting your concealer with just a touch of powder.
If you tend to go a little bronzer-happy, this one’s for you. “Bronzers, especially shimmery ones, should not be used as contour, and they should not be used all over the face,” Desch says. “Use it on the high points of the face where the sun would naturally hit: the top of the forehead, the nose, and chin.”
In other words, bronzer is for helping you fake a tan and give you that sun-kissed glow, but it’s not for creating definition. “Contour should be cooler, taupe-y gray-toned to create the appearance of shadow and depth,” Desch explains.