How to Apply Makeup Like a Pro

Monica Patrick
Professional model makeup

Make the most of your makeup tools by learning how to apply makeup like a pro. Master professional techniques and be photo-fabulous every day. You don't need to take an exhaustive course on skin care and makeup artistry to look like you know what you're doing; brush up on the finer points of cosmetic application and gain confidence in your makeup skills.

Pro Makeup Tips

Learn how to apply makeup like a pro by following these suggestions.

Tips for Beautiful Eyes

  • Curling lashes: Many women don't curl their lashes regularly, but they should. Before applying mascara, curl lashes three times. Curl near the roots, in the middle, and at the tips. This will gracefully flip eyelashes up in a flirty, eye-opening style. You may not wish to do this every day, but it can really open up the eyes and is perfect for helping you look more awake. Paired with eyeliner and mascara, it is also perfect for when you want to make a dramatic impact with your eyes.
  • Wiggle and flutter when applying mascara : Position the mascara wand at the base of the lashes and apply mascara using a gentle sawing motion. This little wiggling motion will get mascara on every lash. Allow mascara to dry for ten seconds then apply another coat working up the lashes to the tips. Flutter lashes to dry them quicker. Reapply mascara to the wand after every wiggle.
  • Wet and dry eyeshadow: Instead of stocking up on ten different eyeliners to match your rainbow of eyeshadows, use the wet and dry method. Apply shadow to the lower lid with a professional eyeshadow brush. Next, dampen a sponge tip applicator and dip the wet applicator into the same eyeshadow. Use the wet shadow as an eyeliner. Doing so means you'll get eye makeup color that matches perfectly.

Flawless Face

  • Triangular sponges: Invest in wedge-shaped sponges, as they make foundation application easier and are good for getting in curved areas like the inside of the eye and the jaw line.
  • Dab on concealer: Don't squirt large amounts of concealer on your blemishes -- be conservative in your application. Dab on a skin-toned concealer then tap it into the skin. Concealer doesn't need to be blended, your foundation will cover it nicely.
  • Even out eyelids: Smooth the skin of your eyelids by applying a light coating of foundation to the clean skin. Foundation also makes an inexpensive and excellent primer for the eyes.

Perfect Lips

  • Adjust with liner: Don't toss the lip liner to the bottom of the cosmetic bag -- put it to work. Adjust the size of your lips simply by penciling on lip lines. For larger lips, line just outside the natural line of your lips. For smaller lips, line just inside the natural lip line. For a clean slate, dab the lips with foundation before applying the liner.
  • Don't smack lips: You may be tempted to press lips together to spread the lip color around but don't. Train yourself to avoid this ugly habit. Many lip products contain lip plumpers or tiny lip pillows that crush when squeezed. Rubbing your lips together right after a fresh application will make lip lines look gloopy.
  • Prevent feathering: Dip a cotton swab in translucent powder and dab the lip lines, just outside the lip color with powder. This will prevent the color from feathering and shifting.

Professional Makeup Training

If you want to learn how to apply makeup like a pro, you may have to do your homework. From DIY learning to beauty courses, the right training can show you exactly what looks and techniques are best for you.

Online Tutorials

Learn makeup tips from the top YouTube makeup personalities. Many top makeup artists, like Robert Jones (chief makeup designer for Mary Kay) also offer online video tutorials. Some well-known makeup brands, such as Maybelline, also have their own Youtube channels in which their professionals share tips and tricks.

Pro Makeup Books

There are hundreds of makeup application books, but a few that offer a range of in-depth information include:

The Technique of the Professional Makeup Artist: This book offers a look at the different appraoches to makeup, including different lighting and film, television and stage techniques.

The Professional Makeup Artist: Filled with color photos, this book offers an in depth look at makeup application for firm, video, fashion and fantasy makeup.

Pro Makeup: Salon Secrets of the Professionals: Learn details about proper makeup application, building your makeup kit, and beauty tips in this book.

Cosmetic Classes

Sign up for cosmetic classes at a community college or inquire about fun courses offered by makeup companies like Merle Norman. Beauty schools may also offer courses that allow you to brush up on your application skills. Sign up for a class at a local community center or at your favorite spa.

Makeup and You

Refuse to have a love/hate relationship with your makeup. Take makeup classes or study at home to get a professional cosmetic look; knowing even a few tips may help you find a new you. Practice makes perfect, so spend time honing your makeup skills.

How to Apply Makeup Like a Pro