Who hasn’t flipped through a celebrity magazine and coveted Jennifer Aniston’s flawless skin or Kim Kardashian’s sultry smoky eye? Thanks to several recent books, now you can steal some of the stars’ favorite makeup tips. Here’s a sampling of our favorite wisdom from the artists who work on famous faces.
For your face
1. Steal a concealing secret from popular makeup artist and beauty entrepreneur Bobbi Brown, who once referred to this as the tip she wished every woman knew.
“For very dark circles or days when you need extra coverage, start with a corrector to brighten and neutralize discoloration under the eyes,” she writes in Bobbi Brown’s Pretty Powerful. (A corrector is a pink or peach-toned crème or liquid that camouflages imperfections by canceling out coloration.) “Use a concealer brush to apply corrector as close as possible to the lash line and also on the innermost corner of the eye.” Then top with your regular concealer. Remember to blend it all with your fingers.
2. For longer-wearing foundation, “After application, give the foundation a couple seconds to dry, then blot with a tissue to absorb any excess moisture left from the product,” writes Robert Jones—who’s worked with celebrities Cindy Crawford and Sheryl Crow—in his latest book, Makeup Makeovers in 5, 10, 15, and 20 Minutes: Expert Secrets for Stunning Transformations.
Jones also recommends the new whipped crème or mousse foundations on the market, which can be smoothed on sheerly for a barely-there look or layered for more coverage, he says.
3. Want a golden glow that looks like you’ve just returned from Belize? Try this makeup tip from Jemma Kidd, who counts Naomi Campbell and Rihanna among her clients. “Prism or streaked bronzers are made up of lots of colors, so you can tailor-make the right shade for you,” she writes in Make-Up Secrets: Soultions to Every Woman’s Beauty Issues and Make-Up Dilemmas. “You can go slightly paler in the winter and slightly darker in the summer, subtly lifting the skin without it looking artificial.” Too pale for bronzer altogether? Try a warm peachy blush instead, she suggests.
4. And stick with peach, apricot or raisin on your cheeks, says Jones. “Wondering what happened to pink and red? Trust me, girls: These are not the colors God gave you,” he writes. “Go with these blush tones instead for a beautiful, natural flush.”
For your eyes
5. If you haven’t already, it’s time to ditch the frosty white eyeshadow. “Special effects makeup artists use it to make skin look more wrinkled, puffy and scaley,” writes Rae Morris—an Australian makeup artist who’s made up celebrities like Pink, Jessica Biel and Cate Blanchett—in her most recent book, Timeless Makeup. “So just imagine what effect it will have on your appearance if you have puffy, heavy, hooded eyelids!” She suggests swapping shimmer for “rich, beautiful matte shades.”
6. Looking for that perfect smoky eye? Take a makeup tip from Scott Barnes, who’s made up Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez. After rimming your eyes with black pencil, choose a matte brown or grey eyeshadow to smudge it out. “A smoky eye doesn’t mean a black eye,” he writes in his new book, Face to Face: Amazing New Looks and Inspiration From the Top Celebrity Makeup Artist. Greys or browns “give you the smoky effect without being too heavy or intimidating.” Another pro tip: If you find your eyes watering, “inhale sharply through your nose a few times. It really works!”
7. This mascara trick is not for the faint of heart, but for star-like lashes, “I like to apply mascara to both sides of the top lashes,” writes Kidd. “First, looking down, sweep the wand along the top of the lashes from the lash line to the tips.” Then open your eye and apply as usual.
For your lips
8. Her neutral lipstick “Brownie” is still one of the best-selling lipsticks of all time, so listen to Brown’s makeup tip for a perfect pout: “If you want to add lip liner for natural-looking definition, line lips with a liner the same shade as your lipstick after applying lip color,” instead of before, Brown suggests. Then, “use a lip brush to soften and blend any hard edges.”
9. When shopping for lipstick, “use the one-wipe test,” advises Morris. “that is, one wipe of the lipstick to get the color intensity you’re after. If you have to do more than this, it’s not the right lipstick for you.”
10. For that final, shimmery touch, don’t goop on gloss with a wand, says Barnes. “Apply with your finger, in a vertical manner, from the inner part of the lip outward.”