Real Beauty Tips From Real Ladies

makeup tips

We are not a beauty blog. We are not makeup artists or pros. We’re just a big group of ladies who slather paint on our face and see what works and what doesn’t. And after inadvertently starting a massive conversation amongst ourselves about our own personal tips and tricks for our beauty routines, we thought, “Damn, we should share these.” So that’s what we’re doing, sharing advice, tips, how-to’s, favorite products, and wisdom.

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  • I’m a firm believer that lipstick will make you look dressed up and purdy, no matter how drab your outfit secretly is.
  • I always wear Mac lipsticks because it tends to last longer than other brands I’ve tried (well, that and I like going to the counter to see what weird and wonderful makeup combos the counter girls have on any given day!).
  • My fave at the moment is Ruby Woo because the dramatic red colour makes me feel like I’ve been transformed into an elegant lady. Evidence below!



  • I’ve found that first applying a layer of your lipstick, then a light layer of baby powder and THEN your last layer of lipstick will may it stay put for hours. You feel a little like you’ve got congealed sand on your lips, but it definitely works!



  • When I was in high school my mother told me that the only thing you need is the perfect lipstick, sunglasses, and a set of pearls. If you’re rocking those three things, no one will notice if you might be a hot mess underneath.



  • Wearing lipstick that stains whatever you’re drinking from? Subtly lick the edge of your glass before taking a sip, and then you’ll still be wearing your lipstick instead of your drink.
  • Eyeshadow primer is shockingly not a ruse to make you spend more on makeup—if you want your shadow to stick and maintain its perfect saturation throughout the day, put on a primer first. My go-to (for all things eyeshadow) is Urban Decay.
  • Being a photographer and trying to look nice is often difficult to juggle. Every time you look through the viewfinder your face makeup smears on the camera and any eye makeup smudges. Over the years I’ve finally developed a routine that lets me do both:

1.) Use an eyeshadow primer and a single color light eyeshadow (less layering to smudge off)
2.) Only line above your lash line on your eyelid with a liquid liner pen (Buxom Pen & Ink Long Last or Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner have both worked for me).
Forego foundation. Use concealer and powder, or a BB cream if you must, just make sure you set it with powder.
3.) Use a setting spray. Again Urban Decay has a great all-day spray: All Nighter LongLasting Makeup Setting Spray.
4.) Use a waterproof mascara so it will be less likely to smudge.
5.) Most importantly? Carry make-up wipes with you just in case you get a little smudge and don’t want to look like a bad extra in a horror film (proof below).IMG_0749




I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: ladies, sort your eyebrows out. You can have “fine eyes” to rival Lizzie Bennet, but without framing them properly you’re doing them an injustice. My tips?

  • Because I have fair hair, I choose to dye mine a darker brown (use a “30 day mascara” product—it works just as well on your brows).

  • Pluck them from the bottom only, and for the love of the beauty gods: do not over-pluck.

  • Invest in a good pair of tweezers, just as you would a hairbrush or a fabulous foundation.

    See Also
    pouch with several makeup

  • Find a pencil that matches the colour of your brows and softly fill them in. Alternatively, Benefit’s Brow-Zings is the best product I’ve tried—use the waxier colour first and set it with the powder, using the little brushes.

  • Finish them off with a once-over with a clear mascara to keep any wayward hairs from doing their own thing during the day.


  • My makeup motto centers around not having to reapply the shiz constantly throughout the day. I don’t have the patience for that! And it’s stressful. I prefer to be perfectionistic ONCE in the day, versus every few hours having to reanalyze placement of things.
  • In case you haven’t heard it already, LIPSTICK can make your face look freakin’ awesome. As a wise friend once told me, “Lipstick brightens the face!” But do you know what is really annoying about lipstick? It has great potential to go haywire or disappear from your face. So I use Maybelline’s Superstay 24 lipstick that has color on one end and moisturizer on the other. The colors are bright and really do last forever. The only downside is that if your lips are chapped it can get really funky looking. If that’s the case, go for some of Burt’s Bees lip shimmers until your lips recover from their desiccated state.
  • I recently discovered NYX eyeshadow palettes and they have really great pigmentation that lasts for a long time if you put primer on beforehand. While I lust after Urban Decay’s products, I really can’t afford them right now, so I’ve found that NYX is a good bargain. They have single eyeshadows and combo palettes. Oh, and they have a wide variety of lipsticks, glosses, etc that are also worth checking out.
  • Last but not least, I do not come from a makeup savvy family, so I had to turn to the internet to find tips. Preen.Me has a bounty of ideas. But my go-to is consistently xoVain, because they have practical and easy-to-follow tips, and great reviews on products. Some of my fave articles are those by Alle Connell (@helloalle on twitter), so make sure to check her out (and she likes “Doctor Who,” just sayin’).


I’ll be honest I’ve been bad about makeup and face care pretty much my whole life, but as we’ve proven everybody has their tips. I know they say that you should put focus on your eyes OR your lips, but who cares? Do them both.

  • A little bit of gloss or color goes a long way, and recently I’ve been obsessed with EOS lip balms. I love them and even without color they make my lips shiny and pretty without being sticky or wet. It also lasts forever! I always put some on at night and I wake up with soft lips every morning. Put a little lipstick on first and you’re ready to go out!

  • My only other must have is eyeliner. I’m blonde, I have blonde eyelashes so I’ve always had to wear mascara, but recently I started letting go of the mascara and letting my eyeliner carry my color. I use my thinest brush to apply some eyeshadow (whatever color suits the day) and put it on like eyeliner close to my lashes.

  • Other than that find a product you love. If everyone recommends it to you, but it irritates your skin or eyes chuck it. And never never forget to have fun. I’ve gotten more use of my “The Little Mermaid” makeup set from Sephora than anyone ever thought I would.
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So what are your makeup tips? Tweet them to us @litdarling

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