This is a game changer: 19 of the best beauty tricks.

It took me many years of my adult life – and many experiments with coloured eyeshadow – to realise that the makeup gene isn’t something you’re born with, it’s something you learn.

And you don’t need to go far to find brilliant teachers: your mum, your gran, your friends, or the amazing woman who manages to ride the bus and apply eyeliner (we bow down to your greatness).

Every one of us has a lesson that we’ve learned the hard way, the messy way, or the over-blushed way, such as: do not apply false-eyelash glue after wine.

So here’s a list of some more best-ever beauty discoveries from me and the beauty geniuses in my life – and some are game changers.

We’d love to hear yours, too.

 1. Always wash your face at night

Even if you don’t wear make-up (but especially if you do). Your face still gets dirty. Doing this helped to clear the acne problems one of my friends was having.

Even if you don't wear make-up (but especially if you do).

 2. Do your make-up in an area with even, natural light around you

Sunlight is best. I’d been wearing the wrong shade of foundation for years until a friend came round and told me how terrible the lighting I was using was.

 3. Don’t agonise over trying to make your face look 19 again

My mum always told me that these women who ages best are those who accept ageing, and own it. I try to love the lines around my eyes because I get them from smiling a lot.

Related: The truth about what stress is really doing to your face.

 4. Spray hair extensions or hair pieces with dry shampoo 

Removable pieces will blend in more naturally with the tone and texture of your own hair if you spray them first.

 5. Blend eyeshadow

Oh my god, it makes a world of difference. Any brush that's fluffier than your normal basic shadow brush should do the trick. Move it from side-to-side in wiggly motions between colours to make the lines less harsh, then use stiffer small circles to blend out the edges into the skin around your eyes. It makes an eye look seem a lot more finished.

"Any brush that's fluffier than your normal basic shadow brush should do the trick."

6. You don’t need to spend hours tweezing your eyebrows

If they aren't symmetrical naturally, don’t put lots of effort into making them perfectly even. This is what's known as 'character'!

7. Make a fish face when applying blusher

When I was at school, my dance teacher taught me this trick. No more clown cheeks.


8. Blend your under-eye concealer all the way up to your temple

It makes the whole look more natural and brightens your entire eye area.

9. Stop touching your face

It's hard and for most of us it’s a habit. But every touch transfers dirt.

10. Some eye shadows need to be patted on

I never understood why my eyeshadow was so pale until I tried this. If you want a stronger pigment or it contains glitter, make sure you pat, not brush.

"Pat on eye shadow if you want a strong colour or it contains glitter pigments."

11. Apply foundation after your eye make-up

A make-up artist friend told me this. I’d never really noticed that my face had a grey tinge – until I wiped under my eyes and saw how much eyeshadow came off. Now I always use foundation afterwards: my eyes look much brighter and my bags are much smaller.

12. When you're moisturising your face, don't forget your neck

I was told this years ago. Because no one wants a wrinkly neck.

Related: 9 beauty rules you should follow (but probably don’t)

13. Pop your liquid foundation in a freezer for a few minutes 

It feels so good on the skin, and lessens puffiness.

14. Line your lower waterline

Use a light beige, vanilla or lilac eye pencil on the inside of your bottom lid to make your eyes look bigger. Vanilla is great if your waterline is naturally red, while lilac brightens sallow skin.

15. Wiggle the mascara wand through your lashes

It makes them thicker – and it really works.

Mouth must also be wide open for perfect application.

16. Use three shades of eyeshadow: light, medium and dark

Light for your brow bone and inner eye corner, medium for the middle of your lid, and dark for your outer corner. Slap them on and blend with a clean brush for an easy yet ‘done’ look.

Related: The surprising colour that makes blue eyes pop.

17. Use a white or light shimmery eyeshadow on the inner corner 

Dab it at the closest point to your nose. It makes you look more awake. I promise.

18. Old mascara wands make great lash and brow combs

When you find a brush you really love, chuck the tube after it's done and wash out the wand.

19. Stick your finger in your mouth and pull it out

Whoever taught me this trick for wearing lipstick has saved me from many an awkward social encounter. I wear lipstick almost every day and, without fail, if I don't do this little manoeuvre after applying it I inevitably end up with red/pink smudges on my teeth.