Call me superficial, but I love makeup. The shiny packaging. The pretty colours. The promise of my face looking slightly less blotchy and tired and puffy. I’m sold.
But just because I love the stuff doesn’t mean I know how to apply it all like a makeup artist, and similarly, I reeeeally don’t know what to do once I’ve made a mistake (try to scrub it off, bugger it up more, stamp my foot is the usual process).
That’s why the internet, with all its makeup-applying experts and problem-fixing pros, is like a street directory for navigating the sometimes-daunting world of mascara and lipsticks. Even if you take a wrong turn, there’s always someone to advise the best road back.
Jen, of Jen’s Reviews, is one such expert, and she’s helped us pull together a bunch of her best fix-it makeup tips.
When you eff up your mascara.
Don’t you looooove it when you spend a good 15 minutes blending your shadow like it’s a Monet painting and then you slip and ruin it with mascara? Just. Great.
“Fix this easily by first letting the mascara fully dry, then simply wipe it away with a cotton bud. The mascara should just flake right off. Touch up any shadow that may have also been removed and you’re all set,” Jen said.
When you’re scared of effing up your mascara again.
Before you make any more mistakes, go to the kitchen and get a plastic spoon. If you don’t have plastic, a metal one will do.
“Simply hold the spoon against your upper or lower lash line, correlating to which you are currently applying product onto, and apply as normal. The plastic spoon catches any product that would have potentially ended up on your eye, ruining your makeup,” Jen said.
This trick is great for girls who have long lashes which might hit the eyelid. This way they hit the spoon, instead.
When your mascara has gone clumpy.
Mascara has an annoying short shelf life and feels like it goes from ‘good’ to ‘dry and crusty’ literally overnight. Heat can help with this problem.
“An easy way to avoid this and make your mascara last longer is to pop your mascara tube into your bra or under a warm cloth for a few moments. The heat will loosen the product, making it easier to apply.”
“Be careful though, as sometimes heat can cause bacteria to grow. Always follow the recommended expiration dates on any cosmetic products and use your own judgement if you feel something is no longer eyesafe,” Jen said.
Beauty guru Zoe Foster Blake shares her best beauty and style advice for the busiest of women. Post continues after audio.
When your lashes just look sad.
Volumising mascaras changed the game but then lash extensions came along and now we’re obsessed with having lashes that are bigger, bolder, blacker. If you want somewhere in between, try using good old face setting powder. Yep, you read that right.
“A cheap and easy way to help pump up your lash game uses a product you likely already have: translucent loose setting powder.”
“Simply dip a clean brow spoolie or dry mascara wand into the powder and apply a thin layer between swipes of mascara,” Jen said.
“By placing powder between each layer of mascara, you’re allowing the product to better grab onto your lashes, creating an illusion of volume. If you do not have a clean wand on hand, use a fluffy eyeshadow brush to lightly dust powder onto your lashes between mascara applications.”
When you loooove the mascara wand.
Sometimes you just fall in love with a mascara wand and it’s hard to say goodbye when that mascara dies. So instead, keep it.
“Save the wand to use with a different formulation. Just rinse it off then clean it with alcohol. They can be used as brow spoolies and to swipe down baby hairs around your face, too,” Jen said.
When you forgot your lash curler.
Straight-lashed girls will feel me – there are fewer fates worse than forgetting your lash curler.
“For an instant lash boost, place a clean cotton bud or brush handle under your lashes near the base. Keep it there as the mascara dries. The added lift will stay when the product is set, giving you plump, bold lashes in seconds.”
When your eyeliner had gone hard.
When your pencil eyeliner feels like it’s going to rip our eyelid off before it deposits any colour, try heating up the pigment.
“Run a lighter over the tip of the pencil for just a couple of seconds, then allow the liner to slightly cool. The flame will heat up the product, making it smoother, richer, and easier to apply,” Jen said.
“If you do not feel comfortable using an open flame, you can just as easily hold the pencil to a hair dryer, though this make take a few moments longer to achieve the same level of creamy usability.”
When you bugger up you winged liner.
Approximately eight women in the entire world are great at doing winged liner (looking at you, Chloe Morello) while the rest of us have to settle for a slightly wonky set of black lines above our lashline.
"Do you ever mess up so badly you wish you had a tiny eraser to clean up your wing? You can actually buy makeup eraser pens. Simply use it like any other eraser and fix makeup errors without removing your entire face," Jen said.
When you want fuller lips.
This retro trick has been used on movie sets for forever. You don’t need filler or a hundred different lip shades, you just need a white lip or eye pencil.
“Add a white pencil product to the center of both of your lips, blending it carefully so that it retains pigmentation but is not going to show starkly through your lip colour. Apply your lipstick as normal and you’re done."
"You should notice an immediate difference," Jen said.
When your hand is shaky.
You can blame your products all you want but let’s be real, sometimes not-so-great eye makeup comes down to not having a steady hand.
“Here are two possible solutions. The first one is obvious: stabilise yourself. Rest your hands on your knees or a flat surface before applying the liner. The second is instead of drawing one line for your liner, draw a series of dots then connect them," Jen said.
The dot method is great for pencil liner - just use an angled brush to join the dots and create a slightly smokey look.
When you don't know where to pluck.
Trying to DIY your brow grooming but you're not sure which hairs to keep and which to pluck? Fill your brows in before you start.
“An easy way to ensure you do not pluck too much or leave a bit more than you planned behind is to fill in your brows first. Using your usual product, fill in your brows normally.Then pluck whatever stray hairs remain," Jen said.
Got a clever makeup fix-in for us? Tell us in the comments!