Close up of part of young woman's face, applying make up
Close up of part of young woman’s face, applying make up

Contouring as we know it today did not exist when I was a teenager. The first time I learned about bronzer I was 19 and visiting Austria with my family. A hip, 20-something cousin gave me a bottle of bronzer powder and told me how to use it. I coveted that thing for years, applying the orange-y powder to my temples and cheeks. I loved the way it made me appear tan without the sun and I really liked the tiny sparkle that came from the natural minerals.

perfect medium hair

There’s one way to curl your hair these days and it works on long bobs, choppy bobs, shoulder-length hair and long hair.

These textured waves are all the rage thanks to LA stylist Anh Co Tran. And there’s a secret to this look: wind hair AROUND the barrel of a large curling iron, never clamp hair in. Then reverse direction for each 2-inch section (wind up for one, down for another).

  1. Working from one side of your head around to the other, take a 2-inch section of hair and spritz it with a holding or styling spray.
Close-up of a young woman curling her lashes
Close-up of a young woman curling her lashes

A great way to make eyes pop is by curling your lashes before applying mascara. There’s simply no way to open up the eyes better. I like to heat my curler for 3 seconds under a hair dryer to set the curl better, just make sure to test the metal on your arm first to ensure it’s not too hot.

For nighttime, you might consider adding a few faux lashes, but don’t go overboard or it will be too obvious.

Liquid Foundation
Liquid Foundation


In high school I wore a full face of Cover Girl liquid foundation every day despite the fact that I had pretty nice skin for a teenager. I was a victim of “cake face” — that matte look that screams to the world, “I wear too much makeup.”

I had no idea then that the heavy, creamy foundations that everyone bought at the drugstores when I was a teen were not meant to cover the entire face. I also didn’t know that my oily skin would have been much better off with an oil-free foundation or tinted moisturizer.


Ok, so Kim Kardashian’s now-famous highlighting lesson was a bit much. I’m not sure any regular person needs that much highlighter, but contouring via a highlighting pen or an illuminating cream really can dramatically change your appearance.

Draw a skinny line down the center of your nose to make it appear thinner, dab a bit of shimmer cream above the brow to make your skin appear dewy, use a bit of pink luminizing cream on your cheeks instead of blush for a real dewy look, apply a dot above your cupid’s bow on your lips — these are all amazing beauty tricks you can do with the right illuminating makeup.

African American woman applying makeup
African American woman applying makeup

When I was younger, I used to slather concealer over my ruddy spots because tap, tap, tapping it in seemed like such a waste of time. The truth is tapping in it leaves your face looking much more flawless.

Here’s how to properly do it: put a bit of concealer on the pad of a finger (or use a concealer brush) and pat it in. Never rub. Got acne? Gently tap the concealer over the blemishes and then set it with powder.

Young woman wearing bright red lipstick, portrait
Young woman wearing bright red lipstick, portrait

Ever notice how girls with heavy eye makeup and heavy lips can look overdone and a bit clownish? When it comes to making up your face, it’s best to decide to play up either your eyes or your mouth, but never both. I’m not a huge fan of rules when it comes to beauty, but I pretty much always follow this one and I wish I knew this tip when I was a teen.

If you wear a smokey eye, go for nude lips with just a bit of gloss.


Another great makeup artist trick I wish I knew when I was younger, is the great eyeshadow-in-the-inside-corner-of-the-eye trick. Basically, you press into your inside corner of your eye a bit of light, shimmery eyeshadow. If you have an eyeshadow palette at hand, it would be the lightest color in your palette. This will make eyes wake up, you know “pop.”

Close up of part of young woman's face with eyes closed
Close up of part of young woman’s face with eyes closed

Ever notice how some of your friends look their best with no makeup at all? No matter your age, there is such as thing as too much makeup. If you wear foundation, powder, blush, liner, mascara, eyeshadow, lip liner and gloss on an everyday basis, then you’re probably overdoing it. Leave the heavier makeup to the evening and formal occasions and tone it down during the day: All you really need is a great mascara, concealer for blemishes and gloss.

She's already near-perfect!
She’s already near-perfect!

Fuller brows are almost always in, super skinny brows are not. If you are ever, ever tempted to shave or pluck all your brows hairs for the sake of a trend or a whim or a dare — DON’T.

Why? If you overpluck your brows, they may never grow back.

Do keep your brows manicured by either getting them done professionally, or tweezing stray hairs below and yes, above the brow line and in between. If your brows are on the thinner, non-existent side, use a brow pencil to fill them in.