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Oh, makeup. I love it. I even love hoarding it. But I don’t always know what to do with it.

My girlfriends are the queens of great makeup. One of them has even turned it into a profession. I, on the other hand, can’t do a smokey eye to save my life — unless you consider looking like you took a punch to the face in a bar fight acceptable — and nothing intimidates me more than the thought of applying false eyelashes.

For years, I’ve been on a routine of tinted moisturizer + blush + mascara + lip gloss. But as I get *cough* older, I’m realizing that a few extra minutes in front of the makeup mirror can make a big difference.

I’ve been watching YouTube guru tutorials for years, but I never really got the grasp of what a good makeover can do for a girl until I started reading Maskcara last month. Her before-and-afters?! I mean.

So, I nudged out of my comfort zone and gave just two of her tricks a try. Highlighting and contouring, and soft blended eyeliner. And you guys! It’s kind of amazing! For the last few weeks, I’ve worked both of them into my daily makeup routine. It’s a subtle change, but people have noticed; “Did you do something different? Your eyes look really blue!” {Tip for blue-eyed girls: Use bronze, copper, and taupe shadows and liners to make those peepers pop!}

Now I’m on a mission to find more great beauty blogs! What are your favorites?

Posted by:Keira Lennox

I'm a small town girl from the sunshine state with an affinity for bookstores, beauty counters and unfussy style. I spend my days running my flower shop, and my nights blogging about what I love and what I wear. (Or watching Netflix and drinking wine.)

38 replies on “made up: my favorite new beauty tricks

  1. Wow! before I even realized what this post was about, I looked at your picture and thought to myself how amazing your eyes looked! When I read that you learned how to brighten them and use what colors worked for you, omg I believe it must work! Your eyes really stand out!

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  2. You looks so cute. I usually have a very simple routine, but have been experimenting a little more lately. I’ll definitely have to check out those videos!

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    1. Definitely give them a peek! They’re pretty easy to follow, and the great thing is, if you mess up you can just wash your face and start over! ;-) When I’m trying something new, I always practice at night so I have time to perfect it; as opposed to the morning when I’m rushed and don’t have time to start over if I screw up.

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  3. Your makeup looks great! I discovered Maskcara’s highlighting and contouring and was like, “how have I gone so long without this?!?” I also had every intention on doing a before and after blog post, but I couldn’t get pictures to do justice- so kudos to you!

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    1. That’s exactly how I felt when I found it! Sure, I’ve used bronzer forever, but I was totally doing it WRONG!

      I love the idea of a before and after. One of my closest friends is a makeup artist, and I always think it would be so fun to do some before and after makeovers with her and share them on the blog! Check her out: http://perryloakley.wordpress.com

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  4. Have you watched Beauty Broadcast? It’s a girl named Emily Eddington. She is the best :) I have a link to her page on my blog (under blog spotlight on my sidebar) if you wanna check it out – simplychristal.com

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  5. You look great! I’ve just recently started highlighting as well and have definitely noticed a big (but still subtle) difference. One of my favorite websites is thebeautydepartment.com. They do lots of makeup and hair tutorials which is great for not so savvy ladies (like me!)

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  6. If you want to do something with your eyes besides eyeliner then I suggest purchasing Woodwinked in pan form( it’s cheaper) then put it in those cheap elf pallets. With a fluffy brush, swirl it in the eye shadow and dust it on your eyes focusing on the lid of your eye and blending it outwards. It’s fool proof I swear. You get satiny lids and a slightly contoured socket for dimension all with one shadow :).
    I love the pixiwoo sisters, tanya burr, Lisa Elderidge

    http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/shaded/2146/907/Bestsellers/Eye-Shadow-Pro-Palette-Refill-Pan/index.tmpl (on the website, it looks NOTHING like it does IRL)

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    1. Thank you SO much for sharing this, Ashley!! Can you believe I’ve never purchased a MAC product? I need to get on board.

      I also just found Lisa Elderidge (through Maskcara, actually) and holy wow, she’s talented. Going to check out the others you suggested, too!

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  7. You look great! Makeup can be intimidating, but you did a really good job with it! I don’t know how old you are, but you look young to me!

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  8. First, I have to say, you are adorable and I love getting updates when you post! I’m not a style maven to say the least, I mean don’t get me wrong, I understand the basics of fashion and make up, but actually applying them is a different story. I’ve been following Maskcara for a little while and she is amazing! I haven’t quite figured out how to use a brush yet, and more often than not I look bar fight bruised, but I think I’m getting there! The Dating Diva’s are pretty awesome as well! http://www.thedatingdivas.com/ and on Facebook, there are sooooooo many pages dedicated to beautiful make up, when I get on there again, I’ll send you some links! :D So glad I found this blog, it’s helped me to figure out a lot, although it hasn’t helped my shopping problem. ;P

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    1. Thank you for reading!!

      Here’s what I’ve learned about makeup: It’s only as good as the tools you use to apply it. A few years ago, I splurged on a set of brushes from Sephora, and it changed the way I thought about makeup. It’s kind of like trying to paint a house with a cheap crappy paintbrush.

      I recommend signing up for Hautelook, and keeping your eyes peeled for their Crown Brush sale events (they have them pretty often). If you take care of them by cleaning them regularly, a good set of brushes can last you a long time, and make application so much easier!

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      1. Thank you for the tip! I have heard of Hautelook (Thank you Rachel Zoe’s ad on Pandora), but I have not checked it out yet.

        My sister bought me a small set of brushes for Christmas two years ago, so that’s what I have. She said they’re good quality, I’d tell you the name but I’ve worn it off from use. Maybe it’s time for new ones.

        What I do know about make up is colors that match my eyes, but otherwise, I’m pretty far away from being even slightly ‘knowledgeable’, so I definitely appreciate the tips!

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  9. I have also noticed I have to spend a couple extra minutes in front of the mirror too…. dang to getting older!! The highlighting around your eyes looks great though… totally worth it!!
    ~Lauren

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      1. Haha, thanks! I’m a little brow obsessed. I used to pluck them to death, but I’ve finally learned to leave them alone (like my mother always told me) and I really love them now! Anastasia brow products are my favorite, though. Her brow powders and gels help me tame them and make them look more polished.

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