When walking down the makeup aisles in the pharmacy or through a store entirely devoted to beauty products, there is an overwhelming choice of products that each serve a purpose in your beauty routine. Moisturizer to remove dryness from your skin to prep it for makeup, eyeshadow obviously for the eyes, and mascara to give you fuller, darker, longer eyelashes and so on. What you won’t necessarily realize when reading a package or browsing through these products or even from watching makeup videos and reading articles, is that makeup really doesn’t have any rules that absolutely have to be followed. Whatever works for one person doesn’t always work for another, and there is nothing wrong with that. By all means, if you’re feeling adventurous, get creative with the products you have and play around with them to find a unique look that works for you. Do keep in mind that some products specifically state “not for use in eye area” – please heed these cautions . Contraindications aside, break the rules and have some fun! If you’re not that comfortable experimenting with makeup but want to try something different, here are 15 different ways you can use your beauty products.
15. Pigment with fix+
Fix+ is a combination priming and setting spray that you spritz on your face before and or after makeup application; MAC cosmetics is the company that produces and sells Fix+. It also has other uses that aren’t listed on the packaging or its website, here is one of the more fun ways to use it. Firstly, you’ll need some loose pigment. Loose pigment is a fine powder of very concentrated color and when binder is added, pressed eyeshadow can be made, but without the binder, more intensity remains. Here is where the fun begins. Loose pigment can have a matte finish or very shimmery, also remember that on its own, it does have a lot of fall out and can crease on the eye since there is no binder holding it together. Several companies, including MAC, sell loose pigment. First, spray one spritz of Fix+ into a very small and shallow container, like a sampler pot. Then add a bit of pigment and mix until you get a paint-like consistency. This will create a beautiful new product that is easy to paint in a more artistic way on the eyes, on the face or on the body for body art.
14. Eyeliner as an eyeshadow base
An eyeshadow base is applied to the eyelid and sometimes all the way up to the brow if it is close to your skin color and kept lower down if it isn’t. If you are using a similar color to the shadow you will apply on top it will intensify it, for instance a blue base with a blue shadow on top. Lots of products are available for the purpose, like MAC paints and paint pots, but if you don’t want to buy a specific eyeshadow base — they are expensive and also you may not use up the whole thing if it is a specific color — you can use an eyeliner in its place. Choose an eyeliner in a similar shade to your desired eyeshadow and draw it on you lid, don’t take it too high up into the crease because this would make blending quite difficult, you can always blend out the harsh line with just the shadow. After your lid is covered you can pack on the eyeshadow and reveal a more intense eye look. Finish blending and complete the last steps of the look.
13. Eyeshadow for hairline
The versatility of makeup is really amazing. Not only can it make our skin look flawless and eyes pop, but it can also cover up other imperfections we may think we have. Our hairline is something that is encoded into our genes and there is little we can do to change this. Unfortunately it can even recede over time, leaving us with flawless makeup but a gigantic forehead. Instead of lacking in confidence or looking into surgeries, your eyeshadow may be the answer you have been looking for. Since there are many brown, black and taupe shadows available, it is quite easy to find a shade that matches your hair color. Simply use a medium shader brush, or something similar, and apply that shadow on that small bald spot, your odd or receding hairline. This will color the scalp and blend it in with your actual hair and make it much less noticeable. Don’t forget to choose a matte shade so you’re not shining around your hair.
12. Concealer to clean up liner, lips or as lip base
Concealer has to be the best makeup item ever invented because it covers up imperfections and blemishes on our skin and can leave us looking rested when we cover under eye circles. Concealer is also very useful to perfect other aspects of our makeup and especially to clean up mistakes. Perfect winged liner is something that novices and pros can find hard to achieve on their best and worst days. There is a trick to clean it up if one wing is lower than the other. Just take a little bit of concealer on a small angled brush or flat definer brush and run it carefully on the lower part of that wing to even it out, this will help get both eyes even. You can also do the same thing after applying a lipstick if you missed the edge of your lip and ended up on your face instead. Blot off any gloss and then cover the remaining color with some concealer. You can also use concealer to get that very high fashion runway nude lip look. This isn’t really an everyday look, but it can be fun under the right circumstances.
11. Translucent powder to soften brows or contour
There are days when you’re in a rush and just need to get out the door but would rather be late than leave the house with brows that make you look like a cave man or a contour that looks like mud. Luckily there is a way to soften these issue without starting all over again. Translucent powder is fantastic to set your under eye concealer and all over your face to keep foundation in place and even to blur fine lines. Another useful trick is to brush it over that contour to soften it; just stamp it on with a dense makeup brush, wait a bit and the sweep it off with a softer more fluffy brush. You can do a very similar process with your brows just go a little lighter with all the steps. Voila, your brows and contour are now defined without being too harsh. Next time just use a little less product with a lighter hand and you won’t end up with the issue at all.
10. Liquid lipstick as eyeliner
Liquid lipsticks are all the rage these days, every major brand has their version in many unique colors and from matte to metallic finishes. Naturally, these are to add color to your lips and some of them will last for hours. Another unique use for the longer wear liquid lipsticks that dry down instead of staying wet, is to apply them like a liquid eyeliner. Because of all the color choices, there may be a lip color that is perfect for that eye look you want to create, or maybe you just want to mix things up from time to time but don’t want to purchase any more products. Take a very fine liner brush and dip it into that liquid lipstick and then start lining your upper lash line either after shadow application or alone. You can also use liquid lipsticks as a lip liner if you use a small brush before filling in with the same or different lip product. This can also help you get an ombré lip look if you use two different colors.
9. Highlight for face eyes and lips
Powder face highlight is another hot trend used for strobing which is basically applying highlight to the high point of your face that would usually get hit by the light; tops of the cheekbones for instance. This will help them pop and look more pronounced as if you just naturally had high cheekbones. But powder highlight can be used in other ways too. Firstly, if you’re in a rush and don’t have time for a full eyeshadow look but still want to look fresh and awake you can apply it to the inner corners of your eyes or even all over the lid with a bit of bronzer in the crease of the eye. This will add definition and brightness and eliminates the need for more products. A face highlight can also highlight just under the arch of your brow bone and give you a subtle brow lift effect. Another place on the face that we want to look fuller and pop is the lips. Applying highlight to the cupids bow will make it stand out and adding some to the center of the lips over a matte lipstick will also make them look fuller.
8. Pigment with gloss
As previously mentioned, loose pigment is just the color that eyeshadow is made out of without any binders, this makes it easier to mix it with other products to get new creative and original add-ons for your makeup. Take a little bit of your favorite pigment and place it in another sample size pot and mix in some of your favorite lip gloss or a clear gloss like MAC Lipglass in clear. The more pigment you add the more opaque the gloss will get so you can just use a little bit as a little something extra to top the lips or go full glam with a bold metallic lip, it’s up to you. Adding the gloss not only makes the pigment stick together but it will also make it appear more metallic if you’re using a shimmery pigment. Wear this mixture alone or on top of a matte lip and keep playing around with quantities and colors until you get one you love; do remember that a little bit goes a long way with gloss and pigment so start small and add slowly.
7. Eyeshadow and mixing medium for liner
One great thing about eyeshadow that makes it easy to play with is the range of colors and finishes it is available in. From the whitest whites, darkest blacks, browns and endless rainbow of colors in between, mattes, shimmers, satins and metallic. Mixing medium, on the other hand, is used to make powder products more controllable and intense. Scraping a bit of your favorite eyeshadow (or loose pigment) into a sample pot and then mixing some of the medium in with it will make a nice gel-like consistency that can then be easily applied as a vibrant eyeliner or any other way you choose to use it. Again, this can save money because you can just use eyeshadows you already have instead of buying a bunch of different liners and just need one mixing medium. It also expands your options for fun makeup looks because the possibilities are truly endless. MAC cosmetics and NYX both have mixing mediums that will work for this purpose, as do other brands.
6. Blush and bronzer for eyeshadow
In case you don’t have a lot of eyeshadows or just prefer a faster, more low-maintenance makeup routine, blush and bronzer can easily be used in place of eyeshadow. Since your bronzer is already a shade or two darker than your skin color, and not too orange for your face, it is perfect to add definition in the crease of your eye or just above it, adding this darker shade can help lift that area of skin like an instant eye lift. Blush on the other hand, due to the vast shade availability, has no limits. A more nude brown or taupe can add definition just as bronzer or the bolder reds and pinks can be used without boundaries but with lots of creativity. Again, useable in the crease for a light dusting of color or all over from lid to crease to waken up the eye area. Feel free to experiment, because after all, makeup can easily be washed off if the experiment goes very wrong.
5. Eyeshadow as highlight
Continuing on with the limitless uses for eyeshadows is this next one. Also because of the wide variety of colors and finishes, there are many eyeshadows that work well to highlight or strobe the face and they usually cost less than a regular face highlighter and are smaller so you can switch it up depending on your mood or carry around a multi-purpose eyeshadow that doesn’t take up much space in your makeup bag. Choose a color that is a shade or two lighter than your skin and has a nice sheen to it without have any chunky glitter present. Take a fluffy blending brush or any other one you like to pick up the powder and blend it into the tops of your cheekbones and other high points of your face that would normally catch the light. The same shade can also be used as an inner corner eye highlight and brow bone highlight, or even as an all-over lid shade.
4. Eyelash glue for glitter
Glitter is another super fun addition to any makeup look that can make it go from dull to glam with just a few dabs of product. There are definitely many glitter glues on the market from liquids to creams but it isn’t a product everyone usually has sitting around at home. Eyelash glue, on the other hand, is a bit more of a common product and it can work in a pinch for sticking glitter on. Just apply a bit of clear eyelash glue with a brush or finger the area you want to add some sparkle then add the glitter on top and it will stick when it is finished drying. Since eyelash glue is intended for use around the eyes it is safe to use with cosmetic grade glitter in the eye area too, just be sure the glitter you will be applying is meant for makeup application so there is no risk of injuring your eyes. Apply a bit of glue and then a little glitter at a time so there is no risk of the glue drying out before you get to the glitter. Don’t be shy to use it elsewhere besides the eyes too.
3. Moisturizer or primer with foundation
There are so many foundations out there, and for a beginner it can seem impossible finding one you like in the right shade, finish and coverage. Full-coverage foundations are obviously more opaque and show less to none of your skin through them, while lighter coverage does the opposite. Generally speaking, it is more comfortable to wear a lighter coverage foundation in the summer because we get hot a sweat and full-coverage would feel like we are wearing a mask in the heat. Instead of going out and buying a whole new foundation with lighter coverage there is a trick you can use to add hydration and sheer it out at the same time, provided the color still matches you. Pump out a bit of your foundation and add in some of your face moisturizer, or foundation primer and mix them together. After they are well mixed, apply as usual. You will end up with a sheerer coverage without buying new products. If you used your foundation primer as a mix-in, it can also help extend the wear of it.
2. Eyeshadow for brows
When learning how to do makeup and building up your collection, brow products aren’t usually the first ones people start with, eyeshadow is a more common beginning. For those of us who have sparse brows, adding a bit of product can make a huge difference to the finished makeup look. While there are lots of pencil gel brow products to choose from, powder is an easy place to start because it is easy to blend with a spoolie if you put too much and it can also be more affordable. There are lots of eyeshadows — that you may already own — that will work with your brow color too. Choose one that is matte and the same shade as your brow hair if not a bit lighter then use a small angled brush to apply it in the shape you want your brows to be or lightly in areas where there isn’t enough hair. Once you’re comfortable with using powder on a brush, brow pomade will be easier to apply if you choose to go in that direction.
1. Setting spray on brushes
We already know that eyeshadow can be used in so many ways, and is available in subtle mattes to intense shimmers. Sometimes, though, they don’t apply as opaque or as shimmery as we want them to go and we need a quick fix to get that color to pop or shine. Take your favorite setting spray and generously spritz it onto your eyeshadow lid brush then pick up your eyeshadow by rubbing it in the pan then sweep it over the lid. Adding the setting spray to your brush will not only make it stick better on the eye but it will also intensify the shadow, and if it is a metallic or foiled shadow it will make it stand out even more. Once you start using this trick you will become addicted to the effervescent look that your shadows become.
Never be afraid to play around with makeup. After all, professionals are called makeup artists for a reason.