5 Ways I've Improved How I Do My Makeup


The pressure of doing my own wedding makeup combined with blogging allowing me to indulge my love of makeup more than ever has meant that I’ve seen a good improvement this year in how I apply my makeup. Wether it looks better is entirely subjective and probably depends on the day -as I write this I’m sat in my PJs with no makeup on at all- but I think I’m committing less makeup don’ts and more do’s now.

On an aside, I’ll tell you what I haven’t got any better at and that’s taking photos of my makeup. I think this is the expression I have if I’m trying to do mental arithmetic. I’ve not yet mastered how to take photos of makeup without looking completely vacant and feeling incredibly vain and pretty ridiculous … But I digress.

1. Concentrate more
I wonder how many times I’ve applied my makeup? I’ve been wearing makeup almost daily since I was 18, so we’re taking thousands of times. It’s second nature, especially in the morning when I’m forever tired (still waiting to magically become a morning person) and often I stop thinking about what I’m doing and go into auto pilot. This is where most of my crimes to makeup take place so I’ve found that by planning what I’m about to do before hand -does anyone else go freestyle regularly only to completely mess up everything? Like I’m some sort of pro, calm down- and taking my time, things generally tend to go better.

2. Less –product– is definitely more
Don’t panic, I’m not about to suggest everyone start wearing less makeup … I’m still a big advocate of cake facedom.

My skin type would best be described as normal and I’ve been lucky throughout my life to never get acne or have many issues with skin stuff. Whenever I used to go to get my foundation matched, the MUAs would almost without fail mention the fact I don’t need full-coverage foundation. For some reason though I ignored that and would always opt for the highest coverage I could find. This was back before I would wear anything else over or under it, so I think it was my quest to get ‘flawless’ foundation which obviously wasn’t the best way to go.

Now I’m older my skin is different and I do have some redness etc but I find medium (build-able to full) is more than enough for me. Two pumps of foundation is generally the consensus but rather than looking at what I’m putting underneath my foundation now and how that might effect things, or just thinking about my face and not blindly applying, until recently I would put two pumps on no matter what … Sometimes more.

I’ve had issues with feeling cakey and like my makeup was sinking into my pores, so went back to the drawing board and began applying foundation only in specific areas then really blending out. I now use 1 pump 90% of the time and only add tiny dots more as needed, so I’m using far less product and don’t have the tell-tell orange splodge on the back of my hand every day.

This logic applies to ALL makeup. When I blend a crease I use tiny amounts of product and always dust off the excess. I’ve stopped highlighting my pores in silver like the surface of the moon and dust on highlighter sparingly.

I’ve realised I was previously dumping product onto my face which looks clumsy and cakey. Carefully using small amounts of product has made a huge difference to how my application looks.

3. Stop being so heavy handed
Our faces are delicate but I’ve been guilty in the past of blending so aggressively it’s like I’m mixing cement not applying makeup. I now always make sure to hold my brushes at the end rather than like a pencil which makes things a lot lighter and lets the brush do it’s thing. They’re created for a set purpose so don’t need to be rammed into your face to blend effectively.

4. Be patient
My trusty Makeup Geek mattes palette is a life saver when it comes to blending a crease. I start almost all looks with transition shades from this as a base. Any dark / bright colour I use I apply very sparingly and after at least two transition shades below it.

The same applies to foundation or eyebrows. I find I use more products than ever, but in tiny quantities to build a look.

5. Get to know your specifics
Whilst I’m not a big fan of following set rules all the time like wearing certain colours for certain eye colours etc -boring!- knowing your undertone, face shape and eye type can help you make your makeup work more for you. A big change I’ve made after years and years is how I apply my winged eyeliner. I love a big cat eye -who doesn’t?- but I have small eyes with only a bit of visible crease. If I spend time doing a nice blended eye look then apply eyeliner, all you can see in places is the eyeliner even if it’s thin.

This video from SmashBox is handy for identifying your eye type. I think I have almond shaped eyes so to exaggerate that and still be able to wear eyeliner without ruining my makeup, I have started applying it from the middle of my eye and out. I also cut my eyelashes in half or just apply individuals at the outer corner only which has a similar effect.

I hope some of these changes I’ve made will be useful to you. Let me know what you think or if you’ve got any other tips

    • http://doublejointedgirlandherdog.blogspot.co.uk/ Rachel Stinson

      I totally love this post. All of these points make such total sense to me. I often get annoyed at myself with how much product I use – less is definitely more. Amazing post as always 😀


      • Amy

        It’s so easily done! Thank you! 🙂 x

    • https://closingwinter.wordpress.com Holly Shannon

      I love this, especially using less makeup and taking time to do it! I always go into auto-pilot in the mornings, but today I took my time and did my first proper wings!! I’m pretty chuffed 😀 x
      Holly ∣ Closingwinter

      • Amy

        It’s so easy to slip into. Yay that’s amazing <3 x

    • Yiotou_La

      I am guilty of wearing too much foundation, well at least I used to wear but not anymore. My morning routine is quite simple and I prefer using a BB cream for a natural look! Great post Amy x


      • Amy

        I think we’re all guilty of it, I’ve never found a BB cream which I love but I think the coverage of them would be ideal so I need to keep hunting. Thank you 🙂 x

    • http://www.jacquardflower.uk Jacquard Flower

      Great tips, I agree with you on the foundation and have found that wearing less as I get older is definitely a better look for me too.

      Gemma x

      • Amy

        Thanks Gemma! I think the Dream Matte Moose days are behind us all haha. x

    • http://www.alicered.co.uk Alice Red

      Great post, it’s really important to do makeup that suits you – not just copy what everyone else is doing! I feel like I’m really getting to know what suits me the more I experiment. I definitely want to try your foundation tip – I seem to use loads and my skin isn’t that bad, it’s just red. Maybe if I started in the red areas and blend out that would work differently? I’ll have to give it a go!


      • Amy

        Completely agree. Same here, practice for the wedding got me into doing it more and I find it’s helped a lot. Have you tried colour correcting concealer? You could dap a little of that on the areas you want to neutralise and then use less foundation, but I think your suggestion would work well too x

    • http://www.halesaaw.com/ HALE

      Oh wow, you did your own wedding makeup! My did her own makeup too, she doesn’t trust anyone else… too many ‘too shimmery’ experiences!
      Aleeha xXx

      • Amy

        Too shimmery haha! That would be my nightmare. I did it because there wasn’t much choice when we decided to elope but I’m so glad I did as it worked out well in the end xx

    • https://www.diagonsally.com Sally

      Not being heavy handed and getting to know your face are so important. I think a lot of it comes down to experimentation and just learning what suits your face which sometimes means not following trends. Kudos to you for doing your wedding make up!!! x

      Sally – DiagonSally

      • Amy

        Totally! Thanks Sally x

    • animrac niruza

      First of all, I think your blog is awesome! Second, I don’t agree with what you said bec I think you take really good photos of your make up looks and third, I think you have great make up skills. 🙂