Today I went to the Giorgio Armani counter to purchase their Spring Collection. The Makeup Artist who I go to is pretty brilliant. He used to work for Shu Uemura, among other companies. He did a quick makeover, but what I learned from him is invaluable:
Do your eye makeup first: Why? If you apply foundation first, then do your eyeshadow ... any eyeshadow fallout is always an extra hassle to clean the fallout, then reapply the foundation. In the end, it's just extra foundation that you don't need to use.
To line the waterline, using a lip brush as an alternative: I've always done this personally, but I was laughed at by my friends because it looked "weird". Lip brushes are stiff and pointy, and if you're bad at applying liner, especially the waterline, a lip brush makes it a lot easier.
Applying concealer after foundation: He states a common mistake that he sees a lot of customers do is using concealer under the foundation. Since concealer is higher coverage, just use it on areas that need the extra coverage.
After applying blush, use a very small amount of concealer to have the glow from within effect: I thought it was a little odd, but surely enough, the blush had a totally different effect. He used a small amount, and did a quick stroke with the GA concealer across my cheeks, then blended it on top of the blush with a blush brush. Definitely worth trying if you ask me.
Using an alcohol free toner to give a more "my skin but better" look: After he did my face (except the lipstick). He used YSLs toner and applied it on a sponge (wedge one). He stated that he only uses a sponge for this and lightly pressed the sponge against my face. None of the makeup was on the sponge, and it really looked nice. I'll have to try this in the future. Don't use a toner with alcohol with it because it dries out the skin, plus makeup tends to come off due to the alcohol.
Eyeshadow placement: This is probably the most interesting tip of all. He stated that the biggest difference in terms of how one looks in terms of age is eyeshadow placement. What's considered the "norm" of eyeshadow placement (lid color, crease, outer v, highlight) can make you look a bit older. The reason being, our crease is naturally dark, and putting a darker color there can accentuate lines or make eyes look more aged. What he did do in terms of my makeover:
He used a black eyeshadow and put it near my lashline, but he used a very little amount. He used the side (not the tip) of the brush to apply the eyeshadow. Then the second darkest color on top of the black, but he brought the second color slightly higher, and then the third color on top of the other 2, brought that slightly up. At the end, he blended the harsh line in small circular (almost small oval like) motions with the tip of the brush a little above the crease. He then wiped off the brush and used a very small amount of highlighter on the browbone. He applied a lot less eyeshadow product than what I normally do, which was surprising. He did this ALL with my Shu #10 brush. Just one brush for my entire eye (well except the lipbrush for the waterline). I was like O_O when I saw the results. He got really excited when he saw that I had that brush in my bag. Out of all the Shu Uemura brushes he owns, he states that the #10 is his favorite. A little birdie told me he owns hundreds of brushes. One day I'll have to invade his house. LOL *sigh*
I got a lot of compliments by random strangers after the makeover. As a result, I really think some of these tips are worth giving a try. :)