It’s awfully easy to focus on what you don’t like about your appearance. But how often do you stop and really appreciate what you love about it? Those crystal blue eyes, your striking cheekbones—whether it’s a trademark characteristic, one that you’ve always felt thankful for or a discovery you’re just now making, appreciating and enhancing your favorite features can amplify your look and help remind you about just how beautiful you are (and have always been).
Instead of diving into your cosmetics bag with a mission to mask what you think of as imperfections, use your makeup as a tool to play up your best features:
Your Glowing Skin
Though you may think of it as required prep before you leave the house, skip heavy foundation, which can mask or dampen your skin’s natural radiance. Instead, apply a tinted moisturizer or beauty balm (known as BB cream) that has a subtle, built-in shimmer and lets your natural beauty shine through—just a drop goes a long way. Brush an illuminating bronzer (pick one that’s a shade or two darker than your skin color) over your nose, forehead and chin to top off your fresh, healthy look. Though a matte powder can help you tame unwanted shine that may arise, try to avoid applying it to your entire face when you touch-up throughout the day.
Your Prominent Cheekbones
Applying blush as usual will no doubt highlight your cheeks, but using a contouring technique will especially enhance your bone structure. Apply the powder (or cream) of your choice to the apples of your cheeks. (The lighter your complexion, the lighter shade of blush you should choose.) Then use a slightly darker, complementary color in the hollow space just below to add dimension that showcases your special feature. To easily pick two shades that work together, consider buying a “contouring blush” palette. Last step: Lightly dust shimmery highlighting powder just above the blush line, (over the cheekbone) for added lift.
Your Striking Eye Color
Certain eye shadow shades accentuate the color of your iris better than others. Find your match with options like: greens for brown eyes, grays or earth tones for blue, plums for green, and bronzes for hazel eyes. Apply a lighter shade on your lids and a darker one in the crease, blending the two with a dome-shaped eye shadow applicator. Complete the look with a dark eyeliner to frame your eyes and make them pop. Black, dark brown and navy are classic choices, but colors in the same family as your eye shadow can make a big impact, too. Starting from the outer corners, apply the pencil (it’s easier to blend than liquid liner) to the top and bottom lash line in short, thin strokes. The new gel and marker eyeliners are long-lasting and work well for either a subtle look or a winged cat eye. Try the fun bright colors on top of black.
Your Lush Lashes
Eyeliner is key to enhancing this feature, too. Getting it as close to the lash line as possible makes your eyelashes look even thicker. When you’re done, squeeze your eyelash curler at the base of your lashes for five seconds, then repeat with the gadget positioned mid-lash for a natural curve. Apply two coats of mascara (choose a volumizing or lengthening formula): Move the wand side to side at the base, which deposits more mascara near the root and adds depth. Complete the application by swiping your lashes twice through. Using soft, neutral tones on your cheeks and lips will also help keep attention just where you want it.
Your Bold Brows
One of the best ways to show off your standout eyebrows is to keep them well-groomed. Keep up with whatever method you use to tend to stray hairs—waxing, plucking, threading; it’s worth seeing a professional for advice on the best shape for your face, even if you do at-home upkeep. Further pump up the prominence of your brows with a few short strokes of a brow pencil or powder. For a noticeable, but natural look, pick a hue that is one shade darker than your hair color. Brush clear mascara over your brows to set them, and then finish up by applying a shimmer powder or highlighter pencil to your brow bone (just under the arch). This acts as a ‘mini eyelift’ and directs attention to your defined brows.
Your Full Lips
To accentuate a plump pout, start by smoothing its surface: Use a toothbrush or lip scrub to exfoliate the delicate skin and eliminate flakiness often made more prominent by makeup. Then, apply a moisturizing balm with SPF as a base to keep your lips hydrated and protected. Choose a light shade of lipstick (darker hues make lips appear smaller, while paler ones augment them). First trace the edge of your lips with a matching lip liner; it will help your color last and prevent it from seeping into fine lines around your mouth. Then apply the lipstick with a lip brush for even coverage, starting in the center and blending out. Finally, dab a shimmery gloss in the center of your bottom lip using your finger, which draws attention to the fullest part of your lips. Reapply as needed.