Beauty Basics Brow School Eyeliner School HAC Makeup Popular Tips & Tricks Tutorials

Small tweeks make a BIG difference.

Sometimes makeup can actually hide your natural beauty. Which is not cool. The cool thing is that with the same amount of time and money you are already putting in you can show YOU off rather than going undercover.
There are a few pitfalls that I think most people (me included) have fallen into at some point. SO I thought I would compile some of the repeat offenders to help show the difference. Of course, as I always say, anything that makes you feel more beautiful, works. There are exceptions to every rule:)
Celeste (my little sis) what lovely enough to model for me:
Simple tips that make a huge difference!

{same girl/same day/ unedited}
Harsh Eyeliner:
Why? It can be very distracting and can make your eyes look smaller. It is also difficult to get it perfectly straight and close enough to the lash.
What to do instead? I am a big believer in a blended liner (especially on the bottom) I line the eyes in the tear line and the blend with a lighter color of eyeshadow {here} and a smudge brush {here}. This creates a very natural look and frames your eyes beautifully. You can hardly tell there is eyeliner but her eyes are still defined.

Most common makeup mishaps

Ignored Eyebrows:
Why? Do I harp on eyebrows too much? If so I’m sorry, it’s just,  I think they make such a dramatic difference! They are the most natural looking way to bring definition and intensity to your eyes. And when filled and tweezed right they bring balance to your face and they make your expressions look more authentic.
What to do instead? Fill those babies! I used an angled brush {here} and this shadow on Celeste’s. I have this old video {here} that gives you the basics. I’ve been asked to make a new video so I want to know from you guys, what exactly should I address in the new video? What are your biggest concerns with brows?

White eyeshadow:
Why? Now this one is probably just a personal preference of mine. I think white eyeshadow has a tendency to look chalky and unflattering. It can absolutely look beautiful but for the most part I think creamier warmer highlight colors look prettier and softer.
What to do instead? Some of my favorite under brow highlighters are: Lt Bronze {in lorac palette} & the one I used for this makeover was Bubbly {in Stila in the light palette}

Lack of Moisturizer:
Why? Most of the time I think women are timid to use much moisturizer because it makes them feel oily or they worry it will break them out but it is so important for getting your skin to look glowing and vibrant.
What to do instead? Moisturize! I promise it will make a difference. I try to slather some of this {here} on twice a day.

Most common makeup mishaps.

Foundation – More Coverage than you need:
Why? You gotta show off some skin! 🙂 I find most women imagine their skin to be much less perfect than it actually is. They see perfect complexions in magazines and think that more foundation is the way to get there. In all reality no one has perfect skin (not even the babes in Glamour) but when you use too much foundation it can age you and make your skin look dull. Notice how dry Celeste’s face looks in the before image.
What to do instead? I just say to put on foundation thoughtfully, really decide what you actually want to cover up. So often it’s easy to go into autopilot and cover up everything. Instead use the sheerest coverage possible and then spot treat trouble areas with concealer. On Celeste I used Nars Sheer Glow Foundation {here} mixed with moisturizer so it went on very sheer ( I had to show off her cute freckles) then I used my my highlighting concealer under her eyes and around her nose to cover up the redness.

Foundation #2 – Skipping the Blush & Contour:
Why? Now I am not saying you need to contour and blush every day but if you are going to do a full face of foundation it becomes more important. Your face has many different colors on it (ask anyone who’s ever painted a face) when you cover it up with one solid color it can look unnatural and flat. That is where the beauty of blush, highlighting and contouring comes in.
What to do instead? Using the right products in the right places is all it takes.  This is the WHOLE reason I designed my line of IIID foundation products! Which give you a sculpted, glowing and flawless finish, without making you look flat or made up! Check it out here or watch the video of how I do it here.

Disappearing lips:
Nude lips are so fun and look amazing with a smoky eye. The problem is that sometimes when you throw on nude lip gloss instead of looking hot your lips look hidden.
What to do instead? I love to contour my lips. I use this {here} lip liner and lightly draw around the outer edge and then use the smudger on the stick to blend it out. You can also use your contour shade around the bottom of your lips to make them look defined. {then I tapped the same Tarte blush {here}I used on her cheeks into the center of her lip to give it a natural looking flush)

Hair Over Spray:
Hairspray is made up of a fair amount of alcohol, so it’s really drying. When you layer it on the hair too much it looks dry and dull and lifeless.
What to do? Less is more. Always use the least amount of any product on your hair as possible to get the look you are going for. I understand that some hairstyles require more spray than others. It’s just one of those things that can become a bad habit.

I love this look! I couldn’t stop staring at her the rest of the day. She is just so feminine and beautiful. I don’t think she could possibly look that angelic and sweet if she wasn’t the person she is on the inside. I love her.
I also thought this would make a really pretty bridal makeup tutorial, do you guys agree? or do you think it’s too simplistic?

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    May 10, 2013 at 4:56 am

    For eyebrows my complexion and coloring is very light. When I try to fill in my eyebrows it looks like I am wearing eyeshadow on them! I definitely got a few looks at work. Also mine are thin and need the filling. The lightest browns are a bit too brown for me. How do you make it look more natural and less like powdery eyeshadow?

    • Reply
      May 10, 2013 at 6:43 am

      I have the same issue as you, even though I have darker hair – I’m more of a fair complection and find that when I go for a bolder eyebrow look, I tend to look like a man (yikes!). Origins makeup brand has eyebrow “mascara” that I love; it looks very natural and lasts all day. I’m sure they have samples you can try at the store before you buy! Best part is: it’s only $15 and I’ve been using mine for about a year now!

      • Reply
        May 10, 2013 at 6:48 am

        Sorry “complexion” not “complection”

        • Reply
          May 10, 2013 at 7:23 am

          Thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely check that out!

          • youalwayshaveaproject
            August 12, 2013 at 9:45 am

            Even though I have dark brown hair, I use the Mary Kay blonde brow liner to fill in my brows. It’s not too dark and looks CRAZY natural. nobody can ever tell I fill in. 🙂

          • Cara D
            December 2, 2013 at 7:57 pm

            I use the blonde mary kay pencil too and my eyebrows are really dark. Looks so natural and the pencil lasts forever.

      • Reply
        May 12, 2013 at 10:01 pm

        Check out blonde brow liner. Mary Kay (I know, I feel like such an old lady when I tell people I use Mary Kay, but I swear I’m only 25!) has a great one. I have darker brown hair, but I use the blonde liner because it fills in my patchy eyebrows without looking too “done.” Definitely blend with an eyebrow brush!

        • Reply
          Jaclyn Lorimer
          May 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

          This is what I use as well, and I’m 22! It’s great for filling in without looking ‘done’. My mother used to try to fill in my eyebrows with brown eyeshadows or liners and I always felt like it was waaayy over the top and didn’t look at all natural. The blond browliner is amazing.

        • Reply
          Debbie Rodgers
          May 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm

          lol I know lot’s of young girls still have the idea that Mary Kay is “old lady” makeup but I assure you that Mary Kay is very focused on the Y generation and their products are excellent for what you are looking for. 🙂

        • Reply
          May 27, 2013 at 7:59 pm

          This is my favorite eyebrow pencil too!! It’s the only one that matches and is a true dark blonde (most blonde pencils are way too brown!) It looks so natural.

          • candice
            May 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm

            Oh wait, I get the non mechanical version, haha

      • Reply
        May 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm

        I use Sephora’s eyebrow retractable pencil in Nutmeg. It’s the ONLY one that’s worked for me. They have a lighter color too..and you can test it in the store!

    • Reply
      May 10, 2013 at 7:24 am

      Also mac eyeshadow in the color “omega” is great for me, it doesnt darken them but helps to fill in

    • Reply
      May 10, 2013 at 7:31 am

      I have a similar eyebrow problem as a few others about it looking like I’m wearing powder on my brows. But my problem is that my eyebrows are fine shape wise except that the gap between them is too big. I have seen you always fixing this problem on people on Makeover Mondays, filling their eyebrows so they start closer together toward the nose. I try to do this but since I don’t have any eyebrow hair to build on, it just ends up looking like I’m wearing brown eyeshadow for the first little bit of my eyebrows. Any tips for making it look more natural when you’re filling in bald spots?

      • Reply
        May 26, 2013 at 8:37 pm

        I have that problem too and use a pencil/shadow combo to fix if. If you take the pencil first and make short strokes to kind of mimic the look of hair then go back over with the powder to sort of fill in the gaps it looks A LOT better than just filling it in completely with powder or a pencil. Just be sure not to press too hard with the pencil when drawing the faux hairs 🙂

      • Reply
        June 14, 2015 at 5:16 pm

        I have a few bald spots as well. I’ve tried numerous pencils, powders etc my favorite is Anastasia brow whiz. Super easy for beginners and looks natural. I hold it like a pencil slightly slanted and do light strokes until gaps are filled in then blend with the blender at the end of it. Close runner up would be it cosmetics.

      • Reply
        September 12, 2015 at 4:51 am

        Ugh, I have the very large gap with no hair eyebrow problem sa well.

        Cara, did you know hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s (autoimmune thyroid condition) run rampant these days. There are soooo many people with these conditions, and an unfortunate side effect of it….NO EYEBROW HAIR on the outer 1/3 of the eyebrow. So with the large gap between eyebrows, no hair on outer 1/3 AND really sparse brown eyebrow hair on super pale skin, it looks like I have sick caterpillars above my eyes. Eek!

        Oh, also, I have just stopped coloring my hair and I am letting all my gray hair be front and center. Eyebrow color choices for those with gray hair would be appreciated! We still want to feel young and put together with our new God-given hair color as well. My gray started when I was 18!

        And, I don’t think I have ever seen you feature anyone with short hair in your makeovers. Not everyone has or wants long hair. Remember all those people struggling with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s? We also are losing hair strands left and right and some go shorter just because long hair is harder when you are shedding hair sooo fast. Again, we still want to feel pretty and adore your blog! Share the love and expand on your version of what pretty hair is.. .everything from short pixie crops to bobs and shags and everything in between. I know your blog is about makeup, but the makeup goes on people with hair of ALL lengths!

        Thanks for all you do!!! Love your blog. The best!

    • Reply
      May 10, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      This is my problem, too. I’m blonde and fair skinned with fuzzy brows. Cara, we’d love to see a tutorial for light-browed ladies!

      • Reply
        May 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm

        I second this motion! I have yet to find an article on what to do with light blonde brows! Please do help!

        • Reply
          May 11, 2013 at 10:03 am

          yes yes yes! Help us light browed people 🙂 My hair is red but my eyebrows are super blonde and most photos look like I don’t have eyebrows at all! I currently use a “blonde” eyebrow pencil from MaryKay and it’s a pretty good color match (I think) but it definitely is what you talk about with the pencil looking less natural. I don’t know if a super light brown would look ok with my red hair or what, super lost. I know you’re planning on a redhead makeup post eventually, but maybe you can address redhead eyebrows in your eyebrow one too so we don’t have to wait? 😉

          • Cara
            May 11, 2013 at 11:25 am

            OK I think this one is a popular question! So I will put that in my brow video for sure! In the meantime one of the readers mentioned MAC Omega shadow. It is the color I used on my brows when my hair was light blonde and I loved it! Such a great color for a natural looking brow on blondes!

          • Sherry Langford
            May 24, 2013 at 12:23 pm

            I use to use Mary Kay auburn pencil when my hair was red. Also, I am very big on dying eyebrowns with just a touch of dark auburn hair color with an equal amount of peroxide on a regular basis. Also, always use brown mascara and eyeliner – never black. Also peach colors in makeup and clothes are wonderful for your coloring. You never have to go with what you have but be sure and match what you have.

          • Dae
            June 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm

            As a natural redhead with basically non-visible blonde brows I use the Anastasia powder duo in Strawburn (sometimes called Caramel), just an FYI 🙂


          • brie
            June 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm

            my hair is naturally a light blonde my eyebrows are super blonde also like white no one cant tell I have them, I can never fill in my eye brows because they look harsh and sad thing is my eye brows are not that thick but when I fill them in I look like a cave woman lol brown eye penicils make me look more cave womanish I wouldn’t do brown is I were you

          • Kody
            June 9, 2013 at 8:01 pm

            I have strawberry blonde hair with blondish eyebrows and I use the maybelline eyebrow pencil in blonde very lightly over mine and it works great

    • Reply
      May 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Mine can look odd when filled in too, try a brow gel. I use ELF’s brow duo, but I usually just use the gel side… use an angled brush to gently sweep the gel on over the hair, don’t push it down on your skin.

      • Reply
        May 26, 2013 at 7:36 pm

        YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! i cannot live without my ELF brow duo wax! eff that eyeshadow crap. it looks blurry and powdery on me!