Home > Everyday Makeup Hacks from a Professional Makeup Artist

Everyday Makeup Hacks from a Professional Makeup Artist

About two weeks ago, I took a makeup artistry class specializing in “day makeup” – looks that can be worn everyday to school, the office or just running around looking like “you, but better”.

Our makeup artist was awesome – funny, cheery and full of great tips that I want to pass along to all of you.  I have incorporated pretty much all of the makeup tips that he taught us that I found especially useful – and I’m loving the results! Read on to see what I learned!

Prepping Skin for Makeup Application

  • Always apply makeup to clean skin. Even if you washed your face in the morning, you must re-wash if you are applying makeup hours later. This will rid the skin of any environmental pollution, and excess oils and therefore, reduce any breakouts.
  • Before washing your face, take your eye makeup off first using a gentle eye makeup remover or micellar water.


  • When applying concealer to a blemish, use a brush which is the same size as the blemish.  This makes concealing easier. Also, use whatever brush you want – just because it’s labelled a certain way doesn’t mean it can’t be multi-purpose.
  • Concealers with yellow/orange tones are best for dark skin, and when choosing a concealer, you want to choose a colour that is brighter, not lighter.
Nicole Kidman Taraji Henson Bad Concealer Style Domination
Oh no. No no no no no.


  • You should set your makeup with pressed powder.  When applying powder, use a big, fluffy brush for a more natural look. I use my Real Techniques Powder Brush pictured below (on sale by clicking thumbnail below for $7.37 – SCORE!).  I will also use my huge Marc Jacobs Bronzing Brush in a pinch too.

Real Techniques Powder Brush

Marc Jacobs Bronzing Brush

  • Apply pressed powder in a rolling motion onto areas where you’ve applied concealer in order to not rub it off.  For your eye area, dab on your pressed powder with your fluffy brush in order to not remove any of your eyeshadow.


  • Work on your “bad eyebrow” first.  Identify the major issues with your bad eyebrow and work on correcting them before moving on to your good eyebrow.
  • When colouring in your eyebrows, use a shade that is a little lighter than your eyebrow colour.  For instance, I have black eyebrows, and I use Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade in Dark Brown (shown below – $18.00).

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade

  • When using an eyebrow pencil to fill in brows, always draw in the same direction as the hair growth for a more natural look.
  • Start filling in your brows at the arch first, not at the beginning of the eyebrow.  Once done, brush through your eyebrows with your eyebrow brush.  My favourite listed below (again, Real Techniques brush on sale for $2.49 by clicking on thumbnail below).

Real Techniques Lash Brow Groomer


  • Use neutrals for your day look (greys, beiges, light golds, champagnes, pale silvers, etc).  The main shadow colour should be 2-3 shades darker than your skin tone.
  • Add darkest shadow colour to your lid with your eye open to demarcate the eye socket.
  • Use a bullet-shaped eyebrow brush to add shadow under the eye.  A great blullet-shaped brush example shown below.
Eyeshadow Beauty Blogger Style DOmination
Pic courtesy of www.busterandellie.com

Our makeup artist swore by the Ecotools pointed concealer brush. He loved it for smudging eyeliner and eyeshadow under the eye.

Ecotools Pointed Concealer Brush Style Domination Beauty Blogger
Pic courtesy of www.morningwithmomsblogs.wordpress.com

I couldn’t find this brush for sale on its own, but its available in the set shown below – on sale for $16.99.

Ecotools 6-piece Day to Night Clutch Set

  • Try using those great, pointed kajal eyeliners!  Thanks to the shape, you have remarkable control while applying.  Before it sets, use your bullet-point shaped brush to smudge and lighten the colour a little.
Physician's Formula Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Beauty Blogger Style Domination
Pic courtesy of www.theradiancereport.com

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Kohl Kajal Eyeliner – on sale for $7.17 by clicking thumbnail below.

Extra tips!

  • Any makeup with SPF/sunscreen in it will photograph lighter.
  • Blend, blend, blend, blend, blend, blend, blend, blend and blend.
  • Use a white eyeliner on the waterline to brighten your eyes.  If you are a woman of colour, use a peach eyeliner, such as NYX Magic Wonder Pencil in Nude Dark.
Nyx Magic Wonder Pencil in Nude Dark Style Domination Makeup Lifehacks
Nude Dark pencil (bottom)
  • Always comb out your mascara with a fine tooth eyelash comb. No clumpy lashes for daytime wear! I really love the Real Techniques lash comb as it has easy-to-clean metal teeth (shown below for $2.49).

  • Brushes made of natural hair are better for applying powders. Synthetic bristle brushes are better for applying liquids such as foundation.

Here is my day makeup look:

Hope you found these tips as helpful as I did!  What are some of your favourite makeup hacks? Please share in the comments!


Style Domination Logo Blogger Fashion Blogger Beauty Blogger Foodie Ottawa Canada

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Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


  1. August 25, 2015 / 9:19 am

    Great tips! Especially liked the eyebrow stuff.

    • August 25, 2015 / 10:23 am

      Haha! Me too! No more patchy eyebrows for me! Hope you are well!

  2. August 25, 2015 / 9:44 am

    Amazing tips! Thank you for sharing these with us 🙂 xx

    • August 25, 2015 / 10:23 am

      No probs, Rachel! Glad you enjoyed them and thank you for reading!

  3. Patti
    August 25, 2015 / 9:53 am

    Was it a Bobby Brown course?

    • August 25, 2015 / 10:24 am

      No – I found the pic online and thought it was pretty. LOL! At one of our big, luxury department stores here in Canada, Bobbi Brown offers makeup classes that are really excellent. You may want to check them out in your neck of the woods!

  4. August 25, 2015 / 10:50 am

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing. Where did you take this make up artistry class?

    • August 25, 2015 / 11:36 am

      Hi Seema! I took it at a local modelling agency. Glad you liked the tips and thank you for reading! xox

  5. August 25, 2015 / 11:00 am

    Wonderful Tuesday morning read! Easy peasy tips and tricks and your day-day makeup looks gorgeous! I am quite the amateur when it comes to makeup application and am paying a visit to MAC Cosmetics this weekend to sign myself up for a beginners makeup course. Wish me luck! 😉

    Xo. http://www.sonamnaiducreative.com

    • August 25, 2015 / 2:10 pm

      Awww – good luck! That’s so funny – I just signed up with MAC here to take a smoky eye “class”. I booked 30 mins with one of their makeup artists and she will be teaching me how to do a blue smoky eye. Super excited! I can’t believe you are an amateur. You makeup in all of your pics is so beautifully applied! xoxox

      • August 25, 2015 / 10:32 pm

        Ooooo that sounds so pretty! Please share the look and techniques with us when you have your “class”. AND my makeup always looks so beautifully applied because of my amazing friends who are professional makeup and hair stylists!

        • August 26, 2015 / 10:06 am

          Ahh – that helps, right? LOL! Yes – I’m anxious to have this smoky eye application. Can’t wait to share the results! xo

    • August 25, 2015 / 2:09 pm

      It was super fun! Playing with all that makeup? WOW. And really learning how to apply makeup properly is invaluable. A part of me really wish I continued with my esthetics training and finished my makeup artistry certificate. Oh well, it’s never too late! xoxoxo

  6. August 25, 2015 / 11:50 am

    Great class and great tips! Thanks so much for sharing Xoxo

  7. August 25, 2015 / 1:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing the tips Dominique 😀 it’s always great to hear about how the pros do it!

    • August 25, 2015 / 2:08 pm

      You’re welcome! This post is proving so popular that I’m signing up for more makeup classes to attend. Stay tuned for more tips! xoxoxo

  8. August 25, 2015 / 1:57 pm

    Great tips! That’s awesome that you took a makeup class. Sounds really fun.

    • August 25, 2015 / 2:06 pm

      It really was! I’m now signing up for every makeup class I see! Thanks for reading, Joy! xoxox

    • August 26, 2015 / 10:16 am

      OOOOH! Thanks for nominating me! That’s awesome! Glad you found the tips helpful! Personally, I like all-natural bristle brushes for all makeup, but the synthetic ones they make nowadays sometimes feel way better than the natural! xo

      • August 26, 2015 / 5:44 pm

        Love your blog! Yeah these were really helpful. I’ve only used synthetic hair brushes, what are some of your favourite natural hair ones?

        • August 28, 2015 / 12:49 pm

          Oh – Chanel and Bobbi Brown. The Chanel brushes are surprisingly cheaper than expected and excellent quality (their $40 big kabuki brush is the perfect blender), and Bobbi Brown will last for years, but I find them really $$$$$. Thanks for your kind words! Glad you are loving the blog! xoxoxo

          • August 28, 2015 / 2:31 pm

            Ooh thanks. I’ll invest. I’ve never purchased brushes from beauty brands themselves, but I’ll have to start looking into it 🙂 Thank you!

          • August 28, 2015 / 4:30 pm

            You’re welcome! You don’t have to break the bank! Real Techniques brushes are amazing, along with Sigma. Price them out and see (the branded ones), but paying $60-90 for a brush is always feasible! xoxox

          • August 28, 2015 / 5:51 pm

            I have the core collection from Real Techniques, love them! Still looking to buy the Powder Brush. Sigma is very high on my to-do list

          • August 28, 2015 / 9:13 pm

            Sorry – I meant that paying $60-90 a brush is NOT always feasible!

  9. August 25, 2015 / 7:00 pm

    Awesome info here! Thanks for sharing!

    • August 26, 2015 / 10:08 am

      Ahh – that’s great to *hear*! Thanks for reading!

    • August 26, 2015 / 10:08 am

      Hey Asa! Me too – I’m pretty thrilled with the results! I will pick up a gold eyeliner too. I think that would look beautiful on us. xo

  10. August 25, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    Great tips thanks! 🙂 Especially the concealer ones- I have bad skin 🙁 Thanks for following my site too 🙂

  11. August 27, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    Great tips! Who knew I was doing my eyebrows all wrong! Lol!

    • August 28, 2015 / 12:42 pm

      That eyebrow tips has got to be, hands down, the most popular tip in this post! I was floored when the MUA told us how we should approach filling in our brows. You should have seen him working on the model – it was incredible. Thanks so much for reading! xoxoxo

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