Cleaning out your make-up bag may have been at the top of your list of New Year’s resolutions, but before you toss out that translucent powder or bottle of self-tanner, discover new ways to make what you already own work for you.
Tried and tested by Hollywood's top stars, these latest techniques offer an easy way to fresher-looking skin, a natural glow, stay-in-place eyeliner and more. Grab a make-up brush and read on! - Julia Seidl
If Instagram and Kim Kardashian have taught the world anything, it's that there are more than a few ways to contour your face. But the latest technique the Kardashian clan is getting behind is baking – and we don’t mean cookies for Kanye.
"The purpose of baking is to set your base makeup and give a flawless, airbrushed finish," says celebrity make-up artist Gemma Wheatcroft of the powder technique that leaves skin looking poreless and creaseless while keeping foundation in place longer.
The pro, whose clients include Kylie Minogue and Daisy Lowe, recommends starting with a primer, followed by your regular foundation and concealer. Using a small, stiff but soft-ended brush, apply a very generous amount of loose translucent powder on top of your under-eye concealer, onto cheekbones and in the crease of your chin and jaw line. If you're wondering how generous to be with the powder, the key word is "very."
"Let the powder sit for five to 10 minutes, allowing the heat from your face to set the foundation and concealer," says Gemma. Using a soft fan brush, dust the excess powder off your face. Click through for products:
Rodial Baking Brush, £40, rodial.co.uk.
Rodial Baking Powder, £29, rodial.co.uk.
Everyone has a clear lip balm hiding in the deep recesses of their purse. If you thought that balm was only good for rescuing a chapped pout, think again. Glossing – using a translucent lip gloss or the newest category of beauty products, a face gloss – is the latest way to add a highlight to your face, but it’s not the highlight we’re used to.
"Glossing gives you a different finish, more of a wet, dewy texture," says Grace Lee, lead make-up artist for Maybelline New York Canada. One thing gloss is not is shimmery. You want to glisten, not sparkle. Apply your gloss "everywhere you would apply your highlighter – high planes of the cheekbones, eyelids are great, right underneath your brow bone," says Grace.
But unlike a highlighter, the pro stresses the importance of refraining from glossing the bridge of your nose or chin. "There is a fine line between looking dewy versus looking sweaty." For optimal control, apply with your fingertips.
"When you’re using a brush with this kind of emollient, it can get kind of messy."
Previous: Make Beauty Face Gloss, £19, makebeauty.com.
Milk Makeup Face Gloss, £16, milkmakeup.com.
Maybelline New York Lip Studio Shine Shot, £5, Maybelline.
Love that hint of sun left on your face after a day of skiing or lounging beachside but have no plans to do either this winter? Sun stripping is a simple way to fake a glow that looks more natural than traditional bronzer application.
"It's a new way to apply your bronzer, hitting the high points that you naturally tan," says Gemma, meaning it’s not just about your cheekbones but also the bridge of your nose. Start with a matte bronzer (no shimmer please), and using a soft blending brush sweep powder across your face from cheek to cheek and over your nose.
"Tap off the excess bronzer from your brush before you start and make sure you blend!" says Gemma. "You want the effect of a post-holiday glow rather than looking grubby." Finish with a light dusting of bronzer on the centre of your forehead and your chin to balance your sun-kissed complexion.
M.A.C Cosmetics Bronzing Powder in Matte Bronze, £22, M.A.C counters and stores.
Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder Bronzer in Java Sun, £48, Estee Lauder counters.
Whether you refer to it as "tantouring" or "tontouring," the technique is the latest way to fake a contour, but this one lasts for more than one evening, thanks to the use of a self-tanner instead of contour powder.
"The ideal result is a very natural-looking sculpt," says Gemma of the technique, whose fans include Rosie Huntington- Whiteley and Ellie Goulding.
To achieve the semi-permanent chiselled look, the expert recommends applying a self-tanner that's slightly darker than your natural skin tone to the same places where you’d normally contour the face – under the cheekbones, on the top of the forehead, down the sides of the nose and under the jawline.
"I like to use a mousse because it’s oil-free and it’s very easy to apply and blend," says Gemma, who also recommends you exfoliate first. "Dry or flaky skin will make the application uneven."
Vita Liberata Fabulous Tinted Self-Tanning Tinted Mousse (available in three shades), £19.50, Boots.
James Read Tantour Sculpting Duo, £35, jamesreadtan.com
Since strobing entered our lexicon in 2015, celebs from Gigi Hadid to Olivia Munn have taken to the red carpet with cheekbones so radiant you'd think they were walking around with a spotlight permanently aimed at their faces.
But what’s the difference between traditional highlighting and strobing? "Highlighting is using lighter tones to define the high planes of your face," says Grace. "You don’t necessarily have to use shimmer; you can use matte colours to highlight. Whereas strobing has a shimmer or shine effect."
What’s the newest way to strobe? Try targeting different areas with a different shade for a multicoloured metallic effect.
"You could try one undertone under your brow bone, a different one in the corner of your eye and another one on your cheekbones," says Grace. For a lighter touch and an easy-to-manipulate formulation, mix your liquid illuminator with your moisturiser, says Grace, who recommends using either your fingers or a fan brush to work in your new glow.
Juice Beauty Flash Luminizer (available in three shades), £25, juicebeauty.com
Tom Ford Shimmer Shot (available in two shades)
Maybelline New York FaceStudio Master Strobing Liquid Illuminating Highlighter (available in three shades), £8, Maybelline.
There’s nothing worse than working hard on your eyeliner only to find it running down your face hours later. That's where sandbagging comes in. The idea – another Kardashian-approved technique – is to create a barrier around your eyes to soak up facial oils and prevent your liner from running, like sandbags protecting an area from flooding.
"The technique and effects are similar to baking, but it's a little more challenging," says Gemma. Before you apply your eye make-up, start with an eye cream. "This will help your concealer blend beautifully and smooth fine lines, preventing dry patches and creasing after sandbagging."
Next, apply an under-eye concealer. Using a damp beauty blender or sponge, pat a thick coat of translucent powder on top, as close to the waterline as possible. Let it sit for a few minutes before dusting away the excess with a fluffy brush and commencing your eye makeup.
Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, £19.50, lauramercier.com.