10 makeup tricks you need to know

Pro makeup artists share the secrets to applying makeup like an expert

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duwop under-eye

1. Hide dark circles

"Before concealing dark circles, use an under-eye treatment rich in antioxidants, including vitamins A, E and C, to brighten shadows and combat inflammation," says makeup artist and DuWop creative director Cristina Bartolucci. "Let it absorb, then gently pat a light, moisturizing concealer over the under-eye area all the way up to the lash line."

Try: DuWop Circle Block, a two-step antioxidant treatment plus concealer with shea butter and glycerin, 3.2 g/6.4 g, $31; at Shoppers Drug Mart.

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smashbox anti-shine

2. Don't skip the primer

Mattifying primer is a master multitasker, says pro artist Shawn Hlowatzki. His favourite is Smashbox Anti-Shine, which, applied first, helps makeup stay on longer. "Use it as a base on lips to keep lipstick colour true and prevent it from bleeding," he says. If you want lips to look fuller, skip the adult-movies lipliner; instead run the primer just slightly outside your natural lipline.

Try: Smashbox Anti-Shine, a gel-to-powder primer for seriously oily skin, 30 mL, $31, at Shoppers Drug Mart and Sephora.

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cover girl/olay

3. Find your foundation

If you're 40 or better, forget the tinted moisturizer. According to celeb artist and Cover Girl pro Paul Venoit, to achieve "full beauty potential," you'll need a little more coverage from your foundation and concealer for a fresh-faced look. "Our faces lose tone and definition as we age," he says. "If you stick to the minimalist routine you used in your 20s, you'll look tired."

Try: Cover Girl & Olay Simply Ageless Foundation, SPF 22, with Olay Regenerist serum, 12 g, $16.99; at drugstores and mass retailers.

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loreal eyeliner

4. Try liquid liner

Liquid liner is easier to apply than you think. Eddie Maleterre, official makeup artist for L'Oréal Paris and artistic director of Toronto's LG Fashion Week, says to start by putting your mirror face-up on a table so you're looking down into it. Line lightly at the lash line with pencil or eyeshadow in a similar shade to the liquid liner you want to use, then trace over it with your liquid liner in small strokes from the outer corner in.

Try: L'Oréal Paris Lineur Intense Felt Tip in Carbon Black, liquid liner with a felt-tip applicator, $9.99.

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estee lauder cream eyeshadow

5. Choose cream over powder

Makeup artist Alice Kilpatrick, whose résumé includes Paris Hilton and Celine Dion, likes cream eyeshadow for more mature eyes. "They don't sit in fine lines like powders do," she says. Stick to neutrals to avoid an overdone look, and leave bottom lashes mascara-free.

Try: Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place ShadowCreme, 5 g, $19.50; at select department stores.

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prescriptives in bloom

6. Brighten your cheeks

Every makeup artist agrees: blush is essential to looking fresh and bright. Bartolucci loves peachy pink on cheekbones, blended back toward the hairline for a natural glow. Maleterre likes a rosy hue on just the apples of the cheeks for a playfully young flush. We say choose your technique according to your mood.

Try: Prescriptives In Bloom Cheek Colour Duo, 6.5 g, $30; at Holt Renfrew.

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benefit brow zings

7. Perfect your brows

Defined brows is another always-tops tip with the pros. "Make sure the area under brows is completely smooth after tweezing," recommends Venoit, whose famous canvases include Kate Moss and Liv Tyler. Keep the look natural by using an angled brow brush to apply powder in short feathery strokes and blend with a clean mascara brush.

Try: Benefit Brow Zings, available in Light, Medium and Dark, 4.35 g, $33; at Holt Renfrew, Shoppers Drug Mart beauty boutiques, Murale and Sephora.

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maybelline lash stiletto

8. Master mascara

Get a false-lash glam look with just mascara. Hold a mirror so you can see up your nose (seriously), and start with the mascara wand firmly right at the very base of your lashes where they meet your upper lid. "When you get two thirds of the way up your lashes, roll the wand slowly up and off the remainder of the tips," says Hlowatzki. "It takes a little practice, but you'll get a dramatic, curled effect without looking overdone."

Try: Maybelline New York Lash Stiletto, 6.5 mL, $9.99; at drugstores and mass retailers.

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cargo eyelighter

9. Get brighter eyes

To brighten tired eyes, "apply concealer on the inner top lid area and under eyes, and dust with translucent powder," says Kilpatrick. "Use lighter shades of eye shadow on the top lid only, and lightly dab flat white shadow in the inner corners."

Try: Cargo EyeLighter in white and gold, with matte shadow on one end and shimmer on at the other, 2 x .8 g, $18 each; at Sephora and Murale.

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josie maran kit

10. Buy in bulk

If your makeup update requires more than just a lipstick or an eye shadow purchase, pinch beauty pennies by picking a palette or total-look kit. You'll score a coordinated set of make-pretty items for a total price that comes in far lower than it would if you bought each component separately. That's Score with a capital-S.

Try: Josie Maran's Earth Day Essentials Green-On-The-Go Kit, a $98 USD value for $59 CAN; exclusively at www.sephora.com.

What's your best tip for expert makeup application? Share it with other readers in the comments.

Janine Falcon is the founder and editor of BeautyGeeks, a site about stuff that delivers best-you beauty and style.