If you've been on beauty TikTok recently, you've probably come across stitched videos of something Mary Skinner posted a couple of weeks ago seeking advice on how to make her makeup look more, as she puts it, "makeup-y."
Skinner was essentially expressing that she was bored of her same-old makeup routine and wanted expert advice and tips on how to elevate and enhance her look. In response, she received several different viral responses from professional makeup artists and amateurs alike on how to achieve her desired outcome.
It seems as though thousands of beauty enthusiasts shared her same curiosity, with many inquiring about specific techniques that can help to achieve that truly snatched look. With that in mind, we reached out to some beauty experts to get their professional tips and tricks to help us all along this journey to leveling up our makeup routines, posing the question, "how does one make their makeup look more makeup-y?"
Ahead, 11 techniques to try.
Take a Stab at 'Underpainting'
"This technique involves 'painting' the face with deep contour, bright highlights and neutralizing tones prior to applying your foundation," explains Mikayla Nogueira, a makeup artist and TikTokker. "With a brush, apply liquid or cream contour to the face to create shadows. Then apply a layer of a much lighter concealer than you may traditionally use, applying it anywhere you want to brighten. Blend thoroughly." Nogueira suggests then topping that with a foundation matching the skin tone all over the entire face. "Overall, this allows the face to appear snatched, but also allows you to use much less foundation which will prevent a cake-y finish," explains the pro. "This is typically used by makeup artists for red carpets, models and photography or videography."
Use False Lashes
"There is nothing more 'makeup-y' than false lashes," notes Nogueira, adding that they don't necessarily need to be "over-the-top dramatic" to make an impact. "It's incredible what a small, natural lash can do for the face."
Nogueira also recommends the technique many pros use of applying natural-length lashes, and then placing larger flared individual lash clusters toward the center and outer portion of the eyes. "It gives the most beautiful lifted appearance, and, in many cases, folks may not even know you have false lashes on — yet they'll be drawn to the beauty of the eyes."
Layer Like a Pro
"I love to layer, working from the start with liquids and creams and then building the look with powders," says Nogueira, who favors a method of first dabbing liquid highlighter over the high points of the face for a lit-from-within glow, then topping it with a powder highlighter to boost both shine and staying power. "I also do this with blush, as blush tends to fade throughout the day," explains Nogueira.
Add Colorful Accents
"Adding a pop of color in unexpected places on the face, like the tops of the cheeks just below the eyes or at the bridge or tip of the nose elevates even the simplest makeup," says Taylour Chanel, a Los Angeles-based makeup pro. "It looks intentional, youthful and extremely cute on just about anyone. Try a new bold blush tone to really explore and give your makeup a more 'made up.'"
Try Multiple Lip Products at Once
"Use more than one product on the lip if you don't already," suggests Chanel, who currently favors a combination of a neutral or cool brown liner, "lightly blended into the lip," with a natural colored gloss on top. Chanel calls this a "modern take on the '90s supermodel look."
Embrace a Variety of Finishes
"If there's anything TikTok has taught me, it's the value of various kinds of products," says Chanel. "Gone are the days of 'I only wear powders,' so lean into cream and balm products, and set them with a sheer hydrating powder instead of a hyper-matte one for a natural, glowing finish that blends beautifully and looks more professionally applied."
Use Primer — Generously
Primer can often get overlooked as an extra step in a makeup routine, but Chanel stresses that it can go a long way toward making a finished face look more professional. The makeup pro recommends using primer for every step: on lashes, skin and as a base for any eye makeup. "This one product will give your makeup the best chance at looking professional, blending evenly and lasting longer. Try it and watch your artistry improve," adds Chanel.
Prioritize Skin Care
Amber Amos, makeup artist and founder of Our Beauty Edit, is all about taking care of skin as a means of aiding makeup application. "To ensure you can layer on products without getting cake-y, skin care is legit the most important step," Amos says. "Make sure you're hydrated, especially if you have dry skin, and mattified if you're oily."
Avoid a Cake-y Finish
"If using a liquid concealer, let it dry down a bit before blending — that will ensure you maximize coverage," advises Amos. "Finely milled loose powders are great for setting concealer and foundation without getting cake-y. Layering products can also get that snatched look and ensure long wear, like using a cream contour first, then a powder."
Use the Right Tools
All of that layering and blending is only as good as the tools used to do it, says Amos: "When it comes to tools, I use brushes for everything. Typically more dense and shorter hair brushes for complexion and blending, and on the fluffier side for setting."
Don't Be Afraid to Go Off-Label
Amanda Benko, a makeup artist based in Vancouver, urges a sense of curiosity and adventure when approaching makeup. This means not always limiting yourself to what a product's label says: "A pro tip that I've embraced over the years is not to be hesitant to use things outside of their marketed use. For example, try using your favorite lipstick as blush. Try using your bronzer as eye shadow. Some of my best looks were achieved this way. I like to mix products together to create unique formulas and color combinations."