Smudged eyeliner, cake-y foundation and serial overdoses of bronzer - yep, it wouldn't be an Australian summer without the occasional make-up mishap. But short of going completely barefaced (not that there's anything wrong with that), what's a girl to do when her make-up is literally melting? We chat to Stila's head make-up artist Sarah Lucero about formulas, fast fixes and tricks of the trade.
1. Problem: Eyeliner that constantly smudges
Solution: "The key is the formula - it's meant to smudge if it's a pencil where you have to sharpen it," says Lucero. So forget the soft and smudgy kohl liners; liquid liners like Stila's Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner or Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner are your go-to. The trick with the cushion eye liner? "Load a lot of product on the brush," explains Lucero. "Use a firm, synthetic brush that's not too weak. And wipe the brush off after." If you're the type to shy away from liquid for fear of mess or shaky hands, don't be. "Honestly, less effort is better," says Lucero. "People try to get really detailed and careful, you've got to just kind of ink blot it onto your eye." But if you're a tried and true pencil girl, she suggests a long-lasting self-propelled rollup liner like Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner which is easy to apply, but totally budge-proof.
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2. Problem: Clumpy mascara
Solution: "It could be the formula - if it starts to get old it can get clumpy," says Lucero. "If you notice it globbing on and it flakes, that's a great code for it being dry." While the rule of thumb is replacing your wand after three months, some can dry out within a month. "Look for a formula that's creamy and rich, but not too wet." Try Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara - "The brush is really strong and firm, and works like a comb - without any clumps." And if you're a fan of defining your lower lashes, too? "Use a fan or a flat pushliner brush. I often do mascara [like that] on models backstage. You can really get in and get the blonde and baby hairs."
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3. Problem: Foundation that cakes at the end of the day
Solution: Without resorting to loads of powder, which can look harsh, there's a simple and easy way to refresh a tired base. "Take a sponge, like a blending sponge, run it under water and wring it out so it's damp," says Lucero. "Then take a beauty balm, or a cream or tinted moisturiser - put a little on the sponge and blot it so it's all living on the sponge and then stamp and massage it into your face." It will instantly rejuvenate the face and revive your foundation, while still looking dewy and fresh. Lucero also suggests using rosewater mist to dampen your sponge and says the trick also works a treat when you've over-contoured or been heavy handed with your foundation.
4. Problem: Applying too much blush or bronzer
Solution: Either try the technique above, or try to lift it off with a brush, says Lucero. "Then change your technique for applying blush, bronzer or contour. A lot of people will brush upwards, but it's all going to live low. You almost have to use a sweeping manner." She also suggests holding the brush further back (the way you would hold chopsticks) for a softer and lighter application.
If you're prone to receiving large deposits of bronzer in your forehead, switch to loading the side of your brush up with product. "The first place you place that brush is going to be the most intense, so I suggest rolling it so it won't be all embedded in there. And if you're fair, tap your brush into your loose or pressed powder first so it doesn't grab so much bronzer."
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5. Problem: Covering up a pimple
Solution: "If it's really red, go with something that's dry in texture, oil-free and yellow-based to neutralise the red," says Lucero. Avoid anything too creamy or intended to cover under-eye circles. "Under-eye concealers tend to be very balmy and moisturising, and they also tend to be different tones than yellow-beige." Application wise, tap but don't rub. "Use the pad of your finger to push it on - you don't want to use a brush because it will actually just brush everything off. Fingers are better. If it's a tiny, tiny one, get a tiny brush and just dab it on."
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6. Problem: Covering dark bags under your eyes
Solution: Unlike covering a scar or blemish, this requires a different approach. "Think of your face in regions," suggests Lucero. "With dark circles, you have to look at that area as a totally different skin tone. Typically you need a bit more peach, a bit of a brightening." Using colour theory, opt for a shade that will neutralise. "If you take orange over blue, it will neutralise. Add something peach, salmon or pink-y beige versus something yellow. Yellow will make it look dark or ashy if it's too white-based. It's like taking a white piece of paper and putting it over something black - it will look grey because you can still see through it."
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7. Problem: Lip colour that doesn't last
Solution: Lucero suggests Stila's Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. "They're totally matte. That's the trick - if you want a true stay all day lipstick you should go matte." Forget using primer with these, too. However, if you're stuck on traditional lipstick, try the Lush Lips Plumping Primer. "It neutralises and knocks out colour, but lightly, so you could do a nude colour or gloss."
If your lips dry out wearing lipstick, Lucero recommends applying a matter balm over your colour. "There's a lip balm by Aesop, called Rosehip Seed Lip Balm, that's all I would ever use during fashion week. Nuxe also has a honey balm or try Carmex. But [don't use them] under lipstick, they tend to be like a barrier." Lucero says the Aesop balm can be used over or under your lip colour. "I know it soaks in, but it's perfect for that issue."