Hey, everyone! 

So, recently, when doing my makeup, I happened to notice how the products that really make a difference are the ones that are the most underrated. In fact, while the fashion world goes on and on about this season's lip, eye, and nail colors, millions of women around the world are left thinking, "Yes, but don't you have to be model-gorgeous and 18 years old to use these outrageous colors?"

Well... not really. In fact, if you've ever seen a collection of model polaroids, you know that not even most models are model-gorgeous--and I'm talking big names, here! (You’ll have to do your own homework on that one, though; I won’t betray my model sisters’ secrets! ;) )

The truth of the matter is that, underneath all the pizzazz of sparkly eyeshadow, there are real, every-day products that can be used to create an amazing "true beauty" look on pretty much anyone, when used properly. These products aren't even as elusive as one might think--instead, they're the products that people (read: mom, grandma) often mention, but that many people just don’t bother with, due to how not noticeable they happen to be, when on a face... until you see that face without those products! 

There are many, many products that work hard overtime. Here are my five favorites: 

1. A yellow-based concealer. I use Clinique's "All About Eyes" concealer, in 01 light neutral. 

 Okay, so a concealer is something that most people probably have, buried in the recesses of their makeup bags. However, many people don't use it properly, and some don't even use it at all, preferring instead to go straight to blush and eyeshadow, unless they're going to a big event. This is a BIG mistake, as you will only ever achieve amazing-looking eyes if you use your concealer properly. To apply, put equal small amounts on both ring fingers, and gently pat it on, as though you would an eye cream. Ensure that you are covering the entire eye area, including the inner corners, the entire undereye circle (blending gently down toward the cheekbones), and even the eyelid, especially if yours are darker-pigmented or you have deeper-set eyes. There--see how much brighter and more pronounced the entire area is? NOW people will notice your amazing eyeshadow prowess!  

2. An eyebrow-defining product that REALLY matches your hair color. I use a brow pencil from Chic, a well-known European/Israeli makeup brand, in "blonde." (I haven’t found any American brands that I like.)

Eyebrows are something that can seem quite daunting, and most people don't bother with them, day-to-day. This is another big mistake, because defining eyebrows is often THE make-or-break moment for a face's look. Just look at today's models, actresses, celebrities, and even female politicians/politicians' female family members. For all of these people, putting a good face forward daily is essential, and you'll be hard-pressed to find any of them without well-done brows. Simply put, groomed brows exude professionalism and confidence.

You may say, "Well, I don't like my brows to be thick at all, and I get them waxed regularly, so it shouldn't be a problem. Anyway, my dark hair is noticeable enough." All of this is fine, but you still need to use a brow product—this has no affect on whether or not your brows will look “thick.” Brows frame the rest of the face, and if they're "off," the rest of your face will seem "off." Go to your brow stylist--and if you don't have one, I recommend finding one as soon as possible--to learn how exactly to groom your brows on a daily basis. For most of us--those with blonde, red, or patchy brows--that means using a colored pencil or powder every. single. day. For those of you with evenly-colored, evenly-distributed brows that just happen to be in the perfect shape, that means making sure that there are never any stray hairs, that you comb them into place daily, and secure them there with the use of a brow gel. This is especially essential if your brow hairs are curly!

3. Aloe vera or a cooling gel masque.
 I actually make my own—knowing how is a side-effect of having, in younger years, become a professional skincare consultant and makeup artist.

This is something that every makeup artist has in his or her kit. It’s almost magical, the way this concoction can set things straight again. An aloe vera gel masque, especially when stored in the fridge, has the ability to tighten and shrink pores, the blood vessels that make a face look puffy and inflamed, and those pesky undereye bags that appear after a long, restless night (or reckless party). There is absolutely nothing, latte included, that makes a model ready for the makeup chair more quickly than a gel masque.

Just so you know, there are some of these that soak into the skin, but by and large, they should be gently wiped or splashed off of the face after being allowed to work their magic for 5-10 minutes, and then, of course, an eye cream and facial moisturizer should be used. If using aloe vera instead of a masque, look at the ingredients and make sure that it’s absolutely 100% aloe vera gel—no excuses!

4. Facial highlighter. I used to use Shisheido’s cream stick highlighter, which they seem to have discontinued. I’m looking for a new one, and, in the meantime, using a translucent highlighting eyeshadow instead.

Now, listen carefully, because this is kind of a big trade secret, so I’m only going to tell you once. Highlighter is the main reason that models always look so glowy and perfect. Used properly, it can make eyes look bigger and cheekbones higher, taking years off of your face. To try it yourself, apply it on your cheekbones and down the center of your forehead, through the bridge of your nose. If you wish, you can continue the line all the way down the center of your nose. (I don’t recommend doing this if your nose is already quite pronounced.) Remember that with highlighter, less is more

5. An eyelash curler. I use the metal Revlon one. Makeup artists-to-the-stars tend to favor the Shu Uemura eyelash curler. Truth be told, they’re absolutely identical.

This is the big one—this is my personal golden secret. My eyelash curler is my absolute most essential item in my makeup bag. I never go to a shoot without it, regardless of who is doing the makeup. It’s one of the things I would take with me on a desert island. (The other items would be water, sunscreen, a hat, and a yacht, but I digress.)  

I know eyelash curlers are scary, and I have heard the “medieval torture device” joke so often that I’ll probably utilize an actual medieval torture device on myself if I ever hear it again. However, I do advise that you give the eyelash curler a try. The difference really is amazing. Like highlighter, it has the ability, used properly, to make the eyes look bigger and the cheekbones higher. The trick is to use it ONLY on clean, dry lashes (putting on mascara first is a death wish), and crimp the lashes a few times, starting from the tips and going down until you reach the base of the eyelid. When finished, brush the lashes out with a clean spoolie brush. Finish with a coat or two of waterproof mascara—it acts as a hairspray for the curl.

I hope you get the chance to try these tricks; I promise you will be so impressed that you won’t know what to do with yourself! (In that case, I recommend going out for margaritas.) In the meantime, what is your favorite beauty product or trick? What item of mine can you absolutely not wait to try out? Let me know!

xoxo,

me

PS: I have a really great shoot in only three days! I’m so excited! I’m hoping to be able to tweet a few photos from the set while it’s going on, so if you’d like to see, follow me on Twitter:
www.twitter.com/rachel_elise