I am always trying to make my makeup routine easier. It’s tough when you have to get up in the morning at the crack of dawn and try to make yourself presentable in the dark. (Please don’t every actually try putting your makeup on in the dark — unless you’re going for that “dead zombie” look.) Luckily over the years I’ve picked up a few tricks that will make you look and feel flawless, even when it’s 5:30 a.m. on a Wednesday morning.

1. Tired of your foundation looking cakey and unnatural? Put foundation all over your face, then use a tissue to wipe it off your cheeks; it makes it easier to layer on your blush, bringing a realness back to your skin and life back to your cheeks without it looking fake.

2. If you’re blessed with long, thick lashes like Blake Lively, I’m totally jealous of you. I tell my younger brother that all the time because he has the most gorgeous lashes I’ve ever seen! But for all you Lovelies who depend on the wonder that is mascara, the newer the better: fresh mascara that’s no more than a month old glides on way easier than that old, clumpy mess from six months ago. Wiggle mascara in at the base of your lashes and sweep upward — the trick to fuller, natural lashes is to get thickness at the base and taper off at the ends. If you find your mascara tube drying out, try putting in a few drops of contact solution and shake the tube to liquify whatever is inside — weird, but true!

3. Another product I suggest you invest in is a multi-use product like Stilla Lip & Cheek Stain — you basically get two products in one! When searching for the perfect color know that pink works on just about everyone, lighter and darker complexions. Mix a creamy, opaque pink with a bit of gold in it into your moisturizer to brighten up your face and give you that youthful, sun kissed glow anytime of the year.

4. Desperately trying to disguise the unsightly dark circles under your eyes from staying up all night? Under harsh day-time lighting, stipple a cream concealer directly onto the darkness under and in the corner of your eye next to your nose leaving the “eye bags” bare. Counterintuitive, I know, but effectively concealing the darkness under your eye lessens the visibility of the darkness created by the shadow of your nose. Try putting an eye cream under your makeup to really make the concealer last.

5. Red lips for date night, anyone? An essential part of any woman’s makeup arsenal, red lips give you the dramatic “oomph” to spice up your outfit. Fill your lips in first with a sharp lip liner in the same color as your chosen lipstick. Smile a little so that your lips provide a tight, clean line. Fill in the sides of your lips with the liner and use a brush to apply your lipstick for precision. If you make a mistake, dab a bit of concealer on the brush to erase it!

6. My personal favorite area to work with is liner, it just makes your eyes look so much better. (Mascara and eyeliner are essential if I know I’m leaving the house for the day.) For mistake free liquid liner, try using a taupe eye pencil to create a practice line, that way you can make sure the lines are even and accurate before you go in with the liquid.

7. Just because you’re not born with killer cheekbones, doesn’t mean you can’t fake them for yourself! Sweep a sheer shimmer powder along the top of your cheekbones and just under your temples. Next, dust a deep nude blush in the sunken area just under the cheekbone in the hollows of your cheeks. Smile and apply a peachy blush using circular motions, starting at the apple of the cheek and slowly make larger circles with the brush. Voila! Instant cheekbones!

8. I absolutely love a good smoky eye — I use a nude palette instead of the traditional black/gray so that my eyes can magically go from day to night with just a few touch ups. To insure the perfect level of smokiness, start by lining the inner rim of your lower lashlines and your upper lashes, pushing the liner into the lashes so there’s no gap between your lashes and the line. Smudge it in using your fingertips, then sweep eyeshadow across your lids and up into your creases, blending outwards and upwards towards (but not to!) your temple. For naturally big eyes like mine, focus on sweeping the eyeshadow solely into your creases because that’s the area most visible.

9. For that Lilly Collins bold brow look, comb your brows with a spoolie brush or clean mascara wand to see how they lay naturally. Using a soft, slightly waxy brow pencil, shape the brow using the thinner side of the tip. Then, take the flatter angle of the pencil and fill in the brow using short strokes that look similar to hair. Blend a shimmery highlighter just below the brow bone to add brightness and lift.

10. Instead of spending all day in the sun (the damaging UVA/UVB rays could eventually lead to wrinkles!) try investing in a quality bronzer that will keep you looking like a glowing, bronzed goddess. Strategically sweep bronzer on your temples, along the sides of the face, and right under the cheekbones in a ‘C’ formation. Try to keep the bronze color away from the center of your face—too much bronzer on the center can make you look older and nobody wants that! [via Daily Makeover]

Are there any makeup tips you absolutely swear by, Lovelies? I’m always looking for a good tip!

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