- I asked makeup artist Hillary Clark to critique my beauty routine to help minimize my uncertainty.
- Clark suggested a few improved application techniques and said I can repurpose some of my products.
- I can enhance my natural features by using a bright lip color and applying my bronzer to my eyes.
I've wanted to learn how to add definition to my round face and highlight my features.
I'm not a beauty expert by any means. When I was younger, foundation and eyeliner were my go-tos. But when the YouTube beauty community burst into my life, I realized there are a plethora of products to help elevate my look.
Since then, I developed a routine for a full-coverage, contoured look that I've stuck to for years.
But when I decided it was time to change my routine, I reached out to Hillary Clark, a professional make-up artist and esthetician based in Los Angeles.
With her help, I learned a few new tips for applying makeup, adding definition to my face, and adopting quicker, full-coverage routines without looking too glam.
Before I put on makeup, I use a gentle cleanser, toner, and heavy-duty moisturizer.
Currently, I use Milk Makeup's Vegan Milk cleanser, Buttah Skin's Rosewater toner, and Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped-Cream moisturizer with a few drops of facial oil for extra hydration.
I always finish off with sunscreen if I'm applying makeup during the day.
Clark suggested skipping heavy oils in my morning routine.
Clark was thrilled that I wear sunscreen every day but said to skip the facial oil during my morning routine. She explained the moisturizer already has oil in it and too much can ruin my makeup throughout the day.
"If you shower in the morning, I would apply the oil, do a quick facial massage to stimulate microcirculation and dermal oil production, and then rinse it off," she said. "The result — you get more hydrated skin from the inside out."
I start with primer and dark-spot concealer, followed by my foundation.
To cover deep dark spots and hyperpigmentation, I used a foundation stick from Black Radiance.
For a full face of foundation, I blended a Rare Beauty formula in with a brush and smoothed it out with a sponge.
However, Clark told me I should put foundation on before concealer.
Clark reminded me to apply primer and foundation to both my face and neck and suggested buffing my base with a brush and then reinforcing the full coverage look with concealer to avoid wasting product.
"Let foundation do all of the heavy lifting for you," she said. "It is better to rely on your foundation for the majority of your coverage and then go back in with concealer to address any dark spots that peek through."
She suggested I try a lighter concealer color, like the Huda Beauty shade I use under my eyes, so the makeup looks better in natural sunlight. She also recommended lightly applying a translucent powder to improve the longevity of the cream products.
I use Huda Beauty's The Overachiever concealer to cover under-eye dark spots.
After applying foundation, Clark said to "step back and see how much darkness you see showing through and apply concealer to those areas only and blend."
According to her, concentrating concealer on the inner and outer corners and the lid will brighten these areas.
Clark suggested applying foundation up to the lower lash line so I use less concealer.
I typically use a colored setting powder right on top of my under-eye concealer to set or "bake," but the makeup artist isn't a fan of the shade, especially for a daytime look.
"The 'baking' technique can make you look a little overdone in the early morning hours and even make you look like you have lines under your eyes that aren't there," she said. "Plus, it is a lot to upkeep during the day."
She also recommended blotting the area with a dry sponge to remove any excess oil after foundation and concealer. If I must use a powder, Clark said to use a translucent one.
Clark said a great foundation and concealer application is the key to contouring correctly.
Out of all the steps in my routine, contouring makes me the most nervous because I'm convinced I'm not applying it correctly. Clark said a deft hand and different products will ensure I contour in the correct areas.
"Your face isn't nearly as round as you think it is — especially when you smile," she said. "It looks much rounder when eliminating natural contour with such dense baking powder, which actually makes the under-eye and apple area look more prominent."
Clark didn't love the shade of the Rare Beauty bronzer I used for contour and suggested using it as a blush instead. According to her, the Black Radiance foundation stick — the one I typically use for a concealer — may be better for contouring.
Clark praised my brow application technique.
I usually add more depth to my brows with a simple e.l.f. pencil and brush it out with a spoolie.
"I like that you have followed the natural arch of your brows that peaks at the outer corner of your eye," Clark said. "It enhances your beautiful almond-shaped eyes and lifts your cheekbones to frame the face."
Next, I applied a simple shimmery eyeshadow from e.l.f.
Applying eyeshadow is the second part of my routine that makes me nervous.
I simply don't understand the science behind eyeshadow so I usually just stick with a base color on my lids and add a shimmer that matches my skin tone.
Clark recommended using different colors and products on my eyes.
Clark said she'd make the base color a bit lighter (like my Huda Beauty concealer shade) and use my Rare Beauty bronzer on my lids and a golden shimmer on top.
"I'd avoid a lot of shadow on the inner corner or socket of your lid for daytime," she said. "Let's reserve that for a smokey nighttime look. You will be so surprised by how fresh and awake you'll look with that brighter stick-blush product."
Next, I applied an Anastasia Beverly Hills mascara for volume and length.
Clark said my mascara application worked really well to enhance my lashes' natural lift and curl.
To wrap up, I love to put on either brown or nude lipstick.
Though I like to finish my lips with a brown or nude lipstick, the makeup artist said adding a bright gloss on top will pull my look together. I typically reach for a MAC brown matte shade, but she wants me to add brightness to my lips.
"Lip color is so personal," Clark said. "I suggest adding a brighter apricot-ish gloss if you have one to compliment the contour-now-blush-and-eyeshadow-color to brighten up the whole look for summer without being too pink or garish."
I used setting spray to lock in my final look.
As a final touch, I applied Mac Fix+ setting spray to help my makeup melt into my skin.
Overall, Clark's tips gave me more confidence to do my makeup.
Though I'm happy with the overall look, I know Clark's suggestions will help minimize my uncertainty and the effort it takes to do my makeup.
"I can tell that you've learned a lot from YouTube videos — an excellent place to learn," she said. "By editing a few steps, we can save you time in the morning while addressing your concerns and creating a daytime office look that will be easy to enhance for the night."