Change of Heart: Makeup Techniques I Don’t Do Anymore

makeup techniques, makeup how to, makeup for beginners, tips to make makeup last

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These days anyone can google just about anything. No, let me rephrase that…Youtube is the answer to all things how-to. As long as you have a camera, you can be a makeup schgurush teaching Plain Jane using the same techniques you learned from another makeup schgurush. It’s the rollover effect. I’ve been in your shoes once but experience taught me otherwise: what works for Lisa may not for Emily. In short, learn to tweak based on your own needs. With that said, I’ve summed up makeup techniques I initially learned and then ditched…

Technique #1: Apply face primer to preserve or keep makeup in place throughout the day. Face primer is undoubtedly one of the most popular beauty advice you constantly hear from MUAs, makeup aficionados, bloggers and vloggers, myself included. Yes, it does prolong the staying power of makeup and it preps the skin for a smooth canvass especially if you have oily and/or rough skin. If you pay attention to ingredients, you will notice that most face primers contain dimethicone, a type of silicone which has occlusive properties: meaning, it covers the skin and keeps the moisture in. It also blurs imperfections, mattify, and fills up pores which creates an illusion of flawless face.

Why I ditched it: I realized that I don’t need that extra layer for “smooth canvass and longevity” as long as I have moisturizer and serum on. Unless I am attending a special event where a more made-up look is favored, I prefer naturally- radiant skin. Also, I don’t want to layer dimethicone over dimethicone (read: most foundations also contain silicone) because it potentially traps sebum and other impurities which then contributes to breakouts.

Technique #2: Apply white eyeliner on waterline to make eyes look bigger. Yes it’s a good trick because it mimics your white eyeballs thereby creating an illusion of “wide awake” look.

Why I ditched it: It looks good if you have porcelain white skin but utterly odd and clownish, at least for my medium complexion. In lieu of white, I prefer a flesh or nude eyeliner because it looks more natural plus it compliments my skin tone better.

Technique #3: Set foundation with powder for additional staying power. Coming from someone who used to have extremely oily skin, this technique is a necessary step to help mattify face and keep makeup in place.

Why I ditched it: With aging comes hormonal change so it’s safe to say that my face has slowed down in the grease department. I realized that (1) using matte foundation alone is enough to give me decent coverage (2) adding powder on top makes my face look dull and cakey. For my under eyes concealer though, I still use setting powder albeit sparingly.

To recap, I’m not here to contest or challenge what works for you. As the adage goes, why fix if it ain’t broke. Mine obviously broke hence the fixing.

Here’s moi wearing matte foundation (sans setting powder) and flesh-tone eyeliner on waterline.

makeup techniques, makeup how to, makeup for beginners, tips to make makeup last

A tighter shot, just because…

makeup techniques, makeup how to, makeup for beginners, tips to make makeup last

Complete list of products used:
Guerlain Joli Teint Terracota in Natural. I reviewed Moyen/Medium here.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Mood Exposure, rave review here.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer Custard, briefly mentioned here.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Diffused Light, used sparingly to set concealer under the eyes.
Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon (O)vert for upper and lower lash line.
Hourglass Film Noir Mascara
Rimmel Scandaleyes Nude Eyeliner
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
Tom Ford Brow Sculptor Chestnut
Tom Ford Lip Color Negligee



  1. November 10, 2014 / 11:34 am

    I wish I could ditch the primer. I agree with the powder, though. There a lot of foundations where I never need powder.

  2. November 10, 2014 / 2:29 pm

    I agree with you entirely about the white eyeliner. I'm okay with Rimmel or NYX flesh-coloured liners as well. And since I use powder foundation on my rivalling-middle-easten-countries-for-oil-production skin, I skip setting powder.

    • November 11, 2014 / 7:23 am

      It's good to know that powder foundation works for you!

  3. November 10, 2014 / 2:36 pm

    You always look great s I don't think that you really needed the tricks that you ditched. I also stopped using white liner years ago.

  4. November 10, 2014 / 2:45 pm

    I rarely do primer. There are some I like to use to blur the imperfections, but the foundations out there are so awesome nowadays that IMO Primer has become obsolete.

    • November 11, 2014 / 7:24 am

      correct! when you have great foundation, you don't need the extra steps(s)

  5. November 10, 2014 / 3:15 pm

    I love this!! I totally as well have ditched the power after foundation unless I feel I really need it. It is amazing as we grow and get older the random things we did with beauty advice before, sort of just no longer becomes the end all be all to fix it. I stopped doing my full face of makeup before a smokey eye because bascially too much clean up. Now its eyes first then full face. lol….

    • November 11, 2014 / 7:25 am

      thanks Jamie. I agree, with age comes experience, with experience comes wisdom. At the end of the day, one can't be slave to rules…after all, it's just makeup 🙂

  6. November 10, 2014 / 3:46 pm

    I definitely agree with ditching white eyeliner! I've always thought that looked so weird.

  7. November 10, 2014 / 4:05 pm

    Excellent post, Kath! I especially like that you mentioned ditching a primer. I periodically use them, but not too often like you. Plus, there are so many people with silicone sensitivities that end up with breakouts from repeated use!

    • November 11, 2014 / 7:26 am

      Thanks much my friend. In most days, I want a fuss-free makeup.

  8. November 10, 2014 / 4:25 pm

    Great post. Couldn't agree more that you must do what works with your own skin

  9. November 10, 2014 / 5:12 pm

    YES about the primer – while I like the smooth result it provides, I have to pay back with major break-outs each and every time. So no more primer for me unless it's for something REALLY special.

    • November 11, 2014 / 7:27 am

      Oh yes, there are people who are extra sensitive w/ dimethicone-based products!

  10. November 10, 2014 / 5:31 pm

    Fab post. I am all for do what works for you. What you are doing, works.

  11. November 10, 2014 / 5:38 pm

    You look absolutely gorgeous, perfect makeup and the lipstick is to-die-for! I also ditched primer for the same reasons.

  12. November 10, 2014 / 7:20 pm

    Great tips. I'm with you on the primer thing. I rarely wear primer under makeup. I just feel it's too much!

  13. November 10, 2014 / 8:16 pm

    Great post! It's so easy when you're first finding your footing (in the makeup world) to think that you need to follow every tip. Love that lip colour too 😀

    • November 11, 2014 / 7:29 am

      just like in school, you need to follow the book to pass the test. in real life, it's not always the case 🙂

  14. November 10, 2014 / 9:48 pm

    This is an awesome post. I avoid primers with dimethicone as well, it just doesn't do it for my skin and I don't love a matte look for all over my face, I prefer a nice dewy glow. It's also why I rarely powder my skin to set my makeup, I prefer to use a moisturising spray instead.

    I do have very pale skin so the white eyeliner thing works for me but I rarely do it anyway because I already have massive eyes. If I'm sleepy or hung over I will use it!

    • November 11, 2014 / 7:29 am

      yes, I like dewy glow too because it imparts a youthful look!

  15. November 10, 2014 / 10:49 pm

    Great post! I ditched the white liner trick awhile back!

  16. November 11, 2014 / 12:20 am

    I've never done the white liner thing and I'm with you on the primer. My moisturizer primes enough and I don't need more stuff on my face.

  17. November 11, 2014 / 2:11 am

    I also do not use powder like EVER, neither on myself or my pro work. And I also feel the same about primer, it really depends on the client or situation/ product but I don't really use much primer since I use good foundations. The eyeliner thing, don't even get me started, it is very rarely that I do it on someone.

    • November 11, 2014 / 7:31 am

      Reading/hearing it from a respected MUA like you seals the deal.

  18. November 11, 2014 / 2:15 am

    You look absolutely amazing. Even with my pale skin, white liner looks so funky!

  19. November 11, 2014 / 2:27 am

    Beautiful glow, and love the lippie! It's so true, when I think about some of the ways I applied makeup in the 80's.. you gotta change some things from time to time, whether because your skin has changed, or you have!

  20. November 11, 2014 / 3:34 am

    This was a fun post to read! I don't usually do the white eyeliner thing either!

  21. November 11, 2014 / 5:33 am

    I have the same problem with white liner on the waterline! I use nude now!

  22. November 11, 2014 / 7:25 am

    Hello – my name is Honey and I think you're beautiful 😉 With that said, yes – I totally agree. I don't get the white on the waterline thing, I mean I know it and understand it and have done it… but I much like the flesh toned shades better and best 😉 Loved this post.

  23. November 11, 2014 / 7:52 am

    I enjoyed reading this post and think it's a great idea. I find there are techniques we all evolve out of. I love your lips in this post!

  24. November 11, 2014 / 7:24 pm

    Great post! I ditched mattifying powders, now I just use paper sheets to blot throughout the day. I learned to love the look of dewy skin.

  25. November 12, 2014 / 2:06 am

    I use face primer only occasionally, but still my makeup with powder.

  26. November 12, 2014 / 5:44 am

    Totally with you on the primer! Thanks for this, great post!

  27. November 17, 2014 / 10:12 pm

    I've always used powder. It's always been a staple for me, with my SUPER oily skin. But you're absolutely right, with age, it just does not suit us anymore. I still have to use a primer (or makeup will melt right off me) but I can't do the powder anymore! (Although, after a few hours, it will look more dewy on me lol). But it just doesn't look good anymore! It's for the younger generation. 🙁

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