How to Improve Your Makeup Skills + My Favorite Skincare & Brushes

As a veteran makeup user and a semi retired freelance makeup artist, I once was terrible at doing my makeup. I don’t claim to know it all and it’s important as an artist to continue pushing myself to learn new things, otherwise I start to get stale. Two week old bread stale. While I am not the best at doing makeup, I am better at it than I was when I first started.

You always hear talk about the base. Yes, buying a good quality foundation or concealer is good. Taking care of your skin is even better. I used to have terrible cystic acne, on top of being a chronic face picker. All of that texture was emphasized when I put makeup on top of it. I got on a good skin care routine, which tremendously helped my skin.

If you are able to see a dermatologist, I would recommend it. I’ve never had issues with buying OTC sincere. If you’re on a budget, Bioré and Garnier are my go to brands for face washes. I buy moisturizer, face oil and serum from Sephora or Ulta. Kirkland makes my favorite makeup remover wipes.

Products I Recommend

Bioré Deep Charcoal Cleanser ($5.99)

Garnier Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water  ($6.29)

Kirkland Daily Facial Towlettes  ($11.99)

St. Ives Nourished and Smooth Oatmeal Scrub and Mask ($2.99)

Clinique All About Eyes Rich ($53.00, 1.0 oz)

Rose Hip Oil  ($13.95)

Vitamin C Serum w/ Hyaluronic Acid ($15.95)

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17.00)

ORIGINS GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer ($27.50)

I’m not kidding. If you don’t try a cut crease, how will you know if you like them ? If you want to try glitter lighting or glossy ombre lips, why not ? IT”S JUST MAKEUP. You’ll end up washing it off at the end of the day. If you’re shy, you can always try new makeup trends on a day you know you won’t be going out. If you’re a ballsy motherfudger, you can wear a glitter cut crease to church or a PTA meeting.

If the thought of trying new things makes you want to shit yourself, look no further than trying opalescent highlighter. It’s my favorite trend in the past few months. It looks so fun and it doesn’t overpower your face. You can always pop some opalescent highlighter on your brow bone or inner corner. Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit has your back, it comes with 6 opalescent highlighting powders for $40.

Brushes are important. These are the tools that you will use to apply makeup on your face. When I first started out in makeup, I did not use brushes. I used sponge tip applicator and cotton swabs to apply eyeshadow. For foundation I would use my fingers and to apply powder I used cotton balls. It’s safe to say I’ve come a long way since then.

My first brushes were from e.l.f, a few years ago they used to be one dollar a pop. I bumped up to Eco Tools and those are still some of my favorite brushes. I still have some of the first ones I bought. Now I buy brushes from all sorts of different brands. Morphe Brushes has become my go to for eye brushes and this fabulous Amazon brush set is what I use for my face.

You don’t have to break the bank to get excellent quality brushes. Quality brushes make the biggest difference in how your products look. I can have a sub par eyeshadow or blush, but a good brush will make it work. Brushes make everything appear smoother on the skin. It’s easier to apply makeup with brushes than with cotton swabs.


Morphe M522 (flat shadow, $4.99)

Morphe M433 (fluffy crease, $5.99)

Morphe M213 (smudger, $1.99)

Morphe M217 (bent liner, $2.99)

Morphe E17 (presicion crease, $6.99)


Real Tecniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($3.99)

Morphe M510 (highlighting, $7.99)

BS-Mall Premium Makeup Brush Set (kabuki style face brushes, $10.88)

BH Cosmetics Domed Kabuki Brush (powder, $5.00)

♥XOXO♥, Crystal Emme

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