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Making up your makeup
When I was first starting out as a makeup artist, I had to put together a complete kit of products that would work for anyone I made up. I went to the most expensive department store in town and bought the most expensive makeup I could find - assuming that a high a price would guarantee an amazing product.

I couldn't have been more wrong. So much of what I bought was completely un-wearable. Since every penny counted, I had to learn how to layer and mix and match to create products that would enhance all skin tones. In fact, that's what most makeup artists do to cut down on the amount of products they have to keep in their cases. So before you toss out your disappointments, pass them on to a friend, or resign yourself to only sticking with a few tried and true favorites, here, my secrets to turning your not so perfect products into bone fide success stories.

If you bought the wrong shade:

  • Your foundation is too light: Whether your shade is too light for your complexion or too pink for your skin tone, you can make it warmer and deeper with bronzing powder or gel. If the shade is just slightly off, simply dust powder bronzer onto your cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin, then blend well. If you need to make it even deeper, mix a small amount of the foundation into your palm with a drop of a gel bronzer.
  • Your foundation is too dark: This issue is trickier to fix and in the end may be unsolvable. You can try to dilute the color by mixing it with an untinted moisturizer in your hand before applying. Unfortunately, if that doesn't work, you'll just have to save that base for the summer or cut your losses and toss it.
  • Your blush is too bright: Layering is key here. I would first apply a blush that's more neutral and then add the brighter color on top to give yourself just a little pop of color.
  • Your blush is too dull: Do exactly what you would do if your blush were too bright; apply the less lively shade first and then hit your cheeks again with a hint of the more vibrant one.
  • Your lipstick is too bright: One of the most important makeup lessons I've ever learned is that beige lipstick needs to be a mainstay in everyone's makeup bag. You can apply it under any overly vivid lip color to instantly tone it down. The recipe is up to you. The more beige you apply, the more understated the color becomes.
  • Your eye shadow is too intense: You can first try to tone it down by wearing a taupe-toned shadow underneath. But if that doesn't work, I recommend breaking out your flat eyeliner brush and using it as a liner.

You're going from day-to-night:

  • Your every day eye shadow needs to be more dramatic: Go black - as in eyeliner. Whether you use a gel, liquid, pencil, or powder, lining your eyes close to the lashes with a black liner will instantly up your glamour quotient. I like to use a brown liner on my lower lids, though; it's less severe and really helps to open up your eyes.
  • Your blush is too basic: Now's the time to shine. Top your blush with a dab of a shimmer cream, powder, or lotion in the same color family.
  • Your lipstick is too subtle: You can either line and fill in lips with a lip liner that's slightly darker, or layer on a deeper version of gloss.

Winter's Coming:

  • Your foundation is too drying: To add moisture to your skin without diluting the pigment and coverage of your foundation, it's best to simply wear a richer cream or lotion than the one you used in the summer, instead of mixing the two together.
  • Your bronzer has too much shimmer: While you may have been sweeping it all over your face in the sunny weather, when your skin gets paler, it's more flattering to wear an iridescent bronzer just the way you would your blush - only on the apples of your cheeks.
  • Your eye shadow is too candy colored: Pastels can look great on skin with a summer glow but come the winter they just look "off" somehow. To turn a baby blue into a more winter-friendly slate, first sweep on either a bone or a white eye shadow.