The Little Black Book of Beauty Secrets
In our modern age of iPhones, Instagram, and information oversharing, the concept of a little black book seems a bit archaic. After all, who has the time to scribble down their secrets when there are new filters to download and witty tweets to mull over?
We do think that every woman, however, should have her own arsenal of beauty secrets—a little black book of beauty, so to speak. To save you the time, we’ve gathered 20 of the best tricks we’ve picked up from Hollywood’s top makeup artists and hairstylists. (These are the people who give Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen their perfectly undone strands, and Jessica Alba her contoured cheekbones and sultry smoky eyes.) Feel free to resume your blogging, tweeting, and Instagramming with renewed vigour after you’ve mastered these beauty tricks.
Keep flipping for the industry’s best beauty secrets!
According to airbrush tanning expert Jenni Blafer (who gives Julianne Hough her bronzed glow), you should remove residual self-tanner before your next spray tanning appointment. “If you’re a habitual spray tanner or use a lotion with a self-tanner in it, make sure you’ve gotten it all off before you get your next airbrushing,” she says. “Fake Bake's exfoliating wipes ($31) are awesome—they’re great for removing the last bit of spray tan before you spray again!”
For more tips for the perfect faux tan, click here.
Thinking about a big colour change? Make sure it goes according to plan by cleansing your hair of all residue. “You have to remove everything to avoid a chemical reaction [to the hair dye],” hairstylist Michael Canale says. He recommends Max Detox Shampoo ($40) because “it actually goes into the hair shaft and takes out the chemical elements.”
For more tips on how to prep your blonde hair for a healthy change, click here.
Common lore says for the best brows, you need to brush them up, right? Maybe not. According to makeup artist Kate Lee, you can actually get great results by brushing your brow hairs down. “By doing that, you can see the maximum shape of your eyebrow, like how much you can draw in on top,” makeup artist Kate Lee says. "You can cheat the height of your arch by feathering in—very gently—a few strips of pencil in the direction of the hair growth. It's going to feel very alien, but fill in the arch and then brush them up, then fill in any gaps you see and lengthen the ends."
Click here for more bushy brow tricks!
“[Mousse] gives the hair body, light hold, and shine,” hairstylist Mark Townsend says (he counts the well-tressed Olsen twins and Jennifer Lawrence as clients). If you have curly hair, your curls will air-dry softer and more defined. If you have straight hair, you’ll end up with more texture and volume—both win-wins in our book.
Curious? We’ve got more reasons to reconsider mousse here.
Pictured: Sachajuan Hair Mousse ($28)
“After you get a smooth shape, clean your nails with a brush or old toothbrush and warm soapy water,” celebrity manicurist Jenna Hipp says. “Wipe your nail dry with a soft cotton towel, gently pushing cuticles back with your towel on each fingertip.” She recommends finishing with a nourishing cuticle oil, like One Love Organics’ Super Critical Chia Oil ($50).
We’ve got more tricks on how to master an at-home manicure right this way.
“If you don’t have enough vitamin A in your system, your sebaceous glands can produce excess lipids, causing pimples,” Dr. Susan Stuart says. “Get a healthy dose of vitamin A by choosing orange fruits and veggies: the beta-carotene that gives sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, and cantaloupe their hue is converted into vitamin A by your body.”
Click here to read more about eating your way to better skin!
Not sure if you’re applying your skin products in the right order? Celebrity esthetician Renee Rouleau suggests keeping this in mind: “As a general rule, you go thinnest to thickest,” she says. “[Toner] goes on like water and you want to leave it damp so that whatever you put on seals in all that hydration and any other active ingredients.” Then, use serum followed by moisturizer.
For more tips on layering skin products, click here.
Hair guru Andy Lecompte suggests this tip for anyone who wants a haircut with blunt ends: ask your stylist to razor your ends on the inner sections to help them lay flat. “Just a little,” he says. “It gives hair more shape and helps you avoid that awful triangle look when the ends are too full.”
Want more blunt cut tips? We’ve got you.
“The biggest mistake I see is people using a colour that’s too warm for them,” Katy Perry’s makeup artist Jake Bailey says about eyebrow pencils. “Pick a colour that’s lighter than your brows and a little ashier than your hair. Brow products, especially powders, melt into your skin, which makes the colour warm up.”??
For more of his tips on shopping the drugstore aisles for brow products, click here.
Pictured: Nyx Cosmetics Eyebrow Cake Powder ($6)
Lili Pettit, who organizes the vanities of celebs like Jessica Alba, says to store your lipsticks upside down, so you can see the name of the colour as soon as you open your drawer. She stores hers “like popsicles” in a Lucite tray.
If you’re trying to keep your vanity clutter-free, these tips are for you.
Makeup artist Mai Qunyh says most women should own two types of concealer: one for under your eyes and one for full coverage. She suggests choosing a brush or pen version for your under-eye area—they’re lighter and often have brightening benefits.
Decided it’s time to (finally) master the art of concealer? Our complete guide will show you the ropes.
Pictured: Eve Lom Light Illusion Concealer ($40)
We asked Cara Delevingne’s brow guru, Wendy Rowe, for her tips for the less brow-endowed. “If you aren't blessed with brows like Cara, but want a similar look, you need to work with what you've got,” Rowe says. “If you have brow hairs that aren’t dark, brush through them with a dark brown mascara to give a darker feel.”
Click here to read more of Rowe’s brow tips.
Celebrity esthetician Joanna Czech has a secret method for waking up tired eyes: tapping. “After your skin is cleansed, gently tap and massage under your eyes, starting in a circle at the outside corners, tracing under your bottom lash line, along your brow bone, and back to the outer corner,” she says. “Use your middle or ring finger and the same amount of pressure you’d use to apply concealer. Repeat several times. This helps to loosen up the fluid that’s trapped under your eyes.”
We’ve got more advice for those of you who want to look awake (but aren’t) here!
Not sure where to apply highlighter? Makeup artist Jenn Streicher says you can’t go wrong employing this method: “Use highlighter on the bone around the eye socket, in a C-shape,” she says. “Most people don’t like to look shiny and you probably will if you put [a cream highlighter] on your forehead or nose.”
For our step-by-step guide to applying highlighter, click here!
Makeup artist Stephen Sollitto says the best eye shadow colours for blue eyes are grey, navy, and bronze. In fact, bronze is universally flattering on all skin tones and eye colours. “If you use bronze instead of brown liner, which just sort of sits there, the whole face looks more interesting,” Sollitto says.
Click here for more tips on how to pick the right shadow for your eye colour!
Pictured: Chantecaille Waterproof Eye Liner ($26) in Nutmeg
For those of you who tend to oversleep, makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury says to reach for cream blush. “If you don’t have time for lipstick, try patting rose-coloured cream blush on your lips, then blend it high on top of the apples of the cheeks for that fresh English rose look,” she says.
Perpetually late? We’ve got some tricks for you.
If you’ve got a colour appointment booked in the next few days, keep this tip in mind: colorist Anival Morales says to skip shampooing for two days before your appointment. “This will help prevent any possible irritation to your scalp,” he says.
For more of his tips on how to care for coloured hair, click here.
Our resident makeup expert Lauren Andersen shared this tip when explaining how to prep your lips for bold colour. “I condition [my clients’] lips, then I prep their skin,” she says. “This allows the conditioner to absorb into their lips.” After finishing the rest of their makeup, she wipes off any excess lip moisturizer and starts filling them in.
For our step-by-step guide to mastering a bold lip, click here.
Pictured: Tatcha’s Camellia Moisturizing Lip Balm ($36)
Our resident hair expert Jen Atkin shared the name of her go-to hair supplements for longer, stronger strands. “Viviscal ($50), Bio-Sil ($34) and fish oil supplements help nourish and invigorate new hair growth from the inside out,” she says.
Click here for four other hair products she says every woman should have in her arsenal!
Congrats! You’ve finished our little black book. Have you tried any of these tips and tricks? Any of your own to add? Tell us below!