10 Essential Makeup Skills Every Woman Should Master Before Age 30
We fully believe in the “30 is the new 20” mind-set, except in one regard: makeup. You see, we believe there are certain skills every woman should master before she hits the big 3-0 so that she can embrace the second third of her life with confidence and class. (And before you ask, yes—contouring is one of those things.) Keep scrolling to see the rest and check them off your list!
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer ($46)
Adult acne is a thing, whether you like it or not. By age 30, you should know exactly how to handle the situation when you wake up to a surprise breakout (and no, whining about how your life is over isn’t part of the equation). In case you need a refresher, this is the makeup artist–approved way to cover a pimple.
Benefit High Beam ($45)
Whether dewy skin or a matte complexion is trending when you’re in your 30s, you should be able to effectively execute both—regardless of your natural skin type. We’re on team dewy because it’s easier to pull off (you really only need some careful strobing and a few key tips to keep your look sweat-free), but in case matte comes back, we’ve got you covered there, too.
La Mer The Illuminating Eye Gel ($205)
Think long nights and tired mornings are left in your 20s? Think again. On days when you wake up feeling like you’ve been hit by a tonne of bricks, you should be able to remedy the situation ASAP with some carefully placed concealer and perhaps a spritz or two of face mist (check out our full step-by-step guide). Sometimes, you get a full eight hours and still feel (and look) exhausted—especially in your under-eye area (aka bag central). For those mornings, try this technique.
Huda Beauty Lip Contour Matte Pencil ($19)
We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that the day small, shrivelled lips become the beauty norm is probably not in our near future. You may lose volume in your lips in your 30s, so make sure you know this handy trick for making them appear fuller and plumper (and thus more youthful) instantly.
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner ($26)
The art of creating the perfect cat eye can be elusive—but regardless, you should still be able to create a sleek, wobble-free line (winged out or not) before you hit your 30th birthday. The first thing you should take into account is your eye shape. Then, just follow these steps. (If you hate eyeliner, try one of these surprisingly easy-to-use picks instead; if you have a shaky hand, this hack will ensure your line is always sleek.)
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Face Sculpt and Highlight ($96)
Will the Kardashians still be relevant when you’re in your 30s? All signs point to yes (Kimye baby number three is a very real possibility), but either way, the technique they’ve made their signature (contouring, obviously) is still something you should have under your belt. The key is to make it look as natural as possible—you don’t want to look like you contoured, after all. Plus, the possibilities are endless: You can use a creamy stick formula to make your nose look smaller, or brush a powder formula below your cheeks to add a little depth and carve out cheekbones.
BrowGal Skinny Eyebrow Pencil ($31)
If you’re Cara Delevingne or Lily Collins, you can skip this one. If you’re anyone else, here’s a major skill you should make it a goal to master in your 20s (or before): filling in your brows. It can be a touch-and-go process—you need to find the right formula, right product, right shade, right shape… The list goes on. Luckily, we want to help you. Here’s a handy little visual guide for filling in your brows, some of our favourite brow products, and more tips on how to get the best-looking brows of your life. You’re welcome.
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Oil Free Photo Edition Foundation ($62)
One word: blend. By the time you’ve hit your 30s, we hope you have become a master at blending, applying, and swirling your foundation for a super-natural, airbrushed-looking finish (here’s a hack to help you do just that, by the way). Some fine lines might creep up by then, so consider a primer (we like Too Faced’s Hangover RS Replenishing Face Primer, $48) and a more light-reflecting, full-coverage formula—here are the ones makeup artists swear by.
Benfit Hoola Matte Bronzer ($29)
Everyone wants to look sun-kissed—and the wise know how to do it without any sun. The key to a natural-looking bronzed glow? These five simple steps. Also, we suggest a matte, glitter-free formula, like Benefit’s Hoola ($51) or Ciaté’s South Beach Bamboo Bronzer Longwear Bronzing Powder ($48) to avoid any Oompa Loompa comparisons.
Marc Jacobs Air Blush Soft Glow Duo ($60)
In case you haven’t realised it yet, blush is your secret weapon against tiredness, aging skin, and a dull complexion. In other words, you should know how to wield this powerful tool—and wield it well. Whether you prefer powder or cream, the key here is knowing exactly where to apply and how to blend. Here’s a visual guide for applying blush so you don’t ever end up looking like a Raggedy Ann doll. For a silky, finely milled powder, try Marc Jacobs’s new Air Blush version; for a creamy, dewy finish, try Tom Ford’s Cream Cheek Colour in Pink Sand ($96).
Have you checked all of these off your list? Sound off below!