The best part of wearing makeup in your 20s is having fun and experimenting, but it can be easy to fall into trends and techniques that mask your natural beauty or even make you look older. To help you navigate the waters, TODAY Style asked celebrity makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor to share his top strategies for looking your best.
1. Skipping eye makeup remover
Late nights — whether you’re studying, dancing or working that extra job — can make it tempting to skip the step of taking off your face makeup before going to bed. Leaving mascara on or scrubbing your eyes with water alone really can cause your eyelashes to fall out, says Sotomayor. (This isn’t an old wives’ tale!)
“Whether you’re using waterproof or regular mascara, you always want to use an oil-based remover on the eyes,” says Sotomayor. His favorite is L’Occitane Immortelle Oil Makeup Remover, but there are plenty of department store and drugstore options. Just make sure it's an oil-based formula to save a step by dissolving both eye and face makeup in one rinse. If you have oily skin, you can follow with a regular face wash or just go straight to moisturizer.
2. Applying eyeliner only under the eyes
It may be faster and easier to line underneath your eyes with defining shades of black and espresso brown, but doing only the bottom rim can actually make you look tired, says Sotomayor.
If you choose to line your eyes, be sure to line the top and bottom or just do the top alone when you’re in a hurry. Try Sotomayor’s favorite trick: smudge liner all the way across upper lashes and a little bit from the outside toward your lower lashes. The smudged finish will make eyes look softer and more refreshed. If you love liquid liner, continue to use that on top, but opt for a pencil, gel or powdered eye shadow on the bottom lashline.
3. Using your fingers or a sponge for foundation
“When you use your fingers to apply foundation, BB cream or tinted moisturizer, it makes it go on thicker and more blotchy,” says Sotomayor. Sponges aren't much better since they can soak up a lot of makeup so that you run out faster. Similarly, sponge-tipped applicators for eye shadows grind into your colors, causing them to hit the pan sooner.
Use a foundation brush to apply creamy makeup formulas, starting at the center of your face and blending outward. Look for synthetic bristles that are super soft, durable and won’t shed on your face. Remember to keep brushes clean by washing with a drop of face wash or gentle soap like Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap every week or two, says Sotomayor. (If you don’t wash your brushes, not only does bacteria become a problem, but built-up residue will affect your makeup application.) For your eyes, opt for soft bristled brushes to easily blend eyeshadow and to get the most use out of your products.