Beauty trends will come and go, but it looks like contouring is here to stay thanks to the sheer number of celebrities who aren’t shy about revealing their techniques. Here, celeb makeup artist Rae Morris, who just released her sixth book, dubbed Makeup Masterclass (it also includes a pretty amazing app with video tutorials to go along with it—which this video is a part of) exclusively shows us how to get a handle on the beauty trend.
With a background that also spans editorial (think: spreads in Vogue Italia and Harper’s BAZAAR) luckily, Morris’ style is one that’s natural rather than overdone. Watch her tutorial above, then read on for 10 of her ultimate beauty tips.
Focus on lifting your eyes.
“I don’t care how amazing your smoky eye is,” says Morris, “the question is, does it lift your eyes? Does it make your eyes look more beautiful in shape?” Morris suggest taking a picture of yourself before and after doing your eyeliner. Ask yourself if you’ve made yourself more beautiful, or just enhanced what you don’t like. According to her, the best thing you can do is to apply makeup under the eye, which leads us to her next tip.
What you apply under the eye is important.
“It’s what you do under the eye that gives you lift,” says Morris. “If I have a hooded or saggy eye, and I just lift my top eye, I haven’t really lifted the eye at all. My number-one tip with eye makeup is to do the under eye first. You get the lift and the extension you want. Join the top to the bottom.” In other words, apply a liner beneath your under-eye and swoop it upwards. If you do a cat eye on the top of your eye above the lashes, you can connect the two lines.
Live by the phi measurement.
In Morris’s book, a lot of the theory is based on the scientific concept of the phi measurement. “It is a scientific fact that anything that has a phi measurement, we find attractive, no matter you’re age, gender, or race.” Morris explains that Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings, Marilyn Monroe’s face, and the pyramids are all perfect phi. Basically it’s a set of ratios that are scientifically appealing—and this website explains it in more simple terms.
This translates to makeup in the idea of universal beauty. Morris says that no matter what, every woman who gets her makeup done by her seeks the Persian-looking almond eye. It’s about understanding your own eye to get the perfect makeup look, and Morris’s book has different charts that help you get the right measurements. In simple terms, know where the high point of your eye is, and extend the flick of your eyeliner to that point.
Make your lips look smaller.
“If you want to make your lips look more youthful, make your lips look smaller and move them in,” says Morris. She suggests that extending your lips with liner isn’t always the best thing, it can make you look much, much older. Instead of using that trendy liner to make your lips look bigger, apply your lipstick and stop slightly before the natural edge of your lip for a crisp look.
You can’t go wrong with cool colors.
“Purples, lavenders, and colors with blue undertones will make you look less tired,” suggests Morris, when it comes to eye makeup. Likewise, a cool-toned red lipstick or pink-shade lip gloss will make teeth look whiter. Yellows and golds tends to be harder to pull off—they can make eyes look more yellow and teeth look darker.
Use highlighting sparingly.
“Highlighter is beautiful in the right places,” says Morris. “But you have to use the right color for skin tone. The skin should look shiny, not like there’s color there.” Morris says the trick to applying highlighter is putting it on in natural light. You should only see it when you turn at an angle, for the best effect, and it should match your skin tone.
Skip out on color correcting.
It’s the next big thing in beauty trends, but Morris hates it. She says the top makeup artists around the world simply don’t do it, for good reason. “The simple fact is that if you’re photographing with a good camera, it’ll go gray. If you have a red or green makeup, in the red spectrum there are about 300 variables alone, in the green, there are probably more. You have to get the exact shade; if you don’t, it just goes gray on camera.” Morris explains that it’s too much of a theatrical trick, and only works if you’re OK with “about three inches of foundation.”
Blotting papers are the best thing for oily skin.
Morris says she lives by blotting papers when doing makeup on oily skin. No product is better for effortlessly absorbing the oil. You can stock up on the cheapest ones at drugstores and they work great.
Use apricot hues for hiding dark circles.
Morris says apricot-colored concealers are your best bet for concealing under eyes. “It’s a natural skin tone, and it takes the blue out.” It’s an easy solution, and the worst you can do in using the shade is make your under-eye look slightly too golden toned. In other words, when choosing a concealer for dark circles, look for one with more pink tones.
When you have time, DO contour.
As she says in the video above, Morris believes that contouring is the most powerful technique because of the ways it can lift your face. Just remember to blend!