Lisa Eldridge Shares 3 Easy Makeup Looks to Try for the Holidays (and Always)

If you aren’t familiar with the Lisa Eldridge, we’re excited to introduce you to her. As a professional makeup artist, creator of her own brand, and one of the most knowledgeable YouTube personalities in the beauty space, she has a real knack for breaking down the basics of makeup in a way that makes sense to anyone, no matter their level of skill.

Rather than simply focus on flashy trends or review every new product under the sun, Eldridge is known for her carefully curated and informative tutorials that troubleshoot everyday issues—like how to properly conceal a zit or find the right foundation shade.

With that in mind, we asked her to create three easy makeup looks that we could easily try at home. Note that each look builds on the next, so you can add more color depending on how much time you have or to suit whatever occasion you’re getting ready for (even if said occasion is just Zooming your friends, as is par for the course in 2020).

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1. Everyday Makeup

“This is the kind of makeup I’d do on myself or on my clients when you want to look good but don’t have much time,” explains Eldridge. “It’s makeup that will work for any occasion, look flattering on, and isn’t technical to the point where you need great skills to do them.”

Step 1: Apply one drop or pump of liquid foundation to only the areas where you need coverage and begin to buff it into your skin with a medium-size foundation brush. “For most people that’s the center of the face, so around the corners of your nose and in-between the eyes,” says Eldridge. “Use a light touch and small circular motions to blend it in,” she adds.

Step 2: Take anything that’s left over on the brush and blend it out over the rest of your face. Rather than blanketing your face in foundation, Eldridge recommends applying it sparingly in light layers, so it’s “in synergy with your skin and not sitting on top of it.” In addition to looking more natural, your makeup will also last longer.

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Step 3: “My philosophy is to always start light with thin layers,” says Eldridge. “That applies to foundation, as well as, concealer.” Add a little under your eyes or over any spots, blend, and let it sit while you move onto the rest of your makeup. “You can always assess later whether or not you want to add a bit more coverage. Our skin is always changing so you don’t really know how your makeup will sit on any given day. Some days, your skin might feel drier and other days you might have darker shadows that need more concealing. Rather than apply your makeup on autopilot, I like to think of it as a daily decision,” she adds.

Step 4: Curl your eyelashes and apply a couple coats of mascara. “With mascara, the brush is just as important as the formula, and vice-versa,” says Eldridge. “You might have to try a few before you find one that works for you.”

Here are some quick tips on finding a mascara based on your needs:

If you want a good curl, look for a formula that’s drier and waxier and a thicker wand that will build bulk at the roots of your lashes and will push them up at the base. Wetter formulas tend to weigh lashes down and cause them to droop. (Eldridge prefers waterproof formulas because they help to set and hold the shape of your lashes after you’ve curled them.) If you’re just looking for clean definition, look for a longer, more evenly spaced wand, and if you have oily lids that always end up with smudges, try a tubing mascara.

Step 5: Now it’s time for the brows. For an easy day look, Eldridge recommends a clear brow gel, which sets hairs in place and adds a glossy sheen to them. After brushing them up with the brush, use the pad of your fingertips to gently press them down so they lay flush against your skin.

Step 6: Next, Eldridge recommends a rosy lipstick for both your lips and cheeks. “It’s nice to keep the shades tonal so there’s a seamless transition between the color on your lips and cheeks,” she explains. Using a small fluffy brush (think an eyeshadow brush) softly swirl the color onto your lips for a pretty stain.

Step 7: Grab the foundation brush you used earlier and use it to apply a touch of lipstick to your cheeks. “With blush you shouldn’t be able to see where it starts and where it ends,” advises Eldridge. “You want it to look diffused—even in broad daylight or up close,” she adds. To do this, look straight ahead into a mirror and note where your pupils are in relation to your cheeks, now go just beyond that point, and begin to buff the blush on slightly off to the side. “This placement will give your face a little lift,” says Eldridge. “Work your way up the cheekbone and slightly below the initial spot you applied it, easing up on your pressure as you buff. When there’s barely anything left on the brush, go around the edges and blend once more using light, feathery strokes.” (Pressing down too hard can move the color around.)

Step 8: Remember the concealer you applied earlier? Let’s finetune it now. Using a technique that Eldridge calls “pinpoint concealing,” use a small brush to address any areas that still need coverage. “Pop the concealer directly on top of any blemishes or around the eyes and then lightly buff around the edges with the brush for an airbrushed finish.”

Step 9: Last but not least, apply a translucent setting powder to any areas you used concealer and over the T-zone. Eldridge likes to use a small fluffy brush to do this so you get a precise application of powder and not an all over dusting, which can make your skin look dull and flat.

Get the look: Benefit Cosmetics 24-HR Brow Setter Clear Eyebrow Gel ($24); Lancôme Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara ($25); Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Color in Velvet Muse ($35); Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer ($36); Chanel Vitalumiére Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Foundation ($50); Chanel Natural Finish Loose Powder ($52)

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2. Extra Polish

“For the next look, we’re mainly going to focus on adding more definition to the eye area,” says Eldridge. “Think of it as a slight build up from the last look for when you want a bit more polish.”

Step 1: Sculpt the eyelids using a warm taupe eyeshadow. Eldridge recommends a shade that’s not too different and just a touch deeper than the natural hue of your lids. Using a small fluffy eyeshadow brush, buff it over your eyelids in light, circular motions. “Keep your eyes open and look straight into a mirror when you’re applying shadow. This way you can see where you’re putting it and exactly how high the edges should go when your eyes are open, which is what adds the definition and gives your eyes a little lift.” With the remaining shadow from the brush, smudge it lightly along the lower lash lines. As a final touch here, apply a touch of darker shadow (Eldridge likes a deep plum or purple) along the outer edges of your eyes to create a soft smokiness. You can also use your concealer brush from the first look to clean up any smudges as needed.

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Step 2: Add highlighter. Using the same brush you used to apply your foundation and blush earlier, pat some highlighter onto the upper cheekbones and inner corners of your eyes. Eldridge prefers a cream formula for this because “it melds better with your skin, has nuance and isn’t too overtly glittery.”

Step 3: Apply lip gloss in a similarly rosy color over the lipstick from before. Concentrate the gloss on the center of your lower lip to give a plumping effect.

Step 4: Last but not least, lengthen just the ends of your brows using a pencil. Take a spoolie and brush your brows downward to see where the natural shape lies. This gives you a clearer picture of where you actually need to fill them in and allows you to deposit the color underneath the brow hairs, which looks most natural. To determine the best end point of your brows, grab the pencil and line it up diagonally from the outer corners of your eyes. “You don’t want to go too far past this point, as it can drag your eyes down.”

Get the look: Fenty Beauty Snap Shadows Mix & Match Eyeshadow Palette in 9 Wine ($25); Kimiko Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil ($29); Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick ($42)

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3. Hollywood Glam

“For the final look, we’re going to really focus in on the lips. A deeper berry is especially flattering in the winter,” says Eldridge.

Step 1: “When you’re doing a bright lip color, you don’t need to have a strong eye as well, so rather than add more eyeshadow, just add some liquid liner to the lashline,” advises Eldridge. “Press the liner just along the roots of your lashes, in the little spaces between. It gives your eyes definition without the pressure of having to draw a perfect line,” she adds. Take a step back and look at yourself straight on to see how it looks and make any adjustments as needed.

Step 2: For the lips, Eldridge applies the color in layers. “Apply the first layer using a small fluffy brush. This will lay down the base and create an indelible wash of color that will stain your lips and stay put,” she says. “I do this on celebrities for the red carpet and their lipstick will last for hours.”

Step 3: Now it’s time for lip liner. “It’s always good to start with that soft base layer of lipstick because it gives you a better idea of the natural shape of your lips. Using your liner, you can just add little tweaks to enhance any areas by overdrawing slightly or simply even out any lopsided edges,” says Eldridge. “Apply the liner in small, feathery circles, as opposed to pressing down too hard, and don’t go too far into the corners of your lips. It can get in the cracks and make your mouth turn down and look sad,” she cautions.

Step 4: Apply a final layer of lipstick straight from the tube to finish. This will help blend in the liner as well. (And if you make any mistakes or want to clean up any lines, use the pinpoint concealer technique mentioned above.) Option to add gloss to the center of the lips here.

Step 5: Add a finishing touch of lipstick to your cheeks and blend. Again, by using the same color on your lips and cheeks, it will bring harmony to the whole face.

Get the look: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ($22); Lisa Eldridge Fantasy Florals Lip Kit in Velvet Myth ($83)

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Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...