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)