Instagram"> clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Seven Superstar Makeup Artists Reveal Their Best Beauty Hacks

Photo: Matthew VanLeeuwen/<a href="">Instagram</a>
Photo: Matthew VanLeeuwen/Instagram

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Although celebrity makeup artists have all the tools necessary to produce a flawless face, sometimes things don't work out as planned, forcing them to think fast for a seamless solution. Oftentimes, these makeshift tricks turn into mainstay game-changers and become essentials in their makeup kits.

Here, we've asked seven of Hollywood's go-to beautifiers to share some of their best foolproof shortcuts—from unconventional techniques to drugstore gems—so we can all save time, money, and energy that could be used doing more important stuff, like taking selfies.


Who: Brett Freedman, makeup artist and Brett Brow founder
Hack: "Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream is my secret weapon to dot and smooth around eyes. It stays dewy and moves with the skin. It's great for crepe-ing skin around eyes. I also use before applying matte lipsticks. It's not greasy or shiny, so it's perfect to prep lips!"


Who: Maria Vargas, E! makeup artist
Hack: "If you want a quick winged liner use a piece of tape under the corner of the eye to draw a perfect line!"


Who: Gregory Arlt, makeup artist and M∙A∙C Cosmetics Director of Makeup Artistry 
Hack: "If you're having a particularly exhausting morning and want to add a little life to your face, I love mixing a few drops of M∙A∙C Cosmetics Strobe Cream into foundation, BB Cream or tinted moisturizer to wake up the face with illuminating pigments found in the product. It's also great on legs for a 'liquid stocking' and makes for a nice body lotion!"


Who: Matthew VanLeeuwen, makeup artist and Showroom brand ambassador
Hack: "One of my absolute secret makeup weapons is NYX Cosmetics Matte Makeup Setting Spray. I was turned on to it a while back by a fellow makeup artist and it changed my life. I have almost stopped using powder as a few spritzes of this magic elixir over freshly applied makeup keeps the face flawless all day and night. It's also amazing lightly sprayed on a sponge, dipped into concealer and applied under eye for unbudgeable coverage all day and night!"


Who: Erica Davidson, makeup artist and Pretty Pleased blogger
Hack: "I always have a tube of Lucas' Pawpaw Ointment on hand. It's great for everything from skin rashes to chapped lips, and even dabbed as a highlighter. In spring and summer when I'm wearing sandals all the time, my heels get dry and cracked, so to keep them smooth, I sleep with cotton socks and slather my feet in Lucas' Pawpaw Ointment or coconut oil. I cut off the toes to keep my feet cool and in the morning they are baby soft! Another beauty trick is using Maybelline's Fit Me Foundation Sticks for contouring. They are easy to use and blend seamlessly. They're also super affordable and easy to find."


Who: Stephen Dimmick, makeup artist and GlossiGirl Cosmetics founder
Hack: "​​When curling your eyelashes​,​ start at the ends of your lash and pump 10-15 times. Then move to the middle of the eyelash and repeat pumping​; then​ finally to roots of the lashes and repeat pumping action. This gives the lashes a really gorgeous curl rather than just a bend that only curling in ​one place will give.​"​

Photo: Stuff She Likes

Who: Jessica Scantlin, Blushington head makeup artist
Hack: "To get ultra fluttery lashes, use a safety pin! Sometimes a comb doesn't work; this way you can get the tiniest clumps for a super feathery look. Also, if my client wants a fuller pout I let them exfoliate their lips with a dry toothbrush and voilà, plump lips! It also helps dryness, which is essential to flawless lipstick application. One more of my favorite beauty hacks is using hairspray on your legs and chest for a sheen. Sometimes body lotions and all that can get all over your designer gown and it can be too glittery. Just make sure the hairspray you choose isn't a heavy duty sticky one!"

Racked Video Haul: Essie Spring 2015 Collection