How to Mix Up Your Makeup Routine

Q: I feel like I’ve had the same makeup routine since I was 14: foundation/tinted moisturizer, good undereye concealer and then the same muted brown eyeshadows with the expected highlighter on the inner part of the eye. Do you have ideas/tips for new ways to mix it up? I feel like I’m a paint-by-numbers …

Illustrations by Lauren Friedman

Benefit Benetint Rose-Tinted Lip & Cheek Stain, $29,
Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl, $25,
Stila Convertible Color in Peony, $25,

A: At the end of the day, my goal has always been a “You look pretty!” as opposed to “What fantastic makeup you have on!” So paint-by-numbers is not such a bad thing if it means you know what flatters you and you do just that. So I’m not the person who’s going to tell you to run out and buy magenta eyeshadow, lip glitter and some green mascara. Nobody needs to mix up their makeup for the sake of style. If you’re wanting … more, though, I’d go with eyeliner in dark brown or black. The classic Lancôme kohl pencil is the perfect thickness/creaminess to create pretty much any look you want. Used sparingly, it instantly turns up the attractiveness volume; winged out into a cat-eye it instantly glamorizes; smudged into a smoky eye it instantly chic-ifies. It says “I’m an adult” but it also says “I like to have fun” and it doesn’t say “I’m palooka-crazy” unless you really go to town. Your other step-it-up option is blush. The gateway drug in that department is Benetint, a blood-colored liquid that’s a little terrifying to smudge on (dab on just at the apples of your cheeks, reminding yourself you can always add though it’s much harder to subtract), but it’s so naturally flattering to every skin tone that 
you may never need anything beyond your gateway drug. I also like Peony cream blush from Stila, which is super-easy to blend. And Orgasm powder blush from Nars is similarly universal in its skin-prettifying effects.