Camouflage Dark Circles
You might have noticed that applying concealer that's a few shades too light to cover up the effects of a late night (or two...or three) gives the appearance of reverse raccoon eyes. For a natural-looking solution, try a brightening concealer to reflect light instead, says makeup artist Carmindy. If you're fair, look for a pink shade; if you're medium to dark, opt for an apricot color. Instead of using your fingers to apply (which Carmindy says can tug on delicate skin), you'll have more success using a synthetic brush to sweep the brightening concealer under your eyes and up into the inner corners, which are prone to shadows.
Camouflage Dehydrated Skin
If your face is especially dry—thanks to cold weather or an overheated office—your first instinct might be to slather on the richest and heaviest cream you can find, but applying makeup over that can be tricky. Save the thick stuff for bedtime and try makeup artist Mally Roncal's quick fix to help hydrate pre-party: Rub an oil-free moisturizer onto clean skin and layer a luminizing primer on top.
Roncal suggests applying a yellow-based concealer down the sides of your nose, around your nostrils, on the outer corners of your eyes (where many of us have hyperpigmentation) and over broken capillaries to cover up any redness or shadows. Then use a nonlatex sponge to apply a few pumps of liquid foundation all over your face (including the undereye area and your eyelids) to even out skin tone, says Carmindy.
Camouflage a Sallow Complexion
The short days and long, dark winter nights can leave you as pale as a character from Twilight. To make skin look more alive, try a non-orangey, matte bronzer. The key is not to use it all over, says Carmindy, which can look artificial if you're fair. Instead, apply bronzer, starting at your temples and sweeping it underneath your cheekbones. Dust a pop of pink blush on the apples of your cheeks for warmth. To brighten dull skin and get even more glow, apply a cream highlighter or shimmery eyeshadow (try a white shade if you're fair, pink for medium skin tones, and gold for darker complexions) to the tops of cheekbones, underneath the brows, to the inner corners of the eyes, down the bridge of the nose and above the bow of your upper lip.
Camouflage Red, Tired Eyes
Along with a few drops of Visine, lining the inner rims of your lower lids with an eyeliner pencil that matches your skin tone will make the whites of your eyes appear instantly brighter, says Roncal. For an eye-opening effect with more drama, Carmindy suggests using a navy blue liner in the same place—the contrast counteracts redness. Then go light with the rest of your eye makeup: Apply a thin stripe of black or brown waterproof eyeliner as close to the roots of your upper lashes as possible and sweep a neutral, shimmery eyeshadow across lids (try a champagne shade if you're fair, a yellowy topaz color if you're olive, and a pale gold if you have a dark complexion). Finish with two coats of mascara—adding more to the middle of your top lashes to make eyes look more open and awake.
Fighting your way through an overcrowded mall or frantically wrapping up those end-of-the-year reports at the office could be the cause of the blemishes that popped up on your chin. When you're under stress, the body releases hormones, like cortisol, that increase oil production and can lead to acne. Here's how to hide blemishes: After you've applied a light layer of a foundation all over your face, use a fine-tipped brush (like the skinny kind used for eyeliner) to dot more foundation onto problem spots. Then set with translucent powder. Don't cake coverup on a pimple; that can highlight it if your concealer isn't an exact match to your foundation.