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What is it about makeup counters that is so intimidating? Even as a beauty writer, I’m totally gun-shy when it comes to approaching those glossy displays and the perky, perfectly polished makeup artists behind them. Blerg. I’d much rather experiment with teal eye shadow and liquid liner on Saturday mornings in the privacy of my own bathroom. But as warm and cozy as I feel playing with makeup in my pj’s, it’s a dangerous proposition. Chances are there’s something I’m not doing right, and there are definitely a few things I could do better (see also: the eyebrow pencil I’ve been using since Clinton was in office). Which is why I make myself visit the makeup counter at least once a year for a refresher course. Spring is an ideal time for this. I’m ready for a fresh start, from my Uggs to my beauty routine. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years:

1.     If you don’t have a regular makeup counter or favorite brand, ask someone whose makeup always looks flawless for a recommendation.


2.     Call ahead and make an appointment. Not always required, but it ensures you get an artist’s undivided attention for a good thirty to forty-five minutes.


3.     Guess what? Most makeup lessons are free or complimentary with a minimum product purchase—which you’ll have no problem meeting.


4.     Ask specific questions. What’s the best shade of foundation for my skin tone? How do I create a smoky eye? Where do I place the shimmer? Otherwise, you might go home with a face full of makeup and no idea how to re-create the look. 


5.     Bring along any makeup you own but have no idea how to use. A good artist will show you what to do with it and tell you what to toss.


Read more of Elizabeth’s musings at Beauty Bets.

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