Why Your Makeup Looks So Much Better When a Makeup Artist Does It

There are two reasons makeup looks better when a professional does it, and I will share them with you below.

First, though, let’s state the obvious: if you do something for years and years, you’ll probably be better than most at it. Painting different skin tones and colors and different bone structures for different occasions, along with lots of education, not to mention hard work and passion, makes a good makeup artist. So while makeup artists have an advantage in that regard, these two tips will really up your game.


Don’t let this be you!


  1. Only use what you need

There’s a myth that you need a ton of makeup to look great. In truth, more makeup can really age you, so a makeup artist secret is only to apply the smallest amount of makeup just where you need it. This is why skincare is so important! Rule of thumb – if you don’t need it, don’t use it.

Dry skin? Skip powder. Rosy lips? Opt for a sheer gloss instead of liner and lipstick. If you have great skin, just dab a little concealer around your nose, mouth, and the inner corners of your eyes for brightness and forget foundation. Let makeup enhance instead of cover – you’ll be surprised with your natural glow.

Here’s a video if you want that concealer trick:

2. Take your time

 When I do someone’s makeup, she is usually astonished by how long it takes. Really, really good makeup requires application, blending, checking, going back in to add more makeup/fix something, more blending, and repeat again and again until it’s where you want it.

Then, there are touch ups.

So, if it’s at all possible, give yourself plenty of time and you’ll see your makeup IQ rise.


When I first studied to be a makeup artist, I was so excited to learn the secrets behind smokey eyes and flawless skin – so imagine my disappointment when I found out that there was no paint-by-number solution. Take your time, just use what you need, and keep coming back to Electra Lane for more tips and tricks! To make it easier, make sure to subscribe so you never miss a post.


New Fall Lipsticks

Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons, and this year is extra special because we’re finally back “home” in DC. I love to usher in the the colder months with a new lip, and with several new launches this year I couldn’t pick just one.

The Nude Gloss

Big surprise, this is my favorite.  The gorgeous gloss from Bluemercury CEO Marla Beck’s new makeup line Lune+Aster is creamy, offers great coverage, and is not sticky or goopy at all.


These glosses are good for you and for the environment, and come with empowering titles like CEO and Soccer Mom – I chose the shade PhD.


The Fancy One

Pat McGrath is one of the greatest makeup artists of all time, and I was so excited to get my hands on one of her launches.


Sorry, it’s not a great picture of the product…let’s talk about the fact that the lipstick comes in a package of PINK SEQUINS. The lipstick is pretty exciting, too. I purchased the color Flesh 1, and even though it’s matte, it slides on beautifully and has a satin finish – it’s also long-wearing.


Subtle Pop of Color

Many a beauty editor raved about the new Yves Saint Laurent Vynyl Cream, and the color 404 Nude Pulse is lovely.


It’s not nude in the sense that it makes your lips look like your skin, but it’s very neutral while still adding a pop of color. This is super long-wearing, and has a velvet consistency that lies somewhere between lipstick and lip gloss. Definitely worth the splurge.



With the exception of the Lune+Aster gloss, I usually apply a lip liner for definition and contour but wanted to show these lipsticks in their natural state.

Thanks for stopping by Electra Lane, and don’t forget to use my fancy, new “SUBSCRIBE” function so these posts will show up right in your inbox.  We can also keep in touch on Instagram @ElectraLane.


How To Get the Most From Your Makeup Shopping Trip

Recently, I saw this article in the Wall Street Journal, which highlighted makeup “moochers,” or folks who habitually visit makeup counters to use the testers instead of purchasing makeup.

As a makeup artist, makeup consumer, and former makeup counter worker, here are my three tips for making the most of your makeup shopping experience.

Keep It Clean

Y’all. Do not use open testers. Ever. It’s like eating food off of a stranger’s plate that’s been sitting out for months (or longer). Think about it – someone uses the bathroom, then doesn’t wash her hands. Then she dips those nasty hands into a jar of moisturizer. Later, the nice Sephora employee offers to make you a sample of that same moisturizer, out of the jar that’s infested with fecal matter. I’m not exaggerating because I’ve seen it. Part of being a certified makeup artist is learning about/having extremely high sanitation standards. I sanitize everything between clients, even if they’re in the same family. WHY, then, would you use this stuff that hasn’t even been consistently monitored for cleanliness?

So, practice smart sampling.  Try lipstick on the back of your hand, then wash your hands. Or, if you must try it on, make sure the lipstick is shaved and sanitized. Same goes for any product that is not in an individual package or an airtight pump. Safety first, people.

{About to clean + sanitize everything after a job with the help of Kent Beagle}

{About to clean + sanitize everything after a job with the help of Kent Beagle}

Play Nice

Let’s say you’re not grossed out by using the testers and you want a makeover (I HIGHLY suggest taking some alcohol pads with you, just in case. And if the brushes don’t smell/look clean, they’re not. You have the right to request clean brushes).  You will receive great service if you are up front with the salesperson and simply ask if there is a fee for a makeover.  They’ll say no, but remember he or she is a salesperson – not your personal makeup artist.  If you want a full makeover, be prepared to purchase at least one of the items they used, or offer a tip – even $5 is greatly appreciated.


Make Friends

Conversation I had today with a non-makeup salesperson at the mall:

Salesperson: I looooove your makeup, your eyes are amazing.

Me: Thanks so much! I’m a makeup artist, so I’ve had lots of practice.  If you go to MAC or any of the counters here, they can show you how to do what you want.

Salesperson: I have…the reason I hate MAC is because they make me look like an oompa loompa.

Me: I’ve worked with several MAC artists, and I assure you that they are trained to achieve any look you want! Just be really specific, tell them you want something simple, not a full face.


Two takeaways – first, most folks who work at a makeup counter/store do so because we love makeup, so we love to talk about it. Ask questions! The more specific you are, the more we can help you. For example, if you want to learn how to do an everyday smokey eye, don’t ask for full makeup. Ask for a simple smokey eye that only uses two or three products and takes about five minutes. Second, use that time like a makeup lesson, not just as having someone put makeup on you.  I was at MAC today and told the salesperson I loved her lashes. After she shared which mascara she used, I asked her how she used it, too.


Makeup shopping is intense. Pushy salespeople, the rush of fellow shoppers, and “that lipstick is HOW much?!” can add pressure to what should be a fun experience. If you try these tips, hopefully your next shopping trip will be amazing.  Or, just order the goods online…


Images c/o Google Images


Jaclyn Hill Ride or Die Tag: Normal People Version

Since the days of her kitchen tutorials, I have been a Jaclyn Hill fan. Not only does she have major talent, but she also has an admirable and undeniable magnetism that’s lead to nearly 3.5 million YouTube subscribers (!) and sell-out-in-seconds collaborations with top makeup brands.

She recently created a video tagging viewers to show their “ride or die” makeup favorites in each makeup category. I thought about doing my video (you can visit my channel here), but I decided against it because, frankly, I just don’t think people care about what pressed, loose, translucent, AND setting powders I use. And if you’re not going on photo shoots, do your really need to own all that?

Anyway, here are my “ride or die,” most favorite of all time, if-I-were-stuck-on-a-desert-island-and-could-only-have-my-favorite-products products that I also think are beneficial for those of us who don’t have the time/energy/money to wear fake mink lashes every day even if that would be awesome take an hour to get ready.



Everyone needs to prime her skin for the day, even if you don’t wear makeup, so this can be your moisturizer or sunscreen. For me, it’s the latter. I love Laura Mercier’s primer in “Protect” because it comes with an SPF 30, is not greasy, and doesn’t break me out.  I also mix it with my foundation to create a tinted moisturizer.



I have used this for years, and I always come back to it because it has light-buildable coverage and it doesn’t look like you’ve covered up your skin. For example, my current foundation is being discontinued, so I am falling in love with Luminous Silk all over again. If you do want to try it, definitely get matched in person because the shade numbers are misleading.



As we talked about in this video, one needs several concealers. Okay…maybe not needs, but concealer is my #1 favorite makeup product, so for me that’s not an exaggeration. Make Up For Ever Lift Concealer is the one I use most often, for brightening my face.



Any blush or bronzer you choose from Nars’ line of makeup artist-favorites will give you amazing color payoff, last forever, and make you feel like a goddess. My favorites are Sex Appeal blush and Laguna bronzer.



I’ve recently gone down the rabbit hole of mascaras. I’ll spare you the *thrilling* details, but this is the best. And I’m sticking to it. Favorite color = blackest black.



This pains me, but I’m still searching. My favorite lipstick/lip gloss hybrid, NARS Chelsea Girls Lip Lacquer, was discontinued. I have the new gloss, but it’s just not the same. #FirstWorldProblems

Setting Spray


Most of the time, I skip powder and shower in this after finishing my makeup. It does the trick and I haven’t found anything better.


By the way, welcome back, and thanks for reading after my little hiatus. My hip is healing really well, and we survived the move to Alexandria, VA.  Please continue to follow along here, as well as Facebook and Instagram @ElectraLane. See you soon!

Image credits: Sephora.com, Target.com and Google Images


For Better or Worse: Belif Skincare

At last month’s Sephora VIB sale, I picked up a couple of items that I instantly fell in love with. Since I wanted to make sure the sentiment lasted, I’ve been using these products daily and feel confident enough to deliver an unbiased review.

I think I’ve found the best, budget-friendly skincare line – belif.  I know I’ve focused on skincare quite a bit lately, but the unofficial summer kickoff is coming in a few weeks, and we want great skin so we can skip the makeup.

The two products I have (and already love) are the Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist and The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb.

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The Better:

With the cleanser, I needed to replace my current product when I ran out since, even though it was my favorite cleanser up to that point, it contained all sorts of fragrance, dyes, and nasty chemicals.  The Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist is a deep-cleaning balm that you can feel working without making the skin feel tight after rinsing. A huge plus: you only need about two drops, so this bottle will last close to year even with daily use.

I also wanted a night cream to help seal in all the oils and treatments used in my nighttime routine, but I didn’t want to double up on my uber-expensive La Mer (once a day is all I can afford at this stage in life!).  After some research, I purchased this gel-like cream, and it does a perfect job.

The Worse:

This is super nit-picky, but I wish the lid of the cleanser was a flip-top instead of a screw top…it gets a bit cumbersome in the shower.  With the moisturizer, it definitely sits on top of the skin.  That’s why I specifically wanted this formula, but some folks might really dislike it.  When this jar runs out, I’d like to try another version just for fun.

The Verdict:

With something for every skin type and a very affordable price tag for the amount of product as well as the amazing ingredients, I highly recommend not only these products, but also the entire line.

For a last-minute Mother’s Day gift, Sephora has some nice belif gift sets!


Photos c/o Sephora.com

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