Some things are best learnt from trial and error – here are the make-up application tips and tricks that have changed how I do things…

Mind your mascara

I’m blessed in the eyelash department. My only issues are proper champagne problems – due to the length of my lashes, I’m prone to Panda circles under my eyes from smudges, and my lashes also tend to clump together easily.

For the former problem, I decided to stop wearing mascara on my lower lashes ages ago – I line them for definition instead (see next point).

For the latter, it’s really important to not overload your mascara brush. I also find non-waterproof formulas stay wetter for longer, which gives you more time to brush your mascara through.

Focus on applying mascara to the roots of your lashes, ensuring you taper off towards the ends.

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Once you’re done with application (and before your mascara dries), you can brush through them with a clean mascara wand if you see visible clumps.

My mom even keeps toothpicks handy, which she uses to separate lashes that stubbornly stick together.

johanjk – @123rf.com

Line your lashes with eye shadow instead of a pencil

Most of us benefit from a bit of definition on the lower lash line, but harsh lines aren’t necessarily very flattering.

For the last couple of years I’ve been using variations of bronze, deep brown and even black eye shadow to line my lower lashes, and I haven’t looked back.

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Aside from creating a softer look, you can cheat your way to larger-looking eyes by lining ever so slightly under your natural lash line – it’s a little obvious if you attempt this with a pencil.

morganka – @123rf.com

Using cream eye shadow

I resisted cream eye shadow for way too long – I initially thought it would crease and run. If I recall correctly it did do both those things back in the day, but the formulas I’ve used in the last five years or so have all been great.

Cream shadows cling to your lids like an eye shadow primer would, and since they work best when applied with a fingertip they require the absolute minimum effort. You can still dab powder eye shadow over these little miracles – everything stays in place all day.

Setting your under-eye make-up

I use setting powder on my face maybe 10 days a year – I’m not a fan of a matte, flat look on my skin. I’ve learnt that it’s well worth setting foundation and concealer under my eyes though, as it not only keeps those products in place, but also prevents most eye make-up smudges.