Rachel Bruno
Credit: Maira Kalman

“I buy everything,” says Rachael, a graphic designer. “I fall for the packaging, the colors, the promises they make at the store. But I don’t know how to use the makeup, so I’m not getting the pretty look I want.”

The Strategy

Layer on less. To minimize shine on her face, Rachael often used several products and powders. Instead, makeup artist Gita Bass suggested she just prep her skin with an oil-free primer she already owned (but forgot she had) to subdue oil before its onset. The primer also creates a smooth surface for a thin coat of tinted moisturizer. After that, Bass gave Rachael’s cheeks and lips a healthy flush of color with a dual-purpose berry stain.

Get application-savvy. Rachael thought the concealer she owned was “too heavy” and, as a result, never wore it. So Bass taught her a trick. “The secret for getting a cake concealer to go on light and blend easily is to warm a little between your fingers before applying,” she says.

Define with light colors. While she favors the natural look, Rachael still wanted to focus on her eyes. Bass showed that you don’t need dark shades to make eyes stand out. She used a soft charcoal liner along Rachael’s top lashes, then applied a gold-flecked peach shadow over the lids and along her bottom lashes. The warm shimmer picked up the gold in Rachael’s eyes.

Rachael’s take: “I love this look. I can’t believe that my most underused makeup items are now my go-to products.”