It’s the afternoon after the 2016 Oscars, and our inboxes are overflowing with how-tos for all the glam hair and makeup we gazed at on the red carpet. We’re getting all the important details to you as fast as we can (see: our roundup of the night’s best beauty trends, names of this year’s best Oscars lipsticks, and details on all those sexy smoky eyes). But we know what you really want the most: Those super-easy, sneaky little tricks that the world’s best makeup artists use to get the world’s most famous faces looking their most flawless—and staying that way all night long. So here ya go—five genius tactics, plus inside scoop on why they work so well.
1. Prevent harsh liner.
Defined eyes are a must for photo-heavy occasions like the Oscars, but as we all know, sometimes black liner can look too harsh, when you’re going for a more natural look, while brown can look too warm and gray too subtle. That’s where violet came in last night. This jewel tone can be used to take the edge off black liner; Reese Witherspoon’s makeup artist Molly R. Stern used it in this subtle way for the star’s “crisp, clean eye”, tracing Chantecaille Luster Glide Eye Liner in Violet Damask over black cream liner to soften the color and the line. Meanwhile, Oscar winner Brie Larson’s eyes exemplified how more obvious violet can be a subtle and brightening alternative to neutrals. Makeup artist Rachel Goodwin used Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Purple Choc, a deep violet, on her lash line and waterline.
2. Add oil to your foundation.
Here’s the red-carpet trick for preventing full-coverage foundation from getting cakey and drawing attention to fine lines and blemishes: Spike it with a drop of face oil, like Brigitte Reiss-Andersen did for Amy Poehler. “It’s one of my favorite tricks,” she tells us. “I mix a drop—no more—of oil into the foundation to thin it so I can build layers without it looking pasty and heavy.” She mixed a few drops of Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate into Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup in Vanilla Shell. Bonus: You’ll add radiance to the skin and hydrate it.
3. Keep your mani flawless and glowy.
Nude nails are everywhere right now, and we feel like dry, sad cuticles look even more obvious without the distraction of bold polish. That’s why we’re already employing the trick used by Rachel McAdams’ Oscars manicurist, Tom Bachik: treating our hands with face oil. On McAdams, this involved a few drops of L’Oreal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil; he tells us he prefers using face oils to traditional cuticle oils: “They have a unique blend of multiple oils, so they’re super conditioning.” They’re also designed to penetrate deeply to give skin—including cuticles—extra long-lasting hydration.
4. Try strobing your eyes.
To brighten Julianne Moore’s eyes and amp up their natural shape, makeup artist Elaine Offers traced inside her waterline with a softly reflective pencil that matched her skin—L’Oreal Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner in Highlighter. Doing this eliminates the pink tones naturally found at eyelids’ edges while subtly diffusing light into the entire eye area.
5. Get all this stuff off your face before bed—gently.
If celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff managed to fully cleanse her face after attending Elton John’s viewing party, you really have no excuse. She even posted an Instagram shot of the products she calls “the best of the best” for removing makeup gently. “I really wanted to just fall into bed,” she told us on the phone bright and early. “But I had to take those ten minutes and get my skin perfectly clean or it would have been a real disaster.” She started with Bioderma wipes followed by the micellar water; makeup artists have long sworn by this French brand. “Everyone in the fashion world knows it’s the best,” Dubroff says. “It feels like water but breaks down makeup like nobody’s business, and it’s not too harsh around the eyes.” Then she used 001 Exfoliating & Conditioning Cleanser, plus her pick for the best post-event, pre-sleep moisturizer: Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Nourishing Oil.
Watch Highlights of Oscars Nights Past:
Photos: Getty Images; Instagram