The Sephora Collection #53 brush ($38) vs the e.l.f. blending brush ($6)
Theses are the exact same style of brush and both are meant to do the same thing: apply foundation seamlessly for an airbrushed effect. They can also be used to contour or to apply an all-over powder. They’re both capable of being a multipurpose brush. The only difference between them is that the Sephora Collection is a tad bit more luxe than the e.l.f. brush, but for the price difference that’s so easy to overlook!
I own the e.l.f. blending brush and have felt the Sephora #53 brush in store. I was so surprised at the price difference between the two. Don’t underestimate e.l.f. brushes!
We love our cat eyes dearly, but sometimes the mood calls for a look with more flair. Enter: The Jet Wing, a sweeping, statement-making eye look. Here, Sephora PRO Artist Erik Soto shows us how to layer eyeliners in a way that makes beauty take flight. BECKY PEDERSON
Once points are plotted, fill in the wing with your eye open. Stop the color once you hit your lid—when your eye is closed, the liner will make a hard 90-degree angle. Stopping the color at this point will keep you from looking like you have two black eyes.
Don’t stress yourself out trying to get your wings to match exactly. Erik says, “The wings themselves end up being different sizes because each eye folds in a different place. They’ll never be the same.” Focus instead on making the wings look proportional to each eye.
We’re not all as skilled as Cleopatra when it comes to eyeliner. So when we put out a call on our social media sites for your most pressing liner Q’s, we were happy to sit down with Stephanie Hilgendorf, Senior Manager of Color and Artistry Programs, to get some A’s. KELLEY HOFFMAN
Q: Can you walk us through the best way to apply eyeliner by eye shape? A: “I think, at the end of the day, it’s not about the eye shape you have, it’s more of what are you trying to solve for,” says Hilgendorf.
SMALL EYES “The most important thing to remember is that if you go super defined, especially on the top and the bottom, you’re not doing yourself any favors. You need to add space to your eye. Carry your liner up and out and around to gain area to make your eye appear larger. If you’re just talking liner and not shadow, smudged liner usually looks better on a smaller eye than something super precise. Or, if you do want definition and precision, add a wing as this will increase area.”
CLOSE-SET EYES “It’s the theory of light and dark. Light will bring forward or draw attention. Dark is going to recede or pull together. So that’s a general tip. It doesn’t mean you can’t apply liner into the inner corners, just draw the liner really thin and petite as you get to the inner corner, and thicker and thicker as it gets to the outer corner. And then when you’re applying underneath, instead of going super harsh, think thicker, more saturation towards the outer corner of the eye. Then blend so it’s diffused to the inner corner.”
WIDE-SET EYES “It’s just focusing darker colors on the inner corners, which seems counterintuitive to most people, but it’s taking and smudging a darker liner on the inner corner. Go with the thickest, and then lightly diffuse out, so it’s totally the opposite. Imagine it smudged and smoked on the inner corner of the eyes, and then almost into nothing as it gets to the outer corners.”
HOODED EYES “A couple of things here: With hooded eyes, it depends on how much of your eye it’s hiding. If just a little bit of skin shows through the lash line, the line needs to be thin—because if you go really thick with the line, you can tell it’s liner, and all of a sudden there’s this other skin on top, and it just doesn’t look very flattering. For severe hoods—do thin eyeliner. If it’s hooded where you can see a little bit of the lid on the outer corner—here’s where you can play. Underneath your eye is also a good area to play.”
MONO LID “Just play underneath. I’ve already started to see on runways this season the winged and cat eye from underneath, but with nothing on top, and it’s really just by doing this. Even if winged liner on the top is the trend, it doesn’t look the best on everybody. If you have a hooded or more of a mono lid, mark where you want your wings to be with your eyes completely open. So if you’re looking into the mirror, take an angled liner brush, and do a mark on the left and right side. To make them look more natural, follow the general curve of the bottom of the eye, which generally curves up. Focus on continuing that line—that’s where you should mark. Then, once you’ve marked your wings where you want them to be, you can close them, look down, and draw in.”
ALMOND AND UPTURNED EYES “Both almond and upturned eyes are a blessing. They are considered more feline, and generally thought of as beautiful. So you really don’t need to correct anything.”
DOWNTURNED EYES “If the tilt goes down, the best liner look is a winged liner. Because then it uplifts. A couple things to keep in mind: Don’t go to the very end of the corner. Stop a few millimeters before your actual eye stops. You don’t want to follow it down and then go up, because that doesn’t look right, so start the curve before the edge of the eye.”
ASYMMETRICAL EYES “When you’re balancing eyes, think of your eyes as teeter-totters from corner to corner. So, if you do something to one side, you have to do it to the other side.”
Q: What’s the best way to correct asymmetrical or uneven eyes? A: “Most of the time in these cases, one eyelid is bigger than the other. So, if you’re doing liner on the top, even though it seems weird—you have to do a thicker line on one side than you do on the other. On the larger eyelid, do a thicker line until it looks like there’s no difference between your two eyes. And that’s with any look—smudged, natural, tightline, winged—it doesn’t matter what it is.
If one eye is higher than the other, I would put more liner on the bottom of the higher eye and lighter on the top of that eye, then more on the top of the lower eye and less on the bottom of that eye. It’ll help lessen the appearance of the difference.”
Q: Do you have any tips for getting your wings to match? A: “If you’re inexperienced with wings, or you have trouble with symmetry, do your non-dominant side first. That’s number one.
Number two: Always determine where your wings are going to be beforehand. If it’s more graphic and straight or more cat, which is upward, determine how far up and out you’re going to go. So, it’s either dotting it or taking an angled brush and just doing marks where you would put your lines. Also, if you’re not really confident in doing winged liner, sketch it out with a pencil first. Draw your lines in, sketch a little bit of where you want it to go, and balance it out. If you just tilt your head up and look down into a mirror, you’ll be able to assess the symmetry of the lines and whether one is up or down and correct as needed.”
Q: What’s the best way to tightline or line your waterline without tearing up? A: “If you tear up normally, you have to practice. But really, if you’re going to water, you’re going to water. I always just have a cotton swab in hand, and when I start feeling the watering coming on, I stop what I’m doing, and place the cotton swab right in the tear duct for a couple of seconds. It’ll draw all the water to the cotton swab, and then you’ll be able to continue.
On the bottom waterline, instead of thinking about pulling, think about exposing. Just a gentle patting motion. It’s already going to pop out for you. You don’t need to pull and tug your eye, which is never a good thing. If you’re doing tightline or waterline on the top, gently press on the lid and look down into the mirror, you’re going to expose all of that area where you need to get in.”
Q: How do you suggest removing an eyeliner mistake? A: “Pencil is the easiest to correct. Smudge it until there’s no more to smudge. Wipe it with your finger; it’s not usually that big of a deal. Unless you’re super fair and it’s a really harsh black, then maybe you just have to go into a smudgy look. That’s the easiest, just make it smudgy, or just keep wiping it until it disappears or is just faint enough. You can also take a neutral eyeshadow, the same color as your lid, and just pat it over, and it’ll diffuse whatever’s left.
Gel, cream, and liquid are harder, because once it sets, it sets. If you make a mistake and you don’t want to remove all your makeup, you can take a liner brush, and just dip it in a little bit of makeup remover, and go over the mistakes. You could use a cotton swab if you’re cleaning up underneath, but if it’s on top, you need to use something as small as possible. And again, I would take whatever shadow you’re using and just gently pat over it, so it looks the same. Then just go over it again.”
Q: What’s the best long-wear liner for oily or hooded lids? A: “Your best bet is liquid or gel—my personal favorites are Kat Von D Tattoo Liner or SEPHORA COLLECTION Long Lasting Eyeliner High Precision Brush—but I would highly, highly recommend a primer. Even if you’re not going to do shadow. Anytime you have greasiness, or smudges, use a primer. Even with pencil. A lot of people only put primer on the top—but don’t forget to put it underneath the lash line, too. You need very, very little product, but you should be able to wrap it around the entire eye to make everything stay. My personal favorite is Too Faced Shadow Insurance.”
A makeup artist without a good brush is like a chef without a sharp knife.
Did you know it takes 22 hours to make a single SEPHORA COLLECTION makeup brush? Twenty-two hours! To get the inside scoop on why the heck a high-quality brush takes so long, we asked the woman in charge: Tiila Abbitt, SEPHORA COLLECTION Product Development Director for Accessories. She broke down the makeup brush—piece by piece. KATE HELFRICH, SENIOR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR OF SEPHORA COLLECTION
THE BRUSH HEAD Brush heads come with one of two kinds of bristles: natural or synthetic. Natural bristles are made up of goat and sable hair, while synthetic bristles are manufactured in a lab.
A complete makeup tool kit has both natural and synthetic brushes. This is because the bristles serve different purposes. Synthetic bristles are slippery, so you’d use them with liquid-based products you want deposited directly on your face, like foundation. On the contrary, natural bristles absorb liquid products, so you’d use them for powdered products instead. Natural brushes are great for applying things like powdered eye shadow, because they pick up a lot of dry pigment.
THE FERRULE The ferrule is the metal piece on your brush that holds the bristles together. It’s typically made of aluminum, but more expensive brushes can be made with brass.
Ferrules are cut in the workshop, as the bristle hairs are prepared on site. While the ferrules get measured and sliced, each hair is hand-selected for quality, sorted, dyed, shampooed, rinsed, dried on individual racks in a temperature-controlled environment, and then brushed individually by hand (it’s at this point when any stray bad hairs that made it through the initial hand-selection process are removed). A brush artist then hand-shapes each bundle of hairs to their desired brush head shape.
Once the bundles have been shaped, they are weighed for consistency and then inserted into a ferrule, which by this point has been embossed with finishing details and hand-polished to a high shine. The pieces are pressed through a crimping machine and glued together with epoxy resin (which is why you absolutely don’t clean brushes with alcohol—it completely dissolves the resin).
At this point, you’re probably beginning to see why each brush takes so long to make!
THE HANDLE Handles can be made from many different types of wood, metal, plastic, or alternative materials such as corn resin or bamboo, depending on the type of look you want to create. They can be dyed, printed, hand-hammered, wrapped in fabric, dipped in lacquer…you can get really creative in this part of the production! The decoration is a very important process because it allows brands to really make the brush their own. The least expensive and most efficient technique in production is the pad print. But it is also possible to do an embossing or debossing, hot stamp print (which provides a metallic and debossed finish), laser (on aluminum materials), or heat transfer (used for allover designs as it can be used on both the handle and the ferrule).
Once the handles are made, the brush head goes through three more rounds of hair brushing: Through a machine, then by hand, and finally by sticky paper to pull off any last stray hairs. After that, the artist gives the brush its final shaping, hair trimming, and inspection for quality and precision.
After that assembly, the brush is polished and cleaned, and then goes through one more quality control inspection.
And then…it gets shipped! And it only took 22 hours.
Learn how to create two new looks that both deserve a double tap.
The line between the Internet and real life is blurring more than ever before. The words “hashtag” and “meme” come up in normal conversation, and we only consider someone a true friend if they follow us back on all our social platforms. Now the techie world is infiltrating SEPHORA COLLECTION with these two new Photo Filter Palettes—and we love them. When you add Sunbleached or Overcast to your collection, your eyes will receive the flattering effect straight out of the photo-sharing app. Sephora PRO artist Karoline Karakeosian has created a duo of easy-to-replicate eye looks using the 10-shadow palettes: Valencia for day, and X-PRO II for night. Follow along with the tutorials below and your next selfie might get more hearts than ever before. JESSICA VELEZ
THE LOOK: VALENCIA
We’d argue that Valencia is the most natural looking of all the filters currently on the ’gram. It gives you a subtle glow and lights up the world around you. For that same effect, this look uses the warm eye shadows found in the Sunbleached Filter Palette.
“For a bronzy peach highlight, use Latergram on the high planes of your cheeks with a fan-shaped brush.”
THE LOOK: X-PRO II
Like day and night, Valencia and X-PRO II have totally different effects, something you’d notice while scrolling through since they’re neighbors on the app. X-PRO II closes in the corners of your selfie with a dark halo, while adding drama to any color. It’s the filter we’d use if we wanted to show off a smoky eye look like this one, one that’s perfectly suitable for your next “makeup of the day” look—only for, you know, night. Use the Overcast Filter Palette to model this look.
Again, start with an eye shadow primer on your eyes. Then, apply Black Lace on your lids using a small shadow brush. In the crease, take a blending brush and sweep on the smoky gray color, Berlin Underground. Highlight the browbone with Flagstone, a light cream color with a little sheen in the formula with a small shadow brush. Next, line just your lower lash line with Getaway using a precision smudge brush. To finish the smoldering look, glide on few generous coats of mascara.
THE PRO TIP
“For medium-to-deep complexions, use Sandcastle or Cozy Sweater to highlight the browbone instead.”
Those who think liners should be confined to neutrals need to open their eyes! “There’s so much fun to be had with liner,” says Sephora PRO Artist Erik Soto. For this rainbow eye look, Erik pulled a metallic black, a bold teal, and a bright purple out of his bag of makeup tricks. Wear this look to a nightclub or a trip to the grocery store—as long as you own it, it will look good. BECKY PEDERSON
PRO TIPS “I always tell people, if you’re going to embark on liquid liner, practice before you take your makeup off at night. This way,” says Erik, “you can get the movement down before you try it for real in the morning. It’s like, who cares if you make a mistake? No one’s gonna see. It’s the best time to experiment with your makeup.”
SPOT IT: SEPHORA COLLECTION COLOR FESTIVAL BLOCKBUSTER PALETTE
We break down the numbers of this 130-shade super palette.
If you’re stumped on finding the perfect gift for the beauty lover in your life, your search is over. The SEPHORA COLLECTION Color Festival Blockbuster Palette is packed with 130 exclusive shades and formulas—and comes in the shape of a fun bow, no less. With so many options and an included stack of tutorial cards, it’s a gift that will satisfy product junkies and a makeup newbies alike. Spin it to open it and experience the literal color wheel at your fingertips! BECKY PEDERSON
96 CUBIC INCHES At less than 12 inches wide, 4 inches long, and 2 inches high, this surprisingly compact palette is easy to store in your bathroom or on your vanity. The bow shape also looks like a fashion clutch—ideal when you’re traveling!
72 EYE SHADOWS Organized by color shade and intensity in a range of mattes, shimmers, and glitters, each shadow is optimized for blending. Pro tip: Use two-to-three colors of similar shades—applying the lightest as a primer, the mid-tone on the upper lid, and the darkest in the crease—to create an easy, dimensional look.
28 LIP GLOSSES Featuring a range of pinks, reds, and nudes, these glosses look great alone but can also be layered to create a personalized lip look.
18 CREAM EYELINERS Use these bold mattes and shimmers to line and define, or blend them out to create unique, enviable smoky eyes.
8 BLUSHES Highlight your cheekbones with pinks and corals for a fresh-faced look. Pro tip: Swipe a hint of matching color on your eyes to tie your look together.
6 MAKEUP TUTORIALS Crafted by our Sephora PRO Artists, this palette contains six tutorials to get you started as you work your way through your options. Included are basic tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your makeup.
4 LIP/CHEEK STAINS A first in the SEPHORA COLLECTION holiday palette, these versatile stains are very on trend.