15 Makeup Tips for Fashion Models

Models may have been blessed by the gene Gods, but they also have professional hair stylists and the world’s top makeup artists to help polish them to perfection on a daily basis. Models work with the best experts in the beauty industry to help smooth skin, plump lips and give an overall appearance of flawless, effortless beauty.

Nowadays, a model’s off-duty appearance is as popular and coveted as their highly glamorous on-duty look. For a professional model, looking as good on the street as they do on the runway is simple. Models are able to take away the best tips and tricks (as well as the pricey products and procedures) from their professional stylists and makeup artists to replicate and perfect their look wherever and whenever they need to. And let’s not forget that big-name models will receive many products and procedures free of charge.

But what about aspiring models who have yet to experience the glamorous makeovers regularly received by top models? Here at The Models Kit, we’ve put together a list of expert tips that you can implement into your own beauty regime to make the most of your looks and create your own off-duty model look.

makeup tips

Top 15 Makeup Tips for Models

1. Know your face.

Understanding the dimensions and individual nuances of your own face is vital for making the most of it. We are all different. Some of us have high cheekbones, others have hooded eyelids. Perhaps you have a tight jawline and high forehead, or large nose and slanted, almond-shaped eyes. Learn to understand your own personal features so you can begin to understand how make-up can alter your appearance.

There are many different tutorials online about how better understand your face shape. You may find this difficult at first; it’s difficult to be subjective about our own faces as we see them each day in the mirror. But once you learn to step back and truly look at the unique contours of your face, you’ll begin to understand how make-up techniques can emphasise and hide areas of your face to create an attractive, you-but-better face shape.

Check out the video below to learn more about face shapes:

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2. Contouring and highlighting.

Many models are blessed with high cheekbones and tight jawlines, but nearly all models still dabble with contouring and highlighting to make the most of their features. Contouring and highlighting is one of the main ways we can use make-up to create the illusion of attractive bone structures we may not naturally have.

Simply put, contouring is shadowing, and highlighting is emphasising. We use a make-up product called contour under our cheekbones to make our cheeks appear sunken in, thereby giving our cheeks a more prominant appearance. Similarly, contour can be used down the sides of the nose to create a more slender or straighter appearance, and those with high foreheads can use contour along their hairline to make it look like their forehead is smaller.

Highlighter is used on the high planes of the face to make them appear more prominant. The top of the cheekbones, as well as the upper lip and the brow bone just beneath the brows are all common places to highlight.

For a natural contour and highlight, it’s best to use matte products that look like skin. You can get both cream and powder formulas, so you will have to experiment to find out which looks most realistic on you. Pay particular attention to the shades of the contour. Some contour colours look too orange to be believable. A good contour colour usually looks a bit ashy in colour, as this is more similar to a shadow.

Here’s an in-depth tutorial on how to contour and highlight your face shape:

3. Learn what works for you.

We all have different skin types, which usually range from oily, dry, normal or a combination of all 3. Some of us have sensitive skin, which limits the type of products that can be used on it. Some of us are pale, while others have darker skin tones.

Just because a highlighter looks amazing on your favourite celebrity does not mean that same highlighter will look great on you. You must take into consideration your own colouring, specifically the undertone of your skin. You should also consider your eye and hair colour.

Your undertone relates to the underlying colouring that peaks through your skin tone. Generally, there are three undertones: pink, blue, or neutral.

You need to know your undertone so you can correctly choose the right foundation, concealer and bronzer shades for yourself.

Here’s a video on how to figure out your own undertone:

4. Play with textures.

Matte skin was very fashionable in the 2000’s, but in the 2020’s it’s all about glowing, fresh skin whilst having oil control in the t-zone. There are a few ways you can acheive this:

– Use an excellent base. A moisturing base will mean that any products put on top will themselves appear more creamy and glowy. Then just dust a light layer of powder on the t-zone to control areas you don’t want to shine too much.

– Use all cream products. Using all cream products is going to create a very skin-like and fresh glow.

– Use a hydrating/dewy setting spray.

– Use shimmery highlighter. We talked about highlighting earlier, but this is a different form of it. Rather than using a pale colour to make areas of the face more prominant, shimmery highlighter makes the skin look almost wet. It catches the light and really emhasises the areas it is placed. While traditional highlight is commonly used under the eyes, shimmery highlighter is used on the top of the cheeks and brow bones.

– Use a matte or glossy lipstick. This is an easy way to change up the textures of your make-up.

5. Brows and lashes.

Brows and lashes are a big deal right now. Top models will have access to constant brow tints and waxes, but aspiring models may have yet to indulge in that luxury. There are cheap and easy ways to make your brows and lashes look just as good as a top models.

Brow and lash tinting can be done at-home with the right kit. It can appear daunting at first, but with practice you will be able to maintain the colour of your hair by yourself.

Everyone should own a pair of tweezers, and they will come in handy when maintaining your brows. Pluck any strays and trim any particularly long, unruly hairs.

Right now, its popular to have thick but neat brows. Brow gel is an excellent product to keep brows tamed yet attractive.

If you can afford to get your brows maintained by a professional, it’s a good idea to do so, especially if you’ve never done it before. once they have shaped your brows for you, you can try to maintain the new shape at home, rather than trying to shape them yourself.

And don’t forget an eyelash curler. Top models love to use these tools to give their lashes more curl and definition, which makes the eyes appear more open. Finish with a slick of mascara and you’re good to go!

6. Multi-purpose products.

Lots of products double up and can be used for several jobs at once. Lipsticks can be used as blush, bronzers can be used as eyeshadow, and brow gels can be used as mascara. You don’t need to spend lots of money on makeup, you just need the best core products that work best for your skin and colouring. Models have access to the most expensive makeup brands such as Dior, Chanel and Pat Mcgrath, but highstreet make-up has come a long way and can often be used as a dupe.

Here is Rosie-Huntington Whitley’s make-up routine:

7. Use your hands.

While brushes and sponges have become the norm, many of us forget we already have ready-made make-up applicators – our hands. Top celebrity make-up artist Mary Greenwell uses her hands constantly and says they’re the best way to work in products to make them seamless and skin-like.

Hands are also hygeinic, and quick for makeup application if you’re in a rush. Many models have adopted this make-up tip for their no make-up make-up routines.

Here Rosie again talking us through her quick baby-skin routine, which includes using her hands for her base:

8. Get your base right.

If your base looks good, everything else will look better. A solid foundation and concealer routine will give you the perfect platform for all other products to sit on top of.

Some people like to use primer under their foundation. Primers can be used to hydrate or smooth the skin’s texture, as well as keep makeup on for longer.

Your application method is important, too. Fingers will create a more skin-like finish, while brushes or a sponge can create a heavier coverage.

Concealer can be used to hide undereye bags and any other discolouration on the face from spots, hyperpigmentation or redness.

If you look at most model’s when they are out and about, their skin looks fresh and smooth. That’s because they’re perfected their base (and they’re sussed out their ideal skincare…)

9. Don’t forget your skincare.

Speaking of skincare, it’s another incredibly important step to looking good. If you’re wearing make-up, you need to be thinking about your skincare routine to keep skin healthy and happy beneath the foundation.

Research skincare and find the best products for you. Cleanser is a priority as you need to remove your make-up and SPF at the end of the day. Cleanse twice; once to remove make-up/SPF, and again to clean the skin and keep it free from spots and bacteria.

Moisturiser is your next most important skincare product. Even oily skin types need to keep their skin hydrated. Try to find a simple, effective moisturiser that hydrates and protects your skin.

Serums are not a requirement but they are excellent for targetting specific skin concerns such as aging, redness, acne or sun damage. They can be worn under moisturiser.

And don’t forget your SPF! You should be wearing an SPF every day, even during the winter. UVA rays are what causes us to burn, but UVB rays are what cause skin damage and aging, and these rays can penetrate clouds and windows.

10. Light layers, not thick layers.

It’s tempting to slap on our make-up, particularly in a rush, but if you want to look seamless and natural (a la off-duty models), you need to take your time. Make-up should be applied in thin layers and only built up in the areas that require it. This not only avoids the caked-on look, but it also means make-up will last longer throughout the day.

11. Find your your-lips-but-better nude.

Many models like to wear a nice tinted lip balm during the day, and many like to layer these over a nude lip liner. A perfect lip liner should match with your own natural lip colour. Lip liner is great for tidying up the lips, creating an even shape and making the pout look slightly plumper. Find your ideal lip shade and use it to give your lips a natural but attractive plumping up.

12. Give your lips some love.

While we’re on the subject of lips, it’s easy to forget to give them some TLC. When was the last time you saw a top model with crusty lips?

A gentle, mild exfoliator used once or twice a week will help slough off any dry and dead skin cells while naturally plumping up the lips. If you prefer liquid exfoliators, these too can be used to rid you lips of dry, flaky skin. Finish with a slick of lip balm or vaseline for protection for smooth, chap-free lips.

If you’re attempting a bold lip, it’s especially important to make sure your lips are smooth as bold colours can draw attention to dryness.

13. Your body.

Models make sure their bodies are as smooth and glowing as their skin. This is particularly true in the summer, when they don’t have as many clothes to cover up with. On the runway and on the red carpet, it’s usual for models and celebrities to have makeup applied all over their bodies.

They do this in several ways:

– Exfoliating. Exfoliators help to slough off dead skin cells so skin appears glowing and fresh.

– Fake tan. A nice, subtle tan can do wonders for the skin and can hide any blemishes or pigmentation on the body.

– Moisturizer. Just like with the face, the body’s skin needs moisturising, too. 

– Body highlight. You can add a bit of highlighter to your body moisturiser for an attractive all-over glow.

14. You-but-better.

The best off-duty model makeup looks are subtle but stunning. This is because there is nothing too elaborate about the make-up; eye shadow is subtle, lips aren’t loud and skin is natural. Models know how to make their make-up emphasise their best features whilst hiding anything less desirable. There’s no reason you can’t experiment with bold looks, but perfect your paired-down modelling off-duty makeup look as it can be used for all occasions (and it’s perfect for attending go-see’s!)

15. Remember – there are no rules!

The above should not be taken as gospel. Experimenting & practising with colours and products is the only way you will truly understand what works best for you. While the above can be used as guidance, you shouldn’t limit yourself from trying new things. Beauty is only an opinion, and if something makes you feel happy and confident, you shouldn’t let anyone else’s opinion change that.

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