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Forget Plastic Surgery! These 7 Makeup Tricks Could Completely Transform Your Features

Changing your appearance can be as simple as learning a few simple, but nearly magical, makeup techniques.

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Nose contouring instead of a nose job

If you find your nose too big, too wide, or too something else, get ready to transform it with contouring. For the uninitiated, contouring is the process of strategically placing bright concealer or highlighter on areas you want to catch light, making them more pronounced, and darker products on places where you want to create shadows, making them less noticeable. There are specific contouring techniques for each nose shape, but in every case, you’ll want to apply concealer that’s two shades lighter than your skin tone to the bridge of your nose, and a greyish-brown or dark taupe color (a powder or liquid) to cover bumps, wide nostrils, or hook shapes. Always blend the light and dark colors into place using a beauty blender sponge or a rechargeable makeup brush like SonicBLEND, which evenly disperses granules of makeup in thin even layers for an airbrush-like finish. The results are like an instant nose job—no surgery required!

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Strategic eyeliner instead of an eye lift

Oh, the wonders of a good eyeliner. Whether your eyes are too small, too big, too down-turned or too something else, applying eyeliner in the proper style and color is the perfect way to visibly alter their shape. To open up the eyes, adding white liner to the lower lash line creates an optical illusion as it acts as a continuation of your eyes, making them look bigger. For down-turned eyes, nothing works better than a reverse cateye in black liner (our favorite liquid liner is Kat Von D Tattoo Liner). For hooded lids, apply smokey eyeliner to enhance the outer corners for the illusion of lift. Check out these other makeup techniques for making your eyes pop.

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Shading cheekbones instead of fillers

Women have been turning to pricey injectable fillers to fake supermodel cheekbones, but there’s a much easier—and cheaper—way. For this no-fuss three-step process, all you need is your trusty contour kit (foundation that is two shades lighter than your skin tone, plus a base that is two shades darker), which you will use to outline and highlight the apples of your cheeks. First apply the one-shade lighter cream foundation on your cheekbones to draw light; then apply the two-shades darker base below the cheekbones to help those areas recede. Finish with a pop of pink or peach on the apples of your cheeks, and dab a few drops of liquid highlighter at the top of cheekbones. Blend, et voila—Hollywood cheekbones.

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Smoothing foundation instead of botox

Many foundations are prone to caking, cracking, and flaking, which are likely to make any wrinkles and blemishes more noticeable instead of concealing them. If you want your face to look younger, one of the easiest ways is by smoothing skin. That means starting with a primer, which smooths the canvas of your face, like a painter would spackle and prime walls before applying color. (We’re loving Coola Daydream Mineral Primer SPF 30, a weightless multitasker that blurs fine lines and minimizes pores while also protecting against sun damage.) Follow with a satin foundation for silky smooth, practically Photoshopped face.

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Overlining lips instead of injectable plumpers

Less is definitely more here, but this tiny adjustment will make a huge difference in the appearance of your lips. The trick is to first apply a neutral-colored, matte lip liner all over your lips; then trace slightly outside the lines. Don’t venture more than a few millimeters beyond your natural lip line, as that looks too obvious (and a little scary). You can also strategically choose the areas you want to overline, like the cupid’s bow or bottom lip instead of the entire rim. Once you’ve overlined, apply your favorite matte lipstick not only to your lips, but onto the overlined area as well. A matte finish will hide the line you’ve added, whereas shiny lipstick emphasizes it. (Our new favorite matte lip is Victoria’s Secret Velvet Matte Cream Lip Stain in Perfection, a dusty rose that’s like your lips 2.0.)

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Chisel your chin with powder instead of surgery

If your jawline isn’t quite as sharp as you’d like, shaping powder is an easy way to get more definition. Take a greyish-brown powder (nothing too orange) and apply it along your jaw line from behind your ear all the way down to the tip of your chin. Repeat this application on the other side of your jaw. Blend the powder down your neck so that there aren’t any noticeable lines or color differences. You’ll absolutely love the look of your sharp new bone structure.

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Slim your silhouette

Though some celebrities manage to rock a round face, the rest of us can feel insecure about so-called chipmunk cheeks. A great way to slim your face is to use a contour stick and bronzer to hollow out the cheeks, then apply blush and highlighter above the bronzer to make your cheekbones more pronounced. This will not only elongate your face shape, but will give you those model-skinny sunken cheeks we all yearn for. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to use makeup to slim your face.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest