21 fast makeup tips for your freshest face ever

Celeb makeup artist (and Vancouverite) Jordy Poon spills all his best tips

May 20, 2016

By Julia Dilworth

One session with Vancouver celeb makeup artist Jordy Poon and I discover I’ve been doing things all wrong. From the setting powder I just bought last week, to the under-eye concealer I use to cover crow’s feet, to the hydra-mist spray I had my eye on at Sephora—Poon’s quick tips could not have come at a more crucial time (bright spring sunshine is nature’s spotlight!) and I’m determined that this is the year I master the effortlessly fresh “I woke up like this” face.

The born-and-raised Vancouverite—he started his career at age 15 just steps away from our South Granville office—spends most of his time beautifying celebrities and runway models in New York City, but he was back in town this week to work with Cetaphil (bringing sensitive-skin cleansing cloths to the masses) and to spill all his top makeup tips.

Jordy Poon’s Top 21 Makeup Tips:

1. Instant Way to Freshen Up: Red Lips
For daytime, you can’t beat a quick pop of colour on the lips says the makeup artist. “Red is still the go-to colour for most women—it makes teeth look whiter.”

2. Transitioning to Night—Start with the Eyes
You don’t need to redo your makeup before going out because you already have a good base going, says the artist. For a good evening touch-up, start with the eyes. After adding more shadow, don’t be upset when you get a bit of fallout under your eye: just wipe it off, touch-up with foundation and move on.

3. Emerald Green and Go
On the runway, Poon says he’s seeing a ton of jewel tones likes sapphire blues, emerald greens, and violets. Green, though, is the easiest to work with and most flattering of the three to wear for all eye colours—in the wrong hands, he says, blue can look tacky.

4. Pro Tip: Opt for Combo Products
Blush that doubles as lipstick, a foundation stick that doubles as concealer—these types of products save you money and time.

5. Misting Sprays Suck
Why? Poon gave us three scenarios that say it all. In one, you’re spritzing your face with a magnificently hydrating mist, only to have its all-over dewiness leaving your T-zone looking oily.  In the second, the indiscriminating mist gets in your hair and ruins your blow-out. And in the third, it gets in your eyes and ruins your mascara because you haven’t gone waterproof yet. Gross.

6. Dewy-Face Hack: Cleansing Cloths
Skip the mist for the reasons described above, and instead opt for a cleansing cloth you can control. Delicately pat—not wipe—it on your face to rehydrate the targeted areas outside the dreaded T-zone for that dewy-fresh face.

7. Get a Waterproof Mascara
Want a fresh face all day long? You’ll need a mascara that won’t move around on you. But if you absolutely hate waterproof mascara because of the beating it gives your eyelashes, Poon says you should try one that’s silicone based—it will come off more easily.

8. Toss the Setting Powder
There’s a misconception that you have to set your face with powder, says Poon. “Nowadays manufacturers make products that don’t need to be set.”


Left: Poon’s clients include Chrissy Teigen and Jenna Dewan. Right: Smokey eye look

9. Makeup Artist Fave: Wide-Pencil Eye Liners
Poon loves a wide pencil because it can be used as an eye shadow but won’t shatter in your bag—and it’s tool-free.

10. Scarlet Cream Blush FTW
Poon recommends a cream blush in scarlet because it looks good on cheeks (for that just-pinched kind of flush) and easily doubles as lipstick.

11. When You Can Ditch the Lip Liner
If your lipstick is rigid enough that you have some control over the shape, you can skip the lip liner. “Anything that’s too mushy, you probably won’t get enough control.”

12. Don’t Forget the Shoulders
If you’re wearing something strapless, make sure the look is duplicated on your shoulders too. “You don’t want to have a matte shoulder and a shiny face,” Poon says.

13. Don’t Forget the Side of Your Face
Most women only apply make-up to what they can see, which is the very front of their face. This means foundation and blush often aren’t making it to the hairline, creating a less-than-desirable mask effect. Instead, start your makeup routine at the outside of your face, blending things to match everything else on your neck and moving inwards from there.

14. If You’ve Been Wearing One Lipstick for 10 Years, Stop It Right Now
A big trend right now is the ’90s brown matte lip look, but if you’ve been riding that horse for the past decade it’s time to move on. “Just because it came back around does not mean that you’re on trend.” And the same goes for the red lip. “You don’t want to get stuck,” Poon says. However, if you haven’t been wearing it for the past 10 years, now’s definitely the time to start.

15. Only Powder When You’re Shiny
If you’re not shiny, don’t use powder. If you are, just hit the T-zone and move on.

16. Cream Products Are the Key to a Dewy Face
Creamy makeup products like blush and eye pots, buildable stick foundations, emollient things you can put on quickly just using your fingers are essential to a fresh, dewy look for spring.

17. His #1 Best Makeup Trick: Distraction!
Crow’s feet? Under-eye bags? Brown spots? The plan of attack should be to  enhance what you love, rather than covering up what you don’t. “If you focus on the problem, that’s all people will see,” Poon says. In other words, play up your eyes instead of piling on concealer to cover the fine lines around them.

18. When You Look Pretty, Stop!
Poon says we look better some days, worse others, so don’t just mechanically work through your same old routine of primer, foundation, concealer, powder. Some days you may not need it—and you should learn to leave a good thing alone. “If you look pretty,” Poon says, “just stop.”

19. Rethink This Concealer
“Under-eye concealer is the most unattractive product in the makeup kit,” Poon says, “because sometimes when things look covered, they just look covered. It doesn’t look better.”

20. Powder is Aging You
What’s adding years to your face without you realizing it? “Powder!” Poon says. That’s particularly true around the eye area, where layering on too much powder is a crime against your face’s future.

21. Primer Looks Best When You Wear Nothing Else
Instead of using it as a base for your face, wear primer (and nothing else) when you’re off to the supermarket. The more you layer on your face, the more layered it looks, Poon says. Less is more, because, well, more looks like more.

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