Pretty Awesome Makeup Advice from a Pretty Awesome Makeup Artist

Our Project Marriage challenge this month is Date Night (yessssss!) and if you’re anything like me and never get to go out on a hot date, you probably want to look your best.  I know I do!

Meet my dear friend Noel Nichols:

Noel is a freelance Makeup Artist who specializes in beauty, fashion and advertising. 

Meet Noel’s beautiful makeup artistry:

I asked Noel to join me in offering some makeup tips and trends to help us all sparkle on Date Night!

A lot of us mom are simply too busy to bother with makeup.  For those of us who wear minimal makeup, what are a few simple steps we can take to make a dramatic (and easy) date night impression?

Most women are afraid of a smokey eye, but it can be very simple and easy to do.  If I have very little time and need to vamp it up for evening, I turn to my trusty kohl pencil.  There are a few lines that have great kohl pencils, I recommend Laura Mercier, Stila or Sue Devitt.  Smokey eye also doesn’t have to mean a heavy black eye.  When in doubt with color, a deep, rich chocolate brown is always flattering.  On brunettes I usually use black or dark grey.  Blondes and readheads look great in navy and khaki green. 

To apply: 

  1. If you have time, use an eyelid primer on lid first, to absorb oil and to keep your makeup from creasing.
  2. Take pencil and gently sketch around eye entirely, using slightly more pressure on the outer corners on both top lash line and bottom lash line.
  3. Then using either a smudge brush or finger, blend upwards on your top lid fading the color towards your crease.  On the bottom smudge going horizontally back and forth until the pencil is blended evenly under the eye. 
  4. Curl lashes (very important!) with a good curler, a Makeup Artist favorite is Shu Uemura, available online and at Sephora.
  5. Finish with your favorite mascara.  My favorites are L’Oreal Voluminous, Dior Show and MAC Zoom Lash.

For those Mommy Friends who like to experiment with makeup, any bold and trending date night suggestions you can offer?

For those of you who like to experiment with makeup for evening and have a slightly more skilled hand, I think a classic black liner cat eye is always in style. I like to use a cream liner such as MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack with a stiff slanted synthetic brush. If you have a hard time with it, try drawing your line first lightly with a black pencil then trace over it, and rest your elbow on a counter top.  I like to wear it with a multiple use product like Stila Convertible Color on both my lips and cheeks for a fresh look.

What are some of your favorite cheapy drugstore makeup finds?

My favorite drugstore finds are endless!  I like so many cheapies, including  Maybelline Volum Express Mascara, Almay Eye Makeup Remover Pads, Aquaphor Healing Ointment for dry skin (which I use on lips), Ardell Lashes (my favorites are the short black natural style clusters) and I love Revlon nail polishes.  Splurge on foundation and concealer at the department store or Sephora.

We all love dewy skin.  I haven’t been able to achieve this look without looking oily, any tips?

Dewy skin is achievable for all!  I always make sure I have exfoliated my skin well and used moisturizer before applying makeup.  If you have drier skin, try a cream or liquid highlighter on your cheekbones, on your brow bone (don’t over do it) down the bridge of your nose and a touch on your cupid’s bow.  If you have normal/combination skin try an illuminating tinted moisturizer (I love Laura Mercier), you can mix with your regular foundation if it’s too much shimmer all over.  If you have oily skin, then you probably don’t need much, just a mattifying product on your t-zone to balance out the shine on your skin.

We’re moms and totally tired, but we certainly don’t want to look it!  What can we do to hide undereye baggage and deep dark circles?

This is the most commonly asked question that I get as a Makeup Artist! 

Your absolute best defense against under eye circles is:

  1. An illuminating eye cream to reflect light.
  2. A killer under eye concealer!  I love Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer for combatting serious darkness. It has highly pigmented coverage and all you need is a tiny bit.  I like to apply mine with my ring finger tapping lightly then setting with a brightening powder.

Just as there are crimes of fashion, there are crimes of makeup.  What are the most common makeup mistakes you see in everyday life?

I definitely see makeup crimes on a daily basis, but my pet peeves are over tweezed eyebrows and too light of under eye concealer!  I can’t stress enough how important eyebrows are. They can completely change the look of your face if not shaped properly.  If you don’t think your brows are up to their potential, then look up a good brow place in your area and have them done professionally.  Even if you don’t want to frequently have them done, they can start you out with the right shape and you can clean them up yourself at home afterwards. 

As for the under eye concealer, I see that a lot of young girls way over doing it right now.  When done properly by a professional the under eye area can be highlighted and brightened to bring out the bone structure.  But when you go too overboard it looks like a reverse raccoon.  Check yourself out in some photos to see if you’re using a color that’s too light.

Let’s get personal.  Where do you find your makeup inspiration?

I find makeup inspiration everywhere!  I look on the internet of course – I love, love Italian Vogue’s website (, and beauty and fashion blogs.  Inspiration comes in all forms to me, Old Hollywood, movies, fine art, music, nature, interior design, books, people I see on the street, you name it.

How much time do you spend on makeup in the morning?

My makeup changes on a daily basis, according to how much time I have, what the weather is like and what I will be doing that day.  I typically spend about 15 minutes on my own face, but if I am going out that night, watch out!- I can spend about an hour perfecting.

Now, I’m being nosey. What’s in your makeup bag?

In my makeup bag in my purse I have:
Blotting papers, usually about 6-7 lip products (I have an addiction!), eye drops, touch-up powder, eyeliner and Wisps, those little disposable toothbrushes.

A great big Mommyfriend thank you to Noel for taking time out for my beautiful Mommy Friends!  It’s time to shine ladies!

If you love Noel as much as I do and want to see more of her amazing work, please check out her website and Facebook page!


  1. Great makeup advice. Everyone should put this next to their bathroom mirrors 🙂

  2. Great tips! Thank you!

  3. Great tips! I need them, I haven’t applied make up in a very long time!

  4. Love these tips! I am always looking for new products to try!

  5. I have so much makeup but I rarely find the time to use it. Thanks for all the tips.

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