50 Expert Beauty Tips and Tricks You Need to Try

Renowned hair and makeup artist Denise Elliott spills all the secrets of the biz

Renowned hair and makeup artist Denise Elliott spills all the secrets of the biz

Want to take your beauty regime to the next level? BCLiving sat down with award-winning local beauty expert Denise Elliott (principal makeup artist, hair stylist and owner of Denise Elliott Beauty Co.) to get her ultimate list of quick tips that will make your daily life easier, and, of course, keep you looking as glamorous as ever when you’re on the go. To make things super simple, we’ve divided it all into three different categories: Makeup, Hair and Skincare. (Get ready to take a lot of notes!)


What’s your hack for covering under eye bags… even with concealer on?

“It’s best to use a colour corrector underneath the concealer to neutralize any darkness, and then follow up with the concealer to brighten. It’s two steps, but makes a huge difference.”

How can you get rid of super puffy-looking eyes in the morning?

“Use a roller, that is great for cooling and depuffing. You can also purchase a cooling eye cream with caffeine or green tea.”

What’s the best way to make eyeshadow colours pop? 

“I would use a lighter colour on the lid and darker in the crease. This will make your eyes pop!”

Where should you apply highlighter to make skin glow?

“Apply the highlighter on high areas of the face—such as top of the cheekbone, nose or Cupid’s bow. Be subtle with the application as highlighter can texturize the face, so be sure to blend with fingertips or a beauty blender.”

How do you make lipstick last longer? 

“Use matte lipsticks and lipliner. Apply lipstick with a brush, tap off excess product with tissue, hold tissue over lip and gently press translucent powder over tissue on lip, then apply lipstick over it.”

How can you make your lips look fuller?

“You can over draw your lips slightly, use lighter lip colours, use gloss, and use lip plumper.”

How can you make sure not to get any lipstick on your teeth?

“The best trick is to bite on a tissue after application.”

Can you make your eyelashes look even longer with just mascara?

“Yes! For this, make sure to curl them first, then apply a few coats of mascara afterwards.”

Do you have any hacks for when mascara is a little dry? 

“Here’s my wake-me-up: put a little saline (contact lens) solution into the mascara to thin it down a little. And, a tip, mascara should be replaced every three to six months.”

What’s your best tip for drawing a perfectly winged eye?

“Mark the wing ends with light eyeshadow to have them perfectly aligned and symmetric. You can also apply a bit of clear tape. Follow the line of the tape and pull off after.”

Any tips for applying falsies? We hate messy glue! 

“The biggest tip is to wait for the glue to get tacky before you put the lash on. It’s typically easier using tweezers, but—again—it’s personal preference.”

How can you create a quick, natural-looking smoky eye?

“Use a kohl liner, or eyeshadow stick and smudge it over the eyelid and underneath, as desired. Blend it well, then put some mascara on. Such an easy fix to a smoky eye! My favourites are from Glo Skin Beauty by the way.”

What’s the easiest trick for mapping out your face before contouring? 

“The best and easiest way to teach clients is contour the face like a shape of a number 3. Start at the forehead hairline, then along your temples. Next, you go below your cheekbones—use back and forth motions—starting from your ears to the middle area of your cheeks, and then blending down to the jawline.”

What’s the best way to control an oily face when there’s no blotting paper in sight?

“Combat this by using an oil control lotion, or a primer underneath your makeup.”

How do you know which foundation shade is right for you?

“When matching foundation, you want to always match with three different shades. This will help you figure out which one is the winner. The foundation should disappear into the skin, and match around the jawline area.”

What can you use to clean your makeup brushes? 

“So important! Brush cleansers are available at every beauty and drug store, or you can even use mild soap and water. Remember to rinse well, and let dry completely.”


How can you get beachy-looking soft waves? 

“Use a curling wand, or a flat iron. Once the hair is curled, pull the end to reduce the curl slightly, making it more natural and giving it that effortless beach wave.”

How do you know if a short hair style will look good on you or not?

“Best advice? Make an appointment with your hairdresser for a consultation. It might take a little time, but definitely worth it before you change your style!”

What’s your beauty hack for frizz-free curls? 

“Use a hot tool product on your hair before curling to protect the moisture in the hair. Once curled, spray your hair with a leave-in shine spray for longer lasting results.”

What’s your hack for hair that gets oily quickly? 

“Try using a dry shampoo (Milkshake Dry Shampoo is my favourite!), and not washing your hair every day. It’s best to also double cleanse when you do wash your hair. Also, try not to touch the hair too often. Playing with it will cause more oil!”

What if you run out of dry shampoo?

“Use baby powder. It works wonders.”

How can you make hair always look vibrant and shiny?

“Use the right products, and be sure to book a cut regularly. Evo Love Touch Shine Spray is awesome and smells like watermelon.”

Any hack to cover up roots if you don’t have hair colour available? 

“If it is just a little, then mascara works for a short period of time. Or, there are lots of root touch-up sprays you can buy to just cover up areas as well. They come in all different colours like auburn, brown, blonde or black.”

What’s your greatest tip for DIY hair colour at home?

“We don’t have one because we don’t recommend it. Just go to a hair stylist.”

What can I do to make my hair colour last longer?

“A good tip is not to wash your hair too much. You can also use colour-specific colour treating shampoo and conditioner.”

What are some great hairstyles for those times you don’t have time to wash your hair?

“My top picks are ponytails, a messy bun, a top knot or braids.”

Everyone loves a good up-do, but not everyone has the time to do it. What’s your best tip? 

“If you know how to braid, you could do a ponytail with a boho braid on the side. It’s super easy, and takes only a few minutes. You can even create more of a chignon, an effortless look by creating two messy braids, and simply twisting them together.”

What’s your trick for keeping hair voluminous overnight? 

“Try sleeping on silk. It reduces friction, and your blow-out will hold longer.”

What’s the best way to curl hair without always having to use heat? 

“Try braiding hair, and sleeping with it. This will really curl the hair for a similar look.”

Any tips or tricks on making a ponytail look fuller and longer?

“A great way is to try adding in a few hair extensions.”

Many people can get self-conscious about a thinning scalp. Any hack to cover it up? 

“A perfect tip is to try and dust a light amount of eye shadow powder to blend right into the scalp.”

What’s your hack for when you lose your teasing brush? 

“Use texture spray, or some dry shampoo. It’ll add volume instantly to the hair.”

Do you recommend trimming split ends at home? If so, any tips?

“For a clean cut, I would highly suggest paying a visit to your hairdresser.”


How do you make perfume last longer, and where’s the best place to spray it?

“I would spray it on the nape of the neck. Also, be sure to moisturize first for longer lasting fragrance.”

What’s your pro tip for prepping the face before applying makeup in the morning? 

“Be sure to always cleanse, and tone the skin first. Next—and perhaps most importantly—you have to moisturize. As product is used, it’s key to always apply primer before putting on foundation. This will help minimize pore size, and also diminish any fine lines before foundation or tinted moisturizer is applied.”

What’s your tip to keep skin looking fresh and dewy all day? 

“I love using a refreshing, hydrating mist. Glo Skin Beauty has a great one!”

No one likes makeup sweating off in the summertime. Any tips? 

“You can try switching up your primer, or potentially even using a foundation with lighter coverage. That’ll help a lot.”

You have a big event coming up but you see a zit appearing on your face. What do you do?

“It happens to everyone! It’s all about blending and layering without looking cakey. Use a mix of a camouflage, concealer and powder to help it disappear.”

What’s your best trick to covering up facial blemishes? 

“Blend a light amount of foundation all over the face, then spot-conceal the blemishes and—finally—set with powder. This will make it look as if it wasn’t even there.”

What’s your hack for eyeliner and mascara mishaps?

“Let the mascara or eyeliner dry, then use a Q-tip to correct. An eye cream rich in silicone (it’s not hard to come by these days) can remove small mishaps easily. Use an angled or eyeliner brush, take a small amount of the cream, and remove the mishap while you glide along the correct line of the liner. Repeat as required. Here’s my bonus tip: this trick creates a sweet and sharp wing too.”

How do you keep your lips super soft after wearing a lot of lipstick and lip gloss? 

“Try a lip exfoliation once a week, but remember to be very gentle. I also recommend shea butter or a lip mask overnight.”

What can you add into body wash to naturally exfoliate the skin? 

“I love using sugar. It’s awesome!”

How important is under eye cream? 

“It’s super important to use under eye cream, so you keep this very delicate area of the face hydrated. It also makes a huge difference in the morning before you apply your concealer too.”

What do you do if you run out of shaving cream? 

“Try hair conditioner or a simple soap.”

What’s your tip on making nail painting easier at home? 

“Don’t worry! Practice makes perfect. Take your time, and make sure the nail polish gets enough drying time.”

How do you keep nail colour looking fresh and new? 

“Always store them in a cool place. It’ll help keep the colour good as new.”

What’s your tip for getting rid of self-tanner streaks? 

“Try exfoliating a couple of times. That really helps.”

How can do you take care of skin after a long day in the sun, or even after getting sunburn?

“Be sure to moisturize! The best after-care products are the ones that contain aloe vera to cool and hydrate the skin.”

What are your favourite ingredients for an at-home facial or face mask?

“My favourite hydrating DIY mask is avocado, cocoa and honey.”

What’s the best habit for healthy skin? 

“Getting into a proper routine, and being sure to clean and moisturize the skin morning and night. Starting earlier in age can prevent a lot of damage as well. I have been using eye cream for years and you don’t realize how dehydrated your skin can get.”