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2018 is the year to be bold…with your makeup. You’ll nail the cat-eye, embrace the red lip, and rock metallic and chrome finishes. But, while all of that sounds great in theory, just how do you get from bare-faced to bright-eyed without having a totally non-chill meltdown in the meantime? Here, makeup artist Jenny Patinkin reveals how to truly feel comfortable in your own skin—and how makeup can help you do that.

There’s this common concept of “the perfect woman,” who I like to call “TPW.” We all have one in our lives—the woman who we particularly admire because she always looks so pulled together, the woman who seemingly does it all without ever letting you see her sweat it. I’m aware that in this feminist day and age, I shouldn’t compare myself to others, but from time to time, I still do.

When I have a giant zit that could launch its own hashtag (#jennysgiantzit), it’s hard not to feel envious of TPW’s flawless skin—am I right? But here’s the thing: Even TPW looks in the mirror or at a photo of herself and focuses on her flaws. It’s a really human thing to do.

One of the amazing things about makeup is that it allows you to emphasize what you really like about yourself. Rather than super-zooming into what’s wrong and what you want to cover up, flip the thinking and use makeup as a way to highlight and celebrate yourself. Armed with a beauty bag full of confidence-boosters, this is how to spin things that you’d typically consider a flaws into your best assets.

Keep reading for three key ways to use makeup to upgrade your self-confidence.

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how to feel confident with makeup
Graphic: Well+Good Creative

Work with balance

To get balance, divide your face into halves, top and bottom. When you talk to other people, you tend to zoom in on either their eyes or their lips, right? So if you have a blemish on the top part of your face—perhaps a red, cystic pimple—cover it up as best as you can. After that, you can balance it out by accentuating your lips with extra gloss or a bold color. The same thinking goes for the top of your face, which you can emphasize by swiping on mascara or dabbing on little shimmer.

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how to feel confident with makeup
Graphic: Well+Good Creative

Embrace luminescence

Highlighting can serve a greater purpose than +KiraKira bait. Light reflects faster off of a light color, and when you add shimmer to the mix, pow! It positively ricochets. Highlighting the tops of your cheeks with a touch of highlighter gives your skin the overall impression of being dewy, hydrated, and fresh. Never underestimate the confidence boost of a truly glowy complexion.

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how to feel confident with makeup
Graphic: Well+Good Creative

Carve out some contouring

At its core, makeup is all about optical illusions. Contouring makes you look like you have natural shading and shape, even if they’re lacking in certain spots. If you wake up one day with salt or wine-induced puffy eyes, contour into your socket line with a soft, matte brown. Voila: Now it looks like your lids are smooth. Struggling with looking bright-eyed? Curl your lashes and pop on some mascara. It instantly makes your eyes look bigger. Caffeine habit fading your pearly whites to a duller shade? A little pop of a cooler, blue-based pink will do wonders to create a whiter-looking smile.

Jenny Patinkin is a highly sought-after Makeup Artist, Beauty Expert and entrepreneur known for her Lazy Perfection approach to beauty.  She is the author of the best-selling book, Lazy Perfection, The Art of Looking Great Without Really Trying. Nationally recognized for her broad industry knowledge and expertise, Jenny appears regularly on network TV and prominent digital media channels educating people about beauty and makeup.  She has been a featured guest on The Today ShowThe Rachael Ray Show, and Extra TV, and her expert advice and artistry have been featured in GlamourHarper’s BazaarHealthMarie ClaireMartha Stewart Living, and Real Simple, among many others.

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