MAKING MINAJ: Makeup Artist Day Hill Gives Tips to Getting Perfect Eyeshadow

Say what you will about Nicki Minaj, but her makeup consistently causes a stir. Whether it’s her signature bubble gum pout or her whimsical eye shadows, the rap star always rocks a colorful look that pops. Celebrity and fashion makeup artist Day Hill is responsible for some Minaj’s most coveted looks, and she recently embarked on a makeup tutorial series that blew my mind.

The lovely artist gave away some of her most sought after tricks to getting your eyeshadow to do exactly what you want.

Take notes on these three top tips.

RETHINK PRIMER: You know those fabulous chubby eye shadow liners that range from black to white? Yup, that’s primer. Many brands have fooled us into believing that we should only buy what’s labeled “primer,” however, it’s simply a creamy shade in a matte, semi-matte or shimmer that allows your shadow to make a subtle or powerful statement.

How-to: Day advises you to first figure out your desired look. If you want a day look, apply a primer close to your eye shadow shade or in a very neutral hue. If you want a sexy evening look, use a black primer. Apply the primer (directly with the liner or a flat-tip eye shadow brush) to the area where you want the most color. Always start here on both lids. Cover the span of your lid, but leave your crease bare if you want to use a second color.

PRESS, DON’T SWIPE: Get more out of your eye shadow by pressing it into your primer. Day’s simple trick allows you to get intense color on the first try.

How-to: This works particularly well for messy shimmers. Using a small, round eyeshadow brush (not a flat one), dip your brush in a loose shimmer or swipe your pressed shadow. When using a shimmer, tap your brush before applying to relieve of any additional shimmers. Like your primer, apply your shadow wherever you want the most color. Once you’ve successfully pressed your shadow all over your primer (excluding the crease), smooth and blend with your brush.

STAY IN LINE: Day says you should always use eye liner last and she’s a huge fan of gels, but warns “using excessive liner will make all your hard work a waste of time.” A thick line on a small eye will take away from your shadow.

How-to: Day says to pull lids sideways, not down, to apply a straight line. For winged-tip or cat eyes, start from the outer point, first. That’s the hardest part. When using gel, Day suggests using a tiny makeup brush to create super clean lines.