I read and write about beauty all day long and consider myself somewhat skilled at creating a glowy, fresh makeup look, but I still have my weaknesses. For starters? Achieving crisp, precise top liner has always been struggle city for me and I should probably log in a few hours practicing eyeshadow blending... for the sake of my attempts at wearing smoky eyes. 

So when an invite popped into my inbox for a masterclass with Charlotte Tilbury, makeup artist to celebrities and models like Kim K.W and brow queen Cara Delevingne, not to mention the creator of a badass and hugely successful namesake collection, I knew I had to be there. This woman is a legend in the beauty industry, a woman who says her husband has never even seen her without her sexy, smudgy eye makeup. She’s THAT known for it. I was 100 percent going to learn valuable information. 

Here are a few tricks (and interesting tidbits) I’m tucking away for good. Oh, and I left with some pretty bomb eye makeup by yours truly (plus some help from a pro MUA), if I do say so myself. 

1. The easiest way to contour is to suck in your cheeks (think about making a fish face) and then "follow the hollow," as Charlotte says. Apply the contour powder in her the Filmstar Bronze & Glow compact ($68; nordstrom.com) along the shadow you'll see on your face after sucking in your cheeks. Life. Changing. Oh, and the contour is suuuuuper subtle. 

2. Wanna look like you just left a relaxing, rejuvenating vacay? Charlotte says to dip a brush into the "Sculpt" shade and place it on your temples or anywhere the sun would naturally kiss you, like across your face and nose. Voila, healthy glow!

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3. Ever heard of brow mapping? That's how you figure out where to start and stop your eyebrows. According to Charlotte, you place the pencil vertically near your nose so it's slightly touching. Where it hits near the eye, you make a dot and that's where you begin the eyebrow. Then, you take the pencil and lay it diagonally across your iris, and that's where Charlotte says the arch should be. Finally, you should finish by placing the pencil diagonally across to the end of your eye (though one side of the pencil should still be touching the side of your nose), and that's where Charlotte notes the brow should end. 

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4. Always comb up your brows. Charlotte explained doing so will reveal your natural shape, and then you can properly fill them in. You'll also want to keep the beginning of the brow a bit lighter than the arch. 

5. Charlotte said the shimmery, sparkly eyeshadow shade in her palette "Uptown Girl" is one of the most expensive eyeshadows in the world because it's apparently packed with emollients and oils to smooth out your skin.

6. So I've never, ever been good at blending out darker eyeshadow that's meant for the crease, but Charlotte actually really helped. Charlotte told us to take the Enhance shade and find your socket and then "nestle it" and lightly brush the pigment onto your skin backwards and forwards with a blending brush. 

7. When doing eye makeup, Charlotte always "drags the eye out" to elongate the eye and "cheat a little bit of length." That means she takes the eyeshadow out further than just on the eyelid. 

8. If you have a love affair with Charlotte's Magic Cream ($100; nordstrom.com), and I do, you can actually use it as a makeup remover when you make tiny mistakes in your eye makeup. Dip a cotton swab in the teeniest bit and use it to remove product or shape your cat eye.

9. To really increase the elongation of your eyelashes, you should first press the mascara wand into the base of the lashes and then pull the wand and formula outwards through your lashes. 

10. I'm partial to Charlotte Tilbury's Miranda May Lipstick, but apparently, Bond Girl ($32; nordstrom.com) is the top-selling product. Charlotte said that Amal Clooney wore it on her wedding day, too.


This article originally appeared on InStyle.com/MIMI.