In my experience, until the past year and a half or so, wearing makeup was for very special events. Even then, minimal makeup was customary.

My hundreds of brides and bridesmaids wore mascara and Chapstick. The wedding day was focused on looking polished, natural and beautiful for photos.

Recently, things have done an about face – no pun intended. “Glam” makeup has become the routine. Brightly colored lips, contouring, fake eyelashes, and dramatic eyeliner have all become extremely popular.

I, too, have become addicted to bright lips and lashes.

There are rules and tips for looking trendy without looking like you’re trying too hard or have acquired a new profession – if you get my point.

Rule No. 1 is that, in order to have your makeup look natural and flawless, you must begin with a clean, dry face. If you are applying eye shadow, that needs to be done immediately after cleansing and before foundation. I mean, not after you’ve answered the phone or had coffee. Immediately.

The cleansing and moisturizer allows your skin to be exfoliated and plump and ready to accept the foundation.

Also be sure to apply primer and concealer, especially on eyelids.

Pencil liner is less messy and more flattering than the harsh liquid liner. It can also be applied lightly on the bottom and top water line in the eye. This will bring focus without looking harsh.

If your eyes appear small, do only the outside corner of the eye for attention. Brown liner should be used on women with lighter skin and hair, where a soft black can be used by those with darker complexion and hair.

An eyelash curler can be one of your best friends, as our lashes have a tendency to grow out instead of up. Use mascara sparingly. You will notice a much better result.

Natural eye shadows are flattering on everyone. Remember, light brings focus to that area. So, light shadow should be applied to the lid above the pupil. A darker shadow can blend in on the lid on either side of the lightest color.

You can also apply a darker shadow to the crease and edge of the eye for drama and to make the eye look larger.

Do your brows. Lightly fill in and extend your brows to even out sparse patches or brows that are invisible. They are the key to your facial expressions.

As for foundation, try to go one shade warmer or a bit more golden than your natural skin tone. Be sure to blend to the neck be sure it’s a sheer finish.

Application with makeup brushes or sponges helps the finished look. Fingers are not good to blend, plus they’re not very sanitary.

A small concealer brush works wonders for under the eyes. Also, tapping additional green concealer on red blemishes, broken capillaries, etc., will neutralize any redness. Then tap your regular foundation over it to even coloration.

Blush on your cheek bones brightens the face. A light, bright color on the bone is best. Less is best.

Before the lips, the most important thing is to use the most microfine face powder with a large fluffy brush over the entire face to blend and finish the look. This is probably the most important step.

Lips are bolder so take the chance. Change is good. I promise you’ll be addicted like me.

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton. styleitsalon.com