How to Conquer 5 Big, Common Beauty Fears

Even those who consider themselves well-versed in the world of cosmetics may have a product or two that sends shivers down their spines. That was me: I couldn't even look at red lipstick when I walked into a Sephora. Eventually, though, I became sick of defeat via tube o' lipstick and these other products—here's how to go all in and conquer.

I ain't afraid of no beauty product

Even those who consider themselves well-versed in the world of cosmetics may have a product or two that sends shivers down their spines. That was me: I couldn't even look at red lipstick when I walked into a Sephora. Eventually, though, I became sick of defeat via tube o' lipstick and these other products—here's how to go all in and conquer.

The Fear: Red Lipstick

I've always loved the look of red lipstick, but I'd wind looking like a small child who broke into her mother's makeup bag whenever I did it myself. A friend of mine turned me on to the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, and finally—finally—I can have the red lips that I've always coveted. Is it cheating to use a lip pencil? Well, maybe, but I won't tell if you won't.

The Fear: Gel Eyeliner

Gel liner lasts significantly longer than pencil or liquid—but there are also about a thousand ways to screw it up. Start with a small amount of product on the back of your hand. In order to get a straight line you need to see what you're doing, but that can be tricky when you're trying to get close to the lash line. I like to move my head all the way back so that my lid is almost closed, but I can still see what I'm doing. From there, place three dots over the eye and connect 'em. With gel liner, less is more. You can always go back in and make the line more intense, but if you start off with too much product, you'll be left having to head back to square one.

The Fear: Curling Rods

Probably the most justified of my fears considering this is a 400 degree stick that you put near your head. In the past, this would have constituted as a torture device, but now it's a beauty product. (The future is crazy, y'all.) With clampless curling irons, you absolutely need to use the protective glove. If you don't believe me, I'd be happy to send you reference photos of the burn on my left wrist. However, you can't just grab the rod, even with the glove on. Instead, hold on to the end of the piece of hair you're curling. Bonus points: This will help avoid fried ends.

The Fear: Bronzer

Cardinal rule: Use a matte bronzer. NARS makes an incredible bronzer.The price is steep, but this baby'll last you forever. My number one trick to getting a natural looking glow is to buff a little foundation into the skin after applying the bronzer. This will make your bronzer look more natural, and make you look like you've been playing in the sun all day—not the mud.

The Fear: Colored Eyeshadow

Back in high school, I was all about colored eyeshadow. Orange, purple, teal—I'd rock 'em all at the same time, and it looked horrible. I've found that the easiest way to make color eyeshadow wearable is to go for a deep hue, like a navy, forest green, or, my favorite, eggplant. Unless you're headed for some kind of Horrible Makeup themed party, avoid going up to the brow bone, even with a darker color. Instead, just do a bit of color on the corner of your eyes.