YouTube star Jaclyn Hill reveals how to do your makeup like a pro

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If anyone knows how to apply makeup like a pro, it’s YouTube beauty guru Jaclyn Hill. After spending more than six years teaching subscribers everything from mastering winged liner to applying false lashes, the former freelance makeup artist is now giving fans some product essentials to pair with her brilliant tips.

“People always say, ‘Can you tell me exactly what makeup brushes I need? There’s so many out there,'” Hill, who has over 5.4 million YouTube subscribers and more than 5.7 million Instagram followers, tells PeopleStyle. So, the 28-year-old joined forces with Morphe to launch her own “basic collection of brushes that every single person needs.”

For the makeup pro, the partnership is a no-braner. “Having good tools is so important. Going forward, I am launching my own cosmetic line, but it is not in my plan to [create] brushes. Since Morphe already makes incredible ones, I [felt] like this is the most organic thing.”

Besides using well-made tools, there are many other steps Hill says are vital when applying your makeup to ensure it looks flawless and stays in place all day. And the bona fide beauty expert is sharing her expertise below.

Start With Your Skincare

“Your makeup is only going to look as good as your skin does,” Hill says. The expert makes sure to exfoliate “three to four times a week,” always uses hydrating masks and slathers on moisturizer to prep for makeup application.

“I am very dry and I use a lot of pharmaceutical grade skincare that I get from my aesthetician, which is why I don’t talk about it very often because I know people want something they can go and buy,” she explains. “But I will say I am obsessed with the La Mer Soft Cream. I have been using it for close to two years. It’s my favorite moisturizer ever.”

Credit: La Mer

Buy It! La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream, $85 (for 0.5 oz.);

Invest in Quality Makeup Brushes

Like taking care of your skin, Hill believes selecting high quality brushes makes all the difference in your makeup application. “I have had a lot of experience trying out really cheaply made brushes. You get hair falling all over your face and they’re scratchy and you don’t get the right blend,” she says. “I would personally rather do my makeup with my fingers than use bad brushes.”

So when she teamed up with Morphe to create her brush collection, Hill knew exactly what she wanted. The complete 24-piece kit contains every face and eye brush someone would need to go full-on glam, but if basic makeup is what you usually go for, each brush can be purchased individually, too.

“I would say the Morphe JH02 Bronzer Brush is an absolute must,” Hill says, noting that her favorite bronzers to use it with are the Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer and Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer.


Buy It! Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Bronzer Perfect Tan, $49;, Morphe JH02 Bronzer Brush, $24; and Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer, $7.25;

She adds, “It doesn’t matter what look you’re doing, who you are or how old you are — everyone needs a good bronzer brush. It feels so luxurious and blends product beautifully.”

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Credit: Jaclyn Hill/Instagram

As for eyes, Hill thinks the Morphe JH30 Beast Mode Blender Brush is an essential. “If someone wants basic makeup and wants to throw on a light brown color in the crease, that is what I will tell them to use. It’s great to have on-hand,” the makeup artist says.

Then she recommends the Morphe JH05 Contour Brush, which she says makes contouring “foolproof,” even for beginners. “I’ve never seen anything identical in the industry to this one. Contouring is hard, but this blends it so soft and seamlessly. It makes it easy,” Hill says.


Buy It! Morphe JH30 Beast Mode Blender Brush, $8; and Morphe JH05 Perfect Contour Brush, $16;

And finally, for highlighter enthusiasts, Hill insists the Morphe JH09 Glow Baby Glow Brush will change the way you illuminate your skin.

“Honestly, it is the best highlighting brush in the universe. I use it with Becca's Champagne Pop [Hill developed the shade for the brand in 2015] on a daily basis. I love Kylie Cosmetics Loose Highlight in the shades Fiji and Santorini. They’re really blinding and gorgeous,” Hill says. “Also the Wet n' Wild MegaGlo highlights are incredible. They’re genuinely so high end and luxe-feeling.”


Buy It! Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne Pop, $38;, Wet n’ Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder, $4.68;, Morphe JH09 Glow Baby Glow Brush, $9; and Kylie Cosmetics Ultra Glows in Fiji and Santorini, $14 each;

Prep With a Primer

Even though Hill admits she used to call primers a “gimmick,” she’s changed her mind. “I thought moisturizer was more than enough, but now I am definitely 100 percent pro-primer,” she says.

Her all-time favorite? Sisley Paris' pricey ($200) formula But to her, it’s worth every penny. “It has the perfect amount of tackiness so your makeup grabs onto it like glue. Everyone I’ve recommended it to, no matter what their skin type is, they all say it is amazing.”

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Credit: Sisley Paris

Buy It! Sisley Paris Double Tenseur Moisturizing Gel, $192;

Choose the Correct Powder

Hill says there’s no other way to get “that flawless, airbrushed look” without powder, but stresses how important it is to select the right one to make sure your face won’t look cake-y. “If you’re using a full coverage foundation don’t use a full coverage powder,” she says. “You have to choose one or the other.”

Even with her dry skin, Hill says a lightweight translucent powder locks in her favorite Too Faced Born This Way Foundation without “suffocating” her skin.

“I’m obsessed with the CoverFX Perfect Setting Powder and the new Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder. They both don’t feel chalky on your skin or give cake face,” she says.


Buy It! Too Faced Born This Way Foundation, $39;, CoverFX Perfect Setting Powder, $35; and Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder, $46;

Spritz On Setting Spray

Finishing off your look with a mist makes so much of a difference, Hill can’t fathom the idea of doing her makeup without it. “I have not left the house in probably five years without using setting spray. It is that important to me,” she says.

Hill recommends applying a “generous” amount all over to “melt together” all the product. “Your skin looks so much more natural,” she says (the Morphe Continuous Setting Mist is her favorite). “It’s magical.”

Credit: Morphe

Buy It! Morphe Continuous Setting Mist, $15;

Use a Long-Wear Lipstick

If you don’t want to bother reapplying a lipstick as it fades throughout the day, Hill has the best solution for you. “The Jeffree Star Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick is one of my favorite formulas in the industry. I’m really into nude liquid lips. My favorite two from him are the shades Mannequin and I’m Nude,” she says. “It doesn’t go anywhere [all day.]”

jaclyn hill-lips

Buy It! Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipsticks in Mannequin and I’m Nude, $18 each;

Hill continues, “I put Mannequin all over my entire lip and then I put I’m Nude in the center and dab it out so it has a little dimension.”