Once upon a time, I never blended foundation into my neck. Once upon a time, I couldn’t make the wing of eyeliner sharp no matter how many times I tried. But after years of practice and nurturing my passion for makeup, I am now teaching others how to wear it. Instead of scrolling through blogs to figure out what mascara is best, I already know. And I’m here to let you in on my secrets to getting started with the wonderful world of makeup.
Face Makeup: Foundation is one of the trickiest things to figure out. To start, decide how much you want to spend on foundation. I think that foundation is one of the best things to splurge on, especially if you have problem skin. But if your skin isn’t acne-prone or sensitive, drugstore brands can be alright for you. When swatching shades, always check the shades on your neck, never your hand, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you are at Sephora or Ulta! Sephora has a computer system designed for finding the best shade matches, and it breaks it down into prices based on what formulas matched. When first starting out, using a foundation or BB cream with medium to light coverage is a safe bet. Heavy coverage foundations require a lot of bending and the right tools, which is sometimes best left to the advanced makeup users.
When it comes to concealer, make sure you find the best formula for what you are aiming to conceal. Usually going with one shade lighter than your foundation is the best bet, and I’ve found that liquid based concealer works best on my acne, and a more cream-based concealer tackles my under-eye circles. Once you’ve added your foundation and concealer to your cart, don’t forget your setting powder! A translucent powder can go a long way in holding in place your look for a whole day of being fabulous.
Eye Makeup: Eyes are my favorite part to paint with makeup. In my opinion, they are what stands out the most on the face, so they should really pop. With the right tools, you can make it happen. When it comes to mascara, both high brand and drugstore brands have something to offer. A lot of mascaras proclaim “lengthening” or “volumizing” in fancy letters on the packaging. Some mascaras will do wonders, and others will flop. It’s a trial-and-error based endeavor when it comes to finding the perfect mascara for you. Ask your friends what they like, see what is top rated on the websites, and then give it a go.
When it comes to eyeliner, there are a few options: liquid, gel, and pencil. Personally, I am a liquid eyeliner girl; I think it’s the best formula to achieve the perfect winged liner. But I don’t always have the steadiest hand, so I’ve found that using a felt or brush tip eyeliner that holds like a paintbrush in your hand is the easiest to use to achieve Instagram worthy status.
Brows and Primers: There has been a recent eyebrow revolution. All of the sudden in the last few years, it has been all about the eyebrow game. Bold or arched, it didn’t matter as long as you were serving looks. In order to have slay-worthy eyebrows, they must be well-maintained. Be careful when waxing, threading, or tweezing. Sometimes that is best left to the professionals. If you are graced with naturally full brows, a little clear or colored gel to run through your brows can be all your need to hold your hair in place for the day. But if your brows are smaller or sparse, you can fill them in with a pencil or cream-based pots using an angled brush to achieve the perfect arch.
When I first introduced one of my friends to primers, she was shocked. At first, she didn’t believe all of the hype, but if you use an eyeshadow or face primer underneath your makeup, it will hold it in place and maintain its awesome-ness longer. If you ever look in a mirror after a long day or classes or a night of partying and see that your eyeshadow has creased or your face is streaky, a primer can help prevent that.
Lipstick and Brushes: I have become a lipstick hoarder. Besides eyeshadow, it’s the one thing I can’t have enough of. There are so many colors and types, I’ve just gotta catch them all. Lipstick is another thing I think is worth splurging on. When using liquid-to-matte formulas, you want that stuff to stay put all day. Can you imagine coating your lips in the morning and your lipstick staying put through three meals? I can. I don’t think there is a way to ease into using lipstick. See a color you like? Buy it and wear it with pride. If it is a liquid formula, be very careful when applying, even using a brush, to ensure perfect application.
Brushes are tools you use to wear all of that magic on your face. They are a necessary evil, but they don’t have to break the bank. I recently bought myself mermaid looking brushes that are definitely on the pricy side, but there are brushes of good quality out there that won’t put a dent in your pocket. Do some research, and see what you can afford. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on face makeup, only to ruin it by using a low-quality brush.
Eyeshadow and Contouring/Highlighting: As mentioned, eyeshadow is another guilty pleasure of mine. I have quite the collection in my beauty drawer, a wide range of every shade imaginable. I recommend getting a palette of neutral shades to start, and then easing into using colors. Purples and greens are a good place to begin, as they look great with all eye colors. Again, with the right brushes, applying eyeshadow will be a breeze.
Contouring and highlighting might seem like it is for the advanced, but it can be done on a much smaller scale, without drawing and then blending all over your face. Using a matte brown shade that is darker than your skin tone, blend the shade in the area where you suck in your cheeks, your temples, down the sides of your nose, and your jawline. There is no need to be heavy handed, using a powder can give you a simple and subtle contour. For a highlight, choose your favorite kind of sparkle, and dust it on the top of your cheekbones, above where you contoured, and down the bridge of your nose, and there ya go: contouring and highlighting done the simple way.
Have any other tips and tricks for beginning makeup artists? Let us know in the comments below!