You’re new to makeup and there are tens of thousands of products to try. They all claim the same or similar results, yet have incredibly different price tags. You watch reviews on Youtube where they do a “natural, no makeup look” while using 20+ products, which simply is NOT realistic for a real beginner. Sounds like you? Look no further!
In this post, we are going to create a very basic guide to suit your beginner makeup needs. If you STILL have questions after this (which is okay!), feel free to contact me. This is going to be a two-part post, with the second part focusing on makeup application techniques and tools. Disclaimer: These two posts are going to be quite lengthy, but I can guarantee they will answer all of your beginner questions.
The Absolute Basics for A Flawless Face
I do not believe in strangers telling you what you NEED as a beginner, without them knowing your specific needs. The whole purpose of this post is for *you* to create your essentials list that you feel will work best for you. My job is to inform you, yours is to make an informed decision that caters to your needs. Don’t feel like doing this yourself? I can create a detailed, personalized makeup product recommendation and technique sheet for you. Just shoot me an email!
Brows shape your entire face and are the first thing people look at. If you already have full brows, you can get away with just a brow mascara. For us sparse brow girls? A brow pencil, pomade, gel etc. is necessary when wearing makeup just to define the hairs and not have them washed out by the rest of your makeup.
Everyone makes mistakes with makeup sometimes or has imperfections such as undereye bags and dark spots. This is what concealer is here for. Accidentally made your brows a little too thick and long? Conceal! Didn’t get a good night’s sleep? Conceal! Have stubborn dark spots? Conceal! To highlight with concealer, you simply apply it to areas where the light hits your face. This is typically the under-eye area, forehead, chin, and nose. Depending on your facial features, you want to avoid highlighting areas that you do not want to appear any bigger.
Creates an even tone all around the face, which is crucial to looking flawless even with minimal makeup. There are light, medium, full, and buildable coverage foundations depending on the look you would like to achieve. Light would appear as if you just have really beautiful SKIN while full would appear as IG model glam! Totally your choice, one isn’t better than the other. There are also different finishes when it comes to foundation. Matte, dewy, and satin are the 3 most common. Matte is recommended for oily skin, dewy for dry skin, satin for all skin types, and normal skin types can wear any finish! The key to ensuring your foundation lasts throughout the day is by setting it, which we will address next.
Any liquid product you apply on your face must be set with a powder to ensure longevity. Write this down somewhere. It’s crucial, especially for non-dry skin types. Dry skin types can get away with this since products tend to stick to their skin’s dry patches. Also, powders can settle into dry patches and leave a scaly look, so if you have dry skin you might want to be careful using excess or heavy powders.
There are loose setting powders which are suitable for areas such as under the eyes to set concealer and there are pressed setting powders which are for your entire face. The whole purpose of setting powders is to prevent the transfer of liquid makeup from your face to another surface. If you are using a loose powder to set your concealer highlighted areas, you want to go a couple shades lighter to maintain the brightness. If you are using a pressed powder for your entire face, you want one that is your exact shade or a shade darker for the bronzy look, never lighter. Lighter will have you resembling Casper.
Foundation is meant to even everything out. This means it also takes away the depth and dimensions of your face, making it just look flat. Also, no one’s face is ONE color. Most people’s cheeks tend to be slightly flushed/rosy (because we have blood in our face!), and their cheekbones tend to leave a shadow below. Contouring will bring back the dimension to your face and blush will make your skin look a little more skin-like depending on the shade and how much you apply.
These. Are. Gamechangers. If there is one thing I absolutely cannot go without, it’s a bomb setting spray. Setting sprays refresh your face, prevent your makeup from transferring, take away the cakey look, and help “mesh” everything together. When you apply liquids and powders on your face, sometimes they can leave harsh distinctions as well as a very visible appearance. Setting sprays mesh all your powders and liquids together leaving your skin looking seamless (obviously if you blended well). The right setting spray will make your makeup last hours longer than it normally does. My current holy grail is the Skindinavia Bridal Finish.
Quick story: I used this to set my full glam makeup during my vacation to Mombasa, Kenya this past July. I was wearing makeup IN the ocean while doing water activities and came out with my face still looking absolutely perfect. My Snapchat followers were amazed because I was testing it out for them, and many did not believe that my face would remain flawless after being submerged in the water. It did. So pretty much, not a single setting spray in this universe compares to this one.
Sometimes when you have a full face of makeup on, it can tend to almost “swallow” your eyes, and really any feature that isn’t accentuated. Mascara helps make your eyes appear bigger and brighter. It also creates the illusion that your eyelashes are longer and fuller than they actually are.
Some Extra Makeup To Consider
These products are optional and will only enhance your look, but are not necessary in any way or form for beginners.
This step is completely optional considering you can easily pop on some chapstick or beauty supply store lip gloss and call it a look! If you are completely new to lip products, it is important to know the finishes that are available. The common ones are matte, metallic, satin, and glossy. Matte means it reflects absolutely no light, metallic means it has a foiled, gold/silver like appearance, satin reflects some light but still has a matte-ish finish, and glossy reflects all the light.
If the “glowing to the GODS” bug has caught you because you see how pretty everyone looks with a properly-blended, glowy cheekbone or nose, investing in a highlighter won’t hurt you. Luckily, they are also fairly simple to apply with the right tools. Since foundation makes your face one tone, adding natural depth and “inner glow” back is recommended to avoid the flat look. This step is completely optional, but who doesn’t want to look like they’re glowing from within?! Liquid highlights are also on the market, but I prefer powder as they are easier to blend and wear on top of makeup.
As a beginner, you may want to play around with eyeshadows. I would not recommend balling out on them at all until you are fully comfortable with blending them. Start off with brands such as BH Cosmetics and Coastal Scents. Morphe also has great, semi-affordable eyeshadow palettes. Don’t want to buy a full palette but still want some color on your lids? Take a powder that’s your skin tone or a tad bit darker and apply it right above your eyelid in the “fold” or crease of your eye. This will create depth and make it seem as though you are wearing eyeshadow!
The purpose of a primer is to create a barrier between makeup and your skin and help give the makeup a base to adhere to. Primers are also optional but if you skip out, depending on your skin type, you may have to take other steps to ensure your makeup lasts. There are primers that hydrate the skin, diminish the look of pores, take away shine, correct pigmentation, and give the skin a glow. Knowing your concerns and skin type is essential in picking out a primer that works for you. Although they are important, in my professional opinion, beginners can do without them.
Shop my favorites and find everything you need!