Putting together your first makeup kit? Overwhelmed by the choices at the makeup counter? Don’t stress — makeup isn’t neurosurgery. You don’t have to get it perfectly, and even if you mess it up you can just wash it off and try again! And to get you started, this easy guide to makeup for beginners can help you avoid common makeup mistakes and get a flawless face in minutes.
Invest in a good foundation
If there’s anything you really need to focus on, it’s foundation. You can scrimp on lipstick, mascara or blush, but bad foundation makes the rest of your makeup look really wrong. It will look like a mask on your face, cake in the middle of the day, and may even cause breakouts and skin irritation.
So what do you need to consider when shopping for foundation?
Skin type. If you have dry skin, a liquid will help make your skin look more supple. There’s also special foundation for oily, acne-prone or sensitive skin. (Read about the best foundation for your skin type.)
Coverage. If you have acne marks, a cream foundation will give more coverage than light and sheer foundation.
Colour. Get the exact shade match, and so it really melts into your skin, get the right undertone too (warm or cool). If you’re not sure about your shade, first try brands that have a wide range of skin tones — it’ll be easier to compare different colours, and pick the best one for you.
Get a sponge, not a brush
Makeup artist Sheila Yang, who gives workshops on makeup for beginners, says sponges are easier to work with than brushes. “They absorb some of the product and distribute makeup evenly, which makes foundation look more natural. Brushes can do that too, but they require more practice and are more expensive too.”
Yang adds that an egg-shaped sponge with a pointy tip can do the work of several brushes, which also saves money. “Use the broader base to apply foundation and blush, and the pointy tip for concealer and highlighter.”
Read about the best makeup sponges and makeup brushes.
Always prep your face
“Makeup always looks twice as good on hydrated skin,” says makeup artist Tony Gomez. “If you have dry skin, apply a light moisturizer or essence. If you have oily skin, lightly spritz one or two layers of face mist and pat it in.”
Read other Beauty Insider tips on how to apply foundation so it doesn’t cake or look fake.
Blend, blend, blend
Celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge, who shares several makeup for beginners tutorials on her Youtube channel, says that the secret to beautiful makeup is to work in sheer layers and blend after each layer.
“Apply foundation only where you need the most coverage, and then blend outwards,” she says.
To blend blush or contouring powder, blur the edges with the same sponge you used for foundation. This creates a seamless and natural effect — none of those ugly stripes!
Use multi-tasking makeup products
Lip and cheek tints. Eyeshadow palettes that can double as brow powders. Cream eyeshadows that you can use as highlighters. These are just some of the double-purpose makeup products that you should have in your makeup kit! (Find out more about our favourite cheek tints.)
“Multi-tasking makeup saves money, time and space in your makeup kit,” says Loretta Cui, who worked at Estee Lauder counters before becoming a freelance makeup artist. “Using the shame shade also instantly pulls together your makeup look. You don’t have to think if your blush matches your lipstick, or if your highlighter works with your skin tone.”
Save your fave looks on Pinterest
There’s so much makeup inspiration on the Internet, from celebrity looks to brand look books. Save them on a Pinterest board so you can check them whenever you’re stuck.
Pinterest also recommends other pins based on your interests. By creating a Makeup for Beginners board, you’ll get notifications of similar photos or people you want to follow.
Look for celebs with similar features
Find celebs with similar skin tone, face shape or eye shape. They’re the perfect makeup inspiration, because you know that the look will work on you.
Follow them on Instagram, or search the Internet for their red carpet looks or list of favourite makeup products.
Try before you buy!
You can buy makeup online, but that can be tricky if you’re new to makeup. makeup. It’s best to go to Sephora or the brand counters in department stores. Nothing beats swatching the makeup on your skin, and trying different textures or formulas .
The sales assistants can also do a makeup demo, recommend products for your skin tone or skin type. Think of it as a free and personalized makeup for beginners workshop!