People have been applying makeup in one form or another for thousands of years. Women in ancient Egypt used to wear khol made from soot around their eyes and in their lashes and apply creams meant to brighten their skin as well as berries to redden their lips, and during the Italian Renaissance women wore lead in their face to whiten it – a bad idea, as it was very damaging.
So, yes, makeup has always been a part of people’s lives, and there’s never been more diversity on what you can do with it than there is now.
We wear makeup for different reasons – to enhance a feature we like or hide something we aren’t so fond of, to look more put together, to give yourself more confidence and even express our individuality and creativity.
Some of us have years of experience down our sleeves and have perfected the art of doing makeup – at least on ourselves. We know what works for us and what doesn’t. So the best makeup tip there is, is to just practice until you get it right. But if you’re just getting started, there are a few makeup tips that you could use. So let’s start from the beginning and work our way up, shall we?
A lot of people choose to forgo a primer when doing their makeup, which is a huge mistake. Primer is the base of any makeup look, and it decides just how well your foundation will perform. It makes your makeup look fresh all day, smooths out your skin by filling in the fine lines, reducing the appearance of pores, and it can mattify oily skin and lock in your foundation.
However, it’s important to remember to pick a primer that has the same base as your foundation if you want them to blend flawlessly. So if you have a water-based foundation, choose a water-based primer, if it’s an oil-based foundation, go with an oil-based primer. You get the idea.
Just don’t skip the primer – trust me.
It’s important to pick a foundation that’s suited to your skin type. So, someone with oily skin should normally go with a matte finish, whereas a dewy finish is best suited to people with dry skin. Wearing a matte foundation if you have dry skin will just make it look patchy and flaky, whereas a dewy finish on oily skin will just make you look like a greasy mess.
As for the coverage, that’s really your preference on whether you’d like more or less. However, you can change a foundation’s coverage by the way you apply it. So, for a more sheer finish, you can apply your foundation with your fingers, and for more coverage, opt for a brush or makeup sponge.
Some people prefer applying concealer before the foundation, but I find that applying it after works better. That’s because you’ll know just how much you need, and it won’t be wiped away from the foundation.
Another tip is to apply it on a triangular shape under your eye and taking it down to almost the end of your nose – this will give your face an instant brightness and get rid of dark circles.
As for the shade, for the undereye concealer, go for a shade or two lighter, and for the face concealer (to cover blemishes or discoloration) get one that matches the color of your foundation exactly.
There are also color correcting concealers you might want to invest in as the work wonders in canceling out any discoloration; for example, green concealer covers redness, peach is for bruises and dark tones, and lavender for yellow discoloration. If you don’t want to invest in one but need a quick cover-up, then just mix any eyeshadow you have in that color (green, red, lavender) with your usual concealer and dab-dab-dab.
Powder is another thing that can make or break your makeup look.
You might think that powder only works in mattifying your skin, so those with dry skin have no business using it, but powder also comes in dewy and matte finishes – for dry and oily skin respectively.
There are also two types of powders: loose and pressed powder, and they both come in translucent form and tinted.
- Loose powder is normally used to set your foundation, and while both tinted and translucent work, it’s best to use a translucent one seeing as it won’t mess up the color of your foundation.
- Pressed powder is good to carry in your purse throughout the day and just make any touch-ups you need – an “I’m gonna powder my nose” type of thing, so to say.
And a final thing to remember: choose a fluffy brush to apply it.
If there’s one thing people pay a lot of attention to, especially lately, it’s eyebrows. Everybody wants to have full, arched eyebrows – and the perfect way to begin getting perfect brows is knowing how to shape and tweeze them.
Regardless of whether, you’re using a pencil, powder or a gel, make sure to use light, feathery strokes to mimic the natural growth of the hair and use a spoolie to brush them up (and over) and blend the product. You don’t want our eyebrows to look too dark and with harsh lines – the more blended, the more natural it looks.
Also, don’t try to make them match exactly because as the saying goes, “they’re sisters, not twins.”
For more eyebrow-shaping tips, see here.
6. Blush & Bronzer
Blush is used to give your skin a healthy flush of color and make you appear younger and rosy-cheeked. However, if you want the application to appear more natural, keep in mind that the color of blush that you choose depends on your skin type. So, if you’re fairer, a peach-colored blush might be better and if you’re deeper-toned you can opt for a brighter color.
Blush usually goes on the apples of your cheeks, so just smile and where your cheeks rise, that’s where you apply blush. And if you want to make blush appear even more natural, a good tip is to apply it before your foundation so it looks like you’re flushing from within.
When it comes to bronzer, a good tip to remember when applying is to follow the number 3. So, start from the top of your forehead, curve it along the side down under your cheekbone, then back again and down under your jaw – just like the number 3. Bronzer adds dimension and warmth to your face, so coupled with blush it will give both you and your skin a healthier look.
And, for both blush and bronzer, remember: Do not go with a heavy hand because it’s easy to overapply and that will just not look good. So, start easy and add more if you feel you need it.
Eyeshadow is the most fun part of any makeup look – there are literally endless color combinations and looks you can go for. You can tone it up for a nighttime look, and add just a dash of color for a daytime one. You can go bold, you can go neutral, you can match it to your outfit – the possibilities are endless.
But still, there are some basics you should keep in mind. Fluffy brushes are for blending, flat brushes are for packing on eyeshadow, an eyeshadow primer will make your eyeshadow pop more, and you need to keep in mind the eye shape for a perfect application.
Color placement is also important, so if you’re a beginner, keep this tip in mind: Say you have an eyeshadow quad with four complementary shades from lightest to the darkest, with the lightest being number one, and the darkest being number four. You would apply the lightest shade all over the lid, and take it up to just under the brow. Use the second shade, that’s slightly darker, for just the lid, keeping it beneath the crease and blend it in. Then, use shade number three to deepen the crease, and finally, use the darkest shade in the lash line.
Also, avoid using shimmery eyeshadow if you have hooded eyes, and try to keep the shimmers on the lid only, not the crease.
Eyeliner is the hardest trick in a makeup look to master, especially if you’re applying liquid eyeliner.
However, eyeliner doesn’t always have to be winged nor liquid. You can use a pencil eyeliner to darken the lash line, define your eyes and make your eyelashes appear fuller.
If you’re a beginner who would like to get started with winger liner, one useful tip is to use tape to produce a perfectly sharp edge. Just stick a strip of scotch tape from the corner of your eye, up towards the end of your eyebrow and apply the liner. Make sure you match both eyes, so one isn’t lower or higher than the other.
A final eyeliner tip is to use a white or nude pencil eyeliner in the waterline to make your eyes appear bigger.
If there’s one thing most people wouldn’t leave their house without applying, is mascara. It instantly gives you a more awake, put together look and makes your eyes look so much bigger.
If you want your lashes to look as full as they can, coat them from the base, not just the tips. And always remember to coat the lashes towards your inner corner, as a lot of people tend to neglect them, as well as your bottom lashes.
Also, sometimes one coat is not enough so for fuller lashes, you can go for a second coat – just don’t over do it because no one looks good with clumpy lashes.
And finally, the item to pull it all off together – the lipstick. Now, you can be just as diverse with lipstick as you can with eyeshadow. There are endless possibilities from matte lipstick, to lipgloss, to a lip stain.
But if you’re wearing a darker shade, it’s always a good idea to wear a lip pencil beforehand as it will minimize the possibility to mess up. Then, remember to always start from the middle of your lip towards the ends.
And a final tip: if you want to turn a lipstick matte or make it last longer, just apply some loose powder either directly on the lip or through a tissue.