A Begginer's Makeup Guide For A Makeup Novice

A Begginer's Makeup Guide For A Makeup Novice

"Hi! I am a makeup novice!! Please help!! I need to know the basics of applying the make up... I don't even know what stuff is included in basic makeup!! Can you do a post on that please?"

   Hey, hello there! I have put together this post for you.

First, a few notes:

* Makeup basically does two things: hides flaws and accentuates your beauty. It's all about you -- not about what's trendy right now, what someone else looks good in, or what others (read = guys) like. The goal of makeup is to look "like you, only better" -- not to transform you into somebody else. So do only things that you feel are right for you.

* How much or how little makeup to wear is entirely up to you. You will see many makeup gurus telling you that you absolutely must wear a hundred different products at all times -- this is not true. It's fine to wear just one or two products, or ten or fifteen. It's totally up to you. If you are a teen, less makeup will usually look better on you -- the freshness of your youth is a huge asset and should not be hidden!

* Don't buy anything expensive at first, since you are just starting out and might want to throw it all out and buy different stuff a year from today. Exception: tweezers. And probably foundation, if you find something that really works for you. And brushes -- a good brush makes everything much easier and will last a long time! Good doesn't mean expensive, look for reviews online before you buy.

* Less is more: a tiny dab of concealer, one layer of mascara. Start small and subtle, you can always add more later on.

* If you have never worn makeup before and feel anxious to go out with it, first try wearing in around the house first. Soon it will feel like second skin.

Start here:

   First, examine your face in the mirror and identify your problem area(s). Maybe you have undereye shadows, or uneven skin tone, or very sparse eyebrows, or maybe your eyes and eyebrows are almost invisible. Just pick whatever jumps out at you. Work on just that one thing today (choose out of the list below).

   The next day, choose the feature you'd like to highlight. Either a feature you like best, or something you get complimented on. Maybe you like your eyes, or have lovely lips, or great skin. Try using makeup on that part!
    Over the next days, weeks or months you can try out all the stuff that I have included here. Go at your own pace, look up youtube tutorials when in doubt.

    Here are some basic instructions for makeup of different parts of the face. You don't need to do all of these. Pick just one or two at first, when you are comfortable with it you can try the next step.


Under-eye Concealer: to hide dark circles under the eyes

    If you have dark circles under the eyes, concealer should be the one thing you use every day. It will make you look fresh and not tired.
You will need: a concealer that is a bit lighter than your skin colour. Again, Makeup Alley is a good place for reviews and recommendations.
How to: dab on a little concealer under your eye, smudge it with your little finger till it's blended in. Use it only on the spots that need it: areas that are dark, not all over the area!

Mascara: for gorgeous lashes

   Think of mascara as dark paint on your eyelashes -- it makes them look bigger and fuller. It looks good on everyone as it brings out the eyes and makes you look more awake.
You will need: mascara. Get one that says something like "natural effect" on it, since the "million times lengthening and thickening" kind might be too theatrical for a beginner. Here is a nice video tutorial on how to apply mascara, here are extra mascara tips from me.

Eyeliner: drawing a line along your top lid makes your eyes look more intense

   If you want to do more with your eyes, try eyeliner. Here is a nice video that explains how to draw it on. I personally prefer kajal (kohl) pencil to othe kinds of eyeliner because if it is uneven you can smudge it with a q-tip and it look great!


   Most women look way better when their eyebrows are tidied up a bit. It really brings out the eyes! Unfortunately, shaping the eyebrows is not the easiest thing if you are a beginner -- if you don't have an eye for proportions you can end up with very weird eyebrows. The best thing to do is go to a professional salon once and let them do your brows -- they will pick whatever flatters your face best. take a photo of the effect, and simply pluck out the hairs that grow back each day (with the photo as a guide).
What you can do at home: tidy the eyebrows by plucking the hairs that are clearly outside the eyebrow area. First between the eyebrows and way above / below the eyebrows, then try tidying up the general outline a bit (don't try to change the shape of the eyebrow). Here is an interesting method of shaping the eyebrows.
You will need: tweezers. Please invest in good ones, for example tweezerman (here are other recommendations) -- this is important, since crappy tweezers are impossible to use! Oh, and a magnifying mirror: 5x is a good magnification.
How to: numb the area with ice. Grab hair with tweezers near the root, with the other hand hold the skin taut. Pull out in the direction the hair grows in. It will hurt, but it will hurt way less over time. Think twice before you pluck out each hair -- over-plucked brows look terrible! You might want to pluck just a little on the first day, scrutinise your reflection and maybe pluck a bit more tomorrow.
    While you are about if, you might want to take a look at your upper lip. Most darker-haired women have visible hair on there, which doesn't look very good. You could try plucking it, after numbing the area with ice.
   If your eyebrows are invisible, you might want to learn how to fill them in. Here is a simple tutorial that I like.


Face concealer: to hide discolourations, scars, blemishes on the face

    Concealer is great if you have stuff on your face that you want to hide, like weird brown patches, red veins, spots, areas that have a weird colour. If you don't have any of those (or any that are very visible), you can skip the concealer and be happy about it. For the rest of us, concealer can make the face look cleaner and brighter.
You will need: concealer in a colour close to your skin colour.
How to: dot a very small bit of concealer in the areas that need it, blend with your finger (or a cosmetic sponge or brush).

Foundation: making your face look flawless

   Foundation is basically a skin-coloured cream / powder / liquid, that makes your skin look even-coloured. If you are already blessed with even and smooth skin, you don't need foundation. If you do have stuff you'd rather cover up,foundation is great.
What you need: foundation. Now, the problem with typical foundation in stores is that it's really hard to pick out a colour in that artificial light! You could try asking a salesperson for help in picking out a shade that is closest to your skin.
    Personally, I love mineral foundation because it comes in lots of shades and is good for the skin. For me it's much easier to apply than cream foundation; and the result is very smooth skin that doesn't look made up. If you have a Sephora near you, you could try the Bare Minerals they have there -- I don't like Bare Minerals because they are pricey and have an ingredient that may irritate some people's skin -- but it's a great place to try out mineral makeup before you order some better and cheaper one online. Go to the Lumiere minerals site and pick shades that are most likely to match your skin (you can order 5 sample baggies for 0.01$). Test them out at home! If you are really bad at colours (like me), finding out that a warm tone (or a cool tone, or... ) suts you best will make it so much easier to pick coloured makeup in the future!
  You will also need a Kabuki brush -- Lumiere doesn't have any at the moment, but this one from Everyday Minerals is great, and Eco tools make some great ones too.
How to: First, apply concealer on the places that need it. Then, the foundation; for mineral makeup, follow these instructions. For cream or liquid foundation, this is a good how-to video. Remember that less is more!

Blush: colour for the cheeks

    Blush can define the face shape very prettily and add colour to a dull skin tone.
You need: A fiber-optic blush brush. This kind of brush pick ups only a teeny bit of blush and distributes it evenly over your skin -- so you will end up with a very soft and natural effect even if you are using a terribly intensive blush colour. I love mine to death, without it I cannot apply blush without looking like a clown. I got mine from Lumiere, but I also found some on Essential Beauty Supplies, Meow and I've heard good things about the Duo fiber brush from Eco Tools.
You need a blush too, the pressed powder kind (as opposed to the cream kind in tubes).
How to: Here is a great tutorial.


Lipstick, lipgloss etc: make your lips vibrant!

   Lip makeup is probably the most easy and fun.
You need: clear or coloured lip gloss, or a coloured lip balm (I love the ones from Burt's Bees) are great for a delicate look.
How to: Apply on lips, press lips together, voila! You can't do anything wrong here.

     I hope I have helped you and that my post was not very confusing. I'm no expert -- though I have been plucking my eyebrows and using eyeliner since ages, things like mascara, blush and foundation are very new to me! Feel free to ask more questions in the comment section!

Dear readers, have any tips for our makeup novice? Do share!

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