|Two options for starters' kit: an inexpensive one (left) and more high end products (right)|
For all of you who are just starting to get interested in makeup, here are a few basic things I've learned over the years. All of them come for personal experience
What do I need?
When you're starting to use makeup, you might be clueless as to what you need. I know it might seem scary to buy things you've never used before and you might think that it's too much, and you might be right, but there's no reason not to try. Here's my basic shopping list:
- Mascara: a must. When you wear mascara, your eyes seem more awake and it really completes your look. You can even skip eyeshadow and your eyes will still look great, just with mascara. There are many choices, and that it's up to you. As for me, I prefer waterproof mascara, because with the humidity down here, it always smears and I end up looking like a green-eyed racoon. However, it's harder to remove, so that's your choice. Also, there are many wands that can give you different effects. Some prefer more natural looking eyelashes and others prefer the false eyelashes look. Mascara is the number one item in this list, because to me, once you put it on, you look instantly better and more polished.
- Foundation: start with a tinted moisturiser or a BB or CC cream. They cover a lot less than regular foundation, but they enhance all your best features. For beginners, I think it's way better than foundation, while you get used to wearing makeup. It's easier to apply too, as you'd not be covering, but rather hydrating your skin with a little extra. However, there are many foundation formulas. Don't be scared to explore, as there are foundations for every skin color, every skin type, every price. When choosing a foundation or a BB cream, is important that you choose the right shade, preferably in natural light and match it, when possible, to your face or neck. The right shade is the one that disappears and blends so perfectly, you can't even see it. If you end up buying a shade too dark or too light for you, or of you can't find the right match, you can always mix two different shades to get a more suitable color.
- Powder: It can be pressed or loose, they both look great in my opinion. It depends more on the powder itself that the texture. The appropriate shade is also important in this case, although it's less noticeable than the foundation. At first it would be best to buy translucent powder, the safest choice. In my opinion loose powder looks more natural and it doesn't look cakey, but it can be pretty messy when you want to carry it around. As for application I've seen big brushes, small brushes, but I guess it depends on the territory you want to cover. For an all-over-your-face powder, big brush and for small, more accurate approach, use a small brush. It's also important to start applying little by little, and build it up as needed.
- Blush: What you're looking for is a healthy flush, like when you work out. Although traditionally blushes are pink, there is a whole range of pinky, peachy or golden shades you could try. Personally, and because my skin is rather tanned, I prefer a more peachy glow, a coral hue or a strong pink. Try to search a color that would look natural on you. Less is more, and your best is always your more natural self, in my opinion at least. As for the texture, if your skin is rather oily, a powder blush might be best for you, and if your skin is on the dry side, you can go for cream blush. At least, traditionally speaking. With my combination skin, I've tried cream blush and loved it, only to have to disappear 30 minutes after I've applied it. Sometimes I still use it, because it looks really natural, so take your pick.
- Eyeshadow: My favorite makeup category! I love playing with eyeshadow and eye makeup in general. If you're a makeup newbie, go for a neutral palette, maybe with a twist, to give you something extra and include a color for your eyebrows (like the ones in the photo: The Natural Shadow Palette by NYX (left) or The Smashbox Full Exposure Palette (right)). Most of the neutral palettes come with strong dark colors that you can play with. Try applying them in the crease, blending them very well and using them with caution. When it comes to eyeshadow, it's OK to use colors and you don't have to limit yourself to certain colors. However, the neutral palette is a safe bet of a range of colors that you can wear everyday. I would advise you not to wear glitter or too much shimmer to go to work, but rather something neutral and matte.
- Eyeliner: You might be wary of getting too carried away with it and end up with something too done for a work day. I was too! But after trying a lot, I've found out that a very thin line very close to the lash line can make you look great, and it's an awesome complement to mascara. There are gel liners, liquid liners, kohl pencils... So many choices, so take your pick and little by little you'll see! I love gel eyeliners, because they are so creamy, they just move so nicely through your eyelid and, unlike the liquid eyeliners, you don't have to wait for them to dry, and it requires a lot less skills. If you're a beginner, you might want to try out pencils first. They're easier to apply, and you don't need a perfect line, you can smudge it at the end with a cotton swab and it will still look polished. If you want to try out liquid eyeliner, don't pull your eyelids on the side (at least, not too hard) and attempt to do one straight line. It might be a better idea to draw small lines along the lash line, like dashes and then completing the line.
- Lips: use, again something natural, either lipstick, tinted lip balm or lip gloss (my favorite). When you buy them, make sure to at least try it in your hand, as shades can look different in the package and you might be misled. I always wear lip balm first, as you should always wear something nurturing and hydrating before applying anything else, even if it is petroleum jelly. In my opinion, lipstick might look too harsh, if it's the wrong color, but out of all the makeup products, it's the easiest one to remove, without messing up the rest of your makeup. So, give it a try! See what looks good on you, mix up two colors if you think one might be too strong. Until you feel more comfortable, buy colors similar to your lips, with a little something extra, a little sparkle or hydration. As for lip glosses, as they give a softer color but they make your lips, well glossy, and it might not be what you want, and some people don't like it as you hair night stick to it. However, it's my favorite finish and colors are not nearly as strong as they seem.
Now I have the products, now what?
Well, the application involves a lot of discovery, and you might even like studying your face. I love the time I spend putting on my makeup, mostly because is a time for me. Those 10 minutes in the morning are a great way to start the day for me.
If you want to see videos with great tips and wonderful ideas to put your makeup on, I highly recommend these Youtube channels:
Among many, many others. Don't be afraid if you think it's too much. Just take one tip or two from them, and add it to your routine. I'll be posting some more on application of these items later on and making some more recommendations.
Well I hope this was helpful!
Leave questions, suggestions and comments below