I’ve been offering makeup lessons for some time now, and when I first started, I was surprised to learn what a foreign language makeup is to some people. I’ve been immersed in the beauty community for years now, so the techniques and products and brand names are second nature. But for someone who has no idea where to start, the amount of info available is overwhelming. A hands-on lesson is always good so that you can get specific, customized information pertaining to your needs, but I’ve compiled a list of some tips that will work for most everyone.
SKIN CARE MATTERS
Skin care can be a whole other lesson in itself, but we’ll start with the basics. Good makeup cannot be obtained without the proper prepping of the skin. Cleansing thoroughly, exfoliating 2 to 3 times a week, and applying a hydrating moisturizer day and night provides an excellent base for your makeup. If you feel like you get oily throughout the day, a hydrating-yet-oil-controlling moisturizer will be your best bet. When you have good skin prep, you don’t need a face primer. Let the moisturizer sink in for several minutes before applying foundation. You can work on your eyeshadow while you wait.
Doing your makeup in front of a window with nice, natural light (you’ll want to be facing the window) will give you the best idea of what your makeup actually looks like. When we apply in rooms like bathrooms, which tend to have dingy or warm lighting, we’re not seeing the true hue of the colors we’re using. In bad lighting, you may also be applying your makeup too heavily because you can’t see an accurate representation of what it’s going to look like in regular light when you’re out and about. Lighting is key! You also don’t want to sit in a window that has the sun beaming directly at you during the time you’ll be doing your makeup. If you’re having to squint your eyes while you’re applying, the sun is way too bright which is just as bad as dingy lighting.
APPLY IN LAYERS
Instead of going in with a huge amount of foundation all at once, apply in light layers to achieve the coverage you want. Applying in layers allows you to keep your skin still looking like natural skin rather than a mask of makeup. You may find that you don’t even need as much foundation as you think (and your wallet will thank you). You can even out your skin tone with a light layer and then go back with a thicker concealer to pinpoint and spot conceal the areas where you want more coverage.
I used to be guilty of bad powdering technique before I got really into makeup, and I see others doing it as well - don’t go overboard with the powder. No need to furiously dig into your compact, and no need to powder so heavily that you look as matte as a chalkboard (unless of course you REALLY love that look). It’s possible to be radiant and matte at the same time, when done with correct skin prep and application.
Use a fluffy brush that’s not too dense. You don’t want a brush where the bristles are closely packed together because then the powder will be heavily placed in just one spot and it won’t easily blend out. This makes the powder much more obvious and it’s how you can get that mask-like effect. Gently swirl the brush in your compact or loose powder. Tap the brush a couple of times to get off any excess powder in case you swirled too much, and hold the brush toward the end of the ferrule rather than right at the top near the bristles. This will give you a more gentle grip and put less pressure on the bristles of the brush, which makes for better and softer application. Then, dust it across your forehead and T-zone. If you really want a mattified look, swirl your brush in your powder and gently but firmly pat the brush in the places where you get oily. You can also use a soft velour pad for a matte look but go light with the product (we’re applying in layers, remember) and blend out with your fluffy brush for a seamless effect. For under the eyes, you may want to use a small tapered fluffy brush or even a small fluffy eyeshadow brush.
For makeup that lasts all day, get a good setting spray. You’ll spray this a few inches away from your face, and spritz it all over. Spritzing it all over typically leaves a more dewy finish, so if you do want to adjust the shine, spray it on a sponge or foundation brush and lightly pat it into your skin or spray it directly on your face first and then pat it in.
I hope you enjoyed these five tips that you can implement for a flawless finish that lasts all day! As with anything, practice makes perfect. You’ll get the feel of what works for you and perfect your technique over time.