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How to Apply Makeup For Beginners

Brianna is a full time writer, blogger, and editor. She also is licensed in master makeup artistry and loves sharing her passion with others


Applying Makeup for Beginners

I am definitely one of those women who dares not to step out of the house without makeup on. I am not a diva. I just love makeup! It's simple. I love buying it, I love experimenting with it on me and others, and I often look for ways to make it last. Let's face it, most of us are pretty busy. Most of my days require getting up at 6 a.m. to get ready for work and getting my daughters ready for school, dropping them off at school and then arriving to work for an 8 hour shift. And that is unless I work nights. Then it becomes even more complicated. That doesn't leave me a whole lot of time for anything before I have to wake up and do it all over again.

What is in my makeup bag on a continuous basis is important to me. I am not really talking colors, mascara, or lipstick. I mean the products that is a must have for my everyday life. What I need is some good quality makeup that is quick to apply, lasts me throughout my stressful day, and stands out! The products you will find here are what you will constantly find in my makeup bag because I simply cannot live without them. If you want to learn how to apply makeup, then you will need to have the most essential and beneficial products on hand. All of these products are designed to accentuate the features you already have and are pretty basic and easy to use!

Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.

— Gwyneth Paltrow

Step 1: Moisturize

If there is any advice I want you to get the most of from this article is this: you absolutely must moisturize your face. Every single day. Actually, preferably day and night. Even if your face is the ultimate grease ball of grease, you must moisturize. It is an essential part in taking care of your skin to keep it from drying out and flaking. Trust me, in the summer months my face is always a total oily, greasy mess and the last thing I want to do is slather on cream. But here is the thing, when you do not apply moisturizer to your face, your body then begins to produce more oils to satisfy the thirst of dry skin cells, which leads to a much more oily face. Start applying a daily dose of moisturizer to your face and see if it doesn't make a difference, even if you only apply at night before bed.

In the colder months, I apply day and night otherwise my foundation will completely flake off my face from the dryness.


Step 2: Face Primer

My life would be in complete shambles without primer. I tried out foundation primer on a whim before it got big and the results were incredible. I have worn it everyday since, after a good moisturizer of course. Though it comes in many different varieties, some with added benefits, the purpose is all in the same. It makes your face a perfect canvas for makeup application. It smooths out pores, hides imperfections and most importantly, it helps your makeup last all day. It is pure amazement in a tube! You can feel the difference the second you apply it to your face. Your face will look smoother and your makeup will apply nicer and look more natural. I generally use the drugstore ones rather then the expensive professional ones because they work just as nice for me. Hey, a penny saved is a penny earned right? You will hardly find a drugstore brand these days that do not have a primer. Try it out and I promise you will not regret it.


Step 3: Foundation

Foundation is the foundation of all makeup applications (no pun intended). Foundation is used to even out the skin tone and hide blemishes. There are many different kinds offered on the market these days. From full coverage to light coverage to tinted moisturizer. For me, my foundation has to be a nice and even full coverage foundation that works with my combination oily skin type, and lasts for most of the day. I like it to be matte and stay that way. Women with a more dry skin type might like a more dewy finish with their foundation. You just have to do your research and read the labels on products before you buy. On hot, summer days or just days in general that I do not like to wear a lot of makeup, just a little BB Cream or tinted moisturizer goes a long way. The key to foundation is making sure is matches your skin tone as it is applied all over your face and most brands have a ton of different shades to help achieve that. If you have a Sephora nearby, stop in and see one of their makeup professionals who are really great at matching you up to the right shade!


Step 3: Concealer

Concealer is just one of those things you should always have on hand, even if you do not use it everyday. I personally do. From those pesky pimples and dark under eye circles to scars, marks, and tattoos, trust me there is a concealer for you! Concealers are made to cover up and you need to find the right one for your skin type and preferences to do the job. For dark under eye circles, you will want a concealer a tad lighter then your skin color and foundation. For pimples, scars, and tattoo's, you will want a concealer that is as close as you can get to your skin color. As far as redness and tone matching, there are plenty of skin correcting concealers out there to help with that too.

Concealer is also great for highlighting under the brow bone, fixing any mistakes you made with your eye shadow, and even can be used as an eye shadow primer!


Step 4: A Good Quality Set of Makeup Brushes

A key part to my makeup bag is a good quality brush set. They make a brush for just about any known piece of makeup you can put on your face. Even if you do choose to apply your foundation with a blender sponge like I do, you still need a good quality makeup set of makeup brushes for all other applications. You will also want to invest in a good quality clean and dry bag or case to keep them in, and some brush cleaner. I do have brush cleaner myself, but I have found that mild shampoo such as Johnson's Baby Shampoo and water work best. Keeping your brushes and sponges nice and clean are a must have for your face, otherwise you will be spreading bacteria and germs all over which can lead to gross eye infections among other things. Brushes should be cleaned at least weekly.

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Step 5: Setting Powder

My personal opinion is that no makeup application is completely done until you have set it with a powder. It is what keeps your foundation and concealer set in place and helps to make sure it doesn't melt off or transfer. Powder comes in many forms and colors. You can get pressed powder, loose powder, dark powder, light powder, translucent powder, and many others. Just find the one that works best for you and your skin type and what you are trying to achieve. I like to use a translucent powder to set my face. Translucent looks and appears white but goes on your face invisible. Always remember to set your makeup when done with application.

Helpful How-To Guide

Helpful How-To Guide

Step 6: Bronzer

Bronzer is one of the most misguided and misused makeup products out there and you need to be careful with this step. I have literally heard dozens of friends and clients who claim they do not use bronzer because they do not want to look like Snooki from Jersey Shore. Bronzer is not supposed to be plastered all over your face! You can put all the foundation, concealer, powder, mascara and lipstick on in the world, but a face is not a face without a good contour.

Contouring is accentuating the features you already have. Want to show more cheekbone? Contour. Want a slimmer nose? Contour. Want to get rid of a double chin? Contour! Also, be sure to stray away from bronzers with shimmer in it and go for a more matte choice, otherwise you may come out looking like a pixie doll. When used properly, bronzer can chisel you out some cheekbones, slim your nose, slim or show a jawline, and make you look like sun-kissed perfection. If your skin tone is on the lighter side, you will want to go with a light to medium colored bronzer. If your are medium to tan, then you will want to go with a darker bronzer. Take a peek at the helpful guide above to help you with contouring your face.

Here is a Helpful Video for Contouring for Beginners

West Said It Best!

Kiss and make-up - but too much makeup has ruined many a kiss.

— Mae West

Remember To Always Love Yourself First

I am nowhere near perfect when it comes to makeup and makeup application. Every tip and product listed here is fully my opinion. I do not promote any of these products or affiliated with any company. However, I am a makeup lover and enjoy sharing my knowledge with others.

Check out the awesome makeup bag I am currently using!

Check Out One of my Completed Looks!

My Smokey Look

My Smokey Look

Let Me Know

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Brianna W


Brianna W (author) from East Coast on October 02, 2012:

Thank you 2patricias. I am a huge fan of Laura Mercier as well. Great choices!

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on September 28, 2012:

Makeup lists are always fascinating!

Pat is a big fan of Laura Mercier - Tricia likes Clinique.

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