Learning how to properly apply makeup is a rite of passage in our society. There’s definitely a right and wrong way to apply foundation, blush, mascara, and eyeshadow. Discover some of the best tricks of the trade to make your makeup look natural. Or give your makeup a dramatic look that’s also full of class. Learning how to do makeup for beginners is fun and simple. Keep on reading to discover how to master each individual step.
- The Basics – How to Prepare Your Skin for Makeup
- How to Apply Eyeshadow
- How to Apply Eyeliner
- How to Apply Mascara (and Curl Your Eyelashes)
- How to Shape Your Eyebrows
- How to Apply Blush
- How to Apply Lipstick or Lip Gloss
- What to Include In Your Makeup Kit
- Makeup Ideas for Beginners
1. The Basics – How to Prepare Your Skin for Makeup
Clean the Skin
It’s important to start with a clean palate. One of the most important makeup for beginners tips is all about keeping your skin clean. You need to ensure there is no dirt or debris on your face before you begin adding anything. Dirt and debris can become trapped underneath makeup and cause your skin to breakout or become infected.
Choose a cleanser that is right for your skin type (oily, dry or combination skin). Start by splashing clean water on your face. Rub the cleanser between your palms to activate it. Apply the cleanser on your skin, and rub in circular motions. Don’t forget the creases of your nose and your hairline. Rinse thoroughly with water.
Moisturizer is just as important as the cleanser when it comes to creating a clean and healthy base for your dermis. Again, you should choose a moisturizer that’s appropriate for your skin type. You may want to also consider a moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher to protect your skin from the sun. You can avoid unwanted wrinkles and skin spots by applying sun protection early on.
Apply a dime-sized dollop of moisturizer on your palm. Use your index fingers to spread the moisturizer evenly on your face. The moisturizer should feel as though it’s not even there if it’s worked into your pores enough.
Apply Concealer (If Necessary)
You probably don’t need concealer if you’re not trying to hide any marks or dark spots on your skin. The only time you should use concealer is if you’re trying to hide acne, scars or dark circles underneath your eyes.
Use a concealer one shade lighter than the natural tone of your skin to hide dark undereye circles. Use a concealer one shade darker than the natural tone of your skin to hide scars or acne.
Apply a dab of concealer on your index finger. Lightly dab the area you want to conceal with the concealer. Use light pressure to ensure the concealer seamlessly blends in naturally with your skin. If you apply concealer with a heavy hand, you might end up with cracked concealer marks on your blemishes and scars.
The next step in prepping your face for makeup is foundation. Foundation gives the face a “blank canvas” appearance, so you can apply makeup without working around blemishes and inconsistencies in your skin.
Decide whether you want to use liquid or matte foundation. If you have a lot of blemishes you want to cover up, go for a matte. If you simply want to even out your skin tone, go for the liquid foundation.
For matte foundation: start by slowing dabbing your applicator into the compact. Dab the applicator lightly on your face. Try to keep dabbing as much as you can before going back to the compact for more. Use the same pressure on every part of your face. Start with your forehead, cheeks and chin. Work out from there.
For liquid foundation: apply a small amount of foundation to the tips of clean fingers. You can use a sponge if you want, but fingers create the most natural look. Apply foundation to your cheeks, chin and forehead. Work the foundation out to the outer parts of your face. Continue dabbing until the foundation is even across your face.
Apply Powder (If Necessary)
Only apply powder if you’d like a matte look instead of a dewy look. You may also want to consider powder if you have a lot of blemishes to cover. This is one of the easiest makeup for beginners tips. Tap the applicator lightly on the powder. Begin applying powder lightly on your chin, cheeks and forehead. Work the powder out to your cheeks with your fingers. Powder should be applied sparingly to avoid an overdone “too much makeup” look. You can feel free to apply powder more liberally if you’re using it for stage makeup or photography.
2. How to Apply Eyeshadow
Applying eyeshadow is an extremely personal activity. You’ll want to find the way that works best for you. Try using a few different methods before settling on just one. You’ll also want to try different methods for different looks.
For example, apply a simple cream shadow for a day look. Cream shadows are extremely easy to apply. You can simply dip your finger into the shadow pot, and wipe the shadow across your lid to create a simple daytime look.
For a more dramatic daytime look, use a powder shadow. A simple muted color should work well for pretty much any daytime look. Just dip the applicator into the shadow, and swipe it evenly across your eyelid. Try applying it from the inner corner to the outer corner.
For a nighttime look, you may want to layer your shadows. Start with a natural colored shadow base, and sweep the base all over the eyelid. Add a dark-colored shadow at the outer corners of the eyelids up to the crease and down to the lash line. Dab a little shimmer shadow or cream in the inner corners of your eyelids for a more dramatic look.
Furthermore, stick to the recommended colors (shown in the image above) based on your eye color. When applying eye makeup, the basics are crucial. Keep it natural!
Recommended watch: How to Apply Eyeshadow – Hacks, Tips & Tricks for Beginners by Brianna Fox
- The Perfect Brown Smokey Eye – 15 Amazing Video Tutorials
- 10 Best Eyeshadow Palettes to Create Multiple Looks
3. How to Apply Eyeliner
Start in the inner corner of your eye. Slowly and carefully draw a light and fine line from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner. Make sure you follow the lash line. Use a cotton swab to fix any imperfections in the line. Once you have a “rough” line, you can begin filling it in. Follow the line you’ve already drawn to draw a darker line from the inner corner of your eye to the outer corner of your eye. Use a cotton swab again to fix any imperfections.
There are generally three types of eyeliner: cream, liquid and solid. Solid is the easiest to apply. Liquid and cream are both slightly unforgiving. If you don’t have a steady hand, try solid liner before moving on to liquid or cream.
Recommended watch: HOW TO: Apply Eyeliner for Beginners – by Jennifer Chiu
4. How to Apply Mascara (and Curl Your Eyelashes)
It’s important to curl your lashes before applying mascara. This is vital. If you wait until after applying your mascara to curl your lashes, you’ll end up with a big mess.
Start by opening your lash curler. Most lash curlers have rubber or foam pads on them to ensure you don’t snag your eyelids. Curl your lashes by applying the top foam pad of the curler to the top of your lashes. The bottom part of the curler should naturally fall underneath your lashes.
Slowly but carefully press the lash curler, so the two parts clamp down together. Hold the curler in place for about 30 seconds. Release the curler. Repeat on the other side. You can repeat this process as many times as you need to if your lashes aren’t curly enough.
Mascara will help to set your lashes in place, so they don’t lose their curl. There are dozens of mascaras on the marketplace. Choose one that best suits your needs and your lashes. If you have short lashes, consider a lengthening mascara. If you have thin lashes, consider a thickening mascara. If you want your lashes extra curly, consider a lash curling mascara.
Pull the wand out of the bottle. If this is your first time using mascara since you purchased the bottle, insert and remove the wand a few times to get the mascara coated on the wand. Dab off any extra mascara with a piece of tissue.
Open up your eyes as wide as you can. Apply mascara to the top set of your lashes by placing the wand underneath your lashes. Get as close to the lash line as possible. Instead of moving your hand to apply the mascara, simply move your lashes instead. Slowly blink, so the mascara coats the underside of your lashes. Repeat two more times.
Repeat on the other eye.
If you want fuller and longer lashes, wait for your lashes to dry before adding another coat. If tiny dark spots show up on your eyelids (just a little rogue mascara), dab off with a cotton swab. You can separate your lashes using a lash comb if some of them appear clumped together.
Recommended watch: If you’re looking for a great video tutorial, here is one by Jennifer Chiu that will teach you exactly how to master the basics of this routine: HOW TO: Apply Mascara for Beginners
5. How to Shape Your Eyebrows
Shaping your eyebrows is a great way to create a great way to frame your eyes. Well-shaped eyebrows frame the eyes perfectly. Start by tweezing and grooming. Comb your eyebrows upward. Trim the tops, so the fattest part is the same height as the rest of your brows, and you don’t have any stray “antennae.”
Place a pencil on the side of your nose. You shouldn’t see any hair extend over the bridge of your nose from underneath the pencil. Begin tweezing those hairs. Tweeze any stray hairs that don’t follow the natural line of your brows. Once your hair is trimmed, you can start with the makeup.
Use a brow pencil or a brow cream. Comb your brow hair, so it is all facing the correct direction. Begin lining your brows with a pencil or cream and brush by lightly outlining the shape of your brow. Finish by filling in your brows. You can make the brows darker if you’re looking for a more dramatic look.
Always shape your eyebrows depending on your face type. Follow your facial features closely, and take your time.
- Eyebrow pencil
- Spoolie brush
- Translucent powder
Recommended watch: How to Shape & Groom Eyebrows at Home by Tina Yong
6. How to Apply Blush
Find a blush that complements your skin tone. Try out a few shades on your inner wrist to find one that doesn’t clash with your skin.
Sweep your blush brush across the blush. Blow off the excess. Look in the mirror, and smile. Lightly apply blush to the apples of your cheeks. Feel free to extend the blush up your cheekbones. Fill in the blush a little darker if you prefer a more dramatic look, but try to keep a lighter hand overall with your blush.
Recommended read: 10 Best Blushes for Rosy Cheeks
Recommended watch: How to Apply Blush & Highlighter by From Head to Toe
7. How to Apply Lipstick or Lip Gloss
Choose a shade of lipstick or gloss that matches your skin tone. Apply the lipstick by gently rubbing the lipstick on your lips. Make sure to “stay in the lines” by applying lip liner to the outsides of your lips first. If you’re applying lip gloss, simply spread the gloss evenly on your lips. Blot your lips with a piece of tissue to remove excess gloss or lipstick.
Recommended read: 10 Best Drugstore Lipsticks for Budget Beauty
Recommended watch: How to Apply Liquid Lipstick Like a Pro by Nikkie Tutorials
8. What to Include In Your Makeup Kit
Stick to basic makeup products at the beginning. Less is more. Also, buying high-quality makeup products is just as important. They may be more expensive, but they go easy on your skin. Choose high-quality products and colors that flatter your skin color and facial features. Then, follow the steps and tips in this beginner’s makeup tutorial.
- Any primer from NYX Cosmetics
- BB Cream from Maybelline (depending on your skin type)
- NYX’s HD Concealer
- NYC’s Smooth Skin Loose Face Powder in Translucent
- NYX’s Matte Bronzer
- Milani’s Baked Blushes
- Any of e.l.f.’s Studio Baked Highlighters
- Maybelline’s Define-A-Brow Pencil,
- NYX’s Control Freak Eyebrow Gel
- Wet N’ Wild Fergie Collection’s Take On the Day Eye Primer
- Maybelline’s The Nudes Palette
- Rimmel London’s ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajals
- Maybelline’s EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
- Covergirl’s LashBlast Volume Mascara
- Any of NYX’s Slim Lip Pencils
- NYX’s Butter Glosses
- Brushes from Real Techniques
- 10 Best Makeup Brushes
- 12 Best Matte Lipsticks in 2017
- 10 Best Eyeliners
- 10 Best Foundation Brushes
- 10 Best Eyebrow Pencils
9. Makeup Ideas for 3 Main Social Events
Look 1: Casual Outing with Friends Makeup for Beginners
Your casual look should be effortless and easy. It should look like you’re practically not wearing makeup at all. Use the sheerest foundation that’s appropriate for your skin. Apply a shade of blush that closely matches your cheeks when you blush. Apply neutral colors to your eyes, and consider forgoing eyeliner altogether.
Recommended watch: Quick, Natural Makeup Tutorial: Great for School & Beginners by Courtney Lundquist
- Revlon Colorstay Foundation
- NYX HD Photogenic Concealer
- NYC Sunny Bronzer
- NYX Blush Spice
- Hourglass Highlight Luminous Light
- Naked Palettes Buck, Naked and Virgin
- Stila Lionfish Eyeliner
- NYX Wonder Pencil Medium
- L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara
Look 2: First Date Makeup for Beginners
Your first date look should be something between casual outing with friends and evening party. You want to keep your look fresh and easy without allowing your makeup to stand out too much. Add a thicker line of eyeliner than you would for the casual outing with friends look.
Recommended watch: Romantic Date Night Makeup Tutorial by Lauren Curtis
- BH Cosmetic’s 39 Color Special Occasion Palette
- Party Girl Waterproof Gel Eyeliner Pencils
- Creme Luxe Lipsticks: http://bit.ly/1iKoqWa
- Bourjois Happy Light Matte Serum Primer
- Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
- NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Medium Custard
- Face of Australia Translucent Loose Powder
- Sigma Brow Powder Duo in Medium
- Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara
Look 3: Evening Party Makeup for Beginners
The evening makeup look is flashier than the daytime makeup, but it is still an easy look to achieve. Try to add some drama to your look by glamming up your lips, eyes or cheeks. The important thing to remember is to not glam up all three. Choose one feature to focus on. Try a smoky eye by using a shade of gray eye shadow around the outer corners of your eyelids. Make your lips pop by using a bright red shade of lipstick.
Recommended watch: Evening Makeup Tutorial by Tina Yong
Learning how to apply your makeup might feel intimidating, but it’s actually relatively easy. With a few tips and tricks, you’ll be applying your own makeup like a pro in no time. You can even add a little extra glamour with a few additional tips here and there. It might look difficult, but it’s really as easy as a few simple steps.