Makeup for Begginers
I love teaching makeup novices how to apply makeup. They have no bad habits that I need to break and really enjoy watching them blossom into a makeup master in no time at all. The original idea behind makeup was to help bring out our best features and making the best of one’s appearance is something that I still believe in today. We shouldn’t fight with what we have, but instead enhance and celebrate our look. When I was a child I was lucky enough to be able to watch and learn from my mother and grandmother on how to apply makeup. I quickly caught the makeup bug that I have today. I was fascinated by the power of makeup and how easy it was for a decent lipstick to not only boost my appearance but also my morale and attitude, something that I see on a daily basis when working with clients. I grew my skills while attending makeup school in Vancouver, and then I watched and learnt from industry legends such as Laura Mercier to refine my skills.
When I speak to makeup newbies they all have the same question: where do I start? In this article I have stripped back to the bare essentials to get you started on your makeup journey. First up, my four basic principles:
Makeup can easily be removed with a cleanser. Mistakes are made and that is ok!
Makeup is the best thing that has been invented for enhancing women’s beauty (though Spanx are a close second!).
Trust your instincts. Look to others for inspiration but no one knows your style and face as well as you do.
And if you are looking for inspiration that always feel free to walk into a cosmetic hall and look at all the people working behind the counters. When you see someone’s style you like, ask them about it. It’s flattering and the lucky individual will be more than willing to teach you how to apply it all.
Here is my list of essential makeup products and how to apply them.
A Tinted Moisturizer or BB Cream can be your best friend when it comes to managing an uneven skin tone. They create minimal coverage and are so easy to apply. This step is sometimes referred to as your base. The best way to match the colour of the product to your skin is to try it on your face. You do this by applying a tiny amount to your cheek, rub in onto your skin and have a look at it in natural day light. I do this by borrowing the hand mirror from the counter I am visiting and going outside or to a bright window. If it does not blend well and you see it then try another colour. If it blends beautifully onto your skin and you can’t see it then you have your colour match. When you have your ideal shade then all you need to do apply it is squeeze a dime-size amount onto your finger tips and rub it onto your face, paying extra attention to your nose, around your nostril and jaw line. After applying you shouldn’t see lines or patchy colours. Some newbies like to use a foundation brush to apply their base and it sometimes leaves them with streaks. If there are still streaks it means it hasn’t blended in properly, so just keep blending. I really love Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Cream. It has a SPF 30 to provide protection, and just enough coverage to even out my skin tone, allowing my freckles to show though.
Concealer is another fantastic product for makeup up beginners. Concealers disguise dark circles around your eyes and can cover blemishes and imperfections. They come in an array of forms such as tubes (like my favourite Clarins Instant Concealer), to wands with a brush attached (such as YSL Touche Eclat), to little pots (like MAC Studio Finish Concealer). I would recommend starting with a product like Clinique Airbrush Concealer. This concealer softens the look of dark circles and flaws. Once your BB Cream or your base of choice is applied you apply the Clinique Airbrush Concealer by twisting the end until the concealer appears in the brush attached, and use feathery strokes across the skin to erase under eye circles then gently tap the product in with your ring finger to blend it in fully. Use this technique to erase broken capillaries around your nose and any other flaw or blemish that need disguising.
Powder is essential for making your base last and for keeping shine at bay. Even if you have dry skin you should still invest in a translucent powder to set your makeup for the day ahead. I recommend you start with a pressed powder and a small handled powder brush for ease and convenience. Diorskin Nude Air Powder is weightless and delivers a natural looking matte finish. This stunning silver compact comes with a great little kabuki brush. After you have applied your base and concealer you load up the brush by swirling it in the compact a few times, and then apply by sweeping it down your nose, up your cheek bones, across your chin and along your forehead.
Blush is a very flattering product to have in your makeup bag. It works wonders on your complexion when you are a little under the weather or tired. The best way of choosing a colour for makeup beginners is to pick a colour that your cheeks would naturally go when you have been out in the cold, or have been out for a little run I love Dior Rosy Glow as the blush adapts to your skin tone once applied and so it takes a lot of the guess work out of what colour to buy and it suits most skin tones. The best way of applying the Dior Rosy Glow is to dip the blush brush provided into the pink blush and simply sweep the brush up both of your cheek bones in the direction of your temple, repeat on the other cheek.
A little eyeshadow can be so flattering. Something like a champagne shimmer can catch the light beautifully and give you a polished look with minimal effort. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Champagne is a lightly pearlized eyeshadow that will suit most skin tones. I have heard many woman over a certain age freak out when I say shimmer eyeshadow as they say it can settle into lines. A light shimmer is good, but a glitter is not as it will highlight any lines. The best way to apply an eyeshadow is with an eyeshadow brush but do not hold the brush close to the brush end as you would a pen. Instead place your hand towards the end of the handle, close the eye you are applying to, and use very light pressure to apply the eyeshadow across the entire lid, from lash line to the crease or further to the brow bone for added highlight. By placing your hand towards the end of the brush you are preparing yourself to blend colours together when you become more comfortable with makeup
And then there is mascara and her partner in crime, eyelash curlers. With eyelash curlers come a rule: never, ever, ever curl your eyelashes after the mascara has been applied! If you do you risk your eyelashes sticking to the curler and they will most likely be pulled out. It is always lash curler then mascara. I adore my lash curlers, and now own so many I can’t even keep track of them. Shiseido makes a fantastic pair. The rubber insert is curved giving you a curved curl which is what we want. Some lash curler rubber inserts are square and will give you a square lash which is what we do not want. The best way to use your eyelash curlers is to peer down into the mirror of your powder compact while titling your head back. This will expose your lashes nicely. Open the curler by pulling apart the handle with your thumb and forefinger, gather the lashes in the curler and gently squeeze down for about 10 seconds on each eye. For stubborn lashes that do not want to curl, warm the lash curler by putting it under warm running water for about 10 seconds and quickly dry with a towel before curling. Now onto mascara. There are so many to choose from on the market: waterproof, curling, lengthening, separating, conditioning, 24 hour wear…….. I can go on and on. For makeup newbies I recommend starting with a basic black. Chanel Inimitable is great, it creates volume, separates, lengthens and curls in one. I like to apply my mascara by holding it at the lash line and giving it a little wiggle. This will coat all the small lashes and create a thicker eye line. Then I like to stroke the eyelashes up numerous times (about 30 to 50 times on myself and clients) with the wand, without dipping the wand back into the tube. Never pump the wand in the tube as this will force air down and make the mascara dry out quicker.
Finally lips! Clarins makes some fabulous lip balms called Instant Light Lip Perfector. They come in a variety of colours and are great for a makeup beginner. I apply these by twisting a little of the balm out and applying it directly to the lips, following the natural lip line. If you want a deeper depth of colour apply the Lip Perfectors with a matching lip pencil. For a glosser finish I recommend the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector. I adore the soft texture, sweet scent and shimmer effect.