Makeup Tips and Tricks

May 7, 2019

The first step in finding which makeup works best for you is to figure out your skin type. There are three different skin variations: Dry, oily, and combination. When you have dry skin, there is an absence of moisture. As a result, you get a more rigid or rough texture to your face. People with dryer attributes tend to go for moisturizing products. Contrary to popular belief, oily skin actually needs even more moisture than dry skin. Because of this, your body secretes oils to make up for what it lacks. These oils make the flesh prone to problem spots or blemishes. People who struggle with a more oily complexion should go for mattifying products to take away the shine. The last type is combination skin, which contains both dry and oily skin– this can make it harder to properly care for your face. The best way to tend to combination skin is through trial-and-error. Some parts of your face (like the cheekbones and eyelids) need more moisture, while other areas may need more shine-reducing solutions (such as the chin and T-Zone).

Once you complete your skin care routine, apply a dime-size amount of primer. You should use your primer just like a moisturizer. It lays down a base, which acts like a barrier or protective layer between your face and the makeup. Primer is specialized to your personal needs: anywhere from mattifying to moisturizing, and blemish-hiding to wrinkle-defying. Once you know your skin type, the right primer can do a lot for your makeup look. For all skin types, I recommend the ‘Thank Me Later’ primer by Elizabeth Mott.

Foundation can range from dewy to no-shine. The way your foundation is applied can strongly impact how natural your complexion will look. Applying the product with brushes can make for a rough, unruly and cakey texture. Makeup sponges allow for a more smoothed-out and even texture. When using a makeup sponge, quick bounces help distribute the foundation without smearing it. A good makeup sponge is the ‘Beauty Blender’ sold in cosmetic stores. For a cheaper alternative, you can buy Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Face Sponge at your local grocery store. You can also use a beauty sponge for your concealer as well. By putting the concealer on the tip of the sponge, you can dab it on problem areas without damaging the newly laid foundation. Certain foundations can work extremely well for some people, while also not working at all for others. This product is specialized towards your individual facial needs and may not be for everyone. If you plan on splurging towards more luxury items, foundation and mascara would be the ones to go for.

Another way to utilize your makeup sponge is when baking your face. Baking is when you set your foundation and concealer in place with loose powder. Loose powder can brighten areas, but can also turn white in pictures when the flash is used. Setting powder is another trial and error process. I recommend the Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder by Fenty Beauty or the Translucent Loose Setting Powder by Laura Mercier. A dupe (cheaper option) to the Laura Mercier setting powder is the Fit Me Loose Finishing Powder. To best apply the loose powder, dab a generous amount onto the tip of the sponge and very lightly pat it under the eyes and on the T Zone, chin and upper lip for people with oily skin. You can also gently sweep the powder under the dip in your cheek, below where you want your cheeks to be better contoured. After 1-3 minutes, sweep the excess powder away with a semi-fluffy brush. Your face should now have a somewhat velvety finish. If you notice that you have a more scaley or dried up texture, shorten the time frame in which you let the powder sit. The problem may also be the type or brand of powder you use. I would steer clear of any white-colored powders. This product should be a shade or so lighter than your foundation color.

After your foundation and concealer are set, it’s time to give your face some color. You should typically put on your bronzer or contour before blush or highlighter. Bronzer is more for areas you would like to appear smaller than their original shape. The most typical way to use this product is with a bigger brush, but I normally use a small dense brush. Use the bronzer as you would contour, making more intense lines under the cheekbone, temples, around the forehead, directly below the jawline and the sides of the bridge of your nose. To blend, use a big, dense brush and work in the direction of the original lines. This allows for a more controlled, natural contour without overdoing it.

Blush is easily applied with either a fluffy or dense brush. The same suggestion goes for highlighter, though blush is applied on the cheekbone while highlighter can be applied above the cheekbone, on the cupids bow, on the tip and bridge of the nose and below the tail of the eyebrows. Blush is meant to give warmth to your face while highlighter gives you a healthy glow. The most important thing to remember about blush is a little goes a long way, and as for highlighter, keep your surface area to a minimum. While little hints of this product can make you look refreshed and dewy, too much in too many places can bring out texture in your skin and give off an oily vibe.

I usually apply mascara after baking certain areas and during the colorization of my face. This makes for blacker lashes that can finishing drying while you do the rest of your makeup, so you can easily wipe away any mistakes with a Q-tip. By slightly shimmying your mascara wand while you work your way up to your lashes, you can achieve a more volumized and natural look that doesn’t turn out too web-like or clumpy.

Once you finish with mascara, you can go back in with a natural brown or pink eyeshadow around the crease to give your eyes some dimension. If you plan on doing a more dramatic look, I suggest applying your eyeshadow before the rest of your makeup to prevent any eyeshadow fall out from ruining your look.

Everyone has different ways of doing their makeup and this article demonstrates a few ways that I do mine. This is in no way a guideline. Makeup is an art form that can be expressed in many different ways. What’s yours?

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