If you’re new to makeup, it could be pretty overwhelming: with tons of products, brands, and tips floating around, you may wonder, “Where do I start?”
I know that when I started to wear makeup, I was so overwhelmed by everything and didn’t know where to start. Here I write the “order” in which I personally started, and perhaps can be a guideline for you too; as well as some of my personal product recommendations, so you hopefully don’t have to have as many “trial and errors” as I did!
Makeup Shopping for Beginners
The first thing you need to know in makeup is that it is broken up into 4 parts: Skin, Eyes, Lips and Cheeks:
- Skin. This makeup for your skin (usually called “base” makeup) such as foundation (in that we have liquid foundation, cake foundation, BB creams, tinted moisturizers, etc), concealer and powders.
- Eyes. These are products for your eyes such as eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara, and it includes eyebrows (pencils, powder, etc)
- Lips. These products include color for your lips, whether it’s lipgloss, lipstick, lip stains, etc.
- Cheeks. These products are usually blush, bronzer, or highlighters and contouring methods
For a beginner I think you really only need the very bare basics. What I did when I first started wearing it was to slowly start trying one product in each category, seeing what I liked, and then took it from there. Here is a step by step of how I started:
I started with eye makeup because that seemed to be the most exciting. At least to me – I remember looking at all the gorgeous smokey eyes on models and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some eyeliner! However, eyeliner may be too much right at the beginning, so for the eyes, you can start off with mascara (as I did). Mascara is a great first-makeup product to try as they make such a big difference in your eyes.
Some great mascaras (shown above) are:
- Benefit They’re Real! mascara. I love the brush, which features very thin bristles so it coats each and every lash. Makes lashes look super long, one o the best mascaras in recent years. Buy it online at Sephora.com (US), ULTA (US), or internationally at Boots, Amazon.com, Feel Unique and ASOS.
- The Body Shop’s Super Volume mascara. This is an older mascara, but one of my firsts and my favorites. Standard brush and standard formula, which makes it super easy to use and great for beginners. Great for length and natural definition. A little hard to find but yuo can buy it on the official pages, The Body Shop (US), The Body Shop (UK) and internationally on Amazon.com.
- Maybelline Great Lash mascara. This mascara is a cult beauty product, and I wrote a whole post on this at Maybelline Great Lash – Worth the Hype? An inky black formula that gives great definition and so affordable. A must try at least once in your makeup journey. Buy it at Drugstore (US), Walmart (US), ULTA (US), TESCO (UK) and internationally at Amazon.com, Feel Unique and Boots.
- Lancome Hypnose mascara. Hands down my favorite department store mascara – I’ve bought this for several friends and they all loved it. It gives the thickest, darkest most defined lashes. Buy it online at Sephora (US) and internationally at Nordstrom, Macys, Feel Unique, Boots, John Lewis and Amazon.com.
After I started wearing a bit of mascara, within a few months I wanted to wear more makeup! That, and my dreaded teen acne started, so I desperately was looking for something to cover up all my blemishes, and even out my skintone, so “base” makeup was next for me.
Foundation comes in various forms, from pressed powders, liquid formulas, stick formulas – you name it. Since you’re a beginner though, I would recommend starting with a tinted moisturizer or a BB Cream, to get you used to the feeling (and application)… and, to be honest, I prefer those over good old foundation – foundation is just too thick for my liking. But experiment at the shops to see what you like best. BB creams and tinted moisturizers are also great because they are much more lighter, so you can get used to applying it, not to mention you can make “mistakes” and it wouldn’t be that obvious.
For concealer and powder, I would actually only recommend them if you feel you need it. I feel that as a young girl, you really don’t need to paint your face with so much “base” makeup (actually, make that at any age). I feel it can look too fake, and as I mentioned in the very first post, Beautifille’s philosophy on makeup is that you should be enhancing your beauty, not covering it up! So I’d seriously just recommend a tinted moisturizer and leave it at that. If you have a problem with acne and blemishes, on top of your tinted moisturizer, apply a dab concealer with your ring finger to cover them up. If you have very oily skin, then apply a sweep of loose powder on top.
My favorite picks shown above include:
- Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (oil free version). If your skin is already decent, then this will work well as the coverage is very light. But it really makes your skin look flawless. One of my all-time favorite makeup products. Buy it at Sephora (US), and internationally at Amazon.com, Macys, Nordstrom, John Lewis and House of Fraser.
- Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizer. This gives medium to full coverage and is also great and one of my favorites. Blends beautifully and makes your skin looks naturally flawless. Excellent SPF too. Buy at Sephora (US) and internationally at Nordstrom, John Lewis, and Amazon.com.
- The Body Shop BB Cream. I’ve tried many BB creams from The Body Shop, and honestly I have liked them all. Find them at their official sites, The Body Shop (US), The Body Shop (UK) and internationally at Amazon.com.
- Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Foundation. This is a fairly new discovery that has blown me away. Incredible coverage, though a little sticky to apply, but I feel the formula is that way for the great lasting power. It’s also very good for those with acne prone and oily skin. Buy online at Sephora (US), ULTA (US) and internationally at Macys and Amazon.com,
I was never personally a big fan of blush when I first started out (I have only realized the importance of it recently) so I’d definitely recommend getting a pretty blush.
If you have fair skin, a pink/peach would look great on you, but if you have tanned skin, dusty rose colors and bronzers would look beautiful on you. If you have dark skin, you’re really blessed – your skintone can take any color, especially deeper colors which make your skin look rich and lovely. To apply blush it’s almost too simple: smile really, really big, and you see those fleshy parts of your cheeks sticking out? They are called the “apples of the cheek”; lightly swipe blush on that area in a circular motion.
Some of my favorite blushes are MAC, Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush (the best blush ever made, in my opinion), and Bourjois (they’re a little hard to find, but Amazon.com carries a lot of them). Bourjois is very famous for their blushes and they are very affordable as well; however I’d recommend investing in a good quality blush, it’s important to get a good color payoff (cheaper blushes might be too much like talcum powder and make you look “cakey”). Blushes can last 3 years so they’re a great investment.
If you’re not really into the blushing beauty look and would rather a stronger, sculpted cheek, you can read How to: Contour & Highlight Cheekbones.
For lips – I think it’s pretty straightforward. When you’re new to lip products it doesn’t really matter about colors, but for beginners, I’d recommend to test out some lighter colors first, as darker colors are a bit more tricky in terms of application and there are a few “advance” tips on making them last longer which I’ll talk about in other posts. Some of my personal favorite lip products are:
- Dior Addict lipsticks. Two words: Amazing colors. So deep, so rich, so long lasting. A real luxurious slurge. Buy at Sephora (US) and everywhere else at Nordstrom, Macys and Boots.
- Clinique Chubby Sticks. Again, one of the best makeup products made recently. So easy to use and so ridiculously moisturizing. Gives a very nice, natural color.
- Bourjois 3D Effet lipglosses. I lived for these lipglosses back in highschool, as did my best friend. Ridiculously glossy and makes your lips look so juicy. It’s a little hard to find, but they are all over Amazon.com which ships to every country. A good alternative (which I also adore) that is super easy to find are Stila Lip Glaze, which you can buy at Sephora (US), ULTA (US) and internationally at Boots and Amazon.com.
- MAC lipsticks. The best lipsticks for beginners. This was my first, too. Find them at Nordstrom, Debenhams and Macys (all has international shipping).
I hope my tips have helped some of the newbies to makeup. To round it up quickly, when you’re just starting out with makeup I’d recommend a mascara, a tinted moisturizer/BB cream, concealer and powder only if you need it, a simple blush and a nice lip color.
If you know anyone who is new to makeup, please share this post with them. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask me on Twitter.
P.S. This may be of interest: Beauty Brands That Do Not Test on Animals.