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Makeup tips for beginners: what I wish I’d known

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Here are a few makeup tips for beginners that I wish I had known when I first started using makeup. I hope you find some of them useful!

makeup tips for beginners

Eyes

  • if you’re still struggling with the very unforgiving felt tip winged eyeliner, try practising with an angled brush and black eyeshadow (it’s easier to remove and easier to smudge and pretend it’s messy on purpose). When you’re ready, move on to the angled brush + gel liner combo. And finally when you’ve practised the shape of your eyeliner for weeks or months (or years) and your hand is steadier, go back to the felt tip. 
  • another one about eyeliner: set your gel or liquid liner with black eyeshadow. it won’t move all day.
  • if you need to look more awake: tight-line your lower lash line with white or nude liner
  • don’t try to remove a mascara boo-boo when it’s still wet. Wait for it to dry, it’ll be much easier to scrape off.
  • don’t forget : flat brushes are meant for packing on shadows and fluffy brushes for blending them out.  
  • if your eyeshadows crease throughout the day: use an eye primer and set it with translucent powder (or a shadow that’s the same colour as your skin) before applying your other eyeshadows. 
  • if you’re using an eyeshadow palette for the first time or if you know it has a lot of kickback in the pan (and most likely fallout during application), try to resist the urge to do your face makeup first, especially if you intend to use shimmery or glittery eyeshadows. Do your eyes, clean up the fallout and then do your foundation, etc. 
  • the general consensus is: heavy eye look + light lip or light eye look + heavy lip (but then again, it’s your face, your makeup, you’re free as a bird)
  • to make brown eyes pop, use greens, blues, purples, teals, oranges, soft pinks, browns
  • to make blue eyes pop: use reds, pinks, coppers, oranges, browns
  • to make green eyes pop: use purples, pinks, browns
  • In a nutshell: a brown eyeshadow is never a bad idea

Lips

  • if you’re going to wear matte lipstick or liquid lipstick, make sure you scrub your lips beforehand. It will ensure and easier and better looking application
  • lip primers help you line your lips and keep them hydrated under your lipstick throughout the day (I particularly love the MAC one)
makeup tips for beginners

Face

  • on the day you don’t feel like wearing full coverage foundation, mix your foundation with some moisturiser. It’ll feel lighter and look more natural. 
  • as you get older, full coverage matte foundations will look less and less flattering and will emphasize fine lines and wrinkles. Same thing with applying huge quantities of concealer and setting it with too much powder. 
  • know your skin type: dewy foundations are hard to keep from slipping around on oily skins and very matte foundations aren’t recommended for dry skins (I recently wrote a post about all the types of foundations that you can find)
  • always put on foundation on clean and hydrated skin
  • if you can, try to do your makeup in natural lightning. Artificial lights have a huge effect on how you perceive the colours and the coverage. And the outcome might be drastically different when you step outside. 
  • When you’re out buying foundation, don’t try to find your shade by testing it on your arms. Test it on your jawline and see if it matches your neck. If the shop assistant suggests testing the shade on your arm, go to another shop.
  • If you have dry skin, don’t overdo powder because it will suck the moisture out of your face!

Tools

  • Finally. One of my last makeup tips for beginners: you don’t need to spend money on brush cleaners. You can clean your brushes and sponges with shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap, etc. (I wrote a post about how to repurpose beauty products)
  • if you’re just getting started with makeup, don’t buy 138 brushes all at once. Buy good quality basics (I highly recommend the Real Techniques brushes and sponges) and learn to use each one. When you’re comfortable with your brushes and start to get a feel of what you need, buy more. Recommended starting kit: flat shadow brush, fluffy shadow brush, beauty blender, big fluffy brush for powder, blush brush, highlighter brush. 
makeup tips for beginners

Are there any other makeup tips for beginners that you’d like to share? Sound off below!

For Pinterest:

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19 Comments

  1. October 25, 2018 / 4:27 pm

    Fab tips !!! My teen girl doesn’t wear make up however I’ve had the same style since I was a teen I think so picked up some hints myself!!
    Congratulations someone loved this post so much they added it to our #blogcrush linky

    • Kate
      Author
      October 25, 2018 / 5:20 pm

      Thank you so much!

  2. October 20, 2018 / 4:12 pm

    – I love the nude liner on lower lash line, it makes me look both awake and a deer in headlights.
    – heavy eye and heavy lip because what’s life without whimsy?
    – blue eyeshadow for the win for brown eyes, it makes me eyes look orangey brown.
    – yep, full on concealer on me looks terrible especially with a lot of powder over it. I’ve learnt my lesson, no matter what Kaushal says in her tutorials.
    – had no idea about testing on jawlines.
    – I don’t really have any tips per se, but I think when contouring and highlighting pay attention to your face shape and contour and highlight with what goes with your face. My face is a blend of round and square, so I like to accent my jawline but not so much my forehead, I just do it around instead of applying lots on my temples. I think if the forehead is particular square then it looks good to contour at the temples whereas rounded foreheads, it’s better to just contour the perimeters of the forehead.
    – My chin is quite small so I love highlighting it to add some prominence to it.
    – I try to bear in mind that most highlighters are already very much similar to my skin colour, so I make sure to add lots for it to even be seen.

    Love this post & packing on with black shadow on eyeliner has been a life saver for me.

    • Kate
      Author
      October 21, 2018 / 10:35 am

      Thanks for all your tips! You’re a makeup pro.
      Knowing your face shape and experimenting to find out what looks good on you is the way to go. It’s a learning curve sometimes.
      I don’t even set my concealer anymore. I’d rather have it crease in my fine lines than have an undereye that’s completely dried out and cakey.

      • October 25, 2018 / 3:56 am

        I need to try the no setting concealer thing, I will report back here and tell you what the results are!

  3. October 19, 2018 / 3:56 pm

    I love this post! My mom didn’t wear make up and I never had anyone to teach me things. At 46 years old, I still struggle with feeling like I know what I am doing! LOL

    • Kate
      Author
      October 19, 2018 / 8:21 pm

      My mum wears makeup but never bothered teaching me. I learned with the Internet lol

      • October 19, 2018 / 8:23 pm

        Ok…i had kids in school before the internet was really a thing! Lol

        • Kate
          Author
          October 19, 2018 / 8:26 pm

          And I was a late makeup lover lol

  4. October 18, 2018 / 12:03 pm

    I always thought that using a felt tip would make eyeliner easier, but I completely struggled to do anything close to a good wing until I switched back to using liquid! Excellent resource and excellent tips, I’ll be referring back when I inevitably forget how to do something.

    Cordelia || cordeliamoor.com

    • Kate
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 1:31 pm

      Thanks, babe. I don’t think you’ll need it though, you’re way too good at makeup :))

  5. sarahsarsby
    October 17, 2018 / 10:18 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post and definitely agree with all of your tips, especially the brush cleaner one. People spend money on brush cleaners and Fairy Liquid literally does a stellar job, it makes no sense! But great post with some very useful tips x

    • Kate
      Author
      October 17, 2018 / 11:04 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m working on a similar one about skin care.

  6. October 17, 2018 / 8:32 am

    Really useful tips! I tend to be on the drier side with my skin and only tend to wear powder in summer when it’s warm. For makeup brushes I like to buy multitask brushes or basic styles that can be used for a couple of different products/uses – all about that more for less haha!

    • Kate
      Author
      October 17, 2018 / 1:24 pm

      Great idea!

  7. October 16, 2018 / 5:03 pm

    These are some great tips! I’ve never used a lip scrub or primer so I might try that. A tip for when first buying brushes, I would maybe start with elf brushes or something like that. Amazon has really good quality brushes too. Thats where I get my brushes from. Great post!

    • Kate
      Author
      October 16, 2018 / 5:05 pm

      I have some ELF brushes and they’re amazing! I use them every day, clean them all the time and they never shed or perform badly. Unfortunately, ELF is no longer sold in Europe. A huge bummer, if you ask me!

      • October 16, 2018 / 9:42 pm

        aw really? that definitely is a bummer. Hopefully one day they’ll choose to start selling in europe again

        • Kate
          Author
          October 17, 2018 / 10:22 am

          I hope so too!

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