Makeup tips for beginners
So someone asked me about eyeshadow tips, so I figured I could go ahead and post some of the things I have learned since I’ve been doing my own makeup. I’m not a makeup artist, but I have been applying makeup with varying degrees of success for about 15 years. Let my learning mistakes help you.
This image is from squidoo.com. It shows different ways you can apply eye shadows, depending on the amount of time and contrast/depth you want to add. There are several different eye shapes, so you have to modify this based on the way your eyes look. The best tip is to look straight into the mirror after each step to make sure that everything’s even.
If you have hooded eyes, you might bring the darkest color in 2 and 3 up a bit higher. (I have hooded eyes, and learning this made a huge difference in my makeup application.) Obviously, the colors in this image are just a guide so you can tell where one begins and one ends.
Under no circumstances should you use the little sponge that comes with most drugstore and some high-end shadows. They do not do a good job applying or blending shadows, and if you don’t have brushes, you’d be better off using your finger, since that would actually make your shadow last longer. I actually use my fingers to apply about 1/3 of the shadows that I wear. However, if you’re looking to do more intermediate or difficult eye looks (like 2 or 3 in the above image), you will need at least 3 brushes: a soft crease brush, a rounded or tapered brush (like ELF’s shadow brush) for applying a wash of color, and a small detail brush. If you want a good-quality set that is well worth the money, try RealTechniques’ eye brush set with the purple handle, which should be less than $20 USD. It has all of the brushes I mentioned, and a angled brow/liner brush as well.
You can invest in “quality” shadows, but especially if you’re just starting out, try something less expensive first. Expensive handbags and cars might actually be better than their cheaper counterparts, but that is not always true of makeup products. For example, Maybelline’s current eye shadow quads have a wide range of colors and they all include everything you need for an eye look. You could do all three of the looks from the diagram image with most of those quads. NYX also makes exceedingly great eye shadow palettes and singles that are great quality for beginners. L’Oreal Infallible shadows are also great for single-color eye looks, like the first image in the diagram.
If you watch YouTube tutorials (which I highly recommend if you’re a beginner) or look at photo tutorials on blogs, most regular makeup wearers use some kind of eye base or primer for their eye looks. There are usually two overlapping reasons why you would want to use products like this: one, you want your eye shadows to last longer, and two, you want your eye shadows to apply as smoothly/pigmented as possible. If you do not have oily lids or you’re working with a shadow that applies very well, you might not need a primer. Play around with it and see what works best for you. I’ve heard that Milani’s eye primer is a great drug store option, and of course there’s Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Urban Decay Primer Potion (UDPP), NARS eye primer, and Make Up For Ever eye primer from Ulta/Sephora.
The last things you need would be eye liner and mascara. There are no makeup items that are more individual than these two things, I’ve found. For every person who loves a certain mascara, there’s almost certainly someone who hates it. If you don’t believe me, look at mascara reviews on Makeupalley.com. Eyeliner is much the same, because something that lasts well on me might smudge on you or something. Some of the liners that I’ve had good luck with are Urban Decay, Stila, Prestige, Revlon Colorstay, L’Oreal Infallible, Cover Girl Ink It, and Rimmel Unstoppable. If you want a liquid liner, try Jordana’s liquid pen that’s available at Walgreens.
The most important advice that I can give you is that you should start out simple, with just a couple of colors. For a daytime look, wear a champagne color on the lid, a medium brown blended in the crease, and finish with brown or black liner. Once you get that down, start playing with bold colors, adding more colors, different liners, etc. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.