If you’re new to makeup, you’ll know that it can be pretty overwhelming.
With tons of products, brands, and tips floating around, you may wonder, “Where do I start?!”
And so, here is my guide for makeup shopping for beginners! This is how I personally started (and perhaps can be a guideline for you too) as well as some of my personal product recommendations, so you hopefully won’t have as many “trial and errors” as I did:
1. The first eye makeup to try.
While I think that eyebrows are the most important “eye” makeup today, (check out eyebrow makeup for beginners); for makeup as a whole, I personally started with eye makeup as a teen because that seemed to be the most exciting!
And now that I’m a makeup artist, I know that mascara probably makes the most difference – mascara is the one thing that can really change your look in a subtle way, yet totally game changing.
Mascara is a great first-makeup product to try as they make such a big difference in your eyes. They were made to make your lashes look darker, thicker and therefore make your eyes look bigger and wider. I highly recommend that your very first makeup item be mascara.
Some of my favorites:
- Benefit They’re Real! mascara. Wow. This must be one of the best mascaras ever made. 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.
- The Body Shop’s Super Volume mascara. This was 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.
- L’Oreal Voluminous. I reckon this mascara can compete with the high end, designer mascaras and win everytime. I’ve used it since I was 17, and it’s really one of the best. I know a lot of makeup artists who love and use this mascara with great success on all their clients. The best part? It’s so cheap!
What to do: Buy your very first mascara and then test it at home first.
To use mascara, simple start at the base (the “roots”) of your eye lashes and comb through to the tips. You can wiggle the wand slightly as you comb through your lashes, which will help deposit more mascara onto the lashes, making them look extra thick!
2. Creating a good base for makeup.
Foundation comes in various forms, from pressed powders, liquid formulas, stick formulas, you name it.
For a makeup beginner though, I would recommend starting with a tinted moisturizer or a BB Cream (also of interest: Are BB Creams Bad For Your Skin?), to get you used to the feeling (and application). They are also much more natural looking.
My favorites include:
- Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. (Full review here.) 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.
- 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.
- Revlon ColorStay Foundation. This is a true drugstore gem and a foundation I know many, many love. I haven’t personally tried it out myself (yet!), but with it’s almost cult-like status, I think it’s definitely one to try.
What to do: This should be fairly easy for beginners – just apply your foundation to only areas on your face that really need it (for example, just apply it to your T-zone, and cheeks.) This gives a more natural look and can cover a multitude of beginner foundation mistakes.
If you have good skin but still get zits, then I’d recommend skipping foundation and getting a stick foundation like this one, and then just covering the small blemishes you have, leaving the rest of your skin best.
3. Blush – A Must-Have.
I was never personally a big fan of blush when I first started out but soon realized just how important it was – it brightens up your face and gives you a more fresh, happy glow.
Check out How To Find Your Perfect Blush Color For Your Skintone so you have a good idea of what color will look the most natural, and best for you. (Plus, when it’s a natural color, if you do make a little bit of a mistake, it won’t be as noticeable as if it were a much bolder, darker color.)
For blusher recommendations, I really have only 3 recommendations the absolute best I’ve ever tried:
- Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush. Is this the best blush ever made? I’d say it’s close. The clay formula makes the blush last on all day, and is easy to blend.
- & Other Stories Cheek & Lip Tint. (Full review here). This is a cream blush that would be super, super easy for beginners to use. Just dab a bit on your fingers, smile, and rub it into the fleshy bit of your cheeks.
- NARS Blush in Orgasm. I’ll let you in on a little secret – it’s a well known industry secret that NARS makes the best blushes in the biz. Many people from many other cosmetic companies admit it too! And their best one of their massive blush range, is their “universally flattering” famous, cult-status blush called Orgasm. It’s a beautiful peachy-pink color that looks so soft, and one I recommend to check out at some point in your makeup journey.
What to do: Blush can be very tricky for beginners. I recommend really testing and playing with the product at home first, practicing how to blend and also how to make sure you don’t pick up too much product and have that dreaded “clown look.”
4. Finish your look off with lips.
For lips, I think it’s pretty straightforward. I know I can’t be the only one who used to play with my mom’s lipsticks as a young child! When you’re new to lip products it doesn’t really matter about colors too much, I think. Just go for the color you are most attracted to. And honestly, I only have one to recommend as a beginner: Clinique Chubby Sticks. One of the best makeup products made recently. So easy to use and so ridiculously moisturizing. Gives a very nice, natural color.
What to do: Have fun with lips! This is where you can try out lip products (a lot of them are very inexpensive) and just experiment and see what kinda colors and textures you like.
If you’re looking for in-depth tips and advice, check out my e-book, Makeup for Beginners. It’s a makeup guide to make everything super simple and easy to understand – helping you skip years of “trial and error”.
As a professional makeup artist, I know how makeup can make women feel incredible, and it’s my goal to help you learn all things makeup, especially for beginners.
What you’ll get inside:
- Easy to understand guides on every makeup product, and for every occasion.
- Discover the best products, formulas and colors you can use right away – save YEARS of trial and error!
- Learn techniques, tricks and tips on making your makeup last, proper makeup removal, and more.
- A complete Makeup for Beginner’s Buying Guide – find out what you really need (and what you actually don’t).
PLUS! A HUGE chapter where I answer all beginner makeup questions, as submitted by you!