Beauty & Fashion / Lifestyle / Tips & Tricks

A Beginner’s Guide to Basic Makeup


Makeup is scary, whether you’re new or have had experience. The YouTubers you watch for tips, although sometimes helpful,  have a tendency to purchase new products all the time. Every other product becomes their “favorite”. This is not helpful for a college student budget. When you walk into the cosmetic aisle in the drugstore , you find yourself staring at rows of colorful bottles. If you finally do purchase something, the product turns out to be everything you didn’t want.  The disappointment is felt on a collective level, trust me.

If you are feeling overwhelmed but still want to try makeup out, or if you want to freshen up on your skills, I have a few general tips from years of trial and error. The most important thing to remember is that makeup is subjective, so nothing is wrong or right. These basic tips are suggestions to get you started.


The Skin

The first thing to consider when buying foundation is your skin color. Sometimes the foundation seems to match when you look at it from the bottle but makes you look like you got an uneven tan when you apply it to your face. This is because you also have to consider the undertone of your skin. Some people are cool-toned, warm-toned, or neutral. Cool-toned foundations tend to be pinker while warm-toned foundations are on the yellow side. If you can’t decide, stick to foundations that are in between. How can you tell if you’re cool/warm/ neutral toned? The most common trick is to look at the vein on your wrist. If the vein is blue, you have cool undertones. If your vein is green/olive , then you have warm undertones. If you can’t tell because it seems like it’s both, then you have neutral undertones. Here’s a diagram:



Consider your foundation type based on your skin type. You might have the perfect color foundation but the product clings to your dry patches. Liquid/cream foundations are recommended for dry skin and powder foundations are recommended for oily skin. A “matte” foundation will give your skin a finish with little to no shine. Another foundation might be formulated to “illuminate” your skin, which would give your skin a shiny appearance. Pay attention to this in order to make sure you get the finish you want.

The amount of coverage a foundation claims to give is crucial. If you want a more glamorous look, full coverage is the way to go. If you want an everyday look, foundations with medium to light coverage would be recommended. Very matte foundations tend to have fuller coverage, but there are foundations with shiny finishes that are full coverage as well.


BB creams/CC creams/ tinted moisturizers are mostly lightweight and are perfect for anyone looking to even out their skin tone. They also tend to have benefits like fading scars and minimizing pores. The coverage is almost always minimum, which is great for those “fresh faced” makeup looks. Remember your undertone and skin type when selecting a BB cream/CC cream/ tinted moisturizer.

TIP: Mix your facial moisturizer with your foundation to create your own tinted moisturizer. This can also be done with BB creams/CC creams, or anything with a liquid consistency.



Brows make you look put together and awake. General  tip diagrams can show you how to shape your eyebrows. Although these diagrams are helpful, you don’t need to master the “Instagram eyebrows” to look good.  Slightly accentuating your natural brow shape and color looks amazing too.

The two diagrams below demonstrate how to shape your brows according to your facial angles:




Eyebrow accentuation can be established with an eyebrow pencil, powder or gel. Powders give a softer look (and there is no real need to blend) but have a tendency to fade faster and smudge easier. Eyebrow gels and pencils offer more precision but  blending is a must. Blending is typically done with a spoolie, which either comes attached with your product or is available at the drugstore. You can also use it to comb your brows.

Finding the right color is the trickiest part. The recommended thing to do is find a shade that is 2-3 shades lighter or darker than your hair color. Getting a color that matches your hair exactly might be bold, especially for darker hair.




The easiest thing you can do to bring out your peepers is applying mascara. Mascaras can lengthen, volumize, curl, or all three. Formulas consist of waterproof and non-waterproof. If you want something that can be taken off with your everyday cleanser and that is less damaging to your lashes, non-waterproof is the better choice. If you’re paranoid about the streaky mascara look, then waterproof is strongly recommended. However, many waterproof mascaras require an eye-makeup remover to be completely removed.


Mascaras can also be layered. If you are planning on layering a waterproof and non-waterproof mascara, put the waterproof on first to ensure longer staying power.large

Mascaras come in an array of colors, like blue, purple, and even green . Don’t be afraid to experiment. 7035849_f520


Applying lip products is my favorite part! There’s lipsticks, lip glosses, lip stains, lip pencils , lip balms and more. Plus, there are hundreds of colors to play around with!

Matte lip products are drying to most people. It’s important to have properly moisturized lips before application. If you want a clean finish with no bleeding and longer staying power, line and fill in your lips with a lip pencil.  This can be applied to all lip products.

The warm/cool/ neutral undertones I mentioned earlier can also be applied to lip color (Cool toned lipsticks can make your teeth look whiter!). However, why would you want to limit yourself to cool toned or warm toned lipsticks when there are hundreds of colors you can try? 8e9b54b4f70dccef6897c5169ecac428


You can bend these tips, disregard them, or even add a few of your own. This is all meant to serve as a “foundation” (Yes I made pun!).

Remember, makeup is subjective. It’s all up to you. Good luck!






Photo Credit : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  9 10

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One thought on “A Beginner’s Guide to Basic Makeup

  1. Pingback: DIY: Turning Crayons into Lipstick | Vocalady

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