To boldly paint your face like a pro. You know, with makeup!
That’s right, Nerdship, we’re boldly going on a new adventure here on the blog. Every Monday this month we’re trying out a new series called Makeup Mondays. Over the past few months we’ve been listening to you guys and your cries for more makeup-related posts have been heard.
So to kick things off, we’re going to talk about the basics. Beauty basics that is.
“Seriously, guys. I have idea no where to start. “
We all have to start somewhere. As long as you want to learn, nothing is outside of your grasp. And even if you’re an ole’ pro at applying liquid eyeliner or false lashes, we’ll hopefully have a few new tricks to show you along the way.
How did I get into makeup? Heh, funny you should ask that, Nerdship. I didn’t know what I was doing until halfway through my freshman year at college. Growing up I was a complete tomboy and didn’t want anything to do with makeup, as it was way too girly for my tastes at the time. Over the years those thoughts changed and I have since become hooked on doing special effects makeup. Luckily, YouTube, countless makeup books, and the Internet saved the day and I can now pass my knowledge along to you, young Padawan.
So over the next few Mondays we, the makeup-geeks of Nerds and Nomsense, will be bringing you some of our favorite tutorials, recommendations, DIYs, tips, and tricks so that you too can master the makeup – or at the very least, be on your way to makeup greatness. And the best part is… if you guys really like these kinds of posts, we’ll keep it around and make it a permanent thing – so let us know in the comments below.
Take care of your face and skin. All great works of art start with a good canvas and your skin is your canvas. Always try to wash off all of your makeup BEFORE going to bed. Makeup will clog your pores and can cause a lot of problems for you down the line if you continually sleep in your makeup [Doubt us, check this out]. We all have forgotten to wash it off a time (or twelve) but even if you get a chance to wipe your face off with a makeup wipe or makeup removing lotion it’ll be better than nothing.
Best Makeup Removers that I’ve tried over the years: Neutrogena Moisturizer or Night Time Makeup Wipes ($5), Bare Essentials On The Spot Eye Makeup Remover ($5), The Body Shop Chamomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover ($10), Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover ($15), and Clinique Naturally Gentle Eye Makeup Remover ($18).
Treat yourself with facial masque. Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule, indulge in a little masque and then watch your favorite sitcom while it does all the work and then wash it off when your television show is over. Repeat as needed every week and be sure to take a whole lot of “Swamp Man” or “Mrs. Doubtfire” selfies. My favorite is The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Face Mask ($15) it soothes, cools, and feels fantastic.
Invest in a good moisturizer that works with your skin type. This make take a few tries but once you find the right moisturizer, your skin will thank you. I like Aveeno’s Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer since I have combination skin (part oily and dry) and it makes my skin feel all happy and soft. If you are doing any sort of special effects makeup moisturizing properly is KEY!
- Drink plenty of water. If you swap 2 sodas a day for their water counterparts you’ll be able to see a difference in your complexion in no time.
Wash your makeup brushes fairly regularly, especially if you have acne-prone skin. I like to clean my brushes out once every week – or more if I’m doing a lot of crazy makeup looks (especially around Halloween). Cleaning your brushes helps to remove all of the excess makeup that gets trapped in between the bristles as well as removes all the oils that gather on the brush from day-to-day use.
There are plenty of makeup brush cleansers out there, even once you can make yourself at home (dish soap + olive oil = 2 : 1.5 ratio). E.L.F has one that’s extremely affordable at $3 and M.A.C. has a fantastic cleaner the also disinfects all of the daily cooties ($15).
They do have these awesome sprays and makeup brush wipes that are for daily cleaning as you go. That way you don’t have to spend hours cleaning all of your brushes.
Start simple. Master the simple techniques before you try and conquer those crazy runway looks. Try simple looks that only require one or two shadows. We’ll cover more eyeshadow basics next week including some tips on working with different eye shapes.
Dealing with color? Build it up rather than slather it on. Whether you’re dealing with blush, bronzer or some kind of contour color – never, EVER slather it on. Why? Mostly this is to help catch the whoopsies before they get out of hand. It is really annoying when you have your foundation prefectly applied only to be ruined because you loaded up your blush brush with too much product and now you look like a Raggedy Anne doll.
Blend. Blend. Blend. Those stunning makeup looks that you saw at the Oscars last night… the key to all of them was flawless blending. This includes blending your foundation down your neck so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing a makeup mask that’s a different shade from your natural skin tone. (See photo above.)
- Practice blending on your forearm. Try different color combinations, especially if you’re like me and like to go bold on your eyeshadow colors. This little trick is great if you’re trying master an ombre or a smooth smokey eye.
- Inexpensive doesn’t mean cheap, sometimes. Starting out, I recommend not going out and splurging on the most expensive stuff you can find. Just because it’s the most expensive thing money can buy doesn’t always mean it will work for you. Makeup can be pretty addictive and expensive so shopping within your budget is a must. I have plenty of drugstore brand cosmetics in both my pro and personal makeup kits. I’ve found a few makeup dupes as well as some pretty awesome bargain brands that work great for some of my looks, especially my BH 28 Color Neutral Eyeshadow Palette – I use it for my eyeshadows, brows, and even for contouring. This palette has several colors that are pretty passable for even their popular M.A.C. counterparts.
- Brands like E.L.F., Rimmel, Milani, and Wet’n’Wild are a great place to start when you’re just starting your makeup journey. They’re on the low end of the price scale and some of their products are just as good as some of their high-end counter parts.
- You can never go wrong with a good white cream eye pencil, like NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk. This is my secret trick to getting those bright and vibrant eye shadows to pop.
- If you’re really picky, do some research online. Visit sites like BeautyLish, Ulta, or Sephora and read some product reviews.
- As far as brushes go, I started with several from E.L.F (available at Target) and have since graduated to Real Techniques brushes and some higher end brushes from Urban Decay, Sonya Kashik, and M.A.C.. It’s good to have a wide variety of brushes, especially if you’re really getting into makeup but having a basic set will do. For a basic set try this one from E.L.F. – 11 Piece Eye Brush Collection – it has all the ones that you’ll need when you’re just starting off.
- Do NOT buy your makeup from eBay! EVER! Especially if you find a really awesome deal on normally-expensive products – like the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. They are normally cheap knockoffs or are possibly expired.
- When applying your makeup, think about your lighting. I know that the previous sentence sounds really weird but lighting can make all the difference when it comes to makeup. If you have the option always go with natural, DIFFUSED light or daylight bulbs. Warm lights tend to play games with the actual coverage and tone of your foundation. I’ve had this happen especially when I was travelling and staying at a hotel… I go out thinking that my makeup is FABULOUS only to find that I look a little too, err, made up and caked on.
- Invest in a lighted mirror or some daylight light-bulbs for your bathroom or which ever room you get ready in. If you’re planning on taking pictures, light makeup can be washed away by the camera so plan on putting your makeup on a little heavier. Or just have a MUA do it, if you have the chance. Plus side, you’ll feel like a movie star.
- The “natural” look is deceiving. One of my biggest pet peeves is when guys say that they prefer girls who do the whole “natural look” because makeup just makes a girl look trashy and desperate. It sounds ridiculous but I’ve heard it way too many times than I can count. I’ve watched guys who look at a series of pictures going from girls who are completely made up, to the natural look, to no makeup at all and their reactions are all the same. They take one look at the no makeup look and they freak out a little inside, almost as if they were lied to.The key to achieving the “natural” look is matte everything. Matte eyeshadows, matte light pink blushes to add just a kiss of color, and a matte lipstick color. Keep your eye-shadows within the neutral color range, so that means no crazy bright colors. Also, natural looks are best achieved through seamless blending. [See #5] Oh and taupe eye-shadows are your friend. I have never met an eye color or skin tone that taupe doesn’t look great on!
- Keep your makeup symmetrical, even if your face is not. This is probably one of the harder things I have to deal with when I am applying my makeup. My face, like billions of others on the planet, is asymmetrical. My eye sockets are shaped a little differently and one of my eyes opens wider than the other. We all have little quirks about ourselves and we are at most times the worst critic when it comes to physical features. It’s probably not noticeable to anyone else, but I sure notice it, especially when I try to do my eye-shadows the exact same on both sides – and then it looks off because I didn’t compensate. The great thing about makeup is that it can help draw attention away from imperfections and bring out those qualities that you like best about your face.
- Practice! I don’t know anyone who became absolutely fantastic with makeup overnight. It will take time, practice, and a lot of learning mishaps to hone your skills but once you’re there, you’re set! It’s all about getting you comfortable with your face shape, brushes, and makeup. Personally, I am always learning different techniques and tricks to make my life easier. What used to take me an hour or so to do my makeup now only takes me 20-ish minutes, so I think that’s a win!
These will hopefully get you started on the right path towards being a whiz with your own makeup. Feel free to shoot us your questions over the next few weeks too. We really do enjoy hearing from you guys and we’ll always respond to your comments/emails/etc. Also, if you have any looks or tutorials that you’d like to see – shout out your suggestions to us here, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr. Oh! Speaking of Tumblr – we’ve got a special one just for teh makeups – GO CHECK IT OUT IF YOU’RE INTO THIS SORT OF THING!
Disclaimer: The products and companies that have been mentioned in this review have not sponsored this post in any way. The views mentioned above are solely that of the author.