When I say new to makeup, I meant anything from the twelve year old who's school allows visible makeup this year, to the thirty year old who has never worn makeup but is interested in learning. You can learn how to apply makeup at any age, and you are never too old. The thing that shocks me is not how many grown women don't know how to apply makeup, but how many of them are embarassed to ask. Applying makeup is not some inherit skill that you were born with (unless you actually are a makeup artist by trade; and even some of the people that do makeup had to learn it, it didn't come naturally). It's not like learning to walk or remembering to eat. It's something you learn, and if no one ever shows you, you may not know how.
I spend a lot of time teaching people about makeup. Whether s/he is brand new to makeup, or just struggling to get her eyeliner to stay on like how it seems to stay on everyone else, I really have seen almost everything. I've taught transgendered girls how to make their faces more feminine, and I've taught forty year old women how to look pretty and polished before re-entering the dating world or starting a new career. I will rarely say that there are rules in makeup, but if there are, these are five things I would tell you to follow.
1. Be comfortable wearing less. When you start wearing makeup, each thing you wear is going to be scary and new, and dramatically change how you view your own face. The trap that many men and women fall into is they go straight into wearing a Kardashian inspired contour and smoky eye. The do faded brows and big, bold lips. They were full coverage foundation with the most matte finish they can manage. Then they suddenly feel naked without all of those things. The first time a makeup artist puts foundation and concealer on you and maybe a natural eye look, you are already going to feel like you have a TON of crap on your face and you're going to be a little thrown off. That is okay. And it's also okay to say, "This is what I wanted, and I don't want anything else on my face." Anyone who pushes you to contour or tries to make you wear anything you aren't comfortable with isn't worried about what you want. THAT SAID: I am notorious for asking a client to try one new fun thing. I never pressure anyone to buy anything, ever, and I just want people to be comfortable stepping outside of the box. I will probably ask you to wear the scary new thing out of the store and get used to seeing it, but I would NEVER try to pressure you into wearing something you are just not comfortable in everyday; this does the opposite of what we are trying to do, and that is make you confident in your skin. And if you aren't comfortable in it, you aren't going to use it. If you aren't going to use it, don't buy it. It will still be there later when you do have the urge to try something new.
2. Use primers, for eyes, for face, etc. And before you use primers, use moisturizers. Basically, what I'm trying to say is your face is a canvas and if you don't prepare it properly, nothing you put on top can look it's best. Primers may seem like a gimmick and an extra step you just don't want to do, but you absolutely should. If you don't want to do a bunch of extra steps, and hate moisturizer, use a product like Murad's Invisiblur. It isn't super hydrating, but it does have hyuluronic acid to hydrate, smoothing silicone, and SPF 30. Also, your primers and skincare don't need to be expensive, but you absolutely should use them. In a perfect world, we would buy based on quality, and some of the cheaper stuff can be decent quality, but I also know that we can't all afford an $80 face cream and a $40 primer. I am going to try to touch on these more on my youtube. But as I'll say in the next rule, don't go cheap on your face. Cheap eye shadow can be an awesome way to try new colors and a $2 lipstick can change your world, but cheaping out on your complexion can cause breakouts and rashes, and those can cause permanent scars and discoloration.
3. Don't use cheap foundation. I don't even necessarily mean price tag wise, either. There are certain ingredients that are used in cosmetics because they are cheap, work as filler to the formula, and aren't necessarily detrimental. However, those same ingredients are known to be skin irritants and can cause you to break out. When you start getting into makeup and you want to use high end stuff, start with one thing to focus on, and I highly suggest that thing be complexion. If you can lay down the foundation for a great face, everything else will go smoothly. Ingredient to avoid in your foundations are mineral oil, talc, alcohol (it will be on the list, but shouldn't be high), fragrance, and if you don't have a good skincare routine, be careful getting waterproof makeup because it has to be removed with oil based cleansers or cleansers specifically for waterproof makeup. If you are trying to keep your makeup clean and green, also try to avoid gluten, parabens and any other ingredients that sound less like a makeup ingredient and more like a chemical. That said, when it doubt, google it! We are part of an age of technology and your smart phone literally puts the world in the palm of your hand!
4. Remove your makeup, then cleanse. These goes along with using waterproof products, and makeup in general. What we don't realize is that most cleansers do NOT remove makeup. I am going to repeat that for emphasis; most cleansers do NOT remove makeup. They are strictly designed to cleanse the skin, maybe to balance the PH, or exfoliate; but unless they specifically say they will remove your makeup, they won't. There are plenty of cleansers on the market that will take off your makeup and wash your face, but they aren't as common as the manufacturers would have you believe. And the ones that do? I recommend double cleansing. Double cleansing is traditionally done with an oil based product first, followed by something a little bit more "squeaky clean" to actually cleanse the skin. That said, if you hate the idea of an oil, or only want to use one product, then use a cleanser that removes makeup, and use it twice. I will tell you though, oil based cleansers are life changing when you find one that works great with your skin. I'm combination oily, and Boscia's Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil changed my life. I have found others that I like since then, but that was the first one that made me re-evaluate how I feel about oil cleansers.
5. Tools don't have to be expensive, they just have to work. I have a huge array of brushes, and have spent plenty of time in the youtube world being told what brushes are OMG MUST HAAAAVES. I have tried everything from $1 brushes from ELF, to $50+ brushes from high end labels. What I have found is that a brush that works, works. It doesn't care about it's price tag. If you want to buy a set of brushes, I highly recommend looking for unbiased reviews of brush sets. In a perfect world, youtube gurus would honestly review every single product they are sent, and some do. I am one of those. You can tell who is objectively reviewing the products based off of what they say. Yes, we want soft brushes, but are they so soft that they don't blend products well? How do they compare to a brush that is the same shape from another brand? It's great that they're pretty, but what else? Really listen to what the reviews are saying. Most of my brush collection is Real Techniques, Eco Tools, Sephora brand, and a handful of other brush brands; with those "other" brush brands, they may have one brush that is so unique and necessary that I'm willing to pay extra for it, but don't feel that way about the rest of their line. For those just starting out, of course you can start with cheap ELF brushes; I certainly did. This gives you a chance to really find what brush shapes and styles you use before you splurge on something that should last you for years to come. Also, because if no one tells you, you'll never know: natural hair brushes are only for powders. You should not use them with any sort of liquid or cream product. I have a few random natural hair brushes, but due to my cruelty free stance on cosmetics, most of my brushes are synthetic. If you want to go all synthetic, you certainly can. The reason why synthetic brushes have limitations is that any synthetic brush that lacks texture can't properly distrubute powder products. Makeup Forever created a unique "wavy" bristle type to combat this issue, and maybe other brands that focus on vegan or synthetic brushes have long since solved this issue. Again, Real Techniques is one of those brands that has mastered the synthetic brush.
And the golden rule: HAVE FUN! Makeup should be fun and the only way you can do it wrong is when you stop enjoying what it does for your life.
And if I can say anything else: tell each other when you have lipstick on your teeth! Tell your friend when her mascara has magically smudged down her cheeks. Tell that stranger that oh no, she's bumped her lipstick and smudged it onto her chin. If you would want someone to tell you, TELL HER/HIM! It's not only polite, it's just the right thing to do! <3 Be kind to each other.