For many women, applying makeup can be a challenge because they have never been taught the basics, or the techniques they currently use have been taught to them by friends or passed down from their mothers. For some, makeup is simply a matter of trial and error. While fashion magazines are full of makeup tips, they are tips that may not apply to every woman. Here are some basic makeup tips that can benefit every woman of every age:
1. Prepping the canvas. Just as an artist prepares the canvas before painting, a face should be prepped before a makeup application. While most women know to cleanse and moisturize before applying makeup, it is important to keep a few things in mind. Pre-makeup cleansing should be gentle. If the skin is irritated, applying makeup may only worsen the condition. For this reason, it may be a good idea to skip the exfoliation. My general rule is, do not apply makeup to skin that is red. Wait for the redness to subside before continuing your makeup application.
2. Apply makeup in the following order to ensure the smoothest finish: concealer, foundation, powder, blush, and then eye and lip color. Foundation should be applied in upward stokes, and powder and blush should be applied in downward strokes. This will ensure that the lanugo hair (that light downy fuzz that covers the face) is laying flat and smooth. Be sure to apply foundation to the eyelids, especially if you are older. The skin gets thinner with age, so foundation will result in a more youthful appearance.
3. Do not stop at the chin. We’ve all seen women whose face appears to be one color, while their neck appears to be a different color. Always blend the makeup so there is no delineation between the face and the neck.
4. When working with an eyebrow pencil, never pencil in a horizontal line. It looks more natural to use the pencil in short, light vertical strokes.
5. You can increase the vibrancy of powder eyeshadow by mixing it with a drop of moisturizer or a dab of petroleum jelly.
6. Blush, while not as popular as it once was, is still a staple in many womens makeup routines. Unfortunately, it is almost always applied to the wrong part of the cheek. Blush should be applied to the “apple” of the cheek only. If you are unsure where this is, imagine being punched in the face. The area where the bruise would be is the apple of the cheek.
7. Use a lip brush to apply lipstick. This not only allows you to have much greater precision, but you will use much less product, thereby saving money. This method is also more sanitary, since your skin is not coming into contact with your tube of lipstick.
8. If you are African-American, mineral makeup can make your skin look ashy. Avoid mineral makeup altogether, or test a product before you buy it.
9. Easy on the eyeliner. Just because they make it, doesn’t mean you have to use it. There are many women who end up looking like raccoons because they go overboard with eyeliner and mascara. It is not necessary to apply eyeliner to both the top and bottom of the eye, and sometimes it isn’t even necessary to apply eyeliner from corner to corner of the eye.
10. If you want to make your eyes appear farther apart, apply eyeliner from the outside corner of the eye to the middle of the eye. If you want to make your eyes appear closer together, apply eyeliner from the inside corner of the eye to the middle of the eye.