Hi Renee! You’ll probably think I’m a late starter because I’ll be 17 this year and yet I don’t know a single thing about makeup. Which is why I decided to write an email about this. I’ve never used makeup. I occasionally use face powder but that happens very rarely. This year though, I want to start using makeup but I have no idea where to start. Should I buy a good foundation or powder? What would you suggest? Where should I start? – Khansa
Seventeen is not late at all! Whenever you feel you are ready to wear makeup – that’s the best age. :) I know that when I started to wear makeup, I was so overwhelmed by everything and didn’t know where to start. Here I write the “order” in which I personally started, and perhaps can be a guideline for you too.
Makeup for Beginners
So makeup is pretty simple, it’s broken down to the following parts:
- Face: Coverage makeup such as foundation, concealer, powders, BB Creams, etc.
- Eyes: Products such as eyeliner, eyeshadow, eyebrow pencils, mascara
- Lips: Lipgloss, lipstick, lip stains, etc
- Cheeks: Blush, bronzer, highlighters, etc.
For a beginner I think you really only need the very basics. I mean, can you imagine one day not wearing any makeup, and then the next day you have a full face on? Yikes! What I did when I first started wearing it was to slowly start trying each product, seeing what I liked, and then took it from there.
I started with eye makeup because that seemed to be the most “exciting”! Well, at least it was for me – I remember I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some eyeliner! However, eyeliner may be too much right at the beginning, so for the eyes, you can start off with mascara (as I did!). My first mascara ever was from MAC, but if that’s out of your price range, I love the mascaras from The Body Shop and Bourjois as well. For tips on how to apply mascara, check out my posts, Simple Mascara Tricks.
Only if you want, then just grab some eyeshadow and eyeliner for more “special” occasions. If you really want to go all out and experiment with eye makeup (it is the most fun, in my opinion!) some products I really love that you can check out are listed here.
After I started wearing a bit of mascara, within a few months I wanted to wear more makeup! That, and my dreaded teen acne started, so I desperately was looking for something to cover up all my blemishes, and even out my skintone, so “base” makeup was next for me.
Foundation comes in various forms, from pressed powders, liquid formulas, stick formulas – you name it. Since you’re a beginner though, I would recommend starting with a tinted moisturizer or a BB Cream, to get you used to the feeling (and application)… and to be honest I prefer those over good old foundation – foundation is just too thick for my liking. But experiment at the shops to see what you like best. I would recommend the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturzer (very pricy, but it’s AMAZING) and Bobbi Brown’s BB Cream. If you’re looking for drugstore versions, there is Pure Beauty’s Jasmine Water BB Cream which I liked, as well as a CC Cream by Rachel K.
For concealer – this is where you must do some experimenting! I would actually only recommend concealer if you feel you need it – if you have dark eye circles or a bit of blemishes, then grab one. If not, leave your skin free! I would recommend just going and trying whatever feels right, though I LOVE Laura Mercier’s Secret Concealer, Benefit’s Boi-ing and Clinique’s Derma Blend Stick Concealer. When I was starting out however, I bought some from the drugstore – Maybelline, Bourjois, you name it – and worked my way from there.
As for powder, if your skin is really good, skip it, or get a really “light” one like a translucent powder. I use one by Aubrey Organics. It doesn’t have any color and hardly looks like anything, but it just “sets” the base makeup and prevents your skin from getting too oily.
So, conclusion: I personally feel that as a teen, you really don’t need to paint your face with so much “base” makeup (actually, make that at any age!). I just feel it looks too fake, and as a teen you are already so natural and pretty, so you should be enhancing that, not covering it up! So I’d seriously jst recommend a tinted moisturizer and leave it as that. If you have a problem with acne and blemishes, on top of a tinted moisturizer, a concealer topped off with powder will cover those suckers up!
For cheeks, invest in a pretty blush! If you have fair skin, a pink/peach would look great, but if you have tanned skin, oh my goodness please get a dusty rose color! Tanned skins look AMAZING in them. If your skin is darker, I too recommend a dusty rose or even a plum color would look lovely!
Personally, I was never a big fan of blush when I first started out (I have only realized the importance of it recently) so I usually skipped it. I did, however get a bronzer which was nice for days when I needed a little color. Blush can be a bit tricky though – I could never get my cheeks looking “even” in the beginning! – so check out my post How to Apply Blush for more help.
For lips – I think it’s quite simple! :) Go around and check out colors you like and just wear them!
I hope my tips have helped some of the newbies to makeup. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below, and for those who are experienced in makeup, please add in your tips as well! I’d love to hear them; and also – how old were you when you started wearing makeup, and how did you start?
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