Hi loves! Grab a snack or some bubbly because this is going to be a long one.
I am so excited to be writing this post because, if you asked me a few years ago, it’s something I never thought I would have the experience and knowledge to write. I wasn’t always a makeup enthusiast, in fact I started wearing makeup when I was about 19 or 20..and that wasn’t even a full face – just basic foundation, a little eyeliner, and some gloss. Ever since then, I began to do more and more research and spent countless hours watching beauty gurus on youtube and reading dozens of beauty blogs. A little over 5 years later, here I am ready to give beauty beginners some information I wish I had when I first started.
As I dove deeper into the beauty realm, many of my friends and family members would ask me questions about makeup – what foundation to use, what’s a highlighter, what’s the difference between matte and sheer, what do these products even do, etc. The fact that I was able to answer all their questions confidently made me realize it wouldn’t hurt to give my thoughts here on my blog.
This will be the first of a three-part series! As I mentioned above, this post will contain information on makeup products and what they are/do. The next series will do with the best places to shop for makeup, and the last part will do with specific product recommendations!
There are literally SO MANY beauty products out there that it can be incredibly confusing on what’s necessary for your needs. That’s what I hope to help you with today. I’ll be focusing on general products such as primers, foundation, highlight, etc. but if you’re interested in another post for specific product recommendations as well as the best places to shop, please let me know in the comments or send me an email, I love chatting with you all! firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a little infographic I made listing products and possible places to shop for makeup and skincare! I personally prefer shopping at Ulta because they have both drugstore and high end brands. Also, Ulta sends out more coupons than Sephora, and MOST importantly (to me) is that Ulta’s rewards system is my FAVORITE. Basically, you accumulate points for every $1 spent and can redeem those points on any of your purchases! I usually save up my points and spend them during the holiday season and end up receiving hundreds of dollars off my purchase! Sephora also has a rewards system, but it’s not my favorite. Points are earned the same way but are redeemed on deluxe size samples and sets – it’s great if you see a product you’ve been dying to try!
Let’s start with beauty tools and work our way to beauty products! I love beauty on a budget so I’ll incorporate a few products I was able to get an an amazing deal. PS: Almost everything below is in the order of which I apply makeup, you can totally experiment and find your own routine but this is one way to go about it!
*Note, this post may contain affiliate links.
Makeup brushes and beauty sponges are a must have!
My preference changes with the type of foundation and what my skin is that day. There have been times I opt for no foundation brush or sponge (I’ll use my fingers) but most days, I reach for a beauty sponge – I recommend Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponges. They’re affordable and the different shapes on the sponge works well for different areas on the face! Flat end for contouring, round end for blending out foundation, and precise tip for harder to reach areas like around your nose and blending out that under eye concealer!
As for makeup brushes, I would recommend getting a set of face and eye brushes – that way you’ll have a collective starter set! If you want to stick to an affordable and great quality brand, I’d say stick with Real Techniques, I have quite a few of their sets and individual brushes and love them all! Plus, they’re often BOGO half off at Ulta. If you’re okay with shopping online, Morphe and Sigma have great brushes as well! I’ll say – I have quite a few sets from Sigma, they often run sales and I was able to purchase a couple of my sets for 30%-40% off! I also have quite a few eye brushes from Morphe – their brushes are affordable and are very popular!
Primers are the base for foundation. They help with longevity as well as aid with certain problem areas such as large pores, acne, dry skin, etc. Some brands with great primers are Smashbox, Benefit, and Too Faced. Since primers serve as the base of your makeup, I do my best to use a quality one. It’s also important to remember what you want your primer to do – do you want it to only to keep your makeup on for a longer time or do you want it to combat oily skin, dry skin, minimize pores, etc. One last thing I’ll mention about primers are the Farsali Oils. I use both the Rose Gold Elixir and Unicorn Essence religiously morning and night and before I apply my makeup. In fact, I started using these as my primer about a month ago and haven’t touched another primer since!
Color correctors combat different issues around your face and allows your skin to be more even toned before applying foundation. Green combats redness, purple combats dull/yellow tones, peach combats signs of fatigue and work well for under the eyes for light and medium skin tones, if you have a deeper skin tone – try orange, and yellow hides purples and blues and works well for any bruising you may have. I personally use peach and green color correctors the most.
Color correctors come in the forms of powders, cream, and liquids. I personally prefer liquid and cream because I have dry, flakey skin in the areas I color correct. NYX has affordable color correctors in all three formulas. I enjoyed using Makeup Revolution’s Color Correcting Palettes – the Camouflage one is my favorite of the three.
Foundation is probably the most popular product applied all over the face. It covers imperfections and comes in light, light to medium, medium, medium to full, and full coverage formulas. Depending on personal preference, many people reach for BB/CC Creams or Tinted Moisturizers instead. These three provide lighter coverage but are packed with skincare benefits.
BB Creams are basically a lighter version of foundation with a few added skincare benefits. CC Creams target certain issues like redness and are also lighter in coverage. Tinted Moisturizer is pretty much what it sounds like, a moisturizer with a bit of color to even out your skin tone.
I personally own a couple in each category because I like different types of coverage on different days and because I’m excessive LOL.
Concealer covers imperfections – acne scars, pimples, under eye circles, you name it! There are concealers with lighter coverage and some with full coverage. Some highly rated, popular ones are the Tarte Shape Tape, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, and Maybelline Age Rewind.
Contouring defines your features by using a matte powder or cream a shade or two darker than your skin tone. I absolutely love the Kat Von D Contour Kit as well as the Anastasia Beverly Hills Cream Contour Kit.
Blush is used to emphasize cheekbones with color such as red, pink, coral, burgundy, etc. Although there are liquid and cream blushes on the market, powder ones seem to be the most popular. I feel like there are so many great ones out there, a couple of the ones I reach for the most are from Tarte and Mac.
Bronzer adds warmth to your face to provide an instant sun kissed glow. Physicians Formula seems to be a popular choice in the beauty community – I have a couple and adore them!
Highlighters accentuates your features and provides a beautiful glow. You can use them on top of your cheekbones, brow bone, nose, cupids bow, and more. Powder and liquid formulas tend to give a bigger pop of highlight whereas cream formulas look more natural. Becca is a really popular brand when it comes to highlighters, they have a variety of shades in all three finishes. You can’t go wrong with them!
Setting powder is a must after applying concealer and finishing up your makeup. You can get one that’s translucent or you can grab one that matches your skin tone. RCMA No Color Powder is a favorite amongst many and incredibly affordable – one bottle will probably last you a lifetime!
Setting spray is used once you’ve finished your entire makeup look. Think of it as a top coat – it sets everything in place increases longevity. Like primers, there are different setting sprays for different needs. Urban Decay and NYX are great but I’ve been reaching for a few by Pixi by Petra – they make several different kinds but my favorites are their glow, vitamin C, and hydration mists.
Many people use concealer under and over their brow to define the shape, and some also use concealer as an eye base rather than using an eye primer.
Pencils, gels, pomades – take your pick! I’m more of a pencil and gel gal myself. Either way, all three will help enhance your brows. Everyone’s favorite seems to be Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz – you can’t go wrong with it. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, try NYX, Essence, and ColourPop!
A primer for the eyes is a must to increase the longevity of your stunning eye makeup. If you’re going to be using glitter, you’ll want to add glitter glue to your collection too!
Eyeshadows can come in palettes and single pans that you can add to magnetic palettes. You can’t go wrong with adding an Urban Decay Naked palette to your collection! If you’re looking for something affordable, try ColourPop, Wet N Wild, and Maybelline.
Eyeliner is gives your eyes definition by using it in your waterline and on your lash line. There are liquids, pencils, and gel liners. I personally like to use gel or liquids on my lash line, especially and pencils for my waterline.
Falsies come in full volume looks as well as natural finishes. You can get them in synthetics, human hair, fringe, mink, etc.
Mascara is used to provide a natural boost of volume and length to your lashes. There are dozens of different formulas for different finishes. As much as I love some high end mascaras, I almost always reach for my drugstore ones, in fact – Loreal’s Voluminous Lash Paradise is all the rage right now!
A good ol’ scrub is great to prep your lips before you go in with a lip color, especially if you’re planning to use a matte formula. This is something you can totally DIY but there are plenty of great ones on the market too!
If you’re not into using lipsticks or gloss, there are tons of tinted lip balms out there that will give you a beautiful, moisturized look! Tarte has some really great ones!
Think of lip liners as a primer to your lipstick. Like what I said about mascaras, I prefer drugstore liners to high end. NYX and Essence are my go to’s for lip liners. They’re affordable and have great formulas!
Are you a matte, sheer, metallic, gloss, satin, sheer, or pearl gal (or guy!)? The possibilities are endless with these! Drugstore, high end, luxury, or indie – you’ll find gems everywhere!
My oh my – we covered a lot of information in this post! I hope you enjoyed it, I’ll have part two to this series very soon. Don’t forget to leave a comment below and use the share buttons below to send this to someone who would find this helpful!