Product Selection – New to Makeup

No matter which style you’ll end up developing with makeup, you’ll need some products to help you get there. Here’s some ideas on where to start.

  1. Determine your budget.
    I’d recommend starting out pretty small. You don’t need to buy a full on makeup kit straight away. It’s never a good idea to waste money on a product that simply doesn’t work for you and it will take a while to figure out what really does and doesn’t work for you. Start out with some solid high quality drugstore products before you go diving into 70 dollar foundation or palettes with 20+ shadows in them.
    There’s plenty of “Favourite Drugstore” videos on youtube to help you learn what’s available. One of the best kajal pens I’ve ever had was a 2 dollar one from Essence.


2. Find Honest Youtubers
This is essentially me saying that you should find knowledgeable people to listen to when it comes to product reviews and tutorials. I’d also recommend finding more than one or two sources, especially when researching specific products. It’s important to know that there’s a lot of sponsorships and similar deals happening with makeup videos, not to mention reviewers that give everything glowing reviews because they want to be sent more products. Be realistic when listening to them. The one YouTuber I’d recommend above all others is Lisa Eldridge. She is a professional makeup artist who has worked in the industry for a long time, she knows what she’s talking about and has a large variety of videos.


3. List what you need.
As I said at the start of the post, you don’t need an entire makeup table straight away. A good selection of basic products can do wonders. Keep in mind that some products are more difficult to master than others. This is a part of finding honest YouTuber’s. Plenty of “beauty gurus” follow the logic that more products and more expensive products automatically means better makeup.
Here’s a suggestion for what to include in a basic makeup kit: Foundation or CC creme, mascara, lip balm, lipstick, and a setting powder.
Next step: neutral eyeshadow palette, pencil eyeliner, lipsticks/balms in a different colour, basic blush.

One of the simplest and most striking looks you can create is as simple as foundation and a red lipstick. By focusing on a limited number of products but learning how to master them, you’re already way ahead of a lot of people.


4. Get to know your skin.
You might already know if you have oily or dry skin, but you might not know things like your undertones or if you have any allergies to makeup. Test products carefully. There’s several guides online that can provide a good starting point to getting to know your skin. I’d probably recommend having a chat to a professional. Sometimes it’s as easy as going to a store like David Jones and ask a consultant or two for a good makeup brand what they’d recommend for your skin and your colour. Just don’t end up buying half the store because they recommended it. At the same time, don’t waste their time, so try to do this at a time when there’s not a lot of customers around and be open about the fact that you’re looking for input on what to buy at a later stage. If they’re good, they’ll spend some time with you in the hopes of developing a good relationship with you in the hopes that you’ll make them your go to place for makeup advice and products.

Also make note that skin changes as we age. You’ll go through several different stages in your life that will affect how your skin behaves. If you’re going through a stage where your hormones are acting up, no matter if it’s puberty, medical treatments, pregnancy, or the menopause, make sure to keep that in mind when you’re looking for products.
5. Ask people for tips.
Got a friend who always have amazing eyelashes? Ask what they’re wearing and how they applied it. Sometimes it’s helpful to ask others about things like your undertones or what kind of colours they think would look good on you. As with all advice, don’t follow it blindly. Perhaps try it out at home, but don’t wear something you hate because another person liked the idea.

This also includes product recommendations. I trade makeup and product tips with friends constantly, but keep in mind that they might have a different skin type or tone than mine.

6. Look beyond the brand.
Just like with clothing, the brand itself means very little. A product won’t automatically be good just because it has MAC written on it. Nor will a product be automatically bad because it’s cheap or from a “low status” brand. It is also important to remember that brands have strengths and weaknesses. I’ve found Bésame cosmetics to have some of the best lipsticks in the entire industry, but their eyeprodhcts just don’t work for me at all. Clio is one of my favourite Korean brands, one of their mascaras is the best I’ve tried, but their lipsticks seemed kinda meh too me.  There’s also plenty of indie brands that have amazing products for a fraction of the price of a high end brand.
Some YouTubers whose advice on products I have found particularly solid include: Zabrena, Lisa Eldridge (again), Biohazardous Beauty, and Victoria Donelda.

7. Give it a go.
You’ve done your research. The next step is simply to buy some products and give them a go. Give them more than one try when you do, sometimes it takes a while to learn how to work with a specific product. If you’re really anxious about trying out makeup, start with just a discrete cc creme in public, it’s very easy to pull them off and it won’t be a radical change to your look. Then include products gradually as you grow more confident.
Play around with makeup at home, it takes some experimenting to learn new things and by doing it when you have some spare time, you won’t have to stress or be stuck with a look you don’t like.

8. Look after your skin.
If you’ve never worn makeup before, your skin might be a bit surprised at all the new stuff that’s being put on your face. That’s one of the reasons why it’s a good idea to do things in stages and introduce new products gradually. This also gives you the opportunity to notice any allergic reactions (you’ll also know which product is causing it and thus you’ll be able to remove it easily). Develop a basic skincare routine if you don’t have one already. Makeup remover wipes, a gentle cleanser, a toner, and a moisturiser is everything you need for a basic skin care routine and it won’t take more than three minutes to apply it. Like any form of painting, makeup looks better on a good canvas.
Protect your skin with SPF and it will pay off in the long run. It’s no different from brushing your teeth, effort now means saving you pain and money in the long run.


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