Makeup 101: The Basics

Many students feel a little more comfortable in their skin with a bit of makeup on. There is something about outlining our most beautiful facial features that gives us a confidence boost to take on the day. When makeup browsing, it is important to know that not all products are created equal. It is necessary to look for what works best for not only your skin type, but also eye and hair color when investigating what products are going to create a flawless look. Once you have identified a flattering shade, it is time to master the application. The goal for the beginner should be to achieve a barely-there or minimal makeup look, especially in the morning before class. Add more product as day turns to night, but always start off the basics.

Photo on left via
Photo on left via

There is nothing more frightening than waking up, looking into the mirror, and seeing evidence in the form of dark eye circles that you stayed up too late . Concealer can hide just about anything, so don’t be afraid to use it on any problem areas such as blemishes or redness. To apply, use your finger or a concealer brush to stipple the product onto your problem area in a blotting motion. Concealer is wonderful because you can use as much or as little as you need. Just be sure that the shade matches your skin tone, otherwise it may appear too light or too dark. The most important thing to remember when applying concealer is to always apply it before any additional foundation or facial powder; this way, the concealer is blended well and disguised to achieve the most natural look possible. Two amazing and low cost concealer’s include E.L.F’s HD Lifting Concealer available online for $3, and Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind available for 7.99.

Photo on left via
Photo on left via

The easiest and most effective product to make your eyes look fresh and awake is mascara. Mascara is fairly easy to apply, regardless of makeup experience level. When looking for the right one, a waterproof formula is best, and ensures that lashes will not budge in the rain or at the gym. To apply, coat lashes in slow and steady strokes, wiggling the applicator at the base of the lashes and dragging up to the tips. For added intensity, go back in and add a second coat after the first coat is mostly dry. Try testing out different colored mascaras such as blue or brown, especially if you have light colored eyes. Next time you pass your nearest beauty store, take a look at L’Oreal’s Voluminous Butterfly Mascara for only $9!

Photo on left via
Photo on left via

To balance out the eye area, it never hurts to have a little glow on your cheeks. Blush is an amazing way to add vibrancy to your complexion without caking on the bronzer. Both cream and powder formulas are efficient, so try testing out both to see which looks best on your skin. If you have dry skin, cream blush will create a dewey finish that gives your skin a hydrated appearance. To apply, put the product on a compact kabuki brush, and apply from the apples of your cheeks in an upwards diagonal motion to the very edge of your cheekbones in a swirling motion. A great tip to make sure you are beginning and ending in the correct place is to smile with your mouth closed while you are applying the product, the apple of your cheek begins right beneath your eye and ends somewhere around your hairline. Be sure to blend the product well. If you are have a hard time deciding on which blush to purchase, going with Nars Cream Blush collection, available at Bloomingdales for $30. Although it is more expensive than some products, a single purchase can last nearly six months.

Best of luck in your beauty endeavors, and whether you are a beginner or an expert, there is always more to learn about how to master makeup products. Be daring and step out of your comfort zone, and edge up your next look with the addition of winter trends such as deep red lip for an extra pop of color.


Hannah Alexander is a contributing writer. Email her at 

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