beauty basics

“nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.” -sophia loren

welcome to my top 7 beauty basics post! i wanted to do this post because i have been in touch with so many amazing ladies who want the simple makeup facts: what are the must-have products, and what order do you use them in? please note that there are hardly any concrete “right’s” or “wrong’s” in makeup, (which is my fav part!), but these tips and tricks work best for me and in turn, i hope they prove to be helpful to you!! also, i’ve pictured some solid products in each makeup category, but you can always modify what i suggest and use something you currently own OR a different product that achieves the same result.


step by step

step 1: primer — primers are used to prep your skin for foundation application and extend the wear of your makeup. there are many different types of primers that can help you achieve the right look or complexion for your skin: smoothing, hydrating, color correcting, pore filling, blemish controlling. apply a primer after moisturizing and before using foundation. for best use, use only a pea sized drop of primer, and pat it into the skin focusing on the t-zone, forehead and cheek area.

step 2: foundation — foundation is used to give your skin the effect of an even tone tone, as well as to cancel out any discoloration or problem areas. there are so many foundations on the market ranging from drugstore to high end that it can seem overwhelming when finding one to meet your needs. my tip: think about your skin…is it oily, dry, combination, acne prone? do you suffer from hyper-pigmentation or redness? from there, you can decide on the coverage and type of foundation you want. coverage ranges from light (tinted moisturizer, BB cream, CC cream) to medium to full. type of foundations range from pressed powder, to cream, to liquid, to gel. also, be mindful of the finish you would like to achieve–dewy, satin, demi-matte, matte. choose a foundation shade that is most like the coloring of the back of your wrist/hand. faces are typically lighter in color because of all the washing and exfoliating we do. apply foundation to your skin 5 minutes after you’ve applied a primer. for best results, start off with a light base of product and continue to apply in layers until you’ve achieved the desire coverage. (for information about tools to apply your foundation with, check out my post).

step 3: concealer — concealer is used to conceal dark circles, blemishes, hyper-pigmentation, redness, and/or to brighten the appearance of the high points of the face. like foundations, concealers come in many different options. to select which type of concealer is right for you, think about what you’re trying to achieve: a brighter under eye, reduction in discoloration or redness, to cover a blemish, highlighting, etc. consistency of the concealer can determine how it covers on your skin so, typically the thicker a concealer is the more full-coverage it claims to be. conversely, if a concealer is thinner, you will probably receive a light coverage from it. (remember, this is a very vague statement and might not apply to every brand). you can also use concealer to “color correct”–if you’d like more info on this, please let me knowapply directly to your face in the areas you want to conceal or brighten. for best results, use tapping or dabbing motions when blending into the skin. do not rub! rubbing simply moves the product all over the surface of the face instead of allowing it to melt into the skin.

step 4: powder — powder is used to set your foundation or concealer, and can reduce the look of shine, or oil on the skin. some of us prefer to set our concealer with a different powder than our foundation, and that’s totally preference. using a yellow powder to set concealer gives off a brightening effect, which is trending right now. but, the most important part is to not forget to use some sort of powder because you do not want your foundation or concealer to crease or move. shine control powders are also very popular, and you don’t have to apply them all over your face. instead, concentrate the product on areas of your face that are oily. if you have drier skin, i caution you on the amount of powder you apply. cake faces are not on fleek, promise. apply powder to areas of your face that you want to “set” or areas that tend to be oily or shiny. for best results, swirl your powder brush in the product and tap the excess off. this will help you to not over apply!

step 5: bronzer — bronzer can be used to contour your face and/or add a warmth of color to the skin. you can choose between matte bronzers and shimmer bronzers. if you are contouring, please stick to a matte bronzer that is 2-3 shades deeper than your skin tone, but not orange. if you are just warming up your face, a shimmer bronzer is totally acceptable. i would not recommend a bronzer with glitter chunks in it at all, ever. to contour: apply bronzer to the hollows of your cheeks, the perimeter of your forehead, and neck line. then blend. for best results, gradually build up your contour color. regular bronzing: apply bronzer lightly to areas of the face that the sun would naturally hit–in the shape of a 3 (cheeks to temples to forehead). for best results, don’t start off strong with a lot of product, instead concentrate on making the skin look sun-kissed. you can always go back in to deepen certain areas up.

step 6: blush — blush is used to give the skin an added flush of color. the beauty of blushes is that you can choose to give your cheeks a natural glow, a deepened glow, or something in between. blushes come in matte and shimmer shades, and any color between nude and merlot that you could dream of. blushes can be cream, powder or gel consistency. apply blush to the cheeks using tapping and sweeping motions. sometimes applying blush correctly seems daunting so use this trick: place your first and second finger together–lay your fingers on your face so that the second finger is touching the outer corner of your nostril–start using your blush brush to place the product on the opposite side of your first finger working towards your ear. BASICALLY, make sure there is a 2in gap from your nose to your cheek when you apply. then tap into the skin, and sweep the remaining blush up towards your hairline. essentially, this is done in a triangular motion.

step 7: highlighter — highlighter is used to give that extra oomph of glow to the skin. this step is 100% optional! highlighters can be cream, gel, or powder and range in shades. the most important part of selecting the right highlighter is to stay away from sparkles and glitter. apply highlighter to the tops of the cheek bones, down the bridge of the nose and on the cupid’s bow. for best results, use a stippling brush because it will create an airbrushed effect versus a “swept on” look. i also use mac’s fix+ to intensify the glow of my highlighters. to do this, i spray one spritz on my stippling brush, dab it on my hand, then use it to pick up the product. tap tap tap the highlighter on the skin, and voila!

to sum it up

  • primer first, wait 5 mins for the skin to absorb
  • foundation, choose color/coverage/finish
  • concealer, use to brighten or conceal
  • powder, use to set your foundation/concealer
  • bronzer, use to contour or to give the face added warmth
  • blush, apply in tapping/sweeping motions to give a flush of color
  • highlighter, optional–gives added glow to the skin

products mentioned

  • urban decay pore perfecting complexion primer potion
  • l’oreal infallible demi-matte foundation in shell beige
  • younique touch skin perfecting concealer in scarlet
  • neutrogea shine control powder
  • nyx matte bronzer in medium
  • milani powder blush in romantic rose
  • colourpop highlighter in wisp

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