Makeup For Beginners: Five Things You Need To Know Before You Start

If you want to start using makeup but don't know how, here are some things you might want to keep in mind

By Camillia Dass

February 5 2019

I started getting into makeup pretty late.

I was never one of those girls who were into experimenting with their mom’s makeup. I thought lipgloss tasted weird (kid ones really do taste gross). I felt weird with foundation and I couldn’t really be bothered to take the time to learn.

However, when I was 18, I started getting into makeup videos and that led to me trying to experiment very slowly. I started with simple lipsticks and concealers and then moved on to a full face of makeup when my mom got me a basic starter kit for one of my birthdays.

Its been four years since then and I can’t say I’m a pro but I certainly have learnt a lot from watching my makeup routine evolve (and from spending an incredible amount of time in Sephora).

So if you’re new to makeup, here are five things that you need to know before you start:

1. Have a proper skin care routine

Before you start experimenting with makeup, make sure that you have a solid skin care routine set in place.

Makeup, even the best and most lightweight ones, do clog up your pores. When not removed properly, it can damage your skin by causing breakouts and a build up of bacteria. So make sure that you have a skin care routine and that you make the effort to follow through with it.

In particular, make sure that you invest in a good cleanser and makeup remover that is suitable for your skin type.

The healthier your skin, the better makeup looks on you because you don’t have to pile on a lot to cover up perceived faults.

This brings me to my next point.

2. Less is always more

I really wish someone had told me this when I first started doing my makeup.

When I was younger, I believed that I needed a lot of makeup because I watched a lot of makeup artists on YouTube and they always had very elaborate makeup on.

However, as I grew older, I started to really favour the natural makeup look rather then having a full face of makeup. This is though, a personal choice and if you choose to go for elaborate makeup, that’s okay too.

Now, I’ve stopped using foundations, opting instead for only a small amount of concealer for any problem spots and then a light powder on top of that to give my face a smoother look.

I’ve also stopped wasting time trying to contour or to use bronzers. While they are fun to do and fun to experiment with, I personally feel that it is unnecessary. Instead, I take some blusher along the apples of my cheeks to highlight them.

Less makeup also means less clogging of your pores and a higher confidence level. Everyday makeup should enhance your features. Not completely change how you look.

3. Get the right brushes

I can’t emphasise this enough. When I first started doing my makeup, I didn't understand the necessity of having five different brushes and I used one foundation brush for everything. Yes. Everything. Feel free to cringe.

As I learnt more though, I invested in a full basic brush set and very quickly saw what a huge difference it made. Different brushes work best for different things and can really make the application process smoother and faster.

Now admittedly brushes can be very expensive. However, with a bit of research, you can easily find a brush set that will suit your budget.

Don’t forget to read reviews on the brushes you are buying or to test them out yourself first because everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to makeup brushes.

4. Expensive does not mean better

It’s natural to assume that expensive means better but that’s not entirely true when it comes to makeup as I have learnt through the hours spent at Sephora. As with many things, you are largely paying for the brand.

When you are starting out, I recommend going for cheaper brands such as Revlon or Maybelline. They are just as good (sometimes even better) but go for almost half the price of bigger name brands like Benefit or Fenty.

For example, I have a red MAC lipstick and a red Maybelline one which was about half the price of the MAC. Surprisingly, the Maybelline is so much better despite it being almost the same shade as the MAC one.

Cheaper brands give you more room for trial and error. When you buy something really expensive, you may find that you don’t like it or that it’s not right for you but you can’t exactly return it.

So opt for cheaper brands so that you can explore and experiment more. Once you’ve established which colours or items you really love, you can invest more in them.

5. Find the right shade

Finding the right shade is crucial to creating a flawless makeup look.

When I first started, I didn't realise that our skin has undertones which can affect the colour foundation or concealer we use. I also didn't realise that we need different shades of concealers depending on what we are trying to conceal.

So a good thing to do is to ask someone at a makeup store to match you and to give you the perfect foundation or concealer that will brighten your face and give you a natural look.

The worst makeup mistake you can make is getting the wrong shade.

If you’re new to makeup, remember that almost everything is trial and error. There are loads of interesting techniques you can use and eventually, you will develop your own way of doing things.

No matter what, just remember to enjoy yourself and never let anyone make you feel like makeup is a requirement.