We love an Instagram filtered makeup look as much as the next girl, but the filters will only take you so far. Knowing the fundamentals will help you go from frump to fab in no time! These steps will help enhance your basic makeup routine for a flawless every day look, with hacks to take you from office to date night in just a few simple steps. Sooo…last weekend, we had a 90-minute Makeup 101 Workshop! Erica, one of the Just Blow It owners, broke down the beauty essentials AND went even further into 101 territory by teaching some life-changing tricks of the trade. In case you missed it, we’ve decided to re-cap this wealth of knowledge in an effort to make the City Beautiful just a little more beautiful.
Step 1 Prep
To achieve a flawless finish with your makeup, you HAVE to start with a clean canvas. Fresh, prepped skin is the key to the perfect look. You may be saying to yourself “duh!” but seriously, hear us out. Our skin’s natural oils, environmental impurities, dead cells, and old product are just a few of the things we may find on our face at any given time. All of these have an effect on how products ultimately show up on our skin. So step 1- find a cleanser that suits your skin best and use it religiously. Step 1.5- moisturize! What good is clean skin if it’s dry as a desert? Choose a moisturizer that works with your skin type. Your moisturizer will also serve a barrier to protect against aging, UV rays (choose one with SPF in it), other environmental hazards, and from products themselves. Apply moisturizer with your fingers using circular upward motions. Make sure you get your neck and under your eyes too!
- For oily skin, use an oil-free moisturizer or serum.
- For dry skin, use a heavy moisturizer with a cream or oil-base.
Step 2 Prime
Give your skin a couple seconds for the moisturizer to sink in before applying primer. There are a variety of priming products out there, but their prime purpose (pun intended) is the same— allows for makeup to go on smoother and last longer. Whether you’re a beginner to makeup or a beauty guru, a good primer is a MUST. A primer smooths fine lines, wrinkles, and fills in pores. There are also color correcting primers available that help out with evening out your skin tone. Apply with your fingers in the same manner as you did moisturizer and allow for primer to set onto the skin.
- For oily skin, try using a matte primer.
- For dry skin, use a creamy, hydrating primer.
Step 3 Eyes
From here, the order of your makeup steps is personal preference. We like to skip to eye makeup at this point due to the inevitable pigment falloff we get from applying eyeshadow. Just as we did with the face, we want to prime our eyelids with an eye primer or creamer concealer. The purpose of this step is to conceal any uneven pigment, discoloration, broken capillaries, etc. This step will also allow for your eyeshadow to appear more pigmented and last longer. Blend the primer/concealer with your finger or a damp beauty blender. Next, we set the cream base (primer/concealer) with a skin colored eyeshadow. Use a fluffy blending brush (nothing tapered or compact). Apply the skin colored eye shadow across the entire lid. Now, we are ready for color and as much or as little drama as we can bear, but today, we’re going for a neutral day look. With the same fluffy brush, choose a light-medium brown shadow, tap off the excess product, and apply it to the crease of the eye in circular/windshield wiper motions. Continue the circular motions until the color is fully blended across the crease of the eye. Be sure there are no harsh lines or blotches of color left. Using the same fluffy brush, choose a medium to dark brown shadow, tap off the excess product, and apply it to the same area (eye crease) in the same manner (circular and windshield wiper, back and forth motions). With a more flat, tapered brush apply the original skin colored shadow to the lower lid (below the crease). Voila! You have a neutral every-day smokey eye with dimension that awakens the eye.
You can use endless color combos as long as you keep the basic strategy the same:
- Use a neutral color as a base on your eye lid
- Use a deeper color in your creases, creating dimension (and smokiness) to your eye
Step 4 Eyeliner
Eyeliner is all about defining and making the shape of your eyes pop! In our makeup 101 guide, we suggest you simply line your lower lash line with a eye pencil to and, to make your eyelashes look fuller, frame your upper waterline. Easy breezy. For a more dramatic, winged-look, check out our Smokey Eye Workshop
- Use a brown liner for a more natural look
- Use a black liner for a more dramatic look
Step 5 Mascara
Apply mascara starting at the root of your lashes. Place the spoolie brush at the base of your lashes and work upwards using a left to right rocking motion as you go up the lashes. Repeat and apply at least 2 coats. The most dramatic before and after makeovers include false lashes. They really help the whole look come together. For more information on how to apply false lashes, check out our Smokey Eye Workshop.
Step 6 Brows
Your eyebrows play a really important part in your face shape. Keep your brows well-groomed by brushing them up and outward with a clean spoolie brush and cut long, stray hairs to suit your desired brow shape. Filling in your brows will allow for a more defined, clean shape and more put-together look. These products are available in creams, gels, powders, and pencils. Choosing the type of product is personal preference, but for our makeup 101 guide we recommend an eyebrow pencil. Grab a color similar to the shade of your hair color (we recommend you never use black, even if your hair is black, it is simply too harsh for the face). Use light, small strokes similar to your brow hairs. Fill in sparse areas and accentuate the arch (usually above the iris of the eye).
Step 7 Foundation
At this point, you may have had some eyeshadow pigment fall onto your cheekbones or under eyes. That is totally fine and why we did the eyes first! Use a makeup wipe to clean under the eye in an upwards motion towards the temple, and now you are ready for foundation! This step will bring the whole look together and help your skin look flawless. It will conceal blemishes and even out your skin tone. The most important thing to consider when choosing a foundation is the coverage you are looking for. For a lighter coverage, you can use a tinted moisturizer or BB/CC cream. For heavier coverage, you can use a liquid foundation. To apply, dot the foundation all over your face and then use a damp beauty blender to blend the rest of the foundation into the skin. Be sure to blend into your hairline and down the jawline. You can also use your hands or a foundation brush (compacted brush).
- For oily skin, use a matte foundation
- For dry skin, use a hydrating foundation
Step 8 Concealer
Take your look to the next level with concealer! Use a cream concealer to hide any blemishes, discoloration, or dark circles from under your eyes. When choosing a concealer color, stick to a color that is two shades lighter than your skin tone. Apply using product applicator, your fingers, or a flat tapered brush. Focus under the eyes and apply in an upside down triangle brightening up the area. Apply concealer to the bridge of the nose, center of the forehead (upside down triangle in between the eyebrows), cupids bow (the dip above your top lip), and the chin (upside down triangle at the chin). Blend the concealer in with a damp beauty blender. Be sure not to drag the product with the beauty blender, simply dab until blending. Dragging will move the product from the area you strategically placed it.
Step 9 Contour
Now it is time to add some color back to your face! Contouring will help chisel your face to the desired shape (usually an oval), adding depth and warmth to your face. Cream contour is simply a dark colored concealer so when choosing a contour color, stick to a color that is two shades darker than your skin tone. Apply to your temples and up the hairline towards the middle of the forehead stopping near the mid-brow area and under the jawline starting from behind the bottom of the ear towards the chin stopping just before the lip area begins, the sides of the bridge of your nose, and a small horizontal line at the tip of your nose. Finally, apply under the cheekbones starting at the top of the ear down to a 45-degree angle stopping under the iris of the eye. Blend the product in by dabbing with a damp beauty blender until all harsh lines are dissolved. (*note: contouring techniques can vary from person to person based on current face shape and desired face shape, but we have found the techniques mentioned above are a great place to start until you find your preferences).
Step 10 Set
FREEZE! We don’t want all the cream to melt off our face, so the next step is important: set your face with a translucent loose powder. Be sure to focus under the eyes to eliminate creasing. Use a big fluffy round brush and apply in circular motions all over your face.
Step 11 Blush
The product that adds life back to your features—blush! Choose your favorite color rouge, smile, and apply to the apples of your cheeks. Use a medium fluffy round brush and blend using circular motions moving out towards back towards the hairline.
Step 10 Highlighter
Highlighter– our personal BFF. This product aims to highlight the best parts of your face. Apply onto the high points of your face, where the sun/light naturally hits it: the tops of your cheekbones, middle of your forehead (between your eyebrows), bridge of your nose, tip of your nose, cupids bow and chin. Use a small fluffy round brush, and blend using circular motions. Don’t like the shimmer? Choose a matte highlighter for all the brightness, without the sparkle.
- For darker skin tones, use deeper gold highlighters
- For lighter skin tones, use lighter, icy highlighters
Step 12 Lips
Bold or natural? You choose! Our personal favorite is a matte liquid lip color due to its stay-all-day nature. However, this formula does tend to be dry and accentuate already dry cracked lips, so try a lip exfoliator prior to applying. Trace the shape of your lips using the applicator and fill in the rest and repeat. YOU DID IT!
You look gorgeous, and the best part is that you did it on your own—you took your image into your own hands and you did it. Play with these techniques, photograph yourself, and see what you like best. There is no right or wrong to makeup. In the end, it is an artistic form of self-expression and everyone’s interpretation of it is different, but these steps will help you get started. Now, practice, practice, practice! Drop us a line and let us know how your journey is going!