I’ve been thinking about this post for some time now, I see it all over the place – how to start a makeup collection with most of them being geared towards the younger demographic, but I wanted to write about how adults can dive into makeup. Now at 25 I still barely consider myself an adult, but in the eyes of the law and according to my taxes, ya girl is an adult, so I guess I do have something to add to this demographic after all.
I want this post to be more conversation and suggestions to really starting a makeup collection. I was in my 20s when I first started wearing makeup and at that point I could go to Sephora or Ulta over drugstore options. When I first opted to wear makeup it was purely to hide my adult acne when I went to work, my mom told me instead of buying a drugstore foundation to go to Sephora or Ulta and have them give me a good foundation from a good brand – my very first foundation ever was BECCA’s Ultimate Coverage Complexion Crème in Mink. I then, over time, got concealer, I saw that I looked a bit dead from just one shade on my face – so I got blush, then lipstick, eye shadow, highlighter, contour, eye brow pencils etc. and my collection grew. I am of the belief that your collection should grow organically over time, but I also understand needing the essentials.
If I had known about primers and about beauty sponges and brushes ahead of time, I think I wouldn’t have spent so much money through trial and error, like most do. It hasn’t taken me too long to figure out what worked for me and what didn’t. a simple passing by a mirror shows you very quickly what doesn’t work for you, but I thought I’d give you my two cents on what the adult’s beginners guide to makeup should look like – in my humble opinion.
Prep – I think before even attempting to put on a primer you need to prep your skin for makeup. While makeup has its purposes and it is fun, it can also take a toll on your skin if you don’t prep it first. This involves a great moisturizer and serum – I use the Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil serum and the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer – it keeps my skin moisturized throughout the day and prevents the foundation from sucking up too much of the natural oils my skin produces. I also like to include primers in the prep stage – now I love primers, I use about 4 a day – but if i had to choose one I would suggest you should start with the Algenist Reveal Color Correcting Radiant Primer as it moisturizes, it color corrects and it helps hide pores. It’s essentially an all in one primer and that helps when you’re new to makeup; as well as frees up your time.
Base – when it comes to your base (i.e. foundation) you should first understand your undertone, there are three types – cool, warm and neutral – don’t let your skin tone make you assume what your undertone would be – I thought because I’m black obviously I have a warm undertone, nope I have a cool, neutral undertone. Finding out your undertone, helps you find the best foundation for your skin tone right off the back, I also suggest going to Sephora or Ulta and having them figure out your proper skin tone with their machine, it’s another thing to help ensure success and less return trips to get your proper foundation.
After all that, it’s not really a lot, you should figure out the kind of foundation you want. There’s light, medium and full. If you’re trying to hide every single blemish on your skin then full, if you want to hide some things, but not everything then medium and if you want to even out your skin tone then light. I have all three now, I’m usually a one foundation only, but lately with my skin getting much better I’ve wanted options. Sue me!!! My light foundation is my charlotte tilbury light wonder in shade 10, medium is my tarte Amazonian clay foundation in rich honey and full is my estee lauder double wear stay-in-place foundation in rich chestnut. I like a beauty sponge only for light and a kabuki brush for medium and full followed by a sponge.
After foundation comes concealer, I’ve never been one to get concealer to hide dots on my face since my foundation usually did that for me, I modestly used it to highlight my under eyes – your eye area is usually the lightest area on your face, when you use foundation it makes everything one shade and adding a shade or two of lighter concealer onto your eye area helps create that natural and highlighted look again.
So foundation and concealer and then setting powder – this does not mean you need to learn how to bake your face, it’s much simpler than that, you simply take a pressed setting powder to make it easier and take a light brush and brush it over your face lightly to make sure your liquid product set and lower the chances of the product moving throughout the day.
Optional – Brows and mascara – I call this optional because it’s not even something I do on a regular basis and as for mascara something i never do. for decades now the eye brow trend has gone from one extreme to the next. From nearly nothing to having your brows become best friends. In all honesty, whatever you like you should do. If you don’t see the need to draw in brows then don’t do it. I would say get a spoolie just to comb them out and make them neat and move on with your life.
The fun Parts:
Contour & Blush – ahhhh, contour, this once again is a selective thing. I contour every day I wear makeup. I like giving my face artificial shadows after covering my natural shadows with makeup. I find that people can overdo contour when they’re new to it and if you’re going to I would suggest using a duo fiber blush brush to help prevent a muddy look as your best option. I would also suggest using a brand where the options for contour colors are endless. BECCA has a multipurpose powder that could also be used to contour, Smashbox has two options for contour kits as well as Make Up For Ever, Lorac has a single contour kit with multiple colors, but I don’t see the point of buying a kit when you’re only going to use one color and the same goes with Anastasia Beverly Hills contour kit.
Blush is a different animal – I think blush is necessary. I personally love it and I don’t use it on the apples of my cheeks. I use it on top of my contour and I feel that it looks the most natural that way. I would say if you’re just getting used to blush go with two options, one very cool toned neutral and one warmed tone berry – for my skin tone I go with a more muted warm purple, but for someone of a paler skin tone I would say go with cool toned pinks. And for any skin tone what so ever a nice pale brown is never a wrong option. These two blushes are from BECCA and have great lasting power as I do have those cheeks that eat up blushes in only a few hours. My cheeks still eat these up by hour five, but usually by hour two other blushes are gone.
OJOS! – That’s eyes in Spanish – yep, we’re going international! This is where a lot of things can go wrong – eye shadow can be tricky and lord do I know it. Color options, application, brush technique it’s a lot, especially with the standards being so high now. I personally think it’s best to start out with a travel size eye shadow palette, that gives you options but not too many. I also say go with a neutral palette first as well. Smashbox has an amazing neutral matte palette and the new MAC semi sweet times nine palette is also an option, as well as the viseart petit pro palette. Learning a look first with limited options helps you focus more on technique and less on what color would go with what. Since it is a smaller palette, it was created so that all the colors would go together easily. **if you have oily lids then i also suggest getting an eye lid primer – the smashbox photo finish lid primer is my current go to**
Then it comes to brushes – my first brushes were E.L.F. brushes – they weren’t bad but it didn’t help my technique and I felt the look always looked a bit muddy. I would say splurge on the eye brushes and get a sigma brush. If you go to their website and sign up for emails you get a 10 or 15% off discount off your first order. I would suggest getting their E25 blending brush for the entire lid – trust me the makeup pickup and application is off the charts, and get the E40 tapered blending for blending in your transition colors, if you really want to try and add depth to your eye looks as well I would suggest the E41 duo fiber blend brush – it prevents too much makeup pickup to not ruin the look and ensure and nice even application either on the crease or to the under eye area. With these three brushes your eye look is a guaranteed success.
Highlight – this is the “trend” right now, the glow to the gods, looking like you just twerked your face in glitter; if that’s something you’re interested in then dip your face in that glitter! If a simple glossy shine to give you a dewy – not sweaty – look is your desired outcome, then I suggest the cargo cosmetics colorstick highlighter stick in champagne – I’m sure everyone is tired of me writing about it, but it’s so natural looking and it’s just the highlight of my dreams. It makes me look glossy while still looking professional. I don’t know how else to word it – it also helps you have more control over how much you put. I’m very much enjoying crème highlighters over liquid or powder and as a beginner I think this would be the best option for you. Liquid can lift your foundation if you’re not quick enough and powder can go too overboard quickly if you’re not careful; crème not so much. If you do want a powder I suggest the BECCA shimmering skin perfecter in bronzed amber as it is the most muted powder highlight I’ve seen yet that isn’t limited edition.
Set it and Forget It – this is a crucial step in today’s makeup – setting your makeup – as you can see a lot of powder products are used and this can create a cakey exterior sometimes, using a setting spray can help melt the powder products into one and give it a clean more unified presence to the skin. It also helps everything stay locked in. there are so many setting powders out there and even though I’m currently using the one pictured, I would suggest the Boscia white charcoal mattifying makeup setting spray, it is more natural and I’m just not a fan of the scent of the one I’m using now. I also suggest the Josie Maran Nirvana Hydrating Treatment Mist, it’s not a proper setting spray, but it does hydrate the skin after all that powder.
Lips – I still don’t wear lipstick too often, although you wouldn’t know based off how many lipsticks I have, but if you were to buy a lipstick I suggest buying one nude and one bold. For me a nude is a dark brown and a bold is usually a creepy blood clot red or deep purple.
I know this seems like a lot but I promise it’s not. It’s really easy and like I stated all the way at the beginning, I believe a makeup collection should grow organically. So I don’t think you should just go out and buy every single item on this list, but instead see if it’s something you think you need for you. There are items here that I use rarely and some I use all the time, but I think as a beginner knowing these things usually equal a good final product is useful information. per usual i hope you all enjoyed this post or at least the pictures! thanks for reading and good days (or nights) to you all!