I want to share my steps of applying makeup because I think it’s something people can really benefit from and it’s not something everyone may have a strong understanding of. I’m sure if you happen to already be a makeup guru or artist yourself, this may all come as common knowledge. Hopefully, you will find at least one new trick! This is going to be a fairly lengthy post, so sit back with a cup of coffee or beverage of choice and read on my lovelies!
Face or Eyes? What should I do first….?
For people that are not familiar with getting their makeup done professionally, I find people are almost ALWAYS shocked when I begin doing their eyes first (as do most makeup artists).
There is a reason for this and I will explain it here. If you ever notice when you apply your eye makeup (eye shadow specifically), there is usually eye shadow that falls underneath or sometimes mascara/eye liner that smudges on the bottom.
If I had done FACE makeup first, all this eye shadow fall-out would totally DESTROY the foundation application and make it seem messy. I could wipe away the eye makeup residue, but this will also wipe away the foundation, meaning it would have to be reapplied in the areas wiped off.
Before doing makeup professionally, I also always did my foundation first before even attempting my eye makeup (no one told me otherwise and it just seemed like that’s what you were supposed to do). It was a tough habit to break initially, but now I ALWAYS do my eye makeup before face makeup as I would on my clients.
The only face products that are OKAY to apply before eye makeup is your moisturizer, face primer, eye cream, etc. Anything that is skincare related CAN be applied before eye makeup (to soak in first) OR if you choose to wait until you’re ready to begin face makeup, that’s fine too. (On myself, I usually apply skincare before eye makeup, but not always).
Okay, so eyes first…got it, but now in what order do I apply the eye makeup?
First and foremost, ALWAYS start with an eye shadow base. I cannot stress this enough. I’ve blogged on numerous occasions regarding eye shadow bases. To sum it up: it holds onto your eye makeup ALL DAY (no yucky creasing during the day) and ALSO makes eye shadow blend so much smoother.
Next, apply eye shadow as you normally would. If you wear one color, that’s fine…if you’re an eye shadow junkie, you probably wear a minimum of three. I would say, the “normal” (if we have to classify something this way) amount of eye shadow colors to apply is three: 1) lid color 2) highlight color (under brow) 3) crease color. I personally apply it in that order and usually add a fourth color, a dark outer crease color for EXTRA definition and eye contouring effect.
The next step is eyeliner. I typically apply top liner FIRST and bottom liner afterwards. If you choose to apply bottom liner first, it’s fine. It doesn’t make too much of a difference. If you only wear eyeliner on the top (or just the bottom), that’s fine too. I feel eye liner is a VERY personal thing and people have their own style and comfort level as to how they wear it.
I know for me, I am a HEAVY eye liner (with a soft, almost nude eye shadow application) kind of person. It’s just my style, I like dramatic, dark eye liner on both the top and bottom. I really think it pops my eyes and makes them stand out. Many people often think it will make their eyes look smaller, in my opinion, it does the opposite. Eye liner is BUILDING DEFINITION and FRAMING the eyes. Essentially, doesn’t everyone want their eyes to stand out? As they say, “eyes are the window of the soul!” :)
Lastly, mascara is the final step! OR if you are a diva like me, you apply false lashes at the end! Regardless, the lashes should be taken care after eyeshadow and eyeliner have been applied. If you use a lash primer, which will give the lashes extra volume and length (and something I HIGHLY RECOMMEND), this will be applied BEFORE mascara.
Moving onto the face makeup…now what?!
If you’ve already applied the skincare, you are ready to move onto foundation. If you are just doing the skincare now (which is fine), always moisturize and follow with the skin primer.
The skin primer is always a NECESSITY!!! Skin primers today have such an incredible amount of skin benefiting ingredients, especially if you find one made with mainly natural ingredients. The primer gives the face an ultra smooth canvas to work with where foundation can adhere much nicer to the skin and give any foundation that all-day staying power that a foundation typically cannot do on its own.
After the skincare is totally taken care of…it’s time to move onto any liquid or cream products for the face. Meaning, if you use a liquid or cream foundation, this needs to be applied before powder can come into the picture.
I know you’re wondering, foundation or concealer first?! In all honesty, I do NOT have a firm answer on this because I really think it varies depending on the person’s skin and what exactly is getting concealed. For me personally, I almost ALWAYS apply the concealer first. Actually, typically I don’t even wear a concealer (I know this sounds shocking to some, as I know some who live off of their concealers), but this is because I believe if you have a REALLY GOOD FOUNDATION WITH BUILDABLE COVERAGE (and NO, powder foundation does not count, sorry)…then often times a concealer can be skipped. Lately though, I find that I have been battling with breakouts, where wearing a liquid foundation is NOT enough, meaning I have to break out a concealer.
Now let’s say you apply concealer AFTER foundation, I find this to be an okay option too because after you see how much your foundation has covered, you can then see if a concealer is even needed at this point. Sometimes you will find, it can be skipped.
Lastly, it’s time to apply all powder products (powder, blush, bronzer, etc). This will ultimately SET the foundation. Even if you have dry skin, a powder is still needed in my opinion as it really polishes off the face makeup application.
This is the order in which I typically like to apply my powder products:
Powder – Find an all over powder that matches your skintone. If you choose to go a little lighter or darker than your natural skintone with the powder, it is OKAY, as long as it’s not a DRASTIC difference. The texture of a powder is much more forgiving than liquids/creams, meaning that you can probably wear various shades and it will still appear to match.
For me, I can wear MAC powders in shades: medium, medium plus, and medium dark (although medium dark is really pushing it as I am incredibly fair…but in the summer, I can totally get away with it!)
Bronzer - I do NOT recommend setting the entire face makeup with a bronzer. NEVER. You need to find an ALL OVER powder first, and then invest in a bronzer that can be placed along the hairline and cheekbones for definition. If you use a bronzer that is NOT much darker than your natural skintone, you can probably get away with a loose application over the whole face AFTER an all over powder. If you choose to put all over the face, do NOT forget to warm up the neck a little with the bronzer as well. Otherwise you will have a dark face and white neck, this is NEVER attractive and is a dead giveaway you OD’ed on the bronzer!
Contour – A lot of people are NOT familiar with the concept of contouring, although I think it’s becoming increasingly more popular thanks to celebrities as they are ALWAYS contoured. Honestly, I think EVERYONE needs contouring in the cheeks. There are very few people in my opinion who are naturally genetically gifted with sculpted cheekbones. And I am definitely NOT one of them. I have a very round face and find that contouring enhances my bone structure and gives me the definition that is not naturally there. I truly believe that enhanced cheekbones is really what enhances the physical beauty of the face! Hence why, I ALWAYS contour people because it makes people’s faces look THAT MUCH MORE ATTRACTIVE and more beautiful!
You can use a bronzer for contouring (remember, the contouring shade is always going to be a shade or two darker than your skintone), but I personally use a SEPARATE product for bronzing and for contouring. I use MAC’s “Bone Beige” for contouring, which can only be purchased at a MAC Pro store.
Highlighter - I like to dust a highlighter on the tops of the cheekbones to enhance them. I used to skip this step but now that I have found an AMAZING highlighter (NARS “Albatross” which I have mentioned in previous posts), I do NOT skip it and wear it everyday!
Blush - As I always say, everyone needs a nice blush. It gives people life and youth in the face, while also bringing a sense of happiness to the face. I truly think blush makes people look happier and more vibrant. I’m a naturally happy and vibrant person, but blush just seems to enhance that.
To apply blush, make sure to apply to the apples of the cheeks and extend UPWARDS towards the temples. Before I got into makeup, I only would apply blush to the apples of the cheeks, I never knew it was supposed to be extended so far up (I honestly thought that was just an 80′s thing LOL! No one ever told me how to apply makeup properly, I just kind of did what I thought was “right.” Needless to say, makeup school was definitely a wakeup call!).
BROWS- WAIT WHAT?!?! DID I MISS SOMETHING?! Isn’t that part of the eye makeup routine?!?!
I know people reading the eye makeup section probably wondered why I totally skipped talking about brows, especially since I have stressed in previous posts how ESSENTIAL it is to do something for the brows (whether it’s shaping, filling in, etc.)
I actually don’t do the brows until AFTER the eye makeup AND face makeup! I don’t know if this is normal or not, I’m sure not all makeup artists wait til the end for this step, but I know for me…it’s the icing on the cake so to speak. Visually, it is MUCH easier to complete the brows AFTER seeing the final result of the eye and face makeup, being that the brows frame the eyes. That is why I like to wait until the very end because it’s much easier for me to see how I want to do the brows.
Last, but definitely NOT least…the lips!!!
Okay, I would say MOST people are very low maintenance with the lips. If you just like to wear a chapstick, be my guest and rock the chapstick! I’m not going to try to sway you otherwise because the way people like their lips to look/feel is very personal.
If you want to do the full nine yards with wearing lip products, I suggest starting off with a lip primer or lip conditioner (I myself never really got into this until more recently. I’m addicted to lip conditioning the lips first prior to lipstick and even before bedtime)
Next liner IF YOU CHOOSE to. I actually skip lip liner half the time although lately I have been pretty religious about using one. I have full lips to begin with (I got to thank my mother for that one!) and find if I line my lips, it just seems like overkill sometimes. It’s really a matter of the lip liner shade and I like to choose something that is soft and not too drastically dark in comparison to the lipstick (to this day, I never fully understood how that trended in the 90′s). I think lip liner can be optional, but if you want to really ENHANCE, DEFINE, RESHAPE, or give the illusion of fuller lips, you will opt for the lip liner.
Now you can apply the lipstick and or gloss. Some people really don’t like lipstick and rather wear gloss (or vice versa) by itself or with a liner. There is nothing wrong with that. To each its own. I know that I love lipstick AND lipgloss as you can see below with all my other makeup:
[Do you have any makeup application tips you would like to share?]