How to Apply Makeup – Step by Step Tutorial

The power of makeup is undeniable; our favorite products help us create the beauty looks we love, enhance our favorite features, and encapsulate our individual definitions of beauty. The best makeup routines help the modern woman boost her confidence and face the world head on—no matter what the day has in store.

When it comes to makeup, skillful application can make all the difference. Applying your favorite products the correct way can do two things: help you achieve the beauty look you crave, and help you get the most out of your makeup.

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Learn how to apply your makeup with these important beauty tips. From applying liquid foundation to using a gel eyeliner, these tips and tricks will help you create a flawless look that you can be proud of.

Step 1: Moisturizer

Before you begin applying your makeup, take the time to prep your skin with a high-quality moisturizer. Choosing the right kind of moisturizer is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Let’s take a look at the different types you can use, listed from lightest to heaviest:

  • Face Mists: These are water-based solutions that may contain certain skin-boosting vitamins and fragrances. Facial mists aren’t designed to return the moisture to your skin, but they can be a helpful tool for maintaining a dewy look all day long. Simply spritz throughout the day when your skin is feeling dry.
  • Serums: This is a lightweight solution that’s easily absorbed by the skin. There are a wide assortment of serums designed to target specific problem areas. Some serums help you moisturize the skin to prevent wrinkles, while others contain ingredients that may add brightness to a dull complexion.
  • Lotions: Lotions are the most common type of moisturizer, and can benefit a variety of skin types. Opt for lotions that are labeled as “non-comedogenic”; these products are designed to avoid clogging the pores.
  • Creams: If your dry skin needs extra help, it might be time to invest in a cream moisturizer. This is a thicker, heavier solution that can hydrate excessively dry complexions. Day creams can be used as a base under your makeup, but night creams are designed to give your skin an extra dose of moisture while you sleep. Apply before hitting the pillow, and in the morning you’ll be greeted with soft, supple skin.
  • Oils: If you need further moisturizing, consider oils. Certain oils can be a great option for those with dry, sensitive, or normal skin. However, if you’re acne-prone or struggle with oily skin, avoid oil moisturizing products.

Learning how to apply moisturizer correctly is half the battle. Pour a small amount onto your fingers—the dollop should be roughly the size of a quarter. Start by spreading the moisturizer across your forehead; begin from the center of your face, then move outwards and up. Then, do the same starting at your nose, spreading the moisturizer across your cheeks. Ensure you’ve rubbed in the moisturizer evenly across your skin to avoid clogging your pores. Once you’ve applied enough moisturizer, gently rub it in using circles, and give it a few minutes to dry before moving onto the next step.

Step 2: Primer

Now that your skin is well moisturized, prep your face with primer. Whether you’re planning on applying a light coat of foundation or a full face of makeup, primer is an important first step. Using primer under your makeup will make your look last longer.

So what exactly is primer? Think of primer as a base for your foundation or face makeup that will help it go on smoother and last longer. Primers are silky smooth gels and creams that fill in the lines and pores on your face, smoothing out uneven textures and creating the ideal canvas for your makeup.

To apply your primer, begin by squeezing a small amount onto your fingertips, or onto your preferred makeup brush or sponge. Pro Tip: A little bit goes a long way. Start with a dime-sized amount of primer in the center of your face, and slowly work it out towards your cheeks, forehead, and chin.

If you want to apply primer to the sensitive skin around your eyelids (and keep that smoky eye looking professionally applied all day long), be sure to find a dedicated product for this area of the face. Our eyelids can collect grease throughout the day, causing a “creased” look in eyeshadow. If your eyelids are oily and you apply eyeshadow or eyeliner without primer, application may prove to be patchy and uneven.

Step 3: Liquid Foundation

When it comes to foundation, finding the perfect shade for your skin is priority number one. The right shade of foundation can make all the difference. So how do you go about picking? Test foundation colors against your jawline. After applying, if the foundation disappears without any sort of blending, you’ve found your true match. This may take a bit of trial and error, but taking the time to pick the right shade is crucial.

After you’ve selected a product, consider the tools you’ll use to apply it. Some women prefer to use their fingers, while others opt for beauty tools like brushes and sponges. If you’re looking for a light coverage look, your fingers may prove to be the right applicator; however, never touch your face without thoroughly washing your hands, and be sure to wash them after application—you don’t want to find your makeup handprints all over the house. For a more full-coverage look, opt for an applicator brush or beauty blender.

Start from the center of your face and blend the liquid foundation outwards. As you sweep your foundation across the skin, be sure to buff it in. Some women like to stipple a damp sponge over their foundation to help ensure it gets into those lines and creases, which can create a smoother, more even texture. Certain types of makeup brushes are also great for buffing foundation into the skin.

Step 4: Concealer

There are two main categories of concealer: liquid and stick/compact.

Liquid concealer is best for the times you want light coverage over a large area of your face. Liquid concealer also works well for those looking to create a light finish, especially in areas of wrinkles, like around the eyes and mouth.

Stick and compact concealers are well-suited for heavier coverage on smaller, more specific areas of the face.

Picking the Color of Your Concealer

It’s wise to invest in two shades of concealer. One should be very similar to your skin tone, and can be used to cover dark spots, pimples, and other facial blemishes. The other should be lighter than your skin tone, and can be used to highlight certain areas of the face or add clarity to your makeup look.

Note: Some women prefer to apply concealer before liquid foundation. The order of these two steps is truly a matter of preference—and trial and error. Try out both and discover which method works best for creating a smooth, radiant finish on your skin. However, when using powder foundation alone, always apply concealer first.

Where to Apply Concealer

To reduce the appearance of dark under-eye circles and create a glowing, bright look, apply light concealer beneath the eyes with a damp sponge or makeup brush.

If you’re using a concealer to minimize the appearance of blemishes, apply directly to problem areas.

To highlight your face using a liquid or cream concealer, place small dots in the following areas:

  • Horizontally over the center of your forehead
  • Down the center of your nose
  • Under your eyes
  • In a curving arch at the top of your chin, just under your bottom lip

Gently blend it into the surrounding skin, and always be sure to cover with a foundation or setting powder.

Step 5: Foundation Powder

Applying foundation powder can be a tricky process; too little and you may as well have skipped the step altogether, too much and you’ll be sporting the dreaded “cake look”. In your quest for a flawless complexion, you’ve likely heard plenty of tricks of the trade regarding powder foundation. Keep these tips in mind to get that perfect complexion.

Using a large, fluffy powder brush, begin by dusting a light coat of powder all over your face. Press the bristles into the powder, then sweep across the skin in long, arching strokes.

If there are certain areas of your skin that need more coverage (the red and oily parts of your face are generally found in the center), you may want to apply a bit more powder. For this step, place your brush into the powder then firmly press it into the skin; this step helps the powder make its way into pores and lines for a smoother texture.

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Step 6: Bronzer

Bronzer can give your skin that sun-kissed glow all year long. Use a dedicated bronzer brush to sweep a golden tan across your face; bronzer brushes are crafted with more bristles, and placed much more tightly together, ensuring you get the most out of your colorful bronzer with each and every swipe.

How to Choose the Right Shade of Bronzer

One of the most common bronzer blunders comes in choosing the wrong shade. If you’re not used to working with bronzer, use one that’s two shades darker than your skin at most.

Where to Apply Bronzer

Once you’ve got the right shade, apply your bronzer in the shape of a number “3” on both sides of the face. Start at your forehead, pull the bronzer along your cheeks, then sweep it across the jawline, reaching all the way down to your chin. Pro Tip: Don’t forget to blend it into your neck. Repeat on the opposite side.

Step 7: Blush

Flushed cheeks have been a mainstay of makeup glamour for centuries. If you want to add a bit more color and vibrancy to your complexion, blush may be the key. Use a dense brush with plenty of bristles to apply your blush—this will make sure you get the most out of every blush sweep.

Where to Apply Blush

There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer for blush application. Use the color of your blush to help you decide where to apply it.

  • Pink blush: When using pink blush, apply it only to the apples of your cheeks. Pink blush is designed to mimic the natural flush your body creates, during which blood pools into your cheeks. To find the apples of your cheeks, put on your best smile. The “apple” refers to the front part of the cheek that becomes more pronounced when you sport a grin.
  • Plum blush: Those with medium to dark skin tones can use plum blushes in the same way those with fair complexions use light pink blushes.
  • Peach blush: Instead of using pink blush on just the apples of the cheeks, utilize these shades to help sculpt your face and add just a tiny hint of color. Twist one side of your face (as if you were pursing your lips and directing them to the opposite side of the face). Then, sweep the peach blush along your cheekbones, starting near your ears and ending at the apples of your cheeks.

Step 8: Highlighter

The right highlighter adds a bit of glam and glow to every makeup look. Whether you’re opting for a more natural look or want something bold and beautiful, highlighter can complement your makeup application.

Highlighters come in a variety of forms, including liquids, creams, and powders. You can choose to use one, or find your favorite combination of two or three. Whatever you choose, the application process remains the same.

Where to Apply Highlighter

After you’ve created a flawless canvas with your new foundation routine, map out the areas on your face that you wish to highlight.

Using a liquid highlighter first, apply in the following areas:

  • Down the bridge of your nose
  • Across the tops of your cheekbones
  • In the inner corners of your eyelids
  • On your brow bone
  • The indent above your upper lip (also called the Cupid’s Bow)
  • The center of your forehead
  • The center of your chin

Once you’re happy with your liquid highlighter application, blend it in using your fingertips or a sponge. To maximize the effect of your highlighting, layer in cream or powder highlighter over the areas you wish to accentuate.

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Step 9: Eyeshadow

Eyeshadow can add interest to your makeup look, whether you opt for neutral shades or go bold with colorful hues. Whichever look you use, grab two complementary eyeshadows: one lighter shade, and one darker shade.

Dip your eyeshadow brush into the light shade, then tap the brush to get rid of any excess product. Apply the lighter shadow across the entire lid, starting at the lash line and ending just above the crease of your eyelid.

Now dip your brush into the darker color, tapping off the excess once again. Apply the color at the outer corner of your eye, just above your lash line. Sweep the darker color across your eyelid crease, just under the brow bone. Stop application around the center of your eyelid, as you don’t want to darken the inner corners. Take a clean shadow brush and blend the two shades together. If you’d like a more intense look, reapply the darker shadow once more.

Step 10: Eyeliner

Applying eyeliner can be difficult—one little mistake and you’re stuck with “raccoon” eyes. Banish your eye makeup woes with these essential tips for applying eyeliner.

Types of Eyeliner

  • Liquid eyeliner: If you’re looking for precision, liquid eyeliner is your new best friend. You can find liquid liner in bottle form, which is applied with a fine dipping brush. You can also find liquid liner in a marker-type pen.
    How to apply: With liquid eyeliner, start thin at the inner corner of your eye, then make the application thicker towards the outer corner. You can start lining at the middle of your eye, or in the inner corner, and keep the liner tip or brush as close to the lash line as possible. Use small strokes of your liner to create small dashes along the lash line, then connect them to fill in the gaps. If your hand slips, don’t worry! Apply a bit of eye makeup remover to a Q-tip and clean up the area.
  • Gel eyeliner: This type of eyeliner typically comes in a small pot, with a thin brush for application. Gel eyeliner is fantastic for creating a cat-eye look.
    How to apply: Dip a flat, angular brush into the gel eyeliner pot. Swirl the brush to ensure both sides have product on them, and start application in the middle of the lash line, working outwards. Then, draw a line from the inner corner of your eye towards the middle, connecting the two lines.
  • Pencil eyeliner: This is typically the best eyeliner option for beginners. A sharp pencil eyeliner is easy to use on your waterline, and is great for creating a smoky eye.
    How to apply: Sharpen your liner pencil each time you use it. After pulling your eyelid taut, draw small light dots starting at the outer corner of your upper eyelid. Work your way into the inner corner of your eye to create a thin dotted line, as close to the lash line as possible. Connect the dots with your pencil or use a small shadow brush to blend them in.

Step 11: Mascara

If you’re going to use only one makeup product, mascara should be at the top of your list. A few swipes of mascara can make your eyes look brighter in a single step.

You can find mascara in a variety of colors, but black and brown tend to be the most popular. Start by curling your eyelashes with an eyelash curler.

How to curl your eyelashes:

  • Place the curler at the base of your upper lashes, being careful not to grab any of the sensitive skin around your eyelid
  • Slowly close the curler
  • Hold it in place for a few seconds
  • Release gently

After your eyelashes are curled, grab your tube of mascara. Gently swirl the wand around to ensure all the bristles are coated in mascara. Pro Tip: Don’t pump the wand into the tube, as this allows air to get in and may cause your mascara to clump.

Wriggle the mascara brush lightly across the roots of your lashes. This will create more volume, which you can then pull through to the ends of your lashes. If your lashes clump together, grab a clean wand and brush through them. Apply a second coat for more volume.

Step 12: Lip Gloss

Before applying gloss, prep your lips. If your lips are chapped and cracked, be sure to use a gentle lip scrub to remove any dead skin. Next, use a lip conditioner or moisturizer to soften the lips further. After your lip balm has absorbed, blot any excess.

Begin applying your lip gloss from the center of your lips, and drag the applicator along the length of your pout. Try to avoid pulling any gloss above your natural lip line, and smack your lips together lightly to ensure your lip gloss reaches all the nooks and crannies of your lips.

Step 13: Setting Spray & Setting Powder

Setting spray or setting powder can be the final touch for your makeup routine. If you want makeup that stays on all day long, without greasing, creasing, or shine, it’s important to invest in a quality setting solution.

Setting sprays are designed for all skin types, and can be used to set a variety of looks, whether you’re rocking light coverage or sporting a full face of beautiful makeup. Setting spray keeps your makeup in place, helping you reduce reapplication needs and keeping your makeup looking flawless for hours at a time.

Setting spray is to your face as hairspray is to your stylish do, and it’s applied in a very similar fashion. Hold the bottle at least 8 inches from your face, then spritz lightly a few times to ensure all bits of your face are covered. If you want to ensure your makeup is covered from forehead to chin, first spritz in an X shape across your face, then follow it up by spraying a T shape.

There’s no need to rub the spray in once applied, as it will dry naturally within seconds.

Final Look

Your makeup is complete. With these makeup applications tips, it’s easy to create a variety of beauty looks, whether you’re headed to the office or going out for a night on the town.

Now that you know how to apply the perfect makeup look, make sure you have everything you need in your makeup bag!

For more intensity, rim your upper lash lines with a brown liner pencil and smudge it upward with your shadow brush.

Then set with the same powder eyeshadow used in the previous step. Finish off with two coats of mascara, like Smashbox Hyperlash Mascara, on top and bottom—focusing on the outer lashes with the top of the wand.

Expert tip: To give eyes an even bigger boost, use an eyelash curler before you apply mascara. Start as close to the roots of your lashes as possible and gently pulse the curler forward bit by bit to the ends.

Step 9: Touch Up Your Brows

“The biggest difference makers are your eyebrows. They can change your entire face,” says Johnson. Lightly fill in any gaps and use a disposable mascara wand to brush the hairs up. Johnson’s go-to brow product is Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade.

Expert tip: Use multiple small strokes rather than thick lines to create a full, natural brow, using your natural eye brow shape as a guide.

Step 10: Get Lush-Looking Lips

flawless skin plan

Before applying any product, soften chapped lips by gently buffing them with a damp washcloth and following up with lip balm. Let it sink in well, and blot with a tissue if it feels slippery. Then, for a less-is more look, dab on a strawberry-color lipstick, like Maybelline New York ColorSensational Lipstick in Very Cherry. Apply it to the center of your mouth (make a kissy face!), where color tends to wear off first, says Rizzieri. Blend the lipstick out over your lips, patting the color on with your fingertip to help it last. “This gives you that fresh, just-ate-a-popsicle look,” she says. To amp up things for night, add a layer of gloss for extra shine or go for a bolder lipstick.

*Expert tip: If you’re going to rock a bolder lip, try this pro tip from Johnson: Apply concealer all over your lips before you apply your lipstick. Not only will it knock out any natural color that will change the overall hue of the lipstick, it will make your lipstick last for hours. Like priming an eyelid, lightly dab the concealer onto your lips with a sponge or your fingers. Blot with tissue, then apply lip liner all over, the dust on translucent powder, and follow up another blot before applying lipstick. *

See More:

  • How to Apply Eyeshadow Like a Pro: Makeup Artists Reveal Top Tips
  • How to Remove Makeup: 7 Tips to Get Every Last Bit Off
  • How to Contour Your Face in 6 Steps: Easy Contouring Tutorial

Misty Copeland’s Beauty Hacks:

The Exact Order You Should Apply All Your Makeup

Copyright 2019 Milles Studio/Stocksy

The back of a foundation bottle might give you some direction on how to apply the liquid-y solution to your face, but definitely doesn’t indicate where it falls within your routine.

Makeup order is a tricky topic, mostly because there’s differing opinions on what product lands on your face first, but if you’re tired of stressing over when to apply concealer or if you should really do your eye makeup before sponging on foundation, you’ve landed on the right webpage. To clear the confusion on the true order to apply makeup, I reached out to makeup artist Neil Scibelli and got his expert opinion. Keep scrolling to find out if primer is needed at all, when you should reach for that eyeshadow palette, and more.

Step 1: Skincare

How many times have you read about the importance of prepping the skin before makeup application? Sure, the advice is repetitive (especially if you’ve scrolled through a red carpet beauty gallery), but it’s legit. “I always start with skincare, and a primer,” explains Scibelli.

While the exact products applied will vary based on the client’s skin type and needs, a thorough skincare routine helps the makeup adhere to the skin better, reduces the chances of it flaking off, and can even help your skin appear more glowy.

“I typically start with a hydrating or luminizing eye cream, and a good lip balm,” he says. Then, he moves onto moisturizer: an oil-free version or just a hydrating primer if the client has oily skin, and a creamier, more emollient moisturizer if the client has dry skin.

Using a primer is pretty optional, says Scibelli, but for the sake of this explainer, it falls directly after your skincare routine. Oily skin types tend to benefit from the long-lasting, oil-reducing qualities of a primer, while other primers are specifically made to help the skin appear more luminous, hydrated, and even enchance your foundation’s glow-boosting effects.

RELATED: Everything You Need in a Makeup Kit for Beginner’s

Step 3: Eyes

OK, so this rule isn’t set in stone, but there’s solid reasoning for completing your eye makeup and eyebrows before applying any type of complexion products. “I typically complete brows and eyes before applying foundation,” says Scibelli. “This is because I can clean up under the eyes if need be, without disrupting concealer or foundation, especially if it’s a heavier eye look.”

While this method helps eliminate the mess of fixing fallout or mascara smudges, you can also apply eye makeup after your complexion products (making it Step 5).

Step 4: Foundation

“I work on foundation, and blending the overall complexion, first,” says Scibelli. This is where you’ll see the coverage of your foundation and its finish really come into play.

Step 5: Concealer

“Sometimes you’ll be surprised how much your foundation can layer and cover without adding concealer,” notes Scibelli. After he assess what areas of the face need more coverage, he goes in with concealer. This usually consists of under the eyes, areas prone to redness, blemishes, etc.

RELATED: How to Build a Beginner’s Makeup Kit at Target

Step 6: Bronzer/Blush/Highlighter

After the skin tone is evened out and set with complexion products, feel free to add a pop of color on cheeks, a shimmer on the high points of the face, or a bit of contouring with bronzer. If you mess up, you can always use a beautyblender that already has leftover foundation on it to quickly fix the mistake.

VIDEO: How To Use a Beautyblender

Step 7: Lips

If you’re wearing a gloss, you might want to apply your powder and setting spray first, but in my opinion, lipstick is always a solid last step when applying color cosmetics because it’s the easiest to reapply as the day wears on it. However, Scibelli says that it all really depends on what type of look you’re creating. “You may be basing your look on a certain lip color, so maybe applying that first is a great guideline for you,” he adds.

Step 8: Translucent Powder and Setting Spray

You can use one, both, or neither, but both of these products are designed to help your makeup last longer and look better as the day goes on. “I always apply powder as a last step, typically after the entire look is done, just so the skin can wear into itself for a bit while I finish the rest of the look,” says Scibelli. “It’s also freshest when applied before heading out the door.” If it’s particularly humid out or he knows his client has a long day planned, he’ll sprtiz on some setting spray.

While this might annoy you, the real truth is there’s no definitive rule on when you apply certain makeup products. It all depends on your skill level, the look you’re going for, and how you’re comfortable applying makeup. The only hard-and-fast rule? Skincare, skincare, skincare first!

Learning how to apply makeup isn’t as simple as it seems—and watching complicated YouTube tutorials can only make you more confused. Does foundation go before or after concealer? Should you put your eyeshadow on first or last? The truth: It’s pretty much all up to personal preference. But after years of being a beauty editor and talking to makeup pros, I’ve found a layering technique that works perfectly for me. For example, I fill in my brows before putting on foundation, since it’s one of the most important steps in my full routine. (So if I’m rushing at the end of my makeup routine, at least my brows will be done.) I also put on setting spray before mascara because I’ve ruined one too many makeup looks with runny black streaks doing it the other way around.

I recommend this same application sequence to my girlfriends when I’m giving impromptu lessons in the bathroom before we go out, but don’t worry—you can remove and add steps as you see fit. For instance, I spend more time in areas like brows and highlighter, but you might want to focus your efforts on your eye makeup. I also edit based on how much time I have. I only have five minutes? Then I’m priming, concealing, adding some blush and highlighter, and putting on a quick brow. If I’ve got an entire hour to prep, then I’m going all out. Really, you can customize this guide to fit your needs. Consider this a makeup beginner’s outline to layering your makeup, step by step.

Step 1: Moisturize or apply a primer.

Kardashian favorite Mario Dedivanovic says using a hydrating cream before makeup helps all the powders and products you apply on top sink into the skin, making your makeup look less cakey. Since I prefer a dewy makeup look, I spray my face with a mist like MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ ($26). Then I massage in an illuminating primer or oil like Farsali Unicorn Essence ($54). You don’t have to use a product that is marketed as a primer; any moisturizer will do.

Step 2: Fill in brows. Courtesy of Saba Karamouz

I always start my makeup look with the most time-consuming element. For me, that’s my brows (others like to do eyeshadow first, but I’m pretty clueless when it comes to eye makeup). First, I use a pencil to fill in sparse areas with hairlike strokes. Currently I’m liking the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz pencil ($21). I’ll stop here if I’m in a hurry. When I’m being extra, I add a powder or pomade to really define the ends of my brows, where there is basically no hair. For this, I use Kat Von D 24-Hour Super Brow Long-Wear Pomade ($19). Finally, I lock it all in with a gel, like It Cosmetics Brow Power Pomade ($24).

Step 3: Apply foundation. Courtesy of Saba Karamouz

How to do Your Own Makeup for Day & Night

Believe it or not, I am terrible at doing my own makeup. I’m decent at doing it for a friend, but when it comes to my own face, I never get it right. I have been wanting a step by step lesson for ages so I asked my London makeup artist, Emma Lovell, to show me how to do makeup. One of my gorgeous school mum friends from my son Mosey’s class agreed to be the model (thank you, Kate!), and I learned so much. I hope it’s helpful for some of you!

  1. Our Model

    My friend Kate Skrypec was our model for the day, and Emma Lovell replicated the same makeup techniques she used for me in Venice. Scroll down to the bottom to see the amazing final results and the products used for each step!

Before you start: Skin Prep

Before you start to think about applying makeup, it’s important to take good care of your skin by cleaning and moisturizing. Before applying makeup, Emma always cleans the face and neck using a cleansing water and cotton pads. Next, Emma massages in moisturizer. Dab a bit on a few key sections—the forehead, chin, cheeks—then smooth in upward, moving from the center out, until the moisturizer is completely absorbed. “Moisturize the entire neck, including the back to keep it smooth and taut,” she says. “And always moisturize your lips with a great lip balm.”

    Daytime Makeup

    Here’s the makeup Emma usually does for my daytime interviews and appearances. It’s the perfect no-makeup makeup.


    To find your shade, match the foundation to your neck rather than your face. You want your face and neck to be the same color.

    Emma dabs the foundation on her hand first—an easy palette—then applies it with her fingers to Kate’s forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. Always start at the center and work outward.

  2. Beautycounter
    dew skin moisturizing
    goop, $45

    Hydrating and brightening, Beautycounter Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage sinks in instantly, leaving skin glowy, smooth, and subtly perfected.


    Emma uses a brush to apply concealer only where needed: under the eyes, on the chin, on the T-zone, and around the nose. Go slow, and don’t use it all up at once: The idea is to spot-treat.

  4. Rituel de Fille
    ethereal veil
    conceal & cover
    goop, $34

    Rituel de Fille Ethereal Veil Conceal & Cover is super pigmented, blends incredibly, and leaves skin flawless.


  1. This is Emma’s one don’t-leave-the-house-without-it trick: “Always, always curl your lashes,” she says. “It wakes up your face.”

    Emma starts at the root of the lashes and little by little “walks it out” toward the ends.


  1. Emma likes to use a cream eye shadow, like the ones from RMS. She uses a brush to apply it, blending the shadow into the socket line (but not all the way up to the eyebrows). Don’t dab on a ton of shadow all at once; layer it on gradually. With a small brush, trace a slim line of shadow along the bottom lash line to really enhance the eyes.

  2. RMS Beauty
    Cream Eye Polish
    goop, $28

    RMS Beauty Cream Eye Polish in Lunar, a warming gold, adds the perfect touch of shimmer.


    Emma puts a smudge of mascara straight onto her hand and uses a tiny, flat-ended brush to apply. Starting at the root, Emma sweeps through the entire length, making sure to define every single lash.

    Apply two layers of mascara for the most fluttery effect, allowing a few seconds between coats to let the pigment dry.

  1. Juice Beauty
    ultra-natural mascara
    goop, $24

    Hydrating and brightening, Beautycounter Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage sinks in instantly, leaving skin glowy, smooth, and subtly perfected.


    Another step that Emma insists on is filling in the eyebrows to frame the face. Choose a color slightly paler than your natural color, and fill in with light, feathery strokes to accentuate and elongate your features as much as possible.

    Now, using a clean mascara wand (could be from an old makeup set that you’re not using anymore), brush out the brow hairs with light, feathery strokes.

  1. Beautycounter
    color define brow pencil
    goop, $24

    Beautycounter Color Define Brow Pencil comes in a variety of shades and has a built-in blending brush.


    Cream blush is dewy, modern, and perfect for a daytime look. Emma uses her hands to dab it onto the apples of Kate’s cheeks and then blends up at an angle and out.

  1. Tata Harper
    lip and cheek tint
    goop, $39

    Infused with coconut oil, Tata Harper Lip and Cheek Tint adds a warm, brightening flush. The rich berry shade Very Popular is perfect.

    STEP 8: LIPS

    Emma always mixes lipsticks to get exactly the color she wants. First, she dabs Kate’s lips directly with the stick. Then, alternating pigments, she mixes the colors directly on her fingers and applies the blend on Kate’s lips.

  1. Kosas
    weightless lip color
    goop, $65

    Botanical butters and organic oils make Kosas Weightless Lip Color in Stardust, an elegant, sheerish nude, feel fantastic on. Blend it with Kosas Weightless Lip Color in Rosewater, a creamy pink, and you get a tint that’s fresh and understated.


    With a thick brush, dust the T-zone with a loose setting powder to reduce shine.

    Kate’s Daytime look is finished!

  1. Beautycounter
    mattifying powder
    goop, $38

    Featherlight (and not tinted) Beautycounter Mattifying Powder deposits a smooth, natural finish.

Transition into Night Time

For my red carpet makeup in Venice, Emma only had 20 minutes to prepare, so she built on the daytime makeup she’d already done. Here’s how Emma transitioned on Kate.


    Brush some liquid liner directly onto your hand (this isn’t necessary, but makeup artists do it to ensure a sleek, crisp application; it also prevents too much liner coming out on the brush). With the liner wand or a liner brush, trace the ink along the base of your lashes—starting at the middle of the eye and going outward. Use a slightly bigger brush, a finger, or a Q-tip to smudge, if you like, or leave it crisp.

    Emma draws a line with an eye pencil over the line she’s already made with the liquid liner to intensify the look. Here you want to work across the eye, not just from the middle. Using a brush, blend and extend out. Now trace the pencil along your bottom lashes; blend again.

  1. Beautycounter
    color outline eye pencil
    goop, $24

    Beautycounter Color Outline Eye Pencil in Black is a creamy jet black that glides on sleekly and looks fantastic smudged out for a more lived-in look.

    liquid eyeliner
    goop, $18

    W3ll People Expressionist Liquid Eyeliner is the inkiest, sexiest black, and it doesn’t move once it sets.


    Now, mascara. Use one coat of black mascara to make the eyes pop. As before, build slowly and in layers, from the roots to the ends. For a dewy eye look, put a bit more on the middle lashes.

  1. (M)ANASI 7
    precision mascara
    goop, $49

    One coat of (M)anasi 7 Precision Mascara gives you awesome flutter; two coats is sexy, nighttime vibes.

    STEP 3: LIPS

    Emma paints on the lipstick using a small, flat brush—so it doesn’t bleed past the border of the lips.

    This one’s been passed on for generations: Use a tissue to blot. Finish up with a dab of lip gloss. Emma uses her fingers for this, too.

  1. ILIA
    satin cream lip crayon
    goop, $24

    Ilia Satin Cream Lip Crayon in Tinted Love – the perfect sleek mauve.

  2. Beautycounter
    lip gloss
    goop, $29

    BeautyCounter Lip Gloss is shiny all by itself; shellac it over lipstick for next-level gleam.

  3. Kjaer Weis
    lip brush
    goop, $22

    Kjaer Weis Lip Brush fits into any makeup bag and is brilliant at defining and filling in lips.


    Dab a tiny bit of light shimmer at the top of the cheekbones and at the end of the brows.

    Under the cheekbones, add a bit of bronzer or darker powder with an angled brush. This adds contour and gives Kate’s face a chiseled look. Finish with a light dusting of powder.

  1. Juice Beauty
    Flash Luminizer
    goop, $32

    A genius double-ended highlighter-blush-bronzer, Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Flash Luminizer in Golden Bronze is brightening smoothed across any area of the face.

  2. Beautycounter
    angled blush brush
    goop, $35

    The plush, slanted bristles of Beautycounter’s Angled Blush Brush make contouring a breeze.


    Emma dabs shimmery eye shadow on the center of Kate’s eyelids. “There’s nothing worse than dry-looking eyes.” Emma says.

  1. RMS Beauty
    cream eye polish
    goop, $28

    RMS Beauty Cream Eye Polish in Seduce is a glimmer-flecked earthy brown
    that takes minutes (and zero skill) to
    smooth on.


Kate is looking beautiful and ready for her night out.

    Note: Brushes

    Brushes are most definitely a worthwhile investment. To make them last, Emma washes her brushes after each use with a 2-in-1 shampoo & conditioner and leaves them to dry on a towel each night.

  1. Beautycounter
    foundation brush
    goop, $35
  2. Juice Beauty
    phyto-pigments sculpting
    foundation brush
    goop, $49
  3. RMS Beauty
    eye polish
    goop, $22
  4. ILIA
    concealer brush
    goop, $30
  5. Kjaer Weis
    Lip Brush
    goop, $22

Makeup For Absolute Beginners: Getting Started

So, you’ve decided it’s time to start painting your face “like a grown-up”. Maybe someone mistook you for a 12-year-old, or maybe you just want to give makeup a try. Well, Every College Girl is here for you. Because we were once where you are now, fresh faced, dewy cheeked, and totally ignorant of the beauty world. And it’s pretty terrifying, isn’t it? You go on blogs and YouTube and see stack after stack of powders, creams, pencils, brushes. For some reason there are little foam shapes everywhere.

It’s all very sparkly and all very intimidating.

So where to start? Well, if you’ve already got something you want to work on, then that’s great! If you have no idea where to start then take a good look at yourself in the mirror. What do you love about your face? Do you have amazing eyes? Luscious lips? Bold brows? Lustrous locks? Check yourself out and find something you really want to emphasize. Try starting there.

I know, I know, it’s tempting to go to the store and buy one of everything, but it’s much better to start one step at a time, mastering each feature along the way. You’ll look a lot better with fab lipstick and no makeup anywhere else than you will with buckets of products done wrong. Plus if you’ve got sensitive skin, you’re more likely to react badly if you go from zero makeup to all the makeup rather than taking it gradually and allowing your skin to adjust.

We’ve listed some places to start:

  • Eyeliner
  • Eyeshadow
  • Lipstick, lip liner
  • Skincare
  • Haircare
  • Hiding blemishes
  • Blush
  • Highlighter, bronzer
  • Mascara
  • Brow pencil
  • Nail polish
  • Perfume

We’re going to have separate, in-depth guides for each category of beauty product, so stay tuned for more!

After you’ve decided where to start, it’s time to buy your first beauty product! You can go straight to the nearest drugstore or pop into a fancier place like a department store or Sephora. There are good sides and bad sides to each. Sephora is crazy expensive but has an amazingly generous return policy so if you don’t like something you’ve bought from there, no worries! They’ll refund you or give you store credit! Drugstores don’t issue refunds, but their products are a lot cheaper.

If you’re worried about finding the exact right color, Sephora or a department store is the way to go. You can test the products and see how they look on your skin. Take a sample and swipe it over your forearm. This is called a swatch!

Don’t be afraid to ask the salespeople for help. A lot of help. Not only can they find your perfect shade and steer you towards the best products, but often the fancier stores will do free makeovers or makeup tutorials! Having someone show you a technique in person is always more helpful than trying to teach yourself off YouTube.

If the fancy stuff is out of your price range, don’t worry! Drug store makeup can be just as good. Sometimes makeup experts even prefer the cheaper stuff! And the price tag means you can easily try different products. Search for recommendations online for the best drugstore versions of whatever type of makeup you want to try or check out our in depth guides.

If you have sensitive skin, try brands like Almay and Physician’s Formula. These brands often try to make their makeup hypoallergenic, but be warned! Hypoallergenic just means something is less likely to cause a reaction, not that it never does.

While you’re at the drugstore, don’t forget to pick up some makeup remover! Micellar water is a great choice. It’s affordable, effective, and not too harsh on the skin. It’s basically just water with little balls of cleansing oil, or micelles. If you’d rather go all natural, coconut oil is a great makeup remover too, and you can get a huge tub of it for cheap! If you’re trying out eye makeup, be warned: it often takes extra cleansing. You can buy makeup remover specifically for eye makeup, which will even get off that stubborn waterproof mascara!

So now that you’ve got your new beauty product, it’s time to learn to use it! You can read our guides or check out YouTube for video tutorials. Some major YouTubers include Michelle Phan, Bethany Mota, and Zoella, but really you can just search for any how-to’s. Try looking for videos specifically for beginners. If you’re trying makeup for the first time, you really don’t need to be full on contouring.

Take your time and have your makeup remover handy. You probably won’t get it right the first time, but you can just wash it off and try again. Makeup is all about practice and figuring out what works for you. Different techniques will suit different people. And the most important part? Have fun! You go girl, be your fab self!

Are you a makeup expert? Or a total beginner? What’s your favorite part of beauty?

Author: Maya

When it comes to makeup, everybody needs to start somewhere! Especially when you’re first starting to build your beauty collection, walking through the aisle at Sephora can be extremely overwhelming. Twenty different primers, literally thousands of eye shadow colors, brands at every price point—trying to figure out what you actually need to walk away with can be pretty dizzying. That’s what we’re here for! There are only a few products you really need to start with—we’ve listed all seven below!

1. Cleanser

The secret to good makeup will always be good skincare, so it’s important to find a cleanser that does everything when starting out. Be sure to find a cleanser that cleans and hydrates the skin at the same time. Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Cleanser ($9.99, is a great find. Use this hypoallergenic formula in the morning to give yourself a clean palette to start with, and then again at night to wash the day’s makeup away.

2. Do-all moisturizer

It’s always important to apply face lotion after cleansing to restore any moisture that a cleanser may have stripped from your skin. For starters, Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer ($11.59, is the best way to go. All you need is a penny-sized amount for smooth skin.

3. Concealer

You’ve been going with the natural look thus far, so caking on foundation is probably the last thing you want to do! Instead, opt for a concealer. A concealer crayon works wonders, and is great for covering everything from blemishes to dark under-eye circles. We love the L’Oréal True Match Super-Blendable Concealer ($8.99, in any shade that blends well with your skin.

4. Mascara

You won’t believe what a simple swipe of mascara can do for your eyes! You’ll look more awake (perfect for when you’ve just pulled an all-nighter) and instantly makes you look that much more put-together. For dream lashes, try Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express ($6.99, It even curls your lashes, too!

5. Clear lip balm

A hydrating, colorless lip balm is always an essential. Use it to moisturize before you put on lipstick, as a gloss over lip color, or, of course, just on its own. We’re fans of Smith’s Rosebud Salve ($6,, because it’s not waxy or sticky, and gives a subtle shine, which makes your overall look a little more glam!

6. Neutral eyeshadow palette

If there’s anything that’s fun to experiment with, it’s eyeshadow. And when you’re just starting out, we suggest going with a palette featuring a variety of neutral shades, so you can create both casual and statement looks. The Naked 2 Basics from Urban Decay ($29, is a cult favorite!

7. Eyeliner

Eyeliner defines the eyes, whether you’re going for a bold or subtle look. To apply, gently pull your eyelids outward and trace above your eyelashes. After that, smudge the line out with a Q-tip for an easy, go-to smoky eye perfect for any occasion. Be sure to give Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide On Eyeliner in Zero or Bourbon ($20 each, a try. This product goes on smooth and lasts all day!

I stopped wearing makeup and I’m more confident than ever — here’s why you should try it too

  • The beauty industry is worth an estimated $532 billion. Women spend up to $300,000 on makeup during their lifetime.
  • Cutting out makeup could save you time. The average woman spends 55 minutes on her beauty routine.
  • Foundation is absorbed by the skin. A break from cosmetics gives pores a chance to unclog and lessens occurrences of infection.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Long before Alicia Keys made it a thing and a slew of celebritiess followed the trend, I’ve been going makeup-free. My decision to go sans makeup was not a conscious one at first. It was cultural. I was born and raised on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, and we generally follow a strict school dress code. This includes uniforms through post-secondary education, earrings no bigger than a 10-cent piece, short, unvarnished nails, and certainly no makeup.

Naturally, some girls gave into temptation outside of school confines but I never really felt inclined to. The women in my family were minimalists and we were years away from the now commonplace YouTube tutorials.

When I finally entered the workforce, I viewed makeup as a rite of passage — a surefire signal that I had been ushered into adulthood. I dutifully spent my mornings applying pressed powder, slathering on lip gloss, and carefully trying not poke my eye as I swiped on liner through blurred vision. Those awkward beginnings slowly gave way to a more refined look.

But to be honest, the whole process felt like a chore, and so I decided to pack it in. The world would have to deal with my moles, oily skin, and occasional breakouts. Moving to the US years later where it seemed no one ventured out in public without their ‘face’ on made me reconsider my position. That lasted all of a second. Of all the insecurities plaguing me, my bare face was not one of them, and I was determined to hold on to that.

It’s honestly been one of the best decisions I have ever made. That’s not to say I have completely sworn off makeup or that I am averse to it. I was eager to cop some gloss from Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Line, have a deep affinity for MAC’s Ruby Woo, and would love to master the cat-eye. But I have seen the makeup-free benefits and would encourage others to give it a shot.

Obviously, everyone should do what is right for them and makes them feel beautiful. You don’t have to stop altogether, but it wouldn’t hurt to experiment with giving your face a few days off.

It can help you save money.

Brushes, makeup, and removal products are costly. Thomas Lohnes/Stringer/Getty Images

For one, your pockets will thank you. Allure estimates that women spend an average of $300,000 on makeup in their lifetime! Think of all the vacations you’re missing out on. How does this bounty break down? The survey reported the on average, women are walking around with about $8 worth of makeup on their faces a day. New York is the most ‘expensive face’ state, with the average face sporting $11 worth of makeup a day. We haven’t even mentioned brushes, skin care, and makeup removal. It’s no wonder that the industry is valued at $532 billion globally. Love might not cost a thing but beauty sure does.

It will save you time.

As a novice, I felt like it took forever to apply my makeup. And I was doing the bare minimum. I would hardly qualify as glam. Now everything seems so much more complicated. There’s priming, concealing, blending, contouring, and baking — all after having crafted the perfect brow. A study showed that the average woman takes 55 minutes to get through her beauty regimen. I practically lost a day of my life just reading about Kylie Jenner’s 15-step makeup routine. With all that extra time you could easily fit in a quick workout, linger over breakfast with your boo, or even hit the snooze button.

Of course, there are less intensive routines but if you’re looking for that beat face, time is not on your side.

It’s good for your face to take a break.

Skin care products become a focus. Kris Connor/Stringer/Getty Images for Dr. Jart

Like every other living thing, your skin needs to breathe. Long-wear makeup may be a godsend but is built to absorb deeper into your pores. If not properly removed, this can lead to acne. Eyeliner also presents problems, especially when applied in the waterline.

Errant particles may get into the eye and cause irritation or worse. A break from constant cosmetics gives your pores a chance to unclog and lessens occurrences of infection. Not wearing makeup allowed me to focus solely on locking down a good skincare regimen. I absolutely love sampling new cleansers, toners, masks, and moisturizers to add to my rotation.

It can boost your confidence.

The “lipstick effect” is a psychological phenomenon in which wearing makeup can boost an individual’s confidence, increase self-esteem, and make them feel more physically attractive. Cosmetics help us play up our best features and hide our flaws. And when you look good, you feel good. But the no makeup look can be just as powerful.

It gives us an opportunity to be comfortable with our authentic selves and to be accepted as we are. You would be surprised how impactful going bare can be.

It can be better for animals.

Getty Images

Many of the cosmetic products we purchase are subject to animal testing. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), estimated that millions of mice, rabbits, cats, and dogs have been used to test cosmetic products, while the Humane Society International estimated in 2013 that it’s roughly 100,000 to 200,000 per year.

The tests are reportedly painful and animals are usually killed at the end of the process, according to the Humane Society of America. Fortunately, many companies have been producing vegan options and it’s totally possible to buy makeup that does not test on animals.

It can leave you feeling liberated.

I’m a hugger. I’m also on the short side. This meant I was always inadvertently leaving behind traces of foundation on someone’s clothing. Now I dole out hugs freely and fearlessly. And I don’t know about you but the last thing I want after a night out on the town is the added burden of thorough makeup removal. Instead, I can just fall into bed un-bothered (only after brushing my teeth because dental hygiene is crucial). No more touch-ups throughout the day or adventures in oil blotting. No more smudged mascara raccoon eyes or lipstick on my teeth. Just free to be me.

  • 35 photos that show what your favorite singers look like without makeup
  • Alicia Keys says the secret to her glowing skin includes an acne-busting chemical that ‘smells like a fart’
  • Sephora has revealed its 2020 birthday gifts, and they include everything from perfume to primer
  • Watch a now-viral video of a woman having her makeup done by her pet parrot and dog

Makeup is a total confidence booster, and it can be seriously therapeutic to swatch on. At times, however, it can also seem daunting to know exactly the order in which to apply a full face or in general how to apply it. “In reality, there are only so many products you can successfully put on—and they must be applied with a strategy that’s not ‘more is better’,” says Shawn Towne, makeup artist and global educator for Jane Iredale Cosmetics.

Before you begin applying your color cosmetics, allow your skin-care products (think moisturizer! sunscreen! serum!) to set for 30 minutes. And remember: When it comes to layering your makeup, you need to consider the texture first, says Towne. Creams, gels, and liquids should be applied before any powders to avoid pilling, so use this as a starting point and then build on it and tailor it, according to what works best for you.

Keep scrolling to learn exactly how to apply your makeup in the right order.

“Look for a liquid foundation or BB cream, depending on the desired level of coverage, with skin-care-like benefits,” says Towne. Many formulas even have built-in serums and other skin-boosting ingredients and can be used in place of a regular moisturizer, saving you a step in your getting-ready routine. If you prefer a mineral, powder-based foundation, remember that the cardinal rule of makeup application is to lay down liquids first, so apply any cream-based formulas such as concealer (or even cream blush, TBH) prior to.

2. Concealer

While there are a variety of textures and finishes for concealers, look for one that offers buildable coverage—meaning that it’s sheer enough to even skin tone but also can be layered appropriately to cover up hormonal zits and such. Ideally, you should use a concealer that’s one shade lighter for the under-eye area to help brighten. Have even skin? Skip foundation entirely in lieu of just a few spots of concealer on trouble spots.

3. Blush, highlighter, or bronzer

To give your complexion a finishing touch, sweep on a blush, highlighter, or bronzer—or some combination of all three. Continue to layer creams under powders, if you prefer to use both.

4. Eye shadow

If you’re partial to using cream or gel formulas, make sure to layer those under pencils and powders, says Towne, giving cream shadow some time to set before applying any other eye-area products. When working with a palette, use a neutral hue all over lids first before dabbing your favorite color from lash line to crease. Use a darker hue in the crease to make your eyes look brighter and wider, blending thoroughly so that you can’t tell where one shade stops and the other starts.

5. Eyeliner

Reach for an easy-to-use pencil or chubby stick on the upper lash line, and for an amped-up effect, in the waterlines as well. For a more natural-looking finish, dot a dark brown liner in between lashes on your upper lash line—which can help to make your fringe look way fuller without any mascara.

6. Mascara

This desert-island product (for makeup artists and beauty lovers alike) requires just a few coats to help open your entire face—and make your eyes look way bigger and brighter. Simply wiggle the wand through lashes to avoid clumping from root to tip with a precise hand. If you have oily under eyes, you can skip the bottom lashes to avoid winding up with raccoon eyes.

7. Lip color

With the rise of the seemingly omnipresent lip kit, it can seem like there are a billion ways to fill in your pout. Because I’m a minimalist, I’ll usually just dab a tint or gloss on with my finger and run out the door. If you’re going for staying power or a more pigmented hue, use a lip liner first, tracing not only the edges, but filling in lips, as well. Just remember it’s gonna come off at some point, and then you’ll just have to layer it back on. Ahh, the circle of makeup.

With your makeup routine on lock, find your new favorite formulas by checking out these 11 foundations for dry, flaky skin or these highly pigmented (and totally natural) eyeshadows.

How to put makeup?

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