In the course of a year I went from someone who on special occasions would scramble to put on eye shadow to a makeup artist who worked events for major companies. Those first couple of weeks were a state of constant confusion. Not only was I studying different brands and products, but I was also trying to implement my own beauty routine. After all, your own makeup is your best portfolio.
Now, having been immersed in the beauty world, I’ve put together what I would consider the essentials for anyone-whether you wear makeup every day or you only put on makeup to go to your best friend’s wedding. I'm talking skincare must haves, makeup essentials, and tips and tricks so you know what exactly to get!
Know Your Skin
The best advice I could ever give is to understand your skin type. The three main categories people fall under are either: oily, dry, or combination. Sometimes it can be hard to identify your skin type, especially if it doesn't fall into an extreme.
Dryness can be identified through flakiness, tightness, and patchiness.
Oily skin on the other hand manifests through shininess, stickiness, and a general feeling of needing to wash your face.
Combination can be a mix of these, many times people experience an oily T-zone (the forehead and nose) while their cheeks tend to be more dry.
Most skincare and makeup is designed to work with certain skin types so knowing your skin makes finding the right product even easier.
Skincare Must Haves
I’m sure we’ve all heard our mothers tell us to drink more water and to take care of our skin while we’re young. Don’t worry, I didn’t listen either. But after I started wearing makeup regularly, I realized I needed to up my skincare routine. Whether you wear makeup or not, you should always make taking care of your skin a daily habit.
Whether or not you use makeup remover, a face wash is majorly important to clean your skin each night and each morning. But not all face washes are the same. I know, that sounds obvious. But I didn’t know that some face washes can be more drying or hydrating. Do your homework on face washes, find out what type of skin they are geared towards and think about what you want from your face wash. Some are made specifically to help with acne or to be more friendly for sensitive skin.
This is my number one recommendation to any of my clients. Always moisturize. This affects how your skin will look, how your makeup will look, and how you will feel. You probably think I’m being dramatic, but I’m completely serious. A good habit to get into is putting moisturizer on every morning before you put on your makeup and every night before bed. Again, think about what you need from your moisturizer. Some have clinical strength hydration for very dry skin and some are supposed to help with oil control.
You should never feel as if you need to wear makeup everyday, or at all if you prefer. Makeup should be something that you want to apply that makes you feel comfortable and works to enhance your natural beauty. These basics are what I consider a quick and easy, everyday makeup look for anyone, no matter what their experience with makeup is.
While this depends on how much makeup you are applying, a general rule of thumb is to apply your foundation first. This is your base, and finding the right one can be tricky. I remember when I first started looking at foundations, I was instantly intimidated by all of the different brands and types and shades. But there are three things to consider before picking a foundation.
The number one thing to think about is your skin type. Foundation is such a major part of any makeup look that it is important to get a foundation that will react well with your skin and look flawless.
The next thing to decide is what type of coverage you are looking for. Generally people either want full coverage or light coverage. Some foundations are buildable though, meaning you can have lighter coverage on some days and then add another layer to get a more medium to full coverage for certain occasions.
The last question I always ask people looking for foundation, is what type of finish they want. Matte has been popular lately but a lot of my clients prefer a more dewey look for their skin.
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Blush + Bronzer
Even if I’m going for a minimalistic look, I always add either blush or bronzer to my cheeks. Once you've put on your foundation, having something to give dimension to your face can drastically enhance your natural features. Personally I tend to use bronzer to define my cheekbones more often than I use blush. However, both are incredible ways to make any look seem more put together and it only takes a second to swipe each cheek.
Regardless of if you are wearing eyeshadow or eyeliner, mascara is a must in my book. This is always one of my last steps to round out my look. Coating your lashes is an easy way to appear more awake which is something I always appreciate. Sometimes even going for a brown mascara gives that effortless, natural look. It’s important to keep in mind what you are looking for in a mascara though. Do you want more length or more fullness? While many mascara’s do both, they usually focus on one aspect over the other. Some can be more harsh on your lashes or harder to get off so it helps to talk to an artist and hear their opinion.
That moment when you find the perfect shade of red lipstick is unlike anything else. But for all of those other days when you don’t need to be completely done up, it’s nice to go with a fresh look. Having a hydrating lip balm that stays all day and adds a bit of color is a necessity. I seriously put my lip balm on every morning before I add lipstick and every night before I go to bed. Doing this has helped my lips appear fuller, and my lipstick not crack as much throughtout the day.
I'm sure after reading this list there are items that you personally don't feel the need for, and that's fine! That's what I love about beauty and makeup, it is such a personal thing that varies from person to person. If you think I've forgotten something I'd love to hear what you consider a must have when it comes to beauty basics!
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Previously a makeup artist, Anastasia is Bella Ella Boutique’s beauty blogger. She has a passion for writing and is currently finishing her first book of poetry. In her free time she drives around Utah with her dog, Atticus, looking for murals and coffee shops.