‘Tis the season to look gorgeous!
Isn’t playing dress up and plunging into your makeup arsenal to put your best look forward the best part of the Holidays and special occasions? However, if you are not a pro at makeup, those incessant and not to mention scarily creative Holiday Instagram pictures can put a damper on your festive spirit.
Fear not! We have super easy tricks, video tutorials and pictorials to help you look gorgeous this Holiday season and beyond:
Step 1: Moisturizer
No matter what your skin type is, always moisturize.
There are water based moisturizers available now, suitable for acneic skin as well. Pick one that’s light-weight and oil-free and massage a small amount all over your face and neck.
Moisturization helps create a smooth base for your makeup. Newer marketing gurus might make you think primer is the most essential base step for makeup but even that needs a base to hold on to. So remember never to skip your moisturizer before applying makeup.
Step 2: Primer
After your moisturizer has had a good few minutes to absorb, move on to applying primer. If your moisturizer left a slight residue behind after settling in, use a single ply tissue to lightly dab it all off.
Pick a primer based on what your skin needs, not just because “you need a primer”. Each primer caters to a different need: some help minimize the appearance of pores (Smashbox Light It Up Primer Set), some help control oil production through the day (BECCA Cosmetics – Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector) and some help blur or counter imperfections like fine lines, wrinkles and redness (smashbox – Photo Finish Foundation Primer Color Correcting Adjust).
Pick one or more that suit you needs best and apply a pea sized amount to only those areas that need them. Most primers are usually silicone based and if you apply more than necessary, they will start to ball up no matter how good the quality of the primer is.
Step 3: Foundation
Once you have prepped your skin with a moisturizer and a primer, you will realize that you won’t need as much foundation as you initially thought so.
Again, pick a foundation that suits your skin type and not something that is currently in vogue. When choosing the shade of the foundation, be sure to match it with your neck and not your face.
While you can apply foundation with your fingers, a number of brushes and sponges, a quite fool proof way to do is to use a Beauty Blender, especially if you are a newbie to makeup. The Beauty Blender helps avoid over-applying the product, fills in pores really well and gives an airbrush finish without any streaks whatsoever.
Use a stippling (dabbing) motion to apply foundation with your Beauty Blender. This will create tiny dot-like pixels of foundation all over your face to give an air-brushed finish and fill in any pores that your facial skin may have.
Step 4: Concealer and Correctors
While you can use a high coverage foundation to hide all imperfections, chances are that if you apply a lot of it, your makeup will begin to look cakey and heavy – not a very flattering look.
Instead, use the foundation to even out your complexion only and concealers and correctors to hide any other imperfections. Remember concealers and correctors should only be used on specific areas that need them and not all over your face.
Use a yellow toned concealer to hide dark circles – apply in a triangular shape and then blend well using your Beauty Blender.
Correctors are not exactly necessary unless you want an absolute flawless finish. So if you are not very high maintenance, skip this step. Otherwise, take a look at what color correctors are used to hide what kind of imperfections below.
Again, use a minimal amount only over areas where they are needed and use stippling motions with your Beauty Blender to blend.
Step 5: Finishing Powder
This step is optional depending on what type of products you are using. If you are going to use powder based products in the next steps, apply a finishing powder now. This will give your liquid products to settle down and not crease later and powder products a base to apply and blend well.
You can either use a sponge like Beauty Blender to dab and press a finishing powder all over your face for more coverage or you can use a fluffy brush to slightly dust it all over your face for minimal coverage. If you are not looking for coverage at all, use a translucent powder for this step.
Step 6: Eye Makeup
The most daunting step of all for most makeup newbies and even some pros.
While only practice can make you perfect, here are some amazing tips and tricks to at least get through the holiday season with grace.
Start off by applying an eye shadow primer all over your lid. Give it a couple of minutes to settle in and then start off with your eye makeup. Here is a picture to help you figure out which shade goes where. The lighter shades will bring out the parts of the eye you want to highlight like the brow bone and the inner corners while the darker shades will help push back the areas that you need to make them appear deeper like the crease.
Remember, applying colors using this picture is quite easy; what makes the makeup look good is the way you blend. Blending is absolute key. Use a good set of eye makeup brushes to ensure that you have blended each eye shadow well and there are no harsh lines whatsoever.
Step 7: Highlight, Blush and Contour
These three products will give your face definition and create some drama to the entire look. Without these products, your face is going to look flat and all that effort done will go to waste.
Here is a picture to help you show which product goes where. Again, you can use a Beauty Blender to apply these products or individual brushes to do so.
As with eye shadows, highlighters (light colored powders with shimmers) are applied to areas where light would naturally hit your face and bring out the area forward. This includes down the bridge of your nose, above your cheekbones and in the center of your forehead. Contouring products (dark colored products with usually no shimmer) are used to push back the areas of your face that need a little shaping like the hollow of your cheeks, if you have a plump, round face, the top of your forehead, if you have a large forehead and underneath your jaw line, if you have a little double chin action going on.
Blushes, on the other hand, help blend these two products together to give a more transitioned look while adding a beautiful flush to your cheeks and a finishing color to your entire makeup look.
Step 8: Lip Liner, Lipstick and Lip Gloss
If you have dry, chapped lips, apply a lip balm along with the first step (Moisturizer).
By the time you reach the Lipstick step, the lip balm would have had enough time to create a good lip base.
Use a lip liner in the nude shade or same shade of lipstick that you are going to apply, to line the lips. This will help create a little definition, a sharper lip look and avoid your lipstick from bleeding later on. You can also make your lips appear bigger by applying the lip liner a little outside your lips.
Next up, apply your favorite lipstick shade. If you are worried your lipstick won’t stay put through the day, use the following beauty hack.
Once you have applied a layer of lipstick, place a single ply tissue over your lips and dust a little translucent powder over it. Remove the tissue and apply a second layer of lipstick.
Lip glosses are of course optional depending on the kind of lip finish you prefer. However, a trick to making lips appear fuller is to apply lip glosses only at the center of the lips.
Step 9: Setting Spray
Again, an optional step but nonetheless important one, setting sprays will help lock your makeup into place. This step is especially necessary if you are using all cream/liquid based products and have skipped Step 5: Finishing Powder.
If you have used all powder based products, a good setting spray will also help take away any powdery feel that you may have left behind after all the makeup layers. It will help blend in everything together and give a more polished look.
Images Credit: Good Housekeeping, Beautytidsbits.com, Boots, Sand Sun & Messy Buns, Makeup.com, kissablecomplexions
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