From excessively bold brows to eye makeup that takes a lunch break, I have had my (un)fair share of makeup mishaps. Yes, I live in the YouTube generation where a makeup tutorial is just a click away, but beauty gurus never spoke my makeup language when I first began to slap product on my face. Add in the fact that few of my close friends or family members every wore makeup, leaving me no one to turn to for practical advice, and you are in for a full face of disaster. Here are 5 things I wish I would have known when I began my magical, mystical, makeup journey.
Prime Your Lids
I never watched a lot of “beginner friendly” makeup tutorials, but the ones I did watch told me the biggest lie of my makeup history: eye primers are overpriced and unnecessary. The result: a high school mini-Liv whose eyeshadow and liner all traveled to the crease of her lid by 2nd period. Maybe eye primers aren’t necessary for everyone, but they’re definitely necessary for members of the #OilyRoyalty squad like myself. My life finally took a turn for the better when I caved and bought a Maybelline Color Tattoo (which does the work of a primer and a shadow) and later, the Elf Eye Primer.
You Need to Buy Your Own Foundation
I know my mom and I don’t have the same skin tone. This is a fact I’ve known all my life. Unfortunately, there’s a different between having knowledge and using said knowledge, which is why I continued to use my mom’s foundation for a year. In my head, the product was going to waste in her collection since she never wore makeup. In reality, the makeup was going to waste on my face because it looked wrong, it felt wrong, and my mom told me on multiple occasions that I didn’t need it – which of course encouraged me to continue buying more poorly selected shades, because rebellion.
Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should
I really believe you can do bomb brows with pretty much anything, but when you’re first starting out, you should probably stick to a few rules. Rule #1: Use a product that matches or is slightly lighter than what you perceive your brows to be. For example, if you have dark brown hair, jet black is not your brow color. Rule #2: Stick to more user friendly brow products, such as powders, fine tipped pencils, or brow gels. An example of what you shouldn’t use is black, cream eyeliner. Rule #3: Normal brows have space between the hairs, so your filled in brows shouldn’t be a solid, curved line on your face.
Liquid Eyeliner is Not Your Friend
After I became amazing at the pencil liner game (read: could slap it on without stabbing myself in the eye), I decided to level up to doing a fierce wing with liquid liner. This was the mistake of a century. My lashes normally have some curl to them so I would either paint directly on them or stab myself with the baby liner brush and have to cry the ink out of my eye. Either way, I would always end up with watery, tear streaked eyeliner which is a look solely reserved for an artistic Instagram makeup post. The solution: eyeliner pens or cream eyeliner. Both let you choose the amount of product on the tool and aren’t as wet, which lowers your chances of making a mess. Now you just have to get down the technique.
I’m an oily gal. And a sweaty gal. And a gal with a tendency to put too much product on her face. You might think that the only thing that saved me from a total cake face was my fear of powder, but you’d be wrong. A good powder can not only help keep oil at bay and retouch your makeup after blotting (though I never actually do the latter), but it sets your makeup in place. Before the NYC Smooth Skin Powder I would go out with a full face of makeup and come home with a patch of it missing from my cheek. After the powder, my makeup would still be where I left it. Yes, it was kind of cakey looking and yes I was still oily because I don’t believe in retouching, but it was all still there.
Bonus Tip: It’s Good to be Bad
I didn’t begin to wear makeup until I was around 16 or 17 years old – and that was just brows, liner, and some lid shimmer. My real makeup journey didn’t start until college. I loved makeup, but I always worried that I was doing it wrong, wearing too much, or wearing too little. These concerns pushed me to get better at makeup and love my makeup even more. I remember how happy I was when I did my first solid wing or rocked my first ultra bold lip. The elation of knowing that your skills were pretty trash before, but now you’ve created something awesome on your face is amazing and humbling. Thus, I encourage you all to go out, be adventurous, and make mistakes so you can be better. Take some advice from Season 3, Episode 4 of Dragon Tales: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
What would you tell your beginning makeup self?
Thanks for reading!
Until next time, have an awesome rest of your day and an amazing rest of your week!