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How To Apply Face Makeup: Step By Step Tutorial

September 2, 2020 By

You don’t need to be a makeup pro to apply gorgeous face makeup. You don’t even need a heap of special beauty tools. The secret is in the makeup application. From blending foundation to mastering winged eyeliner, these tips and tricks can help you to achieve a flawless, natural makeup look

Here are the basics.

How To Apply Makeup Flawlessly – A Step By Step Tutorial (In 9 Steps)

There are two solid reasons why you should learn to apply your makeup the right way. First, it will look more flawless and natural. And, second, your makeup will actually work harder for you. 

So, where do you start? Let’s first look at the products you’ll need for a basic, natural-looking makeup routine.

What Makeup Products Do I Need For My Face?

The products listed below are key makeup essentials. It’s especially important to note the first two, as they often get overlooked. Both moisturizer and primer prep the skin for foundation, creating a flawless face. 

Moisturizer ensures that skin is smooth and hydrated so makeup won’t cling to unsightly dry patches. Plus, it’s a crucial step in every daily skincare routine! 

Primers help fill in the pores to create a smooth canvas that will “grab” onto your makeup, helping it last longer. It’s exactly like priming a paint canvas. Some primers on the market may also help to visibly even out skin tone, soak up oil, brighten the complexion, and blur the look of fine lines.1

The Ideal Makeup Kit:

  • Moisturizer 
  • Primer
  • Eyeshadow
  • Eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • Liquid Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Bronzer/Blush
  • Highlighter/Illuminator
  • Lips Gloss/Lipstick
  • Setting Powder or Spray

Whether you’re a makeup novice or you’re already highly confident in your makeup game, these steps will give you a system to follow anytime you apply makeup.

Step 1: Moisturizer

Place a small amount of moisturizer onto your fingertips and apply to the center of your face. Gently massage it outwards and upwards. Then, wait a few minutes for it to sink in before adding your primer. 

Step 2: Primer

Place a dime-sized amount of primer onto your fingertips or a makeup brush, and apply to the center of your face. Slowly work it outwards and upwards so that your cheeks, forehead, and chin are all covered. 

Bonus Tip: There’s also eyeshadow primer to help your eye makeup last all day and prevent “creasing.” It’s important that you purchase this product separately if you’d like to use it, as it’s formulated specifically for the sensitive skin around the eye area.

Step 3: The Eyes

You may be wondering why eye makeup is listed so early in your routine. Eye makeup  tends to drop onto your face during application, whether that’s falling powder, eyeliner smudges, or flakes of mascara.

So, by applying the eyes first, this “mess” won’t ruin your flawless foundation.

Apply Eyeshadow

When applying your perfect shade combination, always start with the lightest eyeshadow color. You’re going to place this on the inner half of your lids and blend (using a good shadow brush) in a windshield wiper motion. This softens the shadow on the lid and along the crease.

You’ll need at least three shades, so you can seamlessly blend your lightest and darkest tones. Darker shades are best used in the crease or the outer corners of the eye. 

Apply Eyeliner

Whether you use a kohl pencil, gel, or liquid liner, when applied right, eyeliner can make your lashes look thicker and your eyes bigger. You can also apply nude liner to your waterline to make your eyes look larger.  

When applying eyeliner along your lid, you’ll want to use small lines and strokes to create the line. It’s better to start thin and build from there. This also helps to keep the liner on both eyes even.

Some people love a winged “cat eye.” For help on how to achieve the perfect winged eyeliner look, check out this article.

Apply Mascara

To finish your eyes, seek out an ultra-pigmented mascara to instantly add length, volume, and definition to your lashes.

Pull out the mascara wand and wipe off any excess against the barrel. Then, place your mascara wand close to the root of your lashes and pull up through the tips on the underside of your lashes. Repeat this on the top side of your lashes. 

To make your eyes appear more open, you can also “fan out” your lashes. Starting at the outer corner, brush mascara through the lashes up and out. When you reach the center, brush directly upward through the lashes. Finally, at your inner eye, carefully brush mascara in an up and inward direction. 

Step 4: Foundation

First, you’ll want to determine which medium suits you best – liquid or powder foundation. As a general rule, powder foundations are great for combination or oily skin types, while dry skin loves liquid foundation.2,3

Begin by dotting the foundation evenly all over your face. Then, blend in a circular motion until it’s seamlessly melted into the skin. 

Powdered foundations are always applied with makeup brushes, but liquid foundation is also better served when applied with a foundation brush or makeup sponge. This is because it makes for a quicker, more precise application, and it’s far more hygienic than using your hands. 

Step 5: Concealer

Concealer covers best when it’s blended in layers – whether you use your fingers or a concealer brush.

Start by applying a few dots of concealer under your eyes close to the lash line. Then apply a dot to the inside corner of your eyes. Tap to blend in your concealer – never rub at it. Then, apply concealer to any blemishes around the face.

If the coverage isn’t quite where you want it, apply another layer, and use a little loose face powder to set your concealer.

Step 6: Bronzer / Blush

Want a more vibrant, fresh look? Blush is a winner for adding a natural-looking flush to the cheeks, no matter the season. Bronzer creates a sun-kissed glow to lift any complexion.

For blush: Lightly swirl color in a circular motion on the apple of the cheeks and a little along the cheekbones. 

For bronzer: Sweep product across your cheeks lightly, and build from there. You can also sweep bronzer across the parts of your face that the sun hits naturally – like the nose and forehead.

Step 7: Highlighter / Illuminator 

Both a highlighter and an illuminator can help make your complexion appear brighter, fresher, and healthier. But here’s the most asked question:

How Is Illuminator Different From Highlighter?

Both products aim to brighten the complexion, but here’s the difference: Highlighters draw attention to smaller, specific areas – like your Cupid’s bow or your cheekbones. Illuminators work to give an all-over, subtle glow. 

How To Apply Highlighter

For highlighter, stick to the parts of your face where sunlight naturally hits. These are the “high points” or the points that jut out a little more – the tops of your cheekbones, your brow bone, your Cupid’s bow, and the bridge of your nose. 

Apply highlighter to your “high points” by either dusting with a face brush (for powders) or dotting and dabbing with your fingers (for creams or liquids). You can also use a makeup brush to better blend cream or liquid highlighter.

How To Apply Illuminator

The easiest way to apply illuminator is to choose a liquid product. Then, you’ll simply add a few drops to your liquid foundation (on the back of your hand is ideal) and mix. Apply as you would normally apply your foundation. 

Step 8: Lips

The perfect pout is within your grasp if you follow the correct steps for applying lipstick. Here’s how:

  1. Keep lips nourished with a deeply moisturizing lip balm or treatment. If they’re particularly flaky, you can gently exfoliate by using an old toothbrush in a circular motion.
  2. Apply a lip base or a little concealer to give your lipstick something to cling onto.
  3. Apply lip liner in soft feathery strokes, and then blend well with a lip liner brush to soften the edges. You can make your Cupid’s bow pop by drawing an ‘X’ shape just below the bow.
  4. Begin at the center of your lips with a lipstick brush, and blend lipstick outward toward your lip line. 
  5. If you’ve accidentally colored outside the lines, use a little concealer on a lip brush to cover any mistakes around your lips. 
  6. Finish by blotting your lips with a tissue. Hold that tissue over your lips and lightly apply setting powder on the tissue with a fluffy powder brush.

Note: Another great, natural looking option is to skip these steps and smooth on a high quality lip gloss. There are some great plumping, moisture-rich options out there for a more youthful look and feel.

Step 9: Setting Powder 

For the ultimate complexion before you head out the door, you may want to “set” your look in place. For those with an oily t-zone, this may also help keep shine at bay. 

face powder | City Beauty

Think sparingly here. Rather than using a big fluffy brush, use a powder puff instead. Tap off any excess powder from the puff, and then gently press and roll it into the skin. You don’t want to shift any of that perfectly applied foundation or concealer. If you’re someone who prefers a dewy finish, use less powder.  

Easy Face Makeup For A Flawless, Natural Look

There are, of course, hundreds of beauty products out there for each of these steps. Trial and error is often your best bet for finding products that both you and your skin love. 

Learn More:
-Makeup Brush Guide: Types Of Makeup Brushes You Should Have
-How To Achieve The “No Makeup” Makeup Look
-How To Remove Makeup Properly To Support Skin Health

Sources
1 https://www.marieclaire.co.uk/beauty/make-up/best-primer-244313
2 https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/makeup/g9874643/best-powder-foundation/
3 https://www.allure.com/gallery/best-foundations-for-dry-skin

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