Whether you’re a glamorous diva who wants to shine in color at every opportunity, or you simply want to get away with the bare minimum that makes you look great, knowing the basics of using makeup (the right way) is a key skill. Trends in makeup fashion come and go, but with these solid makeup basics under your belt, you’ll always present the world your best face.
Does Face Shape Really Matter?
You’ll see a lot about ‘face shape’ in the makeup world. Knowing the ins-and-outs of your unique facial anatomy will help you master makeup techniques that suit your face, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all of the results you get. Still, look out for the following:
Makeup Basics – Know Your Face Shape:
Oval and heart-shaped faces have a great basic symmetry. Your face is widest at the cheekbones, and for ovals your face is longer than it is wide. Heart shapes have a wider forehead, narrowing at the chin (just like a heart), where ‘diamond’ faces are slim at the forehead and chin. Round faces are roughly the same dimensions in width and length. Square faces are wide at the forehead and jaw. Triangular faces have a broad jaw and narrow forehead, where ‘oblong’ faces are long but narrow throughout.
Knowing your basic face shape means you can balance your face by choosing where to draw attention to, and will help you pick a contouring style that works for you.
Your Best Features:
Your best features are more subjective, because they are the ones you love! Always seek to draw attention to what makes you feel confident, whether that’s gorgeous eyes, feminine lips, high cheekbones or anything else. You’ll want to concentrate your ‘bold’ makeup statements to maximize these assets.
How Do I Choose My Makeup Colors?
What’s trendy in the world of makeup always changes, so one year bold and bright is in, and the next you’re aiming for subtle nudes. One thing never changes, however- and that’s the spectrum of colors that will look great on you. You need to know a few basics to work out what is right for you.
Makeup Basics- Know Your Undertones
Every skin has what’s called an ‘undertone’. From the fairest ivory to the deepest ebony, you will have already noticed that certain colors look great, and others wash you out. Undertones may be the culprit. There are three basic undertones- cool, neutral and warm. These remain constant, even though your overall tone may lighten or darken with the seasons.
As a rough guide, if you look washed-out in black, great in caramels, and favor gold jewelry for the way it makes you sparkle, you’re warm tones. If silver is your secret, and you can wear black and white like a pro, you’re likely to be cool tones. Everything looks great? You’re a lucky neutral.
For a more definitive test, take a peek at the veins in your wrists. If they’re a greenish tint, you’re rocking warm undertones. Blue? Think cool-toned. And a reddish-purple puts you as a neutral.
It’s important to understand undertones have no link to skin color- fair girls can be warm-toned, and dark girls cool-toned. Just look at Alek Wek’s gorgeous skin for a classic example of a cool-toned dark skin! With a good understanding of your undertones, you’ll always be able to pick a shade in the right spectrum to make you look fab.
2) Skin Tone
Skin tone matters slightly less than undertones for colors, but it still matters for determining basics like concealer, foundation, and blush. Look to the area along your jaw to get an accurate idea of your skin tone.
3) Using This Information
Now you know these two basics, it’s time to pick the right shades. No color is truly off-limits for any undertone, although there will be shades you favor- it’s just a matter of matching the color’s undertone to yours. ‘Cool’ shades have a bluish or pink undertone. ‘Warm’ shades favor olive, yellow and golden. For foundations, concealers and other ‘skin-colored’ beauty products, choose both a warm and cool shade that matches your skin tone and swipe it on your jaw- the one that blends seamlessly is the one for you.
4) Matching Your Eyes
If you know can pick color undertones like a pro, but still aren’t sure what colors to try, ones which compliment your eye color is a great start. You still want to match the undertones of each shade to your skin, but not match the actual color with your eyes! Instead, we’re going to use the color wheel to pick complementary tones. If you’re down for some creative googling, you can use a color wheel site to open up a whole spectrum of colors that compliment your peepers, but in short? Green and Hazel eyes look fantastic in reddish-purples and other red-toned shades like pink, plum, mahogany, and rust. Grey eye’s favor cool, stormy colors like silver, blue loves rich browns and terracotta, while brown eye shades look great in dark purples, greens, plums and almost anything else.
How Do I Master the ‘Smokey Eye’?
Even if you are a makeup minimalist, having a classic ‘smokey eye’ in your arsenal should be your go-to for formal events, evening events and times you want to be a little more glamorous. They’re never out of fashion!
- Start with a primer so there’s no (unwanted) bleed
- If you suffer from dark circles, add a little concealer under the eye, but don’t let it cake up
- Swipe your darkest shade from your lashes to your crease. Remember ‘dark’ doesn’t mean ‘black’- you can use any shade for a smokey eye. Just make this the darkest in your palette.
- Now get smudging- a good smokey eye has no harsh lines, so blend the color gently into your crease and lash line.
- Line it up with a complimentary liner- women with paler eye shades might not want to go for black, so consider a brown, olive, blue or grey liner instead.
- Use a pale highlighting shade at the ‘v’ of the inner eyes and under the browline, and blend it in.
- Round off the look with curled eyelashes and a little mascara
There you have it! All the makeup basics you need to help you look cool, calm and collected, no matter the occasion.