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A little over a year ago I dived into beauty and makeup head first with no life preserver. Learning about the beauty world was something I’d wanted to do for years but never had the courage. When it came to makeup, all I did was a bit of powder foundation, eyeliner, and mascara. I was minimalist but put together. At least that’s what I told myself. In the last year, I’ve learned so much about makeup and beauty. The dos and don’ts of the beauty industry are hard to navigate when you’re first learning. It’s a lot of trial and error, but we all have to learn it at some point.
Now, I am no beauty expert. I didn’t go to cosmetology school. I’ve never worked at Sephora. I am by no means a professional. These are simply the things I’ve learned during my beauty and makeup journey. The things that make my makeup life more enjoyable and addictive. Here are my ten beauty hacks, tips, and tricks for beginners (or anyone, for that matter).
Invest in some decent makeup brushes.
Now. I’m not talking about dropping hundreds of dollars on brushes. No. With that being said, please do your research before you buy. If you buy the cheap dollar store brushes, you’ll get what you paid for. But there are better brushes for a reasonable price. I personal love Real Technique brushes. They have several different sets to start you out, including the Real Techniques Starter Set for eyes and Real Techniques Flawless Base Set. I have both of them and use those brushes every day. When it comes to Real Techniques, you won’t get any better makeup brushes for the price.
Another good brand for cheaper brushes is e.l.f. They have a nice variety of brushes at a pretty reasonable price. I’ve had my eye brushes from e.l.f. for years, and they’re still holding up strong. The brushes don’t look worse for wear and that’s after washing them thousands of times. You could buy a set of e.l.f. brushes and a couple Real Techniques sets and have a nice stack of brushes for under $50 dollars.
The key is to find soft brushes that don’t shed all over the place like a hairy animal. Once you get your core set of brushes, your makeup routine will get so much easier and more enjoyable.
Every beauty enthusiast needs a good primer.
Primer is like putting a buffer between your skin and your foundation. The foundation doesn’t sink into your pores as quickly, and it makes your makeup last longer. It also helps keep breakouts at bay because your makeup isn’t sitting directly on your skin. I had to try several different primers before I found my favorite, which is Too Faced Hangover Primer. It’s on the high-end of primers, but when you find a good one, you stick with it. When it comes to drugstore brands, I’ve heard good things about NYX and Maybelline. I’m pretty set in my primer ways. I’ve tried a few new ones since I discovered Too Faced, but I always go back.
When it comes to primers, you have to experiment with which ones work well for your skin type. Do research online. Read other reviews on how the product holds up. Once you find one, it’ll take your makeup game to the next level.
Don’t put concealer straight on your face.
This is one I recently learned and was upset I didn’t think of it sooner. When applying concealer, apply some to the back of your hand first instead of directly on your face. Then use a clean brush to apply the product directly to your face. It keeps bacteria out of the tube and helps prevent breakouts. This tip works especially well if you’re having a bad skin day.
Of course, you should be washing your hands before you start your makeup routine. I can’t count how many times I touch my face during application. With a clean hand and no contaminated products, you’ll break out less and your skin will thank you for it.
Cotton swabs can be a lifesaver during your beauty routine.
Between mascara slip-ups and eyeshadow mishaps, this can save you so much time and energy. I always keep some in the bathroom where I apply my makeup. When the mess is a bit too much for a dry one, wet the tip of the cotton swab and whip away the problem. I personally struggle keeping my mascara from marking my eyelid. This way, I don’t have to pull out my eyeshadow palettes and start from scratch. It can also help clean up the lines of eyeliner to make it look cleaner and more refined. Or whip off that cat eye that you gave up on.
It’s a good idea to keep cotton swabs on hand in case you make a mistake. I know I need them every morning without fail. Pro tip: Dip them in makeup remover for when you need water isn’t doing the trick.
If you haven’t invested in a good eyeshadow primer, do it.
I can always tell when I forget this step in my beauty routine. My eyeshadow lasts half as long and looks dull and lifeless. Of course, this was a makeup tip I ignored for the first few months. Over a year ago, I picked up Revlon Photoready Eye Primer + Brightener as my first eyeshadow primer. While I don’t use this anymore, I would recommend it to someone looking for a cheaper alternative. I currently use Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion – Anti-Aging, and I love it.
If you want your eyeshadow to last all day without fail, eyeshadow primer should be added to your list of products.
Eyeshadow palettes are expensive, but they are worth the money.
It’s an honest investment. I’ve personally purchased four of the six I own. Two of them I bought at a discount. One with a gift card. With each one I purchased, I made sure the colors fit my personality and comfort level. Because of this, I don’t regret a single palette I’ve purchased. If you won’t wear half the colors on the palette at least once, don’t buy it.
With certain brands, you get what you pay for. Most palettes come with twelve or more high-pigmented colors that last for hours. Brands like Too Faced and Urban Decay are known for their palettes, but I’ve also heard good things about brands like L’Oréal and Maybelline. Their nude palettes look beautiful, and I’ve wanted to try them for months now.
Dip your eye brushes in water to get a bolder line.
This is another thing I learned while experimenting the other day. I run my eyeliner brush under the tap for a second and dip it in the eyeshadow. You can use this instead of eyeliner for a softer look.
Also if you’re doing your eyebrows, use this trick to get a cleaner line. I’m currently using Maybelline Brow Drama Pro Eye Makeup Palette for my brows. Sometimes with the powder, it’s harder to get a clean line. This helps keep the powder under control and where you want it.
Blend like your life depends on it.
This is what I tell myself when I’m doing my eye makeup every morning. Blending blurs the lines between different shades and your skin. It makes your eye makeup look more natural and blends the colors seamlessly. You can use any fluffy eyeshadow brush to accomplish this. I use one of the Real Techniques brushes I mentioned in the above set.
End it all with a setting spray.
This is another tip I ignored for far longer than I should have. The more makeup you use in the morning, the more time it takes. That’s a no-brainer. So why wouldn’t you finish off your hard work with something that will keep it all in place? Seems silly doesn’t it. It’s like insurance. I have Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Setting Spray, and I have been using it for almost a year now. It’s something I’m not afraid of splurging on. And setting sprays last a long while, so it’s worth the money.
Wash your brushes regularly.
You don’t need a fancy brush cleaner to get this job done. Some hair shampoo will do the job perfectly. I’ve tried using brush cleaner before, but nothing works better than a product made to clean your hair. My motto is, if it’s gentle enough for your hair, it’s perfect for your brushes. Correct me if I’m wrong. I will say I’ve cleaned my brushes this way for years now, and my brushes are still alive and well.
Something smart to help out with brush cleaning is a Silica Glove Scrubber Board. My person bought me one for Christmas, and it’s the best thing in the world. And they’re pretty cheap. It is basically a silicon glove. The glove opening can fit one finger to stabilize it. Then you put the soap directly on the scrub board and start cleaning your brushes. This tool saves me a ton of time while cleaning. I highly recommend this.
What tips and tricks would you recommend to a beauty beginner? Is there anything you’d add to this list? Let me know in the comments!
This post included affiliate links. If you’d like more information, refer to my disclaimers page.