A Beginner’s Guide to Makeup

Oh Makeup!

People have various point of views about makeup. Some love it, and some don’t. Personally, I think makeup can play a huge role in boosting a person’s self esteem and confidence. Don’t take this the wrong way. We are all beautiful, but we can’t deny ourselves a little pampering to make us look and feel even more beautiful. Makeup is a form of expression!

Once you’ve opened yourself up to the world of makeup, it can be quite overwhelming. You may not know where to begin. What to buy first, what step to make. So, I have decided to create a simple guide to makeup through this post and I hope that this will be useful to you in any way possible.

KICK OFF! A Skin care routine. Makeup can only do so much. In fact, if you are not careful with the products you use, makeup can age our skin a lot faster! There’s so much information that I want to share, but I want to make this as concise and comprehensive as possible. Determine your skin type. This is your basis for the products you will invest in. To do this, just follow these simple steps.

  1. Take off your makeup and wash your face. Pat it dry and wait for an hour.
  2. Take a blotting sheet and apply this on your forehead, chin, and cheeks.
  3. Check the blotting sheet and determine which areas were oily.

If your whole face is oily, then you have an oily skin.

If only certain parts of your face are oily (cheek or T-zone) you have combination oily skin.

If there’s no oil on your sheet and you have dry patches on your face you may have dry skin.

If you have a non-oily, non-dry, with no open pores, then you have normal skin.

There are many variations to this, but you get the idea. Invest in a good skin care routine, because like I always say: Makeup can only do so much.

WHAT’S NEXT? Cosmetics and Tools. Save up and research on what products to get. If you’re just starting off, you don’t have to buy the whole shebang You can start off with the following:

  • Makeup Brush set – This will contain all the brushes you will need to apply your makeup.

makeup brush set for beginnersmakeup brush set for beginners

Eco Tools brush Set

Price Range: $6.00 – $14.00, available at drug stores

12 pc makeup brush set

ELF Professional complete set of 12

$12.00 available at ELF counters and their website eyeslipsface.com

You can also find a variety of brush sets at Amazon.com for a very good deal. I will be doing a separate post on makeup brushes and their functions.

  • Face Primer – What is a face primer? It allows your foundation to last longer and prevents transfer after applying your makeup. It also creates a barrier between your skin and the cosmetics you apply on your face. Find a primer that suits your skin type. Here are a few affordable ones that I have tried:

wet n wild face primer, ELF face primer

Wet n’ Wild Intuitive Blend Shade Adjusting primer ($5.99), ELF Mineral Infused Face primer ($6.00)

Here’s another  primer that has received good reviews and is affordable as well.

face primer

L’oreal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting base ($10.00)

  • Foundation/Tinted Moisturizer – What’s the difference? Foundation has more coverage and has thicker consistency. A tinted moisturizer is exactly what it’s called, a moisturizer with a tint to it. If you’re still young and you don’t need a lot of coverage for blemishes and discoloration, stick with a tinted moisturizer, it’s best to preserve youthfulness! The most important thing to remember is: Invest in a great quality foundation. You don’t have to spend too much on other things, but if it takes a high end foundation to prevent your skin from aging, breaking out, or just looking bad, then go for it.

However, here are a few foundations that are great quality but easy on the pockets.

Revlon Colorstay Foundation ($6-$12)

Maybelline Superstay 24 hour makeup ($8.00-$9.00)

Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation ($7.00-$8.00)

Neutrogena healthy skin foundation ($13.00-$14.00)

If you want to learn how to apply your foundation and concealer for every day and for full coverage makeup, check these videos out:


  • Concealer – Usually, it is ideal to use a liquid concealer on the under eyes to prevent creasing. A wand concealer would be appropriate. For blemishes, use a cream or mousse concealer. For discoloration, you need color correcting concealers.Figure out what you need to cover and then find your concealer. you don’t have to have all types.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer and Maybelline DreamLumi Touch Highlighting Concealer ($7.99)

Revlon Colorstay Blemish Concealer ($9.99)

For cream concealers, you can find palettes that contain color correcting concealers and a variety of shades for different purposes. An example would be the Coastal Scents concealer palettes or the DollFace Cosmetics ones.

Photo credit: DollFace Cosmetics

  • Setting Powder – Setting powders can be compact or loose. You can choose between those with color and translucent ones that simply matify the face without changing the color of the foundation.
ELF HD powder ($6.00)
Maybelline Dream Matte Powder ($5.00-$7.00)
Revlon Colorstay finishing powder ($9.99)
  • Eyebrow pencil or Eyebrow cake – I personally believe that the first thing you need to practice is applying foundation with concealer AND your eyebrows. With both of these mastered, you’ll look made up every time. You won’t perfect it the first try, but you will with practice. Here’s a tutorial on how to groom your brows.


    • Liquid, gel, or pencil liner – You don’t have to dive in to eye shadows right away. Start with perfecting that winged eyeliner look. It’s fast and an easy go-to look for every day. It’s not much at all! You can get black, brown, cream, and white since they are the most basic.

    Milani Liquif’eye pencil liners ($5.00-$6.00)

    The black one is not metallic, the rest of them are.

    L’Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Eyeliner, Carbon Black ($9.49) and Maybelline Lasting Drama by EyeStudio Gel Eyeliner, Blackest Black ($7.99)

    • Eyelash curler and mascara – a good quality eyelash curler is essential because cheap ones can cut off your eyelashes or pinch your eye lids. Investing on a good quality mascara will ensure voluminous, lengthy, and eye-catching lashes which are my favorite!

    The only affordable eyelash curler that I’ve ever  tried is the ELF eyelash curler.

    ($1.00) at ELF counters or eyeslipsface.com

    Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Washable Mascara, Blackest Black and Maybelline The Colossal – Waterproof Volum’ Express Mascara, Glam Black  ($6.39),  L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara ($8.49) and L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara, Carbon Black ($8.95)

    • Eye shadow primer – Once you’re ready to play around with eye shadows, you need to get a primer first. Why? because eye primers allow your eye shadow’s true colors to come out. It will also ensure that they will last the entire day without smudging or fading. Eye primers are also great at preventing your liners from bleeding out. Concealers may be used as primers, but they might crease on you.

    Here are great quality, affordable eye primers that I have tried so far:

    e.l.f. Studio Eye Primer & Liner Sealer and e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer ($3.00)

    • Eye shadow palette – You can start with neutral eye shadows that have matte finishes because they are great for every day use. The most affordable palettes are the ELF ones. they are pigmented and they have a wide selection of colors. I personally think that they are the best deals. But you are free to purchase other drugstore brands. Eye shadows come in singles, duos, trios, and quads. There are sets that come with blush, contour and highlight, and even lip products.
    • Contour powder, Highlighter, and blush – contour powders are matte and are slightly darker that your skin tone. You can use a darker shade of face powder, or you can get bronzers that are not shimmery.

    ELF blush and bronzer ($3.00)


    ELF Golden Bronzer ($3.00)

    ELF matte bronze

    ELF matte bronze ($1.00)

    ELF essential bronzer with brush ($2.00)

    Other bronzers you can check out are Milani and Wet n’ Wild. As for highlighters, any luminescent powder will do. You can check out ELF’s bronzer in Luminance. Here’s a tutorial on how to contour and highlight your face. Click here.

    For blushes, I suggest investing on a palette that contains more than 2 blushes so you don’t need to buy singles. But if you prefer single blushes that you can carry around with you. Check out ELF and other drugstore brands.

    • lip balm, lipstick, and lip gloss – need I say more about this? You can choose whichever colors you want. A great lipstick brand that has pigmented and long- lasting lipsticks is Wet n’ Wild.

    I’m sure you can tell that most of the products I showed you are from ELF. I love the brand and I think it’s a great source of tools and cosmetics for those who don’t want to spend so much on makeup or who are just starting off with the basics.

    I truly hope that this was helpful. I’ve researched as much as I can so I can offer you the best products that are affordable and of good quality. I’m not saying they will definitely work for you, but these products have had great reviews and I’ve tried some of them myself. I hope that your journey towards learning makeup will be a fun one and I’m glad to be a part of it. If you want more tutorials and guides about makeup, or even makeup reviews, check out my YouTube channel!

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and I will see you in my next post!

    Here’s my video about starting with makeup:


    Here’s a super easy and comprehensive makeup tutorial for beginners that want to maximize makeup products’ uses. This is a perfect day time look!

  1. Gianna_carla (Reply) on Wednesday 4, 2012

    hello i’m 18 years old, a philipina girl, and i want to start to make up, i usually have a normal skin but if it’s supper hot i have an oily skin especially in my nose. but my question is it’s better to use a tinted moisturize or a bb cream, and what are the best brand???and if i used them do i have to use a primer??? i’m a litle confuse .. and a setting powder too??? thank you and you made a good job =)

    • Maricarl-Janah (Reply) on Wednesday 4, 2012

      Hi Gianna! I’m sorry for the late reply but I’ve heard that BB creams have beneficial properties for the skin and the most popular one is Mischa. You can find them at The Face Shop and Etude House as well. I consider a face primer a standard when doing makeup and since you have oily skin, setting your makeup with powder will really help keep the oiliness at bay.

  2. Jasmine K. (Reply) on Wednesday 4, 2012

    HI! I have VERY PALE skin…almost as pale as my friend’s skin who is from Kazakhstan….and I am Irish! Thanks SO MUCH for helping me with starting makeup….but there aren’t many products in SUPER PALE that I can find (LOL) ….I am in middle school (that is actually late to start makeup where I come from–I don’t know about the rest of the USA) and I have a limited amount of money. What are the like core things I would need? And the cheaper things? SOS! 🙂 Also, what are some key eye shadow colors? 🙂 Thanks for your help!

    • Maricarl Janah Bolus (Reply) on Wednesday 4, 2012

      I think Max Factor has light colors, or you might want to check Sleek Makeup. The essentials would be foundation/tinted moisturizer depending if you have blemishes and problem areas that really need coverage, otherwise, you can just use a concealer. You also need a pressed or setting powder, and under-eye highlighter, maybe you can get your hands on Maybelline Dream Lumi or the Maybelline Fit Me concealer. Then you can get an all around concealer, the Fit me one is great as well as the Revlon Colorstay one. Rimmel products are very affordable and are available in the UK I think? You can check their blushes and contour powders. Sleek makeup has beautiful blushes! Rose gold is a best seller and fits all skin types. For eye makeup, you can get a liquid liner and the L’oreal quads. If you can’t get your hands on L’oreal products, try Sleek makeup’s palettes. They have a palette of neutral colors. I hope this helps!

  3. JAMIE HAGGERTY (Reply) on Wednesday 4, 2012


  4. fitri (Reply) on Wednesday 4, 2012

    hi…i’m asian n also have a oily skin. i rarely put make up on, but since i’m working, i need to put more. so..please help.
    i have acne scars and i don’t know how to hide it. please put up a video / recommend what first thing first to buy / put on my face. plus, our skin color is the same, so please let me know also which color i should buy. its kinda confusing for me.

  5. Gabriela Arita (Reply) on Wednesday 4, 2012

    Hi Maricarl Janah
    I’m a 12 year old I’m going to eighth grade
    But I don’t know anything about makeup
    I really want to learn to know with what do I begin?
    Sincerely, Gabriela

    • BeautyGuru157 (Reply) on Wednesday 4, 2012

      Hon, your still young! I know you might feel self conscious, but you probably don’tneed makeup yet! If you think you do, go ahead and read the info, and also watch the videos! 🙂

  6. Handling Domestic Violence (Reply) on Wednesday 4, 2012

    Fabulous. I agree.

  7. […] you have no idea where to start with makeup, please check out Maricari Janah  Beginner’s Guide to Makeup for a step by step […]