Hey there!! It’s your Fit pALs Admin Naomi, here. Stephanie approached me to do a bit on self-care in regards to makeup and I’m excited to share some of my tips and techniques with you all. I realize not everyone is interested in, or wears makeup, but for those who do or who may want to but don’t know where to get started, hopefully this quick piece will be helpful. I know for me personally, I just feel more confident in my appearance with the assistance of makeup. I fully believe that, as cliché as it sounds, true beauty comes from within…but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to feel pretty on the outside as well!
To start, I think it’s helpful to know that major makeup retailers such as ULTA and Sephora have trained makeup artists whose job it is to help you find exactly what you’re looking for and (hopefully) without any pressure to buy. I worked for Sephora for years and one of the best parts was getting to talk to clients about what their “makeup goals” are. For many, a subtle look is desired, while others want to take a more dramatic approach. My suggestion is if you plan to have a quick consultation, bring a photo or two (or save them to your phone) of what you’d ideally like your makeup to look like so the makeup artist can have a good idea of what products to suggest.
Free Samples? Yes please! Also, don’t be afraid to ask for samples!!! Things like foundation can be pricey and it’s best to make sure and give it a few days of use/wear to make sure it doesn’t irritate your skin/it lasts as long as you’d like, etc. That I would say is the biggest benefit to shopping at a larger makeup retailer rather than a drugstore is you’re able to sample products.
Does drugstore makeup work? That said, I love drugstore makeup. While stores like ULTA and Sephora are so much fun, they can for sure be a hit to the wallet depending on what you’re looking to purchase. ULTA carries both high end AND drugstore brands, where Sephora primarily carries only higher end makeup. There are some GREAT brands at places like CVS and Target that carry products that are a fraction of the price. There are SO many “dupe” (duplicate) lists for high end makeup products that you can find cheaper replicas of at drugstores. So if you find a lipstick you love at Sephora, jot the name down and check online to see if there is a “dupe” suggestion! Also, almost all makeup stores, from the higher end to drugstores, have pretty laid-back return policies. If you end up buying something and it isn’t the right shade, or doesn’t end up meeting your expectations, return it! (Return policies vary, so check prior to purchase so you know what timeframe you have to return.)
A question I get asked a lot is what my top 5 makeup products are for an everyday look. I would say in order they would be mascara, eyeliner, concealer, foundation powder, and my eyebrow pencil. (For the purpose of this blog post, I’m including my drugstore favorite picks!)
Mascara, in my opinion, can make me look completely awake even after a night of minimal sleep. I love Cover Girl Lash Blast in black. My technique is to start at the base of my lashes, eyes wide open, and wiggle the wand to the tip, repeating twice. Wiggling the wand helps avoid clumping and helps better coat the lashes individually.
Next, I apply concealer to wherever I feel I need to even out my skin tone, usually under my eyes, and on any imperfections I may have (acne, scars, etc). I really like Physicians Formula Concealer Twins. It has a yellow end and a skin tone end; the yellow neutralizes undereye circles and the skin tone end is for the rest of the face. To apply, I place a bit of product on my clean fingertip and tap the skin until the tone evens out. Many people prefer a sponge, but I’m set in my ways.
Next, over my entire face I lightly dust foundation powder with a large brush with loose bristles to even out my whole face and “set” the areas I concealed. I use NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat.
Eyeliner is next. I tend to use the NYX brand, and use liquid liner on the top lid and solid stick liner (called “Slide On Pencil) on the bottom. I realize liquid liner can be intimidating, so if you’re just starting out with makeup I’d suggest using the pencil for top and bottom, or just bottom waterline. I apply the bottom liner from the outside corner inwards about 2/3 of the way, then smudge the liner a bit with my finger to fade the line and not make it so sharp looking.
Last I fill my brows in a bit and shape them, as I have sparse and shapeless brows. My suggestion with this is focus on the middle of the brow to the outer side with a heavier hand, using a sharp pencil to fill in lines that look like little hairs. Then use a lighter hand as you work from the middle in towards your nose so you don’t end up with Groucho Marx brows. Brows took me the most time to master, but I really feel like I look more polished when I’ve worked on them a bit. My drugstore pick would be Revlon Color Stay, because it has a nifty brush on one end to help tame wild hairs.
I tried my best to do a “live” video, but my setup is less than ideal for one of those, plus I struggle with anxiety, but hopefully one day I can do one for you all!! In the meantime, YouTube is a HUGE resource for visual tutorials, from beginner to expert and for all makeup “looks”. Some of my absolute favorite people to follow are:
*NikkieTutorials –Nikkie is a Danish makeup artist and my favorite of all. I LOVE the message behind her “The Power Of Makeup” video, and her “No Mirror Makeup Challenge” is a great one. She has tutorials from every day makeup to glam, and makes sure to include videos using affordable makeup as well as high end. (https://www.youtube.com/user/NikkieTutorials)
*Alyssa Forever- Alyssa is an African American makeup artist who does tutorials with both high end and drugstore makeup and has entire tutorials dedicated to affordable brands! Make sure to check out her “Full Face of Maybelline Makeup” tutorial!! She also brings natural hair tutorials into the mix, which is awesome. (https://www.youtube.com/user/CurlyByNature21)
*Brianna Fox- She has great “tips and tricks” tutorials and is careful to go into great detail how to obtain certain looks. Her “How to Apply Eyeshadow“ is great because she sets it up where you can stop at a certain point and have a more “basic” look, or you can continue following more of her steps and you’ll end up with a more “dramatic” look. (https://www.youtube.com/user/brimariefox)
While these are just suggestions, you can honestly type anything makeup related into the search box of YouTube and there will be a video for what you’re looking for, I guarantee it!!
Well that’s it for now, I truly hope this has been helpful to at least one of you, and I hope to write more blog posts in the future! My inbox is always open also, if anyone has specific questions for me. Goodbye for now! Xo.