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Makeup for Beginners

Makeup for Beginners

By: Vivian Chen

To some makeup fanatics, Sephora is their second home: they live, breathe and shop at Sephora. But for others, the endless aisles filled with colors, weird bottles at any makeup store can be extremely intimidating. Who knew there could be so many different kinds of “makeup”? 

If you’re in the latter category, you should have no fear. Makeup is truly not that complex. Sure, there are tons of products and colors, but at the end of the day, makeup is a form of art. It is a way for people to express who they are and their creativity. And like art, there is no singular method or approach to everything in makeup – there are no rules. To ease some of the intimidation, the best place to begin may be some information on where you can buy makeup and price-point. You’ve probably noticed you can buy makeup virtually anywhere. Local drugstores and places like Walmart or Target tend to offer makeup on the “low end,” while places like Sephora and Macy’s typically offer more expensive and “high-end” makeup. 

If you are just starting out (and running on a budget), it may be best to begin with items at your local drug store to get a feel for products since makeup can be expensive. Listed below are several “basic” makeup products that may help to give you an idea of where to begin when it comes to makeup



Eyeliner is one of the oldest and basic makeup products available, primarily because it is relatively self-explanatory. The purpose of eyeliner is to emphasize and define the shape of your eye with a concentrated color. Eyeliner is most commonly found in pencil, liquid, or gel form (though there are others) and can be purchased in virtually any color. If you’re just starting off, I would start with either brown or black and apply eyeliner along the lower and upper lash line to give your eye some definition.


Mascara & Eyelash Curler

Mascara is also a simple and basic makeup product, applying mascara to your eyelashes is an easy way to give your eye some definition. The mascara will help to lengthen your lashes and give them more volume. The scary-metal contraption that goes along with the mascara is called an eyelash curler. Similar to a hair curler, the eyelash curler is used to curl your eyelashes. If used with mascara, your eye will undoubtedly look more lifted and awake.



Eyeshadow is typically found in pressed powder form (though available in other forms) and used on and around your eyes to help give your eye some dimension and to highlight them. Similar to eyeliners, you can find eyeshadows in virtually any color. Eyeshadows are typically classified by their finish. The finish of an eyeshadow refers to the complexity, texture and shine and the resulting color. A matte finish refers to a color that will have no shine or shimmer (expect a solid color with no sparkle). A satin finish refers to a color that will have a slight sheen (similar to the fabric satin and a shimmery finish will result in a color with glitter or with a sparkle.


Foundation & Concealer

Foundation is used to even out the color on your face and to cover any unwanted blemishes or pigmentation and is what makes people’s skin look “flawless.” Foundations can be found in liquid, stick, powder and even spray form and can come in countless shades (depending on the brand). Foundation can also be categorized by its “finish” and “coverage.” A “fuller” coverage foundation will mean that the foundation has more color and is opaque. Similar to eyeshadow, the “finish” of a foundation can leave you with an illuminating glow, natural finish or a matte finish.

A concealer is meant to be a more “concentrated’ version of a concealer. Purpose of concealer is to conceal or cover blemishes or spots that are in need of more “coverage” than just a foundation. Concealers are available most commonly in liquid or stick form.


Bronzer & Highlighter

The purpose of bronzer is to give some warmth and sun to your face. When you apply foundation and concealer to your face, you transform your face into a single solid color. But naturally, your face has different shades and contours. Bronzer will bring back that natural “color” to your face and make add a natural “sun-kissed glow.” You can also use certain bronzers to “contour” your face, to better define the angles of your face.

Exactly like its name, the purpose of a highlighter is to “highlight” the areas where light naturally hits your face and to accentuate them. These areas include your cheekbones, the tip of your nose and nose bridge. Highlighters come in different types of colors and forms (like liquid or powder).



Like bronzer, blush will bring back some of that natural color to your face. Blush is typically applied to the apples of your cheek (when you smile, this should be the accentuated part of your cheek).


Best of luck in your makeup endeavors, ladies and gents!

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