Makeup 101—Finding products that work for your skin


geehairimages via Wikimedia Commons

Finding the right product for your skin-type will be your most important consideration.

Have you ever tried to do your makeup and then realized you have no idea where to start? What about when you do try, and the look does not come out at all the way that you envisioned? Don’t fret! 

Makeup is an intensive process, and it takes people years to master the craft. Fortunately, it won’t take you years to get through this article, and by the time you get to the end, you’ll hopefully have a better understanding of where to start and what products will work for you. 

If you’ve never experimented with makeup or find yourself straying away from it, you’re not alone. 

“I’m allergic to makeup,” said Guilford College junior and psychology major Kailee Hughes. “I know all of the different products, but for me, I don’t think that I look any better with it.”

 “I am not comfortable with doing my own makeup,” said Guilford senior and education major Ky’lexius Gwynn. “The most that I’ll do is mascara. Sometimes I do strip lashes. It took me a while to learn how to put my own lashes on. Sometimes I also do some brown or black lip liner with gloss. Mostly, my skincare routine is top tier. I stay on it and it has to be products that are catered to my skin.”

The most crucial part of doing makeup, which is often overlooked, is skin care. Prepping your skin will help your makeup last longer and apply more smoothly. 

 There are four main types of skin: normal, dry, oily and combination.  Dry skin has the tendency to feel tight and flaky, oily skin can get greasy and combination skin is exactly what it sounds like–a combination of different skin types. 

Knowing which skin type you are will make it much easier to find products that are tailored for you. When you don’t have the proper skin care routine, those qualities of oiliness or flakiness can show through your makeup and can also cause a significant amount of creasing. When you stay in tune with your skin and its needs, you’ll begin to notice a significant difference in the application and longevity of your makeup. 

Let’s talk about products! Walking into the store to buy makeup can be so overwhelming because there are so many products to choose from. So where should you start? It all depends on the type of look that you are going for. First and foremost, your skin type affects more than just your skin care routine; it also affects which makeup products will work best on your skin. 

If you have oily skin, you may gravitate toward more mattifying products. Here are some of the highest-rated mattifying makeup products and brands:

  • Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Luminous Matte Foundation- $42
  • NYX Professional Stay Matte But Not Flat Liquid Foundation- $10
  • L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation- $11
  • Armani Beauty Power Fabric Full- Coverage Liquid Foundation with SPF 25- $59
  • Smashbox Studio Skin Flawless Oil-Free 24 Hour Concealer- $29
  • L’Oreal Paris Cosmetics Infallible Pro Glow Concealer- $5

If you have dry skin, don’t worry. We didn’t forget about you! Here are some highly rated hydrating, dewy products and brands: 

  • L’Oreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Liquid Foundation- $14
  • Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation- $45
  • Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation- $13
  • Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Multi-Use Concealer- $9
  • Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer- $31
  • Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer- $33

It is important that you always pay attention to makeup formulas and have an understanding of what your skin will and will not tolerate. What works for someone else may not always work for you. This relates to the next part of the article—how to do makeup according to your face shape.

We are all unique, and the way you do your makeup should complement your face shape. There are several online resources that will help you figure out what your face shape is and let you know how to highlight and contour your face in order to optimize your naturally beautiful features. Here is a great one by Iconic London. 

Makeup is subjective to the individual. This means that your makeup should look however you want it to. Whether you want a full face, dramatic eye and bold lip or a more subtle, natural look, you should be able to access the products that will best help you achieve the look that you are going for.

Doing your makeup doesn’t have to be scary. Everyone starts somewhere, and you can’t compare where you are in your journey to others. Time and practice are key, but just trust the process and know that you’ll eventually get to a place where you can feel comfortable doing your own makeup.