For most women, makeup is an important tool in their everyday beauty arsenal. From eyeliners, to lipsticks, to blushers — there’s an enormous number of makeup products that can help make us feel better about ourselves. We use makeup to enhance or change the way we look, hide our imperfections, and feel more confident.
What is makeup?
But what exactly is makeup? As Merriam-Webster puts it, this is a cosmetic device we use to add color or to prettify our faces. We can also use makeup on different parts of our body (such as legs and arms) to enhance or contour. There are hundreds of makeup brands now available in the market, each item having a specific use. Color palettes have been made available to fit specific skin types. In fact, there are also makeup that cater to specific ages.
Why do people put on makeup?
Makeup experts say that there are varying reasons why people put on makeup. Some of us go for the more natural look, while others want to play with every color of the rainbow. Whatever the reasons may be, there are four general reasons as to why we have come to depend on makeup:
- We are able to hide our flaws while enhancing our prettier features. We want to hide the imperfections we’ve accumulated over time and through exposure to the outside world’s harsh elements. We may also have dark circles under the eyes because of stress. Makeup hides these so-called flaws and makes us look fresh. We may even choose to enhance a certain feature to feel good or to let others see our stronger features.
- We use makeup for us. We want to feel good and confident either by receiving compliments or simply knowing that we look better. It gives us that extra “oomph” we need, especially on days when we’re particularly feeling unattractive.
- We feel like artists painting on a blank canvas with the ability to create something extremely beautiful. Putting on makeup is an art form. I personally feel like Monet when putting on foundation and playing with different color palettes to enhance my eyes. It also gives me that certain excitement because the outcome can differ every single time.
- It’s a way for us to express the way we feel. If I want to feel sexy and sultry, I go for the red hues and darker tints. If I want to feel like a dainty princess, I go for pink and the lighter shades. If I simply want to look well put-together, I go for tones that match my skin. I think almost every woman can agree with me on this: makeup is a way to set the mood we’ll have for the rest of the day.
Makeup History and Trivia
Makeup goes way way back — even way before the Elizabethan era when women used powder to whiten their faces and rouge to darken their lips. In fact, the ancient Egyptians are known to have first used the world’s first set of cosmetics. The women used burnt matches to darken their eyes. Back then, berries weren’t just for eating as well. These fruits were quite important in staining their lips.
However, did you know that it is believed that so vain were the women back then that they even resorted to using men’s urine to lighten their freckles and swallowing ox blood to better their complexions? How things have changed because these misguided beliefs have long been debunked and the creation of makeup nowadays involves the use of scientific studies and experiments before making anything available to the public.
Kinds of Makeup
As mentioned previously, we now have hundreds of makeup brands to choose from. We can go for the more affordable brands such as Maybelline or Revlon, to the pricier ones such as La Prairie and Laura Mercier, just to name a few. In all honesty, we can have a mix of both worlds. Hey, I even have brands that I picked out from a corner drugstore, and I’ve been more than happy with them. As long as they serve their purpose, and they serve us well, then these buys are just as good.
This may not be what others notice, but the base makes applying makeup easier. It preps your skin and pores for the products you’ll be using. The result is flawless skin that glows from within.
- Oil removing paper – This helps in removing the natural grease we produce. It’s actually more difficult to apply makeup when there’s gunk present as the foundation tends to slide off or clump up once we apply some on our skin.
- Sunscreen – This is a must, even without makeup. With the sun’s dangerous UV rays, we can’t go out without providing a proper shield to our skin.
- Moisturizer – The good news is that some moisturizer brands come with sunscreen. Some of the best brands out in the market now are Neutrogena, La Mer, Aveeno, and Clinique. All we need is a dollop on our fingertips so that our skin doesn’t become too oily.
Face Cover or Foundation
After putting the base, makeup starts with making the skin flawless. We need to do this before putting any other makeup on. Here are just some of the things we can use to achieve that unblemished look:
- Primer – This lotion-based formula prepares the skin for makeup. It’s similar to glue, as it binds the different ingredients we apply on our skin. More importantly, it allows us to apply liquid or powdered makeup more evenly.
- Foundation – Allows for medium or full coverage. The market has a variety of foundations to choose from, depending on your personal skin type. This creates the canvass we can work on during the makeup process.
- Concealer – This is the ultimate weapon to cover those imperfections. Unlike the foundation that we can apply liberally, concealers should be placed only in specific areas, particularly where those blemishes are.
Eyes and Eyebrows
After applying the foundation, norm dictates to start applying eye makeup first before doing your other facial features. It’s easier to make corrections from top to bottom, and it’s best to start with the eyes. To enhance the windows to our souls, we have the mascara, eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, and eyeshadow. We can use a mix of any of these tools for our eyes. Just like any other makeup tool, these come in a variety of colors, depending on your mood and the occasion. Here are the uses of the following:
- Mascara – Adds volume and length to the lashes.
- Eyebrow Liner – Allows us to step up our brow game by adding shape and texture to an otherwise monotone set of brows.
- Eyeliner – Adds drama to the eyes. All you need to do is apply on the lids and the lash lines.
- Eyeshadow – You can create a color combination that allows you to express the first thing people look at when they see your face – your eyes.
Once the blemishes are out of the way, we can now work on contours and colors. Some of the tools we use for face color are:
- Blushers and Bronzers – Whether we want a subtle blush or a pop of color, these two go hand in hand on our face. We can play on the lighting and enhance our cheekbones and face contours with just a sweep of the brush.
- Contours and Highlights – Highlights give us an extra glow, while contours enhance the dimension of our face.
Lip colors give that extra boost to what’s already a beautiful look. Like everything else, we can go subtle or vampy, depending on our current mood. There are a few tools that we need to cap off our effort:
- Lip Liner – This is the first step to enhancing our lips. We can go from partial to full coverage. Liners serve as the foundation before putting on the lipstick or lip gloss.
- Lipstick or Lip Gloss – There are perfect color complements for every skin tone.
Just like fashion, makeup trends change every year. For instance, it’s all about the well-defined brows nowadays. Several years back, we were all trying to go for brows that were thin and spaced far apart. Well, not any more.
Here’s what’s trending in 2017:
- Lips – It was all about the matte finish. Now, a lip gloss is perfect for that everyday go-to look. For savvier occasions, makeup experts like to add glitter on the lips or go for the hombre look. Who would have thought that the upper and lower lips could have different shades?
- Skin – Gone are the baking and strobing days. Now, it’s more about looking natural and healthy. Out in the market are foundations with more subtle hues and tints because what’s more important is letting our skin breathe.
- Cheeks – Blushers can now be used to highlight even the eye area. This is what they call the blush bomb. From the cheeks, we can now boldly sweep the color upwards to the side of the forehead.
- Eyes – When it comes to eye makeup, pink is the new black. This can be treated as a neutral color that’s subtle yet dramatic. For dressier occasions that require color, makeup manufacturers are now looking into metallic shades more than any other color. As for eyeliners, liquid liners are still the rage. However, the shinier it is, the better it will be. Think vinyl finish.
- Setting spray – This caps off the whole routine. Setting sprays were designed to hold the makeup longer so that we no longer see smears and smudges as the day progresses. These are perfect for those long days, as we no longer have to constantly check the mirror to see if we still look as pristine as we did at the start.
There are also other optional trends that makeup enthusiasts swear by. These may not be considered must-haves, but if we want that professional look without having to shell out hundreds of dollars every time, here are some of the items you may want to consider:
- Airbrush makeup – Airbrushes are the rage nowadays. No longer are these gadgets available in just the beauty salons. Many have added this to their arsenal and have their very own spray in their home makeup counter. The idea is to plug the spray and hold the nozzle at least six inches away. This should give the “just applied” impression on the skin and makes us look fresh and flawless. That’s because the spray can cover every inch of the face evenly.
- Mineral makeup – Some makeup experts swear by mineral makeup and have totally switched because mineral makeup isn’t just making the skin healthier, it’s known to give better coverage. However, there are also naysayers. Some mineral makeup brands tend to clump in fine lines. It’s especially more difficult to use mineral makeup for darker toned women.
Makeup Do’s and Don’ts
Now that we’ve all gotten tips on how to apply makeup and what the trends are, we should also familiarize ourselves with basic care tips. These are things we put on our skin; hence, we need to make sure that not only are they effective, but safe as well.
Before we start with the don’ts, we need to familiarize ourselves with some makeup tips that professionals follow to a T:
- Should you prefer to have both liquid and powder foundation, you need to start with the liquid. The powder dusting that comes at the end mattes the face and makes our skin look like velvet. We can use our fingers for complete coverage, then a big brush for that finishing touch.
- As mentioned earlier, we should start with the eye makeup and work our way down. It’s easier to brush off the remnants that fall off this way. It also helps to get those half-moon shaped cotton pads to avoid racoon eyes. All we need to do is put this just below the eyelid when we apply powder.
- If we do decide to use mascara, we can have longer lashes when we use the zigzag motion. All we need to do is shake our hand side to side as we brush past the upper lashes, then the lower ones.
- For pimples and dark spots, it’s better to use a thin brush to apply the concealer. The bristles work at getting inside every crevice so that those skin imperfections disappear.
- We need to apply bronzer on the sides of our face, neck, and just below our chin to add contour.
- For the blusher, we need to dust the apple of our cheeks. It helps to smile as we slightly sweep the brush upwards.
- Lipstick is best applied when we work from the center to the outer portions of our lips. Then, we can blot with a tissue for that better staying power.
Apart from knowing how to apply makeup, we also need to be responsible makeup users. Proper care is a must. Think about this: we apply these products on our face — one of the most sensitive areas of our body; hence, we need to know the following:
- We should take note of the expiry dates:
3 months: Mascara
6 months to 1 year: Foundation, concealer, blusher, and eyeshadow
1 year: Lipstick, moisturizer
2 years: lip liner and pencil
- We need to keep our cosmetic collection in a dry area and away from sunlight.
- We must never share brushes.
- We should throw away makeup if the smell has changed.
- Brushes and sponges should be cleaned at least twice a month. We can use baby soap or a gentle skin cleaner when doing so.
- We must always look at the list of ingredients in any makeup or skincare product. Experts from the FDA warns us against the use of the following:
- Parabens – These have been linked to breast cancer.
- Retinol in any form – These are believed to turn carcinogenic when exposed to sunlight.
- Hydroquinone – This skin-bleaching component can cause dark lesions when exposed to the sun.
- We need to make sure to remove makeup before bed. Experts swear by steam before applying baby wipes on our skin. As for eye makeup, we can opt for removers that are intended for this specific use because oil-based products can often blur our vision. Lastly, we must remove any residue by capping off the routine with water, facial wash, and toner.