Welcome back! You’ve mastered the skills of Level One, now it’s time to move on to Level Two. You’ll be a professional in no time!
In this post, I’ll be talking about lip color, blush, and contouring/highlighting.
As with all make-up application, it’s never just one simple step to achieving the ultimate beauty look. Applying lipstick is no different. First and foremost, it’s important to find a shade that compliments your skin tone.
I like the grid above as a starting point. Remember, though, this is just a guideline. Do what feels right and rock the shades you want!
You need to start with exfoliated lips, which is especially important when applying a dark lip color. I love Elf’s Lip Exfoliator. At only $3.00, it’s a super affordable option for any make-up enthusiast. Bite Beauty has a whipped lip scrub for $18.00 if you want to be a bit more luxurious.
Moisturizing is another important step in the process of applying lip color. When your lips aren’t properly moisturizing, lipstick can seem into cracks and look uneven and sloppy. Before bed, I use Aerin’s Rose Lip Conditioner, C.O. Bigelow’s My Favorite Night Balm, or Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask to keep my lips perpetually moisturized.
However, right before applying lipstick (and right after I have exfoliated!), I stick with tried and true Chapstick or Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue. I exfoliate first apply my lip balm, do the rest of my make-up, so that way the balm has absorbed by the time it’s time to add primer.
Yes, you need to prime your lips.
The tutorial above uses concealer as well as an additional primer. My two favorite primers are the NYX Lip Primer and Urban Decay’s Ultimate Ozone Multipurpose Primer Pencil. Both are ultra hydrating and help your lipstick stay in place.
The next step involves lining your lips. You can either use a nude liner or one that is close to the lip shade you intend to use. Here is a quick and easy guide to lining your lips.
Here is a video tutorial from Rebecca Shores. She shoes you how to apply lipstick as a beginner.
Mentioned in the graphic above–but not in the video–I am a huge fan of dabbing your lipstick with setting powder between layers. If you don’t want to add dryness multiple times, at least one sweep at the end helps hold everything in place. This is especially important with dark lip colors.
Simply separate a 2-ply tissue into two sheets, which will be thin and translucent. Place it over your lips. With a stippling brush, dab your lips with translucent powder (don’t sweep or you will smear your lipstick). My favorite stipple brush is this one from Elf.
Here is a video tutorial showing you exactly how the process works.
That’s all there is to lipstick! Here are some additional tips to inspire you and help you achieve the look you want.
Now, blush is a relatively easy beauty concept. That being said, it still took me until my 20’s to figure out how to apply it properly–in the right color, in the right shade, in the right quantity.
Just like with lipstick, it’s important to find a shade of blush that compliments your skin tone. Some of my favorite blush is made by NARS. I own several different shades of this brand. If you want a blush that is more sheer (and harder to mess up!), I would recommend Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush.
This chart is extremely basic, as it’s important to factor in your undertones as well. I was using the wrong shade of blush for quite some time because I always thought I had warm undertones (I definitely do not).
Once you have found the right shade of blush (a feat all in it’s own), it’s time to apply it. How you apply it depends on the look you’re going for and the shape of your face.
I love this Sephora video because not only does it show you how to apply blush, it also goes into the details of choosing the right shade for your skin tone and how much product to apply to your face.
CONTOURING & HIGHLIGHTING
Blush, contouring, and highlight go hand in hand. When you properly apply your foundation and concealer, it reduces all the unevenness in your skin tone. This can make you look sick and “fake.” It’s important to add the flush and color back to your skin!
This video is a great basic tutorial for contouring and highlighting.
I have tried countless contouring palettes, highlighters, and bronzers. Cream, liquid, powder. Highlighting and contouring are things I am obsessed with, but really need some more practice with.
I have tried the Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Kit only to find the shades did not work well with my skin tone. I am a huge fan of NYX’s Highlight & Contour Pro Palette. A friend gave me Tarteist PRO Glow To Go Highlight & Contour Palette and I have fallen in love with these shades as well. For bronzers, Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer is my favorite choice. I apply it with this Eco Tools brush.
Highlighters are my true obsession. My ultimate favorite is NARS The Multiple. I have also used their Illuminator. Elf Baked Highlighter is cheap and packs a punch. Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder is another option I really love. This is my favorite brush for contouring.
How you contour and highlight is dependent on your face shape, just the way that blush application is.
Believe it or not, there are even different ways to contour your nose, depending on your nose shape.
Here is another contouring video. This one is a bit more dramatic than the one above.
Now that you have mastered Level Two of applying your make-up, stay tuned for the final level! You’re almost an expert–just one more collection of tips and tutorials!