You are probably on this article because you’ve decided to take the plunge and start wearing some makeup.
In this article, we’re going to share with you basic makeup for beginners, including some tips to help you improve your techniques and products to consider if you’re new to makeup. (Psss! All the products we’ll be recommending are beginner-friendly and under S$30!)
At the end of this article, you’d be able to create a simple look that’s good for everyday wear, whether it’s for work or brunch with your friends.
Read on for the step-by-step guide we’ve picked up from YouTuber Jen (From Head To Toe), as well as some useful tips that are super relevant in 2023, especially with mask-wear.
Prepping your skin
Consider this as Step 0. While this isn’t part of the makeup routine, prepping your skin helps ensure you’re creating an ideal canvas for your makeup to go on smoothly later on.
While some advanced makeup users will recommend using a face primer, which can be a great investment especially if you have oily skin, you can simply prep your skin with an oil-free, mattifying moisturiser (if you have oily skin) or a hydrating moisturiser (if you have dry skin).
Here’s the official Step 1 of your makeup routine: foundation.
Dispense the foundation onto the back of your hand. This helps you to be able to pick up whatever product that you need more easily.
Next, using a clean finger, dot the foundation around your face – on your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin.
Then, using a foundation brush or kabuki brush, buff the product all over your face evenly.
You should be able to see a more even complexion after this step, without any streakiness.
DV Tip: Picking the right foundation is probably the most important thing any makeup user need to do. Here’s a guide to help you find your foundation shade match even without a tester.
Catrice All Matt Plus Shine Control Make Up
For an affordable foundation that lasts all day even under your mask, try this one from Catrice that has received great reviews online. It contains light-reflecting pigments so your skin look fresh while delivering an oil-free formula that controls shine.
Retails for S$13.50. Check the link below for the promotions.
L'Oreal Paris Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Foundation
If you’re looking for a hydrating foundation that doesn’t break the bank, this will be it. Promising a lightweight, breathable finish, this also offers great coverage and 10 hours of hydration. You’ll also be happy to know that it won’t budge under humid weather.
Retails for S$32.90. There’s a promotion going on at the time of writing, so check the links to compare prices.
Next, apply a concealer.
This is applied to help cover up blemishes, and is usually put on the undereye area, around the nose (if there is redness) and dotted onto any zits or spots that you’d like to conceal.
Apply it with a dabbing motion using your ring finger, which is the gentlest finger of all. Make sure that the concealer blends seamlessly with your foundation so nobody can tell where you’ve applied it on.
Sephora Collection Bright Future Smoothing & Brightening Concealer
This delivers a brightening effect and a natural-looking finish. You’ll love how the lightweight formula goes onto your skin smoothly while concealing imperfections – this is all thanks to its innovative brush that can deliver the ideal amount of product with just one click.
Retails for S$24. Check the link below for any promotions.
Perfect Diary Flawless Glaze Silky Touch Liquid Concealer
This creamy concealer is super easy to blend, which makes it an ideal concealer for a beginner. Besides helping to brighten and smoothen the appearance of skin, it also gives a firmer, more lifted look. You’ll love that its formula doesn’t flake or crease so your makeup stays flawless all day.
Retails for S$15.90. There is a promotion going on at the time of writing, so check the link below for the updated price.
To make sure that your foundation and concealer stay on all day, apply a powder.
This step is especially important now with mask-wear, and helps you avoid makeup transfers onto your mask.
If you prefer a more dewy look, avoid using too much powder. You can moderate the amount by tapping off excess powder from your brush before buffing it onto your face.
And if you’re really worried about your makeup looking too cakey and dry, consider applying powder only onto areas that are oilier, for example, your T-zone.
With mask-wear, we’ll also recommend that you apply powder along the parts where your mask hugs your face, such as along the sides of the nose, mid-way through your cheeks, and along your chin.
This step concludes your base makeup routine and we can now move on to colours!
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
This contains natural minerals and powders and is great for shine control. Use it as a setting powder or for touch-ups during the day so your skin can look and feel fresh all day.
Retails for S$13.90. There’s a promotion going on at the time of writing, so check the link for the updated price.
Fenty Beauty Mini Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Setting Powder
The base products by Fenty Beauty are quite well-loved so even though this is quite under the radar, you can be assured of its quality.
A fine loose setting powder, this helps to make sure your skin looks flawless as it blurs the appearance of pores, fine lines and imperfections, all while reducing shine for a matte look.
If you’re thinking that you’re just a beginner and don’t want to invest in expensive products, get the mini travel-friendly version, which isn’t just easy on the pockets but also easy to bring around.
Retails for S$29. Check the link for promotions.
Apply an eyeshadow primer first before you proceed to put on eyeshadow. This step may often be overlooked by makeup beginners but it’s a simple one that can help ensure your eyeshadow shows up more vividly while making sure that it stays put all day.
If you’re really new to makeup and don’t know where to start, you can consider applying just one shade onto your entire eyelids – and you can use your finger instead of a brush. Simply make sure that you are creating a gradient where it’s more vivid at the outer corner of your eyes.
Here’s an eyeshadow tutorial for beginners that can help you out.
DV Tip: Many beginners forgo eyeshadow because they find it intimidating. You can definitely get away with it. However, with mask wear, a lot of focus is now placed on our eyes, so not wearing eye makeup can sometimes make it look like you’re bare-faced, and in some cases, make you look more tired than you really are. This is why we’d recommend that you attempt to apply eyeshadow when you wear a mask to perk up your overall complexion.
Wet N Wild Photo Focus Eyeshadow Primer
This affordable eyeshadow primer doesn’t just prep the eyelids for makeup, it also helps eyeshadow appear more prominent. This has a smooth application that doesn’t tug on your eyes and dries to a clear finish so it’s invisible.
Retails for S$12.90. There’s a 40% discount at the time of writing. Click on the link to check for the latest price.
Milani Eyeshadow Primer
This lightweight eyeshadow primer goes on nude and then dries down clear. Many beauty professionals such as makeup artists love its formula because of how it delivers a smooth canvas to crease-proof eyeshadow.
You’ll find that your eye makeup stays on all day and look extra vivid after applying this.
Retails for S$15.15. Check the link for promotions.
To give your eyes definition, apply an eyeliner. Winged eyeliner is the most common look that most people go for, so if you were to pick up one technique, this would be it.
Here’s a beginners’ tutorial for drawing a winged eyeliner according to your eye shape that you’ll find very useful.
Dolly Wink My Best Liner
Makeup enthusiasts are familiar with Dolly Wink for its impressive line of eye makeup products, and its eyeliner is among our favourites.
Featuring a fine 0.1mm brush tip, it helps you create precise lines even if you’re a makeup rookie. Resistant to sweat and sebum, it also has a great colour payoff so it shows up vividly on top of eyeshadow.
You’ll love that it lasts long yet is easy to remove with warm water and facial wash.
As a bonus, it is even infused with five types of moisturising beauty serum ingredients to give your eyelids the TLC that they need.
It comes in several colours; we especially recommend the Deep Brown shade if you’re looking for something that flatters dark coloured eyes.
Retails for S$21.90. There’s a promotion going at the time of writing, click on the link below to check for the latest price.
SANA Super Quick Melty Gel Eyeliner
For an eyeliner that a beginner will find easy to control, look no further than this one by SANA.
This gel-type pencil has a waterproof and smudge-proof formula that stays on all day. Its special design also makes it easy to create a defined tail – something that most beginners struggle with.
It contains skin-loving essences such as Macadamia Nut Oil, Shea Butter, Panthenol to moisturise your eyelids.
Retails for S$22.90. There’s a promotion going on at the time of writing. Click on the link to see the latest price.
Curl your lashes first, then apply your mascara.
You can get the formula onto your lashes by starting from the roots of the lashes and with a wriggling motion, extend the brush to the ends of your lashes.
Don’t forget about your lower lashes – this helps to open up your eyes significantly!
Canmake Quick Lash Curler Mascara
Most makeup beginners complain about how their lashes don’t stay curled all day. This is why we recommend this product that is formulated to help sustain curl.
This is to be applied over your usual mascara to revive curl, as well as keep your mascara smudge-proof from water, tears, and oil.
Retails for S$16.90. There’s a promotion going on at the time of writing. Click on the link to see the latest price.
Rude Cosmetics Look At The Curves Mascara
Here’s a mascara that comes with a curved lash brush that’s designed to help sculpt lashes into a natural-looking curl. You’ll also love its intensely bold colour that gives your lashes even more definition.
Retails for S$12.90. There’s a promotion going on at the time of writing. Click on the link to see the latest price.
After you’re done with your eye makeup, it’s time to do your brows.
This step requires its own tutorial, which we have compiled for you (you’re welcome!)
Check out this beginners’ tutorial to filling out your brows.
Silkygirl Natural Brow Pencil
Need a fuss-free, affordable brow pencil that you can practise with? There’s probably no better product that fits the bill than this one from Silkygirl. Try the dark brown shade for a more natural look that most people can pull off!
Retails for S$7.90.
Maybelline Fashion Brow 3D Brow & Nose Palette
This is the ultimate brow kit that doesn’t break the bank. With three formulas in one kit, it contains a wax to let you shape your brows, as well as a dark and a light powder for you to create different looks, including a natural-looking gradient. As a bonus, the lighter shade is also ideal as a nose contouring powder.
It comes with a dual tip brush for ease of application too!
Retails for S$19.90. There’s a promotion going on at the time of writing. Click on the link to see the latest price.
Then, apply your blush. This should generally be applied at the high points of your cheeks (also known as the apples of your cheeks), which you can locate by smiling and observing which point protrudes most.
As you progress and improve your makeup techniques, you can also explore different ways of applying your blush, which can help create a different look altogether.
Finally, apply some lip colour; there are many products you can consider, including lipstick, lip gloss, or liquid lipstick.
Many people forgo lipsticks because of mask-wear, but you can actually still wear one if you pick the right formula (a transfer-proof one!)
Here is a list of transfer-proof lipsticks to wear under your mask to consider.
Makeup for beginners: Video tutorial
Here’s the final look you can look forward to.
If you prefer to watch a video on makeup for beginners, here it is: