Makeup Made Easy: Essential Tips For Beginners

Have you ever gone shopping for new beauty items and been completely confused by how many choices there were? Do you really need to use contouring and makeup on your face? How do you fill in your eyebrows? What’s the difference between an eyebrow pencil and an eyebrow gel? After a while, your shopping cart might seem useless, and every makeup lesson on YouTube might just sound like noise. What’s good? If this is how you feel, you’re not alone. We’re giving you a refresher on all the basics, whether you’re new to makeup or love trying out all the latest beauty trends.

Brace yourself, because we’re about to give you a crash course in basic, must-know makeup information. Learn how to get rid of creases, make dry skin look hydrated (and oily skin look matte), and get the most out of your makeup brushes, eyeshadow sets, lip balm, and more. Thanks to makeup artist tips and tricks, we have the best hacks for how to put on makeup for beginners. If you want to step up your face makeup game or turn heads with a killer eye makeup look straight from Sephora, these makeup tips from the pros (and our own IPSY editor input) will have you running to the drugstore or beauty supply store (depending on the makeup products you like). So, why are you still here? Keep reading and start filling out forms!

Let’s Start With The Basics: What Do All Of These Products Actually Do?

No matter how well you know how to do your regular makeup or how little you know about it, most of us could use a refresher on what’s in our makeup case. Read on for a step-by-step look at how to put on makeup, based on our complete guide.


Complexion Products


Primers can be in the form of a gel, a cream, or a spray. They can even out your skin before you put on makeup by filling in fine lines and blurring big pores. This step is great because it makes the makeup go on smoothly, last longer, and not look cakey.


Even if you’re just starting out with makeup, you should have at least one reliable foundation on hand. Foundation can come in the form of a liquid, a cream, or a powder. Its purpose is to even out your skin tone and hide flaws. Not sure which method you should use? Read about the differences between powder and liquid foundations. Tip: We always think about what publicity we want to get. You can get foundations with light coverage, like a skin tint or tinted lotion, or with full coverage, like a full-coverage foundation.


Concealer is meant to brighten up under the eyes or add more covering to certain spots, such as dark circles, pimples, acne scars, and more. You can choose a makeup with a matte or dewy finish, depending on the look you want to go for. Just like with foundation, we like that there are different levels of covering so that everyone can find what they like. Need more information? Here is a guide to using makeup.

Highlighter and Contour

These two are the reason why many celebrities and leaders have such perfectly chiseled faces. Makeup artist Robert Sesnek says, “Contour colors always go back, which means they add depth. Highlighter, on the other hand, brings light forward.” Together, they add something to the whole. Because everyone’s skin is different, you should try out different liquid, powder, and cream forms to see what looks best on your own face.

Here, we have some contouring hacks for you- Contouring Your Way To Self-Expression: Creative Hacks For Unique Looks

Contouring Your Way To Self-Expression: Creative Hacks For Unique Looks

Blush and Bronzer

When it comes to makeup, people who are just starting out often get contour and bronzer mixed up. But it’s important to keep in mind that contouring makes shadows, while bronzer gives your face a natural, sun-kissed glow that brings out your cheeks and other features and makes them stand out. Bronzers come in liquid, cream, and powder forms. Our tips on how to use bronzer will help you remember the differences. On the other hand, blush is used to give your cheeks a bit of color. It comes in liquid, powder, and cream forms.

Setting Products

You can set your makeup in a few different ways. When we want to keep a look in place, we love how waysetting powder does the job. When we want to get rid of fine lines and pores, we use finishing powder, which also makes the skin look like it was painted. Setting spray does the job when we want to keep our look in place and add a little shine. Sesnek says that he doesn’t skip the step of setting. If setting our whole face feels like too much product or leaves our skin too matte, we just powder certain areas, like our T-zone and under our eyes, and leave the rest of our face glossy.

Eye Products

Eyeshadow Primer

Most primers for your face are made of silicone or water, but we recommend using eyeshadow primers on your lids because they hold eyeshadow better. This keeps your eye makeup in place for the whole day.


Eyeshadow is a powder or cream with color that you put on your eyelids to make your eyes stand out. The colors have different finishes and shades, such as matte, shimmering, duochrome, and smooth. They also have different amounts of color.


Eyeliner is used to make the eyes stand out, make them look better, and make them look different. We switch between gel, liquid, and pencil eyeliner based on how we’re feeling and how much time and patience we have at the moment. If you’re not sure which one is best for you, check out our guide on how to choose an eyeliner.


With mascara, eyebrows look better. Depending on the makeup, you can use mascara to make your eyelashes look fuller, thicker, longer, darker, or all of those things at once.

eye products

Eyebrow Products

Eyebrow gel

Eyebrow gel keeps the hairs in your brows in place. Most of the time, the mixture is clear, tinted, natural, or extra-hold.

Eyebrow pencil

You can fill in your eyebrow hairs with an eyebrow pencil, which gives you the most realistic look. “The wax texture mimics real brow hairs,” says Sesnek. The thin tip also makes strokes that look like real hair.

Eyebrow Powder

Sesnek says that powder is great for beginners because it fills in empty spots and is easy to use. In fact, if you don’t have any powder, you can get the same look with eyeshadow. Just make sure to choose a color that is close to the color of your eyebrows.

Lip Products

Lip primer

Lip primer is used to keep your lip products in place and give your lip products a smooth surface.

Lip pencil

Lip pencils make your lips look better and can be used as a sketch before you put lipstick on. This step is important because it also keeps our lipstick from running. Also, if we want a fuller pout, we use lip makeup to outline the shape of our mouth and lightly go over it.


Lipstick gives your lips color, which makes your mouth look even fuller. It comes in a lot of different types, like liquid lipstick and matte lipstick, and in every color under the sun.

Lip gloss

Lip gloss gives your lips a shiny look and can come in a wide range of colors, from fully clear to very dark. Castro says, “Depending on the formula, I always find that the best way to use lip gloss is to put it on with the applicator and spread it with my finger.”

lips products

Easy Steps for Makeup Beginners

Prep Your Skin

Before you even think about putting on makeup, you need to take care of your face. Sesnek says, “Always wash and moisturize your skin according to its type.” “Without it, makeup will never lay right.” If you don’t prepare your skin right, you won’t be able to get a smooth, even finish. Instead, your concealer will get cakey and your foundation will look thick and stick to the dry parts of your skin.


Apply Primer

Not all primers are the same, so to get the best results, it’s best to choose a primer that works well with your skin type. If you need help finding the right primer for your face, we also put together a list of the best primers based on Ipster reviews. Sesnek says to put primer on in thin layers. If you apply too much pressure, the primer will start to ball up or pill, which is not the look we want. We put a thin coat on our forehead, lips, and chin instead. “This lets it blur and mattify in these areas, also known as the T-zone, which are usually the oiliest.”

Apply Primer

Grab Your Foundation and Concealer

Now that your skin has been cleaned and prepared, you can put on your makeup. Usually, you would start with foundation and then apply concealer, but sometimes we look for concealer first. If you’re not sure, our IPSY story about whether to put on foundation or makeup first is a great reminder.

We put a few dots of foundation on the T-zone, focusing on the forehead, lips, cheeks, and chin. Next, you should blend it in with a makeup brush. You can also use a makeup sponge or your fingers, but a foundation brush is quick and easy to use, making it a great choice for beginners or anyone who wants to make their makeup process easier. Start with a small amount of product and blend up and out to get a natural look. Check out our story on how to put on foundation with a brush to learn more about this method.

Now that you’ve put on foundation, you can put on concealer. Pay attention to places you want to hide, like under your eyes, around your nose, and any dark spots or scars. When cleaning up, it’s important to dab instead of dragging. Castro says, “When you put on concealer, you should never spread it. Instead, you should dab it in place and let it soak into the area you’re trying to cover.”

Use your ring finger, a makeup brush, or a sponge to dab lightly on spots that need it. To hide what’s under your eyes, draw two upside-down circles under your eyes and lightly dab the edges into your foundation. The upside-down triangle method is pretty foolproof, and it also makes the whole face look brighter. How did it turn out? A beautiful glow.


Set Your Base

We dip a brush or silk puff into your setting powder and tap it to get rid of any extra. Before putting it on the face, we always want to make sure that it is evenly covered. Next, press it into your face to keep your makeup from moving around as you put it on. Focus on the T-zone and other places that seem to need a touch-up throughout the day. You could also “bake” your makeup if you have an important event or just want to make it look more airbrushed. If you want to get better at baking, check out our full baking lesson.

Create Dimension

Contour comes in powder, liquid, and cream forms. Powder is the easiest to use and is best for beginners because of this. Using an angled brush, pay attention to the places where you want to add depth. Sesnek says, “I always start under the jawline first.” Next, put contour under your cheeks, around your hairline, and on the sides of your nose. “Contouring takes a little more time to get right, but it makes a huge difference, especially in photos,” says Sesnek. Check out our tips on how to contour based on the shape of your face to make your look even more glamorous.

If the idea of contouring still scares you a little, Sesnek says to practice with a blush. “Use a matte bronzer that is beige or not orange to improve your skills,” he says. Just like you would with contour, put the bronzer under your jaw, on the sides of your cheeks, and around the edge of your forehead. What’s so great about putting on bronzer? “It tends to be more forgiving, so there is more room for error,” he says.

When it’s time to put on highlighter, you should focus on the “high” parts of your face that the sun would naturally hit. “Adding highlighter above the cheekbones, by the eyebrow arch, and down the bridge of the nose and blending it very well will give the most realistic dimension,” says Sesnek. There are different kinds of highlighter, but when we were first learning how to do our makeup, most of us chose pressed powder highlighters because they are the easiest to use. To use the product, dip your brush in it and tap it to get rid of any extra powder. Then, lightly run it over the high points we talked about above. Check out some of our best highlighters if you’re not sure which one is right for you.

Focus on Your Eye Makeup

When it’s time to put on eye makeup, it’s really up to you. Do you want to put on makeup that looks normal for the day? Date night? A smoky eye? Do you want to try the cool negative space liner when you go out for drinks with friends? You can match your eye makeup to your mood based on where you’re going and what you plan to wear. As a general rule, you should always have makeup, eyeliner, and mascara on hand. The rest is up to you.

After you put eyeshadow on, you can move on to eyeliner. Sesnek says, “If you’re a beginner, use a creamy, non-waterproof pencil close to your lashes and start slowly until you get used to putting on eyeliner or making wings or feline flicks.” Keep Q-tips close by to make cleaning up easy.

Eyebrows should be noticed on their own. You can use brow pencils, powders, or gels, among other things, to make your brows look thicker or to bring out their natural shape. Follow these rules if you’re not sure which product is right for you: Use a pencil if you want a look that looks most like your real hair. If you want to fill in gaps, use brow powder. And finally, use brow gel to keep your eyebrows from moving around. “I personally use all three formulas, sometimes on the same set of brows,” says Sesnek.

Castro’s best way to do his eyebrows is to use a pencil and brow powder together. “It just adds depth, and the powder fixes the pencil so it stays in place and looks more natural,” he says.

Focus on Your Eye Makeup

Swipe on Your Lip Products

If you’re going to use a lip primer, prepare your lips first. Next, outline your mouth with your lip liner. By contouring, or drawing a line slightly over our lips, we can make it look like our lips are bigger. Next, use lipstick to fill in your lips. You can use this as a guide to put on your lipstick. Check out our full guide to putting on lipstick like a pro for more tips.

With these professional tips, the right tools, and a little practice, you’re ready to take your makeup routine to the next level. It’s all about being creative and finding the look that makes you feel like the most confident version of yourself. The most important thing to know about how to put on makeup right is to go at your own speed.

Swipe on Your Lip Products

Practice Makes Perfect

Don’t be discouraged if your makeup doesn’t look perfect the first time. Practice makes perfect, so take your time experimenting with different techniques and styles. You’ll improve over time.

Makeup is an art form that allows you to express yourself and enhance your natural beauty. With these beginner-friendly makeup tips and a little practice, you’ll soon feel confident in creating stunning makeup looks that make you feel your best. Remember, there are no strict rules in makeup, so have fun and embrace your unique style!

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