I remember when I was new to makeup.
Everything seemed very interesting and alluring, and I wanted to try everything I could get my hands on. Especially things with glitter and lots of colour (Lipstick in particular).
I tried so many different things, and I learned both good and bad things about makeup, and the application of makeup – I simply grew with the task.
But there were some things I wish I had known before venturing into the universe that is makeup – I was just too scared to ask others, and to unsure who to ask, where and exactly what I should do with the information (and my thoughts).
Therefore, today is a list. A list for you (and younger Luna) answering many of the makeup questions I had when I started out. But this list will also be answering some of the questions we might still have today – but just are too scared to ask because we feel stupid for asking.
1. Is expensive makeup better than cheap makeup?
To some extend – yes. Cheap makeup can be just as good an expensive makeup, it really depends on the brands and quality of the product.
In general super cheap products might be bad because the price tag might signal that some of the better ingredients have been switched out with either harmful or irritating ingredients simply because the product will be cheaper to make that way. It might also correlate with the work conditions for the people making the products – meaning super chap products might mean the workers don’t get a high enough salary, don’t have good work conditions, or they get treated unfairly.
On the other end, super expensive makeup might not have better ingredients – only more expensive ones – just like how tap water is cheaper than compared to spring water. There is a fair chance that the more expensive price tag correlates with better ingredients, but that is unfortunately not always the case.
Another thing that can explain the overly expensive price tag, is the actual brand name. Big and popular makeup brands like Chanel or Anastasia Beverly Hills can easily cost more because their brands are well known and popular.
So what can you take away from this?
If you really want to know if one product is better than another, research is needed.
A start is to get to know ingredients. Though makeup is not on your skin forever, it can be good to figure out what ingredients you should avoid since they might cause allergic reactions. I would say the most important ingredient you should stay away from is fragrance since it can be irritating especially when you wear it for a long period of time (perfume or aroma are other names for this).
Then you might want to look at the brands themselves. If you think it is important that the workers have good work conditions, or the products are made eco-friendly – you can usually kind of figure this out when looking at their webpage (even though a lot of things are Greenwashed ATM), but if you are still unsure try asking Google.
And lastly: TRY, TRY, TRY. You won’t figure out if you like the product unless you actually try it. That is not to say you need to buy every product ever made – you can for example look at what others have bought and what have lots of good reviews if you want something to try but is unsure what to buy.
2. If I only want a few products, which ones are the most important?
To me personally, I would say mascara and a pressed powder that will work as foundation are the most important. That way I can make sure my face looks almost flawless and my eyes look more open and alive.
If I had to add more than that it would either be a concealer (because my face has lots of scaring and imperfections to cover) or a lip balm (even though that is not really a makeup product, but it will make your lips look beautiful nonetheless).
3. What brands should I buy makeup from?
This is really a thing that can differ from person to person depending on how much you care about some different things; workers’ rights, animal testing, the environment, and ingredients.
You can usually find information about them on their website, but it can be really hard to know how much is true and how much is greenwashing; therefore I will write down some brands that you CAN choose (from what I can see they are OK- I have not tried them though).
RMS Beauty – Free of toxic chemicals and metals. Formulated using raw, food grade, organic, wildcrafted and natural ingredients that are as close to their natural state as possible.Cruelty free, synthetic fragrance free, GMO free, paraben free, nano free, talc free, sulfate free, phthalate free.
Aether beauty – Vegan products, cruelty free, and uses organic and fair-trade ingredients. The products are recyclable (they were some of the first to have zero waste eyeshadow palettes as everything is recyclable) and are child labour free.
100% pure – Their ingredients are 100% pure (will not contain harsh or toxic ingredients), naturally pigmented, cruelty-free, and they du ingredient sourcing to make sure each ingredient is never animal sourced. They partner with charities and are right now donating dog food to shelter dogs or trees when you place an order.
4. Are there brands I should stay away from?
Another thing that can differ depending on how much you care about; workers’ rights, animal testing, the environment, and ingredients.
You can usually find information about them on their website, but it can be really hard to know how much is true and how much is greenwashing and to be honest; most makeup companies are not completely ethical and eco-friendly so I am not gonna put a list up here. Instead I would advise you look at what brands ARE actually good for you, the planet, humans, and animals – try asking Google for the most ethical makeup brands and you will get a lot of ideas.
5. Do ingredients even matter?
They do indeed. It matters from a formula aspect, but also a skin aspect. If the ingredients irritate your skin, you can end up with allergies or aggravated skin – and trust me; you don’t want that.
You don’t have to do go and learn about every single ingredient in makeup, but there are a few you should stay away from if you can – they come here:
6. Are there ingredients I should stay away from?
As I mentioned earlier, perfume or fragrance is perhaps the ones you should be most careful with as a prolonged exposure can be dangerous or irritating to the skin.
Beside that you should of course stay away if you are allergic to something.
7. What can I do to look like the models?
Add a filter.
Most models, both professional and Instagram models we see, use filters or other tools to make themselves look prettier. It is easy with the right tool to blur lines, reduce redness and make the skin glow.
If you want to look good naturally, remember to exercise, drink enough water, eat well, and take care of your skin. That is the easiest way to look like a model.
8. Do I need to use primer?
Not at all.
Primers are good if you lack in the skincare department as it adds that extra moisture and preparedness to the skin.
If you already take good care of your skin and remember to wash and moisturize it, you don’t NEED primer, but you CAN choose to.
If you want to know more about primer, I made the video (and post) Makeup explained -Face Primer, that you can read here, and watch here
9. Why should I use makeup?
There are so many reasons.
You should use makeup because you need a creative outlet, because you like to play, because you feel nice wearing it and it is a confidence booster.
You should wear it because you can, because you finally leave your skin alone when you wear it, because you enjoy spending time on yourself, and because you don’t give a crap what others think about it.
There are many reasons you can wear makeup – you simply need to find the reason that resonates with you.
10. Why should I not use makeup?
There are also many reasons here.
You should not use makeup because it is expensive, it is unnecessary, and it takes time to learn to do properly.
You should stay away from makeup because your skin needs a break, and you don’t care what other people think.
There are multiple reasons not to use makeup – you simply need to find the reasons that resonates with you.
11. What is contour even?
I think we all have asked this question at least once.
Contour is a makeup technique that makes you sculpt your face and add dimension to it by adding light and dark colours to your face.
12. Which foundation should I choose?
Figuring out which foundation fits you can be quite a task.
You have to make sure you like the formulation, the coverage, and the colour is right.
Usually you can swatch colours in the shop to make sure you get the right colour. Try to match the colour of the foundation to the colour of your skin by painting it on in a streak from your chin to your neck to make sure the colour fits both your neck and your face (or at least your neck. It is easier making your face look like your neck than making your neck look like your face)
Next step is the formula. Do you like it liquid, powdery, creamy? That is a thing only you know and only you can figure out. Try touching them in store if you are unsure- or ask if it is possible to get a sample with you home. The only way to figure out what you like is by trying.
Last step is coverage. How much coverage do you actually need? If you don’t have any imperfections but only need a little bit of coverage you can go for a sheer foundation. If you on the other hand has a lot to cover up, and in general like putting on lots of makeup, a full coverage foundation might benefit you more.
13. Should I wear makeup every day?
Do you want to?
You really choose yourself how much you want to wear makeup, and if wearing makeup everyday makes you feel good – do it.
Just remember to take it off again and do not forget to both wash and moisturize your face so that it stays beautiful.
I would also recommend taking a day once in a while where you wear no makeup – just to let your skin breathe.
You can make it into a “skincare day” where you take a good and long shower, moisturize all your body, use a face mask, and give yourself a manicure (or whatever else you might want).
That way not wearing makeup will be a reward and not a pain or a chore.
14. How long does my products last?
There is a handy little indication in the form of an open jar on your products.
This indication shows you how many months your product can last before they get too old and have to be thrown out.
15. What is an eyelash curler and how do I use it?
An eyelash curler is a curious product. It was made to make your lashes curl and look longer and prettier when applying mascara (also just naturally).
You use it by clamping around your lashes with it and then hold for a few seconds before letting go. I would recommend doing it at the root of your lashes, in the middle, and at the end, for about 5 seconds.
16. Do I really need brushes?
Not really, no.
You can get a long way with only your fingers and the tools that comes with your products.
If you want to try out some brushes, I would recommend getting a beauty sponge (that is not really a brush, but is very versatile nonetheless for the base of your face), or a eyeshadow brush with a blending brush (that will make it much easier to make many eye looks).
17. Do I really need to clean my brushes and sponges?
If you never clean your brushes or sponges’ bacteria will grow and thrive in them. This can lead to breakouts or irritation on your skin.
Stay safe, protect your skin, and wash your brushes and sponges.
You can do it simply with water and soap like you would with a painter’s brush – you don’t NEED fancy cleaning agents to do it. Just be careful not to make them too wet in the bindings so the glue separates, and the brush gets destroyed.
To be on the completely safe side you should clean them about once a week depending on how much and how often you use them.
18. What should I do about my impure skin?
Many products have been made to help with impure skin and if can differ from person to person what works.
If you have already tried with exercise, lots of water, good food, and minimal sugar, you can go on to the makeup and skincare.
Some skincare products are formulated to help fight acne (it is always specified on the products or their webpage), but you can also use makeup to cover up your imperfections.
Having a good concealer and a full coverage foundation can work wonders on how your skin looks, though that does of course not take care of the actual problem.
If you want to get some actual help that fits your skin type – try going to a dermatologist or beautician and let them touch and look at your skin. The dermatologist is the best choice here since they are educated in skin conditions and how to take care of them, whereas a beautician is more on the “skincare and makeup” side of things.
19. Do I really need to take my makeup off?
As with your brushes and sponges, harbouring makeup on your face will result in bacteria. Not immediately of course, but if you sleep in your makeup every single night, those old makeup bacteria will transfer to your pillowcase and have a party on your pillow (and face) at night resulting in impure skin and irritations.
So remember to take the makeup off at the end of day and wash your pillowcase fairly often.
20. What should I do about my super dry lips?
Super dry lips can be hard to deal with though not impossible.
A first good step is to make sure they don’t get exposed too much to wind, sun, and cold, and then to keep them moisturized.
If you can find a good lip balm without fragrance and with SPF, you have done your lips a service. Remember to keep them moisturized and drink enough water and take your vitamins. That way your lips should stay chap-free.
You can also choose to stay away from irritating foods – like really salty foods that may sting on the lips, or greasy food that will make you dry your lips often, and need you to reapply your lip balm afterwards.
Lip scrubs are also popular, though you should be careful with them as they can do more harm than good. I also made a video and post about Lip Scrubs and you can find the video here and the post here.
21. Why does my makeup look bad?
Good results take time, and good makeup needs practice.
Though your makeup might not be perfect right now, keep trying, because practice makes perfect.
Some things you might have to try doing countless of times and for hours – like learning to contour or putting on the perfect eyeliner, but eventually you will get better at it.
If you don’t know what to do, you can find many YouTubers out there that are great at explaining makeup and showing tips and skills (like Alexandra Anele or Wayne Goss), and you can definitely learn from them!
Oh, and if your makeup is too old, or just way too bad quality – throw it out – bad results may also come from truly terrible makeup (like eyeshadow with no pigment, or lipstick that does not stick).
22. How much makeup is too much?
That is a thing for you to decide.
Some people like layers of makeup, others like less than one layer. Whatever you are comfortable with is what you should do.
I would advise to stay away from doing an excessive amount daily though – like the 100 layers of foundation challenge etc. since it does nothing good for you and is simply a waste (and probably not too good on the skin either)
23. What light is best when doing makeup?
Depends on what you do and what your goal is.
If you are going to take pictures indoor, filming or going clubbing, a thick layer of makeup is good, and therefore you don’t need natural light, you only need enough light to see what you are doing and how the colours transfer.
On the other hand if you are doing an everyday makeup and will wear it both inside and out in natural light, be sure to check yourself out in a natural light before leaving your home.
That way to can be sure that you did not cake too much on, so it looks unnatural.
24. What are the basics items I should buy for everyday use?
I already mentioned that my first choices are a face powder and mascara, but concealer comes as a close third together with lip balm.
Overall I do 2 looks – an everyday makeup and a “party” makeup – these can also be seen on my blog and YouTube channel, they are both called “Easy Day To Night Makeup”, and the post is here and the video is here.
For my everyday look I use these items:
- Eyeshadow brushes (one to apply, one to blend)
- Beauty sponge
- Face powder (as foundation)
- A natural eyeshadow palette (Usually 3 colours, light beige/white, light brown, dark brown)
- Lip balm
For my “everyday” festive look I use these items:
- Eyeshadow brushes (one to apply, one to blend, and one to draw defined lines)
- Beauty sponge
- Blush, bronzer, and highlighter brush
- Face powder (as foundation)
- A natural eyeshadow palette (3 colours and 1 shimmer, light beige/white, light brown, dark brown, shimmery brownish)
- Eyeliner (perhaps both a liquid and one for the waterline)
25. I don’t like using too much time daily on my makeup – what can I do to make it easier for myself?
Go to an aesthetician and get your lashes and brows coloured and corrected.
Just those two things can do wonders for a face, and for me and my daily routine that would mean I only need to put on concealer, powder, a bit of eyeshadow, and lip balm (or on hurried days – powder and lip balm)
To be honest getting brows and lashes done can be enough by itself. Not everyone needs more than those two things, and even just getting your lashes done can make such a difference.
If you want to know even more, I also have a post and video called: Beauty Explained – Colouring & Tinting, and you may find the post here and the video here.
Those were some of my most pressing makeup questions for when I was younger. I hope you can take this information and use it for something, or that you at least had fun reading.
What is a question you had when you started out with makeup, that you wish you knew the answer for? Tell me in the comments down below, I would love to know!
I hope you all have a happy life, one day at a time!