I am a makeup enthusiast or in simple words, I love makeup. I am not an expert, but I know my basics. I am self-taught but still considering on enrolling to a proper makeup school and get a pro license (in the near future). God bless the internet and YouTube because we already have access to thousands of video tutorials on how to do stuff and that includes applying makeup.
And today, I will share my story and journey – cringe-worthy truths and photos included. Seriously, this must be the most revealing (and personal) post that I will do on my blog and I am sharing the makeup sins that I have committed over the past years. 😀
PRIMERS? What Primers?
Photo courtesy of playbuzz.com
Back in early 2000, primers are not a big thing, unlike today. It is just that or maybe I just didn’t know at all. All I know is that you clean your face and then apply foundation. No wonder why my foundation doesn’t last or my face gets too oily towards the end of the day.
Same goes with moisturisers. I really thought that moisturisers are just for people with dry skins (apologies for the lack of knowledge). But no. According to Bobbi Brown, moisturisers must be applied before your primer and foundation, regardless if you are dry, oily or combination skin. It serves as a wall between your face and makeup.
photo courtesy of makeupandbeauty.com
At this moment, I still don’t have a good moisturiser that doesn’t break me out. I have tried a number but nothing works. I am not losing hope but it is also a pain to buy and try only to find out that it will not do you any good. Also, we cannot return beauty products here in Singapore, unlike in the US that when it breaks you out or it doesn’t match your skin, you can just return the product and get a refund. At the moment, I am just using Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream (highly recommended) and Makeup Forever Primers on my face.
Understanding Foundation Shades
This is exactly what happens when you do not educate yourself with the stuff that you put on your face. In my defense, I think I was wearing a Face Shop foundation in that photo and that they had limited (3) shades to choose from. 😑 Also, this was the time when I cannot afford and was too scared to approach any high-end makeup counters because aside from the snobbish Sales Associates, I do not know how to answer their questions.
Before you judge me of not trying drugstore brands, let me tell you that I did. However, here are the truths when buying drugstore makeups (at least in my experience in Manila)
- the Sales Associates are not very familiar with their products.
- There may be some exceptions but for how many times that I was recommended the wrong shade and when I have questions, like does it turn darker, etc. they just can’t answer me. They will even tell you, “Ah Ma’m baka acidic ka (Oh, you may be acidic)” So if you are a newbie in makeup, there is a big possibility that you will not get a good match. (Again, I am talking about my experience, okay?)
- the formulas that I tried oxidises so bad that I turn dark as the foundation stays on my face. So to avoid that, the SAs would give me a lighter shade.
Look at that face and neck colour difference- TRAGIC! I know. But remember that we are doing this because I want you to learn from my mistakes. 😀
I had my first proper foundation in 2013 and it was MAC Matchmaster in shade 1.5. I appreciate it when the person you consult is not just trying to sell out their items, but they actually help you understand why they are recommending that product to you. After all, they are the beauty experts.
Berry’s Beauty Tips when buying a foundation:
a. Know your skin.
- Are you oily? dry? or combination skin? A combination skin normally would normally be oily in the T-zones but dry in other areas.
- Do you have any skin issues like acne, discoloration or fine lines? Sensitive skin?
b. Preferred Coverage
Do you prefer a light or full coverage?
- Do you want a matte (no shine) or dewy look?
- For example, you want to have the “Korean skin”so that means you prefer a dewy look. If that is the case, then you can try a sheer foundation.
d. Do not get the shade that YOU THINK matches you.
It doesn’t work that way. Do that and you might regret the result. Ask for assistance and discuss your concerns with the beauty expert at the store. One thing that I highly recommend is that you visit the nearest MAC store and know your shade. You know why? Because once you know your MAC shade, it is easier to determine your shade in other products.
Let me use myself as an example, my MAC Pro Longwear shade is NC25. That means I am Neutral Cool (NC). Neutral Cool tones are for people who have a yellow undertone (this is common in Asian skins). NW, on the other hand, means Neutral Warm and that is for those with pink or red undertones.
Now, when I went to buy my Makeup Forever Ultra HD foundation, they do not have the same foundation system like MAC (see photo below), so I had to really ask for an expert advice. Normally I would tell them my MAC shade or that I am a neutral cool tone. After our conversation, she handed me the shade Y225.
photo courtesy of gurumakeupemporium.com
e. Lastly, DO NOT swatch the foundation on your hand.
Again, let us go back to no. 4. There are people who have lighter or darker hands than their face, you know. It would be best to apply it directly on your face so you can see the wear on your skin. This means you need the SA’s assistance. This is also the reason why I go to Sephora with a bare face, especially when I am buying a foundation.
photo courtesy of evepearl.com
- Do not let the SA apply the foundation on top of the makeup that you are wearing. That is just wrong and you will end up cakey.
- If you have sensitive skin then you should tell the SA so she can use a disposable applicator on your face. One time, I had the SA use her makeup brush on me and after a day, I had terrible breakouts on my face and that was a lesson learned on my part. Call me a DIVA, but I promised myself that next time, I will bring my own brush because I do not want any breakouts anymore.
Hard Truths About Eyebrows and Frosted Eyeshadows
Not so long ago, I was not bothered to use an eyebrow pencil. I just don’t care. I thought it was just okay to have makeup and leave the brows bare and of course, I was wrong (how many times will I repeat this phrase??) You want proof? Here is your proof.
Aside from the wrong foundation shade, my brows are also MIA (missing in action); or if not MIA, I was using the wrong eyebrow shade. 😅 It was in my late 20s, and after reading tons of magazines and beauty articles that I understood that brows are important. It frames the face and help in defining the eyes.
When looking for an eyebrow pencil, the colour must be at least 2 shades lighter than your hair colour.
And the frosted eyeshadow, can we just..
I mean, it is not bad to use frosted eyeshadow as long as you know how to properly handle them. If I were to speak to a younger me while looking at that photo, I will tell her to learn the art of blending, for Pete’s sake!
Bronzers Are Not Blushes and DEFINITELY NOT for Contouring.
Back in 2006, when bronzer was a big thing (a.k.a the J. Lo glow) and whatever is on trend, count me in! In my mind, the bronzer seems nice and so I used it as a blusher. Why should I spend on another product if this can already work as both (or so I thought?). So there you go, the muddy-ish and dirty makeup by yours truly. Obviously, I don’t know the proper way of using them and yes, I am judging myself so hard right now. 😑
photo courtesy of moviestarmakeover.com
Berry’s Beauty Tips:
- Bronzers are applied at the temples, bridge of the nose – basically on the parts of the face where the sun hits. The aim is to look sun-kissed, not muddy.
- Blush is applied almost on top of the bronzer for a healthy glow and then you blend them together so it will look seamless.
There are other colours of eyeliners, you know?
We all love that classic, black feline flick and that’s really awesome. But if say you are very light-skinned/extremely fair, and you dyed your hair with a light colour and your eyebrows are a bit lighter too, black eyeliner may look too harsh on you. I am sorry to break it to you but it does.
This is why there dark brown/chocolate brown eyeliners. They sort of, mimic the dark colour but it is not too harsh like black. I did not understand them before because all I can see in magazines and celebrities are all black cat eyes – so if they are using that, then why should I not? But if you want to have a softer, day look then I suggest you try a dark brown eye liner.
Check out the difference in my photos below:
Personally, I use a dark brown eyeliner for a day time look and I match it with a nude or pink lip colour. While for black eyeliners, I use it when I am wearing a bolder lip colour such as red, berry shade or hot/fuchsia pink.
But of course, if you can rock the ultra black eyeliner (day and night) then there do that. I mean it’s makeup and you can do whatever you want. 😉
photo courtesy of beautybyearth.com
Another great mistake that I committed that had an impact on my skin, too. In the past I used a concealer foundation and then I just wash my face with regular soap and water. That means not everything will be removed. Though I tried the cotton and baby oil, I find it icky to remove the oil because I just use a regular body soap.
Therefore, everything that I did simply harmed my skin. I did not mind it back then because my skin was young and trouble-free. Now that I am a better adult, I know how to properly remove my makeup.
Berry’s Beauty Tips in Removing Makeup:
I personally do the double cleansing (if not triple) method because I had problematic areas on my face (jawline). I feel that when I do that, it helps me avoid breakouts.
photo courtesy of google.com
Step 1: Use a 2-3 cotton pads + Micellar Solution to remove the makeup.
- When removing eye makeup, put the cotton pad with makeup remover on your eye area (just like how you put a slice of cucumber on your eyes) and gently tap them with your fingers. Repeat until the makeup is fully removed.
- DO NOT drag the skin in your eye area because these are sensitive skin and it can cause unwanted lines.
I find the Micellar solution is the lightest and most effective remover that I have tried. My favorites are Bioderma Sensibio H2O and now I am trying Sephora’s Triple Action Cleansing Water and if you are a babe in a budget, then you should try this one. 😀
Photo courtesy of Bioderma.com
Step 2: Use facial wipes (I use Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil Facial Wipes) to remove the excess makeup.
Photo courtesy of thebodyshop.com
There are days when I do not immediately wash my face after I removed my makeup. Sometimes I want to rest for a while or finish my chores. This is where I use my favourite facial wipes from The Body Shop. I enjoy the refreshing effect of the wipes on my skin. This is also a travel-must have for me.
Step 3: Wash your face using a gentle cleansing solution.
Currently, I am using 2 cleansing solutions on my face:
- Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel in the morning and
- Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser at night.
After these, I use a toner and apply the rest of my skin care routine.
Do not forget the lips.
- Use a lip scrub because my dear, we have to exfoliate our lips, too. This is something that you can either buy or DIY.
Okay, so you must think that after all these mistakes, I finally learned my thing, but NO. It was in 2014 when I started to properly apply makeup. Want proof? Look at this photo that I had in December of 2013. I did my makeup and it was…argh! I hate me right now. haha!
You must be thinking I am crazy to reveal these photos in public and yes, as embarrassing as it may be but the reason why I am doing all these is because I want you to know that makeup is not something that you just do because you are bored.
“For me, applying makeup is a form of art and expression and your face is a blank canvas. It takes a lot of passion, practice, patience and mistakes before you finally master the skill. “
For me, applying makeup is a form of art and expression and your face is a blank canvas. It takes a lot of passion, practice, patience and mistakes before you finally master the skill. You have to be well-informed. Not because you see it in Instagram videos or on TV, it means that you can apply it on your face, too. There is such thing as everyday makeup, normal/everyday contour and what we see in the social media are makeups that you use on stage or photo shoots.
Photo courtesy of dfemale.com
Take for example the ever famous Kim Kardashian makeup. She can do that because first of all, she is a celebrity who, most of the time, is in front of hot spotlights and cameras. If you do that exact makeup for work and you are commuting (add up the hot weather) – it will be too thick and heavy on your face. That is not a normal, everyday makeup. No matter what the trend is, it all goes down to what suits you. So again, you have to understand what you and your skin needs.
photo courtesy of elle.com
Same goes with contouring. One does not just contour. Different face shapes require different contouring technique.
My journey may be hilarious and at the same time painstaking (to look at), but I am proud of what I have learned so far. I feel that there is nothing to be embarrassed because at the end of the day, I learned – and that’s what’s important.
Not everyone has the opportunity to enrol in a professional beauty school but that should not stop you from learning and doing what you really like. Take advantage of the current technology. Watch videos, read magazines but always use your good judgment. I still commit mistakes but now I am more aware of them and at least I know what works for me and what doesn’t.
Continue to learn but master the basics because that’s all you will need.
I hope you had a good laugh while reading this, but most important of all is that you learned something from this post. 😀 Until next time!
– James Kaliardos