This is of course, a personal list. Makeup is art and expression, some you choose to follow, others you regard as amiss. Out of the all the advice I could give, these are the mantras that I choose to follow.
1. Don’t: Follow every makeup recommendation
I know, I’m a makeup artist with a blog that incorporates my beauty advice. I believe in taking in as much knowledge as possible and then deciding what if anything to adapt. Makeup is not like medicine. There might be tips and tricks, but there are no set rules. Just because an artist swears by a foundation or product, do not just decide to buy. Always try first, to avoid disappointment.
Do: Keep an open mind
However much you love a person’s work, when trying products, stay unbiased. People actually force themselves to get into something because so and so say’s it’s the best.
2. Don’t: Follow the crowd
I have never been a big fan of ‘Instagram makeup’. As you can see by my photos, I do not like heavy contour and bold eyebrows on myself. To be confident with your appearance, you want to feel comfortable.
Do: Find your own style
You know how some people love rock and others love soul. You can debate it forever, people will always have their preferences. Well that’s beauty. Step outside of the social media bubble, you will see an array of ideas and work that are all in the industry. Find what works for you.
3. Don’t: Be afraid of change
There could be an eyeshadow colour that looks amazing against your eyes, yet you are afraid to experiment. As I mentioned, find what works for you-if you don’t try something, how will you know if it’s not your style?
Do: Book a makeover
On makeup counters, you can either book in and pay, or purchase (usually a minimum) two products. Go to a brand whose products you already keep in your routine, if you are worried about spending money on cosmetics you may not want. If you prefer to just try a shade of blush, eyeliner etc, a consultant should be happy to put this on for you. Do get out there yourself. Whether you are at a high-end brand or drugstore, every once in a while, pick that shade you are convinced will not work. Wear it for the day and see what you think; you may be surprised.
4. Don’t: try cosmetics in store without cleaning
If you go to a brand with a beauty advisor, you can pretty much guarantee they will wash the brushes. What they won’t always do, is clean the products. Anything powder based should be wiped with a tissue. Mascara should always have a disposable wand. Lipsticks should always be sterilised with alcohol or wiped with a tissue and antibacterial.
Do: Be prepared with hygiene
Carry sanitiser and tissues. Use a spatula to take product from a pot. When you are at home, use clean hands to take from your cream. Once you realise how many people test products and how easy it is to catch infection, you understand why this is important.
5. Don’t: Compete with makeup artist kits
With MUA’s showing tutorials and makeup they like, it’s easy to get caught up believing you need all of it as well. A makeup artist has to be prepared to work with every type of skin, every type of bone structure and every possible issue that needs correcting.
Do: Solely focus on your needs
If your makeup is only for you, take inspiration from an MUA’S kit and narrow it down to what you can incorporate into your own routine. How many people throw away makeup that they barely used?
6. Don’t: Expect everything from products
After getting my first job (before makeup school) on a counter, I spent all the money I could, on buying the best of everything. Hoping somehow the right tools would make magic happen. Tools are just tools without technique.
Do: Pay attention to detail
Do some research. Have at least a basic idea of the different ways you can utilise something. Knowledge is power. The more you learn about makeup, the more choices you can make.
7. Don’t: Forget about skincare
I cannot wait to do an article on the truth about skincare. When I was not freelancing, I was meeting skin care experts on top of working with practically every brand out there. Good skincare does not mean splurging. It does entail a cleanser, moisturiser and exfoliator.
Do: Know the products your skin type requires
There are only four skin types; oily, normal, dry and combination. Sensitive skin is a condition, the same as dehydrated and ageing skin. Most are convinced their skin is sensitive. True sensitivity, the skin will react immediately. Some ingredients nevertheless, can irritate your skin and can lead to redness or breakouts etc.
Dry skin is a lack of moisture meaning the skin produces a lack of oil. Dehydrated skin- being a condition, means a lack of water. People confuse these as being the same. Oily skin tends to be dehydrated. The skin can overproduce oil to try to make up for the lack of water. Key tips to remember: dry skin-use gentle exfoliators only a couple of times a week, oil based foundations (cream works well) and avoid strong chemicals and fragrances. Oily skin-look for hydrating products, water based foundations, exfoliate regularly and avoid products too harsh (be cautious of anything that claims to strip not reduce the oil from your skin), combination skin-lotions over creams tend to work better, as does gel based products.
8. Don’t: Mistreat your beauty kit
Wash your brushes-shampoo with a hint of conditioner works well. When travelling, wrap compacts in bubble wrap or cling fling and place in a cosmetics bag. Don’t leave products around that are old and not in use.
Do: Spring clean your kit
This is a must for me. I like my cosmetics to all be organised so I know where everything is when getting ready. I also like to get a tissue and wipe over anything powder based. Before you purchase, you want to know what you have and what you need, so storing old, unwanted products can make this far more confusing.
9. Don’t: Just follow the application
By this I mean; let’s say you watch a YouTube video. This person has a wide forehead so they contour either side. You on the other hand, might have a forehead more narrow. If you copy the same method, you will be doing nothing to enhance your own features.
Do: Have an understanding of your bone structure
When I do makeup, I never look at a person and pick out if they have a round face or deep-set eyes. I like to think I am confident enough to immediately decide what to bring out in a person’s face. That took a long time to figure out! If you are unsure, have a look at a guide. What you want to remember; highlight widens and contour does the opposite. My forehead is much wider than my chin, so I avoid contouring my chin and instead only contour the sides of my forehead.
10. Don’t apply makeup far away
A little strange I admit-this happens. People sit at quite a distance from their mirrors. I did this and that’s why it has to go into my do’s and don’ts. Once I figured this out, I realised my makeup looked more clean.
Do: Get up close and personal…to your mirror
Eyeliner, lipliner, mascara and eyebrows all need a good eye for precision. I’m not suggesting you rub your nose right against it, (unless it’s a fragranced mirror-not that that’s an invention), but go close. Compact mirrors are actually good in this instance. They force you to really take a good look.