Makeup 101: Step-by-Step Guide for Makeup Beginners

Makeup 101: Step-by-Step Guide for Makeup Beginners

Makeup 101: Step-by-Step Guide for Makeup Beginners

New to makeup and don’t know where to start? You’re in the right place! Avenue B is your digital one-stop shop for all things beauty, including educational beauty tips and easy access to your favorite drugstore brands. We’ll walk you through how to prep and the proper steps to apply products for a natural, sun-kissed look.

The first step to creating a soft, glow is prepping your skin. Starting with a moisturized base is key to ensuring your makeup blends flawlessly without drying your skin. Choose a water-based moisturizer formulated for all skin types, especially sensitive or dry ones. Apply an ample amount to nourish your skin and follow up with a hydrating primer for a smooth, long-lasting canvas.

Now that your skin is prepped, it’s time to move on to your complexion products. Follow our step-by-step guide for an easy, natural makeup look you can perfect in no time:

Start your beginner-friendly makeup routine with a moisturizer.

1. Apply Moisturizer to Maintain a Hydrated Base

As mentioned previously, applying a moisturizer prevents your skin from drying throughout the day, so you can maintain a seamless makeup look. Lightweight and deeply moisturizing, opt for the e.l.f. Daily Hydration Moisturizer. Made with jojoba, aloe, shea butter and cucumber as well as a blend of antioxidants like grape, bilberry, and vitamin E, this soothing moisturizer locks in moisture for smoother, suppler skin.

Pro Tip: for added moisture, add a few drops of hyaluronic acid, a hydrating serum, or face oil.

Use a hydrating primer for a smooth base and long-lasting makeup.

2. Prime To Smooth Fine Lines & Pores

This next step is one of the most important steps for a smooth, long-lasting canvas: applying primer. Primers come in many different formulas to target a variety of skin types. For example: if you have oily breakout-prone skin, try a mattifying formula that hydrates, blurs pores, and absorbs excess oil. If you have dry, sensitive skin, reach for a water-based formula enriched with nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.

A great primer should not only keep oil and dryness at bay, but also protect your skin barrier from environmental damage. Enter: the Maybelline FaceStudio Master Prime + Blur Primer. This double-defense primer has a water-soluble base and active ingredients that refine the skin and keep makeup in place all day. Formulated for all skin types, this lightweight, non-oily formula smooths uneven skin texture and is made with SPF 30 to protect skin against UV damage. Layer it with your moisturizer to prolong your makeup and to protect your skin barrier.

Choose a foundation that mostly closely resembles your skin tone for a flawless complexion.

3. Choose a Foundation Shade that Matches Your Complexion

Choosing a foundation that matches your skin complexion and undertone sets the “tone” for the rest of your makeup look. Fortunately, many cosmetics brands have expanded their foundation shade ranges in the last decade to include darker shades and a bevy of undertones. If you’re still not sure how to correctly shade match, check out our guide on how to identify your undertones. Similar to your primer, your foundation should also aid in maintaining healthy skin underneath your products. Oily skin? Try a mattifying foundation that absorbs excess oil. And if you have dry or sensitive skin, a hydrating foundation with a dewy finish.

The best of both worlds, the L’Oréal Infallible Fresh Wear 24 HR Foundation is made for all skin types and tones. This lightweight, long-wear foundation is sweat, water, and transfer-resistant to keep your face shine-free from sun up to sun down. It also has SPF 25 to protect against UV damage and won’t clog your pores. Layer it with the rest of your products or wear it solo as a light skin tint – either way, achieve a flawless look without smudging or fading.

Conceal and contour to brighten and sculpt your face.

4. Conceal Dark Circles & Hyperpigmentation

Now that you’ve chosen the right moisturizer, primer, and foundation trio, it’s time to color-correct your complexion with concealer. Makeup professionals recommend getting a concealer a shade lighter than your complexion and a concealer that’s a shade darker than your complexion to brighten and contour. The L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer comes in a variety of color-correcting shades for every skin tone. This holy grail formula boasts a creamy, lightweight texture to camouflage darkness under the eyes, redness, and skin imperfections. These concealers retail at a budget-friendly $3.99 price tag, so you can practice your concealer and contour technique without breaking the bank.

Apply the brighter shade under your eyes, the bridge of your nose, the arch of your eyebrows, chin, and forehead temple to cover dark circles, blemishes, and hyperpigmentation. Remember a little goes a long way. For a natural look, apply a dime-size amount of the product to the contour areas of your face. The goal is to temporarily cover fine lines and blemishes while adding a pop of brightness.

Pro Tip: Let concealer dry down for 1-2 minutes before blending for fuller coverage. Use a sponge or concealer brush to gently blend with a dabbing, stippling, or soft tapping motion. After blending your concealer, the key to maintaining a matte under-eye is to set your contour with a loose finishing powder like Maybelline’s Fit Me! Loose Finishing Powder.

Bring warmth back into your complexion using the darker concealer shade. Apply a small amount to the hollows of your cheeks, jawline, temples, and contours of your nose for a sculpted look. Use a contour brush or sponge to gently blend until the product is seamlessly blended into your skin.

Bronze where the sun naturally hits for a sun-kissed glow

5. Apply Bronzer for a Healthy Glow

Wonder how your favorite makeup artist gets that healthy, sun-kissed glow? Bronzer is your answer to vacation-ready skin all year round. Apply bronzer to the high points of your face where the sun naturally hits like the cheeks, temples, across your nose, neck, and forehead. For an easier application, follow the same pattern as your contour.  

Ideally, you want to choose a bronzer that matches your undertones and is 1-2 shades darker than your complexion. You want to aim for a natural tan that’s not too much darker than your complexion. On the other hand, if your bronzer is too light, it won’t properly accentuate your features.

Ultra-luxurious and moisturizing, use the Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer to achieve a gorgeous, soft-focus bronze finish. This water-resistant, matte bronzer is infused with essential fatty acids and pro-vitamins to enrich the skin while delivering a long-lasting, airbrushed finish.

You’ve nailed a hydrating base, chosen the correct foundation, concealed and contoured for a flawless look, and added bronzer for a sun-kissed glow, but there’s one last step to complete your look.

Apply highlighter where the light naturally hit for a lit-from-within glow.

6. Apply Highlighter for a Lit-From-Within Finish

Finish your beginner makeup look with a light-reflecting highlighter. Some may argue highlighter is a beauty trend that’ll fade over time, but many agree that this trend is a game changer in your makeup regimen.

Highlighter comes in a variety of formulas: cream, powder, and liquid, and its main purpose is to add a natural sheen or glow to the high points of your face. Sweep it across your cheekbones, cupid’s bow, jawline, brow bone, and the inner corner of your eyes to accentuate and lift your bone structure where light naturally hits.

Complete your glowing, sun-kissed look with Milani’s Baked Highlighter. This highly pigmented highlighter illuminates your skin with multi-tonal, micro-fine luminescent powders. The results? A natural to high-impact glow with a velvety finish. Available in 4 shimmery, versatile shades, this highlighter complements all skin types and tones.

Pro Tip: Spritz your face with a setting spray like the Milani Make It Last Matte Charcoal Setting Spray to achieve a matte, seamless makeup look all day.


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