The fascinating world of makeup! Whether you are enamoured by the gorgeously made up faces of models strutting down the runway, or celebs sporting trendy strokes of eyeliner and kajal in TV ads, or even by the many influencers and their 5-layer eyeshadow game, most of us have experimented with makeup at one point or another. 

But what most people swipe left on is the basics of this face art. Maybe you have the ability to do the perfect winged eyeliner or your collection of eyeshadow palettes is applause-worthy, but with new products being introduced every day, even the most nuanced makeup lover can find it hard to keep up. After all, we went from using just compact powder to using primer+concealer+foundation+pressed powder as the starting point of makeup.

So, welcome to TC46’s crash course in makeup essentials where we teach you how to use your many products for maximum effect!

Prepping Your Skin Before You Apply Makeup

Hygiene is the most important step in prep before you apply makeup. Using products on skin that isn’t clean will cause skin irritation, and even lead to uneven application of makeup. Here’s a simple 3-step routine you should follow. 

Step 1: Wash Your Face

Use a cleanser suitable for your skin type; dry skin types should use cream- or milk-based cleansers while oily skin types should use gel- or water-based cleansers.

Step 2: Use A Toner

This step is essential for oily and acne-prone skin types to reduce shine and minimise the appearance of pores. Using a cotton ball, dab some toner over your face and neck.

Step 3: Moisturise Your Skin

The most important step is to hydrate your skin with a moisturiser before applying makeup. Besides keeping the skin healthy and supple, a moisturiser helps achieve a smooth finish when you apply makeup. While dry, and sensitive skin types should go for oil-based moisturisers, oily skin types should opt for water-based moisturisers that won’t clog the pores.

Let’s Get To Know Your Makeup Products

1. Primer

Yes, we have all seen beauty gurus and influencers use this relatively new category of product. But what exactly does this do? A primer creates an ideal canvas to hold onto whatever makeup comes afterwards – like foundation, tinted moisturiser, or concealer. For instance, a pore minimising primer reduces the appearance of pores and makes your skin look even. It helps the foundation stay on your face for longer without it cracking or flaking. It mattifies oily areas and prevents extra shine as well. 

Make The Most Of It:

  • Take a pea-sized amount of primer, that’s more than enough
  • The best way to apply a primer is with clean hands
  • You can always use your damp makeup sponge
  • Gently apply it on your face by dabbing, not dragging it

2. Foundation

The right foundation can take your look to a whole new level. It makes your face look smooth and even-toned. A vital aspect of choosing the correct foundation for you is to select what kind of coverage you need. A simple light coverage one is best suited for work and everyday wear while a full coverage one helps enhance your makeup for events and festivals. There are tons of varieties available like a tinted moisturiser, BB and CC creams, mousse, liquid, cream and powder. Also, your skin type plays a huge role in this selection process. Opt for a powder foundation if you have oily skin and a liquid one suits dry skin better.

Make The Most Of It:

  • Start with a small amount of foundation and you can use more to build up the coverage
  • Apply your favourite foundation with a damp sponge or beauty blender
  • Dab the sponge all over your face and neck and ears; don’t sweep, dab the product
  • Let the foundation set for 3-5 minutes before proceeding to the next step

3. Concealer

When you want to cover up acne scars, apparent skin discolouration and blemishes, concealer is your go-to product. It’s also ideal to reduce the appearance of dark circles. Your perfect shade of concealer is a shade lighter than your foundation. And if you plan on contouring your face, go two shades lighter. This product is usually a creamy or liquid one, so if you intend on using a powder foundation, use the concealer first. 

Make The Most Of It:

  • Take a small amount of concealer and dot in a v-shape extending from under the lower lid to the mid of your cheeks. Also, conceal other problem areas.
  • Dabbing it with your fingers helps it blend well
  • A damp blender or sponge also is a great option
  • Make sure to lock in the concealer with loose powder

4. Colour Corrector

Remember watching makeup artists on YouTube using weird red, orange, green, purple products on the face? Those are colour correctors and most makeup artists that work on movies, series, photoshoots and even weddings use this product. Now even you have access to a colour corrector that helps cover up various problem areas. 

  • Green Corrector: To reduce redness, acne and rosacea
  • Orange Corrector: For people with darker skin tones who have dark circles under their eyes
  • Pink Corrector: For people with lighter skin tones who have dark circles under their eyes
  • Yellow Corrector: To reduce the appearance of dark purple bruises, veins, and under-eye circles
  • Purple Corrector: For yellow skin tones and to brighten dull skin 

Make The Most Of It:

  • Choose the right hues for your skin. The effectiveness of colour correctors depends on finding the right tone to match your problem
  • Apply thin layers with a beauty blender or sponge
  • Remember, a colour corrector goes on before your foundation

5. Kohl & Liner

Indian eyes are used to the quintessential kajal, right since childhood. Nazar ka tika to kajra mohabbat wala, kohl holds a special place in our desi hearts. Always look for a kohl that has moisturising properties. The kajal or kohl pencil with creamy or moisturising texture is easy to apply as it glides smoothly and keeps the eyes hydrated. Invest in a kajal that is water and smudge-proof. 

With a liner, you get tons of options like liquid, pencil, gel, cream in an array of colours from the must-have black to jewel tones and glitter. Select the type of liner that you can handle. A pencil eyeliner gives better control and is best for beginners. Liquid, gel and cream need a little practice.

Make The Most Of It:

  • Kohl on the lower waterline is a popular use, but try it on your upper waterline to give a fuller look to your lashes
  • If you have sensitive eyes, you can apply the kohl below the lower waterline
  • To create a softer look, use a cream or pencil eyeliner and smudge it with a brush
  • If you are new to the winged eyeliner cult, practise with sticky tape or make it look sharp by using a concealer

6. Blush & Bronzer

Just as the song Mohe Rang Do Laal suggests, blush was limited to “laaj se gulabi gaal” before MAC, NARS and Sephora came into the picture. There are three main types of blush formulas: Cream, powder, and liquid. 

Cream blush is great for a dewy makeup look and works well for dry skin types, and mature skin as it doesn’t settle in fine lines and wrinkles. A powder one is subtle and makes your everyday look a little better. Liquid blushes are easy to blend and quite pigmented. 

Bronzer is used to emulate a sun-kissed glow and enhance a tan. This looks great and adds colour as well as dimension to an otherwise plain look. 

Make The Most Of It:

  • Apply bronzer to the cheekbones, temples, and bridge of your nose. Then buff it in for a seamless finish
  • Choose a blush based on your skin type; for warm undertones (shades like gold, peach, and yellow), cool undertones (pink, blue, and red shades), and neutral undertones can have their choice
  • Smile and apply blush to the apples of your cheeks, blending up toward the temples
  • If you are using a cream or liquid blush, blend with a damp makeup sponge
  • For powder blushes, use a big fluffy blush brush

7. Lipstick

Matte, creamy, velvet or bullet, liquid, crayon—the choice for lipsticks is endless. Pick one that is apt for the occasion. A bullet lipstick is great for work and can be reapplied whenever needed. A liquid one is usually matte which needs good lip prep that includes scrubbing away the dead skin cells and moisturisation. A lip crayon needs to be sharpened when needed but it’s the easiest to use. The colour of your lipstick is a personal choice. Browns and nudes work well with formal wear and reds and oranges look stunning with party wear.

Make The Most Of It:

  • Indulge in a lip scrub session once a week to get rid of dead skin cells to get the best results from your application
  • If your lips are differently pigmented, as most of ours are, bounce off your beauty sponge with the leftover foundation to create a neutral base
  • Start with little and build the colour to make it look more natural; you can always put on more but taking excess off is harder
  • To make your lip colour last longer, gently place a tissue on your lips and dab a little loose powder over them to seal the colour in

8. Highlighter

The shimmery glow on cheeks and nose that accentuates your features is the highlighter. Available in liquid, cream and powder form, this marvellous product enhances your complexion and gives the skin a brighter, dewy glow as well as makes cheekbones look more prominent. A liquid and cream highlighter needs to be blended well in order to not look streaky. Use a beauty blender or sponge to do the same. For powder highlighters, a dense fluffy brush works well. 

Make The Most Of It:

  • Use a highlighter two to three shades lighter than your skin tone
  • The ideal places to highlight are underneath the arch of the brow, in the inner corner of the eyes, the bridge of the nose just between the eyes, on the high points of the cheeks, and right above the lips at the Cupid’s bow
  • For the nose highlight, apply highlighting colour directly along the nasal bone and blend the colour towards the tip of the nose
  • Try to stay away from products that look glittery. Opt for products that give you a pretty sheen
  • You don’t have to splurge on expensive highlighters, every eyeshadow palette has a shade that works like one

9. Lip Liner & Gloss

Many are guilty of dismissing the lip liner as an additional step to applying lipstick perfectly. A lip liner gives a perfect outline and shape to the lips. It helps you define your lips, makes lipstick application easier and most importantly, it helps make that pout look good! 

As for a lip gloss, it was every 90s girl’s go-to lip product. And it’s making a comeback with celebs like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Jahnavi Kapoor, and Sonam Kapoor flaunting glossy lips. It has the power to turn a simple lipstick shade into a glam look or just highlight your already pretty lips.

Make The Most Of It:

  • Use a lip liner of a shade closest to the lipstick colour or your original lip colour
  • Contour slightly outside the lip line to achieve a fuller pout
  • Accentuate your cupid’s bow with sharper lines using a sharpened lip liner
  • Skin shade lip glosses are the most flattering
  • Pick your own hue or create one by mixing multiple shades

10. Lip Tint

Lip Tints are packed with rich pigment that can be worn as a sheer lip stain, or a fully saturated lip colour. Because they’re so buildable, Lip Tints are incredibly versatile and universally flattering. Lip tints feel like nothing on the lips and are thus very comfortable. The Korean style of makeup is famous for creating soft, doll-like lips with lip tints. But that’s not it! A lip tint can be used as a blush and even as eyeshadow. Don’t be afraid to try this product and create stunning makeup looks.

Make The Most Of It:

  1. Prime your lips with lip balm, but be sure to wipe the excess off
  2. Take your lip tint and wipe any excess pigment off the wand
  3. Apply a very light wash of colour all over your lips, you can always add more if needed
  4. To keep it natural, apply on your lower lip and then press your lips together
  5. Blend with your fingers and go for a softer look

The world of makeup allows much room for experimentation. A pretty made-up face starts with understanding your skin, choosing the right makeup products to suit your needs, and following the right application techniques. If you’re new to the world of makeup or are simply searching for ideas to improve the way your makeup looks, use these products and try the tips mentioned to put your best face forward!

Srushti Pathak
Srushti Pathak

A blogger, aspiring author and old soul at heart, Srushti Pathak believes in writing stories that touch the heart. She maintains that curiosity defines her zeal for writing and creativity in all spheres of life motivates her.

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