Bromo-Tengger-Semeru, Java, Indonesia
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Makeup 101: Essential makeup

Yesterday, we covered essential brushes, and how to clean them. Today: essential makeup, and how to wear it.

Every woman—every woman—needs at least this much makeup in her arsenal. And she needs to know how to apply it to her advantage. I don’t care if you only wear makeup to weddings, or if (like me ) you wear it, in varying degrees, every day (although I don’t wear it to the beach, I think that’s pointless, it’s coming right off when I body surf!). Everyone will have events where they want to look polished and pretty. This is the stuff you’ll need to start.

And it’s a good idea to experiment before the Big Day. If, like me, you got your start in parochial school where make-up was not allowed, you learned to experiment subtlely. This has served you well. 🙂 If, however, you did not wear make up in high school, or college, or grad school, and now are faced with the prospect of wanting to/having to because of jobs/big events in your life, this is a good place to start.

So, here we go:

1) Obviously, a bag to keep it all in. I like some of these. Or the freebies that come with department store beauty gifts. 🙂

2) Concealer. Even if you have a blemish-free face, it’s always good to put some under the eyes to lighten the area. Applying concealer for blemishes is a different animal than applying it to lighten dark circles. For the latter, you want a shade lighter than your skin tone. For the former, you want one that matches your skin tone. If you’re pale like me, the same shade is doing double-duty. It’s nice that way, being pale. :)(And, you’ll also want some makeup sponges—available at any CVS/Walgreens/Target/Kroger—for blending. Fingers can get messy!)

3) blush/bronzer. Whatever you choose, something that adds color. There are as many formulaes as there have been popes, so take your pick. Basic guideline: dry skin—> creamier blush. Oily skin—>powder blush. Summer—> powder blush. Winter—>creamier blush. Normal skin—> whatever the heck you want. Oh, and oilier skin—> go more matte, nothing really sparkly. Applying cream and powder blush also requires different techniques. We’ll hit those in a future post. For now, just get some (And don’t forget: TOSS THE BRUSH IN THE PACKAGE!)

4) basic eyeshadow: in a neutral shade. matte or shimmer, your call.

5) Mascara. Really, in desperate times, you only need concealer and mascara. Mascara, unless you have deeeep dark lashes, is a must-have. And really, everyone should have it, it is God’s Gift to Women! It is so fun! And it is one of the first things I began to play with. My favorite is any Lancome mascara (with Cover Girl being my drugstore pick). Black works on almost everyone, unless you’re a redhead, then you probably want black/brown or brown. DO NOT get mascara in weird, funky colors, unless you are in a line of work that requires them, and in which case, you probably are wearing much more makeup than the basic list here. 🙂

6) lip balm/lip gloss/lipstick: really, something that soothes and/or colors your lips. I love lipstick but I really only remember to put it on when I’m onstage, on a date, going to church, or going out to the theater/ballet/symphony/nice meal. Normally I just forget. I am a lip balm girl all the way, though. Especially in winter and summer, have a lip balm with SPF handy at all times!

7) Powder—pressed, to start. GOOD powder can be found at Bobbi Brown (pale yellow!) and Lancome, but drugstore brands are also perfectly serviceable. DO NOT EVER by “translucent” powder. It’s not translucent, it makes you look funny!