5 Best Makeup Routine Step By Step Guide For Beginners

Stage One: Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize

Before starting to apply your makeup, you must give yourself the best possible base to work on. This means skin in good condition — which comes from the correct, regular skin-care regimen for your skin type, a well-balanced diet (including lots of mineral water), enough sleep, and enough exercise to rev up your circulation. All these ingredients contribute to the appearance of your skin — its clarity, tone, and texture. Every time you start to make up, check first that your skin is scrupulously clean. What you cleanse with depends on your skin type and your personal preference for a lotion, cream, foam or soap-and-water. Having cleaned, wipe away any last traces of dirt, debris or grease with a skin freshener or toner — again, which you use depends on your skin type: non-alcoholic fresheners are for dry and sensitive skins, those with alcohol (usually called astringents) are only for oily skins. People with combination skins (patches of dry skin or at the shape of greasiness down the center of the face) are wise to use both, or a toner with only a tiny amount of alcohol, diluted (by soaking a cotton wool pad in water first) for the dry patches.

Cleanse and Tone

Use cool water or non-alcoholic skin tonic.


Dot all over face and neck and blend gently. Don’t use too much. Excess moisturizer will only evaporate on the skin and make it drier.

The last step in preparation is moisturizing. Moisturizers are probably the biggest breakthrough in skin care in recent years — they provide a film over the skin that prevents its natural moisture from escaping and causing dehydration, which is the main cause of wrinkles and skin aging. They also protect the skin from environmental damage — from the wind, cold, the sun (providing they contain a sunscreen), pollution — especially when no foundation is worn, and help enormously in the smooth application of foundation, as they leave the skin in a soft, supple condition.

Tinted moisturizers are very helpful under foundation to help balance out skin tones. A green tint will tone down redness; mauve reduces sallowness; apricot will warm up a washed-out pallor. But, don’t use too much or the result will veer towards the opposite extreme.

Stage Two: Foundation and Camouflage

Foundation, or base, should be considered as a skin improved, something that will give the impression of better, smooth and even-

Dark Circles under the Eyes

Find the dark patches by lowering your head and looking up into a mirror. Gently dot concealer sparingly on the circle and blend by patting with the fingertip. Don’t rub or drag. If the circle is accompanied by a ‘bag’ don’t let the concealer go over it — this only accentuates it. Powder very lightly if necessary — but avoid powdering under the eyes if possible as it sinks in and deepens tiny lines.


Choose to match your skin tone. Apply with damp sponge or fingers. Be careful to blend around nose and chin and fade away under the chin. Don’t take it into the hairline, nor heavily under eyes — it can make tiny lines look deeper than they are.

foundation, dark circles under eyes

toned skin, while the product itself is almost invisible. Heavy foundation is old-fashioned and aging; it should never appear mask-like or obvious. Contemporary foundations are light and should be applied sparingly and blended in well. The shade chosen should be as close to your natural skin tone as possible so that there is no sudden change of color between chin and neck. This way the .end result should be an all-over quality of tone and texture, with just a transparent glaze. Never select your foundation shade by trying it on the back of the hand — the skin here is almost always a totally different color from that on your face. Test them on the side of your cheek, just above the jawbone, and make your decision in a good light.

Only the very young, or those lucky enough to have near-perfect skin, can really get away with wearing no foundation at all if they want to look their best. But, many people have good skin and only need help in certain areas – chin, forehead or nose, for instance — and can just use the foundation to improve tone in patches, blending it into the surrounding skin for an even effect. In summer, or for sports, a bronze gel is often sufficient, providing just a healthy overall glow.

Foundations .are available in various forms — liquids, gels, creams, cream-foams, or solid creams in sticks, blocks or cakes. Which you choose is a matter of how much clarity or cover you want — and personal preference. Most of them are water-in-oil emulsions, with some oil-free liquid formulas especially for oily skins; the all-in-one mixtures of cream and powder which give a very matte finish are best for oily skins too. They should be applied by dotting over the central area of the face, then blending outwards with a damp (not wet) sponge and finishing off with the tips of your fingers; pay particular attention around the hairline and jawline that there is no sudden change of tone — and around nostrils, nose, and lips. A bit of camouflage is often necessary to cover up the odd spot, patch of discoloration under eyes, scar or another blemish. A heavy cream foundation is suitable, in the same tone as your normal one but in a much lighter shade; also, there are special concealers in sticks or thick cream formulas available, sometimes with their own sponge applicators, which are easy to use. Dot the concealer on the required area, then pat or lightly press it in — use a small amount to start with; you can always add more — then blend the outer edges carefully into the surrounding skin. The technique for covering blemishes is the same whether you are wearing foundation or just moisturizer.

Stage Three: Shape, Blush, Powder

Blusher has taken over the role of the old-fashioned route. Before there was rouge, or before it was considered permissible to wear it, women used to pinch their cheeks to bring up the color, knowing it was the best natural way of making the most of their looks. Now, blusher is probably the single most flattering piece of makeup you can possess. It comes in cream, gel or powder form and is the next step in your makeup routine if you choose the cream variety, which includes pencils; if you choose powder blusher, it should be applied to face powder; if you choose the gel variety it is applied over foundation, and face powder shouldn’t be used at all — it is designed for the most transparent effect and so would serve no purpose.

Whichever variety you choose, how it is placed on the cheek is vital. The trick is to stare straight ahead of you into a mirror and put a finger directly below your eyeball on your cheekbone. The blusher should be placed there and then blended along the cheekbone towards the hairline. Be careful not to take it too close to your nose, eye or the hollow of your cheek. It’s meant to make you look healthy, not feverish. Nobody’s face is perfect and bad contouring or shaping can easily end up looking like dirty marks or a heavy bruise. So, if you want to hollow your cheeks, slim your nose or reduce your jaw-line, use the minimum of color and the lightest touch. Choose a darker shade of foundation or blusher, avoid red tones and test the effects on a friend — to make sure you haven’t made matters worse. It’s often better to play up your good points and forget what you consider the bad ones — they’re never so obvious to other people.

As far as blusher color is concerned, either pinch your cheeks and choose the shade nearest this natural blush or pick one similar in color to the clothes you wear next to your face. For instance, with wine, crimson or purple clothes, try deep to medium true pink; with orangey shades, peach or tawny tones work best; and with beiges or tans, try the tawny corals or russets. Anything that is pearlized or has gold or silver in it should be left for evening make-up — and they are particularly effective with a tan.

If you want your makeup to last through the day or evening without requiring much repair, face powder is an essential part of the routine. Keep loose powder on your dressing table and carry a compact of pressed powder around with you. Translucent powders are the most popular now — used not to add any color but to set make-up. They should be used after any cream product you are applying (blusher or cream eye color; if used after the first coat of lipstick has been applied and blotted, they help stop ‘bleeding’

Cream Eye Shadow

Apply after the foundation, before the powder. Use a brush and blend with a clean brush or fingertips, all over the lid or wherever it suits you. Fade away at the edges and put a little under the eye if you like, use translucent powder when you powder your face.

Cream Blusher

Put on the cheekbone. Find the correct place by squeezing your index finger on the outer edge of the bone under your eye, your thumb beneath; it should make an ‘egg’ shape, the wide bit nearer to the outside edges of the face. Blend well, not too far in towards the nose. The left half of the face shows the action, right half the effect.

cream, eyeshadow, blusher

around the lips) but before any powder color. A good trick is to dust over much more powder than necessary and then brush off the excess — this ensures its lasting effect. Check that there are no dusty patches and that it is well blended around the nostrils and below the lips.

Stage Four: Eyes

Your eyes are one of your most unique features, and they’re one of the most sensitive too. They instantly reflect emotions, respond to the wind, dust, glare, lack of sleep, a smoky atmosphere, alcohol and over-indulgence, ill-health and even your sleeping position. It’s a good idea to protect them from the wind, dust and glare with sunglasses, to keep the delicate skin around the eye area well moisturized with a special eye cream, to remove eye makeup with special ‘eye make-up remover, and to try not to get into the habit of sleeping with your eyes scrunched into the pillow, as this can encourage lines. A healthy diet, lots of mineral water, plenty of sleep and exercise all help to keep your eyes bright and sparkling.

Treating your eyes with care is an investment and ensures they look their best. Furthermore, the eye area provides infinite scope

Powder Blusher

Apply this the same way as a cream blusher but with a brush after powdering your face. The right side of the face shows the action, left side the effect.

Powder Eye Shadow

After powdering the face apply eyeshadow with applicator or brush, all over lids, in the socket, on the browbone, under lower lid, wherever it suits you best. Apply lightly, blend carefully at the edges — make sure it goes all the way to your lashes. Be sparing, powder shadows can make the skin look crepey if too heavily applied.

powder, blush, eyeshadow

for the most imaginative make-up. It can be just a question of enhancing the eyes naturally with neutral shadows and mascara or really going to town with color and shape. Whichever it is to be, your eyes are where contact is normally made with another person, the feature they see first; it is important to know how to use make-up so they always look good.

First, decide whether you are going for an unmade-up look or a dramatic effect — then choose your colors and products accordingly.

From the vast array available, choose the products you find easiest to use. Successful eye makeup relies on the skillful application and it is much better not to be too adventurous at first until you are sure of the effect and have had enough time to practice.

Eye colors come in liquid, gel, powder or cream form; in bottles, tubes, pots, compacts, sticks or pencils. Pencils have made life a great deal easier for the average person as they are easy to control for shape and, being a cream formula, blend in well. A set of make-up brushes, sponges, and combs will also be useful, keeping edges neat, eyelashes in place and apply products that don’t come with their own applicator. It is essential to keep everything very clean, to avoid any possible irritation to the eyes.

Start with your chosen product on the lid, near the lashes and in the socket — draw the lines according to the shape of your eyes. How many lids shows, how much space you have between socket and brow, whether they are wide, deep or close-set, all have a


Draw with a pointed brush from inner to outer corner of the upper lid. Make sure to apply it right to the lash base. Don’t flick it up at the end, just take a damp brush and soften the whole line by smudging the edge very gently (cake liners are best for this).

draw eyeliner

bearing on the placing of shadow — (See Also: How to Prevent Sun Damage) for how to overcome problems and make the best of your natural shape.

Next, use an eyeliner close to the lashes, or kohl pencil on the inner rims, if you are going to. This needs a steady hand or will look very messy. This is also the moment to use eyelash curlers, which, once you’ve mastered the instrument, are very useful — they make mascara application easier, open up the eyes and can create the illusion of longer, thicker lashes. It is very important not to pull eyelash curlers away from the lashes before fully opening the instrument! Then highlight over the bone below the eyebrow — transparent skin tones are best for a day in cream, pink or beige shades; keep high shine or metallic gleam for an evening — and add a touch on the cheekbone below the outer corner of the eye.

If you have very sparse or short eyelashes you may like to add false ones. Whole strips are inclined to look very false, but a few single ones added to your own, particularly towards the outer corners, add thickness, length and can be very effective. Follow the directions exactly and, if you do use a strip, make sure it is well attached and isn’t going to start lifting up at the corners.

The last step is mascara — easiest to apply is the wand, but it comes in cream or cake form too. The cream needs a good brush, as it is messy to use; the cake form usually comes with its own brush, is applied with water in several coats and is very ancient: it stays on well and the lashes don’t clog. The technique for applying mascara is the same: first, the top side of the upper lashes, stroking the color down, then the underside of the top lashes, stroking the color up, and lastly the lower lashes. Be careful there are no blobs of mascara left on the lashes and that they are well separated — a combined lash brush and comb is good — any color that has touched the surrounding skin can be removed with a cotton bud. The best effect will be achieved with several light coats of mascara — this takes time but is well worth it.

Finally, look straight ahead into the mirror to check the shape you’ve made around your eyes; look closer to make sure everything is tidy — especially the inner corners of the eyes — and remove unwanted smudges of color or flecks of powder with a cotton bud or sponge-stick applicator. Add a little depth to the color in the socket if necessary — it may have soaked in a bit by this time. Brush eyebrows well to remove any trace of powder, up first, then across in the direction they grow. Then define with an eyebrow pencil if necessary — use soft, light feathery strokes and extend slightly at the ends. Lastly, brush again to blend in the pencil work. Eyebrows are an essential part of your facial character and provide a natural balance.

Fifth and Last Stage: Lips and Nails

After eyes, lips come close to being your most expressive feature. They are very mobile and sensual and your make-up must add to these qualities and never make them look stiff or dry. Fashion swings like a pendulum from lipsticks that are very dark through vivid bright colours to those that are closest to natural lip shades — and occasionally, as in the early sixties, to chalky pinks that are unnaturally pale and not very flattering, as they make the mouth look dry, but to draw attention to the eyes. One of the quickest ways to give yourself a new look is to reverse the focus you’ve been giving your face — for instance, if you’ve been wearing dark lipstick and not much eye makeup, try the opposite. This also gives you a chance to learn new makeup techniques, experiment with new products and avoid slipping into a make-up rut. Lip colors come in the conventional stick form, in tubes, compacts, pots or pencils; they range from opaque matt colors through shiny iridescent or pearlized shades to thin transparent tinted or colorless gloss. Again, pencils have made a terrific difference in helping people make up their lips successfully, but even better is to learn to use a lip brush. This way you get the cleanest possible outline — with color filled in exactly where you want it and it should be — and, with practice, you can learn the tricks that change the shape or emphasis of your mouth.

It’s a good idea to have a small wardrobe of lip colors in products you find easy to use and a selection of clean brushes. When buying new colors, remember they will change when applied over your lips — a sensible place to test them is on the pad of a finger, which already has a pink tone.

When you start to make up your mouth, the outline of the lips should be rather obscure as your foundation and powder should have been blended over the edges. Outline first with a sharp pencil or lip brush in a color that is a tone darker than the shade you’re going to fill in with — you need a steady hand, so it’s a good idea to rest your elbow on something solid. Then fill in with lip color, either direct from the stick or using a lip brush. Blot, and apply another coat or add gloss — again with a lip brush; don’t take the gloss right to the edges as it may cause the lipstick to run and ruin your clean outline.

Now stand away and look at yourself in a full-length mirror and check the balance of your makeup with your hair and clothes. This is particularly important for the shape of your mouth.

Don’t forget how often your hands are seen in conjunction with your face — just because you’ve finished using them to apply your makeup doesn’t mean you can dismiss them. Think how often you rest your chin on your hands, brush away a strand of hair or use your hands when you are talking. They are frequently closer to your face than you may realize.


Use a lip brush to put it on; powder around your mouth first (it minimizes ‘bleeding’). Draw carefully and fill in with the brush or stick. Use lots of gloss. Steady your hand by resting your curled fingers on your chin. Don’t make a hard different colored line around your lips with a pencil or dark lipstick — it looks peculiar when the middle bit wears away.

lips, lipstick

You may not like nail color, in which case nails should be buffed to a shine with a special cream and a chamois leather nail buffer and the tips kept scrupulously clean and perhaps brightened underneath with a white nail pencil. If you do like nail color, it needn’t match your lip color but should look pretty beside it whether toning or contrasting — and often the prettiest and most flattering to the hands of all are the beige or pale pink shades.

Nail polish, varnish or enamel come in bottles with their own applicator brushes and many companies offer colors that match or tone well with lipstick shades. Applying several thin coats, drying well in between and building up the color is the best method and will prevent them chipping too soon.

However you choose to present your nails, they must be well manicured and cared for — bitten, broken or splitting nails, dry, frayed cuticles and hangnails and rough dry hands will ruin the effect of the most beautifully made-up face, hair and clothes. Hands are often a giveaway of age, so to start treating them well early is an obvious investment in the future. The length and shape of nails vary with fashion and is also a question of lifestyle — someone who plays the piano, types or uses their hands a lot obviously cannot have long nails. Settle for nails that are all one length, healthy and well cared for — if they must be short, buff them or use a clear polish; if they are medium length, choose a colour that doesn’t draw too much attention to them; don’t make the mistake of ever growing them too long — talons are not attractive.


Apply after you have finished your make-up. Put them on with a brush and blend with your fingertips and anywhere you like, to make the skin look lively. Blend carefully so it doesn’t ‘sit’ on the surface of the skin. The left side of the face shows the action, right side, the effect.

highlighters, face