A Beginner's Guide To Making Makeup Work For YOU

Photo: Courtesy of Make Up For Ever. Photo: Courtesy of Chanel.
As exciting and fun as makeup can be, it's also equally confusing and overwhelming if you're just on the cusp of really getting into it. Sure, you've dabbled with balms and BB creams. But, what happens when you're ready (thanks to a new job, phase of life, change of heart, etc.) to integrate more makeup into your routine, but you're not sure where to begin?
To help figure it out, we called in makeup artist and product guru Elisa Flowers and got her to spill her top picks for elevated basics best suited for those looking to expand their beauty repertoire. Her selects are so good, we're wishing we could go back to square one ourselves, if only to start our collection with such comprehensive core products.
So, if you want to ease your way into the world of makeup without looking like you stumbled upon your mom's eyeshadow stash from the '80s, read on.
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Medium-Coverage Foundation
Consider light- to mid-coverage foundation a one-up from your trusty BB cream. And, if you're going to go for it, you should really go for it by choosing a foundation that's basically foolproof. Giorgio Armani's Maestro Foundation is worth the splurge. "The formula adapts to any skin texture to create a flawless, airbrushed finish," says Flowers. "It sets into skin without a trace, so there's no need for primer or powder."
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Subtle Luminizer
You know those people who seem to radiate? They're not fairies — they just know the value of expertly executed luminizier. Get glowing with this easy-to-use version by RMS Beauty. "Lightly apply this icy, pearly cream with fingertips onto the framing points of your face: brow bones, cheekbones, bridge of nose, Cupid's bow, and eyelids," says Flowers.
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Bright Eyeliner
If you're already accustomed to black or brown liner, switching it out for a brighter version should be no sweat — you've got the technique down already. Flowers favors purple liner for the brown-eyed and bright turquoise or teal for those with blue or green eyes. "Top off the look with black liner at the top lashline for added definition," she advises. And, since you're already going out on a limb, why not embrace color completely? "For more intensity, smudge another fun color into the lower water- and lashline," says Flowers.
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Statement Lipstick
If you can apply lip balm, you can apply lipstick. A bright, bold hue makes an impact with minimal effort. Flowers says Chanel's Rouge Velvet formula is ideal for a beginner: "It's long-lasting and matte, yet moisturizing." She's a fan of La Favorite, a subdued orange that's statement-making but not overwhelming.
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Lengthening Mascara
If you're ready to graduate to a mascara that's not so demure, Make Up For Ever's Smoky Extravagant is a best bet. The formula lends itself to long, look-at-me lashes, but makes it happen sans lumps or clumps. (You can master that edgy style later.) "Apply two coats by wiggling the brush into the lashline, then pulling up toward the ends of lashes," says Flowers, who favors this mascara for its user-friendly attributes. "The cone-shaped brush allows the user easier access to corners."
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Buildable Bronzer
When it comes to bronzer, choosing the right product can mean the difference between looking healthy and glowing or just plain overly made-up. There's no need to live in fear with Dior's luminous bronzer. The key here? It's buildable — meaning the color won't come on overtly strong unless you really go to town with application. Flowers advises using a light touch, but she isn't shy about where she applies it. "Using a large, fluffy blush brush, apply onto cheeks, forehead, above eyebrows, along jawbone, and across décolletage for an all-over glow," she says.
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