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Are you a complete newbie when it comes to makeup? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. This is a judge-free zone where you can learn about tips and products that will help get you started on the beauty basics. Many people struggle to know where to begin when it comes to makeup. Teenagers have to follow parents’ and teachers’ (sometimes strict) rules; older women might be embarrassed to be starting later in the game; and as anyone can attest, there’s so many products available at every price point, that it can be overwhelming.
Whether you need to figure out how to do your makeup for prom, want to start looking more pulled-together at work, or have a young daughter/niece/granddaughter/sister who needs a bit of help, this slideshow is here to guide you. We put together a roundup of the best starter beauty products at both low and high price points, as well as handy tips on how and why to apply them.
Before we get to the makeup, however, it’s important to first talk about skin care. Oftentimes, people turn to makeup as a solution for their skin woes, but makeup can only do so much. It’s always a good idea to take care of your skin as best you can first and foremost. It will allow you to feel more confident without makeup, and it will provide a better base for makeup when you do wear it. If you have skin issues like acne or rosacea, you should see your dermatologist before doing anything else — especially since they can often recommend what types of makeup to wear and avoid.
Other than that, most people should keep on hand the following skin-care products: makeup remover (whether it be wet facial towelettes or a liquid remover), a cleanser that is suitable for your skin type, a moisturizer (even those with oily skin can benefit from a light moisturizer), and of course, a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to be worn daily to protect your skin from the sun. Makeup removers and cleansers are important for preventing breakouts and eye infections, while a good moisturizer can help you avoid flaky dry patches and uneven makeup coverage. A gentle chemical exfoliant (one that includes BHAs or AHAs) can also help to create a smoother surface for makeup.
Once you have a good skin-care routine going, it’s time to have some fun. After all, makeup should never feel like a chore or something you have to do for others. Experiment to see what you like. Don’t worry if you’re not sure about spending the money on something because there are options: You can find many affordable dupes at the drugstore, get free samples (just ask!) or cheaper travel sizes from Sephora and many makeup counters, and usually return most beauty products to Sephora or CVS.
You can also discover new products by signing up for a monthly beauty subscription service like Ipsy or a beauty product swap with other women. And remember: The Internet is teeming with information about beauty, so always try to Google dupes or swatches if you’re not sure about purchasing something.
Finally, get excited! Many women undoubtedly wish they could discover their first beloved lipstick all over again, or go back in time and give their younger self a helping hand with their makeup. Everyone makes mistakes when they’re just starting out, but not everyone has a cheat sheet. Here’s yours. (You’re welcome.)