Basic Makeup Terms, Products and When to Use Them

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Are you a beginner in makeup and don’t understand these makeup terms?  You want to apply makeup, watching YouTube videos, or reading tutorials, and you have no idea what the person is talking about?  Makeup terms are slung about, and taking time to explain it is often overlooked.

We all started at some time or another not knowing anything about makeup too.  Makeup basics start with makeup terminology.  As we take you through the various terms, we will give you a basic idea of the types of products in each category.

I will recommend a type of product for you to begin with.  If you know the rule of three, you can create any look you want.  When you walk into the makeup department be confident in your selection.

Skin Preparation, What Product Do You Use, How and Why You Do It?

Preparing your skin for makeup is, cleanse tone and moisturize.

Why Do We Use Cleanser Instead of Soap?

Before you apply any product to your skin, you need to remove dirt and the natural oils from your skin.  This will keep your makeup on for longer, and we all want to keep our makeup fresh all day or all night. 

Skin health is important.  The face on your skin is delicate and prone to all the elements the world throws at you.  Sun damage, pollution, and other irritants can cause skin problems and premature aging.  The cleanser is softer on the skin.  Leaves healthy micro-flora preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.

Traditional soap overcleans the skin.  Removes more micro-flora, dries out, and changes the PH level.  This creates a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.  I use the words traditional soap because there are bar cleansers available.  Bar cleansers are another type of cleanser.

The Different Types of Cleansers

  • Creamy cleansers: suitable for dry or sensitive skin.
  • Gel cleansers: suitable for oily or combination skin.
  • Foam cleansers: suitable for combination skin, but all skin types can use it.
  • Bar cleansers: There are bar cleansers for each skin type.
  • Exfoliators: either abrasive which contains microbeads to remove dead skin cells.  Or enzymatic which uses enzymes to remove dead skin cells.  Only use these once a week, and the type you select will depend on your preference.

Do I Need Eye Makeup Remover?

The short answer is no.  You need it if you are applying heavier eye makeup or waterproof mascara.  Most cleansers will work on everyday eye makeup.  The rule of thumb is if all your makeup is not removed in two or three gentle wipes, then you need eye makeup remover.

What Is the Purpose of Toner?

This is not only for makeup novices; many people don’t know why you need to use toner.  Toner is the unsung hero of the cleansing routine.  Removing the natural oils from your skin is not ideal for your skin.  Leaving it on is not ideal for your makeup.  Step in toner, and it restores the skin’s natural PH balance.  This prevents harmful bacteria grow aka it helps to prevent pimples.  Sadly, not if you have acne.  A medical professional has to treat acne.

Also read – Top 12 Home Remedies for Acne Scar Removal

Do We Have to Use Moisturizer All the Time?

Absolutely.  Moisturizer gives you all the things your skin needs to help slow down the formation of wrinkles.  You need to buy the correct one, not only for your skin type but your age as well.

The Other Use for Eye Cream?

Eye cream prevents wrinkles around the eyes.  Dot a little on the bone around the eye and tap into the skin.  Don’t rub the skin around the eyes it is delicate and prone to rings under the eyes if you are rough with this area.

Dot a little around your mouth.  The area is as sensitive, and we use it all the time, and we need to prevent wrinkles here too.  This is the other use of eye cream.

What the Heck Is Barrier Cream?

This is important for sensitive skin. With sensitive skin, you need extra help from environmental irritants.  Barrier cream will add an extra layer of protection for your skin.  This will keep in moisture while keeping out irritants.

Sunscreen, Sunscreen?

Sun damage is the leading cause of wrinkles.  Sunscreen with a UVA barrier prevents wrinkles.  Sunscreen with a UVB barrier prevents burning.  The best advice I ever received was to get a sunscreen with both and use it every day. 

The only time to skip sunscreen is on your wedding day or equally important makeup days.  Other than that, don’t skip it.  There are alcohol-based sunscreens that will help keep your makeup on longer.

Also read – 5 Gorgeous Eye Makeup Tips (Step by Step)

My Mom Never Used Primer Why Should I?

You don’t have to use primer unless you want to smooth out your skin.  Primer helps keep your makeup on and blending into the foundation, for a smooth application.

A nourishing inexpensive primer for you to try oute.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer

The Rule of Three, No Matter What Everything Is Broken Into the Rule of Three.

The rule of three will take you from makeup beginner to makeup pro in no time at all.  No matter how it looks, makeup can be divided into three types.  If you learn the uses of each type, you will be able to create any look and choose any makeup from this understanding.

Three Types of Makeup and When to Use Them:

  • All makeup comes in three types or forms.  The product’s consistency will vary, and you select the type that feels comfortable to you.  What you like to use and how you want to look.  You can use any in any combination, but you have to use them in the correct order.
  • Cream: To determine if you are looking at a cream product.  Touch it, it will feel oil-based and creamy.  Turn it around and it will not come out of the container.  All creamy products are applied first.
  • Liquid: This will feel watery to the touch and if you hold the container upside down it will run out.  You apply this type of product second.
  • Powder: this will feel like powder.

For Makeup beginners: Use a creamy concealer and lipstick.  Liquid foundation and translucent powder for the face.  Color powder for eyes and cheeks until you get used to blending then try other types to see if you like them more.

The only exceptions to the order rule: are brows, eyeliner and mascara.  They are applied last regardless of the type of product.  The powder will diminish the color.

Three Types of Foundation and What to Choose

  • Cream: This is more difficult to blend but gives full coverage.  The application lasts longer.  Use this for all concealers, contouring, and if you need full coverage for your face.
  • Liquid: This gives a light cover.  It is easy to blend but will wear off faster than cream.  I recommend this for anyone who wants less coverage and beginners.  It is easy to blend and will help you learn.
  • Powder: This sets your makeup in place.  If you have lots of wrinkles, do not use this product setting, and fixer sprays will help set and control the shine.  If you want light coverage, apply with a loose brush over the face.  If you want a heavy coverage use a sponge to push the product into the cream or liquid foundation. 

Check outMakeup wedge sponges

For all makeup beginners, the best foundation application to begin with is the standard blending wedge.  It won’t give you the accuracy of some of the others, but it blends foundation well.  You can use the edges and sides on larger and smaller parts of the face.  It can be washed with cleanser and water and be used many times over. 

Also read – 15 Cheap and Effective Makeup Hacks to Save You Time and Money

Three Types of Applicators and What They Do:

Although you get many different types of applicators, they only do one of three things.

  • Apply products: Brushes are firmer, sponges do not absorb the product.  This is used to apply generous amounts of the product to your face.  The product will sit on top of your skin and not blend in easily with these tools.  Use this type to apply the product you need bold color or a generous amount of.
  • Blending products: Brushes are soft with wider shapes, sponges are absorbent.  These products are used to smooth (blend) and shade away harsh lines.  You can apply products to your skin using them or use clean applicators to create the desired finish.  In the beginning, I would only use this type of product until you get used to blending.
  • Precision tools: these types of tools are small, maybe designed for a particular area of the face.  Mascara wands and eyeliner liquid brush are examples of this type of applicator.  Everyone needs them to apply that particular product.

This brush set is a perfect beginner set and gives you a wide range of options to choose from – Makeup Brushes, VANDER 32pcs

Three Types of Color and How You Use Them

No matter what type or actual color, any makeup falls into three types according to use.  Once you know how to use a product, you can apply the rule of them to any part of your face.

  • Base: This is the color you are using as the starting point.  This color is usually a light mid-tone and matt and the rest of the colors are built up from the base color.  E.g., Your eyelid you will fill with one light mat blue.
  • Contour or dark color: This is the color you use to create a shadow when shaping.  For crease in the eye or sunken cheeks.  To recede anything.  E.g., the crease of your eyes is filled in with dark blue.
  • Highlighter: this is the lightest shade and can be shimmer (shiny).  You use this type of color to create emphasis or make things look larger.  The brow of your eye is colored with shimmer light blue.

Final Tips

  • To prevent contamination of the makeup.  Scrape product onto a plate and wash and disinfect all the tools you used.
  • Start light and build color.
  • Practice blending on your hand it’s easier.
  • To test new products:  place a small amount of the product on the inner wrist of your arm.  Wait 48 hours to see if you have a reaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Products Should I Use If I Have Acne?

You need to make sure the products you use do not clash with your treatment.  Only your treating doctor can recommend products for you to use.

How Do I Know Which Skin Type I Have?

If you are shiny you are oily.  If your skin feels tight after you wash it, you have dry skin. If you have both shiny and tightness in parts you have combination skin.

What Products Do I Use If I Have Combination Skin?

There are products for combination skin.  If you are very dry or oily then I would use products for oily or dry skin in the area as appropriate. 

I Hope I Have Demystified the World of Makeup

I hope this makes it clearer.  When you watch those YouTube videos or read tutorials you will understand what the person is explaining.  For makeup beginners with these basic rules you can experiment with anything.  Remember to choose a day you can wash it all off and start again.

Also read – How to Do Makeup: A Step by Step Guide for Applying Makeup Like a Pro

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