Doing makeup has seemed easy to me from the perspective of an artist but it can also be intimidating because there are so many products on the market which can be overwhelming. I’ve been using one skincare and makeup line for more than five years now and didn’t realize the overabundance of cosmetic options until I attended makeup classes. Despite the product overload and Influencers blowing up social media with seemingly trendy items, the basic few necessities and theories remain timeless when it comes to creating a beautiful look. I want to share a few tips I learned in makeup school for anyone wondering what is the highlight of each subject learned.

  1. Foundation

Did you know some foundations oxidize? In case you’re wondering what that means, when it makes contact with air foundation gets darker as it sits on your face. Since that is the case for the foundations used in class, choosing foundations seemed tricky. My suggestion is buying a brand name that does not oxidize. Before deciding your perfect foundation shade, you’ll need to figure out the undertone that is best suitable for you. Check the veins on your wrist. If you see green veins, it indicates a warm undertone. Blue veins indicate a cool undertone and a green-blue combo means neutral shades would work. High end brands offer cool, neutral, and warm foundations. I am a warm especially when I’ve been getting lots of sun, but sometimes a neutral will compliment my complexion. When buying foundations, I recommend getting two. Skin color changes with changing seasons and most people find they have darker skin in the summer months and lighter in the winter season.

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2. Color Correcting

This is the best way to hide imperfections. Look up a color wheel and memorize which colors contrast each other. The primary colors are red, yellow and blue. Red is corrected by the green (a mix of blue and yellow), shades of blues are corrected by orange (a mix of yellow and red), and yellows are corrected by purple shades (a mix of red and blue). The most realistic and widely used color correcting in makeup is covering up zits with a green concealer, because zits tend to be shades of red. Try a peachy color for dark circles under the eyes because dark circles tend to be shades of purple. For darker skin colors a real orange color will work great. Making sense now?


3. The Ideal Face Shape

I never thought about it but it until it was mentioned in class. Did you know the ideal face shape is oval? This doesn’t mean that everyone who doesn’t have this shape has something wrong with their appearance, it just means that the oval is more visually appealing to the eye. Contouring is done to create the illusion of an oval shape. For a square face, darker shadows are placed in the corners to help round out the face. Dark colors make things look shrunken. In addition highlighting adds space by attracting light to areas that need to be accentuated.

I’m not a fan of contouring because it can easily look unnatural if not done correctly. Unless you want people to know you’re wearing a lot of makeup…I opt for a more subtle was of defining the face by using a bronzer, or a powder foundation a shade or two darker to warm up the face. Contour typically has a gray undertone and because of that, too much can look ashy.

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4. The Ideal Eye Shape

Just like with the face shape, the ideal eye shape is said to be almond or even rounded. And just like with the face, contouring can shape the eye into its most balanced look. Using a color wheel as a cheat sheet will come in handy when choosing eyes shadows for the different eye colors. In color correcting opposite colors neutralize each other, but opposite colors placed next to each other can make each other pop. In the case of choosing eye shadows think “opposites attract”. My eyes are brown and therefore neutral so any color works but the most flattering are purples and blues. When it comes to blue eyes think about what you see in the sky, at sunset, or a sunrise. Blues are often contrasted by golds, coppers, peachy or orange colors. Red undertones are flattering to green eyes. Using deep colors like plums, eggplant, or wine will accentuate the green very nicely. Hazel eyes can sometimes change so pick out the fleck of color to decide what you want to accentuate.

5. Maintain Balance

The overall makeup look can be very unappealing if it is out of balance. There are three ways to ensure the makeup is flattering on the face and easy on the eyes.

  1. An important concept I remember learning in makeup school is choosing makeup colors with a similar undertone. One option is to use monochromatic colors, meaning one color and its different hues should be used for the entire face. For example peachy eye shadow, with peachy blush and peach lips. The second way to complete a look is to use contrasting or complimenting colors by using the same undertone. An example of this is gold eye shadow, warm pink blush and a warm lip color. If a fuchsia blush is used instead, then the look is thrown off balance.

  2. Another equally important thing to note is balancing the intensity on the face. If the eyes are accentuated with lots of color and detail, do not go heavy on the blush and lips. Likewise if the lips have are sporting a bold color, the eyes should be softer to keep the balance. If everything is accentuated, the overall look will appear clowny.

  3. I did not know that there is a way to balance the lips by using liner. Actually I didn’t know that it is visually appealing or possible to make the top lips match the bottom lips in thickness. Shaping the lips is done by using concealer around the perimeter and drawing with liner. For bigger appearance draw right outside of the line and for normal or smaller lip appearance draw on or inside the lip line. Remember, It is important that both the top and bottom lip are the same in size. A thin upper lip and big bottom lip are unbalanced and vice versa.

There were way more than five lessons in makeup school, but these five definitely stood out to me. Knowing these tips can change the makeup game for you, especially if you are learning. I hope the next time you are applying makeup you will keep these concepts in mind.

Stay beautiful ;)

laura dodda