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  • Elleven Salon

Beginner's Guide to Makeup Application

It's easier than it seems to get that amazing makeup look, even for beginners! All you need is a makeup kit with the essentials, a little bit of direction, and some practice. With a little time, even dramatic looks will be a breeze! Check out this beginner's guide to have your makeup looking chic. Get ready for a crash course in makeup application. You'll be a pro in no time!

Prepping Your Skin

You always want to begin with a clean face. It gives your face a smooth canvas for an even finish. We can't stress this enough: Moisturizer should be used no matter your skin type. Without it, foundation and concealer can look heavy and gravitate to any dry spots, creating a caked on look. Next, apply a makeup primer in sheer layers over the forehead, cheeks, and chin. This will blur pores and mattify areas that are usually the oiliest.

Grab Foundation and Apply

Foundation should always be applied before concealer. It gives an overall flawless finish with better blending. Dab a few dots of foundation on your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. Start with a small amount and build as needed. The easiest way to blend for beginners is to use a foundation brush, but some beginners prefer to use a makeup sponge.

Apply Your Concealer

Grab your concealer and focus on areas like your under eyes, around the nose, dark spots, and blemishes. When blending in concealer, always dab, never drag. Dragging creates a caked-on look. To dab and blend, use your finger, a concealer brush, or sponge. When applying concealer under your eyes, draw an inverted triangle and lightly dab until it's blended. You've instantly concealed and brightened your face!

Create Dimension with Contouring

Contouring adds dimension to your face. Powder contour palettes are ideal for beginners. Use an angled brush to contour the cheekbones, jawline, hairline, and sides of the nose with the darker shade. With the lighter shade, apply to the middle of your forehead, above the cheekbones, and down the bridge of the nose. Take a foundation brush and blend. Afterwards, use a fluffy brush to run over your face with a slight bit of bronzer to bring more color back into your skin. You'll be shocked at the difference it makes in pictures and in person!

Add Blush for a Pop of Color

Select a hue that compliments your natural undertone. Wearing more earth tones? Go for an earthy color that compliments you. When wearing other colors, use a hue that compliments your skin's undertones as well. Tap your blush brush before applying to remove any excess. Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks and sweep diagonally upward towards the hairline of your cheeks. Blend in a circular motion for a natural-looking flush.

Time for Eye Shadow

Before you begin, figure out what look you're looking to achieve. For example, you can go for a more natural, daytime look or maybe a smoky eye to add some drama. Prime your eyelids for the best result by using an eye shadow primer or even a couple of dots of concealer. Next, choose one light color and one darker color. Apply the lighter color over the entire lid for better blending results.

Apply the darker shade to the outer crease of your eyelid with your eye open. This way you can make sure it's visible when your eyes are open. Blend the two colors with a longer-haired makeup brush, using your crease to guide your shape. Be careful not to over-blend! Blending is only meant to soften the darker shade and create a smooth transition between the colors. If it begins to look uneven, it is over-blended and can be fixed by starting over, covering the lid with the lighter color once more. If this sounds like too much to start, simple works, too. Opt for a cream-based shadow or use one color and blend over entire eyelid.

Making Your Eyes Pop with Liner

Eyeliner gives us a way to be really creative. Many people find they feel more comfortable with an eyeliner pencil at first, moving on to liquid liner after a little practice. It's best to steer clear of the waterproof for now. All you need to do is pull your eyelid taut and draw a line down at the lash line. Either stop at the end of your lashes or extend it outward for a fun cat-eye effect. For longer wear, take an angled eyeliner brush and run over your eyeliner with black eye shadow.

Lashes for Days - Top Lashes

Taking time on your lashes has a huge payoff. It all starts with the way you open your mascara tube. Twist the wand out of the tube to avoid clumpy lashes. Wipe any excess from the end of the wand. Keep a q-tip and some makeup remover nearby for any smudges. Always avoid pumping your mascara. This dries it out quickly and causes spider lashes.

Slightly close eyelids and slowly brush the mascara wand from base to tip on the top side of your lashes. Next, you'll look forward and gently brush on mascara underneath from root to tip. Slightly wiggle the wand back and forth as you brush upward for more uniformity. Coating both sides of your lashes gives a darker, more voluminous effect. Be careful not to let one layer dry before applying the next or you may end up with brittle, clumpy lashes.

Next, you'll use your wand both horizontally and vertically for the best effect. To begin, tackle the middle lashes first. Look forward and place the wand at the base of your lashes. Slowly glide upwards. It may not be as fast as a quick swipe, but the results are amazing when it comes to evenly distributed mascara. Do a couple of coats, first horizontally, then turn the wand vertically and apply from root to tip to get any lashes you may have missed. When applying mascara vertically, move in a windshield wiper motion along the root of your lashes. Now it's time to move on to the inner and outer lashes. Turning the wand vertically, look to the opposite side of the lashes you're working on, and use the tip of the applicator to coat the inner and outer lashes from base to tip. Doing this horizontally can often result in smudging.

To get rid of any accidental clumping, you can separate the lashes by brushing at a diagonal, downward angle and gently sweep across so the bristles will hit the tips of your upper lashes. Remember not to refresh it midday unless you want to risk spider lashes.

Bottom Lashes

Delicately use the wand to individually get the bottom lashes. This cuts down on smudging. It may seem tedious, but what a payoff! Don't forget you can just apply a small amount of remover with a q-tip if you have any accidental smudging. Try not to use too much or you'll end up with smudges underneath.


With this guide, you'll be able to create showstopping makeup in no time. Just gather the essentials and you're on your way to a total transformation. With these expert tips and a little practice, you’ll be ready to take your makeup routine to the next level. Just channel your creativity and find the look that makes you feel the most confident. When you feel more comfortable creating your everyday makeup routine, it'll be time to try new things and take things up a notch. Before you know it, you'll be creating all kinds of looks that make you feel your best!

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