Thursday, February 7, 2013

Makeup Basics with Melissa Part 1!

Believe it or not, a lot of my friends aren't really into makeup. Some only wear one or two products, and some don't even wear it at all, and the majority don't love it with the fiery intensity that I do

A question that I get asked a lot by friends and fans, gal and non-gal alike is "Hey, Melissa! What are the basics for someone who wants to start wearing makeup?" Well guys, this post is for you! Luckily I've tried out many a product since I started wearing makeup at age 12, not to mention I went to school for this stuff, so hopefully I can help a few people out with this post~

To get started, this is what I believe that the true "basics" of makeup are: foundation/base, concealer, setting powder, brow product, eyeliner, mascara, and blush + tools that can be used to apply them. I've listed the prices of the products, and all of the tools can be purchased from Crown Brushes. They offer artist-quality makeup brushes for very reasonable prices!

  1.  Maybelline FitME Liquid Foundation  - $6
  2. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream - $39
  3. MAC StudioFix Liquid Foundation - $27
  4. elf Tinted Moisturizer - $3
  5. Skin79 Super+ Hot Pink BB Cream - $20

  1. Oval Foundation Brush
  2. Dual-Fibre Face Brush
  3. Flat-Top Kabuki Brush
  4. Disposable Cosmetic Sponges

The term foundation or base makeup is exactly what it sounds like - it is the base or foundation for the rest of your makeup. The right application techniques and product can give you flawless skin, but poor application or too much product and it will be obvious. There are many types of base makeups, ranging in consistencies from liquid to powder, thicker to thinner; and in coverage (light, medium, full). Tinted moisturizers are at the lighter coverage end of the spectrum, most BBs fall in light to medium, and liquid, powder/mineral, and compact foundation give the best coverage. Ideally, you should purchase foundation as close to your skin tone as possible. Exceptions of course, if your body skin is more tan than your face, but even then, don't go more than 2 shades darker or else it makes your skin look dirty. Don't buy foundation that is too light for you. It makes your skin look grey and corpse-like 
Really, you should find out what works best for you, your skin, and your desired look. If you're not used to wearing makeup, a tinted moisturizer would probably suit you best because they feel very light on the skin. I personally like a medium coverage base, right now I'm using the Skin79 Super+ Hot Pink BB Cream and I have nothing but positive things to say about it! When I desire a bit more coverage, I reach for Maybelline FitME liquid foundation in shade 110.

The tools you can use to apply these products really vary from person to person, what you're most comfortable with and which gives you the best application. I like to use disposable cosmetic sponges, or my (clean) fingers to apply my foundation. Other common tools that are used are flat foundation brushes, dual-fibre (or stippling) brushes, and kabuki brushes (used for mineral makeup).


  1. MAC Studio Finish Concealer - $18
  2. NYX HD Photogenic Concealer - $4
  3. Revlon Age Defying Concealer - $3
  4. Amazing Cosmetics Concealer - $28

  1. Concealer Brush
  2. Dual-ended Foundation/Concealer Brush
  3. Flat Concealer Brush
  4. Mini Concealer Brush

Concealer does what it says; it conceals things we don't want to be seen, like blemishes, dark circles, scars, and uneven pigment that doesn't get covered up by the foundation. Itusually comes in liquid or creme form, and you apply it with either a concealer brush, a sponge, or your (clean) fingers. Because it's used to brighten dark areas, it's usually purchased one shade lighter than your foundation. It's normally applied over the foundation, and set with a setting powder. There are also color-correcting concealers available in colors like yellow, green, purple, pink, and white, but we'll get into that another time when I talk about the importance of color theory in makeup application.

Setting Powder
  1. MAC Studio Fix Powder - $26
  2. NYC Loose Powder - $3
  3. NARS Loose Powder - $35
  4. Rimmel London Pressed Powder - $4


  1. Powder Brush
  2. Powder Sponge or "Puff"

Powder is used to set the foundation and concealer to keep them from rubbing off, and to give your skin an airbrushed finish. It can also be used to absorb oil throughout the day. It should be purchased either in a shade similar to your foundation, or "translucent" which is essentially colorless. You either gently buff it on with a powder brush or lightly pat it on with a powder puff.

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  1. Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush - $6
  2. NARS Blush - $29
  3. MAC Powder Blush - $21
  4. stila Convertible Cheek Blush - $25


  1. Dual-Fibre Face Brush
  2. Angled Blush Brush
  3. Domed Blush Brush

Blush is used to give some vibrancy to the cheeks, and to promote a youthful glow. It helps add definition and a little bit of color to make your face look fresh and vivacious. The darker your skin, the darker you need to go in blush. Light pink won't show up on deep brown skin, and dark red will look silly on lighter complexions. There are many different color families in blush, from reds to pinks, peaches, corals, purples, and even oranges. Most blushes look more vibrant in-pan than they actually apply, so don't be frightened by a bright color!  They come in powder or creme varieties. Powder blush applies best with a full, fluffy brush, and cream applies well with fingers or a dual-fibre face brush. To find where on your face to apply, make a big smile. Where your cheeks stick out, that's called your "apples," apply the blush from there, sweeping up your cheekbone and blending into your hairline.

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder - $22
  2. Prestige Brow Pencil - $6
  3. Sonia Kashuk Arch Alert Brow Kit - $10

  1. Brow and Lash Comb
  2. Angled Brow Brush 
You know the saying "Your eyes are the windows to your soul?" Well if that's true, then that would make your brows the curtains to the windows to your soul! You want to have nice curtains, right? Brows are easily one of the most overlooked parts of makeup application, and they can really make or break a look. Ungroomed or undergroomed or overplucked brows can detract so much from your face, and it really doesn't take a lot of extra effort to make them look nice. In the world of brow pencils, powders, and waxes, how will you know which is for you? If you have oily skin or live in a hot or humid climate, brow powder would probably work best for you. Since it isn't wax-based, it won't "melt" off of your face as easily. Many people (myself included) use a combination of different brow products to achieve our desired looks.

  1.  MAC Fluidline - $11 
  2. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil - $18 
  3. NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker - $9


  1. Angled Liner Brush 
  2. Thin Liner Brush 
  3. Straight Liner Brush

Eyeliner has the power to make your eyes seem larger or smaller, closer together or far apart, round or narrow, and droopy or awake. Or, if you use too much of it, like a raccoon. There are 3 main types of eyeliners: Pencil, liquid, and gel. Pencil is probably what you think of when "eyeliner" first comes to mind. It comes in a neat little crayon that you sharpen each time you use it or when the tip goes dull. Pencil liner isn't very precise, however. That's where liquid comes in. Liquid liner is used to create clean, crisp, precise lines, like you would use for a cat's eye or to extend your liner to make your eyes appear larger. It can take some getting used to, because liquid liners are applied with a very thin brush and one wrong move and you have liner all over your eyelids. Gel is like a hybrid of both. It has the softness of pencil, but the precision and fluidity of liquid. This is applied with a brush (that you usually have to purchase seperate). The type of brush you use depends on what you're most comfortable with. I personally prefer an angled eyeliner brush.

  1. Benefit Cosmetics Bad Gal Lash Mascara - $11 
  2. Dior Diorshow Mascara - $19 
  3. Maybelline MegaPlush Mascara - $6


  1. Eyelash Curler
  2. Lash and Brow Comb 

Mascara is the finishing step. It darken your lashes to accentuate them and make your eyes pop. Along with darkening, mascara can also lengthen your lashes, volumize them, curl them, and keep them from smudging when they get wet (or all of the above!). My grandma told me that when she was young, mascara used to come in a little cake like an eyeshadow, and to use it you would drag a little mascara wand across the top to pick up the product, and then you would apply it to your lashes like normal. How neat is that? Mascara these days comes in a tube with a brush built right into the cap. You can apply it straightaway like that, but it's recommended to curl and comb your lashes before applying the mascara. Apply 1-3 coats, and comb again. Never curl your lashes when they are wet or when they already have mascara on them. Doing so can break or rip out your lashes, which can in turn cause them to grow in irregularly.

Those are just the bare basics, though. I personally wear more for my "bare minimum." If you're interested in what I use, here's a picture!

1. Foundation/Base: Skin79 Super+ Hot Pink BB Cream
2. Pressed Setting Powder: Maybelline FitME powder in 110
3. Highlighter: Prestige Eyeshadow in White
4.Mascara: Maybelline One By One mascara in Black
5. Luminizer: Wet N Wild Mega Glow
6. Contouring: Maybelline eyeshadow duo
7. Concealer: NYX HD Photogenic Concealer in Light
8. Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in Zero
9. Blush: Offbrand coral blush
10. Eyebrow: Sonia Kashuk Arch Alert Brow Kit

And the tools that I use with them:

  1. For blush, I use a dual-fibre brush
  2. For my face contour, I use an angled blush brush.
  3. For my nose highlight, I use a flat eyeshadow brush
  4. For my nose contour, I use a domed crease brush
  5. For my eyebrows, I use an angled eyeliner brush
  6. Eyelash curler, for curling my lashes
  7. Cosmetic sponge for foundation and concealer

Although those pictures show you what I use, I feel like makeup is really subjective (as long as it's applied well). What works for some people may not work for others. I really hope this post is useful to you guys, experienced makeup users and inexperienced makeup users alike! I plan on making this a bi-monthly (I think I'll do it bi-monthly, maybe weekly, we'll see!) series on here, going over the basics of makeup application and stuff.

And before I sign off, here's a picture of my look for the day (because what is a post on my blog without a picture of me on it!? xD)

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 The first picture was actually caught mid-blink, ahahaha. I kept it because it actually shows off my eyeshadow very well! The colors I used are from the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette and they are foxy and bootycall on the lid, tease in the crease, and snakebite on the outer corner.

Anyway, that's all for today, remember to keep practicing, because practice is absolutely instrumental in one's artistic development! At age 12, I didn't pick up my first makeup brush and start whipping out cut creases and different eyeliner shapes! I was a mess of lilac eyeshadow and too much eyeliner at first. I am where I am now because I am constantly practicing and refining my skills.

Never give up and I'll talk to you dolls later!


  1. I nominated you for a libester award at

  2. I love this! I recently started wearing makeup again and I still feel lost haha. I had a couple questions. I know you can match your foundation in makeup stores, but how do you match to your skin when buying at drugstores? And I feel so lost with my eyebrows! They are sort of sparse on hair so I have never groomed them, and never really touch them. I've also heard great things about the Dream Bouncy blush and MAC fluidline. You should do a short video on your everyday makeup!

  3. it wouldn't be a short video, hahah!

    as far as matching your shade in drug stores, sometimes (I know this is bad, haha) I untwist the cap and test a little on my wrist :0 usually I'm either the lightest or second lightest shade available, so I don't have to do much testing. brows, luckily full ones have been in for the past few seasons. just lightly shade them with a dark brown pencil or powder to fill in sparse areas. fluidline is god, and the dream bouncy blush is fairly nice. it can be a bit tricky to apply, but I've found that a dual-fibre brush works the best for its application.

  4. Oh, one of my friends was looking for suggestions on what kind of makeup to buy for Gyaru. I should send this to them!