A Beginners Guide To Makeup Products

Last weekend I spent a few days by the beach with some friends, and one lazy afternoon the conversation soon turned to makeup. While we discussed opinions over palettes and foundations and dug through each others collections, one of my friends pointed out that while she enjoyed listening to us, she had no clue what we were on about. This resulted in us all giving tips, advice and explaining what common makeup phrases were and why different methods were used. Since I didn’t have my entire makeup collection with me, it got me inspired to write up my own little “Beginners Guide To Makeup” post once I got back home. So here it is! Whether you’re new to the world of makeup and want to learn a thing or two, or are a seasoned beauty junkie who just wants to brush up on the basics, I hope you enjoy this post and get something out of it! Today I’m going to share some affordable products I think would make great introductions into the world of makeup plus clarify what some terms mean.



What Is It: Foundation is used to create an even skin tone and base for the rest of the products you’ll use on your face. It can come in the form of a liquid, loose powder or pressed powder. Liquid foundations and loose powder foundations both have fuller coverages, so it’s recommend to not use them together to avoid a heavy and cakey finish.

How Do I Apply It: If you’re using a liquid foundation you can apply a small amount to the back of your hand and use your fingers to work it into your skin. If you want to use a brush I recommend using a Real Techniques Essential Foundation Brush to apply and blend it into your skin.

Jessica’s Product Recommendation: I’m currently using Maybelline‘s Fit Me Foundation in Matte + Poreless. If you have oily skin like myself I recommend looking into foundations that promote a “matte” effect as opposed to a “dewy” effect to counteract your oily skin. If you have dry skin then avoid matte foundations and opt for a “dewy” finish as matte foundations will cling to the dry parts of your face.

Tips and Advice: Your face is a lighter complexion to the rest of your body, so when matching yourself to a foundation shade work with matching a shade to your neck for a seamless finish. When it doubt, it’s better to pick a lighter shade of foundation to your skin tone as opposed to a darker shade, as some foundations might oxidise darker on your skin.


What Is It: Concealer is basically like a small tube of foundation with a different formulation that you use to conceal parts of your face your foundation missed or can’t hide. You’d put concealer over blemishes, acne, or under you eyes to conceal dark circles.

How Do I Apply It: Concealer tubes come with a spongey little brush application so you can swipe that over onto your blemishes, or alternatively you can swipe it onto the back of your hand then use a brush you apply and blend it into your skin.

Jessica’s Product Recommendation: I have always liked using the Revlon Colourstay Concealer as it’s a really great quality and doesn’t crease under my eyes!

Tips and Advice: Properly blend the concealer into your foundation for a seamless finish and make sure your concealer is a good match to your foundation shade or else it will be noticeable.

Setting Powder

What Is It: A setting powder is a pressed powder that you apply on top of your liquid foundation to “set” it. Setting stops your foundation from moving or fading throughout the day and can also provide a better and softer finish to your complexion. Like I stated before, it’s recommended to use a pressed powder on top of a liquid foundation instead of a loose powder as a pressed powder is a lot lighter and has less coverage.

How Do I Apply It: Swirl a fluffy powder brush around in the pan once or twice until your brush is covered and then swirl it onto your face. Then do this step until you feel your entire face is covered or “set”. Alternatively you could dab the flat powder puff that comes with most pressed powders and then dab that onto your face.

Jessica’s Product Recommendation: I’ve only ever used one setting powder and that’s the Revlon Colourstay Pressed Powder! I think it gives the most amazing finish and stops my from face from getting oily throughout the entire day.

Tips and Advice: If you have oily skin it’s helpful to focus the powder on your T zone (forehead, nose and chin) as that area gets oiliest most and then work outwards on your face.


What Is It: Since your foundation has evened out your complexion, a bronzer is a darker coloured pressed power that is used to give your face warmth and dimension.

How Do I Apply It: For a natural look, apply bronzer with a tapered blending brush (to give a gentle application and diffuse harsh lines) to where the sun would naturally hit your face i.e. your cheek bones, temples and your nose (if desired).

Jessica’s Product Recommendation: I don’t personally own an affordable bronzer as I contour my face with a cool toned contour shade (I’m not covering contouring in this post as we’ll be here for a while haha) but I would recommend the Rimmel London Natural Bronzer as it’s a really great product that heaps of people have raved about. The bronzer and contour product I do use however is the Smashbox Step By Step Contour Kit.

Tips and Advice: The only advice I have for bronzer is just apply small amounts at a time to build up a really natural, healthy looking glow.


What Is It: Another pressed powder that usually goes on after bronzer to add some colour to your face as opposed to the warmth and definition from the bronzer.

How Do I Apply It: Most affordable blushes actually come with little brushes so I suggest using those so you don’t have to buy another brush! Just smile and dust it onto the apples of your cheeks.

Jessica’s Product Recommendation: I absolutely love the Maybelline Master HiLight as it’s a blush and highlight in one! It’s so pigmented so you only need to dust your brush it in and you’ve got yourself some lovely colour and glow to your face.

Tips and Advice: This product comes with a brush and mirror built into it so I think that’s really helpful! Since I’m always in a rush I sometimes just wear blush instead of doing bronzer as I’m also quite pale, so that’s something you might want to do as well!


Jessica’s Product Recommendation: There are so many brow products out at the moment it’s a little confusing on where to start so I suggest the Maybelline Brow Drama Brow Mascara as it looks super natural and it a really easy introduction into defining your brows without drawing them on or anything.

What Is It: A mascara for your eyebrows that makes them look darker, bolder, thicker and overall just more defined.

How Do I Apply It: Just brush it into your brows and you’re done!

Tips and Advice: I love this product so much as I don’t want to do too much to my brows as they are already dark and I think this product it just so quick and easy to apply.


What Is It: Small pans of pressed coloured powder that you apply to your eyelids and just underneath them to accentuate your eyes and eye shape.

How Do I Apply It: Most eyeshadows are pigmented enough to apply with just your fingers! However for more dramatic and cleaner looks I suggest eyeshadow brushes that are called “blender” brushes or “shadow” brushes. With eyeshadow you apply one colour to your “crease” (the little fold that forms between your eye and eyebrow when you eyes are open) and then another colour to your lid. Optional steps are adding darker colours to the outer part of your eye to create a “smokey” look, or a lighter colour to the inner corner of your eye to make your eyes look brighter and therefore more awake.

Jessica’s Product Recommendation: I’m actually quite impressed with the Maybelline The Nudes eye shadow palette! It has a fantastic range of neutral to smokey tones in both matte and shimmer formulations. Also my favourite part is on the back of the palette it shows you how to use the colours together as quads, trios or duos, which I think is the most helpful thing.

Tips and Advice: Eyeshadow can be a bit intimidating but there’s nothing that says you can’t just start with wearing one colour at a time then branch out when you feel more confident! If you’re worried about looking too overdramatic when trying out dark colours just start with a light hand and a small amount of product and spend time slowly blending it in and diffusing the colour each time.


What Is It: Eyeliner is applied around the eyes to define them and can come in a pencil, liquid, or felt tipped form.

How Do I Apply It: Depending on what product type you’re using, make sure you’re lining your eyes as close to the lash line as possible to create a natural look. Liquid and felt tipped liner can be used to create eye liner flicks, also known as “wings” or a “cat eye”.

Jessica’s Product Recommendation: My favourite eyeliner is the Maybelline Master Precise eyeliner. It’s a felt tipped eyeliner so it feels like a little pen that you’re using to draw on your liner, and the tip is so fine that it’s easy to create thin lines. I also find it super easy to create wings with this product.

Tips and Advice: Practise! So many beauty lovers love wearing eyeliner but hate applying it, and even the best sometimes stuff it up, so don’t feel disappointed if you mess it up first time because everyone does! Watching YouTube tutorials is really helpful but nothing beats just taking your time and practising on your own eyes.


What Is It: Mascara is a wet formula that gives your lashes length, volume and definition.

How Do I Apply It: Personally I like to tip my head back slightly and look at myself in the mirror so this way my lashes are lowered and I won’t get mascara on my eyelids (and eyeshadow I’ve just spent time applying). Then I just wiggle the brush left and right whilst pushing it up my lashes. I’m obsessed with mascara so I put a lot on to really define my eyes!

Jessica’s Product Recommendation: I’ve been loving Maybelline’s Lash Sensational mascara for ages now so I’ll recommend that to anyone and everyone! I think it’s one of the best on the market and makes your lashes look amazing and so long and fluttery, plus it doesn’t smudge underneath my eyes!

Tips and Advice: To avoid your lashes clumping together, brush your lashes upwards towards your eyebrows and not sideways. I used to brush my lashes sideways to try and create a cat eye/winged effect, and they would just clump together and be a nightmare to fix. If you want to add more definition and product onto the outer part of your lashes just continue to brush them upwards but apply more product there compared to your inner corners.


What Is It: Lipstick, lipgloss and liquid lipsticks just give your lips some colour and come in a million shades and formulations.

How Do I Apply It: With lipstick, I personally apply it first to my bottom lip, then rub my lips together to spread and diffuse the colour, then focus in on certain areas like around my cupid’s bow (the pointy bits of your upper lip just beneath your nose) and outer corners.

Jessica’s Product Recommendation: I love Rimmel and Revlon lipsticks so much, they are so affordable and such good quality, plus they have amazing colours!

Tips and Advice: Start with nude shades to get the hang of applying and wearing the shades, or alternatively you can just jump straight into bold colours! If you do wear dark or bright colours lip liners in those same shades will help you create sharper, neater lines.

Makeup Remover

Jessica’s Product Recommendation: Once you’ve applied all your makeup it’s important to also know how to take it off! I’m personally not a huge fan of using makeup wipes every night as I think it’s time consuming and wasteful, so a nice alternative is the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water!

What Is It: It’s an all in one cleanser that removes your makeup without rubbing your skin and leaves it refreshed and soothed without rinsing your face.

How Do I Apply It: Apply some of the cleanser onto a cotton pad and gently wipe your makeup off.

Tips and Advice: A 400ml bottle of this cleanser equals 200 uses. I usually remove my makeup in the shower using my QV cleanser and then QV scrub, but I always use this Garnier cleanser to gently remove dramatic eyeshadow and eye makeup before I hope in the shower.

So that’s it! That’s my Beginners Guide To Makeup! This post is so long so thank you very much if you made it to the end! I hope you found this enjoyable and maybe learnt something new. Please give this post a “like” if you enjoyed it!

All the love,

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11 thoughts

    1. Thank you so much! I was really happy with the palette! I got in half price, swatched it on my arm at home and found there wasn’t incredible pigmentation, then the next day did my eyeshadow with it and it actually turned out really well! The shades remind me a lot of the Urban Decay Smoky palette and so I can see myself using it heaps during Winter! I think if you see it on sale defs pick it up! 🙂 xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh wow that’s good! I swatched it in store a while ago and I was so impressed, thing is it’s so similar to the Naked Palettes I couldn’t bring myself to get it as well. (I just wrote that and then read you said the same, haha!). xxx

        Liked by 1 person

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