When I was a teenager, I was always experimenting with make-up. Different mascaras, eyeshadow colours, nail polishes… And not forgetting some unfortunate fake tan incidents! But for the past few years, I’ve stuck to my trusted routine. Then I decided to do my own make-up for my wedding last month.
Shit. Right? Do your own make-up for the wedding, it’ll be alright! Who’s fucking idea was that?
Since I’m cheap, I didn’t want to pay £100+ for someone to come round in the morning and make me look beautiful. I don’t tend to wear a lot of make-up, and, going by my limited experience of professional make-up artists, they tend to go a bit overboard. It’s just not what I wanted. But I didn’t want to look silly, especially not at my own hand. So I turned to YouTube.
There are so many tutorials online. When I was a teenager, the best you could get would be some terrible tutorial in a magazine. Now there’s a whole host of advice right at your fingertips. No wonder young women look so flawless these days. As a young woman myself, I wanted to join their flawless ranks. So I started with how to apply even, lasting foundation.
The Beauty Blender craze kicked off a couple of years ago. I, of course, am late to the party. It’s this little sponge that’s shaped almost like an egg, and you use it to put your foundation and concealer on (apparently you can also use it for contouring and other stuff, but I am not ready to try contouring yet, so I decided to just stick to the basics). Amazon had the Beauty Blender for around £8, which I thought was a bit much for a sponge. Then I came across the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, which reviewers were also raving about, and came in at under a fiver. Much more reasonable. I bought one and it turned up the next day (thanks, Prime!).
Apparently, it’s better to wet the Sponge if you’re using it to apply liquid foundation. Simply run it under a cold tap, squeeze it out, then you’re ready to dab.
The next lesson I learned is to USE PRIMER. I’ve never had a primer before, foolishly believing that it didn’t make a difference. It does. I went for Rimmel’s Fix & Perfect primer, which is like a fiver, and you only need to use a tiny bit each time, so it should last a while.
Previously, I’d relied on cotton buds to put on eyeshadow (I know, I know), so I bought a set of make-up brushes from Amazon. I wanted to do this properly, after all. It came with various face brushes (powder, blush, whatever else) too, so I could finally throw out the brush I got when I was like sixteen (I’m clean, I swear!).
I’m a slave to Dream Matte Mousse. I’ve used it for like 10 years, and it is the only foundation to give me even, non-cakey, subtle-yet-all-over coverage. But YouTube said no. Dream Matte Mousse sucks, it said. So I looked up the best foundations for oily/combination skin, which I have. Ignoring the non-drugstore options (who the hell pays £60 for a bottle of foundation?!), L’Oreal Infallible came up as one of the best. So, armed with a list of products, I headed out to Superdrug.
Maybe it was because it was a Sunday, but my local Superdrug store was empty. It looked like it had been ransacked. After having zero joy, I popped over to Boots, where I had better luck. I grabbed some L’Oreal Infallible, at a pricier but still relatively inexpensive £10, and some other bits and bobs, and headed home.
My first impression of L’Oreal Infallible is that it was a tad bit too dark for me (seems I might need to mix shades to get the perfect one, but, uh, fuck that noise). It’s a liquid foundation, and does go on nice, but you have to blend it quickly before it dries. The best way to do it is to pump some on the back of your hand, dip the Sponge in, and apply in a blotting motion all over your face. You can turn the Sponge and use different sides for different areas, but I found the flat bottom side to be the best. Infallible also felt pretty heavy on my skin, and I found that I just didn’t feel comfortable with it on; I felt very aware that I was wearing make-up. So I scuttled back to Dream Matte Mousse.
Applying Dream Matte Mousse with the Sponge is a pain. I decided to apply a thin coat all over with my fingers, then dip the Sponge into the pot and put another layer on using those blotting motions again. This ensures even coverage and also pushes the foundation into your skin, making it more flawless.
Pro tip: Make sure you blend your foundation over your jawline and down onto your neck. This is how you avoid any unsightly foundation lines. Also, blend up into your hairline!
I’m still using the same tube of Rimmel’s Hide The Blemish I’ve had for ages. It works well enough, so I dabbed some on any blemishes and underneath my eyes.
Everyone says to use a different primer for your eyelids. I say, fuck that. I used concealer on my eyelids to act as a base for any eyeshadow.
I use Rimmel’s Stay Matte in Transparent. Using a large powder brush, I dab the powder all over my face rather than swiping it. I find this pushes the product into my skin more, and doesn’t mess up all my previous hard work. Your mileage may vary.
This is the secret weapon. I bought Infallible Fixing Mist, because every YouTuber went on about setting your make-up. This is a ‘huh?’ moment for any novice like myself, but seriously, it works. The trick is to spray the fixing mist over your face (the bottle says in an X motion then a T, but just haphazardly spritzing it works just as well), wait a few seconds then go back over your entire face with your Sponge. This pushes all the products into your skin, and really gives you that flawless look. I then dab some more powder all over for good measure.
Pro tip: For the love of pancakes, shake the fixing spray before you spray! Else you’ll end up with little white dots all over your face. Unless that’s what you’re going for, of course.
And here’s the final result! Not too shabby, I reckon. My make-up did last all day, so I’d call that a win.
So that’s how I did my face for my wedding last month. If you’re a n00b like me and want to learn some tricks of the trade, keep an eye out for the rest of the posts in this series.