Everyday Makeup for Beginners (Updated Video) & Small Giveaway

I’ve received many emails from women who are just starting out with makeup, and are unsure where to begin. I was in the same boat a year ago, but have since ended up with a simple routine that works for me, for the time being. My skills are rudimentary, so I’m hoping to learn tips from a beauty guru friend soon.
I did think twice before posting this (as the internet is a haven for people who like to criticize and judge), but I’m pretty comfortable with my bare face. As one discovers and uses more makeup, I think it’s important to not become dependent on it to feel acceptable. That being said, makeup can really do wonders to enhance features. Nature gave me small eyes and stubby lashes, but in this video you can see the effects of some simple shadow and liner.

If you are just starting out with makeup, feel free to play around and skip steps that you don’t need. For example, if you have great skin, then concealer and foundation may not be necessary. If you don’t like the feeling of eye paint aka liner, then you can skip the liquid liner and instead darken the liner eyeshadow.

Products used: Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Foundation in shade 203, MAC Select Cover-Up in NW25, Rock & Republic Blush (sadly discontinued) in Immoral, ELF Eyelid Primer, NYX Smokey Eyes Palette, Lorac Liquid Liner, and Lancome Definicils Mascara.

At first I was overwhelmed with the selection of shadow brushes, but I guess they really do have their own purpose. I recommend at least the following: flat shadow brush, precision shadow brush (for lining), and fluffy blending brush. You can get them for $1 to $3 a pop on ELF (be sure to search around for coupon codes).

As I’m wearing more makeup, I realize the importance of taking it all off at the end of the day. I absolutely love Lancome’s Bi-Facil eye makeup remover. It’s very pricey at retail but I buy the sample-size bottles in bulk on eBay (can you tell I love eBay?). I’ve tried a few drugstore brands and some irritated my eyes so badly I went and asked for my money back. Lancome’s remover is super gentle and a few wipes is all it takes.

Readers – I am trying to find a liquid waterproof liner that has amazing staying power but won’t break the bank. I’ve retired my old cheapie NYC $3 liners because they flake off. This $23 one works beautifully, but is too pricey for me. Any suggestions?

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  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Maybelline Ultra Liner!! I stocked up and purchased about 10 from ebay!

    It doesn't smudge at all, its a different consistency than other liquid liners i've tried…and its easy to take off, it kind of flakes off with warm water (if you've ever tired it – its similar to l'oreal double extend mascara)

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  2. Betty wrote:

    ohhh, my fave liquid liner is loreal's lineur intense in black, it's amazing!! give it a try =) retails in nyc for about 9 bucks, but have gotten on sale for 5 bucks before. and they last for a long time.

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  3. PetiteXXS wrote:

    Thanks for braving the harsh Youtube world for us! Like everyone else, I was very curiously awaiting this tutorial. Do you find that this MUFE foundation is significantly better than Bare Minerals? I've been practicing winging the eyeliner, but pencil gets all smudgy within a few hours… my hands are too shaky for liquid just yet though, and I can't get as thin a line with them.

    Btw, found out over weekend that my Target started carrying ELF products! Excited because now I can try them w/o having to order online!

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  4. Ying wrote:


    I agree, I recently picked up the cream liner by Wet n' Wild and love it! I was really suprised at how pigmented and smooth it was! This was my FIRST cream liner and I have to say, it's easier to use than liquid so I've converted! 🙂

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  5. Bela Anzu wrote:

    Hi Jean, I love your style and have found your advice on fit really helpful.

    I'm not sure if you've heard of http://www.makeupalley.com, but it's a great place to read reviews on a variety of products, and to see the percentage of people who would repurchase an item again. So you could look up the recommended eyeliners if you're interested in seeing what other people think. I hope this helps!

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  6. Soooooo glad you did this! I agree with others, it helps when you have natural beauty like yours – makeup is just a bonus! Thanks for the tips on the eye-lining though – I've got to try that as I have smaller eyes (and, trust me, yours are not small!).

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  7. Maye wrote:

    Try out MAC Fluidline gel liner in Blacktrack. It's $15, but a little goes a long way so it lasts for a long time. 🙂

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  8. Jacqueline wrote:

    I use Covergirl lineexact liquid liner. It's a pen liquid liner, and I like that it's small and can draw exact lines! The black one I use is also black black, not watered down black/grey. I get it for ~$5-6 up here in Canada, it's probably a bit cheaper in the States(as everything is!)

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  9. tiffyama wrote:

    Lovely tutorial!! This look is great for everyday~ :] I'm still a beginner with make-up so I've definitely learned a lot. Thank you~

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    Thanks for taking the time to blog and post the video! I really appreciate it!

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  11. Jennifer wrote:

    i love revlon's color stay liquid liner!

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  12. Yukie wrote:

    First of all, thank you for the giveaway! And secondly, as a Japanese girl with monolids, I am a huge fan of Japanese liquid liners (especially this one: K-palette Real Lasting Eyeliner http://www.cosme.net/product/product_id/10007426/top). As mentioned by some others, I've heard that Dolly Wink is good. The K-palette lasts me about half a year to a year, applies very smoothly/dries quickly, stays on the entire day and is easy to take off.

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  13. Cheryl wrote:


    You should try L'oreal Lineur Intense Brush Tip Liquid Liner. I wore it for 12 hours and it was still intact! It is also very pigmented and affordable 🙂 I believe it is priced at less than $10 at Target.

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  14. I think you have really nice eyes, and your makeup really shows. You are doing such a great job and the eyeliner really makes a huge difference! Just out of curiosity, do you only use MUFE powder? Do you wear foundation? You have amazing skin! and you are so cute 😀

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  15. Tania wrote:

    You could try some of Japanese liners, they are famous for having great staying power. Try Dollywink or Kiss Me felt tip liner.

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  16. I have no idea why makeup vids get so much hate on the internet -_-. I think you did a fantastic job, though! You are lovely with and without makeup.

    I had no idea about the elf primer. Thanks for the tip! I've been considering the Urban Decay primer, but this is a much cheaper option.

    For the liquid liner, I'm also giving a vote to Revlon Colorstay. I only used this back in high school for homecoming and prom, but I remember that it stayed on well and did not smudge. My eyelids smudge nearly every eyeliner, too. It was about $7 back then.

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  17. Sara wrote:

    Hello Jean! 🙂 I'm an Asian monolid and I've tried all different kinds of eyeliners, Dior, Mac, Urban Decay, etc. but the one I've been using and in LOVE with is L'oreal's Lineur Intense. It's a felt tip liquid eyeliner, and only began using it because I needed an oil-free eyeliner due to some eyelash extensions. I don't use drugstore brands except for this eyeliner, it is el awesome-o. It doesn't advertise itself as waterproof but I've never had problems with smudging or running even with my monolids. It's super easy to apply too 🙂

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  18. Emily wrote:

    Physician's Formula just came out with a great pen liquid eyeliner. Even better, it's a 2-in-1 formula, with a serum that's supposed to help your lashes grow longer in 4 weeks. Don't know how much it'll cost you, but I got it for $15 CAD!

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  19. Michelle wrote:

    Great video! I use Makeup Forever for my base (the foundation) and love it. I have never liked to wear a lot of foundation, and found that I really liked that brand because it light and natural.

    No suggestions on liquid liner…never actually tried it myself.

    If you ever get tired of washing that foundation pad, I would suggest getting the disposable makeup applicators from Target. It is less than $3 for thirty-two wedges. One lasts me two days (I use one side for one day, and the other side the next).

    Good tip on the mascara! I usually live off the sample sizes, too! 🙂

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  20. You look even more beautiful w/o makeup Jean!! : ) I love the ELF primer – a lot of people say it's a dupe of UD's Primer Potion, which is $$ compared to the ELF. I found it interesting that you applied blush first! Any reason or just a habit? Most people I watch usually put it on last. : ) The ELF liquid liner has great stay power, BUT it's a hit or miss when it comes to the brush. I once had a brush that was completely fanned out (when it's supposed to be "fine" & pointy.. I emailed them and they just sent me another one which ended up being good. If you want, you should try it out – nothing to lose since it's only a dollar!

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  21. Banhannas wrote:

    Oh, pssht you don't have to worry about anyone who will troll you. Even if they do you have plenty support from all of your readers. You are right that all makeup lovers should embrace their bare face!
    I am not a fan of liquid liners since they don't last that long. They dry out or you throw them out due to hygienic purposes. I like gel liners since you get more for your money and I find they are easier to work with. Even though they might cost more up front, they last longer. You can wash the brush you dip the liner in but you can't wash the brush of a liquid liner!

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  22. jjlee0422 wrote:

    i would def use the loreal linear intense! I absolutely love it ,although it is not waterproof it says on my lids all day (about 10 bucks)! for a bit more expensive (16 dollars) – i love the dolly wink liquid liner! it's fabulous!!!

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  23. Anonymous wrote:

    Wet n' Wild liquid eyeliners are the best I've used and they're about $2 at the drugstore, and they come in different colors. The black is nicely black and their dark brown is quite pretty too if you want something a little less intense.

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  24. Samantha wrote:

    Jean! Try out Sonia Kashuk's "Remove" Eye Makeup Remover 🙂
    It's cheaper than lancome and my favorite (available at target) and a lot of viewers says it's comparable to the lancome one!

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  25. Jenny wrote:

    Hi Jean! I'm a first time commenter, long time reader :). Thank you SO much for this. I am a complete makeup newbie and I had NO idea about ELF products! Thanks for mentioning. Right after reading this post, I ran to a Target and bought:

    – brush
    -eyeliner (from Elf just to practice; I'll invest in a nicer one when I'm good at it)
    – my FIRST eyeshadow EVER (LOLS!)

    All from Elf products to practice my makeup! I watched your video and then "practiced" and had so much fun :).

    Thanks for giving me the courage to try new things ^_^. Great post!

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  26. Nellie wrote:

    I use Mac ink pots. Love them!

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  27. Jenny wrote:

    you're absolutely beautiful without make up! you don't look any different than when you have make up on! <3

    your make up is very clean but gorgeous, i love it… you should definitely do more videos even if its as simple as this one!

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  28. grace wrote:

    Have you tried the MAC Studio Fix Foundation (Powder) Jean? If you have, how does it compare to the Makeup Forever Foundation? I'm tempted to try their line, but haven't made the jump.

    You really don't need much makeup at all – you have really nice lower lashes.

    I own the Lancome Mascara too and really like it as well : ) I've tried quite a few and liked it a lot. I go cheap on my mascara for the most part, with Maybelline.

    As for your eyeliner liquid question – I bought the Rock and Republic liquid eyeliner on one of the sample sites and really liked it (it's not in their store for some reason) – it was with a coupon at the time as was fairly reasonable in price. I found that it does a really good job of staying put, and my eyelids are super oily (which frustrates me because everything wears off on me, even if I wear primer).

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  29. lia wrote:

    Prestige liquid liner! It's about $5 and you can find it at most drugstores (I get mine at Target, but I've seen it other places). The brush is not a brush pen like LORAC's, but more of a hardened tip (which I like better). The eyeliner is pigmented, lasts all day, and comes off easily with makeup remover (no flaking! it'll smudge with makeup remover, but not come off in big chunks like a lot of them do). Ulta used to have a really good one, but I think they discontinued it a while ago…

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  30. DSK Steph wrote:

    The best liquid liner goes to Lancome Artliner (~$29)! It's a good deal if you get the gift with purchase. 😉

    Artliner is worth the money because it lasts a long time.

    L'Oreal Linear Intense (~$8) is a close second (but the brush is not as luxurious). 🙂

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  31. Justine wrote:

    Haters will be haters. They have nothing better to do than to make someone else feel bad.

    On wards, you look great!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Just Better Together
    come check out the Coloriffics giveaway!

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  32. Claud wrote:

    Hi Jean! Great video. You have gorgeous skin 🙂 I'm with you on not becoming dependent on makeup. Makeup is made to enhance your features, not cover them.

    For the eyes, I'd recommend tigh-lining the eyes, it really helps to bring out your lashes and give an instant eye pop. I love it, I like to buy the LM eye liner specifically for this technique (attached link) but trish mcevoy have somehing similar that I heard it works really well as well. http://www.lauramercier.com/store/shop/Eye-Liner_Tightline-Cake-Eye-Liner_prod320008

    I also recommend the gel eye liners by bobbi brown. I love to watch some of the videos they have too: http://www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com/templates/products/mpp/index.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CATEGORY23545

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  33. I like your idea about make up beginner's. I like to put but only simple, like you do. so, viewing your vid and awesome help to me. I prepared to buy a reasonable price that make me feel happy w/it .

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  34. Hi Jean! For liquid liner, I love Palladio liquid liner in black/brown or shimmer black. Very easy to control and lasts for a long time. I usually get it at Nordstrom Rack for ~$3-5 a bottle (depending on sales/coupons), but I think you can find it at any drugstore.

    Link to product description:

    Good luck with the search! BTW quick question — how do you know what shade of blush to choose? I'd like to order a rock&republic; one but I'm not sure what color to choose.


    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  35. siwing wrote:

    you have gorgeous skin ! i dont think you need foundie or concealer ! =D

    i use loreal lineur intense but it flakes off too.. i'm still in search as well !

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  36. Anonymous wrote:

    Great tutorial! I'm currently using L'Oreal Lineur Intense Liquid Liner brush tip. I bought it due to the good reviews, but I'm not sure if I'd buy it again. It's not waterproof and I have problems w/it flaking when I wear it for the evening. Any reason why eyeshadow is applied before eyeliner? I still mess up when I apply shadow and liner.

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  37. Katherine wrote:

    loreal lineur intense! 🙂

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  38. R.L. wrote:

    Aw, thanks so much for the tutorial! So helpful! I never thought to use eyeshadow to help line the upper lid, but it seems like great idea. I haven't been able to bring myself to convert to liquid liner yet. The only one I've ever tried was one from e.l.f. (so maybe bad quality) and it's very unforgiving especially for someone with shaky hands! Add to the fact that I have monolids and am not quite daring enough to try Jen's eyelid tape, I've always been at a loss for eye makeup lol. Can't wait to see more beauty tutorials 😉

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  39. Megahyperbole wrote:

    I am a loyal user of the felt tip L'Oreal Lineur Intense Liquid Liner (it's a dupe of Lancome's Artliner). Super easy to use, feels natural. Be warned though if you have watery eyes as it is not waterproof. Also it has a kind of shine to it, but I don't mind. It has never flaked, smeared or run on me.

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  40. Elle wrote:

    You are rather prolific today indeed! 🙂 Thank you for this very helpful tutorial, I am a legitimate makeup n00b so this kind of tutorials is incredibly helpful for me. I am looking forward to more beauty tutorials in the future!

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  41. PD wrote:

    LOL I should have watched your video before commenting, since I see that your Lorac liner is also in pen form! Revlon ColorStay also has a pen liquid liner (which I considered buying since it's easier to get than my Japanese liner), but the reviews for it say it's not as good as ColorStay's regular liquid liner (which is the one I was referring to earlier). Just a heads up in case you're interested in trying that one 🙂

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  42. Megan wrote:

    I use the Revlon ColorStay and love it!

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  43. I am new to makeup too so this is very helpful! 🙂

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  44. PD wrote:

    For Western-brand liquid liners, I've heard many good things about the Revlon ColorStay as well as MAC Liquid Last. However I'm not comfortable with the type of brush that liquid liners have, so I use Japanese pen liquid liners which is a lot easier to handle. The one I use is called Kiss Me Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner (long name!), which has good reviews as well.

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  45. Kiki wrote:

    Great video!! I used to be a hard core Definicils girl, but then I tried Blinc from Sephora, and have never gone back. It stays on like no other. For liner, I am in LOVE with the Bobbi Brown gel liner. I've done a few eye makeup posts in the past year, so you might want to check them out. xoxo Kiki

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  46. jlowman1 wrote:

    I sometimes use Palladio Eye Ink from Sally Beauty. It never flakes on me and stays all day.

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  47. laheelahee wrote:

    if you're interested in gel/cream liners, the wet n wild one is awesome! its only $4-5 & you can always get them on sale 😀

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  48. Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  49. thanks for the tutorial and the tips. i just starting out with makeup too, hehe 😉
    and thanks for the giveaway..

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply
  50. N wrote:

    Aw Jean, don't worry about the haters. Everyone has their own look and I think you rock yours very well!!! (And give a nice tutorial).
    I think a good pinky substitute is Bite of an Apple from MAC's Villanous Villains line. I'm not sure if it's sold out, but it's one of my favs. Another one that might work is Nars Orgasm-has some great highlighting power 🙂

    Posted 3.27.11 Reply

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