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:

    Your eyes ain't even small…

    Posted 1.19.13 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    I know this is super old, but I just wanted to comment in case any readers come across this post later: Loreal is the best cheapy liquid eyeliner just as everyone said above. Telescopic black and lineur intense are both awesome and ~$10. Their waterproof works well too, it's just a little more flaky. It's not good for rimming the waterline/lower line however – you need a reliable stick liner for that. I use NARS larger than life.

    Posted 11.25.12 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi, new to your blog and love the info and your sense of style! Saw that you use For Ever foundation. I use Bare Minerals which works but oh so messy and not travel friendly. How does it compare? Thanks, Michelle

    Posted 2.10.12 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Thank for posting the video. It's exactly what I needed. I've been thinking it's time to start enhancing my professional appearance with a little bit of makeup. Differently will refer to the video if I need help.

    Posted 1.24.12 Reply
  5. p.lynn wrote:

    Just in case you would like another liquid liner suggestion I like the Super Skinny Eye Marker from NYX. It's $9 which isn't too bad. It has a really fine felt tip, and because it's like a marker instead of a pot and brush I find that it gives me more control. I like that it gives me more control because sometimes my hands can get shaky when using liquid liner. If you like to draw thicker lines, NYX also has the Super Fat Eye Marker.

    Posted 12.29.11 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    Can you do another beauty video ? You're so beautiful ! and I'm a asian too so I would like some advice… 🙂

    Posted 12.16.11 Reply
  7. If you haven't yet found the "it" liquid eyeliner, may I suggest the Revlon Colorstay liquid liner. I have had fantastic results with this product–it has excellent staying power and flows smoothly. The applicator tip picks up just the proper amount of liner to cover the whole lid in one swoop. It comes in only two hues-black and brown–application is a breeze and at under $10 (at any cvs or target) is a really a rather fine option. 🙂

    Posted 11.3.11 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    I'd like to order an eye primer from elf website..and would like to know what color did u purchased? there are pick, blue, n gold..

    Posted 10.30.11 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    I used to have that problem with the NYC eyeliners, but they've since reformulated! The brush is way nicer and it doesn't have that flaking problem anymore.

    Posted 10.29.11 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    I recently bought Milani's Infinite Liquid Eyeliner. It stays on forever. It doesn't run even when in a pool or under with oily lids. Not bad for a $7 investment from Target.

    Posted 9.26.11 Reply
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm almost 30 yrs old and still don't use makeup much because it seems too confusing and fussy, but your video is so straightforward and the look is fantastic and classic! You are so composed! Thanks for sharing.

    Posted 9.6.11 Reply
  12. The best liquid liner pen I've found is Heroine Make smooth eyeliner pen, which is a Japanese brand. You can find it at some Asian markets, or order online. It's about $12 from Sasa.com. I love it because it's really easy to apply, fine tipped, lasts all day, and removes easily and cleanly. Highly recommended!

    Posted 6.10.11 Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    the brush on mac liquid last ($16) is terrible and really hard to get a clean line. they're being discontinued so you have to either buy them online or ask if they still have any left. milani infinite liquid eyeliner ($6) is an exact dupe of the liquid last except the brush is stiffer so it's easier to get a cleaner line. however, since the brush is a bit thick you won't get a very thin line, also the formula's a bit goopy and you can feel the liner on your eyes so if that bothers you it probably wouldn't be the best option. however staying power is incredible and you really do need a good oil-based makeup remover for this.

    japanese liners are pretty good and convenient since many of them are in a pen format (dolly wink, k-palette 1-day tattoo) but the dolly wink ($16) one starts to fade after a while especially around the outer corner of my eye and can easily flake off if i accidentally rub it.

    p.s. be wary of ebay sellers of makeup. i've heard horror stories of people who had terrible reactions to the sample sizes of the makeup. there are no regulations on the sample sizes especially since they're usually not sealed like the full sizes and many people can easily make their own formulas that look,smell,and feel exactly the same as the real thing!

    Posted 4.3.11 Reply
  14. You do not have small eyes – your eyes are part of your beauty as well as your full lips. I should have read this post before asking about your eye makeup in another post. I find that I could use this same palette for brows as well as eyeshadows and eyeliner (wet). For affordable liquid eyeliners, check out Mark (branch of Avon) – they stay put longer than 12 hours (if need be) and affordable $7. Good luck with the search.

    Posted 4.2.11 Reply
  15. ellen m. wrote:

    the new milani eyetech liquid liner is pretty good. needs dry time, but the marker tip is very precise!!

    Posted 3.30.11 Reply
  16. @Linda Thanks for the info, Linda! And the help explaining the two. I do like those $15 off emails : )

    @Girl Hearts Makeup They still have shadows and lip glosses left on their main website, and they always appear on sample sale sites like Gilt, Hautelook, etc, but the blushes are not available anymore I don't think…

    @Anonymous I did see both options, but I saw the $1 has more reviews, and higher reviews : ) So I figured if the $1 works perfectly fine there's no need for me to try the $3. Let me know if you do and find it to be much better!

    @cindyrella Wow it does sound like you've tried a lot. Good luck in your quest for the "perfect" one! And I'm sorry your comment was eaten the first time..I hate that!

    @Nina Thanks for commenting! haha…Jesse James' newest lover has a makeup line? : )

    @fabulouslyfrugirl Thank you! Body shop always has Groupons and half off deals so I'll keep your tip in mind.

    @Anonymous That's a good idea! I haven't had any fallen eyeshadow though…my mistakes happen with the liquid liner and then trouble comes when I try to smear it off my eyelids w/o ruining shadow : )

    And again everyone, thank you SO much for the recommendations and thoughtful comments and tips. <3

    Posted 3.30.11 Reply
  17. Wow wow wow…thank you guys, I am overwhelmed by the suggestions! I've been digesting all the tips/suggestions and there definitely seems to be a few that are recommended over and over again (Loreal Lineur Intense much?). I'll definitely be trying a few of your rec's.

    @Anonymous I've tried both orders, but when I do eyeshadow after eyeliner it makes the eyeliner less vividly black, and sometimes my shadow brush even flakes the liner off.

    @youngandfoolish Hi there…I didn't even know the R&R;'s can still be ordered? I don't see them anywhere online or even on sample sales anymore. It's hard to choose, but you can find beauty bloggers or makeup guru's with skin tones similar to you. The first two colors I ordered I have to say weren't perfect for me. Testing colors out before buying at an actual makeup counter or Sephora definitely helps!

    @grace Hi Grace, I haven't tried any other powder foundation so I can't say I know how they compare : ) I have liked R&R; products so if the price is right at another sample sale I'll be sure to check it out.

    @Jenny Lol! You are too funny…experimentation is fun, is it not? I will say though that Target charges more for ELF products than they are on the site, plus the selection is much much smaller than on their site. I know shipping is pricey but they always have coupons out that usually cover the cost of shipping. Some things from ELF online that I love – their lipstick ($1) in Classy, their eyelid primer, and their shadow brushes.

    @Anonymous I have their pencil and their new felt-tipepd marker liner, and I honestly thought they were decent until I tried other ones. Can't beat the price though!

    @The Little Dust Princess yes it's quite good, right? I've actually never tried UD so i can't compare…have you? And I put on blush first becuase for some reason I like do do my whole face/cheeks, and then all eyes, etc etc. I don't suppose it makes a difference tho : )

    @Michelle Hmm disposable wedges, that sounds more sanitary. Not too "green" though!

    @Rainy Days and Lattes Hi Jen…I think this is a foundation, and not a finishing powder : )

    @Anonymous Thank YOU for watching!

    @Bela Anzu Hi Bela…yes I've been a longtime member of MUA and I do like scouring it for reviews : ) Reviews can be pretty mixed though.

    @PetiteXXS Liane, I stopped using Bare Minerals because I honestly couldn't see a difference even though I applied several layers. So I do think it definitely has more coverage. Be wary though Target kind of "bundles" up ELF products versus the $1 a pop ones that are online.

    Posted 3.30.11 Reply
  18. Thanks for sharing Jean! I know how time consuming videos are so thank you for doing such a great job! And hope I am not too late in entering!! 😀

    Posted 3.30.11 Reply
  19. Like your video tutorial. I like Elf primer, too. It's work very well. I have been using Stila Eyeliner and it's stay very well. You can try it out. ^_^ Nice video.

    Posted 3.29.11 Reply
  20. Apparently, I have very oily eyelids. Nothing stays on except for MACs LiquidLast Liner. I've only tried other drug store brand liquid liners though besides the MAC one. Eye shadows, both cheap and pricey, always creases and gives me racoon eyes…even if I use primer! I've heard good things about Urban Decays primer, so I'm gonna have to try that someday.

    Posted 3.29.11 Reply
  21. cindy wrote:

    I am a huge fan of Maybelline's Eye Studio Gel Liner. I've purchased MAC, but I swear by Maybelline. You'll love it. Promise.

    Posted 3.29.11 Reply
  22. I love this video that I have to watch it twice…not because I want to learn how to apply makieup..but you look absolutely beautiful.

    Posted 3.29.11 Reply
  23. you made such a wonderful, useful video. thanks for sharing!

    Posted 3.29.11 Reply
  24. kileen wrote:

    great tutorial, Jean! the MUFE foundation looks amazing on you! i've been meaning to check it out.

    Posted 3.29.11 Reply
  25. Annie wrote:

    I use a liquid liner called "K-Palette 24 hour real lasting eyeliner WP". They market it as "1 Day Tattoo" because it stays on quite well. It's a Japanese product that I bought at a Japanese market. It was $15 and it lasts a long long time (500 uses the label says). This is their website: http://www.cuore-cosme.com/brand_top.html.

    Posted 3.29.11 Reply
  26. Anonymous wrote:

    i like the japanese grocery store liquid eye liners…

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  27. cindy wrote:

    i like sephora's eyeliner in onyx. it's about $10. if you put on eye primer (i use urban decay), it helps all eye shadow and liner stay in place.

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  28. Thu wrote:

    Even though you're not a makeup expert, I still really liked how simple and clean your application was.:) It's always nice to see how others do their makeup! Just to echo some of the others above, I've found japanese liquid liners to work very nicely. For some reason, european/western brands don't like me. Some time ago, I loved using this: http://cgi.ebay.com/Shiseido-INTEGRATE-Impact-Double-EyeLiner-NEW-2009-/320510593411?pt=US_Makeup_Eyes&hash;=item4a9feb8983#ht_3652wt_764, liquid liner and eyeshadow in one. I typically purchase from this seller as I trust her and located in California (convenient). But lately I've been partial to using Dollywink liquid liner, like others have referred to it. It works just as well, cheaper (as low as $13 on sasa.com), and dries really quick so good as I'm always rushing to work in the a.m. But they both last almost all day, waterproof/smudgeproof, and are easy to apply with hurting with hard tips but firm enough for drawing nice clean lines. But it seems you already have so many suggestions to consider.:)

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  29. f.chiang wrote:

    try… lancome artliner (expensive) or l'oreal lineur intense (drugstore) or maybelline line stiletto (also drugstore) =) i love all three!

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  30. Anonymous wrote:

    These are very good tips, the one thing that I do differently is that I do my eyes first and then my face this allows for any fallen eyeshadow or any other mistakes to be removed without removing foundation or concealer.

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  31. Jean, you look lovely, as ou. With or without make-up 🙂

    In fact, I applaud you for being so brave to put forward your bare face. I have been using "The Body Shop" liquid liner for about 3 years and I love it. It stays on all day, but is still easy to remove without harsh removers. It costs $14 in Canada, so it won't break the bank. Hope this helps!

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  32. Beartea wrote:

    I definitely recommend the Maybelline Ultra Liner. It's waterproof and stays on great! It took a while for me to get used to the brush but once you master it the line is precise and dark. It's under $10; I use it almost everyday and it's lasted me 10 months so far! Only thing is you can't really use it for the lower lash line.

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  33. Angela wrote:

    For liquid liner, I like the Physicians Formula 24-hr lash serum liner ($10). It comes in pen form with a flexible, thin brush, like the LORAC one. You can often get it for cheap during a BOGO sale and you can still find ones with "Try Me Free" stickers on them. They packaging says they're based on a Japanese formula, which gives it some credibility. It works much better than the Revlon Colorstay one (which came off all over my hooded eyelids). I also like the non-waterproof liquid liners from mark. that you can hook together ($5).

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  34. Nelah wrote:

    You have flawless skin to begin with. I personally like the clean look with a dash of color. Up to this day, I am still not keen on eyeliner subject. My hands are not steady and my eyelids have ceases which make it so hard to draw a thin and straight line, sigh…

    Keep the videos coming, please 🙂

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  35. @PetiteXXS I, too, saw this, but the prices are much higher than the regular $1 it costs online.

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  36. Nina wrote:

    Hi Jean!

    First time commenting on your blog 🙂

    I use the Kat Von D Tattoo liner $18 at Sephora. Give it a try 🙂
    (Love your blog btw)

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  37. cindyrella wrote:

    I've been using liquid liner for a long time. My recent obsessions are the Japanese brand liners. Sana Maikohan and Moroha are both easy to apply and washes off with soap and water. They are not waterproof but rarely smudges and wash off 100% with soap and water. They are great for sunny days and quick trips out. I got the Moroha eyeliner with your discount code from Yesstyle.com, Thanks! 😀 (i first got it from HK a couple of years ago and I've been searching the internet for it) My haul that should be here next week includes- Dollywink, Kiss me (mentioned^) and Koij.

    Other brands I've tried – Lancome Artliner, Dr. Hauschka Liquid Eyeliner and MAC penultimate, fluidliner and liquidlast. I keep the Fluidline for rainy days and Liquidlast for days at the pool, but its a nightmare to remove, harsh on delicate skin around the eyes. I recommend Sephora collection waterproof eye makeup remover, its cheaper and works better than the lancome one. A little dab on a cotton pad removes everything!

    I'm still on a hunt for the perfect eyeliner. One thats easy to apply/remove and is water/smudge proof. Not too demanding but doesn't seem to exist… I'll let you know when I find it! (wheww… 2nd attempt to post)

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  38. Erica wrote:

    Love that eye shadow pallete!

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  39. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi, thanks for your post! you look great! just enough make up to enhance your natural look.

    Have you tried the elf mineral eye primer? just wondering if there is a difference between it and the one you use, the elf essential eye primer (other than the price diff: $3 bs. $1)?


    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  40. Love this tutorial! I'm asian too and I can relate to you! 🙂

    By the way, do you know where to buy Rock and Republic cosmectics? I know only hautelook.com sells them but I'm living outside US. But I want to buy R&R; cosmectics when I go to US for vacation next year… would be great if you could help me!

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  41. Linda wrote:

    Hi Jean! The clinique makeup remover is a good alternative, especially if you wait until xmas when sephora sends those $15 off emails. The green is a solution and the purple is an emulsion (oily). I own both. The green can also be used to remove face makeup, but if you need a hardcore remover, I recommend the purple.



    Love you! Thanks for the tutorial. We have the same skintone!

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply
  42. itzLina wrote:

    You're beautiful without makeup. I love that you only use a couple of products and it enhances your features so well! =D

    Thank you for the giveaway!

    Posted 3.28.11 Reply

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