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Beauty Breakdown: Applying and Buying!

How may of you have spent hours searching the internet for the perfect concealer, foundation or product that will change your beauty game? How many of you have gone out and bought a product featured in a YouTube video or makeup blog only to be disappointed with the outcome? If you are one of the many victims of these makeup myths, you understand how frustrating it is only to find that your money has been wasted. Here’s a review of the makeup products that I have found to be true beauty winners.

But before I get into what products I recommend, let’s do a quick review of the order in which you should apply these products:

Step 1: Moisturizer

                Moisturizer is your best friend when it comes to applying your makeup. After all, your makeup is nothing without the perfect base on which to apply it. Your moisturizer should not only hydrate your skin but also protect it, so I would recommend one with sun protection. Now, prepare yourself for what I am about to tell you: you have probably been applying your moisturizer wrong. Makeup artist Bobbi Brown says that rubbing moisturizer into the skin is not the way to apply it. Instead of forcing the moisturizer into your skin, you should lightly pat it onto the surface of your skin. Why?  Rubbing forces your skin to absorb the moisturizer, which is something your skin should do on its own. So start patting and let your skin take care of the rest!

Step 2: Primer

                Some people think that primer is not necessary unless you wear foundation. However, primer is necessary no matter what. Primer will not only even out your skin tone but it will also take care of spots where your pores are more noticeable. So whether you wear concealer, foundation or nothing at all, the good primer benefits everyone no matter what you wear! Celebrity makeup artists Sam and Nic of Pixiwoo say that depending on what your skin requires, primer can be applied all over the face or just in areas you want to target. It is all about preference!

Step 3: Covering Up

                I am not a fan of the term “covering” because I think that makeup should let your natural skin shine through, although sometimes it can be fun to do a full-coverage red-carpet look. If you tend to use foundation and concealer, apply the concealer after the foundation. Makeup artists say that you can apply concealer then foundation,but you find that most will reverse the two. This is because foundation will give you an initial layer of coverage, which means you should only need a minimal concealer to cover up those really stubborn areas of the skin. If you apply concealer first not only will you probably rub it away from the areas you applied it to, but you also most likely will have used too much because you do not have the overall coverage from the foundation. This will only cause you to apply even more concealer. If you are someone who uses only concealer, note that a little goes a long way.  Foundation and concealer can be applied with a brush or with a damp beauty blender. A brush will give you a more opaque effect, but a damp beauty blender will create the most natural look you’ve ever seen.  Apply a bit of powder over the areas where foundation and concealer were applied. 

Step 4: Contour

                Contouring refers to the part of the beauty process where you apply bronzer, blush, and highlighter to your face. Again, this will mean something different to everyone, as people will use different combinations of the three. Keep in mind that contouring helps shape your face. Bronzer should be applied in the hollows of your cheek. Pucker your lips, and you will be able to feel the hollow right underneath your cheekbones. Blush should be applied on the apples of the cheeks. Makeup artist Kevin Aucoin notes that liquid blush is better than powder because it blends more naturally. Highlighter is like the icing on the cake and one of my favorite parts of any makeup look. It can be applied on the top of your cheekbones, your temples, the middle of your nose, right above your lip, and on your chin if you wish. These also come in liquid or powder form and I have found that both work well, but again a little goes a long way!

Step 5: Brows

                Brow game is the trend these days and can make or break your look. People tend to ignore their brows, while they keep them well groomed, they often will not apply anything to them during their beauty process. Well-applied product can be just what you need. Eyebrow product comes in various forms, but the ones I have seen used most by makeup artists are pencil and gel, sometimes combined. There are two goals when applying product to your brows: fill in the sparse spots and create fuller and even looking brows. Again, a little goes a long way. Harsh, filled-in brows were popular in the 90s, but the current style is more natural. Lightly use the pencil and gel to fill in sparse areas and create nice lines to shape the brow. Once you have filled in and shaped the brows, use the gel to not only lift the hairs to create a natural look but also to keep them in place. Keep in mind that color is key

These steps will leave you more than pleased with your face. Remember that it takes practice and discipline to master face make-up but with a light hand and the right products achieving it should not be too difficult!

Product Reviews


Pond’s Dry Skin Cream

Cost: $7.99         

                  I have been using this moisturizer for a while and I really like it. First of all, and most importantly, it doesn’t clog your pores. Second, you can use it as a facial in the shower. Rub it on your face and while you’re shaving the steam and moisturizer will work together to hydrate your skin. Unfortunately, it takes a little time to work and it doesn’t offer any sun protection, so it is something that is better for night time.

                  Would I recommend it? Yes!                                   

                  Would I buy it again? Yes!                                                                 

Cetaphil Dermacontrol

Cost: $13.59

                I personally have not used this product , but a close friend of mine has and she really likes it. Not only does it offer sun protection, but it dries well if you let it take its time, and it has lasted her a while. The cons are you have to let it sit on your skin for about five minutes and absorb or else it can be greasy and it is a bit pricier than Pond’s.

                Would she recommend it? Yes!

                Would she buy it again? Yes!


NYX Pore Filler

Cost: $12.99

                I really like this primer and I would recommend it to someone who has a naturally even skin tone and is only looking for pore filler. It only takes care of pores– it is not a primer that will take care of uneven color. It has an odd texture to it, but it does dissolve quickly and overall really does minimize your pores.

                Would I recommend it? Yes!

                Would I buy it again? Unless I needed something to even out skin tone, yes.

L’OREAL Magic Lumi

Cost: $9.99 

                Although this is called a primer, I think it is much better to mix with your foundation. I found that applying this on the skin prior to foundation made your skin glow, but it disappeared under the foundation. So mix some in with your foundation on the back of your hand and it will create the perfect glow and a dewy fresh-faced look! If you don’t wear foundation, then by all means just applying this will make your skin glow as well!

                Would I recommend it? Yes!

                Would I buy it again? Yes!


MAC Pro Longwear Foundation

Cost: $32.00

                If it is one thing I have learned about foundation, it’s that it is always worth the money to buy a quality product. I bought drug store foundations for a long time and I finally decided to splurge on the MAC Pro Longwear. It was totally worth the money! However, I have to recommend that it is so much better to skip the foundation. I have been going makeup-free for about a month now and I already see great improvements in my skin- so I highly recommend skipping the foundation and using just a concealer in trouble areas!

            Would I recommend? Yes!

            Would I buy it again? Yes!


Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit (Powder or Cream)

Cost: $40.00

                This kit is absolutely amazing! I use it all the time and it has lasted me for seven months, with more still available to use. It comes in varying shades and includes a highlighter! The powder goes on smoothly and is good for contouring. I haven’t tried the cream version yet, but the reviews I have read online say good things. Anastasia Beverly Hills never disappoints!

E.L.F Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder

Cost: $3.00

                A much less expensive option comes from E.L.F and is awesome for those who aren’t willing to splurge. I have the shade “St. Lucia” and I really like this combination. The bronzer and blush colors are really pretty and they work for any season, but even better is the durable packaging. This is totally something you could throw in your purse!

                Would I recommend? Yes!

                Would I buy it again? Yes!


Anastasia DipBrow

Cost: $18.00

                I haven’t used this product, but all my favorite make-up artists use it. Every time they use it, their brows come out flawlessly. I know someone who does use it and they really like the way it goes on. However, do be careful when it comes to picking the color. It maybe best to consult with a beautician because some of the colors are misleading and may have a hidden hue to them.

                Would I recommend? Yes!

                Would I buy it? Yes!

Eyeko Brow Liner

Cost: $19.00

                I haven’t used this product for my brows either but I definitely want to! Celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge did a video with model and co-creator Alexa Chung for YouTube using this product and the outcome left me in awe. The color goes on so naturally you could not tell whether anything had been applied, it just made Alexa look like she the most amazing natural brows!

                Would I recommend? Yes!!!!!

                Would I buy it? Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

Sources: Article Photo1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6,7,8

Alexa Chung Make-Up Tutorial

*Prices may vary

**It is important to keep in mind that one product will not work for everyone. Everyone has different skin types and everyone’s skin handles products differently. The products in this article were chosen by the author.


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Annelise Mahoney

U Mass Amherst

College girl, dog lover, food fanatic, fashion addict, makeup enthusiast, I will be famous so I'll meet you in Hollywood!  "I've never been a millionaire but I know I'd be just darling at it." - Dorothy Parker
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