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Make-Up Tips for Beginners

I used to wish that I put in more effort into learning about the art of make-up when a black eyeliner on my waterline and a bit of mascara was not enough anymore. Thinking back to the first time that I bought foundation and concealer and how boss I thought I was, I can’t believe how much of a Picasso I am when beating my face today. Below are a few tips to improve your face beat.


1. Getting the right foundation shade is NB!

If there is anything worse than two eyebrows that don’t look like they’re chilling in the same family tree, it has got to be a foundation shade that does not match the rest of your body’s (especially your neck’s) complexion.

When finding the right foundation, not only is it important to find the correct shade, but the right undertone and finish as well.

For example, if your complexion seems to be more yellow and you have oily skin, go for a foundation with a yellow undertone and a matte finish to prevent looking oily. I recommend getting a professional at the make-up counter or store to help you find your shade. Put it on and run more errands before purchasing to see whether it oxidises (becomes darker/loses undertone when exposed to oxygen) or not.

2. Protect your financial health

Make-up is expensive, okay? But fear not, I am here to help. In the world of make up, “close-to-perfect” make-up is how we save, because every time you use a make-up remover, you are also removing a few Rands.

When buying your first “practice” make-up, go for the most inexpensive, but good quality products. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT BUY PRODUCTS OFF THE STREETS OR IN ANY “BARGAIN” STORES. If you do not recognise the brand, or can’t pronounce/read it, it is not the one!

3. “Hi, my name is YouTube and I am your best friend”

For make up reviews, eyebrow tutorials, Valentine’s Day & Christmas looks, and even “How to find the right foundation shade” videos, say hello to YouTube. With a wide range of skin colours amongst YouTubers, you are bound to find someone that is closer to your colour that you can learn from.

You are not useless – most of us started doing make up visually before we did it practically. I highly recommend watching the same type of video from different YouTubers to get a different opinion on a product or different techniques to apply certain things. In that way, you can make a more informative choice and have more options that you can practise yourself.


4. Ask for help

For some of us, it might be easier to learn from videos than others. The good news is, there are other ways.

Here are a few options:

  • Ask family, friends, or even an acquaintance who you’re comfortable with to help if they do it better.

  • If you can afford to, or if you are willing to save for it, get make up lessons. Masterclasses or one day lessons should do the trick.

  • Buy extra tools, eg. eyebrow and eyeliner stencils. There is nothing wrong with trying to perfect your craft.

5. Slay – even under your make-up

The last thing that you want is breaking out due to make – up. This can be prevented by not neglecting your skin. Clean your face and make sure it’s moisturised before applying make up. Use a good primer to prep your clean, moisturised face. Afterwards, make sure you take off your make – up and your face is 99.99% clean before you sleep.

From personal experience, I have recently found a better way to clean my face after wearing make – up:

  1. Take off most of the make up with make up wipes

  2. Use Micellar Cleansing Water (with a cotton pad)

  3. Wash your face and do your normal skincare routine

*Not to be dramatic, but I almost died when I saw how clean my face was after I did this.

If you have tried everything and you are still not winning, it’s fine. It’s not completely fine, but things can be worse. But that’s what friends and MUA’s are for, right? 

Don’t forget to practise!


Nonceba Mlungwana is a 20-year-old student at the University of Cape Town and she is pursuing a BA degree with majors in Media and Writing as well as Gender Studies. She is a freelance blogger who is an avid reader and makeup enthusiast. She aspires to be a great humanitarian and beauty content writer one day.
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