Hey everyone, it’s Natalie Setareh, your makeup artist and beauty coach! I recently hit “publish” on an episode for my Be Your Own Makeup Artist podcast where I answer a bunch of your makeup questions! I absolutely love doing this, which is why I make it very easy for all of you to ask me questions using the “Ask Setareh” form on my website.
This is Part Two, because in Episode 19 of my podcast, I did the same thing and it actually was one of my most popular episodes this year! I don’t want to take up too much time in the introduction because there are soooo many questions, so let’s just jump into it!
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Okay, so there are two parts to this. The first part is that if you are just starting out with makeup, you need to first find out your skin type. I need to know your skin type so that I can know what types of makeup formulations will work best for you. Maybe you have very youthful skin or very normal skin. Then you can put whatever you want on your face and it’s going to work.
Once you know your skin type, then you can think about makeup. I have a great skin type guide which is 100% free. It’s not sponsored, it is purely educational. Full disclosure, I am not an aesthetician, I am not a skincare expert. I just know a lot about makeup and skin prep.
The second part is a little bit more personal. So, many beginners make the mistake of wanting to do it all. They think, okay, I’m a beginner to makeup so I need to do foundation, blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipstick, lip gloss, highlighters, bronzers, all this stuff. And really, I think that’s too overwhelming.
If you are just getting started, I would encourage you to pick one feature to highlight using makeup. You can also use makeup to maybe diminish a feature that you don’t love so much. Say you have a more prominent forehead. Contouring and shaping with the right products could help you feel more confident. You don’t need to do your whole face.
I will also say that I have a guide called Makeup for Beginners. It’s a four step digital guide that will help you build out a simple makeup application that won’t be overwhelming. The guide is only $1.99, and you can get it here. The reason I charge for it is so that I don’t have to use any affiliate links, which means I’m not putting any bias into it. Which is great if you just want the info and not some #sponcon.
I’m assuming what we’re talking about is black eyeliner. Since I can’t see the person’s eyes who asked this question, I don’t know their eye shape which is important because if you have a larger, rounder eye, you can definitely get away with a thicker eyeliner. If you have a smaller, narrow eye, a thick eyeliner is going to close them, which could be the effect that you want, I don’t know. But most of the time, people want their eyes to appear bigger and brighter.
Personally, I like to just skip eyeliner if I don’t need it. I actually skip it a lot. If I do wear it, my personal preference is actually a tapered eyeliner. I love where you start very thin and it gradually tapers in and gets wider or thicker towards the outer corner of the eye.
When you think of eyeliner, you have to think of the effect you’re going for. For a more sultry look, you can go with a thick eyeliner. But if you want your eyes to be a little bit brighter, I would consider applying a thin tapered line. I do have a fantastic eyeliner chart and an eye shape chart in my book, Be Your Own Makeup Artist, in case you’re curious!
I don’t know where in the world the person who asked this is located. If you’re in the US, it really depends on the state you live in. I did not go to makeup school. I really wanted to. But I started my business in Monterey, California and the closest makeup school was in San Francisco, which would have meant four hours commuting every day.
And, when I researched cosmetology schools, I realized they focus a lot on hair and nails in addition to makeup. So I decided to just do it on my own. It did take me a long time before I could call myself a professional. I kept feeling a little bit like an imposter, to be honest with you.
So, if you want to be a makeup artist, you definitely can go to cosmetology school. There are some amazing makeup schools that will get you on the right track, especially if you want to go into film or commercial work or television or special effects. If you’re interested in being a freelance makeup artist, I did write up a blog post where I talk about the startup costs, which might be helpful.
So again, you will want to make sure you understand what’s available in your area. Make sure you also know the laws for your state or country and what kind of licensure, if any, is required. I hope that helps!
This one goes back to eyeliner. If you’re applying eyeliner, you know you can just flick on that outside corner, just a little kitty flick. That’s going to instantly lift up the eye, no matter what your eye shape is. I have downturned eyes and that is what I do!
Also, be sure to curl your eyelashes, especially the outer ones. Then, when you apply mascara, apply an extra coat on those outer lashes and that will also lift the eye. If you don’t curl them, then they might fall flat.
Another thing I like to do is use a shadow shield. You can also use a credit card or tape. Just follow along the bottom lash line as it curves up and keep the eye shadow in that corner and in that outer corner. You can also use a small brush to apply eyeshadow here as well.
For the longest time, I would use baby shampoo because my brushes are expensive and I wanted something gentle and without a ton of fragrance in it. So, I would put a drop in the palm of my hand and clean out each brush one by one like that.
Now that I’m a pro and I’m a bit busier, I use a bar that I can really lather the brushes with (I use the Sonia Roselli Tiger Eye Brush Soap). I’m assuming you’re talking about personal use, so just use some baby shampoo. Or get the brush soap I use! It’s fantastic! It’s quick drying and that saves a lot of time.
You also asked about sponges. So, sponges are controversial. Normally you toss sponges after you use them. The only sponge that I have experience using and cleaning are the Beauty Blender brand. With these, I use both their liquid cleanser and their charcoal-based cleanser. Follow the instructions and do it about three or four times per sponge.
If you have a particular sponge you like, look and see if they make a specific cleanser for that specific sponge. If not, I would just err on the side of tossing it. Sponges harbor bacteria and they can be nasty. So you really want to keep those clean!
First of all, what is your skin type? If you have oily skin or if you have really dry skin, it’s going to affect the formulation you shop for.
Next, what are you trying to conceal? Are there little blemishes here or there that you just want to spot conceal? Or are you hoping to conceal a larger area?
Finally, what’s your undertone? For instance, find out if you have yellow undertones or olive undertones or pink undertones. This will help you choose the most natural looking concealer. A lot of concealers are formulated with a more yellow undertone because most cosmetics that are available in the mainstream are formulated for white women, and yellow color corrects the purple under the eyes really well (which is common for white women). Without knowing your undertones, you might accidentally buy one for a different skin type or undertone.
This is all broken down in my book, but really, your foundation should conceal most of those “imperfections” that you want to conceal. It should even it out. I don’t love using a ton of concealer. If you find yourself putting on a lot of concealer after your foundation, I would say it’s time to try a different foundation that maybe has more coverage. Then you won’t need the concealer as much (concealer is essentially just concentrated foundation).
Oh, it’s also important to note that as we age, you’re going to need to use a setting powder after your concealer to make sure that it doesn’t settle into wrinkles. It still might, but this will help.
The person that wrote in with this question said, “Being 25 and having wrinkles leaves me unhappy and insecure. Is it possible to get rid of them?” First of all, I want to give this person a big hug. I have a ton of wrinkles around my eyes, too, and I often have to give myself some self love and guess what? Now I like them!
Unfortunately, makeup artists cannot make wrinkles go away. Not without special effects or prosthetics, anyway. You can get Botox or fillers, but honestly, wrinkles are just a part of life. It doesn’t matter how many primers you put on your face, you can’t make them go away. The only thing you can do is look at your skincare routine, make sure that you’re targeting wrinkles, drinking a lot of water, and using products that are going to slow down the process. I’m not an esthetician, but I know that for anti-aging, you want the skin cell turnover to go faster.
Wrinkles tell our stories, but I do understand how you could feel insecure with wrinkles at 25. So, you might want to try to highlight other areas of the face. So, if there are crow’s feet on the outer eye, you could focus on brightening the inner eye instead. If you have wrinkles around your mouth, check where your blush placement is. Is it down too far? Is it bringing down your face or is it lifting up your face?
There are so many other ways that you can play with makeup to take the attention away from areas that you are insecure about and draw the attention to areas that you are confident about, but just make sure you are taking care of the skin around your eyes and go find some good products that work for you! And of course, just just love yourself… you’re beautiful!
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This is another “it depends” question. Who are your clients? What services do you offer? What’s the geography? Is it a really humid area? Are you in a really dry climate? These factors will determine which types of palettes I would recommend for you.
So, without knowing more, I can’t give you a specific palette recommendation, but I can tell you the four palettes that I would say every makeup artist should have (take that with a grain of salt, because I don’t think there are any “shoulds” when it comes to this stuff).
If you want to learn more about palettes, you can just google depotting; it’s addictive! I can also help you with building out your kits. I have a la carte coaching services that would allow me to give you more detailed information than this kind of blanket advice.
So, as I said earlier when we were talking about concealer, foundation really should be evening out your skin tone and hopefully concealing all of those little imperfections. A lot of cream foundations are actually wax-based and you’re not supposed to use them directly from the pan onto your face. You want to thin them out because they’re super concentrated. You can just thin it out a little less and have it pull double duty as a foundation AND a concealer.
Truthfully, I would much rather see somebody using foundation to conceal than concealer because I’m just kind of sick of concealer and sick of seeing people swipe it all over their faces. It might look good on a video, but in real life It probably doesn’t look that good. I could go on and on but yes, use your foundation as a concealer.
Last but not least, how long does makeup last? First, read the bottle, there is generally always a date stamped on there. If it’s not, here are some pro tips, if you will.
If you found this style of post interesting, perhaps you want to submit one of your OWN makeup questions so we can do this again in the future! You can always submit your questions via my “Ask Setareh” form and I’ll personally respond to them directly, or in a podcast episode and/or blog post.
Or, if you’d rather pick my brain during a one-on-one private makeup lesson, you can totally do that, too! I offer my private lessons in-person or virtually and you can find more information by clicking on the button below!
Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.