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Your Makeup Questions, Answered

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Your Makeup Questions, Answered with Natalie Setareh

In this episode, I’m answering some of the most honest and most asked questions I receive. These questions were all asked on Quora, which is, according to Quora, “a place to gain and share knowledge. It’s a platform to ask questions and connect with people who contribute unique insights and quality answers.” However,  this episode is in no way, shape, or form sponsored or endorsed by Quora!

So, here are your questions, tune in for the answers!


#1 Can an eyebrow pencil be used as an eyeliner?


Eyebrow pencils are generally tougher than eyeliners. So if you’re really in a pinch, and you want to use an eyebrow pencil as an eyeliner, just dip it in some water or saline to soften it.


#2 If I’m not wearing a foundation, do I really need a primer?


No, you don’t, unless you want to reduce oils or you want to cover up redness, etc. Before you use either foundation or a primer, you should know your skin type. You can find more info on skin types here.

skin type guide

#3 What is the best natural-looking foundation?


“Natural” has different meanings to different people. You should use a foundation that matches your skin type. For example, if you have oily skin, look for an oil-free or mattifying foundation.


#4 How do I wear makeup without my parents knowing? I’m a t-girl.


Makeup is for everyone – it’s not just a feminine thing. So I would recommend that you communicate that with your parents. Also, apply makeup gradually and slowly over time. You can start with some cream blushes, cream highlighters, and lip balms.

PS: If you want to learn how to wear makeup, get my makeup book, Be Your Own Makeup Artist, a gender-neutral, multi-generational, and inclusive makeup guide

be your own makeup artist book


#5 What are some good starter contour/highlight palettes for someone with fair skin?


Unless you are a professional makeup artist, you don’t need a full pallet, but just one or two colors. Before you apply either contouring or highlighting, you need to know your undertone. Also, neutral bronzers can give you the same effect as contouring but not so harsh, and it’s more wearable day to day. The bronzers I would recommend are Loreal Blush, Nars Laguna, and Benefit Hoola. Danessa Myricks offers a good highlight palette, but you should consider buying it only if you are a professional makeup artist.


#6 What is the best makeup dupe you have found? Where did you find it, and how much did it cost?


You can check out this link to my blog post, “To dupe or not to dupe?

My favorite mascara is Giorgio Armani’s “Eyes To Kill Classico,” and it costs around $30, but L’Oreal also makes really great ones, and you can buy them for around $7. NYX makes pretty affordable concealers and lip liners but of a lower quality than NARS concealers and MAC and Charlotte Tilbury lip liners (specifics in the podcast episode), so these NYX products can’t actually be regarded as dupes but just quality, lower-cost alternatives.


#7 How should a 40-year-old apply makeup?


First of all, keep taking care of your skin. When it comes to my 40+ year old clients, I apply the makeup the same way, but I generally apply less.

Find a foundation that is suitable for your skin type. Consider lipsticks because the color of our lips fades as we get older. As long as you keep with “less is more,” everything will be good.


#8 How exactly do I apply concealer? What is the best brand to buy?


It really depends on what you want to conceal. The larger areas should already be covered by the foundation. When it comes to color correction, you should choose the nuances carefully. Buy a concealer that matches your skin type. I use NYX, HT, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Makeup Forever Cream Concealer, and MAC Pro Longwear Concealer.

Read more: Under-Eye Concealer Woes: Everything You Need to Know


#9 What are some of the most challenging faces to do makeup on? How do you accentuate challenging features on someone as a makeup artist? What are some examples?


There are no challenging faces, but there are challenging requests. And challenging personalities.

As far as requests, some of my non-Western clients want to look like Western makeup wearers, which doesn’t capitalize on their natural beauty infused with their respective culture.

I also find clients who have completely unrealistic expectations to have the most challenging faces. Check out this post on what makeup artists can and cannot do in terms of makeup.

They often never smiles and their wrinkles are woven into their always grumpy face.


#10 Does using an eyelash curler really make a difference?


Yes. Most of the time. Kevyn Aucoin eyelash curler is my favorite one.


PS: Want the complete answers to these questions? Then listen to my podcast episode clicking here!


Want to ask me a question? Ask me here! If you like this episode, make sure to get on my email list to receive my monthly email newsletter. Lastly, I produce this episode free for you. If you’d like to make a donation, you can do it here. And let’s connect 🙂


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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.

kevyn aucoin