Like, always.

Words by

Nikki Escalante

Thanks to YouTube and Instagram, we’ve now all been introduced to the full extent of the simultaneously amazing, frustrating and dangerous world of makeup. 

Applying it to your face is only the start though. Perfecting it is an entirely different story. 

Working in the beauty industry, I’ve heard numerous outcries of just how hard this can be ('but HOW do you contour!') and have learnt to recite the same answers to some very frequently asked questions. 

Say goodbye to crying for 12 minutes straight during tutorial videos, I’m here to teach you all the basics — for real.

I’d rather spend my money on makeup. Is skincare *that* important?

Umm, yes. Half of mastering the whole makeup thing is ensuring your skincare routine is consistent, and more importantly, existent.

Why? Because your skin is a thirsty and needy little b****. Just ask science.

Desperate for moisture, it’ll cling onto anything that comes its way. If you deprive your skin of its daily nutrients, it’ll latch onto your foundation (regardless of how much you paid for it) and make sure you’re channelling the patchy look instead. #savage.

Quick fix? Use a cleanser and moisturiser daily. Think of it as a diet you can actually maintain, and your skin will thank you for it.

Always remember to remove your makeup, too (I know). It’s super easy to just turn to wipes, because when do wipes ever deceive us? But it’s much more likely that residue will stay on the skin this way.

Instead, opt for an oil-based makeup remover. It will help break down the products on your face and make sure you’re 100 per cent makeup free, before washing your face/sins away.

Foundation or concealer first?

Tricked ya, it’s primer. 

I’m totally on your side with this one, though. Before I started working in the industry, I thought primer was a gimmick too, invented as a way for cosmetics companies to suck you totally dry of your week’s pay. But then I started USING IT.

Essentially, what a primer does is prepare your skin and create a smooth base for your foundation. Primer also ensures your makeup lasts longer, so that you still look angelic leaving your Uber as it pulls up to Revs.

Once you’ve primed (using your hands are fine, btw), go easy on the foundation. It’s much easier to build up product than to take it away.

After that, you may conceal your designer bags with a shade that’s a little lighter, to brighten up the area. The reason concealer goes on afterwards is because your foundation will generally be enough to cover the main blemishes. Concealers are like the Santa’s little helpers, in the case where you are Santa and they help you go from being a solid seven to an 11.

Do I need a powder?

If your face is as oily as mine and could fry three potato cakes no questions asked, befriending powder may be a good idea. I normally like to gently pat a light powder on the T-zone (forehead and nose), cheeks and jawline, after everything else has been applied on the face.

Dry skin babes looking for a powder: always go for mineralised and hydrating products. If you’re level Sahara, try using a hydrating mist on top to give a fresh, glowy finish.

How do I contour?

Let’s be honest, no one has time to draw tiger stripes on their face in the morning – the 7:28am train waits for no one. Not even attractive people.

The chocolate contouring phenomenon is one that’s frustratingly dominated social media as much as the Jenners, but for those wanting a quicker option – there is a way.

Invest in a dense, angled brush and a powder product that’s a tad warmer than your natural skin tone. The point of partaking in this witchcraft is to create depth and define the shape of your face. So once you’ve got your products, the first step is to close out of Kim Kardashian’s Instagram. 

Dip the brush into the powder, tapping off the excess. Lightly dust the colour along your cheeks, using the angle to ‘hug’ your face shape. Eventually, you’ll get an almost shadow-like effect that makes your cheekbones a religion.

Illustration by Twylamae who also drew Donald Trump in the bin.

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