Foundation and face makeup, like concealer, blush and powder, are the basics of your makeup routine. Just like an artist primes a canvas before they paint their masterpiece, you should also prime and prepare your skin before applying the lipstick that enhances your megawatt smile, or the eye shadows and liner that makes your baby blues or big browns pop! (Read: How to Do Your Lips)
Of course, a good skincare routine is what is going to make your foundational makeup that much better. Foundation and concealer shouldn’t be used just to mask or hide what you think is wrong, but it should make the most of your glowing complexion if at all possible. Time does not allow me to wade into the deep waters of good skin care principles, but you must know that all the makeup in the world is not going to make you look your best if your skin is a mess.
I struggled with severe acne as a teen, and just when I thought all those adolescent breakouts were history, surprise! Adult acne made its debut and sent me into a tailspin of confusion and frustration for years. Thankfully, I discovered excellent skincare products containing alpha-hydroxy acids and combined those with other wonderful skin creams containing vitamin C and retinol. Those treatment creams healed my acne and made the experience of wearing foundation and concealer more of a “want to” than a “have to” situation. (Read: How to Clear Up Your Skin Before Pageant Weekend)
Thankfully, there are so many new groundbreaking products that are now available to consumers that do so much more than cover zits. There are literally thousands of foundations, concealers, blushes, powders and more on the market, so a girl can get lost at her local makeup counter in no time. But, not to worry. Pageant Planet is all about everything related to pageants, including makeup! If you like makeup, we have got the course for you. In this article, we’re going to explore the basics and beyond as it pertains to face makeup. So, hold onto your highlighters, because we’ve got a lot to cover! (No pun intended.)
Why you need tinted moisturizer or a foundation
When it comes to foundation types, generally speaking, there are two ways to go. If you want lighter coverage, then opt for a tinted moisturizer, a slightly colored cream that will give your skin a wash of color. If you require more coverage than a tinted moisturizer, then there are numerous choices available to you depending on how much coverage you want and if you prefer a matte look, a dewy look or something in between.
And, since we’re talking about skin, don’t forget that makeup can go a lot more places, than just the skin on your face. If you are trying to figure out what to do with those bare legs of yours, you might be interested in reading this great article all about using body makeup. (Read: How to Use Body Makeup)
As mentioned previously, foundation is similar to priming a canvas. It is literally the foundation of your entire makeup routine. Foundation evens out your skin tone and conceals any subtle blemishes or discolorations on your face, and it is what makes your skin appear flawless. The most important aspects of foundation to consider when choosing the right product for you are the formula for your particular skin type, the type of coverage, the shade and your budget.
The formula has to meet the unique needs of your skin. Is your skin normal, oily, dry or does it have special needs in some way? Then you want to know what you are using the foundation for. Do you want light coverage, medium coverage or full coverage? Finally, you have to select the perfect shade that matches your skin color and shade exactly.
Obviously, skin color can be very tricky because our skin is not just one shade. However, most skin tones fall into cool, warm or neutral shades. The old school way to tell what skin tone you have is to look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If your veins appear more blueish, then you are probably cool. If your veins look to be more green, then you are likely warm. If you’re kind of in between, you just might be the middle of the road, or neutral.
Cosmetics companies today have managed to harness the power of technology to determine the absolute perfect shade for your foundation. A lot of companies have gotten on board with this trend and have developed some revolutionary products. In fact, some companies actually have the capability to scan your skin right at the makeup counter and come up with a foundation that looks like it was custom made just for you.
Two fool-proof lines that have stood the test of time with regard to easy shade selection are the Loreal True Match Foundation and Maybelline FIT Me Foundation. With patented color technology, L’Oreal’s True Match Super Blendable Makeup precisely matches your skin’s tone and undertone and coordinates perfectly with True Match powder, blush and concealer in the same line. This medium coverage foundation comes in a version for every skin type and is formulated with Precise Match Technology so you can control coverage and fine tune it. Maybelline FIT Me Foundation comes in an incredible 40 shades, and the company even offers an online foundation selection service. (Read: Maybelline Fit Me Foundation: Spend the Money or Save the Dough?)
The best way to put on foundation, especially if you have oily skin or are prone to breakouts, is a flat synthetic foundation brush or a sponge blender. If you use your fingers to put foundation on, you run the risk of getting bacteria into your foundation, and eventually, it will affect your skin in a negative way. Pageant Planet sells a wonderful tool called a Beauty Blender that has become a favorite of pageant girls, actresses and models, the world over. Or if you are budget conscious, a simple cosmetic wedge will do just fine. You can purchase The Beauty Blender here: Beauty Blender.
In fact, you can purchase all kinds of makeup products and pageant-related items right through our website! Just go to our Makeup & Beauty section!
One of our Pageant Planet staffers actually did a review and a product demo of the Beauty Blender. If you would like to see it in action and hear what she had to say, you can check it out below:
When you apply foundation, you don’t need to cover every square inch of your face. It depends on why you need the foundation and the look that you are going after. You can just put the foundation mainly in the t-zone area, which is the area that extends from your forehead down your nose and then to your chin. Then you want to blend, blend, blend. Sweep the foundation outward, even up to where your ears begin, and then also past your jawline and down your neck. If you stop right at your chin and jaw, you are apt to create a mask-like look that isn’t attractive at all. (Read: How To Properly Blend The Jaw and Neckline When Applying Foundation)
Tinted moisturizers and foundations have come a long way since the days that they were simply used to cover blemishes and imperfections or to even out skin tone. They do still do all of that, but modern face makeup is so multi-faceted, that most products do double duty as treatments and skin care. Technology and advanced chemistry have paved the way for incredible face makeup that works to improve the look of your skin even when you aren’t wearing it.
There is a perfect product out there for every budget, and I will suggest several options for you depending on how much you want to spend. If you don’t want to spend a lot, you can find some terrific foundations in the steal category. If you are okay with dropping a bit more on a higher-end product, then you might find what you want in the splurge section. (Read: How to Create the Perfect Pageant Makeup Base)
Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Work It! Marathonista Tinted Moisturizer
Ulta Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30
e.l.f. Cosmetics Tinted Moisturizer
Nu Skin Nu Color Advanced Tinted Moisturizer
Vichy Derma Finish Foundation
Estee Lauder DayWear Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Sheer Tint Release Moisturizer
Revision Skin Care Intellishade Tru Physical Tinted Moisturizer
Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20
Maybelline FIT Me Foundation
Loreal True Match Foundations
Revlon Pan Stik Full Coverage Foundation
Revlon Photo Finish
Revlon Colorstay – Foundation and Concealer 2 in 1
Yves St Laurent All Hours Foundation (Recommended by Youtube sensation and Glam Master judge, Kandee Johnson)
Sunday Riley – The Influencer Clean Longwear Foundation
Hourglass Cosmetics – Vanish Foundation
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+
If you are over the age of 16, you need concealer!
Most females over the age of 16 need to wear some form of concealer, whether it’s to cover blemishes, skin discolorations, or to brighten and even out your under eye area. Concealer comes in different formulas like creams, sticks and liquids, depending on your needs and preferences. Similarly to foundation, you’ll pick your product based on the level of coverage you need for your skin type. (Read: Amazing Concealer: Spend the Money or Save the Dough)
A lot of girls put concealer on using their fingers, and I’ve mentioned before how using your hands to put makeup on can introduce bacteria into the product and onto your skin. However, I will say that it is not always a bad idea to use a finger when applying concealer. You must know how to do it correctly, though. Using a finger can actually help to warm up the product and cause it to blend more easily into the skin.
If you do decide to use your finger to apply the concealer, it is best to use your ring finger and not your index finger. The reason is that the ring finger will not tug and pull on your delicate eye area as much as your index finger would. That being said, most makeup artists use a small, stiff brush to apply concealer because it is more sanitary and you can get the concealer into the places on your face where you need it most. (Read: How To Care For Your Pageant Makeup Brushes)
Concealer is obviously used under the eye area to conceal dark circles, uneven pigment or small lines or wrinkles. But, it is very important to not apply the concealer under the entire eye area. It is best to only put it in the inner corner of the eye, then in the under eye area closest to the nose. From there you should blend it out towards the outer corner. If you swipe the concealer under the entire under eye area, you run the risk of looking like a raccoon.
Other places to use concealer are any areas on the face where you see shadows. These areas would be the corners of your nose, the marionette lines from your nose to the corners of your mouth, and underneath your mouth, just above your chin.
Kim Kardashian West’s favorite makeup artist and business partner Mario Dedivanovic have developed a fantastic concealer kit called “Conceal, Bake, Brighten,” which is available on her product website.
Mehron – Pro Coloring
Revlon Photoready – Insta-fix
Maybelline Master Conceal
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer and Treatment
NYX Hi Definition Photo Concealer Wand
KKW Cosmetics (Kim Kardashian West) – Conceal, Bake, Brighten
Amazing Cosmetics Concealer
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer
The right and the wrong way to blush
Blush is pretty self-explanatory, in that it is used to mimic that rosy glow that is so becoming on a pretty face. Blush, like foundation, comes in numerous formulations such as powder, liquid and creams, and should also be chosen in much the same way. Everybody’s skin tone is different, and in just the same way that you select a foundation to match your skin tone, you should also select a blush that is complementary to you. (Read: How to Find What Color Blush Compliments Your Skin Tone?)
You also have to choose a blush that is compatible with your skin type, whether it be dry, normal or oily. If you have dry skin, for instance, you may find that powder blushes do not suit you very well, in that they may make your skin even drier. If that is the case, you might do better with a creme or liquid blush that adds some moisture back into your cheeks and remains soft and dewy.
When applying blush, girls tend to make two major mistakes. The first mistake is putting the blush in the hollow of the cheek, underneath the cheekbone. The second mistake is putting the blush all over the entire cheek in a big circle, which makes you look like a clown. If you have ever looked at your face when you’ve come in from being outside in the cold, you would notice that you naturally blush in very specific areas on your face.
The best place to apply blush is on the apples of your cheeks. Just smile at yourself in a mirror, and put the blush on the rounds of your cheeks, then sweep it up slightly towards your ear. If you want to, you can also apply some blush on your temples, but be conservative. A big pink forehead is not a good look. (Read: 10 Common Makeup Mistakes and How to Fix Them)
Maybelline Master Hi-Light Powder Blush
Elf Shimmering Facial Whip Liquid Blush
Ulta’s Lip + Cheek Color Stick
Flower Beauty Flower Pots Powder Blush
Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked Flushed
Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten
Stila Convertible Color Cream Blush
Morphe Brushes – Blushing Babes Trios
Powders are the finishing touch
Finally, powders are the finishing touch after you have applied foundation, concealer and blush. There really are no rigid rules as to what order you apply these different types of makeup, except for powder. Every makeup artist has their own system for what they do, and you should find what works best for you. In fact, some women prefer to do their eye makeup first and then do their foundation, concealer and powder. (Read: How to Style Your Pageant Makeup for Under $25)
The point of wearing a face powder is to set the makeup so that everything stays in place, and it helps the makeup to last longer. The other thing that powder can do is to control oil, which can also affect not only how long your foundation lasts, but also the color. If your skin is particularly oily, you have probably had the experience of having oil show up especially in your t-zone area, and you’ve seen how it can change the color of your foundation a bit. That’s why it is imperative to use the right formula of foundation and powder for your skin type, especially if you tend to be oily.
One tip for those of us with oily skin is to use face blotting papers. Yes, you read that correctly. I said, “papers.” I don’t know who invented blotting papers, but I want to thank them. They are small, thin papers that come in a booklet, and they sometimes have a bit of powder on them. You can take them out when you get oily, blot your face with them and throw them away. Then, if you want to go over your skin again with your powder compact and brush, you can. (Read: How To Keep Your Face Shine Free)
Revlon Photo Ready Powder
Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Powder
NYX – Mineral Finishing Powder
NYX – Set it, Don’t Fret it Matte Finishing Powder
NYX – SFX Loose Setting Powder
Lagure Face Powder
Lagure Minerals Powder
Cover FX Perfecting Setting Powder
KKW Cosmetics (Kim Kardasian West) Powder Contour & Highlight Palette
What are setting sprays and makeup extenders?
There are numerous products on the market that help make your makeup last longer, such as eye shadow bases, oil controlling serums and face primers. These products are designed to help all of your makeup go on more smoothly, have accurate color and last a lot longer. (Read: How to Do Your Eye Makeup)
But, the products that I want to focus on are the final steps that you can use to set your makeup and help it to last longer, especially on stage under hot lights. These products are usually called setting sprays or makeup extenders and they are finishing products, that you spray on your face after you are done applying your makeup. They are miracle workers for pageant girls in that they cause your makeup to be practically bullet-proof and they come in all kinds of formulations such as matte, dewy and oil control.
NYX has created a formula for every skin type and every result that you might possibly want, and they are extremely budget friendly. If you’ve got a bit more coin to spend, then try one of the Urban Decay’s line of makeup setting sprays. They’ve got one called, “All Nighter Setting Spray.” It claims to make your makeup picture perfect for at least 16 hours. That’s long enough to win a pageant and hit the after party! (Read: How To Transition Your Makeup Throughout the Pageant)
NYX Matte Finish and Dewy Finish Finishing Sprays
Loreal Infallible Makeup Extender
Cover Girl Look Lock Up All Day Setting Mist
Cover Girl Vitalist Go Glow Luminizing Lotion
Urban Decay – All Nighter Setting Spray
Urban Decay – Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray
Urban Decay – Chill Makeup Setting Spray
How to use highlighters, bronzers and contouring products
The world of highlighters, bronzers and contouring can be extremely intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. But, with a bit of education and a little practice, any girl can master these techniques, and you don’t have to become a professional makeup artist to do it.
Highlighting and contouring can not only make the most of your gorgeous face, but these techniques can practically accomplish what plastic surgery can do, even if the effects get washed away when you take off your makeup. Using highlighting and contouring products, you can create sharper-looking cheekbones, fuller-looking lips, brighter-looking eyes and a narrower-looking nose. (Read: 5 Makeup Tips Based on Your Face Shape)
Every face is different and every face has its own challenges, so there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to contouring and highlighting. That is why it is very difficult to write down instructions that will fit every reader’s needs. Therefore, I’m going to share with you one of the best videos on highlighting and contouring by renowned celebrity makeup artist, columnist for Teen Magazine Fashionista and YouTube sensation, Nikkie De Jager of Nikkie Tutorials.
Nikkie has worked with Kim Kardashian West and her makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, Makeup Artist Pascale Tesser and so many other professionals it is impossible to name them all. She has created an unprecedented amount of how-to videos on every area of makeup application that you might desire. I highly encourage you to visit her YouTube channel, Instagram or her website to learn more about makeup and how you can create your own best face.
Jordana Glow and Go
Loreal True Match Lumi – Liquid Glow Illuminator
Maybelline Master Strobing Liquid
Sleek MakeUP Solstice Highlighting Palette
Becca Highlighters – This is my personal all around favorite highlighter. It is a splurge, but so worth it!
Amrezy Highlighter by Anastasia Beverly Hills
OFRA Cosmetics Feelin’ Myself Highlighter Set
Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator
Contouring and bronzing products:
Jordana Sculpt N’ Go
NYX Professional Makeup refillable Highlight & Contour Pro Palette
Makeup Revolution Pro HD Powder Contour Kit
Catrice Prime & Fine Professional Contouring Palette
Lorac PRO Contour Palette
Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour
MAC Cheek X 3: Acoustica / Jeremy Scott
Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer
Now that you have learned the basics of how to do your face makeup, it’s time to sit down, dig into your makeup bag and practice, practice, practice. Any pageant girl can learn to be her very own makeup artist if she is willing to be teachable and invest a little time in front of the mirror. (Read: 12 Makeup Bag Essentials for Pageant Girls)
Mastering your makeup is such a valuable skill to learn because it’s part of your life as a titleholder, and it puts the power back into your own hands. You won’t have to rely any longer on a professional to make you look your best. You won’t have to drop hundreds of dollars at your next pageant to create your winning look, because you will know exactly what to do to bring out your flawless beauty.
Makeup, at its best, is not about hiding or covering up what is imperfect. Learning to do your own makeup is something that is empowering for women. Pageant Planet’s mission is to provide you with every possible tool that will help you become your best self, and that includes your outer self.
If you feel like you need a bit more professional help to bring your skills up to par, then check out our free online makeup artist directory. You will find artists in your area who can sit down with you and teach you what you want to know. If hiring a pro is not in your budget, it’s okay. Pageant Planet has countless articles online about makeup application and products, and we’ve got more on the way, just for you!
If you know of some tips and tricks about face makeup that we did not cover in this article, why not share them? We love to learn from our readers!