Instagram is filled with complex, bold makeup looks. It seems like everyone is an expert. But wearing makeup doesn't have to be complicated. Starting with a basic, ten-step routine can help ease you into doing your makeup. And once you master each step, you can begin to experiment and make it your own. Follow this simple routine as your introduction to makeup—and feel free to skip any of the steps that don't appeal to you.
1. Begin With the Skin
The most important step in your beauty routine is getting your skin in tip-top shape. Once you have a fresh, gorgeous palette to paint on, you can pick and choose how you'd like to highlight it. Start with a basic cleanser, exfoliate a few times a week, and hydrate every morning and night. If your skin is clear, your makeup will look so much better.
2. Apply Sunscreen Daily
The first line of defense against aging comes in the form of SPF. Apply sunscreen after your moisturizer every day to combat wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. You can even use a tinted moisturizer with SPF 50 if you'd rather skip the foundation step.
3. First: Foundation
After wrapping up your skincare routine, you can move on to your base. If you like lighter coverage, try a tinted moisturizer with SPF in it or a BB cream. But if you want a flawless canvas, opt for a foundation. Apply primer first to make sure it lasts all day.
The application method will depend on what type of formula you want to use. If you use a stick foundation, just apply it in a few spots to your face and blend it out with a brush, your fingers, or a sponge. If you like powder foundation, buff it over your skin with a brush. Add if a liquid foundation is your thing, apply it with a damp foam sponge. Regardless of your preferred formula, make sure to blend along the jawline so you don't have a tell-tale line.
4. Add Concealer
Once you have your base, you can build up coverage on any spots you want to conceal. Apply concealer with your ring finger to the spots that need it. For most women, this is under the eye, around the nose, and on any blemishes. Blend in by patting—never rubbing—the concealer with your finger, a sponge, or a flat concealer brush.
5. Boost Color with Blush and Bronzer
Foundation and concealer can tend to leave skin looking one-note. Add some dimension back in with blush and bronzer. First, apply blush on the apples of your cheeks. You can sweep on a powder blush with a fluffy brush or pat a cream blush in with your fingers so it melts into your skin.
Next, apply a bronzer with a big, fluffy brush on the outer edges of your face and anywhere else the sun would naturally bronze you. Don't go overboard with super sparkly formulas—just pick a matte bronzer that's about two shades darker than your natural skin tone.
6. Sweep on Shadow
If you want to wear eyeshadow, be sure to set the lid first with an eyeshadow primer. Otherwise, the shadow will melt into your eyelids and fade. If you don't have an eyeshadow primer, concealer will work in a pinch. Then get to making up your eyes. You can add cream shadow all over the lid for a quick and easy look. Or go all-out smoky and contour the eye with powder shadows. However you decide to wear your shadow, make sure to blend it well.
7. Line Your Eyes
There are many different ways to apply eyeliner. You can try pencil liners for smoky eyes and adding subtle liner on the upper and lower lids. There are also liquid and gel eyeliners for cat eyes and more graphic liner. If your shadow looks better without eyeliner, you can skip it as well. The key to nailing the application: practice, practice, practice.
8. Fill in Your Brows
Your brows frame your face, so it's important to enhance them. Lightly fill them in with powder, pencil, or gel depending on the look you want. Adding just a little color and filling in the sparse spots will transform your brows and make them even more powerful.
9. Move on to Mascara
Add some drama to your lashes by applying a coat or two of mascara. If you have straight lashes or want to pump them up a bit, you can curl your lashes with an eyelash curler first. Then, apply your mascara by wiggling the wand from the roots of your lashes, through to the ends.
10. Lastly, Your Lips
Once you have your face made up, you can see exactly what type of lip color would look best. Go for a balm if you want to keep it simple, a gloss or sheer lipstick to keep it subtle, or go bold with a liquid or matte lipstick.