The Art, Interpretation and Beauty of Makeup

Over the past 6,000 years, starting with kohl eyeliners in ancient Egypt, makeup has been evolving. Between makeup’s emergence, and the year O we see the early versions of what will become common modern cosmetics. For example, the Chinese use of colored beeswax on their nails, the Greek practice of naturally occurring pink and red substances for blush, and the application of rice powder in Asian countries to lighten complexions (“A History of Cosmetics from Ancient Times”.

In the past 2000 years, we see cosmetic practices becoming more and more recognizable.

In India and North African cultures Henna was being used in weddings (Sienna. “Some Important Dates in the History of Henna.” Henna by Sienna, Weebly, Accessed 29 Sept. 2017), and hair dye and facial makeup arose in Elizabethan England as an attempt to mimic the look of the beloved queen.

Unfortunately, the reign of Victoria I of England brought the idea that makeup was vulgar, and as societal acceptation decreased, it became a shameful practice that lead to women entering beauty parlors in secret in the 1900s, when the desire for a youthful appearance returned.

As of the early 21st century makeup was against accepted and became common practice amongst not only its previous users, women, but this new wave brought men into the mix, such as successful makeup gurus as of 2017, Patrick Starr and Mario Dedivanovic.

The first step to a great, long lasting look is to prepare the skin. If time is something you have plenty of, a facemask is a great basis for all of the product you’ll apply later.

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Usually, this depends on concern. Personally, I am trying to combat an uneven complexion, for which I use the a20 Lab Facial Mask in Anti-Redness, which is a cheap and effective way to even skin tones. Another step that isn’t crucial, but is definitely helpful if done as often as possible, is lip and under eye masks. These can be done simultaneously to have time, and are great for plumping and moisturizing the lips and hiding under eye circles.

For a lip mask, the Memebox Nooni Water Blending Lip Mask (Ulta, $15) will rejuvenate your lips and prevent cracking and dryness. Next, you should wash your face – this step is crucial, and should be done every time you apply makeup. Typically, I use the Philosophy The Microdevliery Exfoliating Facial Wash (Sephora, $60) to cut oil and moisturize my face. Following face wash, I use the Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner (Sephora, $39) to even out skin tone and prevent patchiness, redness, and dark spots. Following toner, you must moisturize your face to prevent products from drying out your skin.

I have combination skin, making the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream with Super 7 Complex (Sephora, $45) a great choice. The last step of skin prep is one that depends on the biggest skin concern – which for me is redness and an uneven skin tone. Based on this concern, I use the L’Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Color Correcting Primer in Green for Anti-Redness (Ulta, $12). Finally, I always use Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme (Sephora, $28) to plump my lips before makeup application. Wipe this off after ten minutes to avoid an issue with later application of lipstick.

Following skin prep, you should always begin your full face with your eye area to prevent any shadow fallout settling into lines. Always do your eyebrows before eye shadow so you can avoid messing up your eye shadow while cutting in your brows.

The first step to jaw dropping brows is brow serum, such as the Grande Cosmetics GrandeBROW Enhancing Serum (Sephora, $80) for a faster and fuller look as time passes. Next, tweeze around the edges and make sure they are properly shaped. Finally, you’ve reached the actual makeup application. Go in with the NYX Cosmetics Micro Brow Pencil (, $10) to outline your natural brows – refrain from filling them in just yet.

On the bottom, follow the brow line to both ends, making a sharp line at the tail and a buffed edge at the head. On the top, start approximately one centimeter from the edge of your, again following the natural brown line down the tail, creating another sharp line to meet the one on the bottom. Next, I always use the Anastasia Beverly Hills DipbrowR Pomade (Ulta, $18) with the Sephora Collection Classic Double Ended Filler & Spoolie #208 (Sephora, $14) to create small hair-like strokes at the end of my brow for a more realistic looking.

Next, with the Benefit Cosmetics Good Proof Eyebrow Pencil (, $24) in a shade slightly lighter than your brow pomade, fill from the small strokes you just did to the arch of your brow. Then, go back in with the DipbrowR to fill the tail in up to the arch, and blend the two together with the spoolie end of the Sephora #208 brush. I usually set my brows with the Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Voluminizing Fiber Gel (Ulta, $24) for a more natural look. Finally, use the Bareskin® Complete Coverage Serum Concealer (Bare Minerals, $21) and the Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush (Bare Minerals, $20) to cut in and touch up.

After the brows are complete, the next, and arguably most striking, part of your makeup is the eyes. Always use a primer, such as the Urban Decay Eye shadow Primer Potion in Original (Sephora, $22) to keep your shadow in place all day and prevent creasing. Next, with the Makeup Forever 242 Large Blender Brush (Sephora, $30) and the shade ‘Edge’ from one of my favorite palettes, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eye shadow Palette (Ulta, $42), and blend the color through your crease.

Next, use the Black Up Crease Brush (Sephora, $29.50) with the Lorac Mega PRO Palette 3 (Ulta, $59) in ‘Eggplant’ to blend into the corner and outwards for a slight wing, making sure you don’t go above the browbone. I also like to bring the shade inwards about one third of the way across my lid. For the final powder shade, use the Tom Ford Eye Shadow Blend Brush (Sephora, $27) to blend the shade ‘Sandalwood’ from the Huda Beauty Palette – Rose Gold Edition (Sephora, $65) between the color in the corner of your eye and the color through your crease.

Don’t fill your eyelid completely, but bring the color about halfway along the eyelid. Now, use a glitter primer to prevent falling throughout the day. With the MAC 214 Short Shader Brush (, $25) apply the Too Faced Shadow Insurance Flitter Glue Glitter Bonding Eye Shadow Primer (Sephora, $20) in small dabbing motions against the eyelid.

Personally, I like to feather the edges into the shadow I have already applied to make the change from glitter to powder look more gradual. Use the Makeup Forever 226 Medium Eye Shader brush (Sephora, $25) to apply a generous amount of the shade ‘Oh, It’s On!’ from the Too Faced Glitter Bomb Prismatic Glitter Eyeshadow Palette (Ulta, $45) on the area where the glue is – make sure to apply a lighter amunt of glitter where you feathered the glue to achieve the goal of a gradual switch from extreme glitter to regular shadow. Once you’ve finished with powder shadow and glitter, move into eyeliner with the NARS Unrestricted Matte Eyeliner Stylo (, $27).

Draw a thin angled line from the outer corner of your eye towards the tail of your eyebrow. Finish your winged liner by making another line from the tip of the wing down your eyeliner, and then fill in any gaps. If you’re anything like me, you may also have to do multiple touch ups to make it just right. Next is an important, but not always crucial, step: eyelsadhes. If you choose to apply lashes, a cheap but good quality brand is Wicked Lashes, from which I would personally use the style ‘Sinful’ (, $5) for a bold look like this one. Use the Duo Brush Striplash Adhesive (, $27) and brush it on the edge of the lashes, wait thirty seconds for the glue to become tacky, and start by pressing the center of the lashes gently against the center of your eyelid. Then, press the outer corner into place and use a pair of tweezers to secure the inner corner.

Once the lash glue has dried, I tend to use a mascars, like the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (, $23) to brush together my natural and false lashes. Wiggle the wand slightly while you apply this to avoid clumping. Repeat the same steps on the bottom lashes with a smaller brush, like the Tarte Lights, Camera, LashesTM 4- in-1 Mascara (Tarte, $23). Finally, make sure your lower lash mascara has dried and use the same brush you used for eyelash glue, or one similar if you don’t have time to clean it first, to brush the shade ‘Eggplant’ from the outer corner into th center of your lower lashline. Then, take ‘Sandalwood’ on the same brush and blend from the center to the inner corner of your eye.

The next step is the application of a base, assuming that your primer has dried and you have wiped off the remaining lip plumper. Begin with a color correcter as needed. Personally, I use the Becca Backlight Targeted Color Correcter in ‘Pistachio’ (Sephora, $30) to cover and correct any prominent acne spots, and the Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid in Yellow (Sephora, $29) to cover mild red patches. Next, I use a medium coverage foundation, such as the Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation (Sephora, $34) with the Shiseido Foundation Brush (Sephora, $30) to apply, and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge (Ulta, $5.99) to buff it out and avoid patchiness or brush marks.

Next, use the Ulta Concealer Brush for both of the following concealers. First, use a highlighting concealer; I love the Tarte Double Duty Shape Tape Contour Concealer (Ulta, $25) for this. Apply it along the bridge of your nose, the center of your forehead, under your eyes in an upside down triangle shape, and on your chin. Next, go in with the

Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème (Sephora, $26) to cover any acne spots, or places where color correcter is still peaking through. Blend both concealers with the Ulta Silicone Blender (Ulta, $6.99); using a silicone blender instead of a sponge helps to blend seamlessly with your foundation due to the thicker texture of concealer. After concealer, use a liquid highlighting fluid like the Makeup Forever Star Lit Liquid (Sephora, $24) in Gold Champagne on the top of your nose, along your cheekbones, and on the highest point of your forehead. Blend in to your base by light dabbing motions with the Sephora Collection Pro Small Stippling Brush #42 (Sephora, $32).

Next, move on to contour and highlight. To contour, use the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Cream-to-Powder Quickie Contour Stick (Sephora, $28); apply this along the edge of your forehead in close proximity to your hairline, down both sides of your nose, under your jawline, and under your cheekbones. For highlighter, use the KKW Beauty Crème Contour and Highlight Kit (, $48) in the same places that you applied the shape tape concealer. Blend both contour and highlight into your prior makeup with the J. Cat Beauty Pro Blending Buffer Brush (, $8.99). Finally, you can move from creams to powders, with the application of bronzer.

Personally, I think the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer (, $29) and the Cover FX Powder Brush (, $42) work well for this. Apply the bronzer right below the apple of your cheeks, up to your temples, onto the sides of your forehead, along the sides of your nose, and underneath your jawline. Next, use the NARS #23 Wet/Dry Blush Brush (, $42) to apply the Kylie

Cosmetics Hot and Bothered Blush (Kylie Cosmetics,com, $20) to the apples of your cheeks. After blush and bronzer are on, bake your face for an extended wear time. With the Fenty Beauty by Rihannah Precision Makeup Sponge 100 (Sephora, $16) apply a generous amount of the NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder (Sephora, $37) between your jawline and your cheekbones, under your eyes, down your nose, and on the center of your forehead. After five minutes, use the IT Bruses for Ulta Love Beauty Fully Essential Kabuki Brush #207 (Ulta, $32) to brush it off in downward strokes, and avoid blending the powder into your makeup as much as possible.

The final step in base makeup is a powder highlight. With the NARS The Small Brightener (NARS, $55) dip into the shade ‘Mykonos’ from the Huda Beauty 3D Highlighter Pelette – Summer Solstice (Sephora, $45) followed by the shade ‘Malibu.’ Apply this blend generously along your cheekbones and up your temples above the arch of your eyebrows, as well as along the highest point of your forehead. With the same brush apply the Kylie Cosmetics Banana Split Kylighter (, $22) under the arch of your eyebrow, on the inner corner of your eyes, on the tip of your nose, and on your cupid’s bow.

The last step in a full face is lipstick – without it a look with such prominent features wouldn’t look complete. Arguably the most important step is the application of lip balm before anything else. Follow that with a lip primer; my typical preference is the Too Faced Lip Insurance Primer (, $20) to ensure long wear and keep my lips hydrated. Next comes lip contour, a step that most people are oblivious to. With the Huda Beauty Lip Contour Matte Pencil in Berry (Sephora, $19) outline our cupid’s bow and form a line from either side that comes down at an angle to create an ‘X’ shape. Complete with a line straight through the center of your bottom lip.

Now for lip liner, a completely different product than lip contour. With a liner, like the one from the Kylie Cosmetics Spice Lip Kit (KylieCosmetics, $27), outline your lips all the way around and fill in the corners, starting dark and getting lighter as you move in, leaving the center third of the lip bare. With the Spice Liquid Lipstick from the same lip kit cover your entire lips inside the liner. As soon as you finish dab the Kylie Cosmetics Brown Sugar Matte Liquid Lipstick (, $17) right in the center and blend Spice and Brown Sugar together via small dabbing motions with the Real Techniques Expert Concealer Brush (Ulta, $6.99).

The final step in any long-lasting makeup look is setting spray. Spray the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea 4-in-1 Setting Mist (Sephora, $25) evenly over your entire face. If you know you are going to be doing laborious tasks throughout the day, or you just want to feel more refreshed, carry a bottle of the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herb, and Rosewater (Ulta, $7) and apply that every two to three hours or as needed to gaurentee the staying power of your face.

Makeup is not only a way to enhance natural beauty, but an art form. When you apply a full face as these directions have explained, you’re going beyond enhancing yourself to create a work of art. The time, effort, and money put into such an elaborate look is truly mind blowing. The difference between makeup and most other art, such as paintings, is the impremenance; at the end of the day you go home, wash off something that you spent at least an hour (and probably a few hundred dollars) on, and wake up the next morning to re-create it, yet each time in a slightly different and unique way. Because makeup is a personal art, there is no correct or incorrect way to apply it, and what has been written is simply a single possibility out of an infinite number.

Even when shades are specified and techniques are explained, it is always at the liberty of the artists to use the suggestions in whatever way best suits them. Makeup is art, interpretation, and beauty all rolled into one – the full encompassment of the idea that beauty is in the of the beholder. eye

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The Art, Interpretation and Beauty of Makeup. (2023, Feb 19). Retrieved from

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