Getting your head around the ins and outs of a make-up bag can be tricky. So here we present a guide to starting out while managing to avoid any enormous catastrophes, if you fancy venturing into the fabulous world of colour swatches and poor shop lighting, look no further…

face

There are three main steps to (not) panic about.

1) FACE – the aim here is to even out one’s complexion by diminishing ‘flaws and imperfections’. BB creams tend to be a good way to go for the novice; you can pick up a reasonable one for under £10 and shades are easy to choose as they often adapt to skin tone. Personally, I remain loyal to No.7’s Beautiful Skin, it’s a great quality product without being a totally unreasonable price (particularly when in possession of the fabulous Boots vouchers!). For a cheaper alternative, try Revlon’s offering (PhotoReady BB Cream Skin Perfector – £9.99), which provides medium coverage with minimum effort. To control shine, Rimmel’s Stay Matte (From £3.99) range and Seventeen’s Pressed Powder (£3.99) are both worth a try, each offer shades to provide coverage or just mattify the skin. Blushers are often easier to apply when composed of several colours; mosaic blushers can be sourced from (MUA – £2.50), or Sleek offer beautiful, long lasting shades for £9.99 (approach with caution – these are VERY pigmented…although this does mean they last forever!)

eyes

 

2) EYES – eye make-up is scary stuff. Not only are there a wealth of colours to panic about, but there’s also the imminent threat of poking one’s eye out with an overbearing mascara wand. Fortunately, Seventeen offers a range of cream eye-shadows (Wild Metallic Eyes – £3.99) which can be applied individually or in pairs to create various looks; not only simple, but can also be applied with your fingers. Start with Wild Nude and Bronze for less room for error. Follow shadow with eyeliner (if you’re feeling brave) and mascara; my current favourite mascara is Seventeen’s Doll’d Up (£6.29); it produces the most wonderful curl, and can be built up from completely natural-looking to a reasonably heavy effect.

 

lips

 

3) LIP COLOUR – colour is where Natural Collection comes into its own; gorgeous lipsticks for just a fraction of the price of most other high street brands at just £1.99, with good staying power and pigmentation – in particular, look out for Rose Bud and Raspberry. If you’re less sure of lipsticks, try NYC’s Applelicious Balms (£2.49) in the brighter reds, which offer a flush of colour (and smell delicious!). For more staying power, try Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains (£7.99), which come in a variety of colours from natural to fuchsia.

Emily Marmion

PS. Everything mentioned here is available at Boots or Superdrug, and it’s always worth remembering there are virtually constant 3 for 2 offers (or similar)… just in case you needed an excuse…

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