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  • Writer's pictureCandie Renee

Makeup 101: Makeup Product Breakdown

Updated: Mar 25, 2019

Hello, and welcome to my makeup blog. My name is Candie and I am a professional makeup artist. Today I am going to be going over how to choose the right make up products for you. Whether you are a beginner or experienced the following information can be useful for anyone. Before we begin, lets go over what makeup products are available to you and what they are used for.

Choosing a make up product can sometimes be a daunting task. I’ve gotten this question so much throughout my career as a make up artist and that is “what sort of make up should I buy?” or “what brand do you recommend?” Now this seriously is not a cop out but I do tend to tell people you really have to determine within your price point and your skin care needs what make up brands are going to be best suited for you. There are good quality, private labeled cosmetics out there and there are other make up brands that are more affordable...but not as great.

Today we are going to discuss the types of make up that are commonly used in full face make up application, what they are used for and how they are applied.


Foundation is a tinted cosmetic used to even out skin tone and color, conceal imperfections, and protect the skin from outside elements such as dirt and pollution. Face make up comes in a variety of forms to include cream, liquid, powder and mineral. Foundations that contain mineral oil or any other oil are referred to as oil-based. Now, in my experience, not many people pay attention to the ingredients label of their foundation. If you have dry skin an oil base foundation will be better suited for you. However, if you are really oily an oil based foundation is going to smudge and almost quite literally run off your face as you are applying it or throughout the day. In addition, if you are dry skin and use a water-based (oil-free) foundation this is going to cause extremely dry conditions for your face throughout the day resulting in dry flaky skin. So, the goal is to choose the opposite of your skin type in order to ensure that your foundation is going to last all day.

Types of foundations include liquid, cream and cake. Liquid foundations are suspensions of organic and inorganic pigments in alcohol and water based solutions. Now before you're like, "whoa that was way over my head." Pause, take a deep breath, we are gonna get through this! I promise it will be fun too!

The liquid formulation is generally suited for clients with oily to normal skin conditions who desire sheer to medium coverage. Cream foundations are thicker and give medium to heavy coverage these are generally suited for dry to normal skin. Cake make up is a heavy cream foundation. It is normally applied to the face with a moistened sponge, gives good coverage and is generally used to camouflage scars and pigmentation defects or tattoos. This is most commonly used in theater, film and video. Powder foundations consist of a powder base mixed with a coloring agent and are good for oily skin. Cream to powder foundations are moist on application but dry to a powdery finish.


Primers are liquid or silicone-based formulas that are designed to be applied prior to your foundation application and any other ingredients to help prep the skin for make up and help keep the product on the skin longer. Now, in my professional opinion, I like to use a nice clean face for make up application because I feel that it truly allows the product to stick to the skin rather than sit on top of it. I do believe that a lot of other professional make up artists would agree especially not to apply moisturizer or primers on the eyelid area because it can cause slippage and creasing.


Concealers are used to cover blemishes and discolorations of the skin. It may be applied before or after foundation. Though it is my belief to apply concealer after foundation so that you give your foundation a chance to cover what it is meant to. Concealers come in pots, pencils, wands, or sticks in a variety of colors to match all skin tones. You must also consider whether concealers are oil-based or water-based as these can crack and dry throughout the day causing more attention to be brought to the imperfection you wish to cover. So flip it over and read the label!

Face Powder

Face powder is used to add a matte finish to the face it enhances the skins natural color helping to conceal any minor blemishes or discolorations that may still appear after foundation application or diminish excess of color and shine. Face powder is also used to set foundation in order to ensure that it lasts all day. Two forms of powder that are commonly used are loose powder and pressed powder. They are both pretty much the same it’s just one is a little bit messier than the other ha ha ha. Face powders are available in a variety of different shades and hold different weights from sheer to heavy coverage.


Blushes are available in cream, liquid, dry pressed, or loose powder form. This gives the face a natural looking glow and helps to create facial contours. Powder blush seems to be the most common cheek color and consists of ingredients similar to powders. However, in editorial photography, I do tend to use cream blush colors or I mix powder shavings with a moisturizer and apply with my fingertips. This gives a more life like natural glow to the skin.


The eyes are the focal point of the face. Eyeshadows are meant to accentuate and contour the eyes. Eyeshadows are available in almost every color of the rainbow from warm to cool, neutral to bright and light to dark. Some powder eyeshadows are designed to be used either wet or dry. They come in a variety of finishes to include matte, frost, or shimmer. Eyeshadows are available in cream, pressed powder, and dry powder form. Something to keep in mind with eyeshadows is that those that come in stick and cream form are usually water based with an oil petrolatum. If you wish to have a water resistant eyeshadow you want to look for those that have a solvent-based such as mineral spirits.


Eyeliners are also used to emphasize the eye. They are available in pencil, liquid, and pressed form. With eyeliner you can change the shape of one’s eyes making them appear larger and the lashes fuller. Pencil is the most commonly used form of eyeliner. Liquid or gel eyeliner’s, though they do create a more dramatic look, are not always recommended for beginners. Powder liners or eyeshadows can be applied wet or dry to give a nice soft eyeliner look.


The eyebrow frames the eye. With the correct eyebrow shape, the brow can enhance the face and the entire make up look. Eyebrow pencils or brow shadows are used to add color and shape to the eyebrows. They can be used to darken the eyebrows, correct their shape, or fill in sparse areas. For best results make sure to match the natural brow color of your natural hair.


Mascara darkens, defines and thickens the eye lashes. Mascaras come in liquid, cake, and cream form and come in various shades. The most common colors that are used are black and brown. When used correctly, mascara can make eyelashes appear thicker and longer.

Lip Color

Finally we wrap up with lip color. Having the right lip can truly finish a full face make up design. Lip color is available in several forms to include creams, glosses, pencils, and sticks.

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