Sometimes, a personal budget just won’t stretch far enough to buy premium brands of make up. In these circumstances, unless you’re willing to go make up free – and who is ever willing to go make up free?! – you’re going to have to look in to cheap make up.
First and foremost, the phrase ‘cheap make up’ does not exactly inspire confidence, does it? Such wording brings to mind the kind of make up that comes free with magazines; sticky lipsticks, bright pink blushers and mascara that glues eyelashes together rather than neatly separating them. However, despite the connotations, cheap make up can actually look good if used in the right way.
Applying make up is all about technique and learning what works for you. You may need to mix and match different palettes of cheap make up to find a shade of lipstick or eyeshadow that suits your colouring, but that’s part of the fun, and the creativity helps you put together something you really love.
To allow cheap make up to work for you, you need to have a good surface for the make up to work on. It’s essential that you prepare your face; that is, ensuring it’s clean and kept well moisturised, and if possible zit and pimple free. Use Vaseline at night to extend, separate and soften your eyelashes, as well as on your lips for maximum softness that lipstick will smooth on to.
When you’re sure your base is right, experiment with your cheap make up selections; blend, smooth and mix until you’ve got exactly what you want, and you’ll look fabulous without the price tag!
It is only natural to seek the opinions of others before spending money on a product you have never tried before, and an entire wealth of websites and magazines have been set up to allow users to consult others and garner opinions. In few industries does this apply as strongly as it does in the beauty industry, with literally thousands of magazine inches and hundreds of blogs covering the very subject of make up reviews.
While it may only be natural, and usually beneficial, to seek user and professional reviews before buying a make up product, there is a word of warning. Where make up differs from other reviewed products (such as appliances, books or movies) is in the subjective nature of each product.
Sound complicated? It isn’t, really, it’s just something you need to be aware of. For example, a piece of make up may not work for a reviewer or blogger, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. As make up is applied to skin, and everyone’s skin is different, that means that every single person who uses a particular product is going to get different results with it. Most conscientious bloggers and reviewers will state this discrepancy in their reviews.
Does this mean that reviews are a totally meaningless waste of time? Of course not. If, for example, numerous reviews done by many different people all say that a product is useless, you can probably trust in the wisdom of crowds and dismiss it as poor. You can also looks at comments about consistency, price, packaging – basically, anything to do with the product prior to and after it is used on skin.
Make up can be expensive; that’s an unfortunate fact. The most premium brands, offering products that promise to work near miracles in return for your hard earned cash, can be eye wateringly expensive – the kind of money you’d usually spend on rent. Thankfully, many budget brands of make up also exist, particularly those that are sold in grocery stores and supermarkets.
Unfortunately, the budget make up brands rarely get a decent write up from the premium obsessed beauty media. While you do get what you pay for, and the quality of budget make up may not be the quality of premium and designer brands, that doesn’t necessarily mean the brands are terrible either. By and large, the main difference in what the product claims to do.
For example, a premium mascara may be marketed with claims that not only does it apply colour to your lashes, but it also helps to extend and lengthen each individual lash. Whether it does or not depends on the product, but that’s the claim. However, budget make up brands will mostly be advertised on the strength of the colour they provide, rather than outlandish claims of lengthening, curling or even nourishing. That means you can steal buy mascara for an affordable price, that will still look good on if all you wish to do is darken your lashes.
Don’t dismiss budget beauty brands and make up. While some may not be for you, there are plenty of decent brands out there that don’t cost the earth, and genuinely do compete on efficiency with their premium cousins.
Vaseline (also known by its chemical properties name, petroleum jelly) is an essential item in any make up bag or purse, thanks to its wealth of uses. Here are three ways you can use Vaseline to enhance your complexion and appearance, without spending a fortune:
1. Eyelash Softener
Apply a light amount of Vaseline to your eyelashes every night before you go to bed, using a clean mascara wand if preferred. Leave on overnight (don’t apply so much that it comes off on to your pillow; just a light dusting will suffice). Over time, using Vaseline in this way will soften your eyelashes, as well as making them appear longer by separating the lashes apart. Mascara will sit on your lashes much better, giving an enhanced appearance.
2. Dry Skin Moisturiser
If you have serious problems with dry skin, you should probably use a medicated lotion (consult your doctor). However, if your suffer from the occasional weather-induced bout of dry skin, a thin layer of Vaseline is the quickest and most affordable remedy. Apply a plaster or band-aid over the top of the Vaseline for maximum healing.
3. Lip Balm and Softener
Rather than spending a fortune on expensive lip balms or lip salves, use Vaseline. The consistency is ideal for a protective layer if going out in the cold, or for healing if the damage has already been done. To this end, Vaseline produce a rose-tinted product which both heals and gives your lips a healthy pink glow, not unlike a lipstick would. There are also SPF Vaseline versions, ideal for holidays and sunny days.
Make up is, like most fashion and beauty products, a constantly changing world where new trends come in every few months. One of the biggest hits of recent years, and darling of beauty editors and make up artists the world over, is mineral make up.
Mineral make up is exactly what it says on the tin; make up that is produced from minerals, thus making it more ‘natural’. The benefits of such make up are said to be wide ranging, including (but not limited to) better coverage, better colour of the product and a longer staying power. The first mineral products to hit the market were foundations or other face coverage products, though this has since extended in to eyeshadows, blushers and beyond.
Perhaps the biggest claim of mineral make up is that it is good for your skin. Where traditional make up can sometimes cause break outs and skin dryness, mineral make up is said to not just be devoid of those unfortunate characteristics, but it can also help make your skin better. Benefits of such a claim vary depending on the person and their skin type, but most users report positive (if not miraculous) experiences.
The one down side to mineral make up is the price. Like anything new and innovative, it is more expensive than make up made from traditional composites. For that reason, if you’re on a budget but want to give make up a try, sample a foundation first, as this is undoubtedly the most beneficial product in any make up line.
Although there is no right and wrong way to apply make up in the strictest sense, there are certain ‘rules’ that most make up artists follow to create that picture perfect look. If you are looking to create a similar look of flawless beauty at home, you don’t need to have intense make up training to do it; just some common sense, and a helping hand on the tricks of the trade.
One thing that all make up artists understand is the need to ‘balance’ make up on a face. This is done to prevent a person from looking overly made up, which can result in unfortunate similarities to clowns in costume. Balancing make up is not difficult, but it is sadly neglected by the average woman, when in reality it could improve many people’s techniques endlessly.
A make up artist will choose a facial feature to focus on when making up a face. Ideally, this should be your best feature; if you have full luscious lips, then focus on that area (or wherever applies to you, be it your eyes, nose, wherever). The focal point should receive the most make up during application; for example, if you’re focusing on your lips, choose a powerful and deep shade to draw attention to them.
Make up should be sparingly applied to every area apart from the focus point you have chosen. Again using the example of lips as the focus, use only a small amount of eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner and blusher – but go to town on the lips. This approach creates a look that draws attention to one’s best assets, while avoiding looking overly made up.
Most of us have probably seen our fair share of make up disasters, and it’s never pretty. The usual suspects tend to be involved in creating such an unpleasant look: tide marks of foundation, over-applied blusher that makes the wear look uncomfortably hot no matter what the weather outside is doing, lipstick that misses the edge of the lips and, of course, the dreaded ‘panda eyes’ of mascara and eyeliner.
When it comes to wearing and using make up, there is an eternal truism of the beauty and fashion industry: less is more. The more make up you layer on, the more likely you are to look like a clown. Make up is about enhancing your natural assets, not repainting an entirely new face over your existing features. If you try and do the latter, there’s no way it can look decent.
The trick to getting make up right is a good mirror and good lighting in the room you apply it in. Many women make the mistake of applying make up in dimly lit rooms, where they can’t get a full look at their handiwork. You need to be able to see all the angles of your face (there are specialist mirrors that show different angles at the same time, if you feel like splashing out) clearly, so you can judge exactly what is going where and how it looks.
Many of us fall in to bad habits with make up and products, so keep things fresh by emptying out your make up bag and studying the products within carefully. If something hasn’t been used in six months, throw it away. By keeping things up-to-date and making the occasional new purchase, you can avoid wearing the same ‘look’ for years on end.
Due to the nature of make up – essentially, chemical compounds being applied to the skin and expected to stay there no matter the weather or situation of the wearer – it is somewhat inevitable that everyone has the occasional make up disaster. We’ve all taken a sip from a glass and left a ring of lipstick on the rim, or realised our carefully applied mascara is no longer on our eyelashes but instead sliding down our face. It’s not a crime to get it wrong sometimes.
However, there are products on the market that can help eliminate the chances of a make up disaster. Primer, for example, is ideal for those who go out in the rain or sweat frequently – it’s particularly useful if you wish to wear make up while exercising. A good primer, which is applied under foundation or concealer, should help keep facial make up in place.
Secondly, there are numerous products that claim to ‘last longer’ or ‘fix fast’ – particularly lipsticks, some of which work and some of which don’t. It’s worth experimenting with longevity make up if you struggle to keep make up in place throughout the day, but bear in mind that a mirror and a quick reapplication is usually your best guarantee for day-long make up.
And remember, in your quest for long-last make up, stay away from that famed old wives tale of using hairspray to fix make up on. First and foremost, it doesn’t work, and secondly it’s extremely bad for your skin. Use the right products, expect to have to reapply during the day and keep your skin content!
Blusher is the make up product that allows you to recreate a healthy, natural glow all-year round, and is the perfect finishing touch to any well made up face. Here, we give three helpful hints that will allow you to create a perfectly well done face using blusher:
Tip One: Smile and Apply
Knowing where to apply blusher on the face is an essential, and incorrectly applied blusher is one of the most common mistakes. This is all the more surprising when one considers that getting it right is so very easy. To apply blusher correctly, smile as hard as you can so your cheeks inflate over your skin. You should apply blusher on these extended ‘apples’ of your cheeks, and literally nowhere else. Apply in a circular motion using a large round brush, and when you relax your face from its extreme smile, the blusher will be perfectly placed.
Tip Two: Be Subtle
One of the worst make up sins is when women use too much blusher, giving themselves the impression of being constantly flushed. When applying blusher, it’s important to use the product sparingly; a light dusting of powder, applied as directed in Tip One, is all you need to create a natural, rosy glow.
Tip Three: Colour Match
A bright red blusher is flattering on absolutely no one, so try and choose a more subtle shade with pink overtones. When buying blusher, keep in mind the colour of your skin; as a general rule, the darker your skin is, the darker your blusher can be. If you are very pale, a simple light pink is all you – anything more will look overdone.
Whether you’re looking to create an enhanced, theatrical Cleopatra-style look, or just something more simple for daytime wear, eyeliner is one of the beauty staples. Here’s a quick guide to getting the most out of this essential product.
Tip One: Liquid or Pencil
Most make up brands manufacturer eyeliner in two different genres; liquid or pencil. It’s worth having one of each, in a trusty black colour, in your make up kit. The type of look you are going for influences which of the two types of eyeliner you should select; for something dramatic, use liquid, while for a more conservative look, pencil is your friend. Alternatively, you can use both: use pencil on the inner edge of the eye for more definition, and liquid on the outside of the eyelid to give a sweeping curve.
Tip Two: Practice, Practice, Practice
Eyeliner is extremely tricky to apply. It requires a steady hand, a good mirror in a well-lit room so you can see exactly what you’re doing, and lots and lots of practice. Over time, you’ll be able to draw beautiful lines over and under your eyelids in seconds, but put the ground work in first. Practice until you can create an unbroken and even line in both pencil and liquid.;
Tip Three: Let Eyeliner Dry
This is such a basic principle but it’s also a common mistake. Whether or not the eyeliner you are using is pencil or liquid, it’s important to let it dry before applying mascara. This takes around two minutes; a very short space of time that will help you avoid the dreaded smudging and ‘panda eyes’ effect.