Master Your Makeup in Five Easy Minutes

With the thousands of styles of makeup floating around out there, getting familiar with just the basics can be somewhat intimidating. Not everyone is into the complicated techniques behind the more “inspired” looks — some of us just want to try a simple change of pace. Many makeup-wearers seek a realistic everyday approach that is appropriate for both work and play.

Here’s a simple three-step process for those who’d like to start dabbling.

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1. Even out your skin tone

According to Real Simple, this first step will provide you with a neat base, appearing to remove or subdue any blemishes or deviations in your skin tone.

For a nice “on-the-spot” fix (think small blemishes or discolorations), a quick concealer job will do the trick. Elle recommends Erase Paste by Benefit Cosmetics (Sephora, $26). To skimp a few bucks off the budget, also try Elle-recommended Mineralize Concealer by M.A.C (Nordstrom, $20).

If you’d prefer an all-over boost to your face’s natural skin tone, Real Simple suggests you use foundation. Glamour says to use the Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick (Sephora, $44), which Sephora refers to as “iconic.” (Does this mean Jackie O used it?) Those of you on a tighter budget may prefer to use the same foundation technique with the Cosmo-endorsed Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Foundation Stick (Ulta, $8.99).

Apply the stick in thick but judicious lines, tracing your cheekbones, nose, and above the brows. Blend the lines into your natural skin using your fingers. This will have your skin looking even and smooth, even glowing. While evening out your skin tone may prove beneficial to conveying a more “seamless” look, it is by no means necessary. Many makeup users rarely — if ever — use these products, opting for a more natural look.

One last tip: Have a cosmetics team member help you choose a color that suits your skin. There’s nothing worse than accidentally picking a tone three times more orange than your natural glow!