Makeup: Figuring It Out

          Walking into the merciless lands of the world of makeup can be quite overwhelming. Even when you’ve come prepared and know exactly what you want, the thousands of options might leave you stranded. What brand is right for me? What product in any given brand will best answer my needs? In what shade, colour, shape or form? Often, you end up leaving empty-handed, or worst, with a dozen products you won’t even use.

            So let’s break this down.

            First thing’s first. Skin serves as a canvas; therefore, its characteristics and needs must be assessed to better understand makeup application. Your skin most likely falls into one (or more) of these categories: oily, combination, dry or normal. Of course, every skin is unique and has particularities. That is why it is important to get to know it. For example, you may also suffer from acne, or very sensitive skin, which both require special care when picking out products. I myself have acne-prone, oily and very sensitive skin that sometimes gets dried out by the acne treatment I use. Needless to say, I am very selective with my products.

Oily Skin

             Does your skin produce oil, a lot of it? Is it everywhere, mainly in the T-zone (forehead, nose, cheeks and chin), or perhaps only on your forehead? If you have oily skin, you want to look for products that are oil-free and mattifying with pore minimizing properties. If you are also acne-prone, you also want to look for non-comedogenic products (that won’t clog your pores). If you are prone to flare-ups, irritations and reactions, be very aware of ingredients, especially harsh chemical ones.

Combination Skin

             Does your skin produce oil, but also has dry patches? Combination skin can be tricky. You need to look for products that are oil-free while still provide lightweight hydration (if you want to avoid a greasy disaster). A good option is to apply a mattifying product to the oil areas only. If a lightweight moisturizer is not enough to quench your dry patches, opt for a reparative moisturizer and apply it where it is needed. Skincare plays a big role in preparing your skin for makeup application, especially with problematic skin.

Dry Skin

              Dry skin will show various traits, which include dry patches or all over dryness, redness, sensitivity, tightness and an uneven texture. It is very important to moisturize your face before any makeup application; opt for very hydrating products like creams and oils. A primer providing extra hydration and radiance might be helpful; it’ll give your skin a healthier glow and prolong the wear of your foundation. Also, opt for liquid and cream products with hydrating, glowing, radiant and luminous properties.

Normal Skin

            If trying to figure out your skin type seems odd to you since none of these characteristics seem to apply, then you probably have normal skin. Normal skins have more freedom when it comes to finding suitable products. However, keep in mind that since normal skin don’t usually have any special needs, ultra-mattifying products or ultra-moisturizing products might be too much, and they might cause dryness or shine.  


            Every brand will offer you these different options to a certain extent. So where do you go from here? Again, hold on. Before you venture out into the world, and possibly fall victim to an eager or just plain uneducated sellers who will mislead you (sorry, but it’s a fact), do your own research. I recommend doing a little navigating through the Sephora website, which has a very helpful searching engine that makes it possible to search for products according to your specific needs. You’ll be able to narrow down different brands and different products, making it less confusing. Write your findings down if needed; I do!

            Of course, Sephora is not your only shopping outlet. Drugstore makeup brands have stepped up their game these past years and offer pretty decent products; some even better than high-end ones. An online search will lead you to plenty information and reviews on those products as well.

            Alright. So here we go. Remember to stay confident. You know you. And if you’re still not sure once you get there, you can always take a sample! Good luck, and don’t forget to have fun with it.

Thank you so much for reading! Xo

Jamie A.  

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