Full Face Makeover: 13 Beginner Makeup Tutorial Tips

Portrait of young woman with perfect skin beautiful smile and natural make up

Key Points

  • This full face makeup tutorial for beginners includes all you need to achieve your personal beauty goals.

  • Learn what products are best for various needs and skin types.

  • Discover various tools to achieve your desired looks.

  • Steal expert tips on products and applications.

Experimenting with makeup for the first time –or even the 101st time — is exciting, but there's no guarantee it will look perfect. Makeup is challenging, especially if you have no idea what a basic makeup routine looks like. A makeup routine is unique and depends on your skin type, skin needs, the products you use, and the finish you want to achieve.

If you don’t know where to start, use the following full face makeup tutorial for beginners which breaks a standard routine into 13 easy steps, some of which you can omit or skip if they don't suit your needs.

What Do You Need For a Full Face of Makeup?

A full face makeup look often involves using beauty products to achieve a flawless-looking complexion; that means a face with no visible skin imperfections. Depending on your skin type, needs, and makeup goals, you may need a few or several cosmetic products and tools.

A full face makeup look may include some of the basics in the list below, which are meant to enhance all of your natural features. 

Step 1: Start With a Clean Face

Make sure to always start with a clean face before applying makeup. Washing your face before applying your first makeup product helps cleanse your skin from bacteria, dirt, excess oil, and other surface skin impurities.

The next step is to moisturize and apply sunscreen before starting your makeover. Keeping your face clean and hydrated helps keep your skin looking healthy; these are important steps in basic skincare.

Beginning with your morning skincare routine will help prep your face for makeup. It will help cleanse your face from pore-clogging culprits like the buildup of dead skin cells and dirt. You wouldn't want to apply makeup onto dry, dirty skin, right? Your skincare products allow for a smoother makeup application and a flawless-looking complexion.

Woman applies face wash to face

Step 2: Choose and Apply Primer

Primers create a smooth makeup application on the face, help your makeup last longer, and prevent products from sinking into your pores. 

There are many different types of primers, but not all work for everyone. To create a more beautiful, long-lasting appearance, choose a primer suitable for your skin type that helps hide your skin issues. Primers typically help conceal or blur large pores, rough texture, excess shine, fine lines, and other skin imperfections. 

Step 3: Choose and Apply Foundation (Optional)

Even the foundation you choose should cater to your skin type. If you have oily skin, invest in a matte foundation that helps achieve a shine-free complexion. If your skin is on the drier side, opt for a dewy foundation to achieve a glowy, radiant look. 

There are liquids, powders, water-based, creams, sticks, minerals, whipped, and many more foundations to choose from. If you’re a beginner, start with a powder foundation because they are easier to apply than other foundation types. 

The next step is choosing the right foundation color, which is no easy task — especially if you’ve never worn makeup. One of the best ways to find your color match is by determining your undertones. Skin undertone is the unchanging color beneath your skin’s exterior surface. The three common undertones are warm, cool, and neutral. 

If you have green-colored veins, you probably have warm undertones. If your veins are purple or blue, you probably have cool undertones. You likely have neutral undertones if your veins match your skin color or appear colorless.

Although not as common, there are olive undertones too. They are a combination of warm and neutral undertones along with greenish hues. Certain warm, neutral, and cool hues may match olive skin. You might have an olive undertone if your skin looks more gray or ashen. 

If you have warm undertones, peach, golden, and yellow hues shades may look best on your skin. Opt for beige, gold, or slightly yellow foundations for warmer tones. If you have cool undertones, look for a slightly pink foundation. If you have neutral undertones, opt for a mix of not-too-yellow and pink colors, such as peach. 

Woman applies concealer to cheeks

If you’ve never bought a makeup foundation bottle, test it out in person at a beauty store. Most shops let you test the foundations, allowing you to find the perfect shade for your skin. If you purchase it online, you run the risk of buying a foundation color that does not match your undertones. 

Some makeup brands might not provide the right foundation color you expect when shopping for the product online. In other words, the shade you receive might look different from the color shown on the beauty company’s website. Thus, shopping for a foundation in person is preferred. 

A final tip on color-matching: Try to get a lighter color than the shade that exactly matches your skin, as your makeup may oxidize throughout the day. When makeup oxidizes, it darkens or turns orange because it mixes with your skin’s oils and reacts to the oxygen in the air. 

What is the Difference Between Sheer, Medium, and Full Coverage?

When picking a foundation, consider whether you prefer light, medium, or full coverage. A light or sheer foundation evens out skin tone, hides some blemishes and discoloration, and may provide a no-makeup effect, but it will not cover every skin imperfection. A medium foundation covers more blemishes, whereas a full foundation is thicker and aims to cover everything.

As a beginner, opting for light coverage allows you to see how the foundation feels on your face. You can always add more coverage as needed.

How To Apply Foundation

To apply foundation, use a beauty blender, sponge, or buffing brush to smoothly distribute and blend the foundation into your skin.

Apply foundation using clean fingers; however, this method might not work with all types of foundations, like those in powder forms. Use your fingers if you opt for a liquid or cream foundation. Using your fingers to apply foundation helps achieve a more skin-like finish, as it allows you to tap the product directly onto your blemishes and melt the product onto your skin. Finger application will not leave prints as some makeup brushes or tools do. 

Make sure to tap and pat instead of rubbing when applying foundation onto your face with your fingers. For this makeup application, try using your ring finger, as it provides the least amount of pressure than your other fingers. 

Start by gently applying small amounts of foundation onto your skin, and add more if needed. As you add more, try filling in the spots that didn’t get enough coverage during the first application. Using this technique keeps you from going overboard with the foundation, especially if you are striving for a sheer look. 

Though it may sound counterintuitive, you don’t have to put foundation all over your face. The most important places to apply are areas with blemishes, redness, discoloration, or other zones of concern. Blend it onto your face until you achieve an even skin tone and texture. Add a little bit of foundation to your ears, jawline, and neck, as you want those areas to match your face.  

If you do not like how the foundation feels or looks on your skin, skip it. You don’t have to apply foundation if you don’t want to, especially if you want to embrace your natural skin tone and texture. If you have clear skin, there’s no need to include foundation in your routine. 

Step 4: Concealer

Concealers help provide a well-rested appearance, making you look more awake. Concealers help hide more skin imperfections or areas of concern that your foundation might not mask. In other words, only use concealer on certain spots that need more coverage, such as redness or discoloration around the eyes. 

These camouflaging products help brighten the skin under your eyes while concealing dark circles and shadows. To choose the right concealer, get to know your natural skin tone. Then pick an option that is about one or two shades lighter than your skin tone or foundation color. 

How To Apply Concealer 

Choosing the right tools to apply your concealer comes down to your preference. Blend your concealer by gently pressing it down or tapping it onto your skin with a beauty blender or your ring finger. 

A brush might not effectively reach or blend the concealer onto the outer or inside corners of your eyes as well as the areas near your lashes. There are brushes specifically designed for those hard-to-reach areas around your eyes. Test and try tools to find the ones you prefer or work best to blend concealer successfully onto your skin. 

Try not to go overboard with the concealer, especially under the eye area. The skin under your eyes is thin, so it doesn’t need as much product as the thicker skin areas of your face. Applying too much concealer to the eyelids may lead to a cakey appearance. 

Step 5: Let Foundation Dry and Apply Powder If Needed

If you apply a liquid foundation and concealer, let them dry for a few minutes to allow the products to set. 

As mentioned before, your makeup products should suit your skin goals. If your skin tends to get oily or you have combination skin, you may want to apply powder on top of your foundation. Setting your makeup with powder will prevent excess shine and increase the longevity of your look. The powder will also help you achieve a matte finish. 

How To Apply Powder  

Dip the makeup brush into the product and tap the brush on the sides of the container to remove excess powder. Try applying powder on the areas that tend to get oily throughout the day.  For instance, if you have combination skin, you probably have an oily T-zone. If so, you may want to focus on the forehead, nose, and chin areas to avoid your face from getting greasy throughout the day. 

You don’t have to apply powder all over your face — especially if you want your makeup to look as natural as possible. In other words, you may want to use it as a spot treatment just like concealer, applying it only on the necessary parts of your face.

If you have dry skin, you may skip the setting powder. 

Woman holds blush brush to apply makeup

Step 6: Apply Blush and/or Bronzer

Not everyone applies brush or bronzer. Some prefer to only use blush and skip the bronzer or vice versa. To avoid a flat complexion, bronzer adds warmth, color, dimension, and a glow to your face. People also use it to make their face appear tan or sun-kissed. 

Blush adds color to your cheeks and brightens your complexion, making your face look more alive and youthful. 

How To Apply Bronzer

Bronzer is typically applied to the forehead, cheeks, sides of the nose, and chin. Move a big, fluffy brush on your face starting on your forehead, and working your way down to your cheekbones and along your jawline. Try not to overdo it with the bronzer to avoid an orangey or unnatural look. 

How To Apply Blush 

To add a flush of color to your face, lightly apply blush on the apples of your cheeks and blend it back toward your ears. 

Step 7: Highlighter (Optional)

Highlighter further accentuates certain features. It reflects light, mimicking the way the light from the sun naturally shines on your face. The sunlight effect of highlighters helps contrast the light and dark areas of your face. Higher facial contrast exudes a healthier, more attractive appearance.

How To Apply Highlighter  

First, choose a highlighter that matches your skin tone and is safe for your skin type. Use a powder highlighter for oily skin and a liquid or cream highlighter for dry skin. 

Depending on the type of highlighter, use a brush or your fingers. If you use a highlighter stick, you should be able to easily glide the product onto your skin. Areas to apply this product include the top of your cheekbones, your temples, your cupid’s bow, the bridge of the nose, under the eyes, on the forehead, on the inner eye corners, on the brow bone, and the center of the chin and eyelids.

If you don’t want to add more glow to your skin, skip the highlighter — especially if you opt for a shimmery blush.  

Step 8: Fill In or Seal Your Eyebrows

Eyebrows come in all different sizes and shapes. Your eyebrows frame your eyes and may dramatically alter the appearance of your face for better or for worse.

Depending on your brow shape or length, you might need to fill in your brows to make them look fuller or thicker. You may also try brushing them upward to create neatly shaped brows. 

How To Apply Eyebrow Makeup

With a spoolie or brow brush, brush your eyebrow hairs upwards. If you have thin or short eyebrows, try filling them in with brow powder, brow pomade, or a brow pencil to mimic natural brow hair.

If you have thick eyebrows, use a brow gel to neatly stick your eyebrow hairs together and keep them in place throughout the day. Your eyebrows should begin at the sides or bridge of your nose and extend to the outer corner of your eyes. 

Woman applies eye shadow

Step 9: Apply Eyeshadow 

Eyeshadow adds definition and helps your eyes stand out, making them look more appealing. If you’re a beginner, start with a neutral eyeshadow palette.

A neutral eyeshadow is best for a basic, natural makeup look. Neutral eyeshadow palettes include shades like beige, taupe, gold, brown, cream, bronze, and champagne hues. Some eyeshadow colors come with matte, shimmer, or metallic finishes.  

Once you're feeling more confident, pick bold, bright shades to match your natural looks or your outfit of the day!

How To Apply Eyeshadow 

To begin, apply eye primer to help your eyeshadow stay in place. Another option is to use your concealer as a primer for your eyelids. There are many techniques or ways of applying eyeshadow colors. Choose three different shades from your color palette. One shade should be light, one medium, and one dark.

For easy and effective application, you may need to use more than one brush. To best apply eyeshadow you'll need a flat brush and a blending brush.

With a flat brush, apply the lightest shade on your eyelid. Apply the medium-toned shade to the creases of your eyes or place it above the crease. Try placing the dark color on the outer corners of your eyes. If you have monolids, try creating creases above your eyelids with a darker eyeshadow. Finally, blend the shadows with a blending brush.

Here’s a quick video tutorial on this eyeshadow technique. 

Step 10: Apply Eyeliner 

If you want to further highlight or accentuate the shape of your eyes, apply eyeliner to your upper and lower lash lines. 

How To Apply Eyeliner

To apply eyeliner, start in the middle of your upper lash line and work your way toward the outer edge of your eye with small, light strokes. Then start from the middle again and move towards the opposite direction until you reach the inner corner of your eye.

You’ll find this video tutorial useful. 

Woman applies lipstick

Step 11: Curl Eyelashes (Optional) and Apply Mascara 

Curling is one simple thing you can do to enhance your eyelashes. Curling your lashes makes them look longer which makes your eyes look bigger, brighter, and more open. If you want to further highlight your eyes, add mascara to volumize and darken your lashes. 

How To Curl Eyelashes 

Curl your eyelashes with an eyelash curler. Open the curler and place it at the roots of your upper lashes. While keeping your eyes open, gently squeeze the curler for a few seconds without pinching your skin or pulling on your eyelashes. To prevent lashes from falling out, don’t squeeze too hard!

How To Apply Mascara 

After curling your lashes, use a wand to coat them with mascara. Slowly wiggle the mascara wand from the base to the tip of your lashes in a back-and-forth motion. 

Step 12: Enhance Your Natural Lip Color

Complete your makeup look with a lip product of your choice. There are many options to choose from, including lip balm, lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner, and other lip products. If you’re going for a natural look, pick a shade that resembles your natural lip color. 

How To Apply Your Lip Products

If you opt for a lip balm or Vaseline, make sure to first wet your lips with tap water. A good lip balm will lock in the moisture.

There are multiple ways to apply lipstick. Use your fingers and tap the product directly onto your lips, or just glide the product across your lips.

Here are three easy techniques you can follow to get the most out of your lipstick. 

Step 13: Seal Your Makeup Look With Setting Spray

If you want to make sure that your look lasts for hours, a setting spray will keep your makeup fresh and in place all day. Many long-lasting setting spray options offer sweat-proof, water-proof, tear-proof, smudge-proof, or a combination of these formulas. 

How To Apply Setting Spray

To seal your makeup, place the setting spray bottle about 8 to 10 inches from your face, or follow the recommended length listed on your setting spray bottle. In a zig-zag motion, spray the product over your face and let it dry. Make sure to keep your eyes closed as you apply the spray!

Full Face Makeup Video Tutorial For Beginners 

If written guides aren’t your thing and you’re a visual learner, several video tutorials break down each step for you.

Here is a video makeup tutorial by a professional makeup artist that explains most of the steps in this guide.  

Woman with complete makeup, nails, and hair

How To Find the Right Beauty Products 

There are so many makeup brands to explore. If you’re a rookie, purchase a basic makeup kit. Some of the best makeup kits are those by SHANY Cosmetics which are among the best sellers on Amazon.

It’s up to you to discover which brands you prefer. One of the best ways to discover what products are worthy and suitable for your skin is to research and read reviews about the products you are interested in purchasing. 

Finding the right makeup products may take some trial and error. You might not find the perfect beauty products for your skin right away. Always try out new foundations, concealers, primers, etc. if the ones you are using are not working for you.

Gear Up for Your Makeup Adventure!

While this article discusses some of the ways to apply your makeup products, you don’t have to use all of them. There are several other makeup techniques and routines out there that you can play with to achieve the look you are striving for. 

There are no set rules when it comes to beautifying your appearance. As a beginner, practice how to look and feel your best with makeup techniques and tips you’ll learn along the way. Use this guide as a starting point for your makeup adventures!

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