Growing up, watching Mum get ready to go out was nowhere near what it’s like in the movies. Annoyingly, my mother is one of those women who can slap on some blush and call it a day, whilst still looking better than some who spend hours on their immaculate complexions.
This meant when it came to makeup I didn’t have many options as to where to seek inspiration. Thankfully, I have grown up in a world where YouTube and Instagram have become online encyclopaedias for all things beauty.
I learnt everything I know about makeup from these virtual beauty gurus, and have since worked in the beauty industry for three years; so now, the roles are reversed and Mum comes to me for advice. Over the years, this is what I have told her, and probably what your daughter would tell you too.
Eye shadow palettes offer great value and a stack of options, without the expense of buying single colors.
Beauty is more accessible and budget-friendly than ever
I’m not going to lie and say makeup shopping won’t be expensive, but a much wider variety of products is available and easily accessible than was the case even 10 years ago. It is possible to get everything while sticking to a budget at the large one-stop beauty stores.
Here is what I recommended she invest in (and not spend on unnecessarily):
Spend on a good foundation, but avoid powdery and heavy-coverage cakey styles, and instead look for a liquid formulation that promises "glow". As well spend on great makeup brushes/beauty tools: they can last you a lifetime and there really is a difference in the result between the cheapest on the market and better quality brushes.
Save on eyeshadows by avoiding single colours and sticking to palettes. One palette can give you a massive range of options when it comes to your eyes, offering a stack of combinations and blending options, minus the cost of individual colours.
Liquid lipstick is the way to go instead of traditional, solid products, as liquid styles can last all day and don't tend to smudge as much. Ditto liquid eyeliner, it is far superior to the old-style kohl pencils.
Fingers are ok, but sponges are better
Beauty sponges have swept the makeup world as the preferred way to do it all. The Beauty Blender is
the most popular with the online influencersinfluencers, but I prefer the Real Techniques Sponge. Not only is it half the price but it lasts for months. In case you don’t have a teenage girl on hand, here is a quick how to:
Pro tip: my favourite use of the beauty blender is to tone down colour when I’ve gone a bit rouge- crazy with my blush. Not only does it blend the powder into the skin, but it helps avoid any harsh lines or bright colour when I’ve gone a bit too far.
Baking isn’t just for the kitchen
If there’s one thing that is a huge trend in the beauty industry at the moment, it’s baking. It involves a technique of using powder to ensure your makeup is long-lasting and set in place. With celebrities such as Kim Kardashian swearing by the method, it has definitely become a staple in most teenagers' makeup routines. Here’s a recipe for the perfect bake:
My other advice to women in my Mum's generation who are just coming to grips with all the developments in makeup that their daughters are using is, don’t be discouraged if you have a few disasters, practice truly does make perfect.
But hopefully these tips and tricks will give you a good idea of what your daughter might have told you if you’d asked her. For more tips I'd suggest getting on Instagram or YouTube and seeking some inspiration. To start, I’d recommend @gemmakwatts on Instagram and makeup artist to the stars, Lisa Eldridge on YouTube.
Alice Neal works in a national beauty chain.
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