The Writerri small bird

Health and Beauty Articles

Back when I was a teenager (was it really ten years ago?), using the internet wasn’t really a big thing, so there’s quite a list of things that I was fairly oblivious to: social networking, youtube and of course Google. Had I had these web portals at my finger tips, I may have avoided the many mishaps that I endured; after all, cosmo only told you so much! One of the things I would have benefitted from was some online tutorials on makeup; because I got it oh so wrong - bronzer chiselled within an inch of my life on the cheeks; foundation abruptly stopped on the chin; white eye shadow out to the temples – the list really is endless!

So to combat this, I’m going to write a couple of articles on makeup so that if you’re starting out with makeup, or simply want to update your own makeup style, there’s hopefully something that everyone can take away. One of the most important elements of makeup is your preparation – you could have the most exclusive makeup kit in the world, and your efforts could be in vain if the prep isn’t done properly!

Preparation – Cleanse and Prime

“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail,” is such an appropriate quote for many things. And no more so than when we talk about make up. Applying makeup onto dirty, greasy, dull or dry skin is a recipe for disaster – it will stick to it like glue, go patchy or literally slide off!


The first stage of makeup prep is to get the skin clean and as smooth as possible – and that starts with doing a mini facial. Cleanse for your suitable skin type (milky cleanser/oil cleanser for dry skin, face wash/clay cleanser for oily skin) and remove with sponges and hot water. If the skin is dry and flaky, exfoliate with a gentle scrub (your scrub shouldn’t be too harsh if you are intending on putting make up on after). Now is the time to apply a serum (this is a commonly skipped step) as it protects the pores and will prevent the makeup seeping into them. Now apply a moisturiser, and allow drying for 5 minutes. If you feel yourself perspiring because of our hot Indian summers (HA!), stand outside for a couple of minutes – applying makeup if you are hot and flustered will ensure it will have slid south within the hour!

Note: If you don’t enjoy wearing foundation, or feel it ages you, then opt for a tinted moisturiser. This will give the skin moisture as well as a warm glow. Recommended tinted moisturisers are Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint SPF 15 (£21), Jane Iredale Dream Tint (£25) or for a smaller budget try Olay Essentials Complete Care Foundation Moisturising Cream (£9.99).


Primer is something that’s become a big thing in the last couple of years in the makeup world – you would never see a makeup artist work without one! It evens out skin tone and provides a smooth surface for your makeup to glide onto – which makes your makeup apply more even and gives it lasting power. Try to look for a silicone based primer as this fills in any unwanted crevices - I’d recommend NARS Light optimising primer SPF 15 (£25), Smashbox photo finish primer (£25) or for a lighter primer try Laura Mercier foundation primer (£19).


Always make sure you apply your foundation in natural light, as it can either be applied too thick, thin or unevenly in dim lighting. Choose the relevant foundation from the list below, and apply using a brush, sponge or fingers. Once it’s applied, leave to dry for 5 minutes (unless you have used powder foundation).

Oily/acne skin

1. Chanel Perfection Lumiere £36 (has a matte finish)

2. Estee Lauder Double wear £28 (excellent coverage)

3. Clarins Ever Matte Skin Balancing £27


You want to go for something moisturising if you have mature skin, as if the finish is too dry it can look obvious on the skin.

1. Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua £33 (very moisturising)

2. Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich £30

3. Clinique Super Moisture £22


I’d opt for mineral make up if you have clear, unblemished skin. However I tend to find there isn’t enough coverage if you need spots or dark circles covered up with this type of makeup. Please note you will need to purchase the same-brand primer to compliment the mineral powder.

1. bareMinerals original foundation (powder) £25

2. Bobbi Brown skin foundation mineral make up (powder) £28

3. Mac mineralize moisture foundation (liquid) £27


Next apply a concealer on areas that need extra coverage; usually under the eyes, around the nose and over blemishes. Blend this thoroughly and leave to dry. My top rated concealers are:

1. Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer £21

2. Lancome Teint Miracle Concealer £26

3. Mac Pro Longwear Concealer £15.50


You are now ready to make your skin look bright and alive! If you are feeling fatigued or if your skin is generally looking dull, then grab a highlighter. They boost your complexion, accentuate your best features and can even camouflage aging skin. Dab your chosen highlighter at the top of the cheek bone, above the eyebrow, underneath the eyebrow and just above the lip. My top rated highlighters:

1. YSL Touche Eclat £25

2. Benefit Sun Beam £19.50

3. Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Cool Radiance Highlighter £25 (limited edition, grab it!)

Finishing powder

Now you’re ready to finish your makeup base off with some powder to set it all, ready for your contouring, blusher, eyes and lips (but we’ll leave that till another day!) Powder is essential after using liquid products as it sets your makeup and creates a shine-free, even finish. You shouldn’t need to use powder if you have used a powder foundation. Apply your powder using a flat brush (NOT a sponge) all over the face, neck and over the eyes. My top rated powders are:

1. Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Powder £35 (or £10 less if you order a refill like I do!)

2. NARS light reflecting setting powder £25

3. Dior Forever Pressed Powder £32.50

I know it all sounds a bit alarming, the cost of these products – but treating yourself to one quality makeup product once a month will soon build up your kit.

Remember that your base is one of the most important elements of makeup – it transforms the skin from dull to bright, blotchy to even and ultimately makes you feel like a better version of yourself!


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