Basics for a Newbie

 I am a makeup newbie and I was wondering what are some basics I should start with. I've played around with eyeshadows every now and then, but thats as far as it goes.  I would love to be able to pull off a look that does not look overdone, especially for every day.  My Sephora Beauty Profile is black/dark brown hair, dark brown eyes, dark complexion and oily/combination skin. Any tips or advice will be greatly appreciated! Smiley Wink

Answers: 6

If you want to add to your eyeshadow collection I've recommended some great combination sets and below so you can play around with your complexion (face, eyes and lips):


Too Faced Look of Love Set:


This set includes everything you need to start playing around with makeup. 


 A mascara that helps to lengthen and volumize your lashes.


The Shadow Insurance, an eyeshadow primer, used as a base before applying your eyeshadow.  Using the primer will result in a longer lasting and intensified pigment of your shadow.


Look of Love Trio which includes a blush and two eyeshadows that will give you a natural eye.


Glamour Gloss in Barely Legal, a pink nude lip gloss *my personal fave*


and a brush to apply the blush.




Tarte Amazonian Clay Discovery Set:


This set contains:
- 0.05 oz emphasEYES™ Amazonian Clay Shadow Stick in Bronze (bronze sheen) - Can be used either as an eyeshadow or a bronzer by applying a little circle on both cheeks then blending with your fingers or a kabuki or powder brush.

- 0.1 oz Lights, Camera, Lashes! Clinically-Proven Natural Mascara in Black

- 0.2 oz Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Adored (shimmering light pink)

- 0.07 oz Smooth Operator™ Micronized Clay Finishing Powder (translucent) - Powder will help keep your skin fresh throughout the day and also gives you skincare benefits balancing your skin and helping with your oily/ combination skin type.

- 0.08 oz emphasEYES™ Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Black (matte black)

- Zip Pouch

Hope this would give you an idea of where to start!


The other posts gave you some great info on skincare products.  I wanted to add a few tips about choosing the right colors for your eye, hair and skin colors.

To make your brown eyes really stand out, wear an eyeshadow that’s the opposite of your eye shade on the color spectrum.  Brown eyes should be lined with a brown liner, not black—it’s softer yet still dramatic.  Brown eyes can wear almost any combination of colors.  However, some of the best shades for brown eyes are:

  • cream / eggshell
  • dark brown
  • plum
  • warm gold
  • deep blue
  • forest green
  • deep grey

Urban Decay Eyeshadow is one of my favorite eyeshadows and it comes in the colors I listed above and many more which you can find at:

Here are a few tips to help you when selecting blush:

Warm complexions look best in yellow-based blush shades like peach and terracotta.  Cool undertones are flattered by blue-based pinks and berries.

To find your perfect cheek color, go to a store that sells paint and has paint samples and pick colors that you think could work as a blush.  Hold the samples up to your face in front of a mirror in natural light and you’ll see instantly what brightens your complexion versus what makes it look sallow or gray.

A universally flattering color for all skin tones is a light pink such as Make Up For Ever “Powder Blush” in the shade “Candy Pink 85” which you can find at

Choosing the lipstick color that suits you best can make all the difference in whether your makeup makes you look overdone and washed out or radiant.  My well-worn beauty book gives the following guidelines to follow when choosing a lip color:


  • Determine whether you have fair skin tone, medium skin tone, olive skin tone or dark (brown or black) skin tone.
  • Use your skin tone to determine which shade of lipstick will look best on you.
  • If you have fair skin, choose deep plum and wine reds with a blue undertone, light browns or beige with a pink undertone, or light shiny pinks with blue undertones.
  • If you have medium skin tone, choose deep browns, deep reds with blue undertones, warm reds, medium browns with pink or yellow undertones, deep, rich pinks, and pinks with brown undertones.
  • Choose deep and rich browns with reddish or mahogany undertones, dark berry shades, and rich and dark pinks with yellow undertones if you have yellowish or olive skin tones.
  • Choose dark reds with blue undertones, deep plums, any shade of brown, soft sheer pinks and beige shades, and deep berry shades if you have a dark skin tone.
  • Wear lighter and glossier shades if you have thinner lips, as they generally make thin lips appear fuller. Dark lipsticks will make your thin, small lips even thinner and smaller.
  • Wear darker, matte lipsticks if you have very full lips.
  • Wear deeper, darker or bolder lipstick colors and shades with light eye makeup.
  • Wear a lighter or more neutral lip color to complement heavier eye makeup.
  • Wear lighter and more neutral colors of lipstick with a matte or cream finish during the day (at work, for example), and save your darker, glossier and more dramatic colors for a night on the town.

Beauty Talk's home page has some great video tutorials, especially the one called "no makeup" makeup look.  You can watch these tutorials at:

I hope this helps you.  Smiley Happy


There are many tutorials on YouTube and the Beauty Talk homepage has an excellent one on the "No Makeup" look that will show you how to put on your makeup so it looks natural (not cakey or fake). Islandqt, Bengee and Btmod 1 all gave you excellent product suggestions to use with the videos, so have fun!


well before you get started with a make-up look, you have to get a good skin-care regimen going. make-up looks best on skin that is well-cared for!

That being said, this is my day make-up routine:


Moisturize: Any oil-free SPF lotion of your choice. I personally like Clinique's sheer city block since it doubles as a primer :

Then I go in with the powder foundaiton of my choice, either Bare Minerals or Clinique's Superpowder foundation:

Then I go in with a pretty glowy blush like MAC's Coygirl or Peaches.

Eyeshadow I like to keep either light or neutral. The Smashbox in-bloom palette looks great for day/.work/school but I've never swatched it:

Mascara I like to keep a little more on the natural side. I like to save the drama for night time.

For day I like MAC Pro longlash, Rimmel Sexy Curves or maybelline great lash in blackest black.

During the say I'm most concerned with SPF protection so I apply a lip balm first (like chapstick or carmex with SPF 15) and that layer a nice hydrating lipstick on top in a semi-sheer formula:


Hope that helps!



Always start with skincare. I would suggest maybe trying Boscia. Boscia is great all natural brand that I personally enjoy. 


Give the Oil-Free Must Haves kit a try. It's an $82 value, but costs $36! By buying a kit, you can consider this a test run. You don't have to get too invested in one particular line without trying it out first.


As far as color is concerned, I would recommend checking out the limited edition NARS kits at Sephora right now. They are packed with great products and are a great value! I personally enjoy the Fashion Icon set. It's a $78 value for only $59.



If you're not comfortable shopping by yourself, take a trip to your nearest Sephora location and ask about an Express Service. Someone will be very happy to assist you with any questions you may have. They will also be able to teach you how to apply your makeup and skin care.


Best of luck!

Smiley Happy

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Honestly, don't be afraid to make "mistakes", I learned how to do makeup by watching music videos on mtv in the morning was terrible..then I moved on to this one makeup look I stole from Jessica Simpson in the Dukes of Hazzard..and it was pretty...but I did it every single day everyday...raspberry lipgloss with an orange sweater haha. Jennifer Lopez is my big inspiration in makeup, pick someone similar to your looks and skintone to catch tips from...she was it for me. Anyways, I always find myself at makeup counters getting my makeup done since it's fun and they love to do it. You just have to learn your face and what works for you, and it sure is fun in the process... my products I recommend to you, I will list them, but don't feel like you need to buy them all at once since makeup is so expensive, but collectively buying them is a great solution! It's what I do and now I have too much makeup =)


1. Makeup Forever HD Foundation

2. Bare Escuentals Bare Minerals Mineral Foundation

3. Nars Powder Foundation

4. Sephora Blush me Mono in Corail Frisson

5. Nars Blush in Taj Mahal ( gorgeous on your skintone)

6. MAC lipstick in Hug Me

7. Sephora Volumizing Mascara

8. Philosophy Lip Shine in Coconut

9. Sephora Eyeshadow Quad in Cocktail on the Beach

10. Benefit Beautiful Eyes Contouring Eye kit ( simple brown smokey eye)

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