Where to start? New to Make-Up

 I am a beginner to make-up, what are the essential brushes I should have? Also I have sensitive, dry skin, what skin care products would you recommend? Thanks! (23 years old)

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

I use Paula's choice for my skincare since I'm super sensitive and dry due to allergies year round. The BHA liquid has cleared my blackheads immensely.


As far as brushes go- I love the Mac 217 & 239, Real Techniques face brushes (blush, powder, expert face), I love the beautyblender as well. sephoras airbrush concealer and smaller foundation brush were my holy grails until my beautyblender during my last dry spell.

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

@jettagrrl  Thank you! I really am so thankful for your reply. I wish I knew this stuff years ago!  So glad I found this Advice section. Smiley Happy

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

 I have totally slacked on my facial routine.  Wow, so wonderful of you to share all of this information. You answered all my questions!  It is refreshing to know that these products and tips actually work. Seems more believable coming from you than from a paid model/actress. Thanks a bunch for sharing! Looking forward to try these products!   @DesertRose0706

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

Not to be a broken record, but invest in a Clarisonic if you can - I have the Mia but recommend the Mia2 if you can afford it.  My skin has never looked better.  If you don't take good care of your skin, makeup will not help you.


Lush Ocean salt - it has big coarse grains of salt that I wouldn't recommend for skin as it can cause micro-tearing.  Plus with having dry sensitive skin, I would worry the cleanser would aggravate it.  I do, however, use Lush's 9 to 5 oil based cleanser to remove makeup at night (which I love).  I'd recommend going for the Sephora consultation - they can definitely help!


As for makeup brushes, you can get a starter set of Eco-brushes, or even ELF studio for a pretty decent price (make sure the ELF are the studio kind with the black handles).  They can at least get you started as you learn how to use brushes.  MAC brushes are the Cadillac of makeup brushes; however, are quite pricy.  Try to invest in these one at a time if you need to as you build up your collection.  I've had mine for 10 years and use them daily, but there is no way I could afford the essentials all at once!!  The girls at the MAC counter can help you decide which ones to purchase first (I recommend the 217 to start - see Wayne Goss's Youtube video on 10 uses for it!)


Good luck and have fun!!

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

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Now that I know more about your skin type, I have some product suggestions, as your skin sounds very similar to mine.  I am 25, have dryer skin that can get oily during the day if I use the wrong prodcts.  I also get bad breakouts if I am not diligent in my skincare routine.  Here are some products that work really well for me:


For acne specifically:


  • DDF 5% benzoyl peroxide cream with tea tree oil - i apply this to my face every night before bed and it really helps keep most of my blemishes away. i used to use the clean and clear persa gel 10 which is 10% benzoyl preoxide, but this one by DDF works soo much better! i get this from Ulta
  • Peter Thomas Roth 10% sulfur mask - i use thi s mask a couple times a week and i notice that it really helps to target deeper, cystic type acne. i got mine from sephora
  • kate somerville's eradikate acne treatment - this is a 10% sulfur spot treatment that i apply on any blemishes at night before bed. this really helps clear them up faster.



  • Korres sleeping facials (both greek yoghurt and wild rose are amazing)
  • murad hydrodynamic ultimate moisture - i will aplly either the korres or murad at night over my ddf cream
  • Josie Maran Argan oil - i use this as my moiturizer in the moirning - moisturizes my skin without causing it to get oily

Face wash:

  • I really like korres milk proteins cleanser and the clnique liquid facial soap in mild.  both clean my skin very well (i use them with my clarisonic) and they dont dry out my skin.  I have tried many lush cleansers and the first aid beauty cleanser, but the lush ones usually dont clean my skin as well and the FAB one dries my skin out


  • I really like the Murad Advacned Active RAdiance serum.  i apply this at night and in the morning, and it really makes my skin look amazing and glowy

eye creams:

  • i like the origins ginzing eyecream for in the  morning, but i havent really found an eyecream i like for nighttime.


Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

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LUSH or FIRST AID BEAUTY cleanser? Which would you recommend?









Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

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I would not recommend ocean salt! (That stuff can lead to irritation and inflammation on sensitive skin) FAB is a better cleanser for you. Check out the blogs and reviews. Make sure to really investigate the ingredients in your skincare. If you have bad acne, look at a good BHA with a low PH level. I would use your Clarisonic sparingly. My recommendations would be as follows:


MakeupRemover/Cleanser- Clinique Take the Day off Cleanser, Boscia's Clear Complexion Cleanser with Botanical Blast, Kate Sommerville's Goat Milk Cleanser. A Milk or Balm cleanser would be best for you. 


Tone- Hydrating - Claudalie's Beauty Elixir/ BHA- Clinique's Mild Clarifying Lotion AHA- Clarins Toning Lotion (Yellow Bottle) 


Moisturizer - Boscia Restorative Night Moisture Cream, Olay Pro X Deep Wrinkle Treatment, Kate Somerville's Goat Milk Creme, Murad's Time Release Retinol Concentrate for Deep Wrinkles (This is a good night one. Do not use this in the morning! Retinol does not react well in sunlight) 




Generally, I would really suggest researching what ingredients you want or don't want on your face. I would also make sure to research how to take care of your skin internally through proper diet, water intake, vitamins, etc. 

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

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Thank you for the suggestions!  I have had bad acne most of my life, I assumed it would all go away after my teen years. I was wrong! :l 

I have heard great things about Mia2, I have been researching different products for a while and have saved up for a major beauty haul.

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

Not to be redundant, but the Clarisonic Mia2 has cured me of my blackheads (as well as other skin issues).  If you can invest in one, do it!

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

It wont let me write you back on your replies. Thank you so much for all your advice, ladies! I’m going to look up the products you all suggested!

Also, I am going to go to a Sephora and start with a consultation from a pro. It sounds like it might be my holy grail!

I’ve heard about Sigma brushes and Mac brushes. Looking forward to trying them! I am quite embarrassed since I am totally clueless about all the brushes and all the products that I should be using but I am not. Right now I cleanse my skin with Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser. The only other product I use is Jergens Natural Glow Revitalizing Body Moisturizer but I use it on the face and body.


My skin is very dry. I have some acne too, but it’s getting better, my biggest problem I have nowadays, are BLACKHEADS! God I hate those little evil brats Smiley Very Happy  I have blackheads almost all over my face, especially on my cheeks, chin, forehead and nose. Do u have any tips how to get rid of these? Smiley Happy


Thanks again ladies! I appreciate your suggestions. I am definitely going to look into your recommendations. Smiley Happy

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

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First, I agree with going into Sephora for a consultation. Bring all of your questions/concerns. Make them take their time with you.  Go during the week when it is slow and they will give you all of their attention.


I would also suggest that you don't spend a ton of money on brushes if you are a beginner.  I started out with one of the sets that sephora sells (around $60 or so). They usually have these around the holidays.  As I learned more and figured out what I liked and didn't like I gradually built up my brush collection to include more expensive items.  I will also say that I love the BeautyBlender sponge for foundation application.  Which seems expensive for a sponge ($20), but much cheaper than many foundation brushes.   


My biggest advice, no matter what, is always use a face and eyeshadow primer.  There are so many options out there and really depends on your skin type.  But never ever wear makeup without primers.  A small step makes a HUGE difference!


Skin care:  1 word - Clarisonic!  no matter what your skin type, this little miracle will make your skin better. 


Last piece of advice: Do not neglect your eyebrows.  Eyebrows make such a huge difference.  Always fill in where needed.  Get them shaped.  Keep them clean.  

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

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Well, the brand of the price would depend on your price range. Might be helpful if you included it.


I would say if you are looking for a full face of makeup you should buy a blender brush for eyeshadow and a bronzer/blush brush.


If you don't apply foundation with your fingers you could get a foundation brush or a sponge. Also, if you want to use shadow as a liner (I do everyday) you should buy a little angled brush.


I can't say much about sensitive skin sorry Smiley Sad

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

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Here are some of my fav from MAC - they last forever!

168 large angled contour brush (use it for blush)

187 duo fibre face brush (use it for bronzer)

263 small angle brush (this one is smaller, I use it for gel/cream liner)

266 small angle brush (this one to create lines with eye shadows)

212 flat definer brush (same as above)

219 pencil brush (use for blending or getting color in a specific spot)

217 blending brush (to blend)

239 eye shader brush (to apply/pack on shadow)

252 large shader brush (blend and apply all over lid)


Also a big fan of this brush (Pro Airbrush from Sephora # 57):


Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

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I second the airbrush one - my mom and sister use it and love it

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

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I use the ecotools brushes and those are fantastic and well priced. 

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

I would go into a Sephora store to have a consultation about products. Be up front and honest about your needs (do you want to spend 5-10 minutes on your routine or 30? What is your budget) and they will help you make some selections. 

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up


   Brands- For beginners, I always recommend Real Techniques brushes.They have a great xmas 'Sam's Essentials Set' right now + the essentials eye kit, i think is all you need! These are both inexpensive and good quality. For eye brushes, Sigma is great. (Not a fan of their face brushes) And MAC's are my favorite overall. Sephora brand is also pretty good! I also prefer synthetic brushes FYI.  


     Face - Angled Eyeliner (Eye brows and liner setting), Blush, Contour/Bronzer, Concealer, Foundation (this can range to sponges, kabuki, fingers, whatever is your preference)

     Eye - General shadow brush, Crease, Blending, Pencil 





Skincare - Get to know your ingredients and irritants!!! In terms of products, I would start out with a Cleanser, hydrating toner, AHA or BHA Toner, Eye Cream, and Moisturizer. Caroline Hirons is possibly my idol for skincare so check out her blog. Also research your products (reviews, blogs, ect.) Paula's Choice is okay for researching, but take her reviews with a grain of salt. 

      How sensitive is your skin and are you having any skin issues at the moment?? I can better recommend products after I know that!


General - Welcome to the world of beauty sunshine! I would look around and educate yourself as much as possible! Youtube and Sephora are my favorite resources, blogs are my second (Caroline Hirons is the skincare queen) 

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

I have MAC brushes and bought them separately.  I keep buying some as I go because  I love brushes.  I think you would probably be good with 3 brushes for shadow. One for application 2 for blending.  A liner type brush for the eyes, I like an angle brush.  Powder, blush and if you want a bronzer brush.  If you don't feel comfortable with a foundation brush the beauty blender is a nice sponge for application. 


I also have dry sensitive skin.  Most of my current skin care is from The Body Deli.  They have their own website or you can check them out on saffronrouge.  You can keep it basic with day cream, night cream, eye cream and argan oil or another type of oil for the coming winter months.

Re: Where to start? New to Make-Up

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For brushes, most of the ones I like the most are from MAC:

  • MAC 116 - blush brush
  • MAC 219 - pencil brush - great for smudgin color along the upper and lower lashline
  • MAC 217 - multi use eyeshadow brush that can be used to apply color and blend - definitely a must have!


For foundation, I recently picked up the Face II brush by Marc Jacobs and I really like.  it applys liquid foundation flawlessly and quickly!


These are all pricey brushes, but are very high quality, work great, and will last you years.  I have had my MAC 190 brush (flat foundation brush) for 10 years now, and is still in great shape!  I definitely think it is worth investing in good quality brushes, if you plan to wear makeup frequently.


My other brushes are synthetic brushes from Sigma, but I dont care for them as much and am slowly converting over to MAC natural hair brushes.  Overall, I find that a dense synthetic brush is best for liquid foundation and natural hair brushes are best for everything else, like eyeshadow, blush, face powder, etc.





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