A Beginner’s Guide To Makeup Do’s and Dont’s

Makeup Do’s and Don’ts

Looking to enhance your makeup skills? Our beginner’s guide to makeup do’s and don’ts has you covered with some great, simple makeup tips! Learn these essential tips and tricks for creating good looks while avoiding common mistakes. From skincare prep to choosing the right lipstick shade, this guide will help you feel confident and beautiful in your makeup routine.

Makeup offers a fun and beautiful way to express yourself, but none of us were born knowing how to put makeup on. If you’re a beginner the whole prospect of “doing your makeup” probably feels intimidating.

Are you struggling with where to start? Do you need help choosing the right makeup for your skin tone and type? Would you like to know how to correctly apply makeup so that it flatters your features?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, this guide is for you. Below, we’ve listed beginner-friendly tips that are guaranteed to improve your makeup application.

Here are 10 additional makeup do’s and don’ts.  Click Here

Makeup Don’ts

Don’t Buy a Lot of Products

When you’re a makeup beginner, the last thing you need to do is go out and invest in a huge assortment of products. It’s quite easy to spend hundreds of dollars on makeup, and then be miserable with everything you’ve purchased. Same for tools. There’s not need to run out and buy every cool looking tool ranging from Sponges to an eyelash curler. Later, you will add tools you need as you discover a real need for them.

What you need instead is a simple kit for everyday makeup.

Instead of buying everything from eyelash primer to finishing spray, start with the basics.

Every beginner makeup kit starts with a mascara and a lipstick, or 3. ((I like 3 lipsticks as a good round number. I can have a “my lips but better”, a “brighter color” and a ” WOW Color”.

Next, add a good moisturizer.

As you get more comfortable with applying makeup, increase your selection of lipstick colors, and venture into eyeshadows, blushes, foundations, and more. But when you’re a true beginner, start off with two products that you love and expand from there.

Don’t Apply Makeup to a Dirty Face

Applying makeup to a dirty face is asking for serious skin problems. In fact, breakouts and acne will not hold off.

Never apply cosmetics on top of other cosmetics that have been sitting on your face for hours. The one exception to this rule is lipstick.

You can easily reapply lipstick or gloss. It’s works better though if you at least give your lipsticks a quick clean first. This could be as simple as dipping a napkin in water and wiping your lips.

However, when it comes to foundations or powders, try to clean off what you’re currently wearing first and give your pores a chance to breathe.

Don’t Use Dirty Brushes to Apply Your Makeup

Makeup Do’s and Don’ts

Of all the great makeup ideas, this one is easily overlooked.

It’s easy to neglect makeup brushes. Unless you schedule a time each week to clean them, you’ll never even think about your makeup brushes until it’s time to apply your products.

But, using dirty makeup brushes can introduce bacteria to your skin. Eww. Instead of taking the risk, set aside time on the weekend to wash your brushes.

To clean your brushes, fill a small bowl with warm water and a couple of squirts of your shampoo. Next, gently submerge and swirl your brush in the soapy water. You can also loosen dried-on makeup with your fingers. Then, rinse the brush under warm water and lay on a clean towel to dry.

In addition, makeup brushes are among the chief makeup supplies for beginners. So it’s okay to have multiples of the same type of brush. They can then be invidious stages of use and cleaning cycles. Brushes aren’t too expensive, and a “beginner makeup must have”. Don’t feel like you need to skimp here. Quality middle of the road brushes are best.

Don’t Skip Your Eyebrows

Eyebrows are an important part of your face but often overlooked. When done well and intentionally, your brows will perfectly frame your face. If you have the time (make the time, if you don’t) fill in your brows. You can use a matte eyeshadow to fill in the sparse areas of your brows.

Don’t go too dark, though! It can create an unwanted cartoon villain effect. Go for a subtle color that’s the same shade as your brows or maybe a shade lighter. If your brows are a very light shade of blonde, you can go darker to define them more.

Don’t Create Fake Brows

While you shouldn’t skip your brows, you definitely don’t want to draw on dramatic fake brows. Huge, drawn on brows come across like furry caterpillars. It’s never a good look.

Instead, work with the eyebrows that you have and just focus on making them a little more defined, especially if you’re wearing foundation. (Foundation can “wash out” eyebrows.)

Don’t Sleep in Your Makeup

At the end of the day, when you’re exhausted and can barely motivate yourself off of the couch, it can be pretty tempting to simply fall asleep in your makeup. But resist the temptation. Not only can sleeping in makeup clog pores, it can actually make them bigger!

Makeup can stretch pores while settling into them. Sleeping with makeup on your skin can also dry it out because your skin doesn’t have the ability to rebalance itself.

Don’t Pump Your Mascara

Pumping the mascara wand is a common trick that’s thought to get more mascara out of the container. However, it’s an all-around bad idea.

Pumping your mascara wand can introduce bacteria into the mascara container. It also causes the mascara to dry out faster.

And also, pumping can lead to clumpy application.

Instead, if you’d like more mascara on your wand, swirl the wand gently in the container. And remember, mascara expires after three months.

Makeup Do’s

Do Create a Signature Look

Makeup Do’s and Don’ts

This is why makeup is fun, you can totally create your own signature look.

And look, applying your makeup shouldn’t take hours of your time, especially when you’re a beginner. Your first signature look should be simple. Use basic makeup comprised of the beginner makeup must haves: Eye Liner, Mascara, Blush, Lipstick.

To build your confidence, start by creating a simple but signature look that you can wear everywhere. To create a this look, use the following simple makeup tips:

Focus on your face, eyes, lips, and cheeks.

Face – To find the right shade of foundation, match the color with your chest. You can also opt for a tinted moisturizer.
Eyes – Pair eyeliner with mascara for well-defined eyes. Don’t forget to fill in those brows!
Lips – Choose a lipstick that flatters your skin tone. For a signature look, go for a bold red lip that’s timeless. For an everyday shade though, look closely in the mirror at your real lip color. Choose a lipstick that is similar to this color for an easy, and good looking “go-to” shade of lipstick.
Cheeks – Apply blush to bring color back to your face (this is especially useful if foundation makes your entire face look monotone).

The Five-Minute Face: 10 Tips to Speed Up Your Makeup Routine

This information is brought to you by

A hypoallergenic color cosmetics brand that specializes in lips, eyes and cheeks.

Do Apply Makeup in a Natural Light

Whenever possible, apply your makeup in natural light. This gives you the best judgment of what your makeup will look like once you leave home. Set up your makeup station near a window if you can.

If you don’t have access to natural light, do the next best thing: Invest in a magnifying mirror. A vanity mirror with at least 5x the magnification can help you see flaws that you may not see under a shadow-casting bathroom light.

Do Buy Cruelty-Free, Non-Toxic Cosmetics

Did you know that the average woman wears over 500 synthetic chemicals every day? Whenever possible, buy cruelty-free, non-toxic beauty products. You owe it to your skin and the planet to be as responsible as possible with your purchases.

Do Apply Concealer After Foundation

When you have dark circles under your eyes, minor blemishes, or redness, a concealer is your best friend. However, a common rookie mistake is to apply concealer first before applying foundation. That’s not the most effective strategy, however. When you apply foundation first, it can actually cancel out a lot of the unevenness or discoloration in your skin. Then, you can top it off with a little bit of concealer to ensure full coverage. Doing it in this order can save more of your concealer, too.

Do Blend Your Eye Shadows

If you choose to wear multiple eye shadows on your lids, be sure to blend! Having severe lines where one color stops is a no-no. Instead, grab a brush and blend the colors together to create a smoother transition.

Do Pay Attention to Your Skin

Over the course of your life, your skin often changes. Make sure that you’re paying attention to any changes in your skin, including rashes, breakouts, itchiness, or redness. These can point to possible allergies or even gluten sensitivities.

Are You Allergic to Your Makeup? Here’s How to Tell

Do Use a Primer

A makeup primer is a base that you use under your makeup. It creates a smoother surface for your makeup and also helps to moisturize the skin underneath. Primer also helps your makeup last longer.

There are several types of primers, but for a beginner, you can start with the basics:

Do Follow The Right Makeup Artists

I’m a mere mortal. Some makeup artists are so spectacular I could almost cry. However, many of the idea you may find around on the web aren’t very practical for daily life.

For more reasonable to looks to yearn towards, I like to look at the work of good bridal makeup artists. These are always such solids makeup looks that need to hold up to a full day, and keep looking good.

Here’s a great makeup artist portfolio to give you an idea of what I mean. https://www.bridemakeup.com/bridal

Additional Resources

Makeup Definitions For Beginners

Makeup beginners are hit with a lot of new terms! As you begin your makeup journey, this handy reference will help any makeup newbies.

  • Skin Tone – Used to describe the range of values of the natural color of skin.
  • Skin Type – Used to describe the range of values from dry to very oily with regards to skin. Ie: Dry Skin or Oily Skin
  • Lip Gloss – A liquid/semi-gel lip color product applied from a tube with a soft wand. Lip gloss shades and finishes vary widely.
  • Lip Stick – A primary lip color makeup. A creamy stick formed to fit the lips. Made in many shades, hues, depths and finishes.
  • Liquid Lipstick – A term used to describe thick, highly pigmented lip gloss.
  • Eye Brush – A general term for any brush used in the application of eye shadow.
  • Foundation Brush – A medium round brush used to apply, blend and smooth foundation or base.
  • Blush Brush – A larger round fluffy brush with an angle to its bristles. Used specifically to apply and blend blush to the cheeks for a natural appearance.
  • Smudge Brush – An Eye Shadow Brush. A tightly packed, small headed brush used to smudge or blend two eye shadow colors into a smooth gradient.
  • Concealer Brush – A small roundish or flat makeup brush used for blending concealer products. Used to cover skin blemishes, uneven skin color, blotches or dark spots.
  • Makeup Sponge – A soft foamy like device used for evenly spreading makeup products such as Foundation, or Cream Blush.
  • Makeup Routine – A general term describing a persons complete makeup from start to finish
  • Base – Another term for Foundation. ( see below) Although some use this term to refer to a makeup primer.
  • Foundation – A large, general term for makeup products for the whole face or cheeks. Can be liquid, powder or cream. Generally used early in a whole face application.
  • Lash Line – The imaginary lines just outside but along the same curve as your eye lashes.
  • Upper Lash Line – Regarding Eye Liner and Mascara: The line just outside of the lashes on your upper eye lid.
  • Lower Lash Line – Regarding Eye Liner and Mascara: The line just outside of the lashes on your lower eye lid.
  • Water Line – Regarding Eye Liner and Mascara: The line just INSIDE of the lashes on your lower or upper eye lid. 
  • Apples Of Your Cheeks – The top most round of your cheeks, usually at or just above the cheekbone. Makeup can move the appearance of the apples of your cheeks to a slightly different location on your face, if desired. 
  • Cream Blush – A makeup intended to color the cheeks. Looks like a powder but when touched behaves more like a cream.
  • Lip Balm – Generally a lip treatment designed to help moisturize lips – usually colorless.
  • Natural Lip Line – Where the edge of your lip meets your face before makeup has been applied.
  • Lip Liner – Generally a cosmetic pencil used to outline, or shape, the lips. Can be used to completely fill in the lips.
  • Lip Color – Meaning the finished color of the lips after applying makeup.
  • Neutral Eye Shadow – Eye Shadow looks that are very earth tone or skin toned. Without flashy color.
  • Outer Corner – Regarding Eyeshadow: The corner of your eye that is furtherest from your nose.
  • Inner Corner – Regarding Eyeshadow: The corner of your eye that is closest to your nose.
  • Lash Curler – An inexpensive physical crimping device used to curl eye lashes.
  • Eyebrow Pencil – A cosmetic pencil used to make eye brows appear uniform, or darker.

Before you go, check out these related posts:

Don’t forget to download these additional makeup do’s and don’ts!


  1. I barely use any foundation in my daily makeup routine, but no matter what I do, my face looks crumby and caked in. I have no idea how to fix it without stopping the use of my foundation. What should I do?
    I also have very pale skin, so it is difficult to find a nude lipstick shade that’s appropriate for school, but that is also visible. Would you mind helping me with this?

    1. Shayna garcia says:

      Maybe you should try using another brand’s foundation. Try not using so much (just a dot on each cheek, your forehead, and chin), then blend it around your face. If it still looks cakey, get a dry washcloth and take off some of the foundation until it looks right. When it comes to your lips , have you tried using a lip gloss instead? It would be hard to find a lip gloss that doesn’t stand out because it’s very shiny.

  2. Right now I look pretty ugly and I have a boyfriend at middle school in the 7th grade and I just you know… really want to look really pretty but I just don’t know what to do actually! Will you please help me?

    1. Andrea Harper says:

      I’d be happy to help you. It can be tricky to know where to start and in middle school your body and skin are going through many changes. I wish the one thing someone would have shared with me back then was that confidence and self-love is beautiful. Confidence isn’t the believing that you are perfect, or looking just right and you know it. Confidence is knowing that you’re not perfect (that no one is) and being ok with being you. I think looking “really pretty” can start with the way you talk to yourself, about yourself, and what you think when you look in the mirror. When the voice in your brain calls you ugly, you can talk back to it. “Brain, I appreciate you pointing out all my flaws, but I’m working on being confident in who I am. I want to love my face, what’s something I like about it?” You’re in control of your brain, don’t let it talk to you like that. Now, of course there are things we can do with makeup that will enhance our favorite features and disguise our least favorite. For me, in middle school, I wanted to disguise my acne, and help my smile stand out…even with braces I liked smiling, it helped me feel happy. What are those things for you?

  3. Preethika Balaji says:

    Nice lipstick

  4. P Bindiya says:

    Very useful information…thank you.

    1. Andrea Harper says:

      So glad it’s helpful to you!

  5. thank you for sharing the information…very useful info

  6. Rosie saldana says:

    I like serum before my mousturizer.. no primer I am over 50. Is serum okay

    1. Rosie saldana says:

      I like to wear a face serum before moisturizer I do not apply primer because I am over 50 I like a little luminous on my face is that okay

      1. Ashley Teague says:

        Hi Rosie, That is 100% ok. I often use a serum in place of primer for my face too. My skin is on the dryer/dehydrated side so I find a water based serum works best for me. Now if you use an oil based foundation over a water based product, it might not work. You usually want to work with your skin from lightest molecular weight to heavier so using a serum under moisturizer is the right way to layer your skincare 🙂

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