Updated: Jan 23
In 2020, I committed to starting some of the hobbies that had been on my mind for a while. Taking makeup classes was at the top of my list. I've planned makeup sessions professionally before, but I never had the chance to partake. For a long time I wanted to improve my everyday makeup skills, and what better way than learning directly from a professional. I decided to go with Bougie Beats Artistry. One of their stylists did my makeup for my maternity shoot and I loved the look!
The first step in the process was getting a 1-on-1 beauty consultation where we discussed my makeup goals and skin type. Before you take a class, I highly recommend you do this first! The whole point of your session is to better your makeup skills, but it’s important to be clear about your beauty goals. What look are you trying to recreate? Are there any specific techniques you want to learn? Do you want to focus on a certain area of your face (eyes, cheeks, mouth)? It’s helpful to talk all this through with a professional.
Learning your skin type is also a top priority. Everyone’s skin type is unique. Usually, they fall within 4 common categories: normal, dry, combination, and oily. Once you learn more about what kind of skin you’re working with then you can determine what brands of makeup will work best for you.
After my consultation, the stylist provided me with a list of makeup and tools I would need for the hands-on sessions. I’ve been using her recommendations ever since. Here’s a rundown of what I got:
The first thing you’ll need is good makeup brushes to get you started. There are contour brushes, powder brushes, blush brushes, and many more — do yourself a favor and just buy a brush set instead of getting each one individually. Get into the habit of buying quality brushes. We know they can be more on the expensive side, but your skin deserves nothing but the best treatment! My beauty instructor recommended I get Morphe's The James Charles Brush Set. The best part is the set comes with a complexion sponge.
Sponges are definitely something you’ll want to add to your collection. They are highly versatile as you can use them for almost any type of blending. They usually come in different shapes based on the types of blending they’re used for: contour cream, concealer, bronzer, blush, and highlighters. Sponges don’t last forever though, you’ll want to replace them every 3 months or so. There are many different sponges to choose from, but in the end, I went with Real Techniques sponges. They're a little more affordable than the original Beauty Blender brand sponges.
If your mama ever told you to wash your face, then you already know how important skincare is! When you start using makeup more regularly you’ll want to get into a good skincare routine. To achieve a basic skincare routine there are 3 main ingredients you’ll need: a cleanser, a moisturizer, and a protecting agent (i.e. sunscreen and night cream). However, you can add to this routine as much as you see fit! Use some exfoliants, eye cream, and sheet masks if you want, just try not to overdo it.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s important to know your skin type so you can get the right tools to properly care for your skin. If you already know your skin type, go ahead, and Google what products work best for your skincare routine. I have dry skin so the beautician suggested I get MAC Strobe cream moisturizer to hydrate my skin and use Too Faced Hangover RX primer to give it a dewy finish.
You know what they say, when you build a house you have to make sure there’s a strong foundation. Well, the same is true for your makeup routine. Use foundation to create an even, uniform color for your complexion. If you get really makeup savvy then you can use foundation to start cosplaying as an alien — but I’m not that good yet lol! Finding the right shade of foundation is imperative! You don’t want your makeup to be a different color than your actual skin tone.
If you’re Black or Brown it may be a little more difficult to find your perfect match, but it’s out there. In recent years, Rihanna launched her Fenty beauty line promising to provide more color options to people of color. Not only did she deliver, but it's forced other brands to offer a more diverse range of shades. The MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC45 turned out to be a great match for me. I also got NARS Sheer Glow Foundation to add a little sheen to my look.
A lot of people get confused between foundation and concealer, so here’s the difference. Foundation is used as your makeup base while concealer is meant to cover up any blemishes and is usually thicker than foundation. Just like foundation, the same is true with concealer — you need to find your right shade. We decided that the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Tan Deep Sand, Tan Sand matched the most closely with my complexion.
If you’re Black, especially if you have a darker complexion, people probably have a hard time telling when you blush. Well, it’s the same way with makeup except in reverse — this time you’ll look like you’re blushing all the time. Blush is meant to add a flush of color to your cheeks, but if you’re going for a sunkissed look try bronzer instead. If you can, try to support Black-owned businesses like Juvia’s Place! I bought their Saharan II Blush Palette (see below) for a more natural look and I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. Highlighters, like blush, are used to help accentuate your cheekbones. Typically they are used as reflecting products to highlight your face by defining your angles. Since I was taking a class with Bougie Beats Artistry, I decided I might as well get my highlighter from them too. Their Gleam/Radiance luminizing highlighter was perfect for me.
As you can probably tell from these paragraphs, my consultation went into a deep dive about all the kinds of beauty products and makeup tools that would help me become a pro (which is why I highly recommend doing one!). But to keep things short I’ll give you a quick overview of the other suggestions my beauty instructor proposed I get for class.
I’m looking forward to sharing my makeup journey with you all! Follow me on Instagram @lovelife_jay to see how it’s going. Don’t judge me though — I’m still getting used to doing it all. Feel free to tag me if you end up like one of my suggested products!