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Managing my Makeup Artist career on a tight budget.

Feeling lost on where to begin with your makeup? Don't worry, I've got you covered with a budget-friendly guide to kickstart your beauty routine. Let me share with you what I relied on over 15 years ago when I was just starting out and didn't have much cash to splash on cosmetics.


Many of the products I previously used are no longer available, but I can help you in finding suitable alternatives. I initially collaborated with photographers and models on a pro bono basis to refine my skills, and eventually transitioned to paid projects for magazines.


For eye makeup, I relied on a discontinued Maybelline eyeshadow palette that featured just 4 or 5 shades, reminiscent of the current Maybelline Eye Studio range. It had a mix of golds, browns, and bronze hues, which eventually became my signature look.


Woman in a swimsuit
Early work for a magazine shoot

EYESHADOW

If I were picking today, my go-to would be the NYX PROFESSIONAL Ultimate Shadow Palette in Warm Neutrals, currently on sale at $9.06, $18. It's highly pigmented, and the fact that it's cruelty-free is a major plus for me.

Nyx Eyeshadow palette
Nyx ultimate shadow palette - warm neutrals

Tip: If you're new to makeup, stick with a few shades to start, focusing on the basics and using more matte shades. Aim for a natural look and keep practicing. Blend, blend, blend. How much product you apply, whether heavy or light, will impact the dimension of your look. I'll get into the basics in another blog post soon.


EYELINER AND MASCARA

Maybelline great lash mascara

When it came to eyeliner, I stuck with a product from Make-up Designory back then. Nowadays, I'd suggest trying out the wet n wild Color Icon Kohl Eyeliner Pencil. It's a steal at just $1.19. For Mascara, go for the iconic Maybelline Great Lash.


Tip: Apply a few coats as close to the lash line as possible.


FOUNDATION

Foundation posed a challenge because of its cost, especially when my supply of MUD cream foundation was running low. Luckily, a friend gave me some (now discontinued) Loreal Infallible Liquid foundation she bought in Canada.


I wasn't particularly fond of this foundation, but I had to make it work. We were shooting in scorching beach conditions, moving around to various locations. It was crucial to ensure the foundation stayed put or was easy to touch up.


Tip: Apply the foundation by gently tapping it on with a wedge sponge and set it with powder using a powder puff. I'll delve deeper into this topic in future discussions.

makeup wedge sponge and puff

When it comes to foundation, I'd suggest trying out Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth Liquid Foundation Makeup, on sale $6.99. It's easy to apply, buildable, budget-friendly, and comes in a variety of shades.

Foundation makeup
Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

Tip: Ensure your sponge has enough product on it; otherwise, you might end up removing makeup instead.

SETTING POWDER

covergirl loose powder

The COVERGIRL Invisible Loose Setting Powder is a good option. It's lightweight, talc & fragrance-free. For $6.78, it's a bargain!


Tip: Keep it light. Use a small brush to gently apply powder under the eyes, around the nose, in the nasolabial crease or laugh lines, and other areas where you want to reduce shine.


BRONZER

Opt for bronzers with a matte finish. Keep in mind that bronzer is applied to imitate a sun-kissed radiance and add dimension to the face. Use it delicately to achieve a subtle, natural shadow effect.

nyx bronzer

Tip: Apply powder on top of the bronzer and blend blend blend. Avoid hard lines to make it look more natural.


BLUSH

The primary use of blush is to add color to the cheeks, providing a healthy, natural-looking flush. Apply blush to your cheeks with a gentle touch.

Maybelline blush

LIP LINER AND LIPSTICK

There are numerous excellent brands to choose from, but NYX Professional Makeup stands out for me. It's cruelty-free, boasts highly-pigmented lip products, and is wallet-friendly. Plus, their lip liner is easy to apply.


Tip: Apply lip liner all over your lips before putting on lipstick. This helps your lipstick last longer throughout the day.

Nyx lip liner and lipstick

While applying makeup with your fingers is an option, it's essential to utilize quality makeup tools and clean them REGULARLY!

real techniques brush set

The bottom line is practice practice practice. Use the techniques that you've learned with these budget-friendly alternatives.


Keep in mind, these are guidelines drawn from my personal experience as a makeup artist. What works for me might not work for everyone, so it's all about discovering what suits you best. The most important thing is to enjoy the whole process!

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