A person’s search history can reveal a lot about them. Like, do they prefer hot yoga or classic vinyasa? Are they a 20-step chef or a 3-ingredients-or-less kind of person? In 2019, Googlers sought out “how-to” beauty tutorials from the world wide web, and I feel personally validated to report that we’re all very, very confused about how to apply makeup.
The top beauty questions from Google’s year in search report (shared with Well+Good via email) reveals mystification surrounding the topics of primer, toner mascara, and more. Below, beauty experts break down the basics so that, come January 1, 2020, you’ll have a brain full of beauty knowledge.
You asked, we answered—here’s how to apply makeup
1. The deal with toner
According to Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, you really only need toner if the water pressure in your shower is super hard. Otherwise, skip it!
“Toners are liquid skin-care products that have a slightly acidic pH to balance the skin’s natural pH level,” Dr. Zeichner previously told Well+Good. “The outer skin layer, referred to as the acid mantle, has a pH of about 5.5. Harsh scrubs, true soaps, and even hard water can disrupt the outer skin layer, alter the pH, and cause inflammation.” To apply your toner, pour a small amount on a cotton round and apply it gently on freshly-washed skin.
2. Um, so do I need a primer?
A primer is the base coat for your #lewk. While it’s not always necessary, Jenny Patinkin, makeup artist, beauty expert, and author of Lazy Perfection, previously told Well+Good that a primer can ensure your makeup has a nice texture when you do apply it. “You use it under your makeup, but it gives enough radiance that you can skip applying highlighter or shimmery makeup on top,” she said.
Luckily, the application process of this particular beauty product couldn’t be simpler. Just massage it into your skin the same way you would a moisturizer—then go to the next step of your routine.
3. The right way to apply liquid foundation
Finding the perfect amount of foundation to cover your complexion is a trial-and-error kind of thing. So start with a small amount and add as needed. “I always apply a light layer of foundation with a foundation brush, like the Sigma Foundation Brush F-60, and then I actually pad it in with the concealer blending brush Kabuki F-70,” celebrity makeup artist Diana Oh previously told Well+Good.
4. To blush or not to blush
Blush! For sure. Any makeup artist will tell you that a bit of rouge will brighten your face in seconds. “It enhances the complexion and gives the skin a youthful glow,” said celebrity makeup artist Molly R. Stern.
First, you’ll have to find the right color for yourself. Then, lightly dust the stuff on your cheeks. “I usually have clients smile, and I apply blush to the apples of the cheeks and work outwards. If you’re looking for a more lifted look, you can bring the blush outwards and sheer out upwards towards the temples,” said celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli.
5. Mascara swipes for long, thick lashes
Oh, mascara—what would we do without you? Merrady Wickes, makeup artist and head of content and education at clean beauty boutique The Detox Market, previously told Well+Good that the magic number of mascara coats is not one, not two—but three. “Some people like to let [mascara] get totally dry but I like it just mostly dry so it builds, but it’s still a little malleable,” she said. “I also like to concentrate my second and third coats to the outer lashes to create a nice shape and cheat an eyeliner effect.”
To make your lashes appear even thicker, apply a tight line of eyeliner around your eyes.
The steps a dermatologist never skips in her skin-care routine:
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