Shopping for make-up is one of those things that sounds fun but can actually be super stressful. All those different lipstick shades! So many skin tones! A gazillion eyeliner formulas! Even more mascara options! Yes, it truly is a miracle that we find the energy to make our ways to the store and face the challenge - true bravery is totally ours. Luckily, after years of experimenting (and coming home with the to-tal-ly wrong shade of foundation/blush/bronzer/lipstick), I've finally figured out how to *actually* shop for make-up, and it only includes 5 steps!
1 / KNOW YOUR SKIN TONE
This might seem like a no-brainer but knowing your skin tone can be a bit more complex than it sounds. Basically, most foundation brands (such as my current fave, the YSL Fusion Ink Foundation) will make a distinction between warm, cold, and neutral skin tones (which has nothing to do with how light or dark your skin is). Cool means that you have a red undertone, warm signifies a yellow undertone, and neutral means you have neither one of those. If you're unsure about your own skin tone, just hop into your nearest make-up store and the make-up artists will definitely be able to tell you what's what (and you'll know for the rest of your life!). Basically, after determining your skin undertone, all you have to do is find a BB, CC, or foundation cream that matches this undertone, so a red-toned one for a cool skin tone, and a yellow-toned one for a warm skin tone (and neutral is just neutral :)). Done and done!
2 / DECIDE ON WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU ENTER
One of the main challenges about shopping for make-up is the sheer amount of options. Every week, a new must-have product is launched, promising to be the One Thing You've Always Wanted - you know, the perfect lip/cheek stain, a matte gloss that doesn't dry out your lips, or the most flattering peachy blush that gives you a natural flush without being obtrusive. So if you want to avoid snatching up literally all of those items that you didn't really need in the first place (or even worse, don't complement your skin), try to decide on what you want before you enter the store and are taken away by all those pretty little flashy things. I know that sounds a bit boring, but it will make you feel so much better to not end up adding yet another red lipstick to your already embarrassingly large collection.
3 / STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Once you've found that perfect make-up routine (after many many mistakes in the past), it's tempting to fall into a rut and not change one single thing for the rest of your life. However, as with all good things in life, stepping out of your comfort zone and shaking things up every once in a while will actually pay off. The beauty market is one of the fastest evolving markets out there, and you'd be surprised how many amazing products are created every day. Do your research, browse through your options, and don't be afraid to try out new things, such as a new shade of eye shadow (this greenish one from Alima Pure flatters just about any eye colour!), poppy nail polish (my current fave is O.P.I. One Chic Chick) or electric eye liner (well done KIKO with this delicious Tropic Heat eye marker!).
4 / BE PREPARED TO MIX & MATCH TO MAKE IT YOUR OWN
The irony of the fact that there are a gazillion options out there is that I've found it necessary for some products to mix & match different shades to perfectly match my requirements - mostly true for my foundation and highlighter (right now I'm using M.A.C.'s strobe cream in Goldlite, topped with M.A.C. Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle, to have that perfect golden finish). While it does require a bit more testing, it's usually so worth it!
5 / TEST IN DAYLIGHT
This is something I talked about before, but since it's definitely one of my go-to rules to successfully shop for make-up, I'm happy to repeat it. If you want to find something that makes you look good everywhere, you have to go near a window and take a look at your sample tests in daylight, especially if it's something you're going to put onto your face. Artificial light can be super harsh or deceitfully flattering, so if you want the uncensored version, you have to step outside - no matter how awkward it may be (I'm talking about those half-done faces that make you look like a failed drag queen - been there, done that). Swipe it, get out, shift it around a bit, then buy it; that's pretty much it. :)
What are your go-to tricks to shop for make-up? Anything to add or embarrassing stories to share? I'd love to hear! :)