Are you often confused when you are bombarded with all the makeup videos on Instagram and Facebook? If you are wondering why there are so many products being used on the face and what they actually do, here you can find a comprehensive list detailing the types of makeup products in the market today, and the functions of each of them.
Before we get into that, it would be pertinent to briefly discuss the interesting history of makeup that reaches at least 7,000 years into the past. While there has been documented proof that people in ancient Greece and Egypt used makeup to whiten their skin, line their eyes, and redden their cheeks, some historians argue that cosmetic body art is the earliest sign of human ritual and it arrived as soon as homo sapiens evolved in the African continent. They used red ochre to paint their bodies as a sign of belonging to one tribe.
Ancient Romans used cosmetics too, although, from Roman literature, we get the idea that it was frowned upon. What we do know for sure is that these products from olden times were extremely unsafe for the skin and the general wellbeing of people. Toxic products like lead and arsenic were being rubbed directly on faces to whiten them, causing severe harm.
In the 21st century, we have come a long way in developing safe and healthy products that beautify us while taking care of our skin. Makeup has become an art form, representing freedom of expression and individuality instead of being a sign of belonging to a certain tribe or group. Let’s have a look at all the different makeup products that are popular and available in the market today.
Source: BH Cosmetics
Table of Contents
The first product that all makeup gurus recommend putting on your face is the primer; it ‘primes’ or prepares the face for makeup by reducing the size of the pores and allowing makeup to glide on more smoothly on the skin. It creates a smooth base for your foundation or bb cream to settle on and combats shine.
There are separate primers for the face, eyes, and lips that are designed specially to reduce the appearance of lines and pores on these specific areas. Even though this is THE most important step in achieving a smooth and flawless look, it is often overlooked by people. Let us reiterate: Primers are important and you should invest in them! Depending on your skin type, you can go for formulas found in gel, cream, or even powder form.
Source: Huffington Post
Available in liquid, powder, cream, or stick form, the foundation is the base of your make up. It goes on right after you apply the primer, and helps create a balanced, neutral skin tone. Remember, your foundation should not be lighter or darker than your original skin tone; it is not made to change your skin color but merely enhance and smoothen it.
Foundations can be low to high coverage depending on your skin type and whether you need a thin or thick layer to smoothen your skin tone. It can either be applied with a brush or a beauty sponge; applying it with your hands is not recommended since it can be absorbed in the fingers before reaching the skin of the face.
Source: The Frisky
A concealer is a thick formula that is often one shade lighter than your foundation. It is usually applied after the primer and foundation if you have blemishes, freckles, discoloration, or dark circles. A concealer does a great job of covering up imperfections and helping you prepare your face as a canvas for other products to sit perfectly on.
It is often helpful to have two different concealers at hand, one that is green-tinged to hide and neutralize red spots on your face, the other a little peachy so your dark circles can be easily covered up.
Source: Adore Beauty
Even after the trio of products above has been applied, your job is not done there. In order to blend all the products together and ‘set’ them in place, a setting powder is pressed onto the face with either a powder brush or a sponge. It is available in pressed powder or loose powder form.
The area under the eyes is especially necessary to set, and hence the setting powder is left there for longer to absorb all the excess wetness; this is famously called ‘baking.’ After the setting powder has been applied, you are done with the prepping and now ready to do your makeup!
If you are not willing to use all of the above products on a daily basis, there is the easier option of a BB cream. BB is short for ‘blemish balm’ cream. It is a combination of products such as moisturizer, primer, sunscreen, foundation, and even concealer. Originally invented in Germany, it quickly became a well-used makeup product since it can easily be used for everyday wear.
BB creams are available in several brands and several shades; it is up to you to decide what color and formula best suits your needs. These creams also often contain essential vitamins for your skin, which gives them nourishing qualities as well. Following BB creams, CC or color correction creams have also pervaded beauty stores.
Source: Garnier USA
Rouge or Blush
The oldest makeup product in existence is the rouge or blush for your cheeks. It was fairly popular in ancient Egypt where it was worn by men and women alike. Initially, it was made from a range of naturally occurring red pigment, be it from strawberries to vegetable juices to crushed ochre.
After the Middle Ages, there was a time when women who wore rouge were considered immoral; but as soon as Queen Elizabeth I used makeup, it became more acceptable by the masses.
As of now, blush has become an essential makeup item in every makeup lover’s collection, and every makeup look is incomplete without it. Blushes today are safe and used all over the world with no negative connotations.
Source: AOL Lifestyle
Contour Powder/ Cream
If you are new to makeup, maybe you have wondered why makeup artists apply dark and light colored sticks to their face in strange patterns before blending them out with a makeup sponge. Initially, contouring emerged in the drag community to use makeup in face shaping by adding shadows and highlights where necessary. In the last few years, the mainstream makeup industry started using contouring so the chiseled look is achievable for everyone.
The contour usually goes on after the foundation has been blended and set. For ideal contouring, you need a cream or powder that is three shades darker than your original skin tone. Do not blindly go for a dark brown color shade; choose a color that seems like a too-dark foundation.
If your skin is oily and you prefer a matte look, go for the powder; otherwise, a cream foundation is your best option.
There may be a highlighter lying around in your makeup bag that someone gifted to you ages ago, and maybe you are wondering how to use it to achieve that Gigi Hadid glow. So let’s get into details.
A highlighter is basically a face makeup that attracts and reflects light, creating the mirage of brightness and shine that makes it look like your skin is glowing. It is available in powder form and liquid form. While the former can only be applied on top of your makeup, liquid highlighter can be placed under the foundation to give your skin an overall glowing look.
There are various colors available in highlighters these days. To find out which one suits your skin best, you can try the gold vs. silver jewelry test. If you feel that gold jewelry suits you better, that is the highlighter color for you; similarly for silver jewelry.
Highlighter is usually applied right over the cheekbones, the brow bone, along the bridge of the nose, and even around the tear ducts to make your eyes look bigger and brighter. You can make your lips look poutier by applying it to the bow of your lips.
Source: Huff Post
Applying Kohl to line the eyes is a very old makeup practice that has been found in various ancient cultures of the world. While only one kind was available before, there are multiple types of eyeliners by various brands that cater to your expertise (or incapability) with eyeliner application.
Liquid eyeliner is the most difficult to put on because of its long wand and the high chances of liquid smearing. Most makeup artists go for gel liner that comes with a tiny brush-tip. Marker eyeliners have also recently become very popular because of the ease of putting them on. Pencil liners are the precursors of marker liners and they are popular because they can also be applied to the water line.
From cat eye to Arabic eyeliner to a simple thin sweep above the lash line, eyeliner comes in many forms and shapes. The winged liner is a special fan favorite.
There are many colors available in eyeliners, the most popular ones being blue, black, and brown. It is an essential makeup product and some people are now even tattooing eyeliner on their upper lid to save themselves from everyday hassle of putting it on!
Source: Vidya Tikari
What is interesting about mascara is that it originated as a tool to ward off bad spirits and the evil eye. Egyptians blended kohl with crocodile dung and applied it with the help of ivory and bone as early as 3400 BC, to create the first ever mascara. The practice of coloring and elongating lashes was revived in the Victorian era when women spent hours dressing up and beautifying themselves.
While earlier mascara was made with petroleum jelly, it was soon discovered that it is not an appropriate formula to apply near eyes and Rimmel created the first, safe packaged mascara.
Mascara is now available in several volumes enhancing and lengthening varieties. In place of plain black mascara, clear and colored mascara can also be purchased for more fun looks.
Source: Love to Know- Makeup
Eyeshadows have come a long way from the black kohl adorning days of ancient Egypt. They are available in highly pigmented pressed powders that can be used to create every eye makeup look from smoky eye to a sexy cat eye and many others. Instead of matte colors that were popular in the 80s, glittery eyeshadows have become more popular today.
Usually, a darker color is used on the crease to blend out the look, and the lids are brushed with either a lighter color or a glitter eyeshadow depending on whether you are going for a day or night look. If you want to wear a bold lip color, it is recommended that you keep your eye makeup light.
Many makeup artists suggest that eye makeup should be done right after the primer and right before any other makeup is applied so that any mistakes that are made can be retouched without damaging the foundation.
Source: Lioness Beauty Bar
Earlier, thin eyebrows that were drawn on with a pencil were the epitome of fashion. Now, if your brows are full, thick and luscious, you are playing the game right. Just Google Cara Delavigne for the brow look all makeup gurus try to achieve.
Eyebrow fillers are usually available in powder or pencil form, in different shades of black and brown depending on your natural hair color. Usually, a lighter color is used near the eyes and a darker shade for the rest of the brows.
An eyebrow pencil can transform your eyebrows from sparse to full in just a few flicks if done right, and some pencils have built-in tools to create hair-like strokes for a very natural look.
Source: Harper’s Bazaar
When you have filled in your eyebrows properly, the next step is using a clear eyebrow gel to set them to perfection; consider it a kind of hairspray for your brows.
There is also a tinted version available for people who want to cover up grey or white hair or to bulk up sparse brows that don’t do better with a pencil. However, bulking too much product on top of each other is not advisable; if you use a cream-based eyebrow filling product, for example, there is no need for a setting gel.
Source: Style Caster
If you ask several makeup lovers at once to choose one makeup product to use for the rest of their lives, you will hear a collective shout: Lipstick! The practice of coloring lips has been around longer than even rouge and has stayed important to varying degrees over the history of human culture from Ancient Egypt to Japan and Greece.
Lipsticks in a stick form were most popular before the advent of liquid lip colors that dry to a matte finish. This is not to say that lipsticks are now out of fashion; all medium to high range brands have various types of lipstick available depending on what you prefer to use. You can go for the traditional stick, a pencil, or the ever-popular liquid with a stick; it all depends on what you need.
Red lipstick has become a symbol of empowerment overtime; women were looked down on if they wore heavy makeup and red lipstick in earlier times, now, they have reclaimed red lips as their own. As Coco Chanel famously said: “If you’re sad, add more lipstick and attack.”
Lip Liner Pencil
Gone are the days when dark lip liner was paired with a lighter shade of lipstick; sorry 1990 Pamela Anderson! The world has moved on, and frankly, it always looked gross. So what exactly is lip liner good for?
As liquid lipsticks become more common that wax-based sticks, lip liners provide a structure to the lips that the liquid liner can follow; it adds definition and texture. It can also be used to outline the lips just outside the natural lip line in order to make lips look bigger and poutier. In fact, it is so useful that high-end brands like Kylie Jenner include lip pencils with each of their liquid lip colors.
Alternatively, lip liners can also be used as multicolored eyeliners for the lash and water line.
Matte lips were a staple in the makeup world up until a few years ago. With the Kardashians arriving on the scene, plumped glossy lips have become the look to go for. Lip gloss usually comes in liquid form with a wand. You can use it alone or in combination with your favorite lipstick shade to add a glossy sheen to your lips.
While lipstick dries up and usually has a clean finish, lip gloss sits on your lips and has a high chance of smearing when touched.
After applying your makeup carefully, crafting every feature to perfection, how do make sure it lasts through the day and does not come off when touched or brushed against? How do models with full faces of makeup go around all day without smudging even a bit of lipstick? The secret is the setting spray.
A setting spray is basically a top coat for your makeup that keeps it looking fresh all day long, reducing the need for frequent touch-ups during a workday. This is the final step in your makeup routine and is done right before you start doing your hair.
Whether you encounter sweat or water, a setting spray will keep your makeup in its place and prevent smearing or blurring. Another type of setting spray works to add a wet sheen to your makeup, making it feel less powdery and more blended.
Source: Loreal Paris USA
Now that we have decoded all these makeup products for you, it is up to you to find out which brand and type suits you best. Depending on your budget and your beauty needs, there are makeup products available for everybody’s pocket size. Whatever you do end up getting, don’t forget a classic black gel liner and the perfect red color for your lips; everything else comes second!