Ask Afrobella – Advice for the Makeup Newbie

I’ve been letting the Ask Afrobellas stack up to a frightening level, and now it’s reckoning time.

This question came from a real life friend o’ mine, WLRN jazz DJ and sagacious sistren Tracy Fields. Lovers of straight-ahead jazz and women with soothing, melodic speaking voices can give her a listen on Weekend Jazz, every Saturday night from 8 pm to midnight.

Tracy sent me this question months ago, and I’m only just getting around to answering it. I know. I’m a great friend. Better late than never!

I’ve been thinking about updating my look. It is something for me even to think about having A Look; it’s always been like, if I’m warm enough, I’m properly dressed. I find myself suddenly interested in appearing a bit polished and pulled-together at the various venues of my split-personality work life. How would you advise a Grown Woman, who FYI has no intention of cutting her locks, to proceed?

For the record, Tracy has some of the longest, loveliest dreadlocks I have ever seen. She is a natural beauty with twinkling eyes and a ready smile. So my advice is, accentuate those gorgeous features with a little make up!

I think an initial foray into the amazing world of make up should set a newbie back no more than $25. Yes, bellas — it can be done.

The best place to start is with eyeliner. I remember when I first started wearing it, I was so intimidated. Having seen a Bruce Lee film in which he pulls some dude’s eyes out with his fingers at a young and impressionable age, I have a complete eye-touching phobia. Eyeliner seems daunting at first, but trust me – when you master it, you won’t want to leave home without it on!

Draw a straight, smooth line along the bottom of your eye, from the inside corner to the outside edge. You don’t want to apply liner inside your eye, as this can cause eye infections, and also can create goopy, gross, black eye gunk in the corner of your eye. In my opinion, it generally helps to look up while applying eyeliner. I’m at the point where I just let my eye roll completely back, Forest Whitaker style, to apply my liner. To each his own, and you will find your own application comfort zone with practice.
A good eye liner for newbies is the Physician’s Formula Eye Definer. Why? Because it’s hypoallergenic, and won’t bother those with sensitive eyes. Plus, there’s no sharpening required and it costs $5.50!

The idea of an eyebrow wax might freak out a makeup novice, but it’s really not so bad. I am a complete waxing wuss, and I have wept and bled like Steve Carrell in the 40 Year Old Virgin on the waxing bed before. But with my eyebrows, I have no fear.

Go to the nail salon at the mall, it costs $8 – $10 ($13 with tip), close your eyes and zip-zip-zip, it’s done before you have time to freak out. Trust me.

Neatly shaped brows make a huge difference to your whole face, and waxing can be a quick way to discovering an elegant eyebrow for those who have never plucked or shaped before. An eyebrow brush is always a handy tool, and at the very least you can shape up your brows by tweezing long, curly, or errant hairs. Just don’t get pluck happy – we have all seen what can result from that.

To complete the fabulous and super-easy eye look, swipe on some mascara. My current fave is Maybelline Full N Soft, which is gentle, wonderfully subtle, and gives my lashes great definition.

Cosmetics beginners, say it with me — E.L.F is your best friend. I was extremely skeptical when I realized that all of this company’s products cost a dollar. I assumed the quality would be poor.

Then I tried their Brightening Eye Liner in Gilded, and I became a believer! I also dig their Moisture Care Lip Color, which squooshes out of a soft sponge applicator. It gives a faint tinge of color, and a lot of shine.

If you’re looking for more pigment but not an overt, heavy lipstick look, try the Super Glossy Lip Shine.

It’s smooth, it moisturizes your lips without leaving them sticky, the color is subtle but noticeable, it has SPF-15, and like I said, it costs a buck! You really can’t go wrong.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, the more daunting worlds of concealer, blush, and bronzer seem much less so.

For those who remain apprehensive, there’s no need to feel ill-at-ease in a store like Sephora — you might wind up spending $50, but the assistants there are truly eager to help you find the perfect products in the right shade for you.

Playing up your eyes and lips are an easy beginning step for the make up wary, and it’ll get you those “hey, are you… wearing makeup?” comments you can expect from nosy (but well-meaning) co-workers.

Hope that helps!

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Comments

  1. Shonquayshah says:

    oooooooo stop @ the whoopi pic! lol

    nice post! i am in trasition myself…no more relaxers, rocin the braids…may do thr big chop in ’07!

  2. Tinevimbo says:

    thanks for the make-up tips, im also a newbie when it comes to make up, and just bought my 1st maybelline volumiser mascara, it really does open up the eyes, i havent fully mastered it as i still smudge but i think with these things the best advice like you said is to try a whole lot of different things and see what works for you and what doesnt.Thanks Bella.

  3. LBellatrix says:

    Just so you know that I’m not just visiting your blog for its politics… ;)

    Your friend is where I was a couple of years ago. I was never a big makeup wearer, and truth be told, I’m still not. But simple things around eyes and lips can make a big difference.

    How’s this for weird: The SECOND I entered my 40s, my eyebrows started getting bushy. (I also now have ONE hair on my chin that gets plucked the second it’s long enough for me to feel it.) I had my first eyebrow wax this past summer and I am due for my second one, like, yesterday. I got my first one done at a nail salon I trust (in my old neighborhood in Chicago) and now that I’m in a different state I was hesitating to go to any of the nail salons around here. After reading this post, though, I’m just going to go get it done.

  4. full and soft, full and soft! i cant tell u the number of complients I get on this mascara. I’ve used different ones, but always come back 2 full and soft. also, the non-waterproof formula is much more dewey & spellbinding than the waterproof one.

    SO glamorous!

    i’m off 2 get some elf lipgloss in a little while! it’s sold next door to my office & i’d been waiting 2 hear if someone had used it! THANKS!

  5. Full ‘n Soft has been my favorite mascara for a minute! It’s so wonderfully subtle, but gives your eyes that extra pop.

    I have to say, though, I see you advised your friend to line under her eye. But, I think that looks unfinished. I would advise her to either line the top lid only or line both top and bottom.

  6. accidentalextraordinaire says:

    Thanks so much for this post afrobella! I really needed it.

  7. you know Bella, sometimes i need visual inspiration for makeup, so i like towards fashion models. sometimes you can see a blush color or eyeshadow shade that looks good. i suggest looking for a model who shares either your skin tone or facial shape these are a few that some of the ladies might like, http://supermodels.nl/liyakebede
    http://supermodels.nl/yasminwarsame
    http://supermodels.nl/naomicampbell
    http://supermodels.nl/noemielenoir
    http://supermodels.nl/omahyramota

  8. i would like you to tell me,if you knew,how can an imperfect nose like the one that belongs to harvey keitel ,be covered with make-up to hide the little hole on its tip and to look better.thx

  9. Hi friends, how is everything, and what you would like to say on the topic of this article, in my view
    its in fact amazing for me.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] If your new to makeup or not sure what to do to change your look Ask Afrobella. [...]

  2. [...] I found this photo of the gorgeous Liya Kebede on Supermodels NL, a comprehensive site of model news, business, and fabulous photos. I’ve been mining it for makeup inspiration since always-knowledgeable afrobella Coffy suggested it as a good link for makeup newbies. [...]

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