The rise of YouTube beauty gurus and online tutorials prove that people are seeing makeup as a chance to express their creativity. With strides being made towards beauty inclusivity — Rihanna began the year by releasing 50 concealer shades for her Fenty Beauty line, for instance — makeup is being used as a tool to enhance people’s natural features. As the saying goes, if you’ve got it, why not flaunt it?

woman-putting-on-mascara

If this is your first time dabbling in the wide and exciting world of beauty, you might feel a little lost. Here are some tips to choosing the right makeup products that will suit you best:

Consider your skin type

Your skin forms the base of your whole beauty look. While developing your own skincare regimen is another topic on its own, knowing what skin type you’re working with helps narrow down the products available to you. Our StyleGods guide is a great first step in understanding just how your skin type plays a role in determining your product arsenal. Those with oily skin, for example, should opt for powder foundations that are light and absorb oil. Those with sensitive skin, on the other hand, would do well to opt for products that are dermatologically tested.

Don’t forget your skin tone

Now that you’ve got your skin type sorted, the next step is understanding your skin tone. Makeup brands tend to have their own terminology when it comes to foundation and concealer shades, so knowing your complexion as well as your skin’s undertone (ie. whether you’re warm toned or cool toned) will help you make better matches. Mastering your complexion can also be key in knowing which colours of eyeshadow and lipstick can work on you.

Decide on the look that you want

With marketing terms like “high coverage,” “intense pigmentation,” and “buildable finish” all being thrown around, it can be difficult to know what product to use and when. Thankfully, there are plenty of guides and experts out there that are willing to help. Beauty website Pretty Me is home to skincare and makeup guides, as well as new updates about the latest in Asian beauty trends. Finding similar looks to the one you’re aiming for is also a great way to get inspiration, as you may find colour combinations or tricks that you didn’t even consider.

Get familiar with the ingredient list

The sad truth of the makeup industry is that because it’s so lucrative, there are some companies who are willing to cut corners just to make even higher profits. Do some research and keep an eye out for ingredients that might actually be toxic to your skin. The Huffington Post lists parabens, synthetic colours, and toulene as examples of ingredients to avoid. Ingredient lists can be hard to decipher if you’re not a chemistry graduate (which is most of us), so knowing what to avoid is crucial.

Remember to test, test, test

Doing a patch test on your wrist or jawline isn’t just to make sure a makeup product matches your skin tone. Although you might not consider yourself as someone with sensitive skin, you could still have allergic reactions to some ingredients. Testers are there for a reason, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask the salesperson for a new one if there aren’t any available. As a general rule, stick to products that feel comfortable on your skin: if a product makes your skin feel tight or itchy, then it’s best to skip it.

For more on all things beauty, fashion, and celebrities, be sure to explore our site here on Style Gods.