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Beginner’s Makeup Guide

Beginner’s Makeup Guide: Learning the basics of makeup application can be intimidating. Stroll through a beauty department and you’ll be faced with hundreds of skincare and makeup products all packaged in similar packaging. What do you start with? What do you really need? I asked Arden’s Regional Training Executive Jamie Petrovic to take us through step-by-step a basic makeup application. She works with clients across the country teaching them how to apply products and feel their best. Here are her pro-tips on makeup basics.

jamie petrovic, elizabeth arden regional training executive

Jamie Petrovic, Arden’s Regional Training Executive

Dave: To start, one of the most common questions I get on social media and Cityline is where to start if you have never worn makeup. So many women don’t know where to begin. Can you show us where to start?

Jamie Petrovic: Wearing make-up can seem very overwhelming these days since there are so             many products to choose from and it can get a bit confusing. Start by looking what you would really like to highlight about your features. Generally, as             an artist needs a flawless canvas to paint on, you would start with a foundation to provide a flawless look to your skin. Matching a correct foundation colour to your skin is important (neck area is the best colour to match against). From that perfect complexion, you would travel to the eyes (Mascara, liner or shadow), define the brows, add some colour to the cheeks and finish off with the lips. Makeup is personal and it should complement the features, not overtake it. At the beginning, seek the help of a beauty expert to start you on the path to find that right shade for you.

backstage makeup

D.L.: What are the basic beauty products to start with?

J.P.: The perfect basic beauty items to start with are: foundation (liquid or powder – your preference), concealor (brightens the area around the eyes), Eyebrow pencil/powder, eyeliner pencil/liquid eyeliner, mascara, blush and a lipstick.


D.L.: What is your philosophy of learning beauty?

J.P.: Thanks to technology, woman & men are able to research any aspect of beauty products or skincare right from the comfort of their home. Learning on-line through video demonstrations is a great starting point.

backstage makeup

D.L.:What do you teach your clients and instore beauty experts?

J.P.: Learning about beauty should be fun, and not a stressful task. So the main message I like to teach is to keep things simple and work with a woman’s best features to accentuate her beauty. Listening to one’s lifestyle is also important. As Ms. Elizabeth Arden used to say, “To be beautiful is the birthright of every woman.”


D.L.:Please take us step-by-step through a very simple makeup regime.

J.P.: Start by carefully cleansing your face. Then apply moisturizer & SPF. Next take these simple steps to start your makeup journey;

  • Start with a face primer. Primers are great to minimize pores, hide imperfections and provide a flawless look when used under your foundation.
  • Foundations comes in liquid, compact or mineral powder forms and all are great. It really depends what your preference is.
  • I cannot live without my concealor. Concealors are a makeup tool to brighten under the eyes and minimize shadows or imperfections on the skin. Make sure to use a concealor that is not too light and matches the skin tone under the eyes.
  • Next….the eyes, my personal favorite. When working with the eyes, I like to start with the brows, then the eyeshadows, eyeliner, and finish with mascara.
  • Adding colour to the face is next. Bronzers & contour kits are wonderful tools to provide that sunkissed look, or create depth and shadows under the cheekbones/jawline. But to actually add that healthy glow, a blush is always recommended. Choose a colour that is versatile to use all year round and adds a fresh rosy glow to the cheeks.
  • Finish with lipstick. Choose a lip colour that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable. If you love reds, it’s okay to wear red. Just make sure you choose the right shade of red for you. For example, there are cool & warm tone reds that work with different skin tones.

backstage makeup

D.L.: What are the pitfalls to avoid when starting out?

J.P.: Start with the basics and then build from there. My three essentials are mascara, lipstick & blush. Some clients that I meet tend to get discouraged & confused when they are trying to combine too many products at once, or they apply colours that are too harsh for their complexion. Once you have perfected & feel comfortable with your three key makeup products, slowly add in one additional make-up item to the mix at a time.


D.L.: What are your three best makeup tips for just starting out?

  • Research before you buy (On-line or in-store)
  • Buy products that you will use.
  • Less is more. Remember you want people to notice you first, not your make-up.


D.L: What happens if you make a mistake when applying makeup?

j>p>There is nothing more frustrating than making a mistake while applying makeup. Whether you have made a mistake with your liquid eyeliner or applied too much             blush, when these issues happen, ‘Keep calm, remove, and carry on.’ If it’s a minor mistake around the eyes usually a Q-tip dabbed with eye-make-up             remover will do the trick, or if too much blush has been placed, soften with a transparent loose or mineral powder on top to dilute the colour. Remember, you can always wash it off and start again. It’s only makeup.


D.L.: What are the best makeup colours to start with?

J.P.: I would suggest start with neutrals, soft berry like shades and classic rose             colours for eyes & lips. If you are using a conservative eyeshadow colour and would like to change things up for the summer season, a great tip is to buy a single shade (that has stronger/brighter pigment) that you can apply softly             overtop the eyelids for a pop of colour.

D.L.: Can you go to any Arden counter and get some help?

J.P.: Absolutely! We have experienced beauty advisors and brand ambassadors that are available to apply make-up so that you can try before you buy!


D.L.: If you are in a big rush, what is the quickest makeup to apply to look a little more polished?

J.P.: Mascara, blush/bronzer and a lipstick/gloss are the easiest quick makeup products to use that provide a balanced look. If there is time, the next focus             would be the brows.

backstage makeup

D.L.: And I’m assuming removing makeup is equally important to applying. How do you remove makeup properly?


J.P.: Removing makeup is very important as you want to take great care of the skin since this is really the true foundation of where your makeup is applied. Using a gel, milk or oil-based cleanser can definitely be used along with a toner for proper makeup removal especially if someone wears more full coverage products. A dedicated eye makeup remover is safe and also gentle to use around the eyes. Cleansing cloths can be great in the morning to cleanse and refresh the skin, but a true cleansing ritual to fully remove makeup & city pollutants is recommended at the end of a long day.


Follow Jamie on Twitter at @JamiePetrovic and feel free to Tweet her any of your beauty questions. Arden products are available in Canada at Hudson’s Bay stores and thebay.com


  • Reply
    Wendy Lam-Vechi
    April 14, 2023 at 5:33 pm

    This is a wonderful guide. I wish I had this to guide me a few years ago. It was all very overwhelming and I knew nothing about primers, blushers and concealers. I went straight in for the eyes with my eyeliner and eye shadows but only now have I realised that I have been doing it the wrong. way round. I’ll do my eyeshadow first and then my eye liner from now on

  • Reply
    Seymour Procaccino
    August 21, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    This video is a beginner ‘s guide to eye makeup From using primer, picking brushes, choosing eye shadows Application method and fun tip and tricks!

  • Reply
    August 13, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Not having used much make up as such other than facial creams, oils and serums its awesome to follow you for all of the tips you share! ????

  • Reply
    July 31, 2016 at 7:26 am

    thank for sharing such these useful tips!

  • Reply
    July 27, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    always love the different takes on the beauty products


  • Reply
    Salima A
    July 27, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Great information.
    Thank you Dave!

  • Reply
    Sandra Fusato
    July 27, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    You can do a makeover on me !!!

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