BASIC MAKEUP EDUCATION – Everything You Need To Know w// Isabel Bannenberg

So, for some people, school has started again, and for those of you who are sitting at their desks having a break from homework and studying; I hope this is just the break you need. For me, with the return of school – homework, tests and being in public 24/7 – the makeup-free days have ended. Not because I’m self-conscious without makeup, but because I like to have that little extra in my routine.

Maybe there are some freshmen amongst you, who want to know how to do their makeup for their first day. Maybe you’re a senior who’s planning on doing a little more effort look-wise this year. Maybe you’re an elder lady who wants to know what makeup nowadays looks like. Whoever you are, wherever you are and for whatever reason you’re reading this, I’m going to break down the basics of makeup, step-by-step. 

But, because doing your own makeup and taking pictures of yourself all at the same time is a little harder than you’d think, my lovely friend Isabel Bannenberg offered to help – well, I texted her saying I needed to use her face for a blog post and forced her to come to my house. 🙂 And she gladly agreed, may I add.

So, without further ado: let’s get into this!


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The first thing I do in the morning is thoroughly clean my face. Most people seem to want to do this at night after they’ve taken their makeup off, but I’ve experienced that I’m too tired at night to be bothered, so then I just cleanse my face with a makeup removing tonic, and put some night cream on. In the mornings though, it actually feels nice to have some time for yourself and take care of yourself. Plus, your skin actually really needs this. 🙂

The first step for me is to clean my face with a cleansing tonic (you’d be surprised at the amount of dirt that comes off after a night’s sleep). I use a simple one from Etos, which is the Dutch version of Boots. Then I put on some moisturizer (which I forgot to add to the flat lay, I’m sorry) from VICHY which I talked about in my latest blog post 🙂 and then I use some normal day cream, also from Etos. I usually do my hair while this sets. After that, I use a fragrance mist from Victoria Secret (too big to add to the flat lay, once again, I’m sorry) in Mango Temptation – it was a birthday gift ❤ – and then a makeup setting face primer from Etos. I use the fragrance mist because the primer I use smells a little off, so the fragrance mist masks this.

Isabel: ‘My skin is glowing! Especially the tonic and the serum felt refreshing and cleansing; like they were really working.’ 

After this, your face is ready to be caked – just kidding, even though I do full face on most days, I don’t cake it. 🙂 Our first step in the actual makeup-putting-on process is concealer and foundation.



I don’t know what happened here with me because I kind of forgot to add the concealer palette and concealer brush to the flat lay.

This step is a step I thoroughly enjoy because it feels like I’m creating a canvas. Even though not all spots will always be as well hidden as I’d like, this is the part where I create my base, the paper I’m going to draw everything else on. It’s a part that makes you look a little worse, because of the lack of dimension in your face and the cakey appearance, but to me, it’s incredibly satisfying.

I use the CATRICE Concealer Palette, which has a very light nude, a little darker nude, a dark nude, a green and an orangy-red kind of colour. And because some people are having a hard time figuring out what the colours are actually for, I’ll tell you 🙂 .

First of all, we have the nudes. In my palette, I have three nudes, and in most concealer palettes, I usually use the lightest one, because I’m a pale person. The colour should be lighter than your own skin, but not too much lighter, just a little. You use it to bring out areas you want more attention to be drawn to, and you can also use it for under your eyes, to make you look more awake. Think about your forehead, the bridge of your nose, and the top of your cheekbones. Maybe even your chin! 😉

The green colour is for your (red) spots. It may not make your spots completely disappear, but it takes away the redness, which might look gross to some people. The red colour is for your bags, to take away the blue-ish tone.

The most important thing when it comes to these kinds of concealers is to not over-blend them. If you have a medium/full coverage foundation, you sometimes don’t even need to blend – at all. Blending can make the spot even more irritated and can take away the whole purpose of the concealer. A no-go, in short. 

After this, it’s time to put foundation on. I use my trusty, old 24h stay Foundation by Maybelline, and a Real Techniques by Sam and Nick brush. The trick with the foundation is to start in the middle and go outwards, not inwards. This makes the foundation look prettier, and the motions are more natural. And also: don’t forget your ears and neck, because it might look fake if you don’t include those.

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The goal with a foundation is not to cover up every single blemish or spot on your face. It’s also not the goal to erase birthmarks or things like that. As you can see, Isabel still had the things that made her… well, her. She had the birthmarks and the blemishes, but the zits and spots weren’t as visible anymore, and didn’t take the attention away from, for example, her eyes and pretty features.

Isabel: ‘I look less like I sleep an hour a night. The redness of my spots has gone completely! And the foundation has blended beautifully with my skin.’

And, well, I couldn’t have said it any better.



Now that we have our base/paper/canvas, it’s time to draw on it, to start working on our “artwork”. And the first step, for me, is contouring, because it gives the face the dimension we’ve taken away by putting on concealer and foundation.

If you are new to contouring, I’d highly recommend using the NYX Wonder Stick. It’s pretty cheap and is very easy to use. You do need a blending brush though.

I get that sometimes it’s hard to know where the contour is actually supposed to go, so I’ll explain: contouring is basically meant to create the shadows you erased with the foundation and concealer. So, for example, the cheekbones have a natural shadow underneath them, so we contour our cheekbones. We make them look more defined by this as well.

And the sides of our nose have shadows as well, so let’s contour that lightly too. We can even make our nose look smaller and thinner by contouring the bridge of the nose.

And the jawline has got great shadowing as well, so let’s contour that too!

If you want to make your face look a little slimmer, you can contour the sides of your face. Or if you hate how long your face is, contour your forehead a little bit. I even contour my chin sometimes, because it makes my face look a little bit more angled (I’ve got a “square” face).

I did all of this on Isabel, too.

Look, if you want to go all-out like the Kardashians – God, I love them ❤ – then that’s completely fine, but for school and work and the things I spend time on my makeup for, it’s a little much. So, if you want it to look a little more subtle, there are two important things to keep in mind:

  1. Use a colour that’s dark enough to be considered a natural shadow, but not darker than that. Too dark will look incredibly fake.
  2. Follow the natural lines of the face. Don’t over-contour the jawline, nose and cheekbones, because they have natural shadows that are quite visible without makeup. If you make them too different from those usual shadows, it looks fake.

And then it’s time for the blending, which I am always very excited for. It makes the face looks more bronzed, more natural and more dimensional. 🙂

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Isabel: ‘Yeesh, it’s nice! It’s like the tan I should’ve gotten in Greece, but didn’t because my skin doesn’t tan. The blending looks incredibly natural and beautiful! I like this a lot. ‘

What you can clearly see is that her jawline looks more defined and prominent and that her cheekbones are contoured in her natural line. The contour on her cheekbones is a little harsher and a little bit more visible than some might consider “natural” but just wait until we’ve added highlight and blush. 🙂


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Now that we’ve created a little bit more dimension on our faces, it’s time for the next step: blush. The blush that I use is from HEMA, which is a store you can compare to Flying Tiger. It’s kind of cheap, but it’s gorgeous and it does the job. The white brush that I use is a Kabuki brush and I’m in love with it.

The key to doing blush is that it’s not just for your apples. Yes, it’s the main place where you’d blush or become a little red, but don’t forget your neck and a little on your forehead, to make you look more tanned and healthier.

Blush is usually very pigmented, which means if you put some blush on your brush, you first have to blow on it a little and try to get some of the blush off right after, because it can look insanely pigmented and really fake if you don’t watch out. I usually test on the back of my hand how pigmented it comes off, and if I’m happy, I’ll apply it.

With every kind of makeup and every kind of product, it’s also the key to experiment for yourself. Who am I to tell you where to put contour and blush, or how to do your eyeshadow? You have to find your own preferences in this area, and I’m just a little help to start that process, as I’ve learned a fair amount about makeup myself already.

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As you can see, the blush makes Isabel look healthier in a way that she isn’t as pale anymore as she was before. The blush is not too noticeable, but just enough that you can subconsciously see it.

Isabel: ‘ You can see it, but at the same time you don’t. I look a lot healthier and more awake already. And the light shimmering in the pink of the blush looks amazing.’

So, let’s continue.


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For the highlighting, I used the same products as for the contouring – as you can see as it’s the same flat lay. Once again; if you’re a beginner I suggest you use the NYX Wonder Stick, because it’s very easy and quite beautiful.

For anyone who doesn’t know yet: highlighting is the exact opposite of contouring. Instead of “drawing” the shadows, this highlights the areas you want attention to be drawn to, and places that are naturally lighter and more shimmery. The areas that I highlight are: the bridge of the nose, the forehead, above the cheekbones, up next to the eyebrows, directly underneath the eyebrows and a small spot on the chin.

This will finish the dimensional effect you want your face to have.

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You can clearly see the effect this has on Isabel’s skin and face.

Isabel: ‘ It looks incredible. When I think of highlight, I immediately picture those Instagrammers with tons of makeup and the incredible amount of highlight, but it’s more subtle than I thought and it was exactly what was missing before.’

And after a quick powder that I use to set the makeup and give it more of a matte finish, it’s time to start on the more exciting parts of makeup: the eyebrows, the eyes and the lips. 🙂


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This is a part I once again thoroughly enjoy because you don’t know how much eyebrows matter until you’ve done your eyebrows. It’s a tricky thing, because some people (including me) have trouble seeing when your eyebrows are too thick and too dark and too much, etc. I’ve learned this though, gradually, over the course of the past year, just by practising a lot and taking pictures of different thicknesses – is that a word?

Finding your shade is a process that you have to go through yourself. I suggest you use a colour that’s close to the natural colour of your eyebrows, and not too dark! On the Internet and Google Images are more than enough pictures of overdone eyebrows, and they’re not pretty.

For your eyebrows, it’s best to use a small, thin, angled brush. Some of these products are actually from Primark, but in some cases, the brand doesn’t matter, because it’s actually really good. And if you’re new to all this, investing in expensive products from Estee Lauder and Mac might be a bit dangerous.

I usually start on the inside of the eyebrow and gradually draw the outlines. Don’t end too thickly, is my main tip. And always follow the line of your own eyebrow, because that way it looks the most natural it can be.

Unfortunately, I only have pictures of the eyebrows with the eyeshadow already done. I’m sorry. 🙂

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Isabel: ‘ It looks incredible. I love the way my eyebrows make this whole look much stronger.’

Now let’s finish the look of the eyes, with eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner.



Now, this is a part most people have become incredibly creative with in the past decade. It’s grown into something so famous and so beautiful that I’m wondering if there are areas, tricks and things that haven’t been tried yet.

Now, for this look, I decided to step away from the pinks I usually use (personally) and not try anything with bright colours either, because I wanted to do something Isabel would be able to wear to school too, simply because that’s also the point of this blog post: to show the basics, not the bold.

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I went for a goldish tone and some darker colours to compliment that. The way I do eyeshadow, I start with the base colour, which is the gold in this case, and I put it on the whole eyelid. Then I get a darker colour and blend it into the gold on the outside of the eye and a little in the crease. Then I use a lighter, shimmery colour in the middle to bring out the colours and make it more intense.

Then, to make this look a little more fierce, I decided to use some eyeliner. Now, with eyeliner, there’s a thousand tips and tricks online on how to do it best, but for me, only a few actually worked. I usually draw a line and take away everything that’s not supposed to be there with makeup remover. But basically, it’s practising. I also found that doing eyeliner on someone else is even trickier than on yourself. 

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It’s smart to put a dot on the end of the wing, on both eyes, before actually drawing the wing. This way, you can see in advance if they’re even.

And then I applied mascara, to finish the eye-look. The amount and kind of mascara is of importance in terms of how intense the look is and how strikingly and big the lashes will look. But, for newbies to makeup: you don’t need to use a waterproof mascara. Honestly, I mainly use non-waterproof mascaras and it’s not as if they dissolve within five minutes. They stay throughout the day perfectly fine and are easier to take off at the end of the day. 

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Isabel: ‘ My eyes look insane! It looks as if it’s ready for Instagram. I think I’d leave out the eyeliner though, because that brings a piece of fierceness I wouldn’t wear to school.’

And well, I totally agree with her. 🙂



Lastly, I want to talk about the lips. It’s the thing that’s so important in someone’s face that it makes such an impact if you use a bold colour. But, I wanted to keep it a little more subtle with a lipstick from Urban Decay. But, there’s something that I do that is a little different.

I’m not the first one who’s done it, and I certainly didn’t think of it myself, so I cannot take credit for this at all. But, we contour our face to make it looks a certain way, so why wouldn’t we do that with our lips? 

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As you can see, I used to cheaper lipsticks from HEMA to contour the lips. I put the lightest colour in the middle and the darkest colour on the outside and a little bit in the middle. This will make Isabel’s lips look fuller, which is something many people find beautiful and attractive.

And when you blend these colours a little and put the right lipstick on top of it, it looks gorgeous and more subtle than you’d think it’d look.

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Isabel: ‘ I love this trick! I wouldn’t have ever thought of this myself and had never seen it before. It looks so subtle and so beautiful, it’s as if there isn’t anything but the top layer of lipstick.’


So, that’s the end of the blog post on Basic Makeup Education. I want to thank Isabel Bannenberg for being my model and for being willing to spend three hours in a chair to do this. She’s my rock, my best friend, and my everything. ❤ Also, check out her blog, as she’ll post a little story about this day there too! ❤

And that’s the end of this week’s blog post. I hope this helped you, inspired you, helped you with basic makeup tricks, or at least entertained you for the time being. All the love, x. ❤





      1. Work with different materials and keep everything within a colour scheme or style – mine are all very soft with lavender, whites, blues, greys, wood, etc. But I’m also thinking of doing a blog post about this, funnily 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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