Just Getting Into Wearing Makeup? An Expert Explains Where to Start

If you're makeup-curious, chances are that you're feeling slightly overwhelmed with your options.

With dozens of types of makeup to choose from and thousands of options for each of those, getting started with products that will actually make you look and feel great, without damaging your skin, can be super daunting. That's why we turned to an expert for a little guidance. Dr. Liia Ramchandra is a former pharmaceutical exec and the founder and CEO of EpiLynx gluten-free skincare and cosmetics, and she has some excellent tips on where to start and the essentials of maintaining healthy skin.

Sweety High: What are the signs that you're ready to get into makeup?

Dr. Liia Ramchandra: You will know when you are ready! Do not force yourself to either like it or not to like it. You do not have to force yourself to like or eat ice cream, right? It is the same with makeup. If you feel like it, wear it!

Shutterstock: Beauty model teenage girl looking in the mirror and applying mascara make up. Beautiful young woman apply makeup

(via Shutterstock)


SH: Where's the best place to start? What are the best categories of starter products, and what are the products that should be introduced once someone has the basics down?

LR: Start with a face wash and a light moisturizer so your skin is fully hydrated and prepared. If possible, find a clean moisturizer (without parabens or phthalates, since they are not good for teens and young girls) with SPF 20 to 30 so you can be safe in the sun. Then, I usually advise you to do the following three things:

1. Find a fun eyeliner and mascara. Usually, that will immediately do the trick to "open" up your eyes. Some examples are here.

2. If you love lipstick, like I do (even under the mask), find a clean lipstick that is safe to use. Some examples here.

3. Finally, if you want to put an accent on your cheeks, find either a light pink blush or a shimmer highlighter. We have some examples here.


SH: What advice do you have for applying makeup when you're struggling with acne? What are the dos and don'ts for not making your acne worse with your makeup routine?

LR: When you have acne-prone skin, make sure you have an oil-free face wash (example here) and use an appropriate face cream (example here). Make sure you do not use any foundation, as that will clog your pores. Instead, let your face breathe. I would also advise going lighter on makeup: use eyeliner, mascara and lipstick, but avoid putting powders (which clog your pores) and many other products on your cheeks, forehead, etc.


SH: Why is it so important to pair a skincare routine with your makeup routine? What are the essential steps of a skincare routine for healthy skin?

LR: Skincare is a must, makeup is optional! If you want to keep your skin hydrated, healthy and looking gorgeous forever, start early (age 1) with the right skincare regimen, which includes:

1. Washing your face

2. Moisturizing it

3. Repeating morning and evening, 24/7

A skincare routine is a cake. Makeup is the icing on the cake!


SH: How can we identify the products that will be good for our skin vs. harmful?

LR: Stay away from parabens, phthalates, wheat (gluten) and anything with dairy and nuts. Many people have sensitive skin, and it is increasing with each year. 20% of kids have eczema and approximately 85% of teens have acne (!). Staying away from allergens such as wheat, nuts and dairy, but also chemically toxic ingredients such as parabens (endocrine disruptors, which bring you into early puberty and disrupt your hormonal balance) is important.


SH: What are some of your favorite recommended products for anyone just beginning to get into makeup?

LR: Here are my favorite eyeliners, highlighters and lipsticks. Also check out THESE products for acne-prone skin.

Epilynx miracle wash and skincare set

(via Epilynx)

SH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

LR: I believe the most important thing is not to be pressured to use makeup and only get into it if you feel like it and when you feel that you are ready. Make sure to moisturize your face and you will be your gorgeous self!

Dr. Liia ramchandra photo

(Image courtesy of Dr. Liia Ramchandra)


Learning to take care of your skin? Click HERE to check out some of the most common makeup and beauty mistakes to avoid.