But seriously, I truly believe in the video how-to when it comes to makeup application. On a purely practical level, there’s just nothing more helpful that watching someone physically show you, step-by-step, how to achieve a specific look or effect (and I came of age in the pre-YouTube, Seventeen-era days, so trust me — I really, really know).
And with so many makeup lovers and professional makeup artists eager to share their tips and tricks, there’s literally a treasure trove of helpful information when it comes to both the basic and more advanced makeup techniques. In fact my friends often think I’m some kind of makeup wizard, since I often like to sport a winged-eyeliner look or some simple contouring. And I always tell them that it’s really not all that impressive — I literally just watched a couple how-to videos.
If you’re on the hunt for some super helpful videos, but aren’t sure where to start (I admit, there’s a lot to sort through), here are 11 of my top recs
1. Fresh And Dewy Skin
While this video is from spring, fresh, dewy skin never goes out of style. This look is highly based in creams, as opposed to powders, so if you don’t have any on hand you may need to invest in a few cream-based blushes and highlighters.
2. Smokey Eyes
This super straightforward video from celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldrige gives you an efficient run down of how to achieve this classic evening look. And bonus — she only uses three products!
3. Foundation and Concealer
I love this video from makeup artist Wayne Goss because he really emphasizes the fact that foundation and concealer should never look or feel like a mask, but instead should just be used to even out your natural skin tone. He also never advocates using what you don’t need (for example, if you don’t really have under eye discoloration, don’t bother with concealer there. Sometimes less is more!).
4. Blush For All Face Shapes
This is another tutorial from Goss that I love because it provides five different techniques for five different effects you might want to achieve depending on your individual needs and face shape (for example, raising the cheek bones versus widening the face). It makes the theories behind the techniques super easy to understand and accessible even for beginners.
This super simple guide to bronzer from Pixiwoo is especially great for those of us who tend to over-complicate or stress about makeup application. It basically comes down to, “Where does the sun naturally hit you face?” and then applying a little product in those places. It’s so easy it’s almost embarrassing how many years it took me to get this right.
6. Contouring For Beginners
This contouring video from Australian beauty vlogger Katerina Williams is great because it uses products you likely already have and provides a super accessible step-by-step guide to basic contouring. It will also hopefully take a lot of the mystery out of this often intimidating trend.
7. Simple Highlighting
Kind of like contouring, highlighting is one of those techniques that can seem super intimidating to even experienced makeup user. This particular video provides an awesome how-to for bright, highlighted skin that also doesn’t look overdone.
8. Cat Eyes
I can’t tell you how many friends I have who insist they can’t “pull off” cat eyes, or have tried but just “never get it right.” And I always direct them to this video and remind them that it’s seriously just about practice. Trust me — no one gets it right the first couple tries! Just make sure you have a little makeup remover on hand so you can easily start over.
9. Matte Lips
This how-to from AlexandrasGirlyTalk shows you how to give any lipstick you own a matte finish, which is awesome because it basically doubles your lipstick collection. And note: as Alexandra mentions, it’s insanely important to moisturize your lips before attempting a matte lip look, as otherwise every crease and dry spot will show.
10. Diamond Eyes
This is an incredibly fun, slightly over-the-top look that’s perfect for the holidays or New Years. Just make sure you have the right sized brushes and the eye “gems” to fully complete the look.
11. Perfect Nails
OK, so your nails aren’t technically makeup, but I figure enough of us have trouble doing them ourselves that it’s worth including a solid how-to video. Seriously, with a few of these little tips your nail game will be improved ten fold.
Makeup is incredibly low-stakes, so it should never feel like a source of stress or frustration. Use tips from some or all of the above tutorials to master the basics or to help familiarize yourself with some of the more “advanced” techniques you might be afraid to try. And remember, have fun with it!