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Beauty notes: How to compare women’s makeup online

To most women makeup is our knight in shining armour. When we’re at our lowest point of despair, it’s always there to pick us up and help us soldier on. Okay, so maybe that's a little over dramatic! But it’s true that for most of us that makeup is our best friend.  Makeup gives us that much needed confidence boost to face the world.

Whether it's bags under our eyes from sleepless nights, spots on our t-zone or wrinkles on our forehead. Makeup can hide a multitude of sins. Whether you know what you’re looking for and just want a good deal or you need a little more advice and guidance- you’ve come to the right place!

No matter how much joy makeup may bring us, we cannot deny the fact that sometimes shopping for the stuff can be a minefield. It can be a challenge to find the right products to compliment our lifestyle and skin tone, without spending a fortune (and without being tempted by the latest fad).

Our beauty notes talk you through all the essential information when shopping online for makeup. We’ve balanced brands with budgets and gathered the best makeup tips and tricks to deliver you this easy to read guide. 

Different types of makeup online 

If you can’t tell your shadow liner from your luminizers, then this section is for you. Here is our no-nonsense guide to all the different types of makeup available to you online.
 

Choosing a blush online

Cheek tint - This is very similar to gel blush (see below), however cheek tints have more of a liquid consistency. Cheek tints can also be used on your lips so they are a good option if you’re trying to save money. Be careful to make sure you blend the blusher quickly, thoroughly and evenly to avoid streaks. However, you have to make sure to blend the blush quickly thoroughly and evenly to avoid streaks.

Chubby pencil - Chubby pencils are great for people with dry skin. They are also the perfect solution for girls on the go because they’re very easy to carry around in the bottom of your purse for that mid-day makeup touch up. 

Cream - If you suffer from dry skin, cream blush is the perfect blush for you. It adds color without drying out the skin. Apply with a foundation brush, fingers, or a sponge. Blend the cream into the fullest part of your cheeks and work your way to your hairline. 

Cream/powder - This blush formula is applied like a cream but dries with the long lasting results of powder blush. Cream/powder blush is best for people who have a normal skin combination. With this type of blush a little goes a long way so remember to apply cream sparingly.

Gel - If you have clear skin this is perfect for creating a natural and healthy glow. Be aware that this kind of blush can be hard to blend and requires plenty of practice. 

Powder - If you’re new to applying makeup this is probably going to be the best option since it’s very easy to apply. Always make sure your blush brush is clean before applying, otherwise it can alter the color. Apply the powder to the apples of your cheeks and sweep up towards your hairline. Be careful to make sure you blend correctly. 

Rouge pots - This style of blush is great for using on both your cheeks and your lips. It’s creamy in texture so works well on dry skin. Rouge pots are very easy colors to blend so they are a good option if you feel you’re not an expert at makeup application.

How to find the right bronzer – especially when buying online 

Not only are bronzers great at creating a healthy tanned look, without exposure to the sun, they are also wonderful at warming up your complexion. Bronzers can have different color bases; brown, red, blue, orange and yellow. 

When picking a bronzer you always want to select a color that is going to compliment your natural skin tone. If you would like to know what the perfect bronzer color for your skin tone is then see the table below. 

Skin Tone Bronzer color to choose 
Porcelain  Pink or peach toned shimmer
Light A creamy brown with hints of pink
Medium Pink toned brown with hues of orange - this will add warmth to the complexion
Medium - dark Brown with orange tones
Dark brown Brown with red tones
Very dark  Brown with blue tones

Concealer tips and tricks

Concealers should be just a few tones lighter than your skin color. Concealers work by covering blemishes or darker areas, leaving your skin looking clearer and healthier. Concealers are commonly used for covering circles under the eyes or spots on the face. However, there are concealers available for hiding tattoos, covering scars and reducing redness. 

Yellow- toned concealers are best at concealing blue tones in the skin that are commonly found under the eye. 

Green-toned concealers are great for covering redness in the skin, like pimples. 

Types of eye liner available online 

Eye liner is a great way to define your eyes, making them stand out and pop. Eye liner is also a wonderful way of giving your eyes the shape that you desire. In order to make the most of your eyes, always make sure the liner on the top lash line is thicker than any liner on the bottom lash line. 

Eye liner type Description 

Eye liner pencils- These are fairly easy to apply due to their creamy consistency. In order to avoid smudging you’ll need to set pencil eyeliner with powder or eye shadow. 

Gels and liquid liners- These are not the best option for anyone who is new to applying makeup because they require a steady hand and plenty of practice. This style of eyeliner is brilliant for creating an intense and dramatic look. 

Shadow liners- Shadow liners should be applied with an eyeliner brush that is stiff and thin. This style of eye liner can be applied both dry and wet and creates a long-lasting effect. 

Eye shadow 

Eye shadow is used to create a stand out look by accentuating the eyes. Just like eye liner, it can also be used to help correct the shape of your eyes. There are many different types of eye shadow formulas such as powder, cream, pencil, matte, sheer, shimmery, glittery, glossy, the list is endless.

If you want to create a natural look with your eye shadow, it’s important to use shades that will compliment your eye color. If you want to know what the best eye shadow colors are for your eyes, check out the chart below. 

Blue eyes  Light browns, greys and light purples
Green eyes Beiges, orange toned browns, purples, greens 
Brown eyes Creams, browns, pinks, oranges, greens

Eyebrows 

Eyebrows act as a frame for your face and can even transform your entire face. Well-groomed brows are a must-have. Once your find the perfect shape of brows for your face, from then on up-keep is easy. When adding definition to your brows you can use any (or all!) of these tools; brow brush, brow pencil, brow gel, brow shadow and tweezers. 

Foundation – how to find your perfect match 

In order to create a beautiful and natural look, we first need to create flawless skin. Sound hard? It doesn’t have to be if you know how to use your foundation to its full potential. The most important factor is to find a perfect formula color match for your skin. After that, evening our your skin tone is fairly straight forward. 

Formulas: 

Stick foundation – This foundation is the best for photography and is easily built up.
Liquid foundation – If you have dry skin this is your match made in heaven. Not only does it provide great coverage it also moisturises and hydrates the skin. Liquid foundation will leave dry skin feeling soft and looking great.
Whipped foundation – This is perfect for combination skin since it moisturises dry areas and absorbs oil from the T-zone.
Powder compact – Perfect for oily skin because it has absorbing properties. This style of foundation is very easy to carry around in your purse and great for mid-day makeup touch-ups.
Mineral foundation – Renowned for creating a natural finish, mineral foundation evens out skin tone and covers imperfections. 

Highlighter (luminizer) – A shimmery based product that is applied to certain features to accentuate them. The video below has great tips on how to highlight your face and make your best features stand out.. 

Lip makeup

Lip pencil - It’s usually best to find a lip pencil that matches the color of your natural lips. Lip pencils can be used to just define the outer edge of the lips or can be used across the entire surface of the lips. Applying lip liner across the whole lip acts as a perfect base for applying additional layers of lip color. The key to the lip pencil is to always keep it sharpened for precise application.

Lip-gloss – Great at creating fuller and shinier lips. For the best results apply lip-gloss using a lip brush, starting at the middle of your lips and working your way to the edges.

Lipstick – There are a wide variety of lipstick formulas available such as, matte, sheer, stains, tints and chubby pencils. If you struggle to find the exact color that you want don’t be afraid to mix and blend multiple colors. Mixing colors ensures you’ll create a truly unique look.

Buying mascara online – which formula is right for you?

Bold and long lashes can transform a whole look. Finding a formula that works for you is essential. For every woman there is a perfect match.

Volumising mascara: This type of mascara is designed to make your lashes appear fuller. Be careful when applying this formula because it is prone to clumping. To avoid this, wipe the brush before use and then wiggle the brush through the lashes when applying.

Lengthening mascara: This is designed solely to add length to the ends of your lashes. Since this is its sole purpose this product is usually lighter than other formulas so it doesn’t weigh the lashes down and make them appear shorter. 

Waterproof mascara: If you’re attending an occasion where you’re likely to cry (like a wedding!) then this is a great choice because it will avoid embarrassing streak marks. Just remember when buying waterproof mascara you’ll need to buy makeup remover that is specially formulated for removing waterproof mascara.

Powder

Powder is an essential makeup product because just a light dusting will set your makeup in place. This means it will leave you looking fresh for hours to come. If you have oily skin be aware that you’ll want to choose a powder that’s lighter than you think because powder dries darker on oily skin. For almost everyone powder should have yellow tones in order to create a natural look.

Primer – This kind of face makeup is applied before any other makeup. Primer is used to even out the skin tone and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Primer acts as a filler for imperfections.

Cheap makeup to designer makeup – balancing brand and budget

Whether you’re on a tight budget or you like to splurge on luxury items, there is a makeup to brand to fit every budget. To get a better idea of the brands you should keep an eye out for when shopping online, see the table below.

Makeup type Budget option Designer option
Blush 17 Blush Powder - $6 Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Cheek Color $28
Bronzer Cover Girl Cheekers Bronzer $2.55 Dior Bronzer $46
Concealer Stript Marine Mineral Concealer $5  Dior Skinflash $37
Eye liner Coty New York Color Eyeliner Pencil $4 Lancome Artliner Precision Point Eyeliner $29.50
Eye shadow Rimmel London Glam Eyes $6.50  Clinique Color Surge Eyeshadow $25.50
Eye brow pencil Revlon Brow Fantasy Defining Brow Pencil $6.49 Clarins Eyebrow Pencil $23
Foundation Maybelline Wonder Finish Foundation $8.49 Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Foundation $110.52
Highlighter No7 Highlights Illuminating lotion $12.99 NARS Illuminator $29
Lip liner Revlon Colorstay Lipliner $11.98 Dior Lipliner Pencil $29
Lip gloss Maybelline Sensational Liquid Lip Gloss $5.19 Chanel Pure Shine Intense $32
Lipstick No7 Vital Brights Lipstick $9.99 Tom Ford Private Blend Lipstick $48
Mascara Rimmel The Max Volume Flash Mascara $7  Dior Diorshow $25
Powder L'Oreal True Match Mineral Finish $10.60 Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Skin Smoothing Loose Powder $30
Primer Rimmel Fix and Perfect Primer $7.50 Smashbox Photo Finish Primer $42

Buying makeup online – how long should I keep it for?

After a while you will see the effectiveness of your makeup deteriorating. This is an indication that it's begging to be thrown away. However, if you find it hard to tell when the shelf life of your makeup has ended, then take a look at these rules of thumb for the expiration dates of makeup.

It’s always a good idea to write down or mark the makeup with the date that you bought it. This is an easy way to keep track of how old the product is and know when it’s ready to be replaced.

Makeup type  Shelf life
Foundation  12 months
Concealer  12 - 18 months 
Powder  24 months
Blush and bronzer 24 months 
Eye shadow  24 months 
Eye liner 24 months
Liquid liner  3 - 6 months 
Mascara  3 months
Lipstick  24 months
Lipliner  24 months
Lip gloss  12 - 18 months 

Buying makeup online in the US – delivery and returns

Here are some of our tips and tricks for when going online to purchase makeup:

  • When buying makeup online make sure you always factor the delivery cost into the price.
  • Always compare prices (which Cafe La Moda helps you do easily!) the same product is often different prices from different retailers.
  • Read peoples feedback on the item – this will give you a good idea of whether the item is worth the purchase
  • Always check to see if there is a cheaper alternative that is just as effective
  • Most retailers will let you return makeup even if you've opened it and tried it! We recommend looking at the retailers return policy before you buy, especially if it's makeup like foundation where the color is key and may need to be returned if it isn't perfect!

Shopping for makeup online

Now that you’ve read our guide you’re ready to compare the variety of makeup products that we have to offer. Under our makeup section we have broken the products down into four pages, eye makeup, face makeup, lip makeup and makeup sets, for your ease and navigation. 

Once on a product page, why not make use of our brand, keyword and price filter? Here at Cafe La Moda we have a large range of deals and offers to fit everyone, from budget makeup to designer makeup.