Paula Begoun’s 10 Makeup Commandments

Makeup is definitely one of my vices and one I really don’t want to seek help with anytime soon!  So with that said, I’m always looking for advice on how to shop and test the latest cosmetics!  To help us with that, I have Paula Begoun on board, who has helped us in the past with how to keep our skin clear and healthy as well on how to find the right foundation for our skin type.  Here are her ten makeup commandments to abide by when shopping for makeup!

  1. Expensive Doesn’t Mean Better!  There are good and bad products in all price categories, and there are brilliant inexpensive products you should absolutely consider before going for the expensive stuff. 
  2. Shop With A Clean Slate!  If you plan to test foundation or concealer, visit the store or salon with a clean, bare face that’s prepped for makeup application, or be willing to take off the makeup you have on.
  3. The Right Light is Key!  Always check foundation, concealer and powder colors in natural light.  Department store lighting is deceiving; what looks perfect under artificial light can look glaringly wrong in broad daylight.
  4. Tone Down the Shine!  Be careful with shiny blush and eyeshadow.  Generally, for daytime makeup, a blush with a matte finish or just a hint of sheen works best.  Shinier makeup is best reserved for evening use or special occasions.
  5. It’s All in the Tools!  Whenever possible, test powder-based products (e.g., blush, eyeshadow) with the appropriate brushes.  Avoid sponge-tip applicators for eyeshadows and those cheap, super-tiny brushes often packaged with powder blushes.
  6. Protect Those Peepers & Lips!  Never test mascara or liquid eyeliner in the store.  Even if the brand offers disposable applicators, you don’t know how many people have double-dipped, how old the testers are, or how contaminated they may be.  We know it’s a pain, but for the health of your eyes, it’s best to purchase these products and test them at home.  The same is true when it comes to lip glosses.  Most glosses have sponge-tip or brush applicators that can harbor germs from other people.  It’s best to swipe the gloss on the top of your hand so you can get a sense of how the color “reads” on your skin and can assess its texture and finish.
  7. Smack On Lips, Not Germs!  Before you test a lipstick on your lips, have a salesperson sanitize it for you with an alcohol-based spray.  Lipsticks at the counter can become contaminated with germs and microbes that you don’t want near your mouth.  No alcohol spray?  Then wipe off several layers of lipstick with a clean tissue or have the sales associate “shave” off the top portion of the lipstick with a disposable spatula.
  8. Take Cues from the Pros!  See a cosmetics salesperson whose makeup you admire? Ask them for application tips, especially if their skin tone is similar to yours.  Chances are good you’ll pick up some great tips and begin to feel more confident about selecting the best colors for your needs.
  9. When In Doubt, Take It Back and Try Again!  If you buy a product that doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to take it back.  Almost all drugstores and mass-market stores (think Rite Aid and Wal-Mart) will provide a complete refund on cosmetics purchases if you have the receipt—even if the item has been used. 
  10. Bye, Bye Blues!  Lastly, as stated in Paula’s first book, Blue Eyeshadow Should Be Illegal, AVOID blue eyeshadow.  Unless it’s a deep navy, which can almost pass for black, most shades of blue are difficult to work with.  Plus, they do not play up blue eyes; actually, the opposite is true.  The same goes for any eyeshadow shade that’s too colorful, including orange, green, fuchsia, teal and especially red, which can make your eye area look inflamed rather than attractive.  Not ready to give up such shades?  Think of the fashion magazine covers you’ve admired, and then ask yourself: How many of those models or celebrities were sporting bright, colorful eye designs? 

Now for Number 10, I have to disagree. I love colored eyeshadows (especially blue!) and if the right shade is applied correctly, it can look amazing!  What are your thoughts on this commandment as well as the others?


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  1. I think #10 is somewhat correct. Pink and blue are the 2 colors that all the young girls would rock – especially back in hospital LOL. It’s as if those were the only two colors around.

    I think with all the different shades of blue out there, things have changed but the traditional powder blue – i agree has to go

    • Well it depends if these girls are wearing the right shade of blue or pink that compliments their skin tone. Even mixing a bright color with a neutral shade like gray or white even, can tone those colors down so it isn’t so out there.

  2. I was interested in the take it back if you’re not happy even if you have used it! And I agree with you wholeheartedly on disagreeing with 10 – I love all sorts of bright colours including blue, teal, green and red! Some skin tones can rock these colours – I’m sure yours is one of them!

    • You are too sweet!! I feel that anyone can rock any color eyeshadow as long as they have the right shade!


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    The advice and reviews of this blog are solely the opinions and experiences of the writer, MJ, unless otherwise specified. Products being reviewed have been obtained via free samples from featured companies unless otherwise stated.
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