How to Apply Basic Daytime Makeup


Here I am with no makeup on (and I haven’t done my hair either) – you can see lots of brown pigmentation splodges (chloasma/melasma), so I wear a light liquid foundation to cover it up.

I have now applied my foundation, so most of the pigmentation is gone.

Then I apply concealer where I need it – so round my eyes (slightly yellowish to counteract the purple bags) and I also put a slightly lighter than my skin tone concealer round my mouth to define the edges of my lips. I then powder my face with either a mineral powder (winter) or oil-control powder (summer) to set my foundation.

Then I apply some blush to my cheeks – I don’t have very defined cheekbones, so wear it more slightly under rather than on the apples as this gives my face a more sculpted effect.

 I’ve also applied some eyeshadow (after applying an eyeshadow base – which I happen to think is one of the best makeup products available as it stops your eyeshadow from shifting during the day).
First I apply a light pink shade all over my eyes (I’ve got cool colouring, and pink is an eye intensifiying colour for me), which goes all the way up to my eyebrows and down to the lashes. I also apply it to the inner corner of my eyes and along my bottom lid at the nose to open up and brighten my eyes.
As my eyelids are drooping, I apply a darker shadow (this time a grey, sometimes a cool soft brown) in a sideways V shape on the outer corner of my eye – which goes on the brow bone (but still leaving a gap under the eyebrow) and around to the top of the lashes.
I then apply a dark shadow (this time in a dark brown) as a liner, sometimes I use an activator, which seals the shadow, sometimes I just apply as a shadow, both to the top of the lashes and also to the bottom lashes, but only 1/3 to 1/2 way in toward my nose.
I then curl my lashes with a heated eyelash curler and the apply mascara.
As my eyebrows are lighter than my hair colour, I fill them in and lenghten slightly with a taupe eyebrow pencil or light brown shadow.

Finally I apply a lip coloured lip pencil on my lips – both around the edge and also fill in the lips, before applying lipstick.

Voila, fini! (and off I go to do my hair)

Do you have any makeup tips to share?

Apologies for the strange angles of the photos – I took them all myself with outstretched arms!



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  • Wow~ You are so beautiful with and without makeup.
    I too am a makeup junkie and for me I look so radically different once I apply my makeup routine.
    I just discovered the Hot Lashes heated eyelash curler which I just absolutley love, keeps my super straight lashes curly till am and also love Mallys new all day eyeliner.
    I am looking for a great eye shadow base. Whose do you Love?
    I agree an eyeshadow base is essential.
    Thanks for your info~

  • After writing my post this morning I was thinking “I really do need to sort some make-up out” and then your post came along – just like magic.

  • Hi Imogen, You post is a godsend! Although I’m past 40 I have serious problems with make up as I never know exactly where to start! Your tips are excellent. Can you tell me which concealer you use pls? Do you also have a tip for under eye cream? Thanks. Ciao. Antonella

  • Madison – thanks for coming by and commenting (and thanks for the compliments)!

    I’m using an Ardell heated eyelash curler which I love!

    The makeup I use is the one I sell – I’ve not tried lots of different brands.

  • Jane: Glad I could help!

    Antonella – I use a yellowish concealer under the eye to conceal the blueish circles. If you have puffy under eyes be very careful about concealing as it can actually accentuate them. I’ll do another post specifically on that for you.

  • Your skin is AMAZING, I believe you wrote about what you use on it in an earlier post which I’m now going to find and re-read very carefully.

  • Thanks Cybill! It’s a mixture of having had bad acne til I was 26 (when I went on Roaccutane to fix it, which basically peeled off all the top levels of skin and got rid of lots of the scarring I had from the acne).

    I wear sunscreen every day and have done for the past 20 years (since I was 20). I’m careful not to use known irritants on my skin too.

    Makeup does make me look very smooth. Plus I’m not smiling in these photos so you don’t see my wrinkles!

  • I am joining your cult! You are the only blog I think about everyday. Okay, so enough of the crazy stalker talk and down to brass tax…

    This is a great post. I gave up on make up even though I know that I need to wear it. Thanks for the tips and instruction. I am going to look in to (but no promises) adding this as part of the new me, aint’ getting any younger improvment plan.
    And you are lovely with and without make-up

  • I am a non-foundation wearer (only a smidge of powder to take away shine) but love eye make-up and lipstick! I read a quote from Carla Bruni-Sarkozy recently in which she said women over “25 or certainly 28″ should not wear much makeup, because it makes them look older.”

  • Gorgeous! I like how you’ve done the blush, it really does accentuate your lovely bone structure.

    I’ve totally given up on liquid foundation, as I cannot find a shade that works. If it’s light enough to match most of my complexion, it’s too light for my red nose, and settles in the pores creating little white dots. If it’s dark enough for my nose it’s too dark for the rest of my face. I’ve just begun using a loose mineral foundation that my hair stylist is developing and will be marketing. He’s added just a touch of ground mica so that there’s a little radiance to it and unlike the other mineral foundations I’ve tried doesn’t make me look older. I have the droopy eyelids too and have been avoiding eye shadow entirely, but might give it another try. Any suggestions for a base color for warm-toned skin?

  • Hi Imogen, great post! I’ve just recently switched to Benefit’s “Fake-It” compact instead of liquid foundation. I feel a bit naked with less coverage but I find it doesn’t look as bad as I thought. I’m going to try the V of shadow at the outside corner of the eye.

  • what a great (and brave) post :)I also do those things minus foundation (I just strictly use mineral make-up as a foundation) and minus the eyes- I am mostly lazy with lining eyes and eye shadow unless I am going somewhere-but it does make a dramatic difference!!! I also much use concealer for darkness under eyes 🙂

  • Imogen, you big hottie!

    You look fantastic (both before and after)!

    I, regretfully, am more of a project. Just the other day, I sprained my wrist when I loaded too much spackel into the make-up trowel at one time.

    Live and learn.



  • SWC – a stalker – how cool! I love you stalking me! I stalk your blog too! There is no rule that says you have to wear makeup – I just enjoy it.

    Sal – some of us need more help than others. I used to work with a man (pig) who said “if the barn door needs painting then paint it” which I found offensive. Your barn door needs no paint – you are gorgeous as you are.

    Duchesse – women over 25 – if they’re looking old then what about the rest of us! That’s such a depressing thought! (I got carded in Chicago numerous times when I was 32, I don’t carry ID around so I kept having to show the bouncers my grey roots).

    Mascara would be my desert island product.

    Deja: I’ve tried numerous foundations and this one works really well for me. I also love mineral powders which I also use. I find that mineral powders often cover up the red better than liquids. I’ve quite a few clients with rosacea and they have found the mineral powders really calm the look of their faces down. You could also try a very very light covering of a green concealer on your red patches before you put on your powder.

    As far as eye colour goes – look for a slightly peachy nudish tone for all over your eyes then you could try a very soft mauve or warm brown accent shade.

  • Tessa – have a play with makeup. It’s such fun. Be a child and face paint. You can try following a makeup book- I’ll do a review of my favourite how to book.

    Christina – Thanks – I felt pretty exposed taking a photo of myself with no makeup and not having done my hair. But everyone has been so complimentary.

    K.Line – thanks so much – and back to you.

  • La Belette – thanks with hugs and kisses

    Anna – I’m not sure how to approach this subject, but I’ll leap right in. I’m not sure if anyone has ever mentioned this to you, but you appear to have just a little bit of extra hair above your top lip – have you ever thought about waxing it? Some sort of depilation (did I just make that word up?) might make you look more feminine.

    Ah, you crack me up. Can I borrow some of your spackel – I’m all out and now I need filling.

  • Hi Imogen, thanks for the tips. My problem is not puffiness under the eyes but dark circle connected to small lines (Panda look!!!). As you said as well, I’ve noticed that concealer make it worse as i dries the skin a bit. I’m looking for some miracle cream, but I suppose it’g also got to do with lack of sleep and nutrition. What do you think? Pity you’re so far away. I’d liek to have you as a consultant! Ciao. Antonella

  • Antonella – I like a creamy concealer (rather than something too liquid). I apply it with a brush for precision. I layer it on very thinly and add more, rather than put too much on to start with.

  • Imogen, you’re brave, girl! I could never show my bare face…you are such an honest blogger….and are helping millions across the globe be more beautiful and confident. I am in awe, as always, my Aussie friend.

  • That has been a good support, appreciate it, now to apply basic daytime makeup is simple and easy with your help. Kudos

  • I have the best makeup tip available & am happy to share.

    Drink 2.5 litres of water daily.
    Scrap packet food.
    Eat raw for 80-90% of your food
    Make sure you empty the er… Machinery twice a day and watch the eye shape change, the skin tone become taught, the blotches and apparent age spots (toxic liver and adrenal spots) disappear. Watch your hands smooth out and those er “age” spots disappear.
    Quick results needed? Fasting cleanse (contact me) for 21 days and you watch people beg you for what you’re doing different.
    Oh and you’ll wake up and literally leap out of bed.
    If in doubt … Try it out.
    youll be hysterically happy!

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