The Different Types of Makeup: Basics of Beauty Essentials

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The power of makeup has been changing not just appearances but also the lives of many.

But the process of completing a look won’t be easy if you don’t know the different types of makeup.

From the eyes down to the lips, each facial feature involves special techniques and products, each with the intent of beautification, self-expression, and empowerment.

A variety of makeup products are arranged on a white background.

If you’re just about to begin your journey to exploring these different beauty essentials and thinking about what are the types of makeup, here’s an introduction to give you a jump start.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Beauty Product


“The pricier a product is, the better it works on your skin.” 

No, it doesn’t always equate to that. Price may be one of the most crucial points when buying beauty products, but don’t let it become the basis of what you call good quality makeup.

Consider the market price, but set a realistic and sustainable budget to go within your means. Once you have figured that out, research the products and brands that are within your plan.

Ever come across the terms drugstore and high-end?

When talking about makeup prices, these two are the main categories that you have to consider. 

Aside from the price point, the difference between them is the packaging, design, quality of ingredients, and of course, the brand reputation.

There is a lot of drugstore makeup that works just as well, and sometimes, even better than their high-end counterparts. 

Did you know that some drugstore brands like L’Oreal own luxury makeup brands like YSL and Lancome? Makeup companies or manufacturers give birth to cheaper or pricier renditions of a product to fill market gaps.

So when looking for dupes, you now know the first thing to research on. But also, never forget to take note of what your skin needs.


When choosing the right makeup product, we are looking into not just the formula and benefits. 

Makeup products won’t wait and sit on your vanities. Expect times when you have to travel with them. And those days can be every single day. 

That being said, it is necessary to ensure that more than being attractive and properly labeled, the product also has to be in durable and convenient packaging.

We have to really scan through every detail on the packaging, its claims, shelf life, ingredients, and whatnot.

If you can find products that are appropriate for your skin and come in sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging, that’s a plus!


Aside from that, versatility is another factor to consider particularly if you want to make the most out of your money.

Assess what’s the overall purpose of the product itself.

There are types of makeup products that are made for dual or multi-purpose, and it’s up to you to work your way through them. All-in-one product tints, balms, and creams that can be used for the eyes, cheeks, and lips are now on trend.

But to fully maximize the experience, search for tips, tricks, and new techniques to find multiple ways how to work with the products that you have. 

Skin Type

How long beauty products will sit and stay on your skin will be pre-determined by your skin type as each of them is naturally designed to meet the different needs and types of skin.

To make sure you’ll be getting the best-looking results and to guarantee the safety of your skin, make sure you’re getting the products formulated for your skin. 

If you’re unsure, you can always consult professionals to know which type you have, but to give you a guide, here’s an overview of the different skin types:

Dry Skin

  • Unlikely to produce natural oil
  • Often looks dull, flaky, and red
  • Has less visible pores, more prominent lines, and lacks elasticity

With this skin type, you want to focus more on keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized.

Oily Skin

  • Produces excessive sebum, which makes the skin look greasy or shiny
  • Tends to have fewer wrinkles but has visibly larger pores
  • More prone to acne, blackheads, and other blemishes

If you have oily skin, you should wash your face at least twice a day, keep it cleansed, and use non-comedogenic products. 

Normal Skin

  • Neither too dry nor too oily
  • Has balanced sebum production and blood circulation
  • Has tiny, barely visible pores
  • Less likely to have blemishes and looks more radiant

Blessed are the ones with normal skin, but this doesn’t mean having a normal skin type needs no maintenance.

Stay hydrated, moisturized, and protected from the sun to have the best-looking skin every day. 

Combination Skin

  • Oily on some areas, most commonly on the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) 
  • Dry or normal on other portions like the cheeks
  • Can vary depending on the seasons throughout the year 

This type needs a good combination of products to work on the different areas of the face.

Sensitive Skin

  • Has redness or red patches, itching, burning, or dryness
  • Vulnerable to external irritants or triggers such as environmental factors, various chemicals or ingredients, or allergies

If you have sensitive skin, it’s important to know your triggers, avoid harsh chemicals, and check the ingredients or components present in every product you put on your face and skin in general. 

a sales lady introducing different types of lipstick to customer


When talking about longevity, we’re looking at two things: the staying power of the product itself and its shelf life. 

Some products are formulated to be long-wearing and resistant to different factors that cause makeup to wear off, like water and smudging. These are often indicated on the packaging or in the product description to allure more users.

The shelf life of a makeup product isn’t solely based on its type; it depends on what kind of formula it has.

Those that are prone to bacteria buildup and are used closer to the delicate areas of the face have to be disposed of faster than the others.

Here’s a table to give you an overview of makeup shelf life:

ProductShelf Life
FoundationLiquid or cream: 6 to 12 months 
Powder: 24 months
ConcealerLiquid or cream: 6 to 12 months 
Powder: 18 to 24 months
Face powder12 to 24 months
Blush, bronzer, contour, and highlighterLiquid or cream: 12 to 18 months 
Powder: 12 to 24 months 
Highlighter Liquid or cream: 6 to 12 months 
Powder: 12 to 24 months
EyeshadowLiquid or cream: 6 to 12 months 
Powder: 24 to 36 months 
EyelinerLiquid: 3 months
Gel: 2 to 12 months
Pencil: 12 to 24 months
Mascara3 to 6 months
Lip Balm 6 to 12 months
Lipstick and Lipliner12 to 24 months
Lip Gloss6 to 18 months


A product isn’t the best if this part wasn’t considered.

Why? When wearing different makeup types, the goal is to make the skin look good on the outside as it is on the inside.

It’s important to read the ingredients before lathering and building up the products on your face to ensure that you’re keeping your skin away from harsh chemicals that may induce long-term damage. 

Also, to enjoy a good look without guilt, there are plenty of products and brands that are cruelty-free or those that do not run tests on animals and are vegan and organic.


The final and perhaps the most vital part of it all: the quality.

Evaluate the overall performance of the product in terms of price, convenience, versatility, longevity, and ingredients, then ask yourself…

“Does it work well for me and my skin?”

We get it: one swatch isn’t enough for you to tell. So as you use it, examine how well it performs on your skin and how easy it is to apply.

Read the labels and reviews well enough to know what to expect the moment it touches your skin. Then check for its authenticity and how it stands up to its claims. 

Once you have it all on, consider how you feel about it on your skin. 

Altogether, your makeup shouldn’t make you feel conscious of melting, transferring, and smudging. It also shouldn’t look cakey and patchy. Instead, it must make you look and feel comfortable wearing it.

It’s also helpful to do a flash photography test before heading out, especially if you have events to attend.

Lastly, after taking it off your face, assess how your skin reacts. 

That’s how you can determine if you’ve got good-quality makeup in your hands.

Types of Makeup for the Face


A cropped photo of a woman's face with primer on it.

What It Does

  • Removes excess oil and mattifies the skin
  • Evens out the redness and hyperpigmentation
  • Seals the pores and smooths out the texture of the skin
  • Gives the skin a barrier and preps it for the entire makeup process
  • Provides your makeup a good base to adhere to and to make it last longer

You might be confused about whether this is skincare or makeup, and the answer is… it’s a hybrid between the two. 

In the makeup world, the primer has several forms and it can be used as a base for the lips, eyelids, and lashes. But this time, we’re talking about the one that you put right after you prep your skin and before you do your base.

Primers may not exactly be seen on your face, but adding them to your routine can boost the appearance and staying power of makeup. 

Types of Primer

Forms of Primer

  • Cream
  • Stick
  • Spray
  • Gel
  • Liquid

Primer Formulations

Primer Finishes

  • Mattifying 
  • Illuminating or dewy

Categories of Primers Based on Features

  • Pore-filling
  • Hydrating or moisturizing
  • Color correcting
  • Tinted
  • Anti-aging

BB Cream

A woman is applying a bb cream to her hand.

What It Does

  • An all-in-one product. that gives coverage with the benefits of skincare products such as hydration, sun protection, and anti-aging
  • Evens out the skin tone while keeping a fresh, light, and skin-like finish
  • Conceals imperfections without the harsh ingredients

BB creams, or beauty balms, are originally from Germany, but the modern rendition of this makeup staple was made famous in Asian countries. Korea, to be exact. 

It’s a combination of foundation and moisturizer, but it’s not a tinted moisturizer.

Unlike foundations, the coverage in BB creams is sheerer and lighter but can give you enough to cover minor blemishes for a naturally radiant look. 

CC Cream

What It Does

  • Preserves the skin better 
  • Protects the skin against photoaging
  • Light coverage without clogging the pores
  • Nourishes, improves, and corrects the skin tone and texture
  • Reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation, redness, acne scars, and dark circles

CC creams, on the other hand, stand for color-correcting creams and have a reputation for giving off natural-looking, flawless skin without making your face look cakey. 

You may be confused as to what sets BB and CC creams apart, and it’s simple! 

BB creams correct and cover blemishes with light coverage; while CC creams correct the complexion and target discoloration with more coverage than BB. 

CC creams are also more recommended for oily skin types since they usually get matte as it sets. 

Tinted Moisturizer

A woman wearing a towel is applying tinted moisturizer to her face.

What It Does

  • Provides sun protection
  • Versatile and easy to apply
  • Moisturizes and hydrates the skin
  • Provides a sheer, lightweight finish perfect for everyday use
  • Unlike BB creams, it has a wider shade range to choose from

If you want the light coverage of makeup and the protection of skincare, there’s no better option than to try tinted moisturizers

It gives the skin a healthy barrier against harmful environmental factors while giving you the benefits of cosmetics. 

This kind of makeup is a skin tint that is mainly a hybrid between a foundation and a moisturizer but also overlaps with sunscreens, which is why it is often called tinted sunscreen as well. 

You can also compare its purpose with a BB or CC cream, which is to provide coverage without the heaviness and cakiness. Still, it’s even sheerer compared to the two. 


A bottle of foundation and a swatch on a white surface.

What It Does

  • Covers imperfections and blemishes
  • Builds an even base for your makeup
  • Creates a uniform and even complexion
  • Smoothens and blurs the natural texture of the skin

Just like the same suggests, the foundation is the base for all different types of makeup. Nailing your foundation routine is one of the most important steps you need to learn if you want to ace the makeup game. 

This kind of makeup aims to serve every skin type and shade there is. It has the widest variety of shades, consistencies, and formulas based on your needs and preference. 

Foundations are the best investment you’ll never regret spending on as they hold your entire look together. 

Forms of Foundation

Types of Foundation Coverage 

  • Sheer
  • Medium
  • Full

Foundation Finishes

  • Natural
  • Matte
  • Dewy
  • Satin

Foundation Formulations


A close up photo of a woman applying dots of concealer under her eye

What It Does

  • Blurs fine lines
  • Acts as a base for the lips and lids
  • Conceals dark circles, blemishes, and discoloration
  • Essential in defining contours as it brightens and highlights

If you want to give your foundation better support, concealers are the way to go.

They provide further coverage to the areas and blemishes the foundation can’t cover. And on days when you want to look flawless without a lot of makeup, you can use a concealer on its own.

Concealers are also versatile; you can grab different shades and use them for contouring or use them for color correcting

Forms of Concealer

  • Liquid
  • Stick
  • Cream
  • Cream-to-powder


A woman's hand is holding a small container of loose powder.

What It Does

  • Evens out and brightens the skin tone
  • Sets the makeup and keeps it in place
  • Some can provide additional coverage
  • Eliminates excess oil and mattifies the face

Amidst a day of hustling, the first thing we reach for to freshen up our looks is face powder

Whether it’s tinted or translucent, it’s a daily essential, especially for those with oily skin types. It blots out the oil so you won’t look greasy, and it helps in keeping the makeup last long.

It can also be used as a stand-alone product if you want to keep a natural, simple, and less complex look.

Forms of Powder

  • Loose
  • Pressed

Types of Powders

Makeup Spray

A smiling woman with her eyes closed is spraying makeup spray on her face to set her makeup

What It Does

  • Keeps the face look hydrated
  • Helps mattify or add glow to the face
  • Lessens the risk of smudging, budging, and fading
  • Prolongs the life of your makeup and keeps it in place

After spending hours acing your makeup for a day of hustling or a night of full glamor, the worst thing you wouldn’t want to happen is for it to melt and slide off your face. 

Makeup sprays are your magic potion for that kind of problem. It’s one of the examples of makeup products you wouldn’t expect to be categorized as such.

No, it doesn’t work the same as face mists, which keep the face hydrated and moisturized before you do your makeup. 

This a liquid mist to be spritzed all over the face after you put the final touches to your makeup. It almost serves as the waterproofing and sealing agent to keep your makeup in place and extend its life.

It also improves your makeup’s finish and keeps it looking fresh all day or all night long. 

Types of Makeup Sprays

Makeup Spray Finishes

  • Matte
  • Dewy
  • Clear or transparent

Types of Makeup for the Cheeks


A beautiful woman with pink blush on and nails posing with her hand on her face.

What It Does

  • Defines the face shape
  • Makes the complexion more radiant
  • Doubles as an eyeshadow, a contour, and a lip product
  • Adds warmth and flush of color to the face and dimension to the look

When your face looks dull and lacks color, blush comes to the rescue.

It’s among the easiest makeup to use and has a natural impact on your overall appearance. It mimics a genuine flush of color to the cheeks, but you can also build it up to be more intense and striking. 

Blushes aren’t that far from the traditional powder form, but now, they come in a great assortment of colors, from the lightest and rosiest pinks and reds to the dark berry and chocolate shades to fit all complexions. 

They also come in different forms today for the perfect illusion of a radiant glow from within. 

Forms of Blush

  • Gel
  • Powder
  • Liquid
  • Cushion
  • Cream
  • Stain


Two compact bronzers sitting on top of sand.

What It Does

  • Enhances a tan
  • Gives off a subtle slimming effect
  • Can also be used to warm up some parts of the body
  • Adds definition and natural warmth or a sun-kissed glow to the face

No one wants a makeup look that’s flat and dull, but the maintenance behind a lasting tan also sounds inconvenient. If that’s the case for you, bronzers are the way to go.

Imagine how your face would be naturally warm when the rays of the sun hit it — that’s what bronzers do! 

A bronzer can be an everyday addition to your routine as you can keep it as subtle as you want or extend its use from a sunkissed glow to an easy slimming ingredient.

The most crucial part about bronzers and what you would want to consider the most when choosing your product aren’t as complicated. You just have to keep in mind that you’re aiming for natural shadows, and you’re good to go!

Forms of Bronzer

  • Gel
  • Liquid
  • Powder
  • Cream
  • Stick


a young woman contouring her face with powder contour using contour brush

What It Does

  • Gives the illusion of a reshaped face
  • Emulates natural shadows on the face
  • Creates natural-looking depth and dimension
  • Slims down and curves out different features both on the face and body

Want to temporarily alter your appearance without going through a surgeon’s appointment? The existence of contour products paved an easier way for us to change the shape of our face and some of its features.

Unlike bronzers, contours have a more intense effect on the look. However, it goes through a seamless blending of the skin to create the illusion of sculpting, slimming, and defining g. 

The easiest way to explain the process? Contouring makes you manually create the shadows and depth of your face. 

Typically, it’s on the hollows of the cheeks, creases of the eyes, sides of the nose, temples, and along the hairline, and you can also do these on the body.

Contouring works best when paired with the appropriate blush and highlight technique.

Forms of Contour Makeup

  • Cream
  • Powder
  • Liquid
  • Stick


Three compact powdered highlighters on a marble surface.

What It Does

  • Creates a glass skin finish
  • Gives a fresh, youthful glow
  • Gives the illusion of fuller lips
  • Highlights prominent facial features

Did you know that you can fake a healthy youthful glow thanks to makeup?

What makes them more majestic is how they are revolutionized. The market is filled with highlighters in various hues with different undertones to match different looks on different skin tones. 

Highlighters give the glow you never thought you needed. And when talking about glow, it isn’t just a blinding strobe of shimmer in the face.

It also accentuates your favorite facial features, especially when paired with a nicely blended contour. 

Forms of Highlighter

  • Cream
  • Jelly
  • Stick
  • Powder
  • Liquid

Makeup for the Eyes


a woman doing her brows using brow angled brush

What It Does

  • Gives the effect of fuller or well-formed eyebrows
  • Adds geometry and improves facial symmetry
  • Frames the face, accentuates the eyes, and balances the eye look

The eyebrows are one of the most defining features of the face.

Finding the right shape that suits you best is a matter of trial and error because brows are more than just arches above the eyes.

They can actually make or break your entire look.

From drawing as thin as a single line or subtly filling in the sparse areas to filling it to become thick and bushy, every trend has its fair share of the spotlight. The good thing is it has various types for you to play and choose from. 

Forms of Eyebrow Makeup

  • Gel
  • Wax
  • Powder
  • Pencil
  • Pomade
  • Marker
  • Mascara


a make-up artist applying powder eyeshadow to her client

What It Does

  • Complements your eye color
  • Adds depth, dimension, and highlight to the eyes
  • Draws attention by creating a statement via colors

The central point of every makeup look is the eyes, and the thing about eyeshadows is that it comes in a wide selection of colors and finishes for you to mix, match, and play with for an enticing eye look. 

It can be in a single color stick, pot, or in a palette with a range of formulas for you to master and find ease in application.

Eyeshadow palettes usually come in an array of colors that both contrast and complement one another to create a theme. It consists of light to dark hues that function as a base, transition colors, highlights, and depth.

Eyeshadow Forms

  • Powder
  • Cream
  • Liquid
  • Gel
  • Loose powder/pigment
  • Stick or crayon

Eyeshadow Finishes

  • Matte
  • Satin
  • Metallic
  • Frosted
  • Shimmer
  • Luster
  • Glitter
  • Marbled


A makeup artist applying eyeliner to a woman using eyeliner pen

What It Does

  • Alters the eye shape
  • Makes the eyes look more awake and wide
  • Adds accent to the eye look, creating dimension and statement
  • Some are infused with natural and organic ingredients that protect and nourish the eyes

Want to make your eyes look more captivating? Sharpen it up and enhance its natural shape with eyeliner. 

You can use it as a standalone product on the lids or tweak it to different shapes, depending on your eye look. There’s a myriad of trends and styles that you can choose from. 

It also comes in different colors and finishes.

Applying it on the waterline or the base of the lash line is a technique called tightlining, which not only enhances the eye shape but also makes the lashes look fuller.

Forms of Eyeliner Makeup

  • Gel
  • Pencil
  • Liquid
  • Stamp


A woman is putting mascara on her eyelashes.

When talking about eye makeup, there’s one more thing we makeup junkies can agree to: mascaras are essential to every makeup routine. 

Not everybody is blessed with naturally thick and long lashes, and sometimes, eyelash curlers just won’t give you the pop you’d want.

That’s when mascaras come in handy. They coat the lashes with a formula that makes them appear fuller.

Mascaras have different flairs that give them their standout feature. Some give off a false eyelashes effect, while some can give the most natural-looking curled lashes. 

But the secret to these isn’t the formula itself; the magic happens thanks to the different types of wands it comes with. 

Forms of Mascara

  • Waterproof
  • Lengthening
  • Volumizing
  • Lash defining
  • Curling
  • Non-clumping
  • Tubing
  • Fiber
  • Bottom lash

Types of Mascara Wands

  • Oversized for maximum volume
  • Coned/tapered for a winged effect and to lengthen outer lashes
  • Curled for lifting and curling
  • Thick bristles for denser lashes
  • Thin and straight for overall coating
  • Micro wand for the bottom lashes
  • Balled tip for detailed corners
  • Rubber bristles for lengthening

Makeup for the Lips

Lip Balm

A cropped photo of a woman smiling while applying lip balm on her lips

What It Does

  • Moisturizes the lips
  • Soothes lip irritation
  • Provides good SPF protection
  • Gives a healthy, plumping effect to the lips
  • Allows hydration to get through the lips for faster skin healing

Cracked and chapped are two qualities that no one would ever want their lips to be. Lucky for us, lip balms were invented.

Lip balms are lip butter in a tube or pot.

It has a wax-like consistency that contains lip-protecting and moisturizing ingredients like essential oils, vitamins, hyaluronic acid, petroleum jelly, and shea butter.

Plus, it can also leave a cooling sensation on the lips.

Yes, they are often made with natural compounds, and they also give the most natural-looking result on the lips. But if you want to add more flair and color, tinted lip balms are also a trendy alternative!

Features in Different Lip Balms

  • Tinted
  • Medicated
  • Flavored
  • Plumping

Lip Liner

A makeup artist holding few lip makeup brushes on her one hand while applying lip liner on a woman

What It Does

  • Can be used as an alternative to lipsticks
  • Provides the lipstick or gloss a good base to stick into
  • It gives more dimension to make the lips look fuller
  • Creates clean and precise outline for a more defined and reshaped lip
  • Gives your lipstick a boundary to prevent it from feathering and bleeding

The secret recipe to the perfect pout isn’t always the injections and incisions. Sometimes, a good lip liner formula and/or an exaggerated line are what you need. 

Lip liners are one of the most underrated parts of beauty routines.

They’re crafted using a mixture of waxes, oils, and pigments and are commonly found in a retractable tube or pencil to give the most precision to your lips’ outline. 

Lip Liner Forms

  • Pencil
  • Pen
  • Crayon 


A smiling woman in a bathrobe is applying lipstick in front of the mirror

What It Does

  • Defines the lips and completes the look
  • Provides good hydration and sun protection
  • It reflects one’s personality and embodies confidence
  • Enhances the complexion and makes the color of your teeth appear whiter

There’s no denying, the look won’t be complete without the color on the lips.

Lipsticks are women’s best friend, and perhaps there will never be enough lipsticks in every vanity to ever be called “too much.” 

Lipsticks are usually made with these key ingredients: wax, oil, and pigment, which is why each swipe of color coats the lips with different types of texture as well. 

The bolder the color gets, the more empowering and fun it feels.

You’d be surprised by how the market is now filled with a great assortment of colors and finishes that guarantee meeting your dream lip color. 

Forms of Lipsticks

  • Stick
  • Cream
  • Stain or tint
  • Glaze

Lipstick Finishes

  • Matte
  • Glossy
  • Sheer or satin
  • Frosted

Lip Gloss

A close up photo of a woman on a brown background applying pink lip gloss on her lips

What It Does

  • Adds shine to the lips
  • Amps up the entire look
  • Boosts moisture and hydration
  • Enhances the volume and plumpness of the lips

Perhaps one of the first makeup items that ever makes its way to our beauty stashes is lip gloss. We wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve had one of these as a kid. It’s simple, fun, and easy to use.

Days, when lip glosses are limited to being just gooey and shiny, are far over.

There is now an array of finishes to choose from so you can step up your look with the additional shine without worrying that your lips may get too sticky. 

Lip glosses are straight to the point.

Their purpose is to serve you luscious and lustrous lips, and you can quickly achieve that through a swipe of product to the lips. 

You can also pair the gloss with your favorite lipstick or lip liner for an additional edge.

The key ingredients of lip gloss consist of emollients or shine agents, thickeners, colorants, glitters, flavor, and control agents, and some even have SPF. 

Lip Gloss Finishes

  • Matte
  • Sheer
  • Shimmer
  • Glittery 
types of makeup infographic

Done Taking Notes?

That wasn’t as hard as you thought, was it? Mastering a look strongly depends on how well you know yourself and your features. 

Practice. Practice. Practice. Don’t rush the process, but rather, trust the process, even if it means going through a series of trials and errors just to get the perfect look.

Let’s Dive Deeper Into Beauty Essentials!

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  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

  • Rebecca Green

    With ten years in the beauty industry, Rebecca Green has mastered the art of makeup. Trained by celebrity makeup artist Debra Macki, she's worked from Macy's to Bobbi Brown, freelanced for high-profile clients, and even launched her own brand, BeccaPink Makeup. Her versatility spans from everyday looks to editorial shoots, and her work has been featured in Greek Cosmopolitan.

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