The Ultimate Basics of Beauty

Hello lovely readers of Runwayz Magazine! My name is Grace & I am the new beauty writer for this editorial called ‘Beauty Breakdown’. I’m going to be providing you all with tips, tricks & everything you need to know about beauty! Today, I’ve decided to give you a breakdown of the fundamentals of skincare, makeup & haircare – and don’t worry, I believe in inclusivity & have also provided any and all information my beautiful melanin-rich readers in all topics. I hope you all enjoy my very first article!

Basics of Skincare

Whether you enjoy a lot of makeup or a light & natural feel – skincare should ALWAYS come first in your self care & makeup regime. Now, not everybody likes to go the full nine yards with their skincare regimen so I’ve put together everything you need to know about the basics – and maybe a little beyond – about skincare.

Bacteria can block pores causing oil to build up inside the pore which can result in blackheads, blemishes & a dull complexion.

Do NOT sleep in your makeup. I understand that it can be hard sometimes especially if you’ve gotten all comfortable in bed or it’s almost 4 am and you just want to go to bed but PLEASE – just wash your face even if it’s just a makeup wipe or water and a mild cleanser(ex. Cetaphil).

Cleanse your skin EVERYDAY. This is mandatory per my request – trust me, it’ll be worth it.

Whichever method of cleansing you choose do not over rub you skin – this can cause irritation or contact dermatitis* Use lukewarm water & pat dry. Depending on your skin type you can also use hot water if you desire. If you do not know your skin type or are not sure, opt for a gentle cleanser as it will act as a balance & overall keep your skin neutral.[/col1]

Believe it or not, there are
Thousands upon thousands of layers of skin. The outermost layer of skin natural sheds which – if not exfoliated – can cause dry & flakey patches, breakouts, or blemishes depending on your skin type. Exfoliation accelerates the process of shedding to reveal more radiant skin & stimulate cell renewal to replace that dead skin.

Exfoliation can be either mechanical or chemical- meaning for example you could use either a cleansing brush(ex. Clairsonic Mia 2) and a cleanser of your choice OR an exfoliating scrub(ex. Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Scrub).

Though exfoliating can feel so good to the point where you want to exfoliate twice a day – try to avoid overexfoliating. Exfoliation can be very rough on the skin and cause excess breakouts & blemishes and can sensitize your skin. This is because exfoliation helps remove excess oils & sweat from the pores and – if overdone – will cause your skin to think to overproduce even more oil & sweat.[/col2]

Your skin need nutrients from what you feed it just as much as your body does. Giving your skin the proper nutrients vital to it’s barrier protection* and rejuvenation processes assists in the body’s natural healing process.

pH levels* are extremely important when it comes to keeping your skin balanced. To balance out the skin’s pH, try to buy a toner and a moisturizer that are similar in main ingredients OR some products will have the pH level posted on the products packaging.

If you do not know the pH of your products, I suggest purchasing pool pH level papers & dipping them into your products and compare their levels – if they are complete opposite levels, I suggest finding a product that is on par with one of the two.

Hydrated skin is beautiful & happy skin. Because your body is 90% water, staying hydrated is top priority.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day(at the least 32oz) even if you constantly need to relieve your self – your body will thank you.

Use a light moisturizer during the day and a thicker cream or serum at night that match your skin type & concerns.[/col1]

UV* Protection is something that a majority of those that care for their skin forget to do. Sun damage is the number one cause of skin cancer in the world and can cause terrible long-term issues so PLEASE – slather on that SPF.

When looking for the right sun protection for you, look for a “broad-spectrum” SPF. This will ensure you are protected from ALL types of UV rays when you’re out soaking in the sun.

When you’re exercising, try using a performance formula to prevent the SPF from sweating off.

Last but certainly not least – WEAR.SPF.EVERY.DAY.

Basics of Makeup:

Whether you’re an avid face beater & glazed donut goddess OR you prefer you’re birthday suit – you’re bare FACE, keep it classy people – the more you know the less effort it takes and if something is going to cut down the time it takes to do(or not do) my makeup I’m willing to learn.

How to ‘Properly’ Apply
Your Makeup:

First and foremost, moisturize if you haven’t already. This will create a nice little barrier between your skin & the products so your skin stays nourished.

Next is your primer for both your face & eyes. Primer will hold your makeup in place so it will stay all day. If you prefer little to no makeup you can wear most primers by themselves.[/col2]

After you’re prepped & primed it’s time for foundation. (If you’re doing an eye look with lots of darker or glittery shadows, do your eyes first before your face to avoid fallout ruining your base) A pro tip for color matching your foundation, try to find a shade of foundation that matches your neck. This will make your base look even more flawless and seamless.

Once you’ve blended out your foundation, concealer comes next. When picking out concealer, go for a shade that is one or two shades lighter than your foundation. This will give life to the inner perimeter of your face – to do this , apple concealer to the under eyes, bridge of the nose, middle of the forehead, and chin. If you wish to contour with concealer, follow the same steps with a shade or two darker than your base & apply to the hollows of the cheeks, sides of the nose(optional), temples or hairline(optional), and along the jawline(optional).

Now it’s time for powder. Per your preference, set the areas you’ve concealed with either a pressed or loose powder that is two shades lighter than your base. You can also set your entire face if you desire. If you choose loose powder, I suggest ‘baking’. Baking is essentially applying excess amounts of loose powder to your concealer to lock in your concealer and prevent creasing. The powder blocks in the body heat radiating from your skin and causes your concealer to essentially “bake”. If you choose pressed powder simply apply the powder to the concealed areas with a smaller duo fiber brush.

Brows can be done before everything or after the base is finished per your preference. Choose a brow product whether that be powder, a pencil, pomade, gel or brow mascara that is a shade or two darker than your natural hair but be sure not too make them too dark if you’re going for a natural look – otherwise, do what you desire sis! -. To make your brows Instagram worthy, once they’re filled in how you like, carve them out with concealer and either an angled or slim packing brush. This will make them look for put together & clean them up a bit(be sure to carve them out slowly and start a bit farther from the brows to ensure you do not carve too far into your brow shape). To give your brows that faded ombre look, simply fill your brows in arch to tail & draw a line underneath the front to mid portion of your brows, creating small hair-like strokes at the very front end of your brows. Then using a spoolie, blend that line up into the front end of your brow – try not to blend out those hair-like strokes too much or they will not give the illusion of fuller brows. Once your brows are done, apply some brow gel to set them in place & you’re done! Eyebrows on FLEEK.

While you’re baking, slay those eyes. When in doubt, BLEND.BLEND.BLEND. Place your shadows in the exact spot you want them to be the ‘darkest’ to help with blending out the shadows. Tilt your head back so you can really see where your crease sits and keep your eyes open- this will help applying the shadows in the rights spots & will look beautiful with your eyes opened or closed. Especially when working with darker shadows, build up your shadows instead of going all in right away – this will prevent patches, uneven blending and will give you more seamless Jaclyn Hill or Jackie Aina beautiful blended realness.

Eyeliner can be a love/hate product for most people. For winged eyeliner whether it is a cat eye or a kitten eye, apply scotch or micropore tape to the outer edge of your eye placing it from where your lids meet to the tail of your brows and draw on your preferred shape of liner. This will ensure a sharp and pristine line that could cut a chick. This can be done with eyeshadow as well if you like the sharp & clean edged look. For minimal liner, apply a small line as thin as possible along the lashline with either gel or felt tip liner. For smudged liner, using a kohl liner – if you do not have kohl liner, take a lighter and let the tip of a regular liner hover above the flame for a few seconds and let it dry to soften your liner making it easier to blend- apply a small amount of liner to the lashline and blend out using a dense pencil brush & build up to your desired darkness.

Bat them lashes girl! Mascara is quite simple: curl your lashes(be sure to get every lash nice & lifted!), apply your desired mascara, apply lashes over top the mascara(optional, there will be a separate article on false lashes in the future), apply more mascara to blend your natural & false lashes together and BOOM – Your lashes are fierce.

Time to cut those cheekbones. In this step you can either contour or bronze up your skin. When contouring, use a shade of powder that has a grey undertone and is one or two shades darker than your base. This will give the illusion that there is a natural shadow cast underneath your cheekbones into the hollows of your cheeks. You can take loose powder and bake underneath your contour to make the line more sharp. If you are bronzing, apple the bronzer to the outer perimeter of your face and blend as seamlessly as you can to give the illusion of a natural bronzed face.

Make your cheeks pop with some blush. Apply any shade that you desire & blend over the bronzer or contour and bring it up into the temple area for a more natural blushing look.

Last but certainly not least, LIPS! Try to follow the natural curves of your lips first before attempting to overdraw your lips. This will allow you to focus solely on lining your lips instead of your whole lips entirely. Line them using a lip or angled brush to ensure smooth & precise lines. If you mess up – don’t sweat it! Just clean them up with a little concealer or foundation on an angled brush

Melanin-Friendly Makeup Brands:

Bobbi Brown
Estee Lauder
L.A. Girl
MAC Cosmetics
Makeup Forever
Laura Mercier
Black Opal
Sacha Cosmetics
IMAN Cosmetics
blackUP Cosmetics
Black Radiance

Basics of Haircare:

Whether you have that gorgeous, melanin-rich hair or beautiful & delicate Caucasian hair, it is so important to keep your hair happy & healthy both inside and out.


Do not skip protein treatments such as an egg hair mask which you can make yourself at home:

EGG PROTEIN MASK: Beat one or two eggs. Apply the egg mixture to clean, dry hair, working from scalp to ends. Wait at least 30 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. Follow up with shampoo.

Do NOT use heat of any kind.

Get regular trims, this will help promote hair growth & improves the health of your curls.

Try the inversion method. Click the link & and follow the steps.

Take your vitamins EVERYDAY.

Eat almonds as a snack, whether that be chocolate covered, roasted, salted, or praline. Almonds contain biotin which is a staple vitamin for hair, skin & nail health.


Oil your ends to stop them from breaking. Hair breakage can slow down the growth rate of your hair & blocks the nutrients in hair products from penetrating the hair.


Virgin Hair Fertilizer

Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Queen Helene Royal Curl Conditioner

Queen Helene Cholesterol Hair Mask

Wide Tooth Shower Comb

Dark & Lovely Naturale Hydrating Shampoo

Argan Oil Detangler or Olive Oil

Gentle Edges Double-Sided Brush/Comb or a Toothbrush

Eco Styler Black Castor & Flaxseed Oil Styling Gel

Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie

Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker

Kinky Curly Curling Custard


GREEN TEA: As an antioxidant stimulates & promotes hair growth, leaves your hair with a beautiful shine, and reduces shedding.

HONEY: Helps regulate and retain moisture, strengthens the hair follicles for healthy growth.

OILS: Coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, vitamin e oil, etc will give added moisture & shine, and will give your conditioner more slip.

For shine, moisture,
promotes hair growth, prevents itching on the scalp, reduces dandruff and conditions your hair.


Drink your water.

Take your vitamins DAILY.

Wash your hair every other day, avoid washing daily.

Opt for a comb instead of a brush. Brushes cause a ton of breakage and especially for my curly girls, will cause your hair to more likely be frizzy. Combs will glide through your hair much easy, cause little to no damage and detangle without getting stuck.

Get your ends trimmed when needed, on average about twice a month.

Hair mask once or twice a week depending on the state of your hair health. Use a mask that is designed for your hair type & concerns.

Try to use sulfate free products. Sulfate is what causes you shampoo to overlather & can cause internal damage to your hair follicles – sulfate free does not mean it will not lather.

Avoid dry shampoo as they overdry hair & remove not only excess oils but your hair’s natural oils as well leaving your hair dehydrated and dull.

Give yourself a scalp massage for at least 5 minutes a day. This will circulate blood flow & stimulate your hair follicles resulting an increased hair growth rate.

Avoid heat as much as possible, especially if your hair is very to extremely damaged. Using heat protectant does not protect your hair 100% from the damage heat can cause.

Braid your hair at night instead of sleeping with it free. Sleeping with your hair in braids prevents breakage from your pillow – I recommend purchasing silk pillowcases to prevent breakage even further. Silk pillowcases also keep your skin radiant & prevent breakouts.

Use oils as treatments, leave in, oil massages, or additives to your conditioner for dry hair. Coconut oil & olive oil are best for all hair types.

For oil massages, rub oil on your scalp for at least 5 minutes, lean your hair upside down and continue massaging to promote the circulation of blood flow.


1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Honey
1 Egg
– Leave on for 20 to 90 minutes depending on the damage level of your hair. Rinse & shampoo if needed. For extra love, condition your hair after shampooing.

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Cleansing Conditioner

Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo

Its’ a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product

Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Conditioner

Neutrogena Triple Moisture Hair Mask

Clairol Hair Food Honey Apricot Moisture Hair Mask

L’Oréal Color Expert Post-Color Repair Treatment

Acure Root + Hair Deep Repair Mask

Olaplex No 3

Grace Michelle

Christina Koop

Author: Christina Koop

Christina is a fun loving, trend oriented millennial with an eye for trend spotting and digital marketing. In her spare time, she is usually found with friends, reading the next marketing tech book, or simply with her husband relaxing and enjoying all that life has to offer her in NC.