The best way to practice applying makeup around a model head.

Whether you're a budding esthetician or need to learn how to do your makeup correctly, head casts are a great place to start. Head models give you an easy way to practice basic makeup application. Using a head model certainly allows you to make a few mistakes and start over or practice multiple looks in a single application.

Prepare the head cast

Prepare the head cast (see supplier's source) Clean the entire surface with an alcohol-based wipe. Some practice head designs include a removable makeup cover. For those who have one, use it as your head model and attach it the same way. Let the surface dry completely.

Choose your type of makeup. If you want to use powder makeup, make sure your foundation, eyeshadow, and blush are powdered. If you're using a liquid or cream foundation, follow with a cream blush. Apply foundation. Liquid or cream foundation should be applied with a damp makeup sponge. Blend a thin layer over the entire face. Let dry for almost any minute. If you're using a pressed powder or mineral foundation, dip and swirl the brush into the powder, sweeping over the entire face.

Apply eye shadow. The head model's eyelids may be thinner compared to a real person's eyelids, so please use a small brush. Keep your makeup light with a neutral undertone (taupe, beige or champagne) from the eyelid to the browbone. If you use powder shadow, use an outline color. Use a darker shade (brown, bronze or gold) and apply in the crease of the inner corner of the eye, towards the edge of the lashes. Wipe comb clean with a paper towel and mix.

Apply eyeliner (a marker tip is easier for beginners). Using liquid eyeliner, use a small difference immediately from the lash line to the outer corner of the eye. Let dry. Once the lines look too harsh, apply lightly with a clean, dry brush or your fingers.

Apply blush. Powder blush should be applied with a brush. Cream blush should be applied with a damp, clear makeup sponge or fingertips. For a cream blush, use three small dots. For powder, twist the brush into the compact and tap to remove excess powder. Apply blush from cheekbones to temples.

Apply lipstick or lipstick. For lipstick application, use a lip brush. Dip comb lightly into tube and work through lips starting at center and working out. Dip again and completely outline the lips. If the color is too bright or heavy, pat dry with a paper towel or your fingers. For the lipstick, use the stick inside the tube. For pot tints, use a clean lip brush. Using a thin coat, apply from the outside in.


Remember that focusing on the head model is completely different from focusing on the actual skin. The skin on your mannequin head is tougher and less absorbent, so you'll need less product. You are practicing basic brushing and application techniques. By focusing on the actual face, you will notice more movement and flexibility in the skin. Don't put your hands or fingers where any real person would feel uncomfortable. Use the forehead or cheekbones to steady the brushing hands.


Never use lipstick or stains to the mouth area around the head model. It can leave a permanent color in your mental models. Repeated practice is important to improve technique. Experiment with colors and advanced techniques in your mental models, then practice on your friends before you decide you're completely comfortable.