Saturday, April 26, 2014

Basic and Full Makeup Routine (with product recommendations!)

Ironically for a blog the is supposed to be about a thoughtful life, my most popular posts in traffic have been about hair and makeup. Since I've written about various makeup things I've tried and now have settled into a rhythm, I thought I'd blog about what I do.   I like makeup, and I like wearing it. I want it to be affordable, effective, and natural-looking.

Mom-day makeup:
I am a stay at home mother of two small people currently, and it is for real hard to find a moment to even go to the bathroom. So, on those days, my makeup had best take five minutes or less. Because of that, I have discovered BB Cream. The idea is to combine moisturizer, concealer, primer, and foundation into one product instead of being many complicated products. Genius. But.... does it work?

I recommend L'oreal Magic BB Cream. This is new to me and so crazy because it comes out of the tube as a white cream but is skin color when you spread it on your face. Bizarre. It has good coverage and looks smooth... I'm impressed. It doesn't, however, last as long as I want it to. If I am out and around for the day, I do my regular makeup. If I wake up to kids fussing and 100 things need to be done, I just wash my face, put on a little BB Cream, and add eyeliner and mascara (see below for my recommendations for those two).

Full Makeup Routine:
1. Concealer.
Concealer is a must for me. I blend a little in with my fingers on dark spots - under my eyes, around my nose, and my chin. I currently alternate between two kinds of concealer. One goes on a little easier and is probably better for most people - that's Hard Candy Glamoflauge. The other is thick and heavy coverage, better for the Texas summer when it's humid and I'm sweating. That's Physician's Formula ConcealRx.

Side note: Most people would say to put on moisturizer and a primer first. I'd say that moisturizer depends on your skin, the weather, time of year, etc. So - I make no recommendations. As for primer, I am not convinced that it works. I've done an experiment with half my face primed and the other half not, and it made no difference. I'm still figuring it out, but I won't recommend it until I'm convinced.

2. Foundation
My recommendation is Revlon Colorstay liquid foundation. It's great coverage and staying power. I blend it in with my fingertips. If, however, you don't like the feeling of makeup on your skin, it might be too heavy for you. In that case, I recommend BareMinerals foundation powder. Get their basic foundation powder and a good brush. Watch a tutorial video online for inspiration. The little container will last you forever and it's good stuff. I use both of these together. Today, as I edit this post, I am back from a hot day at the zoo. My combination of these two products stayed on all day long, through the sweat.
3.  Color
Blush, bronzer, whatever. They're all an attempt to give us a little color. To be honest, my very favorite thing is again, BareMinerals. They have a product called "warmth". It isn't as orangey as a bronzer or as fake pink as a lot of blushes. It just makes it look like you've got a little warmth on your face. But really, just about any blush lightly brushed on will do the trick.

4. Eyeshadow
I think eyeshadow isn't a necessity, but I do use it when I am doing my regular routine. Unless you are going for painted on, thick color, I think most eye shadows work, even the cheap ones. I use a shadow set with a basic neutral color and a darker shade to put in the outside corners. This Physician's Formula knockoff of the expensive Naked eyeshadow palette is super cute and would give you a variety of neutral shades with a little shimmer.

5. Eyeliner
For me, I think taking care of my skin makes me look put together, like I didn't just roll out of bed. The eyeliner, though, is what makes me feel pretty. I am atypical because if I have the time I usually start by taking a small eyeshadow brush, dipping it in a little water, dabbing it in dark eyeshadow, and lining my eye on top and a little on the bottom. It gives it a little of the smokey eye look and is sort of midway between dark eyeshadow (but a bit more defined) and eyeliner (but softer). If you want to try it, this product seems made for it.

I don't like liquid eyeliner if it's like a little paint brush. I find that most pencil eyeliner wears off. I like the kind with a felt tip. It allows you to make a really fine line if you're uncomfortable with eyeliner, or a thicker line if you want it to be more dramatic. Try Maybelline Line Stiletto or Physician's Formula Eye Definer

6. Mascara
This, for me, is the hardest category to find a product I like. Most things people rave about... I don't like. Maybe it's just because I have pretty short eyelashes. Ironically, the one I keep coming back to is L'Oreal's Voluminous. Ironic because it's the first I ever tried because it was what my mom had as I was growing up in Indonesia. It does stay on, it does actually give volume. It also stays so well that it can be hard to take off! That's the problem.

Recommended Brands: 
For skin - If you don't really know what you like, have no idea what I'm talking about when I say things like primer, and yet really want to do more makeup, I recommend that you buy a Bare Minerals introductory pack. It has a lot of things and comes with an instructional DVD to give you a feel for what to do. I have loved the stuff. It is comparatively expensive, but it changed the way I do makeup after I got it for my birthday several years back.

For everything else (and sometimes skin too!): If you need an item and don't know what to start, the consistently great brand for me is Revlon, specifically the Colorstay line. Just go look over whatever they have and give it a shot.

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