i think i started wearing make-up when i was twelve years old. nothing major, just a little mascara to accompany my lip smackers watermelon chap stick. and since that day, my make-up routine has gone from holy drag queen to minimalist and every stage in between. i used to be obsessed with make-up, hoarding nearly the entire eye shadow and lip gloss collections of MAC cosmetics. but looking back on photos amidst those days of shiny eyelids and glossy lips tends to have me shaking my head in shame. apparently at 16 more is more. thank goodness i’ve retired my supply of trax eye shadow and spice lip pencil and opted for a routine just above au natural. i’m not saying it’s not fun to get glammed up every now and then for a wedding or cheer competition (though like MAC make-up, i’ve also retired from the latter), but i’m pretty pleased with the five-minute face i’m sporting most days. so if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to make this mug camera-ready (and by “camera” i mean the small camera feature on my iphone), i’m here to put your wondering to rest.
my make-up routine (brought to you mostly by the fine makers of bareminerals cosmetics):
step one: skincare. before a lick of powder, bronzer, or blush touches this epidermis, i prime my face with the following products:
once i’ve primed the canvas, i’m ready to “paint.” and by paint i mean cover up any imperfections/scars from childhood acne. so step two: foundation/bronzer/blush:
i’ve used a lot of foundations in my day but nothing covers as well as bareminerals. they aren’t even paying me to say this.
be sure to have either a bareminerals employee (if you’re in san diego, there’s a bareminerals store at UTC) or one of those black-apron-wearing gals from ulta color match you before you purchase your tub of magic. at $27, it’s not the most expensive cover-up i’ve ever purchased, but it’s still an investment. you might as well ensure that you don’t have that embarrassing line across your jaw line distinguishing your real skin tone hue from your foundation color (trust me, been there, done that).
*the exact bronzer i use is actually a twofer-half bronzer/half shimmer that i purchased in a promo-package this past summer, but you could probably get the same effect by using the one above and adding in a highlighter like highbeam from benefit cosmetics.
step three: eyes. okay so let me back up and say that i have oily eyelids. is that weird? i don’t know. but i have them. it might be a result of using vaseline as a make-up remover for so many years, or maybe i’m just equipped with ample sweat glands in my outer-eye region, but whatever the reason, i have to be careful with the eye products i use or they are half-way down my face by 11:00 a.m. so waterproof, waterproof, waterproof is my mantra. similar to the foundation primer, i start my eye routine with bareminerals prime time brightening eyelid primer. it has a soft gold tint to it so i’ve actually started skipping adding eye shadow on top of it and just letting it show off on its own.
i line my lower inner lash line with baremineral’s round the clock waterproof eyeliner in midnight. just like foundations, i have tried a LOT of eyeliners in my tenure as a make-up wearing gal. and this one has mad staying power. let’s just say it’s not called “round the clock” for nothin’. no raccoon eyes for me!
and lastly, the piece de resistance: my best friend, mascara. oh mascara, how i love thee. you take me from 15 to 28 in two seconds flat. and there is no brand i trust more with my lashes than l’oreal. i have been a loyal
slave patron to l’oreal’s voluminous waterproof mascara since sophomore year in high school and it is consistently the best $8 i can spend on myself. they make a non-waterproof version, but as i mentioned before, i would look like the hamburgler by lunchtime if i used it. so i stick with the waterproof and opt for the carbon black color because it kind of makes you look like you’re wearing false lashes. and false lashes are way better for winking (obvi).
step four: brows. despite the fact that you’d be hard pressed to find a strand of hair on my head in my God-given color, i was at a time a ginge. mostly what that means is that my eyebrows are near non-existent without a little assistance from some brow color. they’re not completely blonde, but if you’ve examined enough of my bathroom selfies, you’ll find it hard to decipher their presence when i neglect to define them during my morning make-up routine. so i try to fill in what mother nature neglected to provide with a little brown shadow. in all honesty, i use an old eye palette from, you guessed it, MAC, so i’m not even going to try to give specifics because they’re really not worth giving. BUT i have heard great things about MAC’s brow gel. i have yet to purchase a tube for myself, perhaps i should look into doing that in the not-so-distant future. anything to get me closer to looking like lily collins, pleaseandthankyou.
and finally, step five: lips. as far as my pucker goes, i’m a pretty big fan of gloss. i’ll throw on the occasional fucschia fever or perfect plum lipstick every once in a while, but it usually just ends up on my teeth and all over my green starbuck’s straw, so i tend to stick with something shiny and sheer. i purchased a couple of l’oreal’s color riche le gloss a while back at ulta because it was buy one get one free and i’m never one to miss out on a BOGO shopportunity. turns out they’re kind of my favorite lip gloss ever. violet attitude & nude touch are my standbys.
now let’s talk brushes. i know brushes are awkwardly expensive, but think about it, you use them nearly every day (i like to give them a break on saturday because even brushes could use a day off), so you might as well invest the money into them now. otherwise you’ll be replacing them every two months because the bristles are falling out more quickly than your grandpa’s hair. with the exception of one, all of my make-up brushes have come from MAC holiday kits sold at nordstrom (nordstrom is not paying me to say this, either). cosmetic companies do this really great thing at christmastime where they package some of their most popular products (i.e. brushes, eye shadows, and/or lip glosses) together and then sell them for less monies than usual. santa has always been really great about taking advantage of said sets and my make-up bag has benefited greatly. anyway, if you can wait to take advantage of one of the holiday sets, i highly suggest that you do. but in the meantime, target’s sonia kashuk line has some great alternatives.
here are the brushes on my current rotation:
first of all, when i first made the switch over to using baremineral’s foundation, the make-up artist gave me a really great (and very hygienic) tip. apply the foundation with a cotton-ball. life = changed. the smoothness of the cotton-ball ensures an even application and clean-up is cinch! after i had bought a big bag of cotton-balls, i picked up a cute glass jar from ikea to store them in. and i must say, they look really cute in their jar on my counter top.
for bronzer application, i use something very similar to sonia kashuk’s blusher brush -no. 101. it’s large enough that the bronzer is evenly distributed across my cheekbones so as to avoid any orange spots.
finally for blush, i opt for a slightly angled brush. MAC’s large angled contour brush is a great investment (i have the smaller version from one of the aforementioned holiday gift sets), but at half the price, i think the sonia kashuk medium angled multi-purpose -no. 17 brush would be a great budgetary alternative.
as i mentioned before, i have been allowing my eyelids to go nearly naked recently, so my eye brush repertoire has certainly been streamlined. but if i were to get a crazy and dress up my peepers with a little shadow, these are the three brushes i would grab for.
in addition to MAC, i was a loyal patron of laura mercier for a time. while your pinky finger could be just as effective in applying the eyelid primer, i prefer to use this corner eye colour brush from laura mercier to do the trick. sonia kashuk’s small eye shadow brush 07 would also work.
when swiping eye shadow pigment over the main portion of my eyelid, i reach for MAC’s 252 large shader brush. this is a pretty standard eye shadow brush, in my opinion, so you could essentially purchase something very similar at target, walmart, or other fine retail stores. but i’m not gonna lie, MAC’s brushes are pretty magical.
finally, for contouring/applying color into the eyelid crease, i use MAC’s 224 tapered blending brush.
some crazy people apply lip gloss with brushes. i am not one of those crazy people. i mean, i’m probably a little bit crazy in general, but it doesn’t stem from using a brush when i apply lip gloss, just to be clear.
also, remember to wash your brushes regularly. i’m actually preaching to the choir right now, i probably don’t do this often enough myself. i just read a really great brush-cleaning tutorial on a lover’s anthology -a blog written by a friend of a friend all about beauty and life in the big apple. you should probably just read it regardless of its tips on how to clean your make-up brushes. libby is an exquisite writer.
anyway, that’s it, y’all. how i go from yikes! to yes! every morning. err almost every morning. like i said, unless there’s some sort of social function, i’m a pretty big fan of make-up-less saturdays.
at this point, i feel like i should post a gratuitous close-up of my face so you can see how all of the steps come together to make me camera ready. but you see enough of me on here, so i think i’ll forgo that image.