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April 15, 2014
Every season, fashion and beauty magazine editors and bloggers ask me “ What are the top 5-10 things every woman must have in her makeup bag?”
My answers vary slightly, depending on the age of their readership, but overall I’m known to favor keeping makeup rather simple and timeless. To me it’s always been about enhancing ones’ features, which can be done with just a few simple products.
Please don’t mistake my short list of musts for a lack of support for those of you who want to experiment with wild eyeliner hues and bold, trendy lip color. I’m a big fan of that sort of thing, as well. But first I think it’s important to iron out the basics, and find what works best to enhance your favorite features, keeping your every day look as fresh-faced and minimally made up, as possible. Once that’s established, playing with extras is a breeze.
In writing this post, I’m assuming you’ve gotten your skin care regimen down, and are starting with hydrated, nourished faces. This is not such an easy feat for so many of us, and if you’re having difficulty in this venue, the good news is, there are countless treatment options in the green beauty world for every skin type. It just takes some research and often a bit of trial and error.
So… what do I think no woman should live without (I really don’t feel that you couldn’t live without makeup – or things in general – but I think you know what I mean).
- A good eyelash curler. My favorite has been the one by Shu Umera because of the texture and shape of the pad, and overall shape and sturdiness of their handle and the part into which the pad fits.
- A creamy, neutral eyeliner. Depending on your hair and eye color, as well as your skin tone, and personal preference, this could be a pale taupe, a deep brown, a medium gray, or a deep, dark black. Keep some cotton swabs on hand to smudge the line you draw, buffing it out ever so slightly.
- A mascara that gives the look you favor, whether that’s longer, thicker, darker, or all of the above. (I prefer all of the above)
- Tweezer. I can’t emphasize the benefit of a good tweezer enough. Shaping your brows and whisking away unwanted hairs from other regions of the face where they begin to show up – it’s a necessity. I’ve been a fan of the Rubis for years, but it’s really all about finding one that feels right in your hand.
- Two cheek colors: one that makes you look warm and glowy, and one that mimics the color your cheeks turn when your heart rate has been pushed. I generally favor creamy cheek colors, but this is a personal preference thing.
- Two concealer shades: one with a bit more peachy/orange undertone to cut the purple inherent in under eye circles. Then, one concealer that matches your skin tone and texture perfectly to cover spots as needed. I always like to finish a concealer/tinted moisturizer/ foundation application by pressing a slightly dampened beauty blender sponge into the skin to ensure that the texture of the product matches the texture of your skin. Don’t skip this step if can help it.
- 3 lip colors. Most women I know have many more than this, but honestly, if you have limited funds, a desire to keep your purse as light as possible, or become overwhelmed at the thought of keeping up with lip trends, three shades is perfect. I’d start with a sheer, tinted lip balm in a color that’s pretty similar to your lips, add a similar shade in a proper lipstick formulation that’s somewhere in the satin range – moist, not matte, yet not glossy, and finally, a color that you love, and that gets smiles from others when you wear it – could be a bright pink, an orangey red, or a deep berry.
- A sheer gloss. I lied – having a fourth lip product that feels good and has a bit of a moist look is always a good idea. This can be layered over any of the above, or worn alone when you’re feeling glossy.
- An eyebrow brush/pencil/powder/gel: When we’re young, our brows are usually at their fullest. You may want to brush them into a lovely shape in the morning and forget about them. As we age, however – even as early as in our early 30’s, our brows may start to look a bit less full, particularly towards the tails. Finding a brow pencil or powder that looks super natural is the way to go. Light strokes, mimicking the hair growth pattern is all you need, along with good lighting, to create a frame for your face. I’ve just recently found Eco Brows, a richly pigmented brow gel product in a pot, and really like it. I also love the fine point and ease of use of the brow pencils from MAC.
There you have it.
Here are some of my current favorite all natural products you can use to create this very pretty, basic look I did on my friend, the gorgeous model, Michele Alvez:
- On her eyes: Vapour Organic beauty liner in black, smudged, redrawn, and smudged again.
- On her cheeks: Alima Pure matte bronzer in Mauna Lao, and Ilia Beauty in Tenderly cream cheek color swirled onto the apples of her cheeks
- On her lashes: W3LL People mascara in black
- On her skin: Kjaer Weis foundation compact, used sparingly as a spot concealer.
- On her brows: MAC eyebrow pencil in Brun
- Under her eyes: Mineral Fusion peachy concealer
- On her lips: Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Peony (particularly on her cupid’s bow and middle of her bottom lip, topped with a light coating of Burt’s Bees Lip Gloss in Ocean Sunrise.