Before & After: Just the Basics

Liz, a  bride with an upcoming wedding I got to work with last week has pretty much the ideal face; big eyes, full cheeks, and pouty lips.  I can see why she isn’t a fan of the overly made-up look since she really doesn’t need to wear much day-to-day, so I created a timeless look that she (thankfully) loved using the basics that I reach for over and again in my kit.

What I used:

Face:

Primer: Hourglass no 28
Foundation: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
Concealer: Smashbox High Definition
Setting Spray: Caudalîe Beauty Elixir
Powder: Koh gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder

Eyes:

Primer: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Makeup Color Base Lavender Pink
Eye Shadow: Urban Decay Naked 2
Liner: NYX Super Skinny Eye Maker
Mascara: NYX Doll Eye
Lashes: Ardell #110
Brows: Anastasia Brow Duo

Cheeks:

Smashbox Blush Rush

Lips:

Liner: Philosophy The Supernaural (discontinued)
Gloss: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss 104 Sweet Heart

image

A few things:

I’m finding that my go-to concealer these days is Smashbox High Definition. It’s creamy and covers everything so well but also blends into the skin with minimal creasing.

I start with the face first, once you get the skin right the color is easy. I spray the Caudalîe Beauty Elixir on the skin as I blend the foundation which helps it to melt into the face leaving the foundation looking invisible.

Koh Gen Do has pretty much the best everything when it comes to primers, foundations, and powder. I buy it, I use it on myself and in my kit, I love it. Seriously, this line is hard to beat. Yes, it’s pricey but it’s worth it because of how it conceals while leaving the skin so natural and almost dewey looking. Their products do what’s promised.

Everyone in the world should own that NYX gloss. It’s the prettiest shimmery nude ever.

Quick Makeup Essentials for Moms

We’re a month into having our second daughter and I think we’re in a pretty good groove. My goal to shower every day (so sad, but moms you get it right?) and look somewhat presentable has been accomplished, which means my 5 minute makeup routine is pretty streamlined at this point. I used to write about quick makeup tips for moms but looking back I didn’t have a clue. I know now that using basics to look rested is what’s key. Here’s what I’ve been grabbing to look less like a zombie and more like my old self.

I always start off using my Matte Moisture Tint from Jouer. It covers my melasma and blends just using my fingers so I can slap it on quickly and have undetectable makeup that wears all day. Next time I’ll get the luminizing instead of the matte version but I’ll definitely grab another Jouer – their tinted moisturizers rival Laura Mercier’s and they use minerals so they’re better for your skin.

20131125-154449.jpg

NYX has a jar of lavender concealer for just $5 that gives my fair skin the same highlight and glow that a yellow concealer does on medium or deeper skin tones. I put it under my eyes down to the tops of my cheekbones. My eyes and face look brighter and more awake which is exactly what I need. I use it over concealer once my dark circles are neutralized otherwise it would exaggerate them by adding purple on top of skin that already looks blue.

20131125-154443.jpg

Tarte’s Cheek Stains basically apply themselves with an applicator about the same size as your cheeks. I just smudge a little on the apples of my cheeks and blend. Adding color to the face is essential to looking fresh and rested.

20131129-170459.jpg

Neutrogena’s Healthy Lengths Mascara is one of the few I’ve tried where one coat will do the trick. The formula clings to lashes and fattens them up just shy of looking clumpy so one quick coat is all I need.

20131129-081036.jpg

Fragrance. Always.

Smelling great is such a big part of feeling put together. Modern Muse, Estée Lauder’s latest fragrance is both a familiar scent and something the feels totally new at the same time. It’s a warm floral, young and sexy but not sweet or heavy. I like to spritz it on my hair where it lingers all day so I don’t have to use it on my skin- something I avoid during the months when I’m nursing.

20131125-154437.jpg

So I’m evening out my skin with the foundation, using the concealer to add brightness, giving color to my cheeks, defining my eyes with mascara, and making sure I smell good.
It’s easy and takes about 5 minutes- a reasonable amount of time we can all find in our day.

NYX Wonder Pencil: Swatches and Review

A flesh colored pencil is something I think every woman should have. It’s multi-purpose, inexpensive, and beyond helpful as an easy pick-me-up for tired looking eyes. I use mine daily to rim my lower lash line to make my eyes look brighter, but did you know you can also use it as a concealer? NYX’s new Wonder Pencil is especially perfect for this because they understand (finally) that ‘nude’ doesn’t mean the same thing for every skintone which is why they offer light, medium, and dark shades. I took a quick pick (with the baby on my lap) of one of my favorite uses for it, drawing a highlight under the brows. I’m not a fan of a too-white looking highlight on the brow bone so these flesh toned pencils work perfectly to create a stronger brow arch (it can conceal stray hairs pretty well), and give some contrast as well. I also have it rimmed in my waterline too so you can see how it adds brightness. Another great use for it- reverse lining your lips. Use it on the outside of your lips (where the lip technically stops and your skin begins) to help keep lipstick from bleeding and to make your pout look more pronounced.

It’s a good $5 investment and something I think you’ll be surprised how much you will actually end up using.

20130606-155236.jpg

20130606-155242.jpg

20130606-155250.jpg

20130606-155255.jpg

Buy This Palette: NYX Wicked Dreams

NYX is one of my favorite all time brands because of their quality offerings at a great price. I use it, I buy it, it’s in my kit. This palette reminds me of the iconic Naked palettes from Urban Decay that have the same sort of shades but half as many and for $50. Wicked Dreams has 24 shadows valued at $130 but for just $15. In it you’ll find every shade you’ll ever need: neutrals, plums, flats, shimmers, and a few that double as liners.

I buy NYX at Ulta, but click HERE to see where else they might be offered in your area.