It is a truth universally acknowledged, that when January starts, our lives immediately feel twice as busy. It may be due to all the expectations and hope that come with resolutions. We all want to be, eat and train better, but most of all – feel better.
Every time this time of the year hits, I face three essential problems: I am busy, tired and my skin gets out of hand. Mostly, it is as tired and dry as I am too. Therefore, my choice of everyday makeup changes to reflect this. I want it to be effortless, healthy and to last well through the day.
Now, we need to be clear that the base of good-looking makeup is a caring skincare routine. It will nourish your individual skin needs, battle its problems and give you a great head start to work with. So, I would recommend you to never skip the moisturiser no matter how tired or lazy you are. However, we are here to talk about make-up.
The issue is to find the balance – what is essential and what not. That will, of course, depend on your face and needs.
So, today I’ve prepared for you a non-greasy, not too glowy, healthy and effortless everyday make-up guide. (Through my own eyes, of course.)
Good base – good start (BB or CC cream)
When it comes to effortless looks, foundation is not my first choice. BB and CC creams tend to be a better choice. This is due to their lower pigmentation, soft appearance and spreadability. You should not concern yourself with blending a foundation on a busy morning!
However, what is the difference between the two?
The term BB cream can be used for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm”. Those are in other words pigmented balms, empowered with some skincare benefits. (How much of those actually do something for your skin is another discussion. You should still take care of that moisturiser.)
Of course, both the exact finish, coverage and said skincare benefits will vary from product to product. Yet, BB creams are often lower-coverage products. Their main offering is to supplement your routine. Something like 2 in 1.
A CC cream, on the other hand, focuses on another benefit – colour correcting. They tend to provide a little bit more coverage than a BB cream but still keep its natural-looking appearance. The CC cream benefits tend to revolve around resolving issues in the skin texture. Those may include dark circles, redness, scars and acne, fine lines or uneven tones.
It can also include some youth-rejuvenating skincare or sun protection.
Choosing between BB and CC cream will depend on the coverage you prefer. Also, the additional benefits you want the product to include.
Products with similar effect on the skin that are not qualified as neither BB or CC creams include MAC Face and Body Foundation and L’Oréal Paris Nude Magique Cushion. If you are a fan of mineral make-up and powder foundations, bareMinerals’ Original Loose Powder Mineral Foundation is a great one.
Bonus Tip: Another way to spice up the base is mixing up products. If BB and CC creams do not provide enough coverage, but you like their finish, try mixing them up with your favourite foundation.
Nothing makes a face more lively and youthful than a good blush!
Depending on your preference and skin texture, you have a choice between a few different textures. All can do an amazing job, but the glowy alternative may bring out some of your skin texture. If this is something you would like to avoid, the matte one will be your best choice.
Personally, I like having a variety in my blush, so I can match it to the rest of my make-up (or mood ). Thus, I tend to prefer palettes over single pan blushes. I am currently using Revolution X Roxxsaurus’ Blush Palette. I like the variety it gives me and it is also suitable for many different skin tones.
A great choice for those of you who like an even more glowy looks and/or don’t powder their make-up can be cream or liquid products. For those of you who like to splurge, Clinique, Fenty and NARS have amazing formulas. At the drugstore, Revlon, Maybelline and Revolution PRO can be great choices.
Glow from within
Highlighting is admittedly my favourite make-up step. There is something special about glowing like a lightbulb. So, even on more natural days I have a designated highlighter to wear. One of those that make you look like you drank your water, did your skincare and you are glowing from within.
Again, much like with blushes, with highlighters you have different finishes.
My ultimate favourite for any kind of occasion would be YoungBlood’s cream highlights palette. Sadly, this product is being discontinued, but I urge all of you to buy it if, by any chance, you see it in a store. It is pure magic how this product merges with the skin.
However, there are other products (available to purchase), which can work in similar ways. MAC, Hourglass and Stilla have interesting propositions for those who would like to invest more in a good highlighter. If you would like something more affordable – Essence, e.l.f. and NYX will never break the bank.
Bonus Tip: To make a highlighter merge better with the skin after the application — spray your face with a setting spray, wait for a few seconds and gently tap over your skin with a beauty sponge. This will press all products into the skin and make them look seamless.
Flirty, long, voluminous… lashes.
The right mascara can really open up your eyes. Again, as for anything else, the choice of mascara depends on your personal preferences. Do you like clumpy lashes? Or maybe long, but thin? My preferences include very fanned out and voluminous. The ones you look at and wonder if they are natural… or very good extensions.
Not every mascara works well for this. Most of them are either too clumpy, the wand is too stiff or the product smudges through the day. I am very picky, I’ll admit.
Extra – brows, eyeliner and a good lipstick
If your brows exist and your hair chose to grow on the right place, everything mentioned until now will be just about all you need for an everyday look.
Nonetheless, my genes did not work out that well. So, an eyebrow pencil is a must in my everyday routine. I happen to like a few pomades like NYX for example. Yet, I still prefer a pencil for a more natural look. My favorites are the Skinny Definer by L’Oreal and the Micro Brow Pencil by NYX.
When we got the essentials out of the way, there are some things you can implement in order to spice up your everyday look if wanted. A simple eyeliner can make your eyes look more sultry. You can use a felt tip or a pencil, depending on what you prefer. I find that the faster version would be a pencil in black or brown. Any brand will work. I either just draw a simple line or smudge it with a brush.
When it comes to liquid liner – most of them work just the same, at a different price point. I am currently using the Renaissance Flick, but I’ve had great experience with both Maybelline and L’Oreal liners before. Catrice’s Calligraph Pro also deserves a special mention.
Lastly, if you are in a mood for some color – a lipstick can be a great way to express this. It can be in a very subtle, natural way (with a balm or a sheer satin lipstick) or not so much (using a matte or liquid matte lipstick).
And now that you have the final touches – you are all ready to go out and effortlessly slay the day!
P.S. Make-up is for fun and this guide is for those of you who want to play with it. What make-up is not – a must. No one should feel pressured or obligated to wear it. But no one should also be pressured not to.