Q&A: Bare Essentials for a Natural Look

Beauty Wannabe asks:
Q: Ok, Fabulista, I need specific advice! 🙂
I’m a relatively new reader, and have always liked to keep my makeup simple. I’m not in NY, but want to look with it, without always looking overdone. I love your reviews of various products. But I’m looking for the basics. What would your advice be to someone who needs to keep it simple: one or two liners, shadows, etc.

What are the must-haves? I have very fair skin, dark hair, and blue eyes.
cheek product?
liners? a gel liner?
lip – what 2 products are must haves?

Is it even possible for you to limit your selection down? I am just realizing I’ve been wearing the same things… it’s time to start over, and I can’t just get a million things at once. I’m looking for products that are easy to use, long lasting (apply once per day), and attractive. I realized I’ve been using pencil liner forever, and I need something better!!

Please help me!

Thank you,
Beauty Wannabe

A: Hi Beauty Wannabe! Welcome! I love this question. I actually have a mini-drawer set where I keep my “extended makeup” collection. Then, on my desk that I use as a vanity table, I keep a large makeup bag of my “currently in rotation” items. They are ever evolving as I try and like new things, but I try to evaluate and move some things out to the “extended collection” on a monthly basis at least. If you’re in the market for only a very select few items, I have a few fab recommendations. I’ll try to limit it to no more than two suggestions for each category you’ve listed.

Elizabeth Arden Intervene with SPF 15 delivers all day coverage that makes skin look smooth and even. I won’t leave the house without at least SPF 15. I advise anyone over the age of 25 to embrace either a foundation or a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 in it for everyday wear. It moisturizes just enough without putting my combination skin over the edge and covers blemishes/flaws like a dream. $36

Cheek Product
I adore tarte Cheekstains. Available in a multitude of blush colors and a couple bronzes as well. I’m anti-powder, just an FYI. Powder ages you.

I LOVE CK Ultimate Edge Gel Liner in Black Ice ($16) of late. Other good ones include MAC Fluidline and Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner. But I find CK’s to be the creamiest. A very thin line on the top lid is perfect for day and gel liners really LAST all day. No need to reapply. For regular liner, I’d recommend tarte Eyeliner Pencil ($18) in Madame X, a warm brown. Though still a regular pencil liner, it glides on easily, is perfectly smudgeable and is the richest brown color I’ve found in a pencil yet. And believe me, I’m CONSTANTLY searching for good brown eye pencils. I like to use this under eyes combined with gel eyeliner on the top lid for night looks or by itself only on the top during the day.

Lip Gloss
If you’re only buying one, it should be Metier de Beaute Sheer Brilliance in Cannes. It delivers a gorgeous pink sheen and feels like Kiehl’s balm on. Love, love, love. Also loving C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tints, which are minty, moisturizing and come in several flavors and colors. Both glosses last a decent amount of time, but I think you’ll have to resign yourself to the fact that you’ll have to reapply gloss a few times a day. If you’re really anti reapplication, I suggest going with a longwear lipcolor like CoverGirl Outlast $9.

I hope that answers your question! It was tres dificile to edit down my faves to these essentials, but I think you’ll be pleased with the results of each. Do report back and let me know what you think!


1 Comment Q&A: Bare Essentials for a Natural Look

  1. Anonymous

    Fantastic! Thanks SOO much! I’m going to go to Sephora.com and others asap! Oh, and I guess the other important question I should have asked, besides guessing at the product categories, was what items should I apply, and in what order. Like, do you always wear foudation, blush/cheek, liner, mascara, concealer, lip gloss? And: shadows. Always wear, sometimes wear, etc. Concealer? or just more of the foundation?
    Thanks! You’re the BEST!


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