Make up was always intimidating for me. I felt like I didn’t know the proper shades of the stuff and the places of the things and the shadows for the eyeballs had me like whoa!
When I was in a mom-fog after Lenayah was born, I found myself spending lots of time on my phone to stay awake through round the clock feedings and cuddles. So I started reading fashion and make up sites. It suddenly felt like something I could learn about. Something in my life I could have some control over. Something simple for myself that would make me feel like I wasn’t melting into a puddle of frazzled mom.
After I had been reading this stuff for a while my mom bestie and I headed to the big city. We walked into Sephora with tumbleweeds in our tracks, plunked into their makeup chair and said, ‘I’ll take one of everything’. They did our makeup and taught us different techniques and products. I learned so much in that half hour, I walked out of there with samples and products and new tips on how to actually put on makeup without feeling like a toddler sneaking into her mom’s makeup drawer….
So I started to pick up some cheap make up here and there. I even started looking around on the internet at different make up sites, picking up the cheapest things I could find. I found that buying make up with Afterpay is easy, and most companies have started to use it. This did mean that I spent a lot more than I hoped I would. I would also ask for all the free samples Sephora would dole out before they give you side eye.
Then I would just try things.
Most days I was at home all day long, so I’d grab a few minutes at some point in the day and just try ‘a look’.
At first putting on make up was ‘practice’. It would take me a while, I’d screw up. Sometimes Conor would come home and be all ‘oh!………’ *blink* ………
And sometimes I would rock PJs, red lips and a cateye like T.Swift being all all, ‘I woke up like this’ (if she was two feet shorter and looked tired all the time).
Now make up is way less intimidating. I have learned it can be fun and elaborate or simple and quick. Now I can do these makeup basics in less than five minutes: brows, eyeliner, foundation cream and concealer, eyeshadow, blush, mascara.
Maybe you felt like I did, reluctant and overwhelmed by it. I thought I would share some things I have learned along the way if they will help you out too. Makeup really isn’t an all or nothing thing. It doesn’t have to be model-perfect every time.
Here are the top tips I have learned about wearing makeup.
1.Your brows frame your face, don’t neglect them
I sent out a #chickmemo a while back with a before and after filling in my eyebrows. Most of us can blame Drew Barrymore for things like overplucking our eyebrows or wanting a butterfly tattoo, but now we’ve all learned we look better with big beautiful brows. I mean, just look at what different brows do to someone like Megan Fox.
You can use simple eyeshadow, an eyeliner or a fancy brow kit. If you want to become a student of the brow, check out Maskcara’s posts called Brow School.
2. Eyeliner the easy way
I find that eyeliner is just one of those things I like to wear every day. It makes your lashes look fuller if you put it riiiiight on the lashline. I usually stick with a quick swipe of fine tipped liquid eyeliner just on my top lids (doing top and bottom with liquid liner makes your eye look smaller) BUT when I’m in a hurry sometimes I do this eyeliner trick. Use an angled brush, wet it, put it in a dark eyeshadow and brush it along the lashline like eyeliner.
3. Foundation can be good for your skin, so why not!?
Foundation can be as simple as an all in one CC or BB cream…or multi-stepped with a primer, liquid foundation and setting powder. But since most of us are moms are here, let’s stick with our friends: chocolate covered coffee bean, BB Cream and Dry Shampoo.
For every day makeup get a CC or BB cream. Here is the down low on these creams – they are basically an upgraded tinted moisturizer. They have a primer, moisturizers, SPF and foundation all in one. CC cream has more coverage than a BB cream. Either way your skin gets some TLC, your complexion looks better and it is such a time saver to put on just one product.
If you want to level up your foundation, then look into highlighting and contouring (HACing). I mean….works for Oprah!
4. the best eyeshadow trick
Eyeshadow can be the most fun. It is what I play with the most. It can be colourful and bold or simple and muted.
I stick to simple neutrals for everyday and have learned that eyeshadow works best with two things; a primer and lots of blending. A primer means you need less shadow, helps cheap shadows look more vibrant, and prevents that midday shadow slug trail in your crease. Blending your shadow well is what makes it look natural.
For everyday I keep eyeshadow really simple with a primer, a neutral shadow (you may not think you need a white/beige neutral colour but it makes your eye look tons fresher), then I take a brown or kinda plum colour and do this little trick….
Put shadow just on the outer corner, and blend in little circles. If you want to see this in action check out this video here, by the Alison Show (go to 9 minutes and 40 seconds for the eyeshadow tip)
Also, if you are worried about getting the right eyeshadow colours get a simple brown-based palette. I’ve had the Naked Palette 3 for a year and a half, I use it every day and am just starting to make a dent in it. It was worth the investment.
5. Mascara is magic
If you are going to wear just one thing, make it mascara (and brows and lipstain), but seriously – mascara is a must. There is something magical about eyelashes, that is why you make wishes on them and then use a magic wand to coat them in robes of dense black goo. Magic!
All you need to remember about mascara is to take the time to brush through your eyelashes so they don’t look clumpy. Also, higher quality mascaras won’t smudge and flake off as the day goes on.
I’ve been reading a lot of beauty and fashion bloggers will wear fake eyelashes for their photo shoots. I’ve also noticed more and more girls wearing falsies in every day life. I would be a liar if I said I would turn down eyelash extensions, but you won’t catch me attempting to wear falsies each day and tragically gluing my eyes shut for fun. I save that, and this special mascara, for special occasions.
6. Yes Way Rosé!
I mean, some days there seems so little in my grasp of control. And then I remember these wise words….
[Tweet “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, pull yourself together #makeuptips”]
This is pretty much me at the end of a hard day…..but I usually my champagne-coloured lounging bodcon dress and heels are at the cleaners so I end up in shrunken PJ pants and mocassins, but eh, minor details. I have lipstick on and a drink so I’m ending the day like a boss.
I believe in the power of lipstick. It is simple and makes me feel fancy. I wear it home alone, to the store, to date night. And I’m not sorry.
If you are worried about choosing the wrong shades then read this, ask for advice, bring a friend, try the samples at the drugstore. When in doubt choose a berry-toned shade that is a few shades darker than your natural colours. If you are going for a red shade, then test the colour out on your fingerpad to find the best match. Also, if you end up with shades you don’t love, then mix and match them for different tones.
So brush on some blush and swipe on some lipstick. You can even use lipstick as blush, or a two in one stick, or this cheek/lip stain from Benefit. One out of three babies agree that this simple step is worth doing.
7. Brushes are worth it
We all use our fingertips to put on our makeup so why invest in brushes? Because it’s worth it. Your makeup goes on smoother, lasts longer without big ole finger indents in it, and is faster to apply.
Don’t use that standard issue tiny sword with the dingy reject sponge recklessly glued onto it. Don’t use your fingers. Buy a set of brushes and take care of them. This is a great list of five basic brushes to start out with. There are always great sales on brush sets, and they also make a great lady to lady gift.
If you are ready to start
Then start small, but just start.
Ask for advice.
Get on over to Sephora or a makeup counter. Ask a friend to do your makeup. Raid your sister’s stash and try out her stuff. Because sisters.
Samples and Returns.
Buying quality is always worth it. Your make up lasts longer, looks better and you need to use less of it each time because it’s more concentrated. BUT it can be pricey and you don’t want to just run into the drugstore all, ‘here is my money! take it all!’. So find out return policies if you buy something you don’t love you can return it. And ALWAYS ask for samples. Sephora is so great for both of these things.
Learn as your go.
The internet is swarming with makeup tutorials but if you are gonna just pick one, check out Cara from Maskcara. Not only is her story very humbling and inspiring, she has great and simple tips. She also does these incredible makeovers, she has such a skill of making every woman shine with all her natural beauty. Which is what I think makeup is all about.
Thanks for stopping by and reading!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Simple Style series
Join in Simple Saturdays
Simple Saturdays is bi-weekly encouragement to help moms simplify their life and live with more passion and purpose.
It is an email newsletter, also in podcast form!
It isn't just any old email! It is a fun, quick read of insights, tips and references for everything simple, on purpose, and waffles.