Woman Seeking: A Simple & Sweet Spring Makeup Look

When the temperature starts warming up and the sun starts shining for longer and longer each day, I start to bring spring into all aspects of my life. I wear more fresh perfumes than sultry scents, break out the lilac and beach scented candles, and throw open my windows (so what if the high is 45 degrees F? This is the Midwest. That’s basically bikini weather!). Among these changes is a switch up in my makeup products. To me, spring makeup is polished but light. It’s not quite time for the messy sexy bronzers and neon that can be rocked during the summer, but the vampy lips and flawless full coverage foundations of winter are a little too heavy. Typically I like to go with a fresh, natural look paired with a bright lip. It looks pulled together and chic yet still has a hint of fun. Here I’ve thrown together the look I’ve been wearing a lot lately that helps me perfectly transition from winter to spring! 

First, I’m going to start with a pore minimizing primer, such as my Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser. To be honest, I do not like this particular one, but I want to use it up, and I’m running low on the one I actually DO like (Benefit’s The Porefessional), so I’ve been grabbing this instead. I smear it all over my face and wait about 5 minutes or so before moving on to the next step. This helps in sink it and do it’s job. If I were to immediately go in with my next product, I could end up with a big mess or a patchy application. 

After my primer has set I go in with my lightest foundation, the Napoleon Perdis Boudoir Mist Spray Foundation. I’m in the shade Look 1. I absolutely love this foundation. When I first bought it, I was disappointed because I thought it applied funny. Once I got a hang of the application, however, I changed my tune. This is so incredibly light on the skin and yet has a buildable coverage. And it still looks like skin! And the shade is spot on! Ugh. So much love. I’ve never tried a spray foundation before this, but I really see a difference. I grabbed this when all Napoleon Perdis products were 75% off at Ulta, and now I’m so sad because it is currently only available at Nordstrom (that I know of) and I don’t have a Nordstrom anywhere near me. Plus this stuff is pricyyy. I don’t know how long the can is going to last me but I’m trying to ration it. Anyhow, I work in areas when applying this, spraying it lightly on one area and buffing it in using my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush before moving on to the next. Occasionally I’ll spray it on the back of my hand and dip my brush in, but I only use this method for the parts of my face I’m scared to spray (like around my eyes). 

I apply a little bit of a lightweight highlighting concealer under my eyes, in between my brows, and on the outsides of my eyes and use th same brush I used for my foundation to gently blend it onto my face. Here I used Maybelline’s Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer. Since I don’t have too much to cover up int he way of dark circles, this just helps bring some life to my face. I also set this with a bit of powder to prevent creasing. Today I forgot powder so I actually used Estée Lauder’s Pure Color Eyeshadow in 10 Ivory Box. Hey, whatever works, right?

I always like to do my brows before doing my eye makeup. Especially if you have more nonexistent brows like I do, I think doing your eyeshadow before brows can easily lead to an overdone look. Brows frame the face and bring attention to the eyes, but if they’re done second, I find I try to use eyeshadow to bring attention to that area, and after filling in my brows the effect is too intense. If I fill in my brows first, I use less eye makeup and also have a better idea of where the shadows should be placed (hard to line up a wing with athe end of an eyebrow you can’t see). I’ve been a loyal Anastasia Beverly Hills Fan for a while, flipping between the DipBrow and the Brow Wiz, both in the shade Taupe. Clearly, I used the Brow Wiz today. 

I’ve really been liking no-fuss eye looks lately. I think they pair perfectly with a spring bright lip and can work for both day or night. I used the Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 hr Cream Eyeshadow pot in Bad to the Bronze. It’s the perfect wash of color that adds dimension without looking too dark for the daytime. I was super skeptical about these not creasing on me sans primer, but they don’t! They blend well and stay put on the lid. These can also be used under powder eyeshadows as a base. If I do something in the evening, I usually take a darker brown powder eyeshadow and throw it in the crease and outer V and call it good. 

Using my Modern Minerals small dome eyeshadow brush, I highlight my brow and inner corners with the Essence eyeshadow in Vanilla Milkshake. It has a touch of shimmer and is such a bargain, I picked this up during a sale for less than $0.50! I feel like this may also be a beautiful budget cheek highlight, but I’m not big into cheek highlighting so someone with more knowledge will have to test this out and let me know!

I get nervous using cream products because of my already oily skin, but I find this Stila Convertable Color to work wonderfully with this foundation. I use my Real Techniques Stippling Brush and dab it in the product, and then do a couple of dabs on the back of my hand to get off any excess color before stippling the remainder on my cheeks. I place blush a little further back because that is what works with my face shape. I have a ruddy Complextion to begin with, so I want to be very careful where I’m placing my blush as to not undo any covering up that I accomplished with my foundation. This way my flush is only where I want it. This sample in the shade Peony is perfect for traveling as well, and looks so natural. 

While there is NOTHING wrong with letting your pale skin be pale, I like to add a hint of bronzer for dimension. I start with a liiiiight contour and blend, and add a bit on my forehead to balance it out. This also sets anything that may need setting. I use just the tiniest bit of Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer in Medium/Deep and went in with a light hand. I want my real skin to show and to look healthy, not overly made up. 

I skip eyeliner and give my lashes a quick curl using my Shiseido curler (you try taking a picture while wielding an eyelash curler -_-) and then add a couple coats of black mascara. Although I’m not a fan of plastic wands, I’ve really been impressed with Maybelline’s The Rocket Volum’ Express. The wand doesn’t poke or hurt my eyes, which is usually my biggest problem with plastic mascara wands. 

Last but not least I pop on a bit of lip product. I have been obsessed with MAC’s Girl About Town lipstick lately. Unfortunately, i needed a more low maintainance lip today so instead went with my Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in 001 Honey. It’s the easiest shade to wear and because it’s in crayon form I can apply this without a mirror when on the go. It fades nicely as well, and is comfortable on the lips. It also smells like mint! 

So there it is! A simple, easy look that is pulled together but natural. I included pictures in different lighting as well as close ups so you can see how the makeup wears in as real life as I can show with my iPhone. I think this just melts into the skin so flawlessly and creates that fresh faced look I wish I had naturally. 

I am not wearing this same face look or mascara here, but I wanted to show what I meant by a simple face and bright lip. This is MAC’s Girl About Town. I wore this a week ago when I tried to force it to be spring. You’re welcome, by the way…pretty sure that’s why it’s now warmer. 😉

Do you switch up your look when the seasons change? How are you celebrating spring?



Woman Seeking: How to Go from Lipbalm to Lipstick

While you might not know it from looking at my current makeup stash, I was a lipbalm and pink gloss only girl up until just a couple of years ago. I knew plenty of women who rocked lipstick, but I never felt sophisticated or confident enough to pull it off. While some people can cannonball right in, I’ve always been a more “sit on the edge and ease myself in” type of girl. After a little practice, I’ve finally grown comfortable enough to wear my brightest pink and darkest red with the best of them. If you’ve been eyeing the lipstick aisle with longing, but aren’t quite sure how to make the jump, here are my tips to go from cherry Chapstick to Kat Von D’s Backstage Bambi. 

1. Up Your Lipbalm Game

     If you wear little to no lip product whatsoever, the best place to start is adding a little tint in with your go-to. A great beginner option is Lip Smacker’s Dr. Pepper flavored lipbalm. It has a light berry tint while still the exact look, shape, and feel as regular ol’ Chapstick. Depending on how pigmented your lips are, this can go from a barely there tint to a noticeably (but still natural) berry hue. Sephora also sells an EOS-esque lip color in a few shades, I’ve got one in Cotton Candy, a subtle pink. 

2. Try an In-Between Formula

     Once you’ve grown comfortable walking around with a bit of color, the next hurdle to pass is how lipsticks feel. Most lip balms are waxy and hydrating, while lipsticks can range from creamy to somewhat drying. Everyone has a different preference and level of tolerance of formula’s, but jumping from a smooth lipbalm to a drying liquid lipstick can turn you off from all lipstick ever. Instead, try products like Clinique Chubby Sticks, Maybelline Baby Lips, L’oreal Colour Riche Balms, Tarte Amazonian Butter lipsticks, and Clinique Almost Lipsticks. All are hydrating lipstick-lipbalm hybrids that have a good range of colors and pigmentations. 

3. Stick with Nude or Natural Colors

     The way I started getting into lipsticks was to make sure I was picking more neutral tones. While I did pick up a bright pink Baby Lips, I found I never used it until just a few months ago. It’s best to try to stick to more subtle colors (I also picked up the Baby Lips in Peach Kiss and have used that color waaay more). I’ve found the safest bet was picking a color the same color or a tad darker than my natural lip color. Picking a lighter version may seem easier, but sometimes end up looking too light and concealerish, which is NOT a good look on anyone. Remember, if you pick up a color that ends up not being the most flattering, you can almost always return it (just keep the receipt). 

4.  Pick Your Price

     I have two different theories…the first, that you should totally splurge and get a good, high quality lipstick. The second, that drugstore lipsticks can be just as good as highend lipsticks at a fraction of the price. Personally, my first lipstick was from the drugstore. I figured if I ended up never wearing it or just not being a lipstick wearing girl that I wouldn’t have wasted much money, and I was old enough (or mature enough) that having a Brand Name product wasn’t the biggest deal in the world. That being said, I always coveted a “fancy” lipstick and ended up receiving my first high end lipstick two Christmases ago from my parents (Nars Roman Holiday, which is still one of my favorites). Depending on your preference, there are super affordable, quality colors from the drugstore starting at around $2, all the way up to uber chic, uber expensive colors (the most expensive lipstick I found on a quick search at Sephora was over $50!). 

5. Go crazy!

     Now that you’re used to wearing some color and you’ve gotten used to the formula it’s time to branch out! Try a liquid lipstick, pick up a bright color, give in to your inner vamp with a deep burgundy! The lipstick world is your oyster. If you’re unsure of how a color will look on you and are unable to test it out, a good tip I heard was to hold it up to your face in front of your mouth. It’s not completely fool proof, but it will give you some idea. Swatching colors on your hand or wrist is also helpful, but I use this more to get a feel for the opacity, as the color can look different depending on your lip pigmentation and face color (your face and wrist typically don’t match, which is why it’s recommended never to test foundations on your wrist but rather your neck). 

Extra Tips

     Prepping your lips can help lipstick apply smoothly and last longer. A simple lip scrub can remove any flake or dead skin to create a smooth surface. Lip scrubs are sold in beauty stores (my favorite is from Lush), or you can mix a little sugar and olive oil to create your own. Take that Chapstick that you hold near and dear and use it about 10 minutes before applying a lip color. Continue using your lipbalm on the days you don’t wear lipstick to keep your lips in tip top shape. Another great idea is to grab a lipliner. Lipliners help everything stay in place and extend the wear time of your favorite shade. My favorite lipliners at the moment are Essence lipliners. They’re super cheap and come in a variety of colors. NYX also makes great lipliners, and Urban Decay has a variety of bright colors to go with your brightest pinks. And if you’re looking for funky, you can’t beat OCC Cosmic Colour Pencils, who’s cruelty free, vegan product include pinks, purples, blues, browns, oranges, and more! 

Foraging into the world of lip color can be intimidating, but taking small steps can make the process a lot less stressful. Makeup is all about having fun and feeling yourself, so go with whatever makes you feel most confident, whether it’s a sheer nude lip butter or bright purple liquid lipstick!  



Woman Seeking: A 15 Minute Morning Makeup Routine

We all have those mornings where we press the snooze button one too many times. That’s what happened to me on this day. Not only did I go to bed super late, but I woke up every single hour throughout the night so when my alarm sounded in the morning I was not having it. Although I’m lucky and don’t need to wear makeup to work everyday, when I finally managed to drag myself out of bed and in front of the mirror, I realized my sleepless night had taken it’s tole. So I ran out and started my car (winter in the Midwest…ugh), grabbed my iPhone, and documented a quick Wakeup, Makeup look. Prepare yourself, the first few images are not pretty!


Oh yeah. I’m b-e-a-uuutiful first thing in the morning. But after a rough night, waking up and taking a picture is probably not going to have a great outcome. I wanted to be honest about what I was working with however, and although my problem areas or “main concerns” are listed in my “About Me” section, which of course you’ve checked out haha, sometimes a visual helps. We’ve all met the girls who say “I have terrible acne!” when in reality they only get three pimples, and that’s when they’re on their period. So here ya go. I don’t get dark circles too intensely, even if I’m exhausted, but I do get lines under my eyes. Does anyone else have this problem? People always talk about bags and dark circles but I get lines. I also have my typical redness, which is actually acne scarring, and if you look closely (don’t look closely), super enlarged pores around my nose/cheeks and between my brows. Oh, and a new zit near my eye. Lovely. There are other “imperfections” visible like uneven lip lines, and random freckles (like the ones above and on my lips, which so don’t help my uneven lip lines) but…least of my worries, folks. And yes, my bathroom has awful yellow toned lights, so that’s going to be a thing in all of these pictures. It actually tones down my redness, if you can believe it. Anywho. Moving on.


Since I had washed my face well the night before and I was pressed for time, I used my Vichy cleansing water (which you can find in my December empties post, and it will also be featured in my upcoming Skincare post) on a cotton round and gave my face a quick wipe. Normally, I think you’re supposed to style your hair after doing your makeup, but I have no skills when it comes to this area, so I try to do it before my makeup because sometimes even a simple ponytail takes a few tries (thin and fine hair, remember? Scalp peeking through and creating a weird bald spot is an everyday struggle). I also changed my clothes. This already helps.


First I apply a tinted moisturizer or BB cream. Since lack of sleep leaves your skin dull and dehydrated (even those with oily skin…I have oily/combo skin, and I know firsthand that this doesn’t mean it can’t get dehydrated! Half the time that makes your face even oilier as it tries to overcompensate), I wanted something that was going to benefit my skin and not look caked on, which heavier foundations can do if your skin is feeling worn out. I went with my Napoleon Perdis Off Duty Tinted Moisturizer, which is nice and light and tends to fuse with my skin fairly quickly, so I don’t have to wait the recommended 5 minutes for it to dry before continuing with my routine like I do other foundations or BB creams (sidnote, if you’re foundation has been looking piled on, try waiting between layers or powdering for 5 minutes for some of the liquid to dry and for it to combine with your skin! This can make a huge difference! Same goes with primer and spot concealer, wait for them to dry before moving on to the next step). Typically I would use a primer to help fill in my pores and smooth my skin out, but I have some breakouts happening, and I don’t think throwing a silicone primer on top is going to help that situation, so I decided against it. I do have two or three pores that are ridiculously large at times, and occasionally I will go through AFTER my foundation and use a QTip to place primer on just those tiny areas that need it.


Next I applied a medium consistency concealer, Maybelline’s Fit Me Concealer does a fantastic job, to areas where I tend to get discoloration. I do get discoloration on my forehead as well, but I don’t want to use concealer as if it were foundation, that would defeat the purpose and be much too heavy, so I just place it where I feel I really need extra help with my redness. I patted this in using my ring fingers and called it good enough.


I was definitely lacking radiance, so I went through and did some basic highlighting. I had already used concealer on my eyes so I just needed a touch to brighten up that area and counteract any bags or lines, some along my nose and forehead for luminosity, and above my cupids bow and chin for balance (think of highlighting as an upside down triangle). I used a very battered looking Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer. I’m actually not in love with this stuff, but it works decently for a quick face. Again, I patted this is with my ring fingers, focusing on smoothing the edges of where I applied my product so it wasn’t “face face STRIPE OF HIGHLIGHT face.”


I used a combination of powders to set my work. I used the ELF Translucent Powder to lightly set my under eyes, because I didn’t want any extra color, just a bit of powder to keep it from creasing but still allow the highlight to show and brighten my face. This is the only time I don’t really wait for my makeup to dry before going straight into another product. I usually try to powder my eye area fairly quickly after applying my concealer or highlight. I don’t know if this is right but it works for me. I then used Revlon’s Nearly Naked powder to set the rest of my face. Remember when using powder to tap, not brush or swirl, because you will move any makeup that hasn’t completely dried and set itself yet, plus it will kick up any baby facial hairs you have. To apply both of these powders I used my ELF blush brush, which I never use for blush. It is actually a inexpensive all around brush that I highly recommend. I use it for under eye setting, full face setting, powder contouring, and any other random need I have.


I didn’t want to mess with eye shadows and brushes (or all my brushes might have been dirty, ya know, whatever), but I did want a little something to bring out my green eyes, so this light bronze NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in (611) Yogurt fit the bill. I swiped it over my lids a few times then blended with…you guessed it, my ring finger. Bam. Done. I have oily eyelids as well as hooded eyes, and honestly should have used an eyeshadow primer, but I forgot because it was so dang early and I was so dang tired! This pencil does do a decent job fighting the creased up mess my eye wants to make of any shadow I put on it though, so I’m glad this is what I was using on a day I forgot primer.


On the days I don’t wear makeup, I still curl my eyelashes. It opens up the eye and makes you look so much more awake and fresh faced. I absolutely love my Shiseido curler. Revlon curler’s do a great job too, but this one fits my eyeshape in a way that makes curling so much easier. I have smaller, more almond-ish shaped eyes and this curler is a lot flatter than traditional curlers, which tend to be too round for me.


Brows are another thing I almost always do on my low maintenance days. My brow game was not strong this day, I admit, but I think it still helped my overall look. Eyebrows frame your face so keeping them in check will help you look more pulled together. My eyebrows are naturally super light and somewhat sparse, so I fill them in. This day I used my NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Blonde with my Anastasia Beverly Hills Angled Brush #15. I also run an old, clean mascara wand through my brows to blend once I’m done. If you have darker or naturally well shaped brows, you could forgo the fill-in and just a quick run of the old mascara wand or spooly with a bit of wax or hairspray to set them should do the trick.


And now for mascara. I wanted a waterproof formula because it helps set my curl as well as fight any smearing from oils on my lids. This Maybelline Full ‘N Soft gives a natural look that adds a bit of volume and definition. I actually have very long eyelashes, but they are very thin and blonde at the tip, so this helps them to stand out a bit without having me look like I’m wearing falsies (which isn’t a look I hate, but not what I’m going for on a day I’m trying to look healthy and awake). If you notice, I bent my brush so that I’m pushing my lashes up when I am applying my mascara, as opposed to pulling. Before I learned to bend my brush, I would usually pull outward more than upward, which I think is a common mistake among people with hooded eyes especially, because pulling up results in hella mascara on your eyelids. Pushing up not only allows me to really keep my curl, but avoids the mascara eyelid, and helps me get into the base of my lashes really well. It did take me a minute to learn how to get the tips of my lashes with my wand at this angle if I want that look, but because my lashes are so long I rarely bother with it unless I’m going out. I didn’t add any mascara to my lower lashes, because they are also very long, and not only does this make me look overdone at times, but creates shadows, which is what I was trying to disguise in the first place.


I wanted a simple lip that could be easily applied and was nice and moisturizing, so I pulled this Sephora Kiss Me Lip Balm in (02) Cotton Candy out of my stash. It claims to have subtle color but in my opinion it shows up pretty intensely for a lip balm. It smells wonderful and really does feel creamy and moisturizing on the lips. I figured with my jeans, grey shirt, and grey and white fleece, the baby pink lips matched and helped give me a fresh look.


Last but not least I used my Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (super attractive action shot, right?). I suppose this could be an optional product, but because I work for 10 hours, as well as commuting an hour there and an hour back, AND I have a tendency to get oily, if I’m going to wear makeup then I’m going to need something to help it stay in place. This really makes a difference. It also helps get rid of the powdery look that naturally comes with using any powder product and blend my makeup into my skin gorgeously.


And that’s it! It literally takes me 20 minutes to get ready, and 10 minutes of that is me doing my hair and getting dressed. It helps keep my time down that I’m comfortable and familiar with all of these products, which is why I titled this “A 15 Minute,”…wiggle room is a glorious thing. A late morning is not the best time to try crazy new products or techniques. Simply use what you know and only things you really need and workfor you. For example, many articles on how to look fresh faced include using blush as a way to bring some life to your face, but I already have a problem with overall facial redness (not just by my nose like many women experience), so the only times I use blush is if I’m going for a full face look with a heavier foundation or a contour. So when I need to get out of the house and am trying to pull myself together, I’m not going to mess around with blush. I’m going to use concealer only around where a blush shouldn’t be, and have my natural redness work FOR me by letting it act as my blush. So easy! If you have naturally clearer skin, concentrate on playing up your eyes and skip messing around with foundations and concealers.

As I said before, I’m lucky to have a job where I can go makeup free and let my skin breathe most days, but occasionally I feel I need a little extra help and didn’t plan enough time for me to do anything drastic. Hopefully if you find yourself in this position, you’ll now have an idea of how to do the same in a short amount of time. What are your go-to’s, tips, and tricks for a quick and simple morning look?