Whenever the topic of fashion comes up with friends I always get asked what make up I am using or how did you do your eyeliner, or what concealer do you recommend? Maybe my friends know that I am addicted to Sephora? Or maybe they know I enjoy being make-up guinea pig ? Life gets boring if you never try anything new!
This post is for those who feel overwhelmed when heading into the cosmetics section. I will break down the basic Make Up Bag Essentials. These are your must haves!
Step 1- Moisturizer:
The most important step- you need a get good moisturizer, even if you have oily skin. It’s the base for your make up, and helps it glide on that much easier. I would highly recommend taking a browse through Sephora, because they nicely categorize all their skin care according to skin type. If you are unsure what would suit you best, then ask one of the sales associates. Sephora has very knowledgeable staff and if you’re not sure where to start they will offer you FREE SAMPLES!! Who doesn’t love a free sample?
Korres 24 Hour Mosture Brighening Cream, $35 at SephoraClinique Dramatically Different Lotion $24.50 at Sephora or The Bay
Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturizer, $9 at most drugstores.
Step 2- Concealer:
Concealer can save your from revealing to the world that you were up all night watching re-runs of Sex In The City while eating a tub of ice cream! Puffy eyes much? You’re not alone, no one has perfect skin, everyone has dark circles, black heads, pimples and uneven skin tone- yes everyone! When purchasing a concealer you want to look for something oil-free that wont clog your pores. Also, if you are feeling daring you can get 3 different colours; a shade darker than your skin tone to detract light, a shade lighter to attract light, and one that perfectly matches your skin for those “zit days.” I like putting a shade darker under my eyes, and use a lighter shade as a highlighter on my brow bone. They key is not to put it on to heavy. No layering of the concealer. If you have a good foundation, you do not need to cake this stuff on!
Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing $19 at Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat $40 at Sephora And Holt Renfrew
Make Up Forever Camouflage Cream Palette, $36 at Sephora
Step 3- Foundation
Personally I enjoy a mixed power/foundation formula. It looks like a powder but covers like foundation. This stuff will save you time, goes on light and still gives great coverage. If you use this formula you DO NOT need liquid foundation. However, if you want to cover wrinkles or if you have some skin discoloration, I’d recommend using a liquid foundation. My tip to you, make sure you purchase your foundation from a store that will allow refunds. It’s great to take your new product home, try it in your lighting at home and the lighting outside. Your face HAS TO MATCH your neck. Foundation is not meant to be used as self tanner! If you get darker in summer, and lighter in winter PLEASE switch your foundation!
Make Up Forever Duo Mat Powder Foundation, $32 at Sephora
Cover FX Mineral Powder Foundation, $35 at Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart
MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation, $26 at MAC locations or The Bay.
Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation, $40 at Sephora
Sephora Collection Perfecting Cover Foundation, $22 at Sephora
Step 4- Blush:
Even if you naturally have a flushed skin tone, its good to have something to use as a contour and if you are using a good foundation, it will take away redness. You know the trick of smiling to emphasize your cheekbones then dotting blush on the apples of your cheeks? It really works! Make sure again you are working with your skin tone. If you look best in browns, or fall colours you will most likely have a warm skin tone and will look best in peachy blushes. If you look great in blues, and purples you probably have a cool skin tone; you will look best in a pink based blush. It is possible that you look great in both, and if so you have a neutral tone, and you can rock whichever colour blush looks best with your hair colour.
Liquid or cream blushes work best with powder foundation, and should be applied BEFORE powder. I have a fair skin tone so I personally like this method because my blush lasts throughout the day.
If you prefer a powder blush, apply AFTER foundation either power or liquid foundation.
Make Up Forever HD Blush, $25 at Sephora
NARS blush, $27 at Sephora or Holt Renfew
Benefit Cosmetics Feeling Cheeky! $15 at Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart
Step 5- Mascara:
Mascara is the best way to highlight your eyes. Eyes are the one feature on your face that others look at most, so we should always make time for a little mascara. I’ve tried quite a few brands in my time, and found that I like a voluminous look, with no clumping and that wont irritate my eyes. If you have light hair you should be using a light black or black/brown shade, if you have dark hair use the darkest shade of black. When applying, make sure your eyes are open and apply to all the lashes working from the outside in. I recommend using the tip of the brush for the inner lashes and the bottom lashes. Avoid putting mascara on the side of the lashes closest to the eyelid, this can often lead to smudging or mascara that looks too heavy.
Make Up Forever Smoky Lash, $22 at Sephora
Cover Girl Last Blast Fusion, $8 at most drugstores.
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! $19 at Sephora
Step 6- Lip Gloss:
Some might argue that this step is unnecessary but I beg to differ. Just like you moisturize your skin, you should moisturize your lips. Lips can get wrinkly and dry too! I recommend a clear gloss for everyday use and a colour gloss that works with the shade of your blush. Again, I have tried A LOT of brands of lip gloss and prefer something that smells good and has a slight plumper.
Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish, $18 at Sephora
Mentha 2X Supreme Lip Shine, $8 at Bath and Body Works
MAC Lipgelée, $14.50 at MAC locations or at The Bay
If you wanting to do something a little extra feel free to add some eye liner, eye shadow and bronzer. If you are going to add anything other than mascara to your eyes I’d highly recommend using a primer as a base to the eyelid. It helps everything stay in place and not rub off throughout the day.
Bronzer is great to contour the cheeks and give some colour for those who don’t live in warm climates year round! It’s the safe way to tan! Just apply a small amount on the places on your face that would get the most sun: the apples of your cheeks, on the nose, a bit on the chin and a bit on the brow line. DO NOT go overboard with the bronzer- start off light and then check how it looks in natural lighting. If you think you can use more than go for it, but usually one swipe is enough!
Last but not least, have fun with your make up! Experiment with colours! Once you get used to these 6 basic steps it should take you only about 10 minutes to apply!
If you have any further questions feel free to ask.