Saturday, July 21, 2012

Basic Face

Basic Face

Basic Face by quinn-ryan-smith featuring urban decay eyeliner

For the longest time, I felt totally comfortable leaving the house without a bit of makeup on (unless you count lip balm or gloss as makeup). Then I realized what a difference it made to my overall look when I simply applied some black eyeliner, and a sort of signature look was born (to this day I do not walk out the door without black liquid or gel liner on my upper lash line with at least a slight wing to exaggerate the shape of my, what I consider to be small, eyes). Then I discovered the importance of filling in my brows (they do frame your face), and so on and so forth. So while I could still venture outside in total comfort with no makeup (except for the aforementioned liner and balm), I know that I walk a little taller, smile a little brighter, and exude a bit more confidence when I take a few simple steps to better present myself to the outside world. Thus my basic face was born. 

I use this routine when I'm going to out and about, perhaps just running errands with the lil bits or for a trip to the mall with my family. It's simple and quick, but honestly makes a world of difference for my appearance. The end result is something that's equal parts chic and natural; I look perfectly put together, yet effortless. 

While the steps stay the same, the products are often times swapped out, because I like to try new things and am always experimenting with different brands and products. These are the things I've been reaching for lately.

Of course I start of with a clean and moisturized face. I also like to use a bit of Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant on my lips (it is one of my Holy Grail items; I will NEVER be without it) to make sure they are smooth and moisturized; perfectly prepped for whatever color I choose to apply later. Then I use a bit of concealer under my eyes (more to brighten up my face a la Kim Kardashian, as I don't generally get dark circles) and on the occasional blemish or red spot I might have. Lately I've been loving Smashbox's High Definition Concealer (I use the shade Medium/Dark and I'm an NW45). I just use my fingers to apply it, allow it a few moments to warm up on my skin, and then use my ring finger in a gentle tapping motion to blend it in to my skin. 

This concealer matches my skin tone and blends in so well, that I don't need to use anything else on my face. But for a little pop of summery color, I blend a bit of Nars' Illuminator in Super Orgasm, a beautiful pinky peach shade with a bit of golden shimmer, to the apples of my cheeks. 

For my eyes, I first start with a light layer of MAC's Paint in Bamboom. It is literally the same shade as my eyelid, but using it smooths and evens out the surface of my lid, keeps it from getting oily, and helps my requisite liner to adhere better and last longer. 

Next is the all important black liner. I prefer gel and liquid liners for my top lash line; I find that for my oily skin they resist smudging a lot better and it's much easier to achieve the crisp line and wing that are part of my signature eye look. Urban Decay's 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion has been in my regular rotation since I first tried it over a year ago (it is a product that I have repurchased and continue to reach for despite having many other selections in my arsenal). I LOVE the applicator-it's a long, super-skinny, flexible, yet sturdy brush. It's perfect for drawing a line in whatever thickness your heart desires, getting really close to your lash line, reaching into the inner corner of the eye, and getting that perfect flick for a wing or cat eye. 

If I'm feeling saucy, and time (and my kids allow), I also like to take a black pencil liner and tight line my upper lash line as well as drag it along the outer half of my lower lash line (using black liner along the bottom lash line can add instant drama to any look, but  I find that if I go overboard with it, it has the tendency to make my eyes look smaller than they already are). My favorite liner right now is another from Urban Decay, the 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in either Perversion or Zero.

A couple coats of mascara finish off the eyes (though don't forget to fill in or at least groom your brows). I change mascara's frequently; right now I'm using Rimmel London's The Max Volume Flash Bold Curves Mascara. I use 2 or 3 coats on the top lashes and 1 or 2 on the bottom if I'm wearing my contacts, and just 1 on the top and bottom if I'm sporting my glasses. 

Last, but certainly not least, is my mouth. I used to shy away from bright, vibrant colors for my lips (I figured my words brought enough attention to my mouth so I didn't need my lipstick to do so  as well), but now I love to add a nice pop of color to my pout, especially when I kept the rest of my face so basic. Like just about everyone out there, I love Revlon's Color Burst Lip Butters. I regularly reach for Lollipop, a beautifully rich pink that's just the right opacity for my pigmented lips. 

(The picture used in the collage is Lollipop. This one is Candy Apple.)

And that's it lovelies! Just a few easy steps and products to get a beautiful, fresh face. Sometimes I tweak it, and add or subtract steps and adjust the products I use, but this is definitely my go to approach for simple beauty. If you notice, I didn't need a single brush to use this technique, which makes it even easier to do. 

What do you think about this minimalistic approach to makeup? What does your every day routine consist of? Will you be trying out some of these tips or buying some of these products? My inquiring mind wants to know! Leave a comment below and tell me what you think. Until next time...

Ciao, XxO


PS-This post contains affiliate links: if you choose to click on any of the pictures or links AND make a purchase, I receive a small commision :) 

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