Thursday, August 4, 2011

Create a Natural Everyday Look for Any Skintone

In this post I am going to tell you how to create a natural look using some of my favorite products. These neutral colors compliment every skin tone, from the fairest white to the deepest brown. You can obviously use any brand you would like, but these are the products that I personally use and recommend. 

Start off by washing and moisturizing your face, neck, and chest. If you are on the hunt for a good face wash, try Philosophy's Purity Made Simple. This will remove any leftover make-up and dirt and is gentle on sensitive skin. I recommend exfoliating at least three times a week to remove dead skin, deep clean pores, and keep your face feeling soft. I prefer Modern Friction by Origins for my finicky skin. Your moisturizer is going to depend on what type of skin you have; oily, dry, or combination. I have combination skin and rosacea, and I tend to get very dry in the winter. I adore A Perfect World by Origins, which compliments Modern Friction perfectly.  I am also a huge fan of the Green Tea and Rose Hydrating Serum from John Masters Organics. But again, use whichever products work best for you.

To Prime or Not to Prime?
A primer isn't always necessary, but I find it helps my foundation go on smoother and blend much easier. Stila's One Step Correct looks like a totally bitchin' science experiment, and it feels great. The peach and the green swirls help to brighten and tone down red areas on your face.

All aboard the Stila train, toot toot! Stila's Natural Finish Oil Free Makeup is the best thing that ever happened to my face. Truly the holy grail of foundations, this product comes in every shade imaginable, blends flawlessly, and looks completely natural.

Even Out and Set with a Powder
Thanks to the lovely girl at Macy's, I recently discovered the magic of Benefit's Get Even Pressed Powder. Good god, y'all. I am a huge Benefit fan, but I never tried their powders because I thought I had settled down with one already. Let me tell you, I am a convert! This pressed powder is so soft and amazing that I swear it must have been produced at Hogwarts. It really helps to even out the redness on my nose and cheeks, and it doesn't make my face look cakey at all.

Eye Primer and Shadow
Let's stick with Benefit and talk about Stay Don't Stray. I love this product so much. I dab a bit on my eyelids and under my eyes and gently blend it in with my ring finger. This brightens up your face so much that you can probably skip under-eye concealer. Honestly, I even skip shadow half the time! But if you are looking for a beautiful, natural eye shadow, I recommend the True Romance Palette by Kat Von D for Sephora in Ludwig. This stuff is crazy amazing. The shadows are insanely soft, highly pigmented, and just gorgeous. Don't let your opinion of the reality t.v. star keep you from trying these out. You won't be sorry. A quick dusting of, "Clay,' on your lids, a little, "Downtown," in the crease, and a dab of, "Tequila," in the corners and you are good to go.

Line and Define
Line your lids with a deep, chocolatey liquid. Ever the Stila fanatic, I use their Stay All Day in dark brown. Now, I love MAC just as much as the next girl, but in a fight to the death, Stay All Day would dominate Penultimate. I have been using the same exact pen since September of last year, and it is still going strong. Plus, it really does stay all day! A thin line along the lashes with a slight cat-eye will make your eyes appear larger. A bit of Stila's famous Kajal liner in Pearl along the waterline will also open and brighten your eyes. Line your lower lash line, starting at the outer eye and continuing about half way, with Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Bourbon or Underground. The pencils are long-lasting, so soft and smooth. You will never want to use anything else. 

Luscious Lashes
The secret to crazy full, long looking lashes is combining products. Seriously, people ask me if I am wearing false lashes all the time. It's best to start out with something that lengthens and separates. I am currently loving They're Real by Benefit, which has replaced Fairy Drops in my routine. (Though I would recommend either). I like to follow this up with a few coats of MAC Plush Lash. This stuff is out of this world and will make you feel sexy as hell. The only problem is it is not waterproof. That is why I top it all off with a healthy coat of Urban Decay's Waterproof Big Fatty. (This is currently on sale for $10.00! Hurry up and get it now!) The Big Fatty bonds to the other mascaras and helps keep you looking fly and run-free all day. Pop a bit of it on your bottom lashes to soften up the look of your 24/7 liner.

Pucker Up
Keep your lips soft by gently rubbing them or brushing them when you wash your face. Remember to be ginger, your lips are very sensitive. If they are feeling overly dry, try exfoliating them with a combination of agave nectar and sugar. (When you're finished you can lick your lips, yum!) Moisturize them regularly, especially if you live in a climate with winters as harsh as ours. I can't get enough of the Kiss My Face Lip Balms. They're all natural, plus they feel and smell great. My favorite is the cranberry orange. If you like to keep it natural, stop here. But if you are looking to draw more attention to your mouth, add a little definition to your cupid's bow with one of Urban Decays 24/7 liners in Yeyo. Finish your lips with a nude or pink shade. I am partial to MAC lipstick in Speed Dial or Sweetie.

Brighten Up
If you feel like you're looking a little too monochromatic, try brightening up with a soft pink blush. I have recently fallen head over heels for Benefit's Posietint. I honestly did not think I would like this, what with my already rosie complextion. I was also afraid of how a stain might look on my fair skin, but this stuff is phenomenal. If you are light like me, Posietint will give you a natural looking flush. If you have darker skin, it will give you a warm glow. If you aren't feeling daring enough to experiment with a stain, try Dandelion, also by Benefit. By far my all time favorite powder blush, Dandelion is soft and feminine. And not that it matters, but the packaging is gorgeous.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these products, you will find everything except for Origins and John Masters at both your local Sephora and Ulta. John Masters products can be found in the beauty section of your local Whole Foods Market, and if you are in the Portland area, you will find Origins in the Maine Mall, along with the MAC counter at Macy's


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