as someone who has never really felt comfortable with makeup (those cosmetic counter ladies scare me!), i've been trying to figure out a minimalist-ish set of essentials in the last year or so for work or events when i need to look appropriately put-together.
neat discovery: i recently decided to try out Clinique's bb cream, and love it. i wear it every day now. it's basically the ideal all-in-one product for those of us who don't like layering on multiple products, or the heaviness of foundation. a small pea-size amount, applied with your fingers, offers a little more coverage than tinted moisturizer while still being light and very natural. there's spf 30 protection, which is fantastic. i've found that i can skip the concealer when i've got on the bb cream. it also seems to have a bit of a mattifying effect for me, which is great as it cuts out the need for primer and i can just put on mineral pressed powder to set it for a more 'finished' look.
Laura Mercier's mineral foundation powder is another new favorite. it's light enough to function as a relatively sheer setting powder, but tinted so that you can still build on coverage in gradual layers if necessary. the texture is also fine and silky, so it blends easily into your skin. i also really like that it comes in a nice slim compact – instantly portable and travel-friendly, and not nearly as messy as those loose powder jars.
finally, a mini review for the Too Faced kabuki brush: i use it to apply the mineral pressed powder, and it's great. (as someone with sensitive and somewhat acne-prone skin, i never use the sponges that come with powder compacts – they cake on too much product, and you can never clean them properly...) the texture of the brush feels great on the skin, and it picks up just enough product from my powder compact without wasting a bunch. because it's made from synthetic fibers, it's more resistant to bacteria than brushes made from animal furs. (as with any makeup brush, make sure you get a brush cleaning spray/solution to clean it between uses.) highly recommend this as a great face brush, especially if you like to use mineral makeup.
the rest here are the finishing touches that work with my everyday routine, or as part of a minimalist set. two other items that are great multitaskers:
one or two bright lipsticks:
i like a little bit of bright lipstick, and i find that Nars makes the best ones that glide on and aren't too thick. after about a few hours, the color fades a little and ends up looking like a nice lipstain, which i really love.
after many attempts to make mascara work for me, i've realized that i hate the way it feels on and the annoyance of taking it off, so now i just use a good liquid eyeliner and call it a day. maybe put on some eyeshadow/shimmery something if i'm feeling inspired.
what about you? have you discovered some great new products lately? are you a minimalist or maximalist when it comes to makeup?