For every day, I prefer a skin-focused makeup look that enhances my natural features. Here are the products I use to get a fresh, minimalist face every day.
First thing’s first. I never go without applying sunscreen to my face, and this is my go-to. This sunscreen has a strong alcohol smell when you first apply it, but it dissipates quickly and somehow isn’t drying at all. I have zero tolerance for the powdery or gritty finishes that some sunscreens leave; this one absorbs fully into your skin the way a moisturizer would and doesn’t interfere with makeup.
One tube usually lasts me about a month. I purchase 3 or 4 tubes at a time and reorder when I open my last one. Shipping can take 2-3 weeks and I never want to be without it.
Clarins Instant Conceal, 01 Fair Skin, $32 CAD
This was an impulse buy at Shoppers Drug Mart one day, but I have no regrets. Most concealers don’t work for me, so buying one without reading reviews is always stupid, even more so when it costs over $30! But this lightweight, liquid concealer is very pigmented and blends into the skin really well. If you have dry and/or mature skin, you might like to try this. (If the shade range doesn’t accommodate you, try the MAC Pro Longwear concealer, which I find gives me similar results).
I apply this just under the eyes and around my nose, which tends to have a bit of redness. I use my finger to blend, but keep a clean, damp beautyblender on hand in case I need to expedite the process a little, or if I’ve applied too much.
NYX Dark Circle Concealer, Fair, $8 CAD
This peach toned corrector is perfect for neutralizing the veins on my eyelids, which is a major problem area for me. I pat a tiny amount over my eyelids and set with a fine powder. I like the RCMA No Color Powder, Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Rose Petal, and Laura Mercier’s Translucent powder.
I’ll also go in and lightly dust the areas where I applied concealer. Sometimes. I’m not a huge fan of powder, to be honest — setting my eyelids tends to be non-negotiable since they can get oily throughout the day and I want to maintain the colour correcting work I did, but powder anywhere else tends to exacerbate every line and wrinkle on my face.
Then it’s onto brows. I don’t go too crazy here — just add a bit of definition to my natural brows and comb through with a spoolie brush (the spoolie end of my Brow Wiz has broken off TWICE, so I have a MAC 204 lash brush as a permanent stand in.)
If I’m feeling a bit extra, I’ll add a tinted brow gel to coat the fine, blonde hairs in my otherwise brunette brows. This is totally optional.
Ben Nye MediaPro Contour Poudre Compact, Neutral, $27 CAD
My contour powder of choice these days is this Ben Nye MediaPro Contour powder. I bought this on a whim from Camera Ready Cosmetics, and I can’t stop reaching for it. This is a highly pigmented powder that blends really nicely — it’s so easy to get a natural contour, and the colour works for me as an all over bronzer as well. I’m not going for an ultra sculpted look here — just a little extra colour. I use the thin edge of the NYX Dual Fibre Powder brush to deposit the product just under my cheekbones, and turn the brush onto its wider side to blend it out and around my hairline.
CoverGirl LastBlast Clump Crusher Mascara, Black, $10 CAD
For many years I avoided drugstore mascara. My eyes get pretty scrunched up when I laugh and smile, so I always ended up looking like a raccoon from mascara transferring. I decided to give this a try after it entered the hype cycle on /r/MakeupAddiction, and I been repurchasing it ever since.
I use the shu uemura Eyelash Curler to curl my lashes, making sure to pump the curler across the length of my lashes. This creates an even C-curl, rather than putting a harsh bend in the lash at the lash line.
This mascara doesn’t do a ton for volume, but it gives an extremely natural lash effect with no clumps or transfer. Plus, I always find this on sale at Well.ca or Shoppers Drug Mart, making it super easy to always have a backup.
And there you have it! What are your no-makeup makeup staples?