While I in no way consider myself a makeup maven, I often get asked (usually via Instagram) what my makeup routine is and/or what products I use. When it comes to my blogging, I’m pretty much an open book, but I’m still very careful about making sure I’m not offering uninformed or ill-informed opinions. For that reason, I tend to leave all the makeup advice to the Alexandra Butler’s of the world. But you guys have asked—and asked—so I decided to finally go ahead and put together a post detailing my daily makeup routine. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t disappoint!
I have 3 staple foundations that I rotate between depending on what time of year it is and/or how much coverage I want.
During the summer months when I’m my tannest, I use MAC’s Studio Fix Liquid Foundation in NW44. It’s a great foundation with excellent coverage, but not really that great with oil/shine control*. My skin is naturally pretty oily and so I usually have to blot quite a bit throughout the day. *MAC also doesn’t work well for me when I’m home in the South. The humidity and the lack of shine control just do not work well together.
On a day when I’m just looking for a little light coverage—like, when I’m running errands—I opt for L’Oreal’s True Match Liquid Foundation in N8 (C7 in the winter). It’s so lightweight that you can barely feel it on your face. I also love the $9 price point!
My current staple is Black Opal’s True Color Liquid Foundation in Nutmeg. I’ve been using it for several months and I absolutely love it. It’s a nice happy medium between MAC and L’Oreal when it comes to coverage—a little less than MAC, but more than L’Oreal. It also has great shine control and is affordable at $9.
Normally, my lips are bare. I get asked a lot what color I’m wearing on my lips in certain pictures, but the truth is that’s just the natural tint of my lips—browner on the edges and pink in the center. Most lip colors, because of the natural coloring of my lips, look a little “off” on me and rather than fuss with priming and adding foundation to my lips (I’m much too novice for all that), I’ve just decided to embrace the au naturale look. So for 99% of my blog photos (all of the pics in the post except those with obvious lipstick), I’m wearing nothing more than Vaseline on my lips. It’s also what I wear in my “real, every day life.” On the rare occasions that I do wear lipstick, I wear Revlon’s Black Cherry (you guys have seen it a million times) or when I’m feeling really frisky, NYX’s Penelope (black).
Above: Bare lips with Vaseline; Below: Revlon’s Black Cherry
I know. This is the section you guys have been waiting for. You’ve been asking me about my eyebrows for YEARS! And I’ve been promising to do a tutorial, but honestly, I just don’t think I would do a good job at it. I look at girls on Youtube and I am truly amazed at their ability to show off their techniques. I don’t know where to place the camera, where to look, how to get good lighting, etc. I’m getting anxiety just thinking about it! So I’m just going to walk you through it verbally for now and maybe one day when I have a bigger budget and/or more professional equipment, I’ll get around to making a video.
Because the hair on my head is so light (but I don’t want to bleach my brows), I use a dark brown eyeliner (as opposed to black) to fill in my brows. I’m not particular about the brand—usually just the $1.50 pencils from the drugstore. They work well on skin (we’ve all had those cheap waxy pencils where the color just refuses to transfer), but they’re not so color intensive that they look like Magic Marker on your face. The trick is that I’m VERY lighthanded with my application. I rest my pinky on my nose and just barely stroke across my brow in light, short strokes. At no point do I draw a line in/on my brows! (You can clean them up later with concealer.) The goal is to mimic what hair actually looks likes—short and not completely opaque. After I’ve achieved the general shape I’m looking for by using the pencil, I take a VERY small amount of concealer and line the bottom of my brow. When I say just a little, I mean JUST. A. LITTLE! I place the concealer—MAC’s Pro Longwear in NC45—on the back of my hand and gently dip the tip of the brush (one with a stiff edge) in the concealer. [Brush shown in bottom center of top photo. (light tan handle)]. I line the bottom of my brow to create a smooth, clean line and then blend outwards away from the brow. Once I’ve done that, I take my finger and complete the blending/”warm it up” until the concealer blends seamlessly against my skin. I don’t apply concealer above my brow. Nothing against folks who do, but I don’t think it’s the most natural look and I can’t really get with the “outlined brow” look.
And that’s really the extent of my daily eyebrow routine. In terms of long term maintenance, I don’t get my eyebrows waxed, I razor them myself and I tweeze and trim when needed.
This is another one of those areas where people have been a bit deceived. Most days/IRL, I don’t wear anything more than eyeliner (and foundation). For my blog posts, I will typically wear a very neutral, flesh toned eyeshadow just because it looks better on camera. I prefer the gold tone in Black Radiance’s 4-color palette (8801A). When I’m feeling really fancy, I will add a dark brown—from the same palette—to the creases. That’s about as much as I know about eyeshadow.
Under the eyes, I color correct the hereditary darkness under my eyes with the same concealer I use on my brows. Again, it’s the simple/non-professional MUA version. I don’t highlight and contour and all that jazz. I don’t know how and, frankly, I don’t care to learn. (Something about the idea of outright changing the shape of my features—as opposed to enhancing them—just doesn’t sit well with me.)
I finish my eyes off by lining my top and bottom lids with Revlon’s ColorStay Crayon liner in black. I LIVE for that eyeliner! If I run out, I go into complete panic mode. Lol. It’s amazeballs! Last, but not least, I use Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara. I also really love Maybelline’s Stiletto Lash Mascara. It’s a little pricey by drugstore standards ($12), but totally worth it.
On my cheeks I usually wear either MAC’s Powder Blush in Raizin or Mary Kay’s powder blush in Cranberry Bold (discontinued). However, more often than not it’s MAC’s Raizin. I like that it’s pigmented enough to add color and dimension to my face without leaving me looking clown-like. A great choice for us brownskin gals!
Blush: MAC Raisin
And there you have it folks!
My everyday makeup routine. I wish I had something a little fancier to tell you, but, alas, I’m a pretty simple girl when it comes to makeup. I know this would have been much better in a video format, but….you gotta crawl before you walk! Lol. Hope it helps!