I love makeup but I also love routines. There's nothing more satisfying than working out a winning formula, and my favourite sort of formula is a quick, easy and effortless makeup routine. Don't expect anything too exciting - for me, everyday makeup is about perfecting my skin and emphasising my features. Anything more complex typically gets reserved for evenings or weekends when I have a little more time to play around with colours and brushes. This post will be interesting to anyone who wants to see what difference these products actually make to your appearance, as I've tried to include before and after photos of each step. If you like this sort of breakdown then I'm happy to include these sorts of photos more often, although I have to admit that I've never had to crop so many pictures of my own face for one blog post before!
The first step in my everyday makeup routine is always a primer, sometimes I look to improve the longevity of my makeup and sometimes I want something that will help cover the redness in my cheeks. I find that the bronze tone of Revlon Photoready Skin Lights Illuminator in Bare Light (£11.99) does a really good job of counteracting redness, which helps to reduce the amount of foundation I need to use. I apply this with my fingers, smoothing a small amount over my skin to create a very light and even layer.
After primer I apply foundation, and at the moment Revlon's ColorStay Makeup for Combination and Oily Skin (£12.99) is my favourite. I use a mix of two shades, Buff and Sand Beige, to create a shade that's as close to my natural skin colour as possible. I find that this foundation is best applied with a makeup sponge and I typically reach for Real Techniques' Miracle Complexion Sponge. Afterwards I'll follow up with a small amount of Nars' Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22.00), really focusing on my undereye area and the area around my nose.
Out of habit I usually follow up by filling in my eyebrows. When I have time I like to fill in my brows with Japonesque's Eyeshadow in shade 05 but on lazy/busy days I usually just use Benefit's Gimme Brow Gel in Light/Medium (£18.50). I find that it gives a nice dose of colour without being too heavy and it also helps to set my brows for the whole day too.
Once my brows are done I focus on my eyes. I've been trialling a sample of Benefit's Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer* (£21.50) which I'm still using out of habit, as I find that it doesn't really make any difference to the longevity of my makeup. You can see in my photo above that it adds a slight yellow-toned tinge to my eyelids, but that's really about it. Afterwards I reach for Maybelline's 24 Hour Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige (£4.99), a matte mid-tone brown. It's really easy to apply and blend, all of which I do with my fingers.
After I'm done with my eyeshadow I apply my mascara, and my favourite choice at the moment is Benefit's Roller Lash Mascara (£19.50). I find that it adds a great deal of length and that the colour is a really striking and deep black that adds tremendous definition to the eye area.
When my eyes are done I then focus on my cheeks. Because I naturally have such high colouring in my cheeks I don't typically need to add much blush. However, I really like reaching for Mac's Cremeblend Blush in Brit Wit (£18.50) which is a really good match for my natural cheek colour. It just helps to create an even flush of natural-looking colour, as the formula is light and easy to blend. Once again, you don't need to use brushes if you don't want to. Afterwards I follow up with a small amount of Benefit's Highlighter in Highbeam (£19.50) along the top of my cheeks.
As I've embraced pink cheeks I like to opt for a similar sort of shade on my lips. Nars' Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine (£15.50) is a really gorgeous mauve-pink that I find incredibly flattering. The formula is a really creamy matte texture that's easy to apply and incredibly long lasting. It's a very similar shade to Mac's Brave, but I think it's slightly pinker and ever so slightly less comfortable to wear.
This is the finished look - you can tell I'm wearing makeup but it isn't super-dramatic. I've really focused on adding definition to my eyes and lips, and evening out tone of my skin with foundation and a subtle application of blush. In retrospect I could probably have used a highlighting concealer under my eyes to help counteract my dark circles, but in all honesty I don't normally do that so I didn't want to make that addition just for this blog post. My skin isn't perfect and I do have bags under my eyes, and that's okay. It isn't about perfection, it's about confidence and working with what you've got.
Do let me know if you enjoyed this sort of walk-through makeup routine - I haven't done one like this before, but I found it really interesting to see how my makeup changes with each individual step. Do let me know if there are any makeup products that you think I should try next and I'll try to incorporate them into my next makeup routine or review.