Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My natural summer makeup routine

My little sister Caroline is definitely the artist of the family, and her makeup skills are no different. The lines she draws with eye pencils and blush brushes follow the same accuracy, creativity, and beauty of those that she draws with a pen and paper. I always recruit her to do my makeup for special events (including Emily's wedding), and she never fails to make my skin look effortlessly pretty, something that I struggle with doing myself. Over the past few years she has converted me from a cheap CVS makeup junkie into a believer that quality really does make a huge difference when it comes to makeup. She has a gift!

So when Mary Kay sent me a bunch of products to try out, I knew that I needed my sister to help me put them to good use. I enlisted her to teach me (and you guys!) an easy summer makeup routine using my favorites that I already owned as well as some of my new goodies from Mary Kay. And I must say, I've followed this routine almost every day since and love how it's given me a completely refreshed and healthy look for the season.

So without further ado, here is my go-to guide for getting a natural summer look, as taught by Caroline.
1. Concealer
Once your face is completely bare, start with a lightweight concealer to hide any imperfections or spots. Under your eyes, put 3 dots of concealer under each eye and then dab them repetitively with your finger to blend the concealer and hide any bags.
My concealer: Bare Minerals correcting concealer in medium
2. Mineral Powder
Use your favorite mineral foundation as a base to even out your skin. Apply with a good powder brush and buff the powder in a circular motion over your entire face.
My powder: Physician's Formula mineral wear (can find at any convenience store)
2. Bronzer
Use a bronzer to highlight the areas of your face that the sun would hit naturally. My sister taught me to create a number "3" on your face with the bronzer brush, starting on your forehead bordering your hairline, moving down to the cheek, and then finishing the "3" at your chin. Finally, brush a bit of bronzer on your nose. When it comes to bronzer & blush, I am a huge Nars fan.
My bronzer: Nars Laguna

4. Blush
I love blush, but use a little less of this in the summer than in the winter, since my cheeks are hopefully more brown than red. :) For this step, use a separate cheek brush to highlight the apples of your cheeks in a upward facing line.
My blush: Nars orgasm
5. Translucent powder
Finish with a translucent powder to set all off the powders you've applied in the last three steps and also control shine throughout the day. Just put a tiny bit into the cap and swirl it around with your brush before applying to your face. After this, the skin steps are done!
My translucent powder: Mary Kay translucent loose powder
6. Eyebrows
If you have light/uneven eyebrows like I do, you'll want to fill them in with an eyebrow powder or pen. To do this, use an eyebrow brush and apply the powder along your brows. If I'm having an especially unruly day, I also use Anastasia clear brow gel to tame the stragglers.
My eyebrow powder: Anastasia brow duo in blonde
7. Eye shadow
In the winter, I try to play up my eyes with shadows in darker colors since my skin is pale and I don't want to draw much attention to it. However, for summer, I always go with a light, shimmery eye shadow to create a more natural, sun-kissed look. For this step, use an eye color brush to spread the shadow over your entire lid. I am recently obsessed with Mary Kay's cream eye colors - they spread on so easily, dry quickly so they don't smudge, and last for the entire day! Caroline also applied a more silvery powder from the Naked Palette right under my brows.
My eyeshadow (day): Mary Kay cream eye color in apricot twist
My eyeshadow (night): Urban Decay Naked palette
8. Liquid Eyeliner
Liquid eyeliner is a recent addition to my makeup routine, and I don't know how I survived without it for so long - I feel so bare without it now! For this step, apply the liquid liner to your eyelids right along the eyelash line and let dry.
My liquid liner: Sephora liquid liner in "starry sky" grey
9. Mascara
My favorite step! I love seeing my lashes go from blonde and wispy to thick and black. For this step, curl your lashes first with an eyelash curler and then apply a generous amount of mascara.
My mascara: Mary Kay Lash Love mascara in black
10. Eyeliner
I don't wear too much eyeliner in the summer, but apply just enough to define the bottom of my eye since my lashes are so light. As a rule of thumb, only apply eyeliner to where your lashes end. I love all the eyeliner colors that Sephora offers for only $5 each.
My eyeliner: Sephora nano eyeliner in "gri gri"
11. Lips
The final step! Caroline always does a lipstick/lip gloss combination that I love for summer. Plus, putting on both gives you color, shine and moisturized lips all at the same time.
My lipstick: MAC in creme cup
My lip gloss: Nars larger than life lip gloss in Odalisque
And that's it! Phew. That was a lot of super awkward close-up pictures of my face, but Caroline makes me look so much better towards the end. And it sounds like a lot when written down, but these 11 steps only take about 10 minutes in the morning. I'm not a die-hard loyalist to any certain makeup brand, but really do love the "cocktail" of makeup items listed in this post that I've grown to rely on. And although I'm pretty committed to them, I always love trying new things. So if you have a makeup staple that you live by, please feel free to share below!

Disclaimer: Mary Kay sent complimentary products for this post. All words & opinions are 100% my own.

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