I’ve been essentially using the same makeup color palette since I was eighteen. I’m not much for taking crazy risks with eyeshadow and lip color, but I have the nude/natural look down to a science at this point.
I always wash my face with an exfoliating cleanser and use SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum before applying makeup (find more info on my skincare routine here!). Below you’ll find my favorite products for each step in my pretty basic makeup routine. All of these products are ones I currently use and love—they’re tried and true repeat buys. I included three products in each section (all of which I use and rotate throughout the year!) and the ones highlighted in the images are those that I rely on most regularly at the moment. If you have any questions at all, please let me know in the comments!
I also want to note that we’ll be doing a roundup in the not too distant future featuring our team’s favorite drugstore beauty products, so stay tuned for that!
Most of the time I use a tinted moisturizer (I love the EltaMD Tinted Moisturizer ($36)!) but lately I’ve found two great clean foundations that have just the right amount of coverage—the Vapour Soft Focus Foundation, shown above, and ILIA’s True Skin Serum Foundation ($54).
If my skin is looking red and inflamed or if I’m filming/shooting or going out for the night, I apply foundation all over my face and jawline. The coverage of the two foundations are medium and great for people who want a natural look but need more than a lightweight formula.
After foundation, I dab areas that still appear red with a concealer. I like the ones that pack a lot of coverage because I don’t use much. On days where I don’t use foundation, I apply a bit more around my nose and chin, where I tend to get red. I also apply it under my eyes on nights where I don’t sleep well.
I keep the Pixi Pat Away Concealing Base (shown above), the RMS “Un” Cover-up ($36), and ILIA’s True Skin Serum Concealer ($30) in my makeup drawer and use them interchangeably. I like that the RMS one builds with application.
I don’t always use this step, but since I’m big on using moisturizers all the time I tend to always have a “glow” which doesn’t translate well in certain situations. When that’s the case, I apply a light veil of powder. I love the Bio Base Baked Foundation by W3LL PEOPLE, shown above, and also sometimes use Make Up For Ever’s Microfinishing Pressed Powder ($37) and Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($39).
I’m pretty pale year-round, so a light dusting of a basic bronzer brings a lot of life into my face. I have a couple on hand—a flat one (W3ll Good Bio Baked Bronzer ($22)), one that has a tiny bit of shine to it (Bobbi Brown Natural Finish Bronzer in Golden Light), and one that is super shimmery (Pixi Glow-y Powder in Peach–y Glow ($18)).
Another step I never skip. I absolutely LOVE the BECCA Sunlit Bronzer in Maui Nights ($38) because their formulas have so much depth to them. For a natural look I like to reach for a cheek stick that I can swipe on easily without worrying too much about accuracy or blending—the ILIA Multi-Stick in All of Me is my go-to. And you can never go wrong with Nars. Their The Multiple Multipurpose Stick in G-Spot ($39) been a staple for me for over a decade.
I don’t often wear eyeshadow. On a busy day, I take a fingertip of bronzer and apply it to the base of my eye. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll alternate between a shimmer and matte combination of a light shade on my upper brow and a medium brown across my eyelid. Sometimes, I’ll add a deeper brown to the corners and blend inward.
My go-to palette of late has been ILIA’s The Necessary Eyeshadow Palette in Warm Nude. I also like the Pixi Eye Reflections Shadow Palette in Rustic Sunset ($24) and the Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Bone, Toast, and Taupe ($28).
I love eyeliner! I have thin and straight eyelashes so eyeliner can instantly make me look less tired. I alternate between a liquid eyeliner, the L’Oreal Infallible Flash Cat Eye Liquid Liner (shown above), and a crayon version, the ILIA Clean Line Gel Liner ($26). For a subtle look, I’ll take a fine brush and use a deep brown powder along the base of my lashes—my favorite is the Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Rich Brown ($28).
If I’m outside the house without mascara, it was either an accident or a VERY busy morning. If there was a makeup product I would put on if I could only choose one, it would be mascara.
I have a couple of tried and true brands but now I have a favorite clean mascara, ILIA’s Limitless Lash Mascara, that works just as well as the drugstore brands and my fancy Dior stuff. I will say that L’Oreal’s Voluminous Lash Paradise is an incredible value for the product at $11 (although it’s not great for people who deal with watery eyes as it does smudge more than other brands!).
I’m a lipstick girl. My lips are naturally very pale and I look a little dead without some color on my lips. I keep one of the following products in pockets and purses as well as in my car so I’m never far from a bit of color to apply to my lips—RMS Lip2Cheek in Promise ($36), ILIA Tinted Lip Conditioner in Forever (shown above), and MAC Matte Lipstick in Velvet Teddy ($19).
I like to use a bit of lip liner to define the shape of my lips. I also have freckles along my lip line that look like I just ate a piece of cake, which can be cute sometimes but not always. Lip liner helps masks them.
I use these three products pretty much interchangeably—Nars Precision Lip Liner in Rosebud ($24), Aveda Feed My Lips Pure Nourish-Mint Lip Liner in 08 (shown above), and Nars Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Dusty Rose ($27).
When I want a subtle look or a glossier top coat to apply to my base lipsticks, I reach for these brands: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Sugar Rosé Tinted ($24), ILIA Color Haze in Before Today (shown above), and Glossier Lip Gloss in Clear ($14).
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BY Kate Arends - February 19, 2020
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.