French women rely on good skincare and only a modicum of makeup to enhance their own unique and god given beauty. And I think that’s a pretty good way to go.
Still, regardless of whether you’re a makeup queen or a French minimalist, the goal is to look your best, and that takes having the right basics.
Most things in life I’ve learned the hard way; by doing it wrong, then figuring it out and fixing it, and makeup is no exception. These 5 products have made my makeup routine easier, faster, and better. And you can check them all out by clicking the paragraph headings and links here!
(Full disclosure, the links below are my affiliate links. If you buy from them, you don’t pay any more and I get a little commission which will help keep me in makeup.)
This is scary but necessary. Unless you’ve got 20/20 eyesight and professional lighting, you’re probably not seeing yourself the same way as someone standing 18 inches in front of you.
Using a good, lighted magnifying mirror lets you see every stray hair that ought to be plucked, every bit of mascara that’s blobbed itself onto your lashes, and that bit of eyeshadow “fallout” that needs to be cleaned up.
Just realize that with the magnifying mirror, you’ll see far more than anyone you’re facing, but if you’re applying your makeup to the “magnified” standard you can be confident with your countenance in any face to face conversation.
And of course for travel, you’ll need one of these little guys for travel – you never know what the lighting and mirror situation is going to be in a hotel and these travel magnifying mirrors can really save the day!
Once you get in front of that magnifying mirror, you’re going to meet hairs you’ve never met before – little hairs that have grown in since your last brow and lip wax, and those random hairs that sort of roll out full-length from the chin area (and don’t forget any hairs showing from your nostrils – nobody wants to see that). And you’re going to want to pluck ‘em.
Old, cranky tweezers make it difficult or impossible to grab those skinny little hairs and yank them out in one quick swoop. A good pair of Tweezerman tweezers makes all the difference between pain and, well, less pain.
Before you start applying makeup, give your face a quick once-over for strays, and use these to get rid of them quickly and (relatively) painlessly.
If you’re not using primer under your foundation, you don’t know what you’re missing. Don’t feel bad – neither did I.
Primer sort of spackles up the pores, giving your makeup a smooth, even surface to sit on, making you look more polished, and making your foundation last longer. Bonus, you’ll use less foundation, and your foundation won’t settle into your pores making it more difficult to remove at the end of the day.
Even if you don’t use foundation, wearing a little primer alone gives your skin a smoother appearance.
Primer is applied with fingertips, the same as you would apply a moisturizer, so it adds only seconds to your routine.
I’ve used many primers and this one by Arbonne is my favorite – it’s super light and prepares the skin well without leaving any sort of “chalky” residue that some primers do.
Eyeshadow primer is a little different, and totally worth it. Not only does it help smooth out the surface, but it helps to prevent deposits of pigment from that first stroke of shadow which can be hard to smooth out. You’ll only apply the tiniest bit so it lasts next to forever.
Using a Beautyblender to apply foundation ensures even application, gives your skin a more flawless appearance, and makes your foundation go farther because you’ll be using less of it, since it won’t be taking up residence deep in your pores.
To use it, dampen the Beautyblender with water and squeeze it out well. Apply a small amount of makeup, either on the back of your hand or (my way) directly onto the blender, and apply to your face by dabbing, not rubbing, until your skin is evenly covered.
Rinse out your blender when done, and give it a good wash from time to time (along with your other makeup brushes) with a little mild soap and water.
This is a magic trick. After you’ve applied foundation, applying a little concealer under your eyes creates an optical illusion – not only does it cover any darkness under your eyes, it also reflects light making your undereye area look young(er) and flawless(er).
Apply the smallest amount of concealer to the undereye area, and pat (don’t rub or smear) with your finger or Beautyblender. Use a shade just slightly lighter than your foundation, and don’t overdo it. It needs to be well blended – you don’t want to see the concealer, just the effect.
These five things are a small investment with a big payoff. Give them a try and let me know what you think!