Friday, March 20, 2015

Easy Makeup for Work

This post is for my lovely reader Martha, who is also a working mom.  She is new to makeup and wanted some recommendations on the basics.  I thought it would be best to show my simplest look and give some high end and low end recommendations in each category.  The goal here is to look professional and put together, but to be able to slap in on your face in 3 minutes or less, and probably with a kid hanging off each leg (welcome to my every day).  I like work makeup that makes me look bright eyed, awake, and fresh faced.  Only the teeniest step above no-makeup makeup, to show that I made an effort (haha). 

Keep in mind that I am neither a professional makeup artist or makeup photographer, I'm just a regular person who likes makeup (and kissy faces).  This is my go-to work look:

To get that look, I used the following products (they are dirty because I really do wear them almost every day and they last forever)(crap I forgot to include mascara in the picture):

Face:  While I love the bye bye redness, it's a little too dark for my winter face.  Plus I love a good multitasking product like the It Cosmetics CC cream.  It's my moisturizer, my anti-aging serum, my sunscreen, my concealer, and my foundation all in one.  Basically, it's my everything, which is why it is so perfect when I'm short on time.  This is not for the faint of heart though, it gives a ton of coverage and therefore might not be the best option for someone who is brand new to makeup.  I currently set it with the It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation, which I prefer to the Celebration Foundation Illumination formula, but I like Mac Studio Fix better. 
I feel like foundation is so personal for everyone and therefore it's hard to make recommendations since I only know what my skin is like.  So instead of telling you all what to do, I am going to strongly recommend that you go to youtube and search for videos for your particular skin type.  Search best [drugstore or high end] foundation for [dry or oily or combination or acne prone] skin and see what other people like for your particular skin type.  Watch them put it on.  Before shelling out for the higher end products, go to Sephora and have them color match you.  Don't be shy about asking for samples of several different brands.  And then go to another Sephora or the same one on a different day and ask for more.  They will give you enough to try out and really know if it works for you.  I'd rather take the extra time before spending my money than wind up hate-wearing a foundation for the next couple of months.  (I never buy and return unless a product is truly defective...I know I'm weird about that). 
Cheeks:  I just can't be bothered to highlight and contour on a work day.  And that's definitely out of scope for makeup for beginners.  Even if you are new to makeup you shouldn't skip the blush.  I used to be extremely anti blush because of my rosacea, and I have no idea what I was thinking.  Blush is the quickest way to achieve a fresh pretty face.  For higher end, I think the benefit box blushes are a fantastic starting point for people who are new to makeup.  Hervana (pictured below) is an extremely flattering shade on so many skin tones.  I pretty much wear that or the now discontinued Dallas every day.  I don't personally wear drugstore blushes, but the Milani and Physician's formula blushes look nice and seem to get rated highly on youtube so I would start there. 

Eyes:  I think everyone in the world should own the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette.  I am missing the black (Crave) but you can use it to smoke out the look or as a soft pretty eyeliner, the shade on the left (Venus) is a super pretty highlight, and the 4 in the middle are soft, buttery, easily blendable shades.  This palette is so easy to work with that I don't even use brushes, I slap them on with my fingers.  My go to look is W.O.S on the lid, Naked 2 in the crease, and Venus on my inner corner and first third of the eye.  This gives me a nice bright eyed wide awake look and it only takes 15 seconds.  If you must use a brush, I like the $4 Sonia Kashuk fluffy crease brush from Target.  From the drugstore I like to use either a Maybelline color tattoo (like bad to the bronze) or a L'Oreal Infallible Shadow (amber rush, bronzed taupe, iced latte) all over the lid as a single shadow look.  Mally shadow sticks and Laura Mercier caviar sticks are great for that too. 

I forgot to show my mascara.  I'm wearing a Laura Mercier sample I don't particularly like in this pic.  My favorite high end is tarte Gifted and drugstore is L'Oreal Voluminous in the gold tube.  Mascara is totally one of those things you have to play with to find what you like though.  I really don't think anyone needs to fork out the cash for high end, especially since a tube only lasts a few months.

Eyeliner I use the Urban Decay 24/7 glide on pencils for high end and rimmel scandaleyes for drugstore.  I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend just tightlining your upper waterline with black or dark brown for work.  I leave my lower lashline bare so I don't have to worry about going to meetings with smudgy undereyes.  Once you get the hang of tightlining, it's actually error proof and makes a huge difference in your look. It's so subtle and pretty and way more work appropriate than a cat eye (at least where I work). 

Lips: I like to use anything that is half lipstick half gloss, like the Maybelline Color Whispers (the one I have on today is Ravishing Pink).  They are super easy, don't require looking at a mirror, last a long time, they aren't sticky, and they keep lips hydrated in horrid office conditions.  I like Mac and Urban Decay lipsticks, Buxom lip glosses (Dolly is perfection), and tarte lipsurgences too. 

Other tips: When you are first getting into makeup, it helps if you have a clear goal in mind.  I didn't really care about makeup until my rosacea got out of control, so the first thing I focused my spending on was finding my holy grail foundation and powder and learning how to hide my redness.  Others might focus on concealing undereyes or filling in brows instead.  Those aren't really big concerns of mine, so they aren't what I used in this look.  I've talked about concealer here before, but if I were to buy a drugstore today it would be the Maybelline Fit Me concealer, and for high end I'd pick the Nars creamy concealer.  Both seem to be universally loved on youtube and have a good color selection.  My holy grail eyebrow pencil is the Anastasia brow wiz; from the drug store I've used and liked the Revlon Brow fantasy but honestly nothing really compares to the Anastasia for me.  In an ideal world, I'd conceal and do my brows before work, but I rarely have time for that. 

What is your go to work makeup look?  I'm also curious how long you guys spend on your makeup before work...less than 5 minutes like me, or do you take your time?