Not everyone feels about makeup the way I do. I love reading about makeup, I love learning about makeup, I love trying new makeup, I love buying new makeup. When I have the time to really put it on, I indulge like Gwen Stefani does in the video for Luxurious (I’m not referring to her Chongalicious makeover, just in terms of her reveling in its transformative power. For the record, I never have used black eye liner as lip liner).
But for many of my fellow bellas – especially all-natural-and-proud-of-it afrobellas, makeup is more of a necessary evil. I have many friends who never ever wear makeup, and their reasons not to are often understandable. I’ve heard the complaints — It’s too hot, so the damn stuff melts off your face anyway. Also, makeup can clog your pores and makes you break out. And knowing what products to use can be so confusing. Hold up, let me eliminate that last excuse from your list. I’ve got the easiest-to-use products in all your basic makeup categories!
A flawlessly made up face begins with beautiful skin. How do you create the perfect canvas for your look? With a great foundation that can help to even out your tone. I’ve already admitted that I’m not a fan of most liquid foundations, but I recently tried Clinique’s Perfectly Real Makeup, and I was amazed. First of all, it comes in a great range of shades for “olive dark” skin tones, and after applying, it really felt like I wasn’t wearing any foundation at all. It covered my hyperpigmentation, and also, it’s non-acnegenic! So that eliminates two of the standard “I don’t wear makeup because” excuses.
So how do you use this stuff? Sit in good light, then start with a dab at the center of the face, use your fingertips or a sponge, and blend outward and downward. If you apply upward, you’ll be accenting all those tiny facial hairs. Then make sure to blend even more along the jawline and hairline. That way, you’ll look like you have naturally flawless skin instead of a Kabuki mask.
An even easier way to creating a flawless base is my beloved Philosophy The Supernatural. Mama Bella just bought some when she came a-visiting, and she got confused when she opened it. She took off the little puff and started reaching for a makeup brush. I had to stop her and explain – no, you apply with the puff and just touch it to your face! Literally, the least complicated application of a mineral foundation. It didn’t work so great on Mama Bella’s melasma, but it made the rest of her face look gorgeous. My advice to you if you’re foundation shopping, is go to Sephora and ask an expert to help you get a match on your skin tone. Seriously, it will save you time and money.
Regular readers might remember — I was afraid of blush for a long time. Seeing too many women wearing way too much of the rosy-cheek stuff scared me off. But blush really does make a difference, and for women who shy away from the stuff, it’s the quickest way to get someone like me to notice and comment — hey, are you wearing makeup? Blush once daunted me because of it’s easy-to-overdo nature, but with Boots no7 Blush Tint Cream Blush, there’s no way you can come out looking like a clown. I’ve got the darkest shade, Rosebud, and I love it. It’s a chunky, chubby crayon that easily swipes sheer color onto your cheeks. Blend with your fingers and it looks barely-there beautiful. It’s gotta be the simplest blush out there right now, and it’s $9.99 at Target!
The most irritating issue about lipstick is, it just doesn’t ever last. By the time you’ve had lunch, it’s gone. The need for regular reapplication can be frustrating for a bella on the go. That’s why my new addiction is lip stain, which is basically a thin liquid that you paint on your lips (and/or cheeks) to stain them pink, red, purple, or whatever color you can find. Mama Bella bought and loves the Lorac Sheer Wash in Sheer Emotion, which is a raspberry red. I’m obsessed with my Vincent Longo Lip & Cheek Gel Stain in Baby Boo, which is a bright, hot pink. And I use it on the daily. I know, I know — bright, hot pink every day? But trust when I tell you, it provides a great layering base color. I also tried Angel’s Touch, which is described as a red purple but came out way too dark and gothy on me. Next, I will purchase My Sunshine, a deep, warm red only available at Sephora. Did I say purchase? I mean try it in the store first, then decide if I really need it in my life. Which I think I do. But at $22 a pop, I want to be really sure first.
The thing with lip stain is, your lips remain dry after using it. I put it on before I even look at gloss, just to saturate my lips with color. Then I apply a sheer, colored gloss to give my lips that extra spladazzle. (I’m trying to get my Mo’Nique on and make up new words from time to time. Why? Because it’s fun!) The hottest new lipgloss on the market has got to be that Carol’s Daughter Candy Paint. Note how they’re all out of stock on the Carol’s Daughter website. They really ARE that slick, shiny fire. I’m currently into the Grown & Sexy, a pink with gold shimmer that’s understated but effective. But you know me — I’m gonna have to get that Purple Reign. That IS my color!
Last but not least — eyes. The windows to the soul, and the trickiest makeup application of all. But there’s no need to fear it if you’ve got the right liner. It can’t be too hard, or too smooshy soft. It has to glide effortlessly, but not smear. My current favorite is the Physician’s Formula Talc-Free MineralWear Eye Liner Pencil. It costs $6.95, and doesn’t smear, melt, or leave little wooden splinters in my eye after I’ve sharpened it. Plus, because it’s a mineral eyeliner pencil, it works great for my friends with sensitive eyes. I use it to line the bottom of my eye, and the lid itself, and the sponge tip on the other end will help you to make a great, practically effortless, smokey eyelid. Yes, you!
So you makeup newbies, no more excuses. All you need is confidence, and products that don’t intimidate you. These are a good start for those who are ready to accept the “necessary evil.” Fret not, you’ll unleash that inner makeup diva in no time!