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!

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prettygal says:
June 13, 2007, 1:12 pm
I LOVE that Carol's Daughter! Bossy is my favorite shade. Bella it would look fly on you, it's for golden girls! Not like the tv show LOL
britbeaut says:
June 13, 2007, 1:14 pm
when I migrated to Texas (help me, I'm a Brit living in Texas!)I was lost with the makeup situation. Now my beloved Boots is here with me and all is well. Have you ever tried their mascara, Afrobella? It is to die for.
star says:
June 13, 2007, 4:30 pm
Bella, I'm going to have to try some of these products. I don't wear makeup at all, only because I really don't know how to apply it....but I guess I can give it a try,once again.....thanks for the info!
Afro Noir says:
June 13, 2007, 5:13 pm
I really like Bobbi Brown's makeup line. It seems that not enough sisters give that line a try. As much as I like mac, I find myself moving over to Bobbi brown more and more. If you want to wear makup but look like you are not very made up(mac) then you should try Bobbi Brown. Trust me, her shades look good on us. Try the lip gloss in Raisin and black cheery.
Kitty says:
June 13, 2007, 5:49 pm
OoOo. I would have to agree with Afro Noir. I absolutely love Bobbi Brown. It is almost the exact opposite of MAC. Not even close to over-the-top, and great for women who are a little uneasy about wearing make-up.
BBW1924 says:
June 13, 2007, 8:41 pm
Love the web site. I have a question I would hope the blog writer or anyone else could answer. I am one of those who doesn't like foundation. I have fairly nice skin so I feel like I don't need to wear it. But I do have terrible dark circles and undereye puffiness at times. Is there a concealer I can wear alone that will look natural?? Everytime I inquire about this at the make-up counter I am told that I "really need a foundation or powder on top of it even it out" I don't want to deal with the hassle of applying all that everyday so I forget it altogether. But Im tired of walking around looking like I went 5 rounds with Laila Ali or somebody. Any advice would be helpful thanks.
Mrs518 says:
June 14, 2007, 9:33 am
The is for BBW1924, I am a makeup artist and I beleive I have fairly great skin so foundation isn't something I use everyday, I do have dark circles like you mentioned above and what I use that works wonders on my skin is Clinique's-Line Smoothing Concealer $11.00, a little goes a long way and all you need is a light touch with your ring finger to apply it also come with a brush wand. My Favorite is M.A.C.'s Select Moisture Cover $15.50 get that in your shade or a shade lighter and it work wonders and looks fairly natural but at the same time it does its job. The MAC concealer is my favorite but it is a bit pricey, but I use it religiously. Hope this helps, feel free to hit me up with more questions.
tinevimbo says:
June 14, 2007, 10:00 am
many thanks for the great advice Bella.
berrybrowne says:
June 14, 2007, 10:12 am
'bella - i wear liner, mascara, cream blush and lip gloss EVERY DAY! but that's all:-( i feel so sad and boring and i just turned 30, so i need to be fabulous. would you consider doing a makeup for dummies advanced version? still as simple, wonderful and affordable as the stuff on this post, but including eyeshadow and bronzer? i am off to hunt down the pink and gold carol's daughter gloss and spladazzle is officially my word of the week! thanks!
LBellatrix says:
June 14, 2007, 12:25 pm
Thanks for this. I've been mostly makeup-free / anti-makeup for most of my life because 1) I've been blessed with really great skin and 2) I never wanted to be one of those women who can't leave the house without it (no offense, berrybrowne). Since hitting my 40s, though, I've loosened up a bit and realized that a little color once in a while can't hurt. Having one's eyebrows threaded (for the first time last week) definitely helps. I'm one of those folks who has to try makeup before ordering it so the next time I'm within smelling distance of a Sephora I'll make sure I check out that Vincent Longo product. Thanks again for yet another great post.
jacquie says:
June 14, 2007, 2:19 pm
What a great post!! I am new to the "makeup world" and the only reason I have crossed over is because my wedding is in August and a close friend threatened me. She said, if I dared to walk down the aisle with a bare face, she would kill me (I do believe she was serious). :) I never wore makeup, I was one of those women Bella mentioned, always making an excuse. I went for a free trial at a M.A.C. counter and I am forever addicted to makeup. I am still learning what works and doesn't work. I want to try a bronzer, but unfamiliar with this area. Any suggestions? I am going to try Clinique and Bobby Brown (hopefully these are less expensive than M.A.C.).
Niki says:
June 14, 2007, 4:02 pm
I have been itching to try that Carol's Daughter Candy Paint for a minute now. Hopefully they will have it back in stock soon--in the meantime, I'm going diggin betewwn my couch cushions for some $$ LOL
Afro Noir says:
June 14, 2007, 4:35 pm
@ BBW1924- I think(ask Bella) Perscriptives can custom make concealer(they custom make foundation). The concealer will match your skin exactly and will have the ingrediants(sp) they you want. It will be more expensive but Perscriptives foundation is the best on the market in my opinion. When I started wearing makeup back in the day my firends and I would by our foundation from Perscriptives and all of our eye makeup and lip colors from Mac.
Afro Noir says:
June 14, 2007, 4:39 pm
@jacquie- Forgive me my dear but Bobbi Brown is a little bit more expensive than MAC but I love it anyway.
BBW1924 says:
June 14, 2007, 4:58 pm
thanks for the replies ladies. Im gonna check it out.
jacquie says:
June 14, 2007, 10:51 pm
Thanks Afro Noir! Oh well, I try to balance out being a product and makeup junkie, but I can't catch a break I see. :)
bella says:
June 14, 2007, 11:06 pm
BBW1924, sorry it's taken me this long to respond -- today was all about a dentist's appointment, then a long afternoon at work. Afro Noir is correct - Prescriptives can custom-make a color, and I've heard amazing things about their Sight Unseen brightening concealer. But if you're looking to alleviate undereye darkness, I'd also advise you try a mineral powder foundation. My co-worker has a big problem with undereye circles, (she is super pale, like gothic pale), and the other day I saw her using my beloved LOreal Bare Naturale under her eyes. She doesn't use makeup anywhere else, and hates feeling made up, but she claims that this is one of very few products that she can use to mask her undereye circles that actually lasts and works.
crystal says:
June 14, 2007, 11:30 pm
Miss Bella, I'd like to suggest 'Becca cream foundation. It is wonderful. I'm not a makeup wearer, but I was looking for a foundation to even out my skin for formal occasions. 'Becca has a variety of shades for every skin tone. I'm chocolaty brown. It goes on so sheer that even a non-makeup wearer forgets its on. They have a fixing powder that you put on top that allows you to touch your face and not smear! It keeps a long time, which is great for my 2 or 3 applications each year.
Darren says:
June 21, 2007, 12:57 pm
May i use your quote to share with our members on the lip gloss? We will do a "......... - Bella,
Darren says:
June 21, 2007, 1:04 pm
Thanks for the positive review on the lip gloss as well as well. Are there any products you would like to try? Our New Gelee de Soleil Browning Oil spf15 is getting a great response. Also, i know it could be expensive trying all the scents. Maybe you would like to sample each scent. We appreciate the love! Be blessed.
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aadilziya says:
February 9, 2010, 9:02 am
thanks for more information
Lisa says:
June 25, 2010, 10:42 am
Youtube have a lot of tutorials on how to apply makeup. That is how I learned. I do not think we need a lot makeup, just a nice lipgolss with a little bit of color, mascara to make the eyes pop, and a little bit of blush. Also don't forget about a moisterizer or tinted moisterizer with SPF in it. says:
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