Everyday makeup is the makeup we wear in our everyday life, and for me, that is what you see in the photo above. It’s how I get ready ninety percent of the time, perhaps with a few variations, but basically this is what my face looks like in real life.
Special occasion, creative expression, and on-camera makeup are not part of today’s post. I love wearing a red lip, adding a dramatic lash, experimenting with darker eyeshadow or shimmery bright pink lip gloss, but those are different endeavors altogether, and they bring a different set of considerations. Today’s post is going to focus on the makeup we wear in our normal, everyday life, and I have included a video at the end of this post showing how I apply my everyday makeup.
My goal with everyday makeup is simple: to enhance my natural features. When I apply makeup, I want to look like the best version of my natural self. I want each makeup component to bring attention to my face in a way that causes you to see me instead of noticing a particular product. In order to accomplish this goal, I stick to the following guidelines.
START WITH SKINCARE.
Makeup will never compensate for a lack of skincare. Skincare is the foundation of any makeup routine, and in our home, you are ready to wear makeup when you can consistently wash your face at night. Skin that is clean and hydrated will only improve the way in which makeup sits on your face. If I start to slack in my skincare routine, the first thing I notice is how patchy and dull my face looks once I apply makeup. Your best makeup look centers around your best skin. Take the time to learn what works for you, and develop a base of consistent, thoughtful skincare.
FOUNDATION SHOULD LOOK LIKE SKIN.
I want to be completely transparent and say that I recognize that I am on the receiving end of good skin genes. That being said, when I take my make up off, my skin is not perfect. Particularly as I age, I have developed a lot of redness, a few patches of dark discoloration, and very dry skin. In the video below, where I begin with a completely naked face, you will see that my skin is not flawless. However, when I apply foundation, the end result looks like the best version of my natural skin.
Both in color and texture, the foundation you choose should not look like makeup. It should look like skin. I have found consistently amazing results from Bobbi Brown, and I swear their shades are designed differently than other brands. I switch between the Skin Foundation SPF 15 and the Skin Foundation Stick.
EYES SHOULD BE BRIGHT.
For lack of a better way to describe my approach to everyday eye makeup, I want makeup to draw attention to my actual eyes, not the makeup around my eyes. Again, I acknowledge that I inherited blue eyes, but I firmly believe that eyes are everyone’s strongest feature because they show emotion and reflect the life living inside each of us. Eyes are worth enhancing, regardless of the shape or shade.
I like to start by by penciling in my brows, which provides a frame for my eyes. Then I choose eye shadow shades that are close in color to the shades and shadows found on my face. No orange. No green. No blue. I choose a base of creamy ivory, then layer on a darker neutral, and perhaps end with a shadowy grey in the crease.
If I line my eyes on top (which I typically do half of the time), I use a dark brown gel liner and keep the line thin and close to my lashes. I have very short, light lashes, and lining the top lid of my eye helps draw attention to my eyes. I finish with two to three coats of mascara on my top lashes, enough to add a curtain of feathery lashes around my eye. And voila! you know notice my eyes without noticing my makeup.
CHEEKS SHOULD BE ROSY.
This may sound obvious, but blush is meant to be pink. I think blush should make cheeks look rosy, flushed, and alive. Somehow we have gotten away from this, and I want to call us back to rosy cheeks!
Go for a brisk walk without makeup, come home, and look in the mirror. What color are your cheeks? Pink. And where are they rosy? In a triangle that begins at the apple of your cheeks, spreads back towards your ears a bit, and carries down toward your mouth just a bit. The area where your cheeks naturally flush is where blush goes, and (one more time!) blush is pink.
I see so many people taking a different approach to blush, trying to contour, shade, highlight, and perform multiple optical illusions on their face instead of just sweeping a bit of color in the place where we naturally blush. While perhaps ideal for more dramatic settings, I don’t think contouring works for an everyday look. I feel the same way about layers of shiny illuminating powder and highlighting products. The end result draws the attention to your makeup, not your natural features. For an everyday look, I think a pop of well-applied pink blush is the most natural look.
LIPS SHOULD REFLECT YOUR NATURAL COLORING.
The right lip color will make everything else (skin, eyes, and cheeks) come to life. I cannot provide a one-size-fits all approach for how to find the right lip color, but I will say (again) Bobbi Brown has an amazing palette of shades that are designed to look like variations of natural lips.
How do you know you have the right shade? When you apply it, everything else will look even better. Your skin will glow, your eyes will look brighter, and your cheeks will come to life. I rotate through three different everyday shades of lipstick, and each one always makes everything else look even better.
MAKEUP IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR ACCEPTANCE.
In order for any of this to work, we have to operate from a position of reality and a foundation of self-acceptance. Makeup cannot provide either. After I apply my lipstick, I look in the mirror, find something kind to say to myself, and kick any hint of a lie to the curb. I finish my makeup routine with a daily dose of love an acceptance. This final step establishes a pattern of truth while depositing a daily dose of healthy self-acceptance that accumulates over time.
Most faces we see online have been put through a filter. If we look at filtered faces all day and then look at our real face in the mirror, the lies can accumulate and we can believe that we need to look like a filtered image in order to be fit in.
We must learn to accept ourself exactly as we are, without makeup, without judgement, and without buying into the cultural norms that makeup equals beauty. Your face does not define you, it reflects a part of who you are, and there is not a makeup secret that will ever provide a substitute for love and acceptance. Real beauty begins within, and no amount of makeup will ever make you enough. You are already enough, exactly as you are.
Every face holds beauty. And every face hold perceived flaws. The secret is to accept it all, the way you would accept a friend. Wherever we stand with makeup, I hope we all aim to to enhance our natural face, and proceed with a desire to present the best version of ourselves.