Minimal Makeup

DSCN2047DSCN2051Minimal makeup means different things to different people. To me it’s my routine on those days when I wake up late, exhausted, grouchy, and in a time crunch. Yes, there have been those days before a neuro exam or two where I have just rolled out of bed and staggered to class without a trace of makeup on, but those are special exceptions. Usually I stick to my “essentials” pictured above if I’m in a pinch.

On these minimalistic days I will stick with a base with a light coverage, such as the Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm (reviewed here), and quickly blend all over the face. To cover the pesky undereye circles my sleepless night has so kindly given me, I dab some Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque onto my ring fingers and tap underneath my eyes, magically concealing unsightly discoloration. Sometimes I just don’t feel like dealing wtih eyeshadow but feel like my eyes still need a bit of a pop so I swipe this Sephora Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow in Shimmery Sand on my lid with a finger and blend into the crease. This product has been discontinued, which is a shame since this is the perfect color for my “no makeup makeup” look: a shimmery sheen of golden delight that is similar enough to my natural lid color to seem subtle yet still radiant. To tight-line and line my upper lash line I always use my Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner (reviewed here), and my favorite mascara is Maybelline the Falsies Flared Waterproof. On my waterline I used my nude eyeliner trick and on the bottom lash line, my NYX Slide On Pencil in Brown Perfection for subtle definition. To frame my face I filled in my brows as usual with the NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil in Charcoal and Benefit Instant Brow in Medium. Last but not least I dabbed on some of my favorite neutral blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed. This pinky-brown nude is perfect for every day as it is not only matte, but leaves your cheeks looking naturally flushed for the entire day.

I would say that the most important features to highlight in minimal makeup would be the skin, eyelashes, and brows. It’s amazing how little makeup you can get away with if your skin looks great. Just a little concealer under the eyes and on red spots alone can make you look a thousand times more put together. I would also recommend wearing a natural blush – it brightens the face and can make you  look more alive and healthy. A girl should never skimp on the lashes either! Mascara is not only one of the most used beauty products out there but is one of the most effective in transforming a face. I’ve always been jealous of those girls who only needs an eyelash curler and mascara (sadly that is not me) to define her eyes. One last feature that should always be attended to (in my personal opinion) is brows. A well defined brow gives the face structure and enhances the rest of the facial features. If you’re not a fan of filling them in, they should at least be combed through!

What are your minimal makeup essentials?


Disappointing Products #1


When you’re as much as a beauty product freak as I would, you’d understand what a letdown it is to find out a product you’ve been looking forward to purchasing for weeks does not at all live up to your expectations. This, unfortunately, occurred with all three of these featured products.

benefit they're real

Benefit’s They’re Real

I have always been a firm believer in only using drugstore mascaras. Why spend $30+ on a product you’ll have to replace every 3 months (or 2 if you’re me)? However, Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara almost had me convinced otherwise. So, when I received it as a freebie because of my points at Sephora I jumped for joy. However, the worry I felt towards the formulation not being waterproof enough to hold up my straight Asian lashes quickly turned into a reality. Although yes, the mascara gave me insane volume and length that would amaze the average woman, my lashes immediately flopped and lost the curl my curler worked so hard to create. I would recommend this to those girls who already have long lashes, but not for those Asians like me with straight horse lashes that really need a curl.

caudalie beauty elixir

Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir

This is one of those products I really wanted to like, but just couldn’t. Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir is a cult product, and a pricey one at that. Since the full size bottle is close to $50, I decided to stick to the 1 oz bottle for $18 which is still not cheap considering how fast the product goes. Caudalie claims this mist can be used not only as a toner, but also as a makeup setting spray (to help your makeup last longer). I tried using it both ways, and was not overly impressed. It smells deliciously herb-y (not a word I know but it’s the only way to describe it) but I did not notice any smoothing of the skin, tightening of the pores or “instant burst of radiance” as the bottle promised. This could be because I have pretty good skin to begin with, so if the essential oils and plant ingredients could actually improve my skin, I wouldn’t notice I guess. But what I did notice, was that after spraying my face only a couple of times, a significant amount of liquid was gone from the bottle! If I used this as a toner twice a day, and to set my makeup, the puny 1 oz bottle would be gone in about two weeks. Not worth the $18 if you ask me, especially if you’re a college girl on a budget.

nyx slide on

NYX Slide On Pencil

I first gave NYX Slide On Pencils a try because I heard they were a dupe for Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencils, but only cost $8 instead of $19. In the beginning, I found that these pencils were just that: creamy, pigmented, and long wearing. My main use of the black one was to tightline my upper lashline in order to fake the appearance of thicker lashes. At first I thought the black one was doing a great job, then I started noticing the smudging. Even after I let it set, it always ended up on my waterline. While I have found the other colors do last a long time on the upper lid or underneath my lower lashes, they are no good for tightlining, which makes them a disappointment in my eyes (no pun intended).