Products to love if you don’t like wearing a lot of makeup

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A few years ago I was talking to a friend who’s the same age as me (and happens to have absolutely beautiful skin) when she told me that she wants to try wearing makeup.

“You’re telling me you’ve never tried makeup, like, ever?” I asked her.

“No, never!” she replied.

I was kind of surprised, but at the same time, I’ve never noticed that she wasn’t wearing makeup. One hour later, after going through my larger than average collection, she left my house with her own little collection of new products to try.

A week after that, she called me asking why I’ve never told her about foundation and kept telling me how she can actually see her blonde eyelashes after using mascara. It wasn’t about her changing the way she looks, but about playing up and emphasizing her already beautiful features.

My love for makeup is quite obvious (duh) but I’m far from wearing it every single day. I don’t really think of wearing makeup as a “must.” Is it a hobby? Maybe, although it feels a little bit more than just that. Let’s just say that while my husband likes to spend his money on sports memorabilia, I like to spend mine on pretty palettes, quality makeup brushes, and 49 different nude lipsticks.

Some people think that makeup is all about “covering” yourself up or trying to completely change the way you look. Some say that people who wear makeup are insecure about their looks or afraid to leave their house bare-faced. While I know that this may be the case for some (as it absolutely was for me too at one point, especially when my acne was at its worse), I think that most of us do it just because we like it- not because we feel like we “have” to or “need” to wear makeup. And to people who do say shit like that (“you don’t even need makeup, you look so much younger and better without it!”), I say live and let live.

If you don’t like wearing a lot of makeup but still like to wear some, stick to light bases that won’t feel heavy on your skin. A light base and a little mascara are all I feel like using on some days. L’Oreal’s True Match is one of the best drugstore foundations that has a very natural finish and a light formula. Guerlain’s Meteorites Baby Glow is another very light base that won’t leave you looking and feeling like you’re wearing too much makeup. And, of course, there is Chanel Aqua Vitalumière– an ultra lightweight base with a water-like texture. BareMinerals Complexion Rescue is another awesome product- it has a gel/cream formula that adds a tinted, hydrating glow to the skin.

A lot of volumizing mascaras can get a little clumpy- when trying a mascara go for something that gives a very natural look and does a good job separating the lashes. My three favorite mascaras that are perfect for adding a little definition while still keeping your lashes looking natural: Maybelline’s Lash Sensational, Benefit’s Roller Lash, and Glossier’s Lash Slick.

On minimal makeup days, MAC’s Strobe Cream in Pinklite is a must for me. It brightens the skin, feels very hydrating and adds a beautiful glow. Their Hyper Real Foundation is a similar product, even though it doesn’t provide any “foundation” coverage (it’s more of a liquid highlighter) it does add a smooth and radiant finish to the skin. If you’d like a little coverage you can also mix the Strobe Cream with IT Cosmetic’s Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Correcting Cream– all you need is a tiny drop- it won’t feel heavy or unnatural on the skin. It’s kind of like making your own tinted moisturizer, but with more coverage power.

The whole idea behind Glossier’s products seems to be all about being that effortless, minimal and “everyday” makeup. Truth be told, I’d love to see them use models that’d represent those struggling with things like skin texture, rosacea, acne, etc. When you have flawless skin, it really doesn’t take much to make it look bright and glowing. Still, I do use and love a lot of their products. Cloud Paint in Dusk is a pretty, peachy liquid blush that can be used to add just a tiny bit of color to your cheeks. It’s actually a very nicely pigmented product, so it has to be sheered out to your preference. Generation G lip colors are great, especially if you’re not a lipstick-kind-of person. They’re sheer with a matte, comfortable finish. I personally love Cake and Zip.

Laura Mercier’s Translucent Powder is one of my favorite products and it’s great to use for mattifying your skin slightly, even if not wearing any foundation. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders are also great for anyone who prefers a natural-looking finish. These powders filter harsh light and help soften the skin’s texture. Instead of covering the skin with a visible layer of product, they diffuse light and enhance your natural complexion. Add some lip balm or a sheer lip color and you’re good to go.

MAC Strobe Cream in Pinklite, Guerlain Meteorites Baby Glow Foundation in Light, BareMinerals Complexion Rescue in Vanilla, L’Oreal True Match Foundation in Classic Ivory, Bobby Brown Shimmer Brick in Rose, Hourglass Powder in Diffused Light, MAC Hyper Real Foundation in Gold FX, IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Correcting Cream in Porcelain Beige, Fenty Gloss Bomb in Diamond Milk and Fenty Glow, Glossier Generation G in Zip, YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Collector Oil-in-Stick Lipstick in Nude Lavalliere and Glossier Generation Z in Cake. 

I remember one of my mom’s friends showing me how to use a lip liner, just like it was yesterday. She would use a nude liner with a just a touch of lip balm and I thought it was the coolest thing, ever. It was also one of my first experiences with makeup and I think it might have been around that time when I really started being a bit more curious about it. My very first encounter with makeup actually happened around age five or six, but at the time, I wasn’t very impressed.

Makeup actually helped me get through a lot, as funny as it might sound. A couple of years ago I went makeup-free for an entire month (you can read about it here). While I learned a lot about embracing my imperfections, once the month was up, I also realized that I missed having fun with makeup.

Do you remember your first experience with makeup?