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? 




  • Reply
    March 11, 2019 at 1:57 am

    My first experience with makeup was trying on my grandma’s red lipstick when I was 10! I looked really funny. I started wearing a little more makeup in 8th grade. Cover Girl and Bonnebelle were my go-to brands. Throughout high school I wore mostly drugstore with the occasional products from MAC or Benefit. I never wore foundation until I was 23!

    Hannah the Mad Dog

    • Reply
      Paula @
      March 31, 2019 at 2:27 pm

      Aww, that is such a cute memory! I remember my mom’s sister putting red lipstick on me once and I told her I hated it and she kept telling me “you’ll love red lipstick one day” and I was like, hell no. Turns out she was right, haha! Cover Girl was one of my favorite brands in High School, too.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Jenkins
    March 11, 2019 at 3:02 am

    I remember when I was about 9 or 10 wearing makeup for a horror-ish themed school performance & I was wearing a smokey eye done by a friends older sister. I remember getting so many compliments on it from people who usually bullied me. I didn’t start wearing makeup often until I was 12 & starting high school, although that was mainly lipgloss & eyeshadow with minimal face makeup as my skin was much better back then. I’ve definitely gone through stages of wearing a lot or minimal makeup in the years I have been wearing makeup.

    • Reply
      Paula @
      March 31, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      I’ll never forget the first day I wore makeup to High School- I liked playing with it at home, experiment with different hair styles etc., but never wore it to school. One day I decided to wear a little makeup to school and I was so surprised at how much attention I got that day. Just classmates and teachers complimenting me, other girls who never usually talked to me would ask me about eyeshadow I used, etc. I was working 6 days a week all throughout school so I was always tired and usually just kept to myself and it was very interesting to see how others treated me a little differently once I started expressing myself with makeup and hair. Lipgloss was definitely huge for me too when I first started wearing makeup! :)

  • Reply
    Laura @laurantaina
    March 11, 2019 at 3:09 am

    My first makeup experience was black kohl pencil in my waterline I guess.. A friend of mine taught me that you should close your eye and sketch vigorously your water line. :D Everyone noticed the next day I was wearing eyeliner. And it was both strange and empowering!

    xx Laura / Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

    • Reply
      Paula @
      March 31, 2019 at 2:50 pm

      Ahh yess! The black pencil in the waterline was soooo in when I first started wearing makeup, too! I had a similar experience when I started wearing makeup to school- definitely interesting to see how people started approaching me more when I started playing with makeup. So interesting that we had such a similar experience! :)

  • Reply
    Paula Loreti
    March 11, 2019 at 8:50 am

    I don’t usually wear a lot of make up so this post was perfect! I´ll definitly try out this products

  • Reply
    Candice Sandler
    March 11, 2019 at 7:24 am

    Wow so many stunning products! I just love the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara

    Candice xx

  • Reply
    March 11, 2019 at 10:14 am

    I’ve been wearing a lot less makeup recently so this post came at the perfect time for me!

    xo, Elisabeth

  • Reply
    Deanna Marie
    March 11, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Definitely keeping this list handy for a rainy day! My go to look is just natural enhancing products so these all sound fabulous!

    Deanna |

  • Reply
    March 12, 2019 at 12:48 am

    I love both the super minimal look as well as full glam (and everything in between). I’ve especially been digging minimal base products since stepping up my skincare, these products sound awesome.

  • Reply
    Lisa Autumn
    March 12, 2019 at 8:16 am

    The chanel foundation is screaming my name!

    x Lisa |

  • Reply
    Danielle Alexa
    March 13, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    I had completely forgot about that Chanel foundation, I might have to try it out again soon!

    Danielle xx

  • Reply
    March 17, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    I just purchased Glossier’s lash slick but haven’t gotten the chance to use it yet. I’ve been hearing people rave about it and decided to finally give it a try.

    Perfect Shade of Mauve

  • Reply
    Huong Vo
    March 29, 2019 at 11:59 am

    I have heard so much about Glossier, but I haven’t tried it yet! I think I’m going to check them out (finally, haha) because of you, love! What your favorite product of theirs?

    She Sweats Diamonds

    • Reply
      Paula @
      March 31, 2019 at 3:59 pm

      In the skincare department it’s definitely the Milky Jelly cleanser. As far as makeup goes, the Stretch Concealer and Generation G lipsticks are both really amazing!

  • Reply
    Natalie Redman
    July 9, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Really love the Cloud Paint!

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