As a lazy lady who’s newly into makeup, it’s been tough to absorb and process all the information about what you are told you need. Everyone is “obsessed with” or “in love with” or “can’t live without” EVERY DAMN THING, but i can’t afford everything, or i get it and it turns out i don’t ACTUALLY need it, or it actually sucks and what do i do with it now??
All i really need is a no-frills list of stuff so that i can make myself pretty and get on with my day. I want to sort the Needs from the Need Nots, the Holy Grails from the Piles of Poop, the Use Its from the Lose Its. I actually had planned to write this before Christmas, in case you were thinking of getting something for the lazy lady in your life, but Christmas happened and i wasn’t able to. So! Oh well! There’s always next year!
A short disclaimer though: I understand that these are specific to me. Everyone has different requirements to get through their day, and this varies depending on factors ranging from the climate you live in, to your skin type, to your occupation. In order to give context to this list, here’s a short profile of who you are dealing with:
Skin profile: Dry
Local climate: Hot & humid
Other concerns: Atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, chronic laziness
Here we go! Here’s how i cheat the system.
1. You don’t need all the makeup brushes.
I’ve intermittently bought makeup brushes throughout my adult life, but could never justify the price for the nice ones. I typically prefer to apply bb cream or foundation with my fingertips (it’s faster), i don’t really use eyeshadow or anything that requires any precision (now i do though), and i just can’t be bothered to wash brushes anyway (which you should do regularly). For a while that worked for me, but i’m beginning to find that the best products – those with good pigmentation and long wear – are best applied with a brush, both for control and ease of use.
Because of this, it’s best to know which products you need before going out and buying that set of 24 that is omaigad so cheap and tempting. You seriously don’t need all of those – they will take up space, get dusty, and make you sad. Here are the ones i find myself reaching for the most:
1 – Angled eyebrow brush – For years, this was literally my only brush. I use it for filling in my brows because i use powder; this is optional depending on how you like to do your brows. If you prefer pencils or brow mascara, you can skip this one. I use an Artdeco 2 in 1 Brow Perfector, cause the spoolie end is also useful. Kilay is life, as the kids say!
2 – Blush brush – I like the kind with a domed tip so it offers a bit more precision than the fluffy face brush.Hot tip: i don’t actually use this for blush. I use it for applying highlighter, and also blending out eyeshadow in the crease. This is a HUGE help to me because i don’t really want to have to get a separate fluffy blending brush for eyeshadow only?! It can also be used for contouring and applying blusher. I use a Real Techniques contour brush from the Core Collection for this.
3 – Two flat shaders – The reason i use two is because eyeshadow can get really muddy if you’ve got more than one color on your brush. For a cleaner application of color, i use one for darker shadows and another for lighter ones. I use one that came in the Japonesque travel tube, and the other that came free with my eyeshadow palette.
4 – Fluffy face brush – the Real Techniques buffing brush from the Core Collection is my weapon of choice for this, it is large and imprecise with a flat-ish top. I use this for setting my undereye & lipstick with loose powder, and for buffing out my blusher. You can also use a kabuki or a powder brush.
2. Makeup multitasking.
Here’s something i discovered: MAKEUP FUNCTIONS ARE JUST MARKETING. It’s all essentially the same thing: pigment and binder, just like paint! A lot of product functions can actually overlap beyond what’s stated on the package, if you are creative or cheap or lazy enough. Now granted, you may want to study things like formulation and coloration, and see how things work best for you, but ultimately, don’t let yourself be confined by what things are called. Here are some of my favorite multitasking products:
Eyeshadow as brow powder (and vice versa) – If you have yourself a nice neutral eyeshadow palette, then a lot of those colors can function as filler for your brows. I like to use the shade Espresso by Mac. Cause it’s a powder. And it’s brown. And matte. Just like every other eyebrow powder. Wow.
Bronzer, blush or highlighter as eyeshadow – IT’S ALL JUST POWDERS SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS. You can use blush as pink eyeshadow! Bronzer is a great transition color! Highlighter is so pretty in your inner corners and browbone! IT’S ALL THE SAME DAMN THING.
Brow mascara as lash mascara – If you are like me and sometimes don’t want to overwhelm your face with very strikingly black spiders on your eyeballs, i will occasionally use a dark brown brow mascara on my lashes. They still keep the curl and I get a little bit of length and volume, but the effect is more muted and less spidery.
Same principle applies to pencils: some of the softer gel or kohl formulations can be blended out to do all sorts of crazy things. Experiment!
Concealer as eyeshadow primer – This is also a good way to use up any product you have lying around that you don’t like. I was totally dissatisfied with Clinique’s Anti Blemish Solution Clearing Concealer for the precise reason it makes a fantastic eyeshadow primer: it was too light for me, and it was far too sticky. BAM. I actually do like the other two concealers pictured here, but they do function as eyeshadow primer very well also!
Any lipstick as blush – There’s always a lot of talk about matching your blush and your lipstick, and i can’t be bothered to buy one of each. Just dot your lipstick on your cheeks, and blend. Instant matching blush. It’s also how i use up lipsticks i didn’t like. Here i’ve swatched my favorite one to use as blush:
This list is in no way comprehensive. I might do a full separate post of multitasking makeup because i have a lo0o00oo00ot of split function ones, but anyway! Experiment and let me know what else you come up with!
3. Longevity is life.
The longer your makeup stays put on your face, the less you will have to fuss with it throughout the day. The staying power of your makeup is very dependent on your skin type and the products you use, so you will need to find out what works best for you!
For me, using a primer or a really good foundation is usually enough because i don’t oil up at all, and never need to blot or reapply anything. I like to set my undereyes with loose powder to prevent caking and stickiness, but that’s it! I just put everything on once in the morning and forget about it until i need to take it off at night.
Liquid lipsticks are also a great longwearing product that i rarely need to reapply. I got some Soft Matte Lip Creams by Nyx for Christmas and they are BOMB. I wore Cannes for Noche Buena AND Media Noche and it survived with only one reapplication. Nice one Nyx!
Bonus hack: Setting spray dupe
I don’t own setting spray because I am unconvinced of its actual function for the cost. From what I am reading, it is mostly a lot of water and alcohol and/or glycerin in a spray bottle. A popular one is the Mac Prep+Prime Fix+ setting spray, and while I personally haven’t tried it, there are tons of dupe recipes out online. Most of these recipes have a short shelf life, and go rancid within a few days due to the use of raw vegetable glycerin as the main ingredient. I found that my Human Nature Hydrating Face Toner contains glycerin as a main ingredient too, PLUS all the requisite preservatives to keep it on the shelf for almost a year, PLUS a lot of other yummy skin ingredients (it’s toner for heaven’s sake). So i just dilute that in water 4 parts to 1, keep it in a tiny spray bottle and use that as my setting spray. And it works. And it’s 99 PHP; 119 if you need to go out and buy a spray bottle. YOU’RE WELCOME.
And that’s all she wrote, my babies! See you in the new year, and have a happy holiday!