Tiny Series: Simple Makeup for Special Occasions

Working from home means that an outing is a special occasion.

Our budget doesn’t allow for many outings so when we do go out, I like to step it up.  Style wise, I’ve never been into big and grand items, I’m mostly happy in jeans and a nice blouse but I like to do a full makeup to compensate.  A full makeup face will make me feel glamorous even if I’m wearing a t-shirt and sneakers.

The most important thing when doing good makeup on a budget is to make each buck count.

I think the first step towards that is to have your face and skin tone evaluated by a professional.  You won’t be able to buy any makeup (expensive or cheap) that looks good on you if you don’t know the basics of your face.  Buying makeup items without a color analysis is throwing away your money.

So get that color analysis. Usually someone in a makeup counter or store can help you with this.  I like the seasonal colors guide because it’s really easy to associate and keep in mind. Someone told me I was a spring when I was fifteen years old and I learned to better choose my colors since then.

Having said that;  a color analysis is meant to be a guide.  There’s nothing written in stone here, and how you feel and what you like greatly affects how you look so by all means, if the color analysis says you can’t wear that lipstick but you feel like JLo wearing it, just buy it and be happy.  Life is too short not to.

My second advice point would be to get better quality instead of quantity.

You don’t need twenty lipsticks. Maybe you want to have twenty lipsticks (me when I was twenty years old) but you seriously don’t need them.  So why spend all that money on things that are not going to give you a 100% service?

In my humble opinion you need:

  • two really amazing eye-shadow/blush combos.   The bases depend on your wardrobe choices;  I go for a pink/purple based one and a more neutral palette.  Make sure you have a tone for smokey eyes (it doesn’t have to be black, you can do a smokey eye with a purple, or a blue, or a brown whichever fits you better) and a very light tone to give you light where needed.
  • a good shimmer powder.  This is if you like the shimmer look, which I do.  I think a good shimmer powder can be the difference between looking like you woke up at four am and it sucked or you woke up and four am winning at life and feeling fabulous.  My favorite shimmer powder is Dandelion by benefit (I wrote a post the day I bought it 🙂  ).
  • a bronzer.  This is an annoying but necessary step to a successful full makeup.  To be honest I almost always skip it, but I have to mention it because without a bronzer you can’t contour your face or look like someone who goes out and parties in the beach, which some people like.  And contouring can make the biggest difference towards a professional look.
  • one tube of mascara that makes your eye lashes about four feet long.  Yes, get the one that makes your lashes look fake, specially if this is something you won’t do a lot.
  • the best eye liner you can get.  And by the best eye liner I mean the one that will not smudge.  Ever.
  • concealer.  Concealer is another step that I often skip but it’s worth having because concealer is not only for dark eye circles, it gives you a lighter tone wherever you need to “bring forward” a feature.  (Quick trick:  use it wherever there’s shadow on your face;  around your mouth, beside your nostrils, some people need some in their temples.)
  • three lipsticks.  You can make it five if you are really lipstick crazy.  One for daily wear, one that steps it up and a red.  Yes, you need a red.  Don’t you dare build a makeup bag without a red.  Sometimes the red will be more orange or fuchsia for some skin tones, and that’s ok.
  • and most of all, a great foundation.  Everything else will fall to pieces without a foundation that gives you an even tone.  Foundation can also benefit or damage your skin so it’s not all about the color, it’s  important to get the one foundation that will cover all bases .  To choose a foundation I think it’s worth it to go to a profesional, but in general;  you need an oil free formula if your skin is oily or combination and a rich creamy one if your skin is dry.  There are “balancing” formulas for combination skin.

Speaking of the expensive makeup counter, my third advice point is do not fear it.

Yes, the price of a Lancome item might make you want to pass out, but sometimes you can benefit from that.

Most expensive brands (Clinique, Estee Lauder, Lancome) have really good sale offers a few times a year.  Buy an amount and they will gift you sometimes four times what you spent, so look out for those sales.  For mother’s day you can go to Clinique or Estee Lauder and get settled on skin care and makeup for a relatively low price.  You pay for one or two items and get a bag full of all the day and night creams and makeup you need.  Full size items of really good quality products that will last you years.

So don’t be afraid and ask for offers and upcoming sale events.

After that, take you time to learn how to do your makeup.  The profesional behind a makeup counter or store can show you or you can open up youtube and choose a good full makeup tutorial.  I’ve done both.

I also took a few hours course on makeup when I was in college and it was worth every penny.  In that kind of environment you learn to do your own face by the hand of a profesional and it will serve you forever.

And don’t forget to go out and be your fabulous self, with or without makeup.

Have a great day!


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