5-Minute Natural Makeup with bareMinerals

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That, ladies and gentlemen, is most definitely a picture of me with no makeup. Zero. Nada. Totally bare-faced. This was my natural state last Sunday morning when staying in bed all day was a very real possibility. But when my lazy day was happily interrupted by a last-minute brunch invitation from a friend, I needed to get ready, and I needed to get ready fast. French toast waits for no woman.

Truthfully, I’d call myself pretty low-maintenance as far as city girls go.  I can wear false lashes and a sequin dress with the best of them, but on a day-to-day basis I’m pretty relaxed. I don’t spend a ton of time putting on makeup, but I’ll admit that it is important to me to look polished and confident. I still want to look like myself, but as if I had a clever lighting team with me at all time. I kid, I kid!

I recently learned about the bareMinerals line (I know, I’ve been living under a rock), and I was pleasantly surprised at how easily mineral foundation fit into my makeup routine. It allowed me to cut out a solid three minutes from my liquid foundation routine, and I still feel totally natural. Just less blotchy!

Here’s how I create my day-to-day natural look. Next week I’ll show how I go from daytime makeup to something more dramatic for night, all in less than the time it takes to mix a good lemon drop. Hey, Revenge and Scandal just got back on the air- I have things to do!

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Helloooo, naked face! To get a good base and make sure my makeup goes on smoothly, I start with a good moisturizer. Seriously, don’t skip that step. I let it settle in for a few minutes and then top it with a primer containing SPF.

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To apply mineral foundation, I shake a little into the cap and swirl the brush about in a happy fashion. Tap off the excess back into the tin, then apply it with a swirly circular motion. I start on my cheeks since that’s where I need the most coverage, but you ladies without rosacea can start at the center of your face and work your way out. Make sure to blend really well along the jawline- you don’t have to worry about the awkward foundation line with mineral makeup, but it’s still good to play it safe.

bareMinerals makes several different brushes for different coverage levels- I’m using the Flawless Face brush for light/medium coverage, but they also have a Full Flawless Face brush for fuller coverage. I like fuller coverage for night and lighter for day.

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Next, dot concealer on any imperfections that show through the makeup and blend with a light tapping motion. I like to use a moisturizing, creamy concealer under my eyes like Tarte Maracuja and a thicker, stick concealer for blemishes. Once you’ve applied concealer to your satisfaction, lightly tap the brush you used for your foundation over the concealer. No need to re-dip in foundation- just use the excess on the brush for natural coverage.

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Next comes blush. Seriously, guys, this is the first time in my entire life I’ve used blush. I’ve spent so much time trying to cover up redness on my cheeks that the idea of adding more was absurd. But I love this Aphrodisiac shade for its warm peachy tones- the golden hue works well with my skin and actually helps counteract redness. Love.

Blush always looks nice on the apples of your cheeks, but I’m a fan of applying it just below my cheekbones for a lightly sculpted look. I like the Precision Face Brush for blush, but a fluffy brush works well for a more diffused look. Again, make sure to blend well!

natural makeup, bareMinerals makeup, easy makeup, quick natural makeup, mineral makeup how-to

natural makeup, bareMinerals makeup, easy makeup, quick natural makeup, mineral makeup how-to

I love eye shadow quads like this Ready set– they’re so simple to use and are great for day as well as night. For a light look that still defines your eyes, try applying all four shades as I did above, with 1 being the lightest color and 4 being the darkest. I smudged the darkest color along the outer 2/3 of my lash line instead of liner- it’s more gentle for day but still provides definition. I’ll also take my pinky finger and smudge a bit of the 2nd lightest color along my lower lashline.

Fluffy shadow brushes work well, but I’m a fan of using my ring finger to apply and blend the shadows. My favorite little trick is to tap the pad of my pinky finger in the lightest shadow and gently pat it around the inner corner of my eye near your tear duct. Instant brightness!

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And now for my favorite part. I love the look of bold brows, and lately I’ve been obsessed with Benefit’s new Gimme Brow gel. It applies like a mascara through your brows, coating and darkening each hair as well as the skin underneath it. That stuff lasts, too- I wore it through an 80-minute session on the elliptical and it didn’t move.

I’m blessed with long lashes (thanks, Mom and Dad!), but they look so much bolder with a few coats of mascara. No matter where I’m going, I always apply three coats to make my lashes really stand out. I loved trying the new Lash Domination mascara from bareMinerals, and I’m also a fan of Covergirl Clump Crusher. Both product names make me feel pumped up- domination! crusher! pow! bam!

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Finally, for the lips, I like to do a nude color with a bit of gloss for day and switch it out for fuchsia at night. The new bareMinerals Moxie gloss is seriously the only gloss I’ve ever tried that’s free of that gross sticky-candy feeling. Hooray!

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And here you have it- 4 minutes and 47 seconds by my watch! I like how I still feel like me, but much more polished and confident. Evening out my skin tone and lightly defining my eyes/brows/lips makes a big difference, and it’s the perfect starting place for a more dramatic evening look. Is this similar to your makeup routine, or is it different? What did I forget?

I received all of the bareMinerals products as gifts to try, but I was in no way compensated for writing this post. I just really like the stuff!

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Closet Chronicles: Assess the Damage

Well, it wasn’t easy, but I faced the depths of my closet and emerged a new woman. After really looking through everything, I’d estimate that within a standard month I wear about 25% of my shoes, 20% of my clothing, 5% of my accessories, and 1% of my jewelry.

And this is coming from a fashion blogger.

So, without further adieu, here’s what I own and wear often:

Closet Chronicles: What I Wear

If you’re noticing a theme of flannel, grandpa cardigans, romantic tunics, lace-up boots, and sequins, I’d say that you’re dead-on (what does that make me- Colonel Ethel of the Disco?). How did this happen?

I gave it some thought, and here’s what’s up (hey, I can’t let my therapist skills totally atrophy). I’m reasonably confident with my body, but my two areas of insecurity are my upper arms and my midsection (more insidiously known as love handles, saddlebags, or muffin top). To conceal these areas, I tend to wear tight pants topped with something that skims over the midsection and hits at the low hip, therefore avoiding the midsection area altogether. Hence, my tunic-and-leggings uniform.

Next, the unappreciated and underutilized parts of my closet:

What I Have (& Never Wear)

In this category, I’m seeing a lot of clothing that fits close to the hip and isn’t covered by a concealing drapey layer. The pencil skirts, close-fitting dresses, and flared jeans of yesteryear have been sitting and gathering dust. I unintentionally eschewed all aspects of my classic/preppy past as I embraced my edgy/romantic/grunge/mod/godknowswhat new style.

Finally, I started thinking about what my closet is lacking. Tunics make me happy, but what about something with an empire waist? I love things that flare out at the hips, so what about some skater skirts- even a leather one? I love my leggings, so why don’t I go for some skinny jeans in different colors? Let’s add in some super-long skirts while we’re at it! And why the hell am I so afraid of wearing jewelry? Huh?!

Closet Chronicles: What I Want to Add

Tune in (is that what you do? I suppose…) next week to see the closet version of Survivor, where the long-neglected clothes make their plea for salvation. I can reintegrate some things into my wardrobe, but others are going to have to go to that big donation box in the sky. It can be sad to give away once-loved objects, but the payoff of having a closet full of clothes that are really you is well worth it. I’m excited to see where this goes!

Are you in closet-cleaning mode right now? What patterns or fashion ruts have you noticed?

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Closet Chronicles: The Beginning

Even if it doesn’t feel like it yet (sorry, Midwest!), spring has officially been sprung for close to a month. As the seasons start to change, I’m more inspired than ever to identify and step out of my clothing ruts and try something new. Similar to my devotion to New Year’s resolutions, I like to take time in late April and early May to do a good spring cleaning for the closet and the soul. And wow, does my closet need it (see below).

sanfranista's closet

Even though I clearly love fashion and am always on the hunt for something different, I realized recently that I end up buying variations of the same piece over and over again. There’s almost no color, very few patterns other than plaid, and there’s a gaping hole between “I could wear this to a dive bar” and “I could wear this to a black tie dinner.” It’s time for me to shake things up.

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In addition to culling and supplementing my closet, I also want to transform the space itself. By some logic-defying miracle, the small studio that I share with my husband boasts closet space that generally exists only in the Midwest and television shows set in New York City (Carrie Bradshaw’s closet, anyone?). Despite the ample space, my clothes, shoes, and accessories huddle together in messy clumps that do little for cultivating an aesthetic and preventing me from seeing what I own.

So, starting today, I plan to take the next two months and give my closet and wardrobe an overhaul. You’re welcome to join me if you’ve found yourself in a similar position! Like any good plan of attack, I’ve broken it down roughly into steps.

Step One: Assess the damage. I’m going to go through my closet, dress by dress and shoe by shoe to determine what I have now and what I’m lacking.

Step Two: Cull the herd. Once I’ve assessed my current closet condition, it’s time to free up some space by donating or setting aside items I don’t wear. Time to take the gloves off!

Step Three: Revamp the space. Before purchasing new items, I need to create a space that works and that makes me feel confident. It’s time for the closet makeover.

closet1Step Four: Find the inspiration. Before I buy, I like to spend some time checking out trends online and doing walk-throughs of my favorite stores to see what’s available and get some ideas. Then, I’ll make a list of what items would add the most to my closet.

Step Five: Time to shop. I’ll look for a few new items but focus mostly on organizing a clothing swap with friends and checking out thrift stores in the area. Hey, I’m on a budget here!

Step Six: Bring it all together. Now that I’ve organized and revamped my closet, it’s time for me to enjoy the fruits of my labor and see how I feel.

Who else is feeling the closet-cleaning itch? How do you go about it, and what works best for you? Any important steps you think I’m missing?

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