You say high maintenance like it's a bad thing.
March 3, 2016 10:11 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to get better at this not-rolling-out-of-bed-and-grabbing-the-first-clean-outfit thing, especially when it comes to remembering to put on makeup and doing my hair. Snowflakes inside.

So by a combination of luck (great skin, chill environment) and circumstance (a mom who never cared about makeup) I've managed to reach nearly 30 without really figuring out makeup, although I do theoretically like the idea. I've realised my problem is a whole bunch of smaller issues:

- most stuff I find online is geared to people wanting to do a full face: primer + concealer + foundation + blush/bronzer. I'm lucky enough to have reasonably clear skin, and I don't really WANT to put all that much gunk on my face besides. Is there a middle ground of some sort? What's in the minimalist girl's makeup bag? I'm fine with either drugstore or slightly high-end products; I have some money ($100-ish) to throw at the problem.

- not growing up with this stuff means I just don't have the instinctive reflex to put makeup on, so I wind up with great products (Urban Decay's Naked palette, a whole heap of MAC, lip glosses galore from Sephora) that I never use. I want to make it clear that I WANT to wear 'female drag' as a friend put it- I genuinely enjoy wearing make up and doing my hair, I just never seem to remember to do it when I get dressed. How do I integrate this into my routine? I'd like it to become as natural as remembering to get dressed, because I do genuinely feel better when I'm put together.

- related but tangential issue: I have long, vaguely curly hair that sometimes falls into beautiful ringlet curls but is mostly a tangled mess. Any tips for not spending half an hour combing it out every night only for it to be nearly as bad every morning?

- I often only have between five and ten minutes in the morning to do my makeup. What do I need to focus on for the most impact?

posted by Tamanna to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (32 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
When I was trying to train myself to do additional things in the morning, I had some success with post-it's stuck on the mirror in the bathroom.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:16 PM on March 3, 2016

Minimalist face ideas:
- Mascara
- A liquid eyeliner (do a cateye!)
- A subtle blush or highlighter

- A BB cream
- Mascara
- Fun lipgloss/lipstick
- (Maybe a little blush if it looks too stark)

- Eyeshadow primer
- An all-over eyeshadow color
- Mascara

If your skin is good, that's really all you need. You can put cream blush or highlighter directly on your skin without anything in between and it can be a subtle way of amping things up (while still looking natural). I have no interest in doing a full face, but my every day is:
- BB cream
- blush
- mascara
- highlighter
- a fun lipstick OR
- some eyeshadow

The way I make this more automatic is by using bb cream, usually, since it's my SPF and moisturizer so I either have to put it on or another SPF/moisturizer every day. From there I'm already messing with my face so at this point, the steps are pretty automatic for me. Also, if you have dark/long eyelashes, mascara may be optional for you. (Mine are very light so it's a must do for me if I'm wearing other makeup, unless I want a very dramatic/editorial look.)
posted by stoneandstar at 10:19 PM on March 3, 2016 [12 favorites]

I have a double sided eyeliner, gold brown for eyebrow filling and black for eyeliner. A little swipe of mascara and you are set. A tinted sunscreen is also nice and is as easy as putting on lotion.
posted by stormygrey at 10:23 PM on March 3, 2016

My minimal makeup takes 3 minutes max. I use spot concealer if I have pimples. I brush on thin foundation powder. Do some blush and curl my lashes then mascara.

My five minute routine involves adding eyelid primer and some fun eyeshadow.

My ten minute makeup includes a winged liner (usually without eyeshadow because I like bright shadow and that's a lot of eye stuff to do together.)

My fifteen minute makeup means adding a lipstick (rare. Usually for photos. ) I MAY add a little eyebrow wax.

Once you get a routine down it gets really fast. I use mostly drugstore brands. Physicians formula for blush, concealer, foundation, and mascara and some of my eyeshadow (the one brand that won't bother my eyes.) I love Milani brand eyelid primer, and felt tip eyeliners. I also love colourpop for their matte lipsticks and bright eyeshadows. I never do my brows.

I suggest watching some YouTube videos and picking things you like from them - certain techniques or looks. I personally think a ton of those tutorials are way too heavy and wouldn't look okay in an everyday look. So if you like an eye look then take notes on that part.
posted by Crystalinne at 10:42 PM on March 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

Try pineappling your hair
posted by Heloise9 at 10:43 PM on March 3, 2016 [6 favorites]

Oh and I forgot to mention - get your outfit or a selection of outfits - including accessories out together the night or day before. No thinking and you'll look awesome!
posted by Crystalinne at 10:55 PM on March 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh gosh, even some of the above routines seem complicated!

BBcream aka tinted sunscreen.
Tinted chapstick.
Eyelash curler (mascara bugs my eyes)
Apparently you can get your eyelashes permed. Initial effort for morning laziness - I admit I'm intrigued!.

If I have time, some blush, because I tend to be pale.

I have your hair. I have no suggestions. Yeah, if I get a great haircut and buy the special stuff and squish to condish and pineapple it blah blah blah - who has time for that though? I think pretty universally Good Hair Takes Time. Oh well...
posted by jrobin276 at 11:09 PM on March 3, 2016

spf cream with a tint (always wear sunsrcreen!! Older you will thank younger you!)
lip color.
a little blush or bronzer if you want.
eyebrow powder or pencil to fill them in subtly. Good eyebrows add a surprising amount of polish to your finished look without having to overdo the rest of your face and the market now (finally!) has some great eyebrow powders at very reasonable prices.
Pin your hair back or wear it off your face using nice scarves and hair gadgets.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 11:10 PM on March 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

I have good skin too and don't feel the need to cake it on. My Minimal? Sunscreen, brown mascara, and lip stain. Eyeliner if I have the extra minute in the morning. Apply tinted lip balm during the day as needed.

As far as integrating it into the routine, get up five minutes earlier and remind yourself that those five minutes are for makeup/hair/self-care. Getting up a bit earlier tells yourself that you have decided that this step is important.
posted by 26.2 at 12:40 AM on March 4, 2016

How do I integrate this into my routine?

Go to any drug store or target or whatever and buy a zippered cosmetics bag that is just big enough to hold the makeup, tools, and hair styling stuff you would like to become daily regulars. Then, put it in your way.

The place you put it varies by your routine. You might put it directly in your bathroom sink so you have to deal with it to brush your teeth. Or maybe put it on top of your coffee beans. On your shoes. Wherever it will be most unlikely to be ignored.

On days when you are running late, everything you need to spruce up will be in an easy to grab bag so you can do it at work when you get a chance. If you want to try a new product or decide you don't like an old one, swap them in and out of the bag.
posted by Mizu at 12:43 AM on March 4, 2016 [6 favorites]

You can also think about the most natural places in your ordinary routine to add makeup steps, basically when you're already touching that part of your face. You probably wear some kind of moisturizer/sunscreen anyway, so right after that, put on a tinted moisturizer/BB cream/whatever light cover suits your fancy. If you wear contacts, it's relatively easy to remember to put on a little cream eyeshadow (MAC Paint Pots are good for this) and mascara (in theory you can go very cheap with this, but you may or may not find that the cheaper ones disintegrate too much over the course of the day) right after you put them in. That's all I do most mornings.
posted by praemunire at 1:24 AM on March 4, 2016

Don't comb your hair at night. Actually, don't comb your hair ever, unless you've just gotten out of the shower and you use a very wide-toothed comb and start at the ends and work your way up gently. Combing curly hair when it's dry activates a frizz-beast that cannot be tamed.

Also, wrap your wet hair in a t-shirt. It's called plopping (Don't judge. It works.) Your hair will be amazing, I promise.
posted by ananci at 2:28 AM on March 4, 2016 [10 favorites]

I have long, vaguely curly hair that sometimes falls into beautiful ringlet curls but is mostly a tangled mess. Any tips for not spending half an hour combing it out every night only for it to be nearly as bad every morning?

Do the curly hair test. The number of women who think they don't have curly hair but do is kind of shocking. It is the easiest hair to care for, so it's worth a go to make sure you don't have Really Fucking Curly Hair instead of Vaguely Curly hair.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:55 AM on March 4, 2016 [4 favorites]

Curly hair; occasional make-up-wearer. My hair routine is, when I have time to shower and let my hair dry: wash hair with special curly people shampoo (about once a week)/conditioner (about every other day). Comb out when wet; put in curling gel and scrunch up.

When I've showered the day/night before: get hair slightly damp; put cream in; scrunch up. This takes all of five minutes, and it refreshes my curls/tames the frizz beautifully.

"Full" make up for me is bbcream , concealer, powder, mascara, lip liner, lip stick. Light make up is mascara (+ lipstick if I'm feeling it). Full make up probably takes 10 minutes; light make up, maybe 5 minutes, if I'm doing lipstick.
posted by damayanti at 3:59 AM on March 4, 2016

5 min makeup routes (I ilke stoneandstar's suggestions as well), depending on what feature you'd like to enhance.

Groundwork - should take less than 2 minutes
- BB cream: You are indeed lucky to have clear skin, I love BB cream because it's a very low effort way (seriously just smear it on like moisturiser) to even out the skin tone and get in some SPF coverage
- Groomed brows: I think these make the biggest difference in a polished look. Get them professionally groomed once, and then use pencil, gel, or powder to fill them in. If you have thick brows already, you could probably skip this and just get them groomed once a month.

What to do with your 3 minutes left:

Route A
- Put on one neutral shadow on your eyelid
- Curl lashes
- Apply mascara
- Lightly apply a cream blush with your fingers: You can get different effects depending on where you apply them on your face (cheekbones vs apples for example).
- Lip color balm in a neutral color: these "chubby sticks" are now widely available at drugstores and much easier to put on that lipstick

Route B
- Primer on your eyelid
- Two colors on your eyes, the darker color on the outer corners and blend!
- Curl lashes
- Mascara
- Lightly applied blush
- Chapstick

Route C
- Curl lashes
- Light cream blush
- Very light touch of highlighter/illuminator on your cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose, a small thumb sized touch on the forehead, a dab on the chin
- Lip gloss in whatever color you fancy, this look works best with bright/bold colors.
posted by like_neon at 4:03 AM on March 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh yeah, stop combing your curly hair! That way lies frizz. Use the LOC method to clean and condition it, and pineapple it at night.

My makeup routine started when I was 33 and starting a new job in a slightly more conservative office. I got in the habit by deciding to wear makeup to this job every time.

I am very lazy about it, so I do:
-eyeliner (tightlining)
-eyeshadow with a fat eye pencil, fast and easy
-lip gloss or stain, also in a pencil
-moisturizer with SPF on face, neck and cleavage

Because these are mostly pencil shaped things, they fit easily in a little jar on my counter. Keep it simple and sustainable.

Reddit's Makeupaddiction Drugstore Holy Grail list is fantastic for finding cheaper duplicates of the expensive good stuff.
posted by sadmadglad at 4:51 AM on March 4, 2016 [9 favorites]

For curly hair, you need to know two basic rules: it needs to be conditioned all to heck, and the more you touch it (especially once it's dry), the frizzier it'll get. So, don't bother combing it at night (sleeping on it and mashing it against your pillow will make it frizz anyway), and DEFINITELY don't expect any good things to come from combing it when dry! If you like how it looks at night and want to keep it that way, a satin pillowcase or pineappling as suggested above will help. If all you want is to keep it from tangling at night, just put it in a loose braid. The easiest, quickest way to handle it is to take your shower in the morning and let it air-dry into ringlets naturally. Just make sure you condition heavily, comb with a wide-toothed comb while the conditioner is in, apply a little anti-frizz serum as soon as you step out of the shower, and then touch it as little as possible. Once you get this routine down, it will probably take a lot less time than what you're doing right now.

For makeup, I always really like watching Lisa Eldridge videos. Here she is demonstrating two 5 minute makeup routines: My 5 Minute Makeup Look, Chic & Simple 5 Minute Makeup. Here's one that's closer to 10 minutes: Easy Everyday Makeup. All of these routines cover skin, eyes, brows, lips, and cheeks, and you can modify to match your preferences.
posted by ourobouros at 4:57 AM on March 4, 2016

I put on more slap than any three women, but I can do it in about 5 minutes in the morning. The secret, doing it every day for the past 35 years. It's a habit, the more you do it the better and faster you get at it.

I agree you don't need much, and it seems that you've got a few products that you like to use, so good on ya there.

As for hair, get it professionally styled for your hair type, and experiment around with products specifically for your hair. Be Curly by Aveda is really good, as is their Brilliant anti-humectant. I can style my hair and it will be nice for a couple of days without having to fuss with it. I also like Garnier products for curly hair.

Eyebrow arching is another trick. If your brows are on fleek, makeup can hang itself.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:25 AM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seriously, having your brows on fleek is perhaps 90% of looking polished. If you're in a city with a sizeable Middle Eastern or South Asian population, you should be able to find inexpensive (under $10 or even $5) threading, which I find gives longer-lasting results than waxing.

I like wearing makeup, but like you IDGAF in the mornings. My daytime makeup routine is really just a "my face but better" strategy to even out my skin tone and look awake; so, mattifying sunscreen, stick foundation, tinted lip balm or sheer lipstick, and maybe eyeliner and some mascara. From start to finish this is a 90-second affair. How?

The real keys are using products that don't need to be applied with brushes. I'm a big fan of stick foundation; Maybelline makes one that's actually pretty good if you only need sheer coverage, and Clinique's is fantastic so long as you can find a shade match. Also, lip and cheek stains are really great for someone who doesn't want to deal with multiple products in the morning - so if at the last minute you want to glam things up with some blush, you don't have to root around for another product. Lots of people like Benetint and the other Benefit stains, but Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouge and Stila's Convertible Color have a wider range of colours.
posted by blerghamot at 6:53 AM on March 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

DarlingBri- Your link doesn't show how to do a curly hair test. What am I missing?
posted by 8dot3 at 6:54 AM on March 4, 2016

I'm like you and still haven't figured out the makeup thing. The hair thing I've got down though. I wash my hair in the morning, wrap my hair in a towel, and remove it after 2-3 minutes, so it's still pretty damp. I apply a gob of styling cream/gel/etc. using my hands. do some kind of minimal finger styling (picking out my part, straightening my bangs a little) and then let it air dry. If I used a gel, I'll crunch out the cast once it's dry. And that's it.

I usually only wash my hair every other day, so on the second day I will usually dampen my hair a bit, apply some styling cream to the areas that need defuzzing or coaxing back into a curl, and let it air dry. Right now I'm using Kevin Murphy products but I have used random drugstore "curly hair" gel and had it work well.

I think the essentials to this routine are:
I don't brush or comb my hair. It wrecks the curl and there's no coaxing it back short of a full wash at that point. If it really needs fixing, I'll dampen it and style it with my fingers. For wavier hair, brushing can certainly work, but I think the brushing out at night is part of your hair issue.

Get a decent cut, it doesn't have to be some super special curly hair cut or anything. A decent hairstylist will listen to what you want your routine to be like and cut your hair accordingly. Steer clear of a hairstylist who insists "oh if you just clip it up when it's wet..." or "oh those bangs will just take a few minutes every day." Don't let them talk you into more maintenance than you want.
posted by cabingirl at 7:35 AM on March 4, 2016

2nd eyebrows mattering a lot to frame the face, and mascara for eye definition. A little colour on cheeks and/or lips, and that's it for essentials, imo. I do: SPF, concealer, light powder, maybe liner, mascara, maybe cheeks, usually lips.

Most recs below are for an unfortunately narrow range of shades :/ Please update if these are in the wrong ballpark for you, I'm sure someone will be positioned to give better suggestions. I use
- L'Oreal True Match Touche Magique concealer. Has an illuminating / brightening effect (is a dupe for YSL's much-loved Touche Eclat). Imo, go for a water-based concealer if you're going to use one (would come in a tube with a brush on the end of it) - nothing cream-based, that looks heavy and winds up moving around.
- L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte 16HR Powder - finely milled - high coverage, though. Only need a light touch on the T zone, with excess dusted or blotted off. High-end alt: Shiseido's Powdery Foundation - a wet/dry foundation with a really beautiful finish, high-coverage but not if you apply lightly and take excess off. In summer, I just wear a bit of that and some mascara.
- My ideal mascara, which gives clump-free, non-flakey, non-smudging volume (I like big fat lashes), is Max Factor's Masterpiece. It is in fact a masterpiece (and a d/s brand!) but isn't available where I live :( (sad face is actually huger than it's possible to convey). Get it if you can :/ Decent alternates: Diorshow, PTR's Lashes To Die For (not enough volume but at least doesn't smudge or flake). In a pinch, I'd go with Maybelline (The Colossal) or Cover Girl (Lash Blast; The Professional < - that really is subtle but gives decent definition; good for everyday, work) - they go quickly, though. L'Oreal's mascaras used to be good, but I can't find one that doesn't suck, these days.
- Eyeliner - I sometimes use just a bit on the outer corner of the upper lashes. For most days, when I bother, any smoky grey, navy, or periwinkle kohl liner will do (I have brown eyes, if yours are blue or green, would maybe go with a different colour). I put a tiny bit on and kind of smudge those a bit. Rimmel has a few good ones that are cheap. For more precise definition, gotta go with Marc Jacobs' Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner - that stays put.
- Lips/cheeks - I just use a lipstick for both. As a blush - I dab a bit just on the apple of the cheek and blend. Colours are going to depend a lot. Lots of decent drugstore options, though, Revlon in particular. I like Lancome for higher-end stuff - they have good colours for yellow-toned skin.

SPF - I only use zinc-based sunscreens, because I react to everything else (including titanium dioxide). Most are pretty drying, but pickings are slim. Just discovered this, which offers good protection, is tinted and has a few oils, so isn't as drying. It kind of works a bit like a primer.


Clothes: the most fuss-free way to dress involves a lot of effort up front, but is effortless once you've got it in place. A) plan a wardrobe in which everything works with everything else (google capsule wardrobe) and B) ditch or store other things separately. Definitely get rid of anything that doesn't fit - most people can't wear at least 1/4th of their closet. Once you do that, if you stay on top of laundry, you can just grab anything with your eyes shut and be good.


Hair: 2nd getting a good cut from a stylist who understands curly/wavy hair. Ideally, they will also have curly or wavy hair, almost no one else gets it. I found mine on Yelp. I have 2a, shoulder-length hair (see hair typing and type-specific advice here) - I can braid it at night and have decent waves the next morning. Not going to get into advice (because not enough info!), but I like moisturizing products, and top things up with jojoba oil for shine. Used to use coconut oil - discovered it got dull after a while; reason - coconut oil can actually penetrate the hair shaft and create build-up that can be a pain to get out, who knew!
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:47 AM on March 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

Update: Thanks so much for all the responses! They've all been very helpful so far- I actually managed to make it to an 8 AM class with makeup on! Hair's still a disaster, but one step at a time.

FWIW, I am South Asian (google Sheetal Mallar if you want an idea of what my skin tone is like) and I have a pretty round face.
posted by Tamanna at 8:04 AM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Check out Lisa Eldridges videos. This is a great fast 5 minute face video but she has many others. If you skip the eyebrows & bronzer you can get this down even faster.

You may also want to check out Korean Makeup as they tend for a lot less futzing with make up than we do in the west. It's a very BBcream, lip tint a sweep of eye color & mascara look.

The main trick is practice. Remember it's make up it washes off.

I used to do was get my eyelashes tinted & my eyebrows shaped regularly. It's amazing how pulled together that makes you look with a quick application of a light foundation & a tinted lip balm.

As another curly haired girl please stop combing it you end up just making a whole lot more work for yourself trying to undo the frizziness. Curly hair should only be combed in the shower with conditioner to detangle. Pineappling is good depending on your curl level. I will also braid it before bed, then a quick mist with a water spray bottle & a light finger tease in the morning will perk it right up. If you are in a hurry a quick messy braid is super trendy right now to wear out & about too, but if you are going long & curly braids & quick updos are your friend. Save the loose hair for when you have time.
posted by wwax at 9:40 AM on March 4, 2016

I'd skip the eyelash curling step and see if a good mascara will do that for you. I use Benefit They're Real! Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara (here). That said, I don't wear mascara every day as part of my routine, it's more of a dress-up look for me.

Here's my 2 minute make-up routine (after applying a vitamin C serum and moisturizer, Arcona brand):

-lightly tinted SPF 40 (Arcona REOZONE 40)
-light dusting of powder with a brush (Urban Decay)
-shimmery cream shadow base (Origins) on eyelids (GingerZing color)
-dark purple/brown eyeliner (Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On pencil in Rockstar)
-blush (varies, sometimes Benefit Dallas, sometimes Bobbi Brown shimmer brick, or NARS cream stick in Orgasm)
posted by JenMarie at 11:39 AM on March 4, 2016

For me, my most minimalist makeup would be:

- Revlon photo ready concealer for dark circles under my eyes (may not be applicable to you; very noticeable for me because I'm so very pale)
- Milani's stay put brow color to fill in/shape eyebrow (found this recently and I love it! It looks more natural than a lot of eye brow pencils I've tried, stays on super well, and doesn't seem to pull out hair when I use it)
- A little bit of blush (Clinique's chubby stick for cheeks; you may prefer bronzer depending on complexion)
- Powder foundation (Clinique almost powder makeup; if your skin is clear, may not be needed for you. It does have SPF 15 which is nice.)

Slightly fancier:
-A light, shimmer-y eye shadow (Clinique chubby stick for eyes in Bountiful beige)
-White powder highlighter for area just under brow bone and inside of eyes (Milani powder highlighter is the brand I use)
-Eyeliner (Revlon stiletto)
-Burt's bees lip crayon (it's basically a tinted lip balm)

If my skin is really bad, or if I'm getting photographed, or whatever, I use a CC cream (Clinique) which is basically tinted moisturizer.

If it's a typical work day, I usually do the minimalist + slightly fancier routines. It may seem like a lot of steps, but since I use the same products and same colors each day, it only takes 5 minutes or so. (I hate mornings and am pretty much perpetually running late, so speed is very important to me.) I feel like this is enough to make me look put together without screaming "I have a face full of makeup."

It also could be helpful if you pick one feature you want to play up or highlight. For example, I know some people will always put on lipstick. You could also do mascara or eye shadow. For me, it's actually my eye brows, which may seem kind of weird, but I've always liked them and gotten compliments on them, so that's the one thing that I do even if I'm just doing a super quick routine (concealer + mascara).
posted by litera scripta manet at 11:53 AM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, I almost forgot about hair! I also have vaguely curly hair that can do nice ringlet curls with the right humidity AND if I let it air dry AND if I don't sleep on it, but that's not very reliable, so I've basically given in and gone with wearing it straight.

One thing I discovered a little while back was this method for wrapping your hair so it doesn't get all tangled and rumpled when you're sleeping on it. It's called a doobie wrap, or at least that's one term. I think it originated in the Caribbean (Dominican Republic, specifically), but also is very popular with African American hair. I don't fit either of these profiles, but I've still found it to be very convenient. Here's one resource for instructions, but there are a bunch of tutorials out there.

Basically, with either damp or dry hair, you use bobby pins to pin the hair around the crown of your head. If you do this with damp hair, it's a great way to get your hair to dry more or less straight without using heat. At night, I use a satin hair wrap (held in place with bobby pins). When I wake up, I just take off the wrap, take out the bobby pins, run a brush through my hair, and if needed, maybe run a straightener through it, but that's often not necessary.

I'm not great at hair styles, but once you get the hang of it, it's very easy to do.
posted by litera scripta manet at 12:03 PM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I put my makeup on during my 10-minute bus trip into work, and i'm usually done in five minutes. I think the "middle ground" you're looking for is BB cream - it takes care of SPF, colour correction, and moisturising. I carry it around in a little Eagle Creek bag along with about 4,000 lipsticks (my particular weakness) and a few other things that i barely use (travel sized mascara, travel sized highlighter, etc.)

On many mornings I just smear on the BB cream (I use Dr Jart - Korean BB creams are great especially if you have good skin), fill in my eyebrows (i use an Hourglass pencil but anything will do), then add lipstick. I rarely wear blush but if I'm feeling pale i'll pull a wee bit of lipstick off my lips with my finger and dot it on my cheeks then blend it in. If I need to, i'll add concealer (NARS radiant creamy concealer is <3 <3 <3 ). On some days at the weekend, i'll only use the concealer - just dot it around my nose and mouth where I get a bit red then add a lipstick.

I also have curly hair that I am very lazy about. The best way i've found to get my curls to actually behave is to brush it out with a very wide-toothed comb after the shower, then let it air dry. I add super-cheap Boots curl creme and that works really well.
posted by ukdanae at 2:16 PM on March 4, 2016

I'm 45 and going through the same thing. I like eyeliner, but always ends up smearing above the crease of my eye.

Just today I went to Ulta and got a skin-toned primer, a long wear eyeliner and a couple new neutral eye shadow crayons. Because I spent $19.50 or more, I got a gift with purchase of a bag with tons of Ulta products in it. Once I put the stuff on, it has performed as desired for the last 4 hours. I have not sweated in that time, so we'll see how it performs then.

Also recommend going to for great reviews of all types of cosmetics.
posted by wwartorff at 3:01 PM on March 4, 2016

DarlingBri- Your link doesn't show how to do a curly hair test. What am I missing?

8dot3 - Follow the directions: wash, comb, shake, lock ends, do not touch. If when it dries and you have a head rull if ringlets, you have curly hair. If you still have only waves and/or frizz, you don't.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:10 PM on March 4, 2016

I'm too lazy for full makeup, and dislike creamy foundations / creams etc. So my approach is to use a mineral foundation powder, nothing else.

I then focus on eyes: colour in eyebrows with a rimmel eyebrow pencil, and comb over with clear mascara; and do a small sweep of eyeliner in the outer third of the eye. For eyeliner I usually use a felt-tip pen type product, in an off-black colour (like grey or purple or brown), because that's less stark & so more forgiving of a wobbly hand than black. Mine are from Skin Food, a South Korean makeup brand. Another option I use is a wet eyeliner brush and eyeshadow powder, to create a soft eyeline. The mac eyeshadows work well for this.

If I can be bothered, I might add a light lip colour. I like the revlon colourburst range.
posted by yesbut at 11:53 PM on March 4, 2016

Same circumstances as you wrt upbringing and skin, and a reluctance to wear face makeup. Now I use Cotz tinted sunscreen. Not only does it have sun protection (which you need!) it goes on like a primer and leaves a really nice finish without looking at all like makeup. I have super sensitive skin and it's never caused me a problem. This would work with any skin tone lighter than olive, but there may be other brands of versions for darker skin. It doesn't require fiddlly, time-consuming application, either. Whatever you do, don't skip SPF of some kind!

Then eyebrows and/or mascara even if you wear glasses.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:25 AM on March 5, 2016

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