Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Everyday Face

It's been a busy week. And you know what's good for a busy week? Basic, good quality products that you can rely on without a second thought. The below make up the basics of my daily face, after cleansing and treating with anti-acne regimen.


I was big on grooming eyebrows for most of my 20s, but the desire to keep up that routine tapered off by the time I turned 30. I'd pluck and wax, but I really hated doing that and stopped shaping and filling in the brows. In fact, I hated touching my brows so much that I got monthly waxes at salons near work during lunch hours. It's funny that I used to shape brows for other people in the past. You couldn't pay me to do that again.

Anyway, my one and only brow product is MAKE UP FOR EVER Eyebrow Pencil in No. 4. My natural hair colour is black or very very dark brown -- but we all know that using black on black tends to result in looking like an Angry Bird instead of a well-groomed woman. No. 4 is described as "Dark Taupe", and light strokes reveal it as a soft brown shade that can be built up to dark brown that isn't harsh or unnatural. I have fairly well-filled brows with hairs that are thick and not unruly. It takes just a little bit of work to elongate the tails and lightly fill in a patch here and there. And since I'm not an Olympic swimmer nor do anything strenuous really (and always carry an umbrella when there's the slightest chance of rain), I don't care that the pencil isn't waterproof as it lasts all day regardless. I really have no complaints about it and will readily repurchase. All I seek in a brow pencil is the right shade, some durability and the just right mix of hard and soft. Overly tough scratchy pencils are terrible things.


If my brows aren't too much trouble, by contrast, my lashes are on the extreme wimpy side. They are stick straight, short, dainty little things that will not hold a curl despite the mop of very curly non-Asian hair on the top of my head. (Honestly, there is no consistency at all in human biology.) Very few mascaras stand the test of keeping the curl and adding some badly needed oomph without smudging or looking too fake. L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes isn't my most favourite, but it is a good affordable product that won't rub or flake off until I decide to remove with just some warm water at the sink. I never bother curling my lashes anymore so I can't attest to the curl-holding ability of this mascara, but the "tubing" formula keeps my eyes smudge-free for up to 48 hours -- because, yes, I kept it on that long once or twice or thrice. I never use the primer side because it takes forever to cover the white base with the mascara part and the primer doesn't add all that much fattiness anyway, but I like the mascara part enough to purchase the whole thing, especially when it's on sale for about $8-10. One mascara lasts me about 4-6 months, and this particular one will go the entire 6 months because I've barely touched it this summer. My actual HG mascara is Clinique Lash Power, which I will purchase again when this L'Oreal dies. But I've been switching back forth between the two for the past few years and will probably continue to do so.


I believe this is my third bottle of Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and I still love it very much. My last comprehensive rave about it can be found here. I'm halfway through the bottle after receiving it as a gift in late March and using it almost every day, so I guess there's another 4-5 months left in the bottle. The price makes my wallet cringe but I've never regretted shelling out for a product that's so good for my face. Hopefully I'll be in a better place five months from now on and repurchasing will not be preluded by the usual intense internal struggle!


Bronzers I could do or without. I like having them but I don't always use them. The wonderful and fabulous Denise got me MAC Nude On Board Pro Longwear Bronzing Powder and it's been a while since I've been so devoted to a bronzer. All my other bronzers have always been much darker, and while I was tempted by the lure of a pale bronzer, I didn't feel like I could justify adding another to the burgeoning stash. But Nude On Board is a game changer. It's the most low maintenance bronzer to skin tones hovering around the NC25 zone, because it's almost impossible to overapply and yet applying seems to subtly warm the skin, shift contours and add dimensions. I wore it every day for about three weeks and that has never happened with a bronzer before. I hope to hit pan on it some day!


SilkyGirl Magic BB Powder Foundation in 03 Medium has become my summertime HG. The plan is to put this away and work through the liquid foundation stash during fall and winter, but until it's too cold to stop wearing shorts, I'll be relying on this to keep me looking presentable during the work week. (In an effort to keep back the annual tide of summer acne, I've been trying not to wear makeup during weekends when not going out to socialize.) The full review can be found here, and I have this new pan as well as a backup in case I can't give it up for winter and continue to use it all year long.


And here you have what's basically my daily face. Lipsticks and blushes are rotated almost daily and I rarely bother with liners and shadows. (When I do wear shadows, they tend to be barely there!) But in anticipation of fall's more dramatic makeup style and mood, I'm sort of on a hunt for the most fabulously low maintenance black liner pencil and a dramatic lip colour in the dark red/wine/plum/purple family. Or I could be disgustingly boring and good and just work with what I already own. I think it's time for some more inventory posts.

What does your everyday face look like? Any great discoveries this year? And... ERMAHGERD!!! I just realized somehow concealer got completely cut out of the daily routine. This is great news! I hate concealers!!!!!!!!!!

43 comments:

  1. I really like how simple your routine is, I'm always more high maintenance! Never tried that L'Oreal mascara, maybe I should look into it, especially that most mascaras tend to smudge/flake on me and I hate waterproof formulas :)

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    1. Hi, Monika! I wish I wasn't so lazy and more high maintenance. :) If you like tubing mascaras, the L'Oreal is pretty good. It's hard to apply multiple coats if you let the mascara dry between coats but I do two and it's enough. I think Rae @theNotice likes it too.

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  2. I already did one of these, but I've really been loving bronzer lately, too. I think a light one is the way to go for me - the Dior Aurora one is just light enough, and it seems nuanced enough to give my face angles and such. I've finally figured out how best to use it for that bronzing effect, too - that silly 3 thing. I think previously my bronzers were too dark and my brush wasn't fluffy enough.

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    1. I used to do the 3 thing and it was a good reference. Now I don't do an exact three but think I have the hang of bronzers. Sometimes I like darker bronzers for that "purposefully wearing bronzer" face but the light ones are excellent every day options!

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  3. Isn't it funny how your routine changes. It's been so hot and I've been so tired all the time, hence my blogging absense, that I don't do anything but sun screen. The Clinique City Block and maybe my chubby stick, because it's what's in my bag. I miss having a routine and not looking so shabby, but I don't have much time for myself. I'm with you, I hope in a few months things will be different, like dramatically different.

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    1. Oh my dear Danny. I hope things ease up for you soon. I want to win the lottery and whisk you away to somewhere super relaxing!

      I'm almost finished with my one Clinique Chubby Stick because it was such a good neutral colour to wear daily without thinking twice about. I haven't worn sunscreen at all this summer, which speaks volumes about the sad state of my physical activity this season. :(

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  4. LOL @ "but we all know that using black on black tends to result in looking like an Angry Bird" -- SO TRUE.

    Judging by the products you currently use, some things you must try: MAC Eyebrows in Lingering, MAC Extended Play Lash Mascara, MAC Studio Fix Powder. WILL HOOK YOU UP.

    Oh, and also these MAC lipsticks: Viva Glam I for a deep red, Hang-Up for a wine red, Diva for a vampy burgundy, and Rebel for a deep purple-based berry. :)

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    1. Oh, and you're very welcome for the bronzer. ;) I really hope they make the Pro Longwear Bronzers permanent, because the texture is just gorgeous. And Nude on Board is probably the most flattering shade they've come out with, and in a satin finish, too! And if you do ever hit pan, you can keep the case as your compact mirror. :)

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    2. But then there are some days when I WANT to look like an angry bird, LOL!

      MAC Fairy, you are awesome. I do not dispute your makeup choices! Though I looked up Rebel at someone's recommendation the other day and it's not exactly the kind of shade I had in mind. Still, it might look awesome on the lips. :D

      That's a good idea about using as mirror because the packaging is super cute!

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  5. Love how simple this all is, I have a little makeup bag that I keep with my 'main' products, so that throwing my face on in the morning is as easy as it could possibly be. I go in and out of love with bronzers, but this one looks like a nice wearable shade.

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    1. It really is! Lighter bronzers FTW! I can see this working on you as well, though it's quite yellow and I'm not sure if you like that.

      I usually have my main products splayed out on the dresser but by the end of the week it tends to get really messy with the extra products.

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  6. Great post!! I have eyelashes like yours. Unfortunately they are falling out now. Grumble! How did I miss out on that MAC bronzer?? I need to get ahold of it!
    I am about N20 and have a lot of redness to my skin. It looks like it would be a great
    Shade!

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    1. !!! @ falling lashes - NOOOOOOOOO. :`(

      The bronzer is quite yellow and might work well to neutralize redness! Hope you can find!

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  7. I hate concealer too, I think that unless you're really good with it it can end up drawing attention to the areas that you're trying to conceal! My current daily routine consists of tinted moisturiser, powder on my t-zone, blush, one shade only of bright eyeshadow and mascara and lipgloss. I like to think that all the attention is then drawn to my bright eyeshadow and people won't notice if I have any blemishes on my face or anything, ha! And brows...do people in everyday life really notice other people's brows unless they're pointed out to them? I'm not sure. I never bother with mine in any case.

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    1. I hate concealers because they take so long to apply, lol. But a wrong shade can really do just what you said.

      And not that people notice the brows themselves but unkempt brows can throw off the face. I like natural looks and try to keep the brows that way too - not too thick and not too thin.

      I might try your bright shadow trick this week... if I can FIND a bright shadow in my stash, hahaha. :D

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  8. Hahahahaha @ Angry Bird! Omg. I needed a good laugh this afternoon, thank you Liz!

    Lately my everyday face has been a tinted moisturizer and the Stila correcting primers and powders. I've also completely gotten rid of concealers because I ALSO HATE THEM. They rarely match my skin or foundation and they get all creasy and cakey and ugh I hate them I hate them I hate them. I'll also fill in my brows with a brown eyeshadow and maybe put on mascara and blush. I've been very low key! This isn't like me at all...

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    1. I honestly don't believe there's a concealer out there for undereyes that won't crease. It's UMPOSSIBLE.

      Maybe you're sliding into student mode extra early - though I trust that you will bust out the full scale pageantry when the occasion warrants. ;D

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  10. I just got MAC Pro Long Wear Bronzer in Sun Dipped because I heard it was better for pinker skin tones and call me impressed! It's a really great bronzer! Not like I needed another one, but I was curious. I can't live without a bronzer-it's the one thing I use every day. Foundation seems to look mask like on me lately-I think it's the red hair-so I need that warmth.
    And I have to do my brows-otherwise they don't math the crazy red hair haha!

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    1. Your skin always looks amazing and I can't tell if you've used bronzers or not unless you say so - but obviously the effect is phenomenal!! You'll have to do a post on what your favourite bronzers are. Am curious to see your bronzer stash. :D

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  11. I need a good eyebrow pencil and have heard all good about MUFE one you have. I on the other hand am all about concealers Unfortunetly:/
    PS- I've been looking everywhere for the Milani Liquif'eye liners- apparently they have a different name but it's supposed to be the same reform. Was wondering why I couldn't find them at CVS or Target:/

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    1. The aqua version of MUFE is the one getting all the raves now but I'm happy with the pencil.

      I've sort of given up on the eyeliner thing for time being. Might just use what I already have. :)

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  12. Totally LOL'd at the "angry bird" comment! So true! I agree that my eyebrow stuff doesn't have to be waterproof. I have really only ever used powders to fill in my brows and never have an issue with it not lasting. Also- I am totally loving the Hourglass primer. Gives such a nice effect to my skin!

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    1. I used to use brown eye shadows sometimes and they were fine as well!

      So glad you agree about Hourglass - it's hard to go back to something different after that!!

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  13. I am so with you on the brow and concealer thing, Liz. I only fill my brows on special occasions or when I'm going out-going out, if you know what I mean. For errands and class, I just anchor those suckers down with a brow gel and go about my day. Concealer is something else I rarely bother with. Only if I know there is going to be picture-taking will I bust out the concealer for my undereyes. I just hate to look too "perfected" and flat, so evening out my skintone with a sheer foundation or tinted moisturizer is usually enough correcting for me.

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    1. You lucky girl! I'm trying to wear less foundation but I usually rely on a heavier formula to save me the hassle of applying concealer, lol. I hate that paler concealer on undereye thing that some people are prone to - just decided to skip that step all together this year and it makes me look more natural. I like it. :D

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  14. OMG- The angry bird comment is hilarious!!!!!!!! You are AWESOME, Liz!!!!!

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    1. LOLA YOU ALWAYS MAKE ME LAUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;D

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    2. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxox Have a great weekend, Liz! ;D

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    3. You too, my dear! (Half a day left - eeek.)

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    4. Thanks, love! The weekends do go by far too quickly!!! :D

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  15. Lucky girl if you can get away without concealer. Cripes, that's one of my desert island items! I've been out of control busy too so I completely get it. I've got so much I want to photograph and write about yet I can't find the time to scratch myself lately, let alone find time for blogging *sigh*

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    1. Well, not sure if I get away entirely but decided it was fine. :D I'm jealous of the people who don't need foundation but dab on concealer here and there!

      I've been really busy this week and I DON'T LIKE IT. I like my blogging down time. Hope to find some time to catch up on everyone's posts!!

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  16. I really want to try this Hourglass primer, I've read such amazing reviews on it! We recently got this brand in Ireland so I have no excuse not to pick it up now xx

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    1. Hi, Laura! Glad to hear Hourglass is in stock there. Try a tester/sample first because not everyone thinks it's as amazing as I do - but if you have very oily skin, you will love it. :)

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  17. I think I'll have to try that MUFE brow pencil meself––I have reeeeally dark eyebrows, much darker than my hair, and I've been on the hunt for something to make them less dramatic on my pale skin! Heading to New York in a couple weeks, so I'll be sure to stop by Sephora/the MUFE boutique and give this a swatcheroo. Also, you've just about convinced me to give the Hourglass primer a try. I'm just so happy with my Cover FX stuff...Also, that SilkyGirl powder foundation still looks great. My skin's been so terrible this summer I've been continuing to use liquid foundation, which undoubtedly hasn't helped with the congested unhappiness, but such are beauty tradeoffs!

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    1. Brows are so in right now, lucky you. ;)

      NEW YORK!!! Again, so lucky! You're going to have such a blast.

      I really used to love CoverFX and must have bought almost all of their kits and regimen, but their primers never really worked to mattify my skin and I've basically forgotten about them at this point. So. many. companies!

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  18. Everyday face is the best hahahha, love your routine :) And your reference to Angry Birds, omg it's SO TRUE. I knew those angry brows reminded me of something.

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    1. When we meet, I'll draw extra dark brows for you and make the angry bird noises. LOL

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  19. I'd love to see this bronzer on you Liz, it sounds like just the ticket! I think that just a subtle hint of bronze is the way to go for your every day face. That brow pencil sounds appealing, I am using a shade from an old crappy MAC palette that works color-wise for the most part, but I should probably get something targeted for brows specifically. Though I don't really care about them much so I probably won't spend the money on them LOL

    Oh, and YAY about no concealer needed!!! That's frickin' awesome :D

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    1. I am LOOOOOOOOOONG ways away from doing FOTDs but will show swatches later! I can do without bronzers on a lot of days but it's so handy for those times when you feel wan and listless.

      Meh, I wouldn't worry about targeted brow stuff. Yours look more than fine in your pics and I used to use a Bobbi Brown brown shadow from a palette for years and years. The pencil is the remnant of a brief brow craze and I could live without it.

      Most would bother with concealers with my skin but I decided it's mostly not necessary. :D

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  20. Looks neat and simple. And a third bottle of the Hourglass primer? I have never been much into face primers, but I guess I will have to get a sample of this to try it out (I have heard froma friend that you can actually order a sample size on Zuneta.com, so I will have to check it out). And you could not be more right about the brow pencil - the correct colour is the most important thing. I have chestnut brown hair but my brows and lashes have no red tones at all, they are actually quite ashy dark brown. And almost every single product is too warm brown, or too light, or too dark. So far I have been forced to get a palette and am mixing three shades to get the right colour. Not very practical, but fortunately, a simple clear mascara is good enough on most days.

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