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Minimalist Makeup Guide

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I enjoy mentoring people, encouraging them to start where they are right now and face the future with style and confidence.


Basic Makeup Tools

There is no need to spend a lot of money on expensive brushes. Choose a variety of sizes and textures. Use both flat and round brushes for foundation and powder application and a bristle brush for eyebrows. Be sure and clean them with any brush cleaner, or look online for homemade remedies according to your own preference. Use small size brushes for concentrated application, like in the creases around the nose area, under the eyes, or when using an opaque powder to cover up blemishes.

A Word about Eyelash Curlers:

I prefer the battery operated heated eyelash curlers because they are gentler on the lashes. Some specialty cosmetic stores sell them, or you can order them online. Care is needed when using the regular, clamp style eyelash curlers because they may pull out some of your eyelashes, especially if there is mascara residue on the eyelash curler itself.


Makeup Foundation Basics

Start with a clean face:

Wash and dry your face, then dab on a bit of fragrance-free moisturizer and let it set even if you have oily skin so the foundation does not dry out. Some makeup primers are drying, so only use them on the oily sections of your face if needed.

Choose a foundation color:

Here is a secret. The color of that foundation out of a bottle will never match your skin tone. The trick is to purchase several colors in the same color group as your own skin tone. Then you can blend your own custom color, remembering to match your neck, not your arm. Don't waste money on expensive custom coloring systems, they won't work. You must create your own color blend and one that's within your budget.


Start with a shade lighter than you skin tone, then build color with a slightly darker tone over the top. I like using a pancake or cream foundation to start with, and then layer a liquid foundation over the top, but you can use your favorites.

Put a very thin, sheer liquid foundation on your eyelids and blend well, tissue off excess. Blend foundation or concealer around the nose, corners of the mouth and again, tissue off excess and blend well with either a tissue or your fingers. I like using my fingers and not sponges as they can irritate the skin, and like a painter, you are creating a unique color canvas.

Use a thin tiny brush and apply a matte cream opaque concealer in the creases under the eyes to hide circles and discoloration and around the nose area.

Dab on concealer to hide blemishes. Always blend and smudge the makeup so it adheres to the skin and looks natural.


Start Blushing

Blush is optional, but sometimes, just a plain foundation face looks a bit pale and bland, so I like adding a bit of color.

Apply your favorite liquid or powder blush to your cheekbones. Then, choose a sheer liquid foundation to cover over the color and blend it on your face for a more natural appearance. You don't want dark or bold streaks of color on your face.

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For my skin tone, I use an ivory color sheer liquid foundation and I place that over the blush and blend it along the cheekbones towards the temples to highlight the eyes and create an arc of color along the sides of my face.

If any harsh marks or discoloration appear, use a cover stick concealer to blend the edges so the blush is not too bold and bright. Smudge and blend the color well into the skin for a natural look. Less is more in the blushing department.


Powder Up

Use a large puffy brush to set the face with powder, including the eye area and lids, and forehead. Some women forgo foundation on the forehead and just use the setting powder.

Experiment with different colors. If your powder is too dark, it may settle in creases and get darker during the day, especially if you have oily skin. I like using a powder slightly lighter than my skin tone and blend a few colors together, such as, light pink, light yellow, and/or ivory. I use a more opaque powder for extra coverage to cover dark discoloration around the eyes or in the creases alongside the nose.


Easy Eye Makeup

For that minimalist look, skip the eyeshadow.

Use a brown or black pencil eyeliner only on the top lash line to fill in any gaps in your lashes. Use a waterproof pencil so it will last throughout the day. After lining the top lash line, dab some sheer powder over it to set it, if needed.

Use a light touch, don't go for the cat's eye look or anything too thick or dramatic. The goal is to just fill in the top lash line to create a thicker appearance when you apply mascara.

Add your favorite black or brown mascara to both your top and bottom lashes. If you make a mistake and dab some mascara on your skin, quickly use a cotton swab to swipe it away before it dries on your skin. Use waterproof mascaras to prevent color transfer onto your face, but regular mascaras are fine depending on your preference.


Brow Advice

If you have some gaps in the eyebrows, then use a color pencil to match your eyebrows to lightly fill in your brows. Don't overdo it, and in most cases, it's probably not necessary.

You do not need to purchase special brow applicators or special kits. Just pencil in the gaps, and if you want, spray some hairspray on a brow brush and brush your brows upward and then across to smooth the brows, following your natural brow arch. Tweeze any stray hairs in between brows, underneath and around the brows for a clean, polished look.


Lovely Lips

Dab a bit of lip color in a neutral tone to match your complexion or go for more color contrast. I like either a sheer gloss with a hint of color, like peach or pink, or go a bit darker if that's your preference. You can choose either matte or glossy lip colors, or color tinted lip balms for added moisture and to condition the lips. I discourage the use of pencil lip liners because they are obvious and will melt and smudge on your face.


Result: The Perfect Matte Minimalist Look

Practice makes perfect!

Take your time and work out a minimalist makeup style that is easy and quick. Once you have it down pat, it should only take you about 15 minutes from start to finish.

Make sure you blend the colors well to match your neck, remembering to only use powder on the neck area, not foundation. Same with your forehead, sometimes, only a sweep of powder is needed. Use a thicker, opaque powder to cover up any discoloration. You want a cohesive look for the entire face, not blotchy.

You will be very pleased that your face looks natural yet has polish and style which will attract people to you. You will soon find that the image in your mirror that smiles back at you, is the real you and you can take on the day with confidence.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Nancy M

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