I left off giving you my new and improved skincare regimen for spring/summer 2012. It’s only logical that I follow with my summer makeup! I hesitate to say routine or regimen here, since I don’t regularly wear makeup, but these products together give me a fresh look that’s polished, but not too ‘made up.’ Also, I don’t usually wear all of the products at once, unless it’s for a night out. Usually, I’ll just go with the base, a bit of spot concealing, blush + bronzer, brows, and a random lip gloss or balm.

The product list:

The breakdown:

  1. Base:  I mainly bought the Nars Tinted Moisturizer because I needed a darker shade to mix in with my currently too-light bases. For the record, I fall squarely between Cuba and St. Moritz. Depending on my coverage needs for the day, I’ll mix Cuba with a variety of other bases. So, going from light, sheer coverage to more full coverage, I’ll mix the Nars TM with: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer, Tarte TM in Agent 14, Laura Mercier Oil-Free TM in Almond, or Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 6.5. *Sidenote: I like applying my colored bases with the Sephora Stippling Brush (at home) or a flat-top retractable Kabuki brush (for travel).
  2. Concealer: Thanks to my skin finally clearing up, I find I need minimal concealer on top of my base. I picked up Revlon’s PhotoReady Concealer, which is creamy and perfect for underneath the eye.
  3. Bronzer: I’ve got medium-dark skin, so I thought I never really had a use for bronzer. Then I found Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzing Powder, which is a shade or two deeper than my own skin and matte. It’s wonderful and gives my skin dimension and a sun-kissed look. I lightly dust it on my forehead, beneath the cheekbones, and underneath the neck.
  4. Blush: I finally mastered how to use the Nars Multiple in G-Spot, which is that it’s really only good for cheek color and maybe a lip stain in a pinch. It’s a dusty rose flecked with very fine gold – super subtle. I pick some up on my finger, and apply it in light circles over the apples of my cheeks, blending up. It’s very buildable, just remember to use a light touch!
  5. Eyes: I’ve gone back to the Maybelline Full n’Soft mascara in Very Black that I used throughout most of college. Never clumps, builds volume without much length, never flakes or irritates my eyes while wearing contacts. As for color, for daytime or a very casual evening, I’ve discovered Milani Shadow Eyez in Champagne Toast. Ridiculous spelling aside, this stuff is magical for giving you a bright and awake look. I always use a bit of primer before applying (Laura Mercier’s face primer). Dot it on near the lashline and quickly blend all over the eyelid with your finger. For a deeper look, Maybelline’s Color Tattoo Eye Shadow in Bad to the Bronze is wonderful, no primer needed. I apply both shadows with my ring finger.
  6. Brows: My left eyebrow has been wonky since I first discovered the wonders of a tweezer for my thick brows. Those clear gels or hairspray on a clean brush never quite worked. The Anastasia Brow Fix pencil is as close a solution as I’ve ever found. I dab a bit directly on my brows and brush straight up with a clean brow brush.
  7. Finishing Powder: I feel strange even calling this Tarte smooth operator powder a finishing powder, because I often dust it on when I am sans-makeup. It gives a wonderful finish to your face after makeup, but is also great for absorbing oil and freshening up. I apply with a mini kabuki brush from EcoTools.
  8. Lips: If it’s not plain old Rosebud Salve, it’s either NYX lip gloss in Beige or my new favorite bright color, J Crew’s Poppy King lipstick. If you can find it, hoard it, because I’m not sure it’s being made anymore. It’s a coral-red color that is so buildable and wonderful for my dark, yellow-based skin. I’ve applied this as a stain with my fingers, as a full-on opaque color straight from the tube, or layered underneath a clear gloss, and every single time I get compliments. Short of finding this in-store, I’ve read that Revlon”s Lip Butter in Candy Apple is a close dupe.