Photograph by Ash Carr
Even though I love to play dress up, I’ve never been a big daily makeup wearer. Mostly because I am two things: 1. lazy, and 2. a morning procrastinator. Do I really want to do makeup when there are Buzzfeed articles to be read and baby snuggles to be had? No, ma’am. Which is why, when I do want to look like I put in a little more effort, I typically opt for one or two products that pack a punch by themselves, like a bold lip, or bright eyeliner, or purple mascara, or whatever else I can find in the bottom of my purse on any given day.
But over the last few years, I’ve noticed a new breed of makeup cropping up over Instagram and making its way into the makeup bags of my fashion-y friends: a sort of skincare-makeup hybrid that’s all about minimum effort for maximum impact. Think one tube that acts as blush and lip tint. Or a highlighter that makes you look like you’re glowing.
And y’all, I’m obsessed. I feel like these are the wedding makeup products I’ve been waiting for. (Because let’s be real, the wedding industry usually considers two options for wedding makeup: full-face glamazon, or do you even care about your marriage?) And besides the fact that the wedding industry is awful, there’s got to be some middle ground, right? Like, maybe your ideal look exists somewhere between full face of makeup and your standard everyday Chapstick routine? If that’s you, then scroll onward. (P.S. For our most ringing endorsements, Meg swears by that Glossier lip and the Milk highlighter, whereas I am currently looking for a place to wear a full face of Milk holographic highlighter.)
Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation via Sephora ($43.00) | Image via Make Up For Ever
Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation: Does the idea of thick foundation make your skin crawl? Would you prefer your face just kind of… glowed? Perfect, we’ve got you covered. Make Up For Ever is known for being super high quality (they were our top pick for wedding foundations when we did our SPF test). This formula is more lightweight than their HD foundation, and bonus, it’s waterproof (aka sweatproof. Yes, I see you with your summertime camp wedding).
BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation via Sephora ($34.00) | Image by Leigh Dickson
bareMinerals BarePRO Performance Wear Liquid Foundation Broad Spectrum (SPF 20): If you want something even more lightweight, BareMinerals just rolled out their BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation, and it has been praised by professionals and amateurs for good reason. It’s the kind of product that gives you really good results without a lot of work, and the color is non-transferable, which means you don’t have to worry about getting it all over your dress. #Win.
Milk Makeup Highlighter: Want that “where did she get that glow” glow? This is the best highlighter product we’ve found, giving you that mystery it-girl boost, without feeling overly cakey and thick. It is vegan and cruelty-free, uses only natural ingredients, and basically makes you look like a luminescent goddess.
NARS Liquid Blush: Sometimes I think the only makeup item you really need is a great blush. And liquid or cream blush is by far my favorite (because hi, the fewer brushes I have to deal with, the better). A little goes a long way with this formula, so one pump will get the job done. Bonus: To make the most of this product you can add a little color to your lips as well.
Glossier Cloud Paint: This cream blush is so easy to use that Glossier says, “If you can finger paint, you can Cloud Paint.” Cloud Paint comes in four different shades and was designed to compliment a multitude of skin tones. (This one is a staff favorite.)
Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek: This product proves that cream blush beats powder blush every time. Takes about a second to put on, and looks natural all day long. Bonus tip: You can wear it as lip tint too!
Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon: Speaking of low effort, a colorful eyeliner is a super easy way to look like you did a lot while actually doing very little. Plus this Marc Jacobs crayon comes with a built-in sharpener to keep that line crisp and clean. If colorful liner isn’t for you, don’t fret. There are options for classic black or brown liner too.
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner: Mess-free liquid eyeliner? No way! It’s almost impossible to achieve a perfectly thin, bold line, but Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner actually makes it possible. One quick stroke and you’re ready to go.
PLUS! The Best Smoky Eyeliner of All Time: Amp up the drama in no time with Birchbox’s new Love of Color Double Take Eyeliner ($8.00). Rock the thick bold line, or smudge it for a super smoky eye guaranteed to up the WOW factor.
Benefit Cosmetics Brow Zings Tame & Shape Kit: Eyebrows are still having their moment. So really, you could just give your brows a little love and call it a day. This kit includes brow wax and brow powder, so you can shape and fill and make sure they stay put.
Glossier Boy Brow: Behold the gold standard of brow products (now without a waitlist). Boy Brow does it all: it shapes, fills, and adds some oomph to amp up your natural brows. Model hack: Miranda Kerr used this brow filler for her wedding earlier this year to create this timeless look.
Melt Cosmetics On-the-go Matte Lipstick: This matte lip color is brought to you by Riri’s go-to makeup artist, Lora Arellano and comes in all the cool girl colors, from matte pink to fuchsia to this cool gray. In case your standard red isn’t cutting it.
Glossier Generation G Matte Lipstick: If you want a more natural lip color (think the color of your lips after a good workout, minus the exercise), Meg would point you in the direction of this matte lip color from Glossier, which she loves so much she gets it automatically delivered every three months. (Yup, Glossier has that as an option.)
Oribe Apres Beach Wave & Shine Spray: If you’re doing your own hair for the wedding or any pre-wedding events, all of the Oribe sprays are that secret cool-girl-with-good-hair tool that you’ve been searching for. Beach waves give your everyday hair that extra tousled boost, but if you just want some texture, they’ve got a spray for that too.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate: Don’t feel like wearing any makeup at all? Go on with your bad self. You can still pamper yourself a little bit if you want to. I’ve recently added an oil to my own skincare routine, and it makes my skin feel all soft and hydrated.