Sunday, November 17, 2013

High/Low Makeup: The Face

So I came up with a name to describe my makeup philosophy:  High/Low.  It's the idea that creating the perfect face of makeup isn't linked to any one high-end brand or brands.  But instead, finding the perfect balance of products that works for me, means knowing my skin and makeup needs so I know what products are worth the splurge and which aren't. 

Here's the deal: if your ENTIRE makeup collection is 100% from the drugstore, then you go girl!  And if your entire makeup collection is 100% high-end brands, then you go girl!  Any range of makeup has miracle products and duds so there's no right or wrong.  For me personally, I LOVE makeup.  I love trying new products and looks.  I love talking about it.  I love shopping for it.  So that means sometimes I pine over some high-end brands and if money were no object, I'd buy them all!  But money IS an object (?) and I think I've perfected a balance.  I just know the things that are worth the investment for me.  

Let's talk about the face today.  I consider myself pretty lucky in the skin department.  While I have some redness and the occasional breakout, it's nothing out of the ordinary.  I tend be a bit oily in the T-zone and sometimes dry on the cheeks in winter.  So in general, I've never splurged much on foundations, concealers, or powders because the effects would be marginal.     

Over the last few months though, I've slowly discovered some perfect "Holy Grail" products for me.  And it made me realize just how much of an impact the "perfect" product can have.  Here's what I use these days:  

(Low) L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder Foundation in Creamy Natural:  Oh lawdy.  This stuff is aptly named because it's bottled magic.  It manages great coverage while still feeling light on the skin and it provides an amazing matte finish.  This has been one of very few products that have actually helped to control my oily T-zone.  A few notes: the formula is VERY liquid-y.  It seems weird at first but upon blending it becomes a matte powder.  Also, if you have dry skin, this is likely not the foundation for you.  However, a good dose of moisturizer before applying will provide a good base.  Oh and bonus: it's got SPF in it.     

(Low) NYX HD Photogenic Concealer in Glow: I've talked and talked (and talked) about this in past favorites posts so no need to be a broken record but I still love this concealer.  It's light coverage, which, for me, is just perfect.  It helps to cover blemishes and mild under-eye darkness while blending seamlessly with my foundation.  However, if you've get heavy under-eye darkness, this foundation may not be enough for you.  I enjoy it's lightless but for some, you may need something more potent.      

(High) Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette:  Ah yes, the true beauty of the bunch.  Let's start with the obvious- this palette is an investment.  It's certainly not something I'd just toss in my basket on a trip to Sephora.  In fact, I procured it by asking for it as a birthday gift from the fiance.  With that said, I think it's worth the money.  This palette contains three shades: Dim Light, Incandescent Light and Radiant Light which can be used (on my skin tone) as setting powder, highlighter and bronzer, respectively.  What's so wonderful about these powders is how subtle they are.  I often fall into the habit of thinking that the more expensive a product is, the bigger the "punch" it should pack.  But don't discount subtlety.  The formulation is so fantastic that it creates a bit of a "soft focus" effect on the face.  Additionally, the powders have such a fine texture that just the gentlest swipe of a brush is enough to capture what you need.  This palette will undoubtedly last me quite awhile.  

So what your high/low favorites?    

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