So yesterday I gave you a peek inside my $5 newly organized bathroom drawer. Today I wanted to share a roundup of my must-have beauty items to see Winter through to Spring. I’m super-pale and have strawberry blonde hair, so the color palette I use most days is very light creams and beiges, with a bit of baby pink thrown in. Subtle and understated, and isn’t too thick to cover up my freckles. Plus, I’m always on a budget and looking for a steal…so none of these items will break the bank. Here are 7 of my faves:
1. Sonia Kashuk Brow Definer
It took me forever to find the right-colored eyebrow pencil for my super-light eyebrows. They all looked harsh or weird. This one is warm-toned, but not overly so, and stays and stays.
Fair Skin/Light Hair: Taupe 09
2. Sally Hansen Lip Inflation Plumping Lip Gloss
I LOVE this lip gloss – it adds shine, sheen, and has enough light pink color to counteract even the darkest lips (like mine which are beetroot red). This gloss evens them out, plumps them, and is just my fave. I prefer the original, not the Xtreme version. It’s a little hard to find now. Look for it at Target or your local grocery store, or buy here.
Fair Skin: Sheer Pink
3. Physicians Formula Nude Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow
The perfect nude eye shadows to do a very subtle gradient. When I’m in a rush, just a couple dabs of the lightest shimmer under the browbone pulls the whole look together and adds sophistication without any other work.
Fair skin: Natural Nude
4. YOUNIQUE Moonstruck 3D Fiberlashes
I wrote a review of this product earlier this year and I just love it. It adds so much length and gorgeousness…like Kim Kardashian except better.
5. L’Oreal Visible Lift CC Cream
Keeps my skin glowy and moisturized even through dry, harsh weather. And feels weightless when on.
Fair skin: Light/Medium formulation
6. Sephora Double Contouring Cream Blush
This color is great because it’s buildable (from sheer to intense), and bright – looks just like pinched cheeks on a cold, cold day. I adore it with silvery eye makeup for that ice queen look.
Fair skin: No 03 Poppy Pink
7. Laura Mercier Secret Concealer
For concealer you should make an investment: it needs to have staying power, be creamy, and have enough coverage to really cover those dark circles. This is the perfect hue for someone with super-light skin like myself, and it actually makes me look wide awake because of the orange undertones.
Fair skin: Color 1
All these colors aren’t to say people with darker coloring wouldn’t look good in them! I’m not trying to exclude anyone at all – these are just my favorite products for a sheer and natural Winter look.
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I just got back from Hawaii and noticed how flawless most Japanese women’s skin is. What make-up are they using?!
Gosh, I wish I knew for sure! The lovely skin of all the Japanese women and girls around me was always a complex for me growing up – since I moved to Japan just as I hit those ohsofun years of puberty, and experienced all the skin problems that entailed.;-) I always wanted to stop people on the street and ask them what their secrets were…
I’m by no means a dermatologist but as far as what I understand from reading Japanese mags, talking to Japanese friends, and watching Japanese TV – in general the “naked face” or “no make-up look” is not what younger Japanese women go for. It’s interesting – in the US that’s sort of the gold standard when it comes to foundation…that you look like you’re wearing nothing! (I think that’s why Bare Minerals is so successful here, as well as the almost constant advice that you look best when you just “dot concealer on your flaws and leave the rest of your face without foundation and natural-looking.”)
In Japan, the standard is TONS of makeup – so much so that they have shows on tv where girls are forced to wash off their makeup and everyone laughs at them to see that their faces are completely different (and missing eyebrows is a favorite taunt). Many young Japanese women go the whole shebang: primer, foundation, concealer, dark contour, highlight, setting powder, and oil-blotting sheets throughout the day. Their skin-care regimen is in general much more involved than that of many Americans: responding to polls many girls admit that they spend 1-2 hours in the morning on their skincare/makeup, and another 1-2 hours in the evening! (Among women under the age of 30, or at least the ones that reply to said polls for magazines and TV shows.) When it comes to makeup brands, it seems that the Japanese will buy the most expensive brand of foundation – they definitely don’t skimp there. Dior, Chanel, Lancome, Shiseido, SK-II, Kate, RMK – all mainstays in the foundation market. They use specific concealers for their pores and specific concealers for their undereye area. Even in the heat (like Hawaii, or during summer), they will still layer on the makeup, and use blotting sheets meticulously to soak up the oil and impart a layer of powder on their faces (I’m a big fan of the Biore brand of blotting sheets – why the heck don’t they make them here??). Many Japanese girls also cover up from the sun and use sunscreen religiously (though there is the contingent that uses tanning beds, though they’re not a majority by any means).
Also, I suspect a large component of their beautiful skin is diet: taking a daily vitamin is still quite a new concept since the accepted practice in Japan is to get one’s vitamins from FOOD. Even young Japanese women “on a diet”will still eat a wide variety of vegetables (prepared in a number of different ways) at every meal, a large amount of fish weekly, and use condiments that are soy-based, miso-based, and vinegar-based. The amount and variety of vegetables, seafood, and skin-healthy condiments that we use in the US pales in comparison. Plus, living in Japan in the major metropolitan areas, everyone gets tons of exercise walking around or riding their bikes or commuting – so they’re getting above and beyond that 30 minutes of recommended exercise a day, which I’m sure has something to do with their skin quality. Plus add in long, hot baths, soaking salts, and trips to the esthetician (for some), and that might just be a good picture of why the skin of Japanese women looks so fabulous. (The main dermatological complaint in Japan? Dry, flaky skin!!)
I’ve scanned a couple recent features from Vivi Magazine and S-Cawaii Magazine on how to apply foundation [click to enlarge], so you can see the method that they suggest for applying makeup. (I’d venture to guess that this method is pretty indicative of – if not a little more involved than – the average Japanese girl’s makeup routine. Imagine if they listed this step-by-step in Marie Claire or Lucky! Who would follow it here in the US??)
Japanese women or those who have more knowledge of this subject, please feel free to weigh in!
Thanks for your question!