The 10 Products I Swear By For a Bare-Faced Beauty Look

I gave myself a makeup makeunder.
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Michelle Villett
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I gave myself a makeup makeunder.
Balmain-Fall-2011-beauty

Do you go through beauty phases? I TOTALLY do. There was that time in 2006 when I became obsessed with winged eyeliner and wore it day in, day out... my coral lipstick moment of 2010... and now, lately, I've been pretty much all about a bare face. (Although I know I said I was brushing up on this, and I WILL.)

Anyway, mostly it's because there's just been so much going on lately (I know, I repeat myself) that I haven't had the time for my usual beauty experimentation. I was probably influenced by these ladies too. But if I'm being brutally honest, I was also just plain ready for a nice palette cleanse. You know, after trying to replicate the Fashion Week eyeshadow-to-the-brows, and juicy red lips, and borderline-chunky mascara. Sometimes it's cooler to dial it all back and not try so hard. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

Still, everyone knows that a natural look done right takes as much (sometimes more) effort than when you make one feature the focus. So come have a peek at what goes into mine...

1. Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base

Chanel-Le-Blanc-de-Chanel-Sheer-Illuminating-Base

Chanel's national makeup artist Julie Cusson turned me on to this puppy a while back—I don't know if I've ever heard someone rave about a product so much! It's a little intimidating in the bottle because it's a white liquid, but it goes on completely sheer. And it's kind of magical. I don't know what to call it, really, because it does all sorts of things. You could use it on its own or as a primer under the rest of your makeup to help it go on more smoothly. Somehow it brightens and evens out your skin tone without making it look whiter or shiny or greasy. (There is no shimmer in this product. I repeat: NO shimmer.) I don't always use this, but when I do I can definitely see a difference in how flawless my skin looks.

2. Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Make-Up-For-Ever-HD-Invisible-Cover-Foundation

I was recently converted to this product, and I don't think there will be any going back. Full disclosure: I love it more than my Armani, my FACE atelier, my Hourglass, my Chanel, my Living Nature... it really is The Best. Not only is my shade a 100 percent perfect match, but there's something about this stuff that just sinks into your skin and doesn't look like you're wearing foundation at all (which is the goal, obvi). Following the philosophy I wrote about in this post, I apply a very thin layer anywhere I have redness and then build it up as needed, so that concealer only needs to happen in a couple of tiny spots.

3. Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Concealer

This guy goes hand in hand with the foundation. (And has, for the most part, replaced my concealer wardrobe. Shocking I know!) The twisty-pen format can take some getting used to, but it's like that for a reason: you really don't need much of this to get results. I can do the inner corners of my eyes, around the nose and the odd blemish or two with just one twist of the pen. You don't even need to set it with powder for it to stay put. This is why I love it, folks. (That and the fact that it comes in as many shades as the foundations, guaranteeing seamless coverage.)

Make-Up-For-Ever-HD-Invisible-Cover-Concealer

4. La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush

La-Prairie-Cellular-Radiance-Cream-Blush

So you know how I was all about the YSL cream blushes, oh, about six months back? Lately I've been finding the colour a bit too strong (at least the rose one... occasionally I wear the peach, but not a lot). Maybe Carmindy's anti-blush advice is finally sinking in, as I'm sporting much more toned down cheeks courtesy of this La Prairie number. I know La Prairie costs a zillion dollars, but the quality is definitely there: I have the shade Plum Glow and it goes on very, VERY sheer and is extremely easy to blend. It really doesn't look like you're wearing blush at all—which, again, is the goal here. (Note: I also love Make Up For Ever's HD blush, but that would be a little too much MUFE love for one post.)

5. it Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores HD Silk Micro-Powder

I LOVE this product. Y'all know I highly recommend HD powders instead of those (often cakey) tinted ones. I'm not sure about how this would work on dry and/or dark skin, but on my fair, shiny areas, it's amaze. I tossed the sponge (because that would deposit too much product) and instead use an eyeshadow brush to paint the barest amount of powder in the T-zone.

It-Cosmetics-Bye-Bye-Pores-HD-Silk-Micro-Powder

6. M.A.C Pro Longwear Eye Shadow in Carefree

M.A.C-Pro-Longwear-Eye-Shadow-in-Carefree

Remember how I said my go-to thing is to slap on a shimmery beige waterproof shadow—a cream one? Well, during a beauty archives clean-up the other day (yes, we beauty folks really have to do this), I came across this powder and thought I'd give it a go. The verdict? It passes with flying colours. Surprisingly, my lids didn't crease up at all—it gives you a full eight hours of wear time. And I love the colour.

7. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour

This brow tint is super-similar to the one Urban Decay came out with a little while ago, except it might get the edge because it's also waterproof. I have the "light" shade, and it's the perfect grey-beige to camo any sparse spots in your arches. You just paint it on in short, quick strokes. Done and done.

Stila-Stay-All-Day-Waterproof-Brow-Colour

8. Benefit They're Real! Mascara

Benefit-Theyre-Real-Mascara

I'm not really loyal to mascara, so I can't gush about this one TOO much, but of the ones I introduced to my rotation in the past few months, it definitely pleased me the most. (Sadly, it's been three months, so time to toss.) You can check out my review here and Elizabeth's here. I'm much more excited about the next prod...

9. Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer

Hourglass-Film-Noir-Lash-Lacquer

I already told you about this guy in my mascara tips post, but it's soooo good I have to mention again. Like the Chanel illuminating base I mentioned above, I don't use this one on the daily, but when I do—wowza! It's a shiny, uber-black topcoat for your lashes that goes over your regular mascara to create more length, volume and darkness. When you're wearing an otherwise bare-ish face, I find that it really makes a difference.

10. Guerlain Rouge Le Brillant Jewel Lipstick Compact

This is my most recent discovery, which I held off test-driving because I assumed it would be too lipsticky. Nein, nein, nein. Imagine my delight to uncover the most gorgeous, sheer, glossy finish, with the moisturizing feel of those gloss-balms I adore so much. I don't know why they are calling this one a lipstick at all. The packaging is incredible too... and as an added bonus, I was really happy to see that my shade of choice (pale peachy coral) is called Brenda.

Guerlain-Rouge-Le-Brillant-Jewel-Lipstick-Compact

You know... as in THIS Brenda:

Tell me:

Do you go through makeup phases too?
What goes into your bare-faced look?
Have you tried any of these prodz yet?