get glowing

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{ ashley’s lit-from-within skin can be yours, too. }

as a self-proclaimed beauty addict, i’m prone to spending hours on blogs like into the gloss and reading books by beauty editors over and over, fascinated by what the experts have to say. i even enjoy all of the confusing science involved, reveling in terms like retinol and alpha hydroxy acid as if i didn’t completely loathe every biology class i took growing up. and after all of my “research,” there’s one thing i’ve learned about the beauty elite:

they don’t cake on the products. in fact, sometimes they don’t look like they’re wearing any makeup whatsoever.

  every beauty editor appreciates an on-trend burgundy lip or perfectly-lined cat eye, but they’ve mastered the greatest beauty trick of all: making yourself look imperceptibly prettier, yet also 100% natural.  isn’t that the whole point of makeup? no one wants their full lashes to be noticeable, nor do you want your foundation to look like… well, foundation. jean godfrey-june, the beauty director of lucky, put it well in her book “free gift with purchase: my improbable career in magazines & makeup” (which i highly recommend):

“the idea is you but better: your eyes, but a little bigger, a little more entrancing. your skin, but with fewer blemishes/wrinkles/blotches. your lips, but just a tint-y bit more colorful, shiny and appealing.”

she then goes on to list what products contribute to her “no-makeup look.” there are eleven. tinted moisturizer, concealer, mascara, blush, under-eye corrector, gel eyeliner (just at the roots of the lashes)… the list goes on. she’s wearing “a lot” but let me tell you, jean godfrey-june never looks made up. she looks radiant, well-rested…just pretty.

the focus on the skin is the main point. if your skin looks perfect, you’ll soon realize you don’t need as much eye makeup. with an even-toned, glowing complexion, a little bit of mascara and lip gloss is all you really need. i’ve finally found the products that get me there and make my no-makeup look as appealing as my most perfect smoky eye.

two of my new skincare favorites come from a josie maran argan essentials kit. her 100% pure argan oil for face, hair and nails is one of the best moisturizers i’ve ever tried; it’s perfect for the colder months when your skin is too dry to completely soak up a thick moisturizer (that’s been my problem at times). with a face oil, you simply rub a few drops of oil between your hands and press it into your (very damp) face, and it melts in immediately. no greasy residue – just perfectly balanced skin.

next, i immediately smooth maybelline dream bb cream (in medium) over my entire face. bb creams were all the rage this summer, so much so that every brand was making some variation and it was hard to know which one to try. but after reading celia ellenberg’s review on style.com, i knew maybelline’s would be phenomenal. it’s like a tinted moisturizer + a little more coverage, a little more moisture, a little more glowiness… all around just a little bit more luxurious. it doesn’t dry out or get cakey, and it smooths on just like your favorite lotion.

next: highlighter, my secret weapon as of late. since i tend to abide by the rule that you should stick to one makeup texture — whether it’s powder or liquid/cream — i use josie maran’s argan illuminzer, a thin, gleaming gold liquid, on my cheekbones and temples, layered over the bb cream. the key to highlighting is to really really really blend for a natural finish. it takes some practice, but lazy highlighting just looks chalky, fake and obvious. you don’t want people to know you’re wearing highlighter — you just want them to notice how gleaming and perfect and airbrushed your skin looks, like oh my gosh did you just get back from vacation?

speaking of vacay, if you’re like me and firmly believe you look 100 times better with a little bit of color (truthfully, everyone does, as a tan creates a more even skin tone on your face and body and diffuses imperfections), look no further than the lancome flash bronzer gel. i first read about it in lucky thanks to jean godfrey-june (yeah, i’m kind of obsessed…): she claimed that the shimmering potion is ultra subtle, offering a barely-perceptible wash of tawny color. as a self-tanning virgin, i was convinced. “imperceptible” doesn’t mean you won’t notice a difference — i definitely look tanner and glowier (and just better) each time i use it. but what’s great is that no one asks if i’ve gone tanning or used an entire compact of bronzer on my cheeks — they have no idea i’ve done anything different. plus, it’s pretty impossible to screw it up; you won’t have those unsightly smears or lines of demarcation. its a little pricey for a tube of tanning gel, but i assure you it’s worth it, especially if you’re prone to hit the tanning beds… to which i say, just stop!

and finally… the eyes. i could talk about eye makeup for days, but for these purposes, a dab of shimmering shadow (plus my one true love, mascara) is all you really need. much to my surprise, victoria’s secret makes some of the best shadows out there, especially their shimmer collection. what you see is what you get, which i love — i’ve bought plenty of “shimmer shadows” that go on matte and, well, not shimmery. i’ve gone through five pans of vs shimmer shadow in provocateurthe most perfect champagne-flecked neutral. the $12 price tags cannot be beat.

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{ the essentials }

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This entry was published on December 3, 2012 at 8:26 pm. It’s filed under my style and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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