80 Days Around the Blogosphere

UHHHHHHH, how did I go from 129 days to 80 days until my wedding?! I mean, I know how, like, time works, of course, and I hate to sound cliche, but these weeks are seriously FLYING by. Oyyyyy.

All right, so, given that it’s been over a month since my last post, I probably have a lot to catch you up on (especially if you don’t follow me on Instagram, hahaha.) Basically, my life is just one big mashup of modpodge, glitter, events, and schnauzers. On the event front, Sean and I recently got to attend two friends’ weddings (on back to back weekends! October is obvs the new May when it comes to weddings), and they gave me serious #weddinggoals to aspire to.

And last week I had the opportunity to travel up to Pittsburgh for work to help out at my coworker’s big Halloween event. They had this awesome makeup artist at the event who transformed me into Zombie Pirate Gretchen, and it was, well, see for yourself:

 
 

Hehehe.

Today is actually Sean’s birthday, (my old man is 31 today!), and we went out for an early birthday dinner to celebrate with his parents on Sunday. I would have a photo of my amazing steak from Ray’s the Steaks, but I ate it too fast. I’ve been working out more lately with the goal of looking less squishy in my beautiful yet strapless wedding dress, and apparently it has turned me into an even more ravenous version of myself. Or maybe it’s just a testament to how awesome my steak was — if you’re in the DC area and haven’t been to Ray’s yet, you are missing out on life!

Anyway, the most exciting development on the wedding front is that the invitations went into the mail yesterday! Squee! I can’t wait to show them to you guys. I know I’m sending them out a little on the early side (according to traditional ettiquette, invitations should go out 6 – 8 weeks before the wedding), but with Christmas and everything, I figured that sending them out earlier (with an earlier RSVP deadline) would lessen the chances of the invites getting lost in folks’ holiday mail.

 
 

In other developments, after lots of hemming and hawing over whether or not I should do my own makeup for the wedding, I had finally decided that I was, in fact, going to do it myself. After all, I know my own face, I do my makeup a lot, it would save money, etc. But then, because apparently making final decisions is NOT my strong suit, I decided to go in for a makeup trial anyway, just to be really sure that’s what I wanted to do. I figured, if anything, it would help solidify my decision to do my own makeup, since every other time I’ve gotten my makeup done by someone else, I haven’t really loved it.

So I went in for a makeup trial with Marquia of Blend Makeup Artistry, and this happened:

  
 

I L-O-V-E-D it.

I felt so beautiful! Marquia used airbrush foundation, which felt like air on my skin and gave me amazing, flawless coverage. Plus everything she did was beyond waterproof — and believe me, I put it through the ringer when I got home. I watched the first 5 minutes of Up, read back through the most heart-wrenching parts The Fault in Our Stars, AND watched the ending of Moulin Rouge. It didn’t budge! Marquia also used individual false lashes on me instead of a lash strip and they felt absolutely amazing.

So, long story short, I reneged on my original decision to do my own makeup and opted to book Marquia instead, lulz. I ended up asking if we could do a little bit of a stronger brow and slightly darker eyeshadow on the actual day of (gotta go big for the camera!), but overall I was so surprised at how much I loved the way I looked.

I gotta say, airbrush makeup is clearly the way to go. It didn’t come off on anything, which gives me a lot more confidence too, since my veil is gonna be right up on my skin, hehe. Once I decide which veil I’m actually going to be wearing, that is! I made several, hehe:

Turns out that making a birdcage veil is ridiculously easy (I’ll post a tutorial later!), but even so, I’m still pretty proud of myself for pulling these puppies off. I made an ivory veil in both traditional comb and bandeau styles, as well as a gold one. I’ve got my first dress fitting in a couple of weeks, so I’ll bring them to figure out which one I want to go with (although I think I already have a pretty good idea.) I’ve gotten a few of my other wedding accessories too, and can’t wait to finally see my whole look come together!

 
 

Speaking of things coming together, I am having so much fun working on the nitty gritty stuff for the wedding! I joke about having nightmares of being attacked by giant bottles of Mod Podge, but in reality, you guys know I love this crafty crap, hehe. That said, I still have a lot to do, and it does stress me out a bit when I start thinking about it all at once.

 
 

But as long as I take it a little bit at a time, I’m thinking I’m still in pretty good shape! After all, even though it feels like time is speeding up the closer we get to the end of the year, I know I still have almost three months until the big day, which is more than enough time to get all this done… right? RIGHT?!

Well, as long as we’re starting to spiral out of control, we might as well get to the part where I post the ridiculously long checklist of wedding-related stuff. Hopefully this list is of moderate interest to any other future brides (or just folks who are really invested in my wedding planning process), but even if it not, I’m gonna keep updating it since I keep misplacing any pen-and-paper checklists I make. So here’s where the ever-growing wedding checklist stands as of right now:

Date: ☑

Venue: ☑

Dress: ☑

Caterer: ☑

Photographer: ☑

Videographer: ☑

Flowers: ☑

Ceremony Musicians: ☑

DJ: ☑

Cake: ☑

Day-of Coordinator: ☑

Save the Dates: ☑

Invitations: ☑

Bridesmaid Dresses: ☑

Bridal Accessories: ☑

Wedding Rings: ☑

Groomsmen Tuxes: ☐

Dress Fittings: ☐

Registry: ☑

Hotel room blocks: ☑

Shuttle/Transportation: ☐ (Still trying to determine if we have the budget for this. Are we jerks if we don’t provide transporation to/from the venue?)

Welcome Bags: ☐

Wedding Signage: ☑

Program & Menu: ☐

Seating Chart: ☐

Alcohol: ☐

Honeymoon: ☑ (Yassss!)

Centerpiece Bottles: ☐

Ceremony Backdrop: ☐

Card Box: ☐ (I’m making something very special and annoying to make for this, heh.)

Additional Random DIY Projects: ☐

Eventually this list is going to get so long you guys are all just going to stop reading, hahaha. I mean, this doesn’t even include all the super specific stuff we have yet to figure out, like who our ceremony readers are going to be, the ceremony music, writing our vows, our final menu choices, our first dance song (I already know what I want it to be, but I guess I should confer with Sean about it ;)), and more. And so we press forward!

For now though, let’s put all that aside and finish on a non-whiney note, shall we? I’m extra excited about wedding stuff this week because my bridal shower is happening this weekend! My sister and sister-in-law are keeping all the details under wraps, so I have no idea what to expect, but I’m just so excited to have the first official wedding event take place! This ish is gonna get REAL starting on Sunday! I promise I will try really hard not to wait another six weeks before updating you on it all. 🙂

And, finally, let’s go ahead and give an update on the schnauzer part of my life, which, even with all the other exciting stuff going on, is obviously still the very best part:

 
 

Yeah, they’re still pretty great. My little schmoopiees. I love them. (And as a reminder for those who might be confused as to why there are three little bearded faces, Pixel is technically my brother’s dog.)

Well, I think that pretty much catches us up to now. Things definitely aren’t slowing down this week: I’m seeing Joshua Radin in concert on Wednesday, my sister and nieces come into town on Friday (yay!), I’ve got the bridal shower this weekend, plus a couple more Yelp events scattered throughout the next couple weeks.

And in two weeks, my whole family is heading to Houston so Sean and I can participate in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony for my grandmother who can’t travel and won’t be able to attend the wedding. We’ll also be spending a couple of days in New Orleans with my brother and sister-in-law on the way back! I’ve never been to NOLA, so I’m excited to try some authentic beignets, hehe. If you have any recommendations for must-visit places in New Orleans, let me know!

Okay, I feel like if I don’t cut myself off now, I’m just going to keep prattling on forever, so I’ll say goodbye for now. Guess this just goes to show that I really need to blog more frequently — apparently I still do have a lot to say, hahahaha. See you guys on the flipside!

My Latest Addiction

I have a pretty classic addictive personality. I mean, if my former(ish) addiction to food weren’t enough of a tell-tale sign, you can see it in the way I binge-watch TV shows and how I get obsessed with trends (I’ve bought three rompers in the past 2 weeks, whoops.)

I mean, maybe you could just chalk it up to me being a passionate person with regard to… pretty much every single aspect of my life, and the fact that I just have a lot of interests. But while that my be true, every once in a while a particular interest combines with a burst of passion that does, in fact, lead to a full blown addiction. So what is this latest addiction of mine, you ask? Well, those of you who follow me on Instagram might already have a few guesses, but here are a few hints for the rest of you:

pink makeup  bangs makeup purple makeup

No, the answer is not that I’m addicted to taking selfies (although that’s obviously true too), it’s that I cannot get enough of prettifying myself with makeup. My name is Gretchen, and I am a makeup addict.

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I mean, I’ve always been into makeup, but in more of a passive way. Like, I’ve enjoyed my BirchBox subscription and learning about new makeup trends and whatnot, but I never had a particular passion for putting said trends into action. But lately? I’ve turned into a full-blown Youtube tutorial-watching, paycheck-blowing Sephora addict. I get actively excited to do my makeup every day, and not just to do the whole same-ol’, same-ol’ daily eyeliner & lip gloss stuff that I used to, but new looks, new colors, and new products.

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I mean, don’t judge me too harshly, but sometimes I actually get sad when I’m done putting on my makeup in the morning, because it means it’s over. Well, actually, you can judge me for that. I just did.

I partially credit this newly-invigorated obsession with Instagram, through which I have discovered countless beauty accounts (seriously, following Anastasia Beverly Hills has been life-changing!) that provide endless inspiration. And if you don’t look at the amount of money that I spend on high-end makeup products ($142 at Sephora last time I was there… oops), there really could be worse addictions to have, right?

I’m sure that, like most of my past addictions, my makeup obsession will eventually fizzle back to its former self, but until then, I might as well enjoy the ride (and the confidence that comes with making myself beautiful) right? And while I’m sure many of you will have closed out of this blog post long before now, for those have shown past interest in my beauty finds, I’ll go ahead and discuss some of my newest discoveries:

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Benefit They’re Real! Gel Push Up Liner

This product has been getting a lot of attention in the beauty vlogging/blogging world, since it’s the first gel liner in pen form (versus a pot + brush method). I’ve never actually used traditional gel liner as it always seemed beyond my skill level, and I was on the fence about buying this product because of all the mixed reviews I read/watched, but I’m really glad I gave it a try. I love it!

It’s so matte, so dark, gets RIGHT down to my lash line, and it stays there all day long. No joke. It even stays ’til the next day — through face-washing — if I’m too lazy to take it off (which I always am.) It does take a bit of practice to really get used to using it (nothing’s ever as easy as it looks on the box), and you do need a really good eye makeup remover (I use Makeup Forever Sens-Eyes and it comes off easy-peasy), but hot damn if I don’t love the way this stuff looks once its on.

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Anastasia Brow Wiz

Doing my brows is still something new for me, since for most of my life I’ve thought my brows are strong enough to stand on their own. And while that’s still probably true as I’m lucky to have relatively full brows on my own, Anastasia has taught me that there’s always more you can do. And since brows frame the face, especially the eyes, and my eyes are my favorite part of my face (well, my eyes and my cupid’s bow right above my lips. That’s oddly specific, I know), I’ve been learning lately how to do my best Brooke Shields impression and do brows right.

I use Brow Wiz to outline and fill in my brows, concentrating on the sparse area on the inner ends, and then brush on a light coat of brow gel (also by Anastasia).

contouring 

Benefit Watts Up Highlighter, Chella Highlighting Crayon, and Tarte Bronzer for Contouring

I’m also fairly new to the contouring trend, but I gotta say, it’s awful entertaining to draw yourself up like an Amazonian warrior princess. Oh yeah, and there’s the whole part where piling on concealer, highlighter, and bronzer in all the right places does amazing things for your face shape. I don’t do this on a daily basis since I am not Kim Kardashian and, truth be told, as addicted to makeup as I may be, I still don’t love the idea of my skin having so much stuff on it day-in and day-out. But for a special occasion (or just for funsies every now and then), why not bust out the big guns?

On a more regular basis though, I’ve just been using Too Faced BB Cream for sheer coverage and SPF, and then just dab Watts Up on my cheekbones, bridge of my nose, and cupid’s bow for a little extra glow.

Anyway, since this new blog is obviously about enabling me in all areas of my life, it’s your turn to let me know about all of your new favorite products so I can further this addiction! What makeup products are you digging lately?

Beauty Products I’m Digging

You know, there really are a lot of things I’ve missed about blogging. Reconnecting with my fantastic readers, sure. Having the accountability to stay (relatively) on track with my health, obviously. The catharsis that comes with whining nonstop baring my soul on the interwebs, naturally. And, of course, we can’t forget the whole thing where blogging totally feeds my maniacally huge ego — and let’s face it, the fact that I’ve been writing about myself consistently for the past 3.5 years is a pretty good indication that my ego wasn’t really all that small to begin with, hahaha.

Aaaanywho, since I’m back on the regular blogging bandwagon, I once again have the opportunity to operate under the assumption that you guys actually care what I think, and so I thought it might be fun to update my list of beauty products that I’m currently vibing on!

After many years of devoted Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner pencil usage, I have to admit that I am almost 100% a liquid liner girl now. I currently alternate between three, depending on the day, what look I’m going for, and how late I’m already running.


Left to right: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liner in Jet Black, Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner in Black, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Perversion

First we have Stila. This is a fantastic, marker-style liquid liner with a very fine tip. This is what I use on any average day, as the pigment isn’t SUPER black (so mess ups are a little easier to fix) and it’s easy to maneuver. As mentioned, the brush tip is quite fine so it’s also super easy to get a very thin line using this product, which I never bother doing because my eyes are weird and Whasian and if my liner isn’t a certain thickness I might as well not be wearing any at all, haha.

In the middle is Eyeko, which I have in several colors. Somewhat ironically, given its name (“Skinny Liquid Liner”), this actually gives me the thickest line. Therefore, it’s what I go for when I’m just looking for some fast liner action. Zip-zip straight across each eyelid and, voila! I probably wouldn’t recommend this liner for someone who likes a really thin line though, because I find that very difficult to achieve with this product.

Finally, we have Urban Decay, which is wand style. For the uninitiated, using wand-style liquid liner is basically like playing through Halo in Legendary mode — it’s hard, yo! The pigment of this liner is amazing (it has almost like a sheen to it when it dries, so it really pops on top of my eyeshadow) but application takes like twice as much time and 10 times as much effort to get it A) straight and B) semi-even on both eyes.

I’ve also moved on from my previous obsession with Covergirl’s Lashblast Luxe mascara (the one with the sparkles in it) and am now toooootally into Covergirl’s Flamed Out Mascara… and while I may or may not have only heard about this product initially because it’s part of Covergirl’s Catching Fire collection, it really has become my legit mascara of choice. I love the brush, even for my tiny, super straight lashes, the formula is thick but doesn’t clump AT ALL, and best of all? OKAY FINE, yes, I love the fact that it is even loosely Hunger Games-related, but that isn’t what I was going to say. I was going to say that the best part is that it’s Covergirl so it’s totally inexpensive. Duh.

Next up is a makeup product that I have been having a LOT of fun experimenting with this year: liquid lipstick! Especially in bright, bold colors. I’ve always been partial to a nice red lip, but I had no idea what I was missing by staying away having other fun colors surround my piehole!


Left to right: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso and Carina, Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Forever Fuschia and Cute Pink

Back in March, when some of my Yelp coworkers came and gathered for a regional conference here in DC, I found myself awkwardly staring at my coworker Rachel’s amazing lip color — it was bright, bold, vibrant, and despite the many meals we all shared together, it never budged! Not wanting to totally creep her out in person, I waited until after we all dispersed back to our various locations before emailing her and demanding an explanation for her magical lip color. And so I am forever grateful to her for introducing me to Stila liquid lipstick.

The staying power is seriously impressive — I’ve made it through entire wedding reception dinners without ever needing to reapply! They do have a matte finish (how else are they supposed to stay in place?) so just be aware of that if you tend to have very try lips. You can of course apply gloss or balm on top, but then it comes off much faster. Beso and Carina are the colors I’m wearing in the photos above.

At $22 a pop, though, and knowing that bright lipsticks are very much still an “experimental” thing, I was looking for a more cost-effective way for me to play. So I also picked up a couple of Sephora Collection lip stains. They are currently priced at $13 (pretty sure they were $12 when I bought mine though!) and offer a nice collection of colors in both mattes and shimmers. Admittedly the quality isn’t quiiiite the same as the Stila ones (they don’t stay nearly as long), but they have good pigment and aren’t too drying.

Since I’ve already talked about what dry shampoo products I like, let’s move right onto skiiiiin. I am still — yes, still! — shopping around for the perfect facial cleanser and moisturizer (luckily, Birchbox helps out with this product hunt a lot), but at least I’ve got a pretty good handle on the body lotion part of things!


Left to right: St. Ive’s Naturally Indulgent Body Lotion, Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream, O’Keeffe’s for Healthy Feet

I used to be obsessed with this Caldrea lotion that I once received a sample of in a Birchbox loooong ago. I loved it so much that I bought an 8 oz. bottle for $22… and then promptly went through the entire thing in like 3 weeks. Which I should have known ahead of time, really. I mean, I have a LOT of real estate to cover here! #moretolove

Rather than driving myself into debt for the sake of freaking body lotion, I realized that while, yes, the lotion itself was very nice, what I really was obsessed with was its coconut & fig leaf scent. After much trial and testing, which included one lotion that made me smell like I was actually MADE out of coconut and one lotion that smelled so weird that I had to immediately wash it off in the shower, I finally found an amazing smelling, epically affordable lotion replacement, made by none other than St. Ive’s (yep, the apricot scrub people!).

St. Ive’s Naturally Indulgent Body Lotion has the fantastic scent of Coconut Milk and Orchid Extract (well, I’m not actually sure how accurate-smelling the scents are, but I do know it smells good!), is creamy and thick but absorbs quickly, and goes for like $4 for a huuuuuge pump-top bottle! Win-win-win.

Being so economical with my body lotion lets me be a little more indulgent in other ways, including with my haaaand cream. I’ve mentioned the fact that I get this terrible dry skin affliction every winter where my hands and feet get incredibly dry and flaky and eventually erupt into painful bumps (sorry for the visual, haha), so it’s actually pretty necessary for me to have a variety of lotions and treatments to ward off this particular winter woe as long as possible. My hand cream of choice is part of the Fresh Brown Sugar collection, and it smells divine — like lemon and sugar and happiness. It’s expensive, but since I only use it for my hands, it lasts forever. The same 2.5 oz bottle has lasted me almost a year!

As for my tootsies, I recently discovered O’Keefe’s foot cream and it has seriously — no joke — changed my life. It comes in a little container and almost has the consistency of solid coconut oil at first (so it’s not really a cream, per se), but it does amazing things to heal my broked out, busted up feet. It’s totally odorless and I picked it up for like $6 or $7 on Amazon.

Well, whaddya know, I was right! That was fun! I’ll cut myself off for now since I’m sure I hit the tl;dr limit like 1000 words ago, but hopefully the above list will prove helpful or interesting to at least a few of you! Obviously there is an even bigger array of products that I use on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis currently splayed out on my vanity, so if you’re ever curious about anything else not mentioned — BB creams, highlighter, perfume, conditioner, or even toothpaste (spoiler alert: it’s Colgate Optic White) — feel free to ask!

And I know I’ve asked it before, but I’ll ask it again: what is your current go-to or must-have beauty product?

Fashion Friday: Snow Queen

In yet another misleading blog title, this is a makeup post hiding under the guise of Fashion Friday. Because, even though I still haven’t really figured out if makeup falls under the full “fashion” headline, “Makeup Friday” just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. So, here we are. 🙂

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I actually had a pretty interesting (and hilarious) conversation with Sean the other night regarding winter makeup looks. It went something like this:

Me: I’m thinking about doing a winter makeup post on Friday. So basically I’m thinking it’ll just be like, glitter.
Sean: Makeup provides neither warmth nor coolness, so why is winter makeup different from summer makeup? Do you wear depressing makeup in the winter because winter is depressing?
Me: You are such a boy.
Sean: I just don’t understand women.

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Now, Sean’s unfortunate lack of knowledge regarding the intimate workings of makeup aside, he does make an interesting point. I mean, there’s no physical reason to sport different makeup looks just because of the weather. But I do it anyway, because I doubt I’m the only person who feels like there’s a shift in the air (and not just the temperature) when a new season rolls around. So over the next couple of months, as the weather continually gets colder and colder, expect to see more makeup looks on here that are winter appropro. Which, as stated above, essentially just means we’ll be diving further and further into the land of shimmer and glitter.

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Digression: I got contact lenses in the 6th grade, which means I was 10 years old (I skipped 2nd grade, so I’ve always been young for my year in school). I had to sit through this little class thing at the optometrist’s office where they instruct you on what not to do with your contacts. One of their rules was to be very careful when applying eye makeup (a rule that I obviously disregard wholeheartedly these days, hahaha). Well, little 10-year-old me had only one question throughout the entire training session (which, it should be said, was a group of people, all the rest of whom were adults). That question: Can I still wear eye glitter? I then proceeded to pull out my grape-scented purple glitter rollerball and show it to the technician. I am really serious about glitter.

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Anyway, this look is actually not very glittertastic (somewhat ironically, given that ridiculous story I just told, hahaha). But, it is super WINTERtastic. I used to think that light, shimmery makeup was retired back in high school, along with the light lipstick + dark lipliner trend (I’m looking at you, Jen Powell Robinson!), lest it conjure unfortunately dated looks like this one:

Yes, that is Katherine Heigl in the 1996 Disney Channel Original Movie, Wish Upon a Star, which was like Freaky Friday except totally awesomer. ANYWAY. As long as you’re not too heavy-handed, I’ve recently come to reappreciate the light, shimmery makeup look. And if you can look past the terrible lighting and bags under my eyes in these pics, since I took them at like, 11 PM last night, I think you might possibly be able to see why. It gives me this whole ethereal, winter-faerie-like look that I can totally vibe on.

And when paired with a subtle, shimmery lip, pink cheeks, and an icy blue eyeliner? It’s like a winter wonderland on your face, in a completely wearable, everyday way.

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Eyeshadow(s): Sephora Collection Colorful Mono Eyeshadow in Aspen Summit (23), all the way from my lash line to my brow bone. Then Urban Decay eyeshadow in Toasted along the outer half of my lid and in the crease (courtesy of my Naked palette, but they’re also sold individually).

Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Electric, on both top and bottom lids.

Mascara: CoverGirl Lash Blast Luxe (it has glitter IN THE MASCARA!) in Black Platinum.

Brow Pencil: Too Faced Brownies

Lipgloss: I got it for free when I was trying out BeautyMint (a subscription skincare thing), but any light-colored, shimmery gloss would do.

Blush and highlighter: NARS blush in Orgasm and Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand in Gold, as always.

Are you drawn to different makeup looks in the winter?

PS: Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for two cans of Blue Diamond Almonds’ exclusive seasonal flavors!

Fashion Friday: Au Naturale

Do makeup posts really belong under the Fashion Friday header? Ah well, I’m still rolling with it. We can revise later. So today, I am doing something marginally daring inspiring awkward. As someone who constantly proclaims how much she loves to put stuff all over her face, I am about to show you my makeup-less mug. I know.

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BAM! This is me, completely fresh-faced, just after washing my makeup off.

Now, why am I doing this? Well, I’m really not someone who feels I NEED to wear makeup. I’m actually (shockingly?) quite happy with the face God gave me, and I know how lucky I am to have relatively clear skin and all that jazz. I don’t feel hideous when I leave the house without makeup, I just feel kind of… naked. So really, when it comes to wearing daily makeup, it’s a preference thing for me.

Which is why, on those days when I don’t feel like doing anything bright or bold or colorful or crazy (and I don’t want to spend a lot of TIME on my makeup), I go for a very simplistic, natural look. I know it sounds redundant, but I want to look like I’m not really wearing makeup, while still wearing makeup. I want the extra confidence that comes from knowing my skin’s a little more even, my eyelashes are a little fuller, and I don’t think there’s a single thing wrong with that.

Enter, my natural look kit:

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My ever-lovin’ Urban Decay Naked Palette (fitting, no?), pressed powder (picture shows Makeup Forever), a brow pencil (picture shows Too Faced), mascara, and lip balm. Easy as (pumpkin/pecan/apple) pie. (Can you tell my mind is on Thanksgiving much?)

Natural Look

To me, natural means no shine, no shimmer, no glitter. First, I did a once-over with the pressed powder (no blush, since my face’s natural redness shines through powder). Then, I used the two matte colors in the palette, Naked (a neutral beige) and Buck (a medium brown). Naked went over my entire eyelid, and then I shaded some Buck into the crease/outer corner. After that, I fill in my brows a bit, then add mascara and some chapstick, and done!

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Pre-makeup on the left, post-makeup on the right:

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Voila! It doesn’t make a TREMENDOUS difference, but it’s enough to help even things out, boost my confidence, and make me feel just a little more put together. The brow shading is admittedly a new thing for me. I’ve been blessed with relatively full (and dark) eyebrows naturally, but I recently started filling them in just slightly more and I really dig the look. It gives me this whole Camilla Bell/Brooke Shields vibe that I dig. Eyebrows. So hot right now. Eyebrows.

Anyway, so that’s it! Done in 5 minutes or less. Like I said, easy.

What does your “natural” makeup routine consist of? Or do you really prefer just to not bother with makeup at all if you’re going to be wearing so little?