Top Beauty Picks For The Makeup Minimalist

I wish I was more adventurous with makeup. I never went through the seventh grade interest in mascara or glittery eyeliner—a delay that has apparently stunted my overall “cosmetics development.” By the time I wanted to wear concealer and eyeshadow for high school dances I was asking my younger sister to show me what primer was and assure me that using an eyelash curler (correctly)  wouldn't hurt. Through my increase in exposure to the fashion industry this year, from interning with NYLON Magazine to writing for CollegeFashionista, I've developed a greater interest in makeup. So, here are my essential pieces for people, like me, who are just now getting into the game. The following are inexpensive and versatile cosmetics for the true makeup minimalist. 


MAC Face and Body

Instead of using concealer I always opt for this MAC Face and body cream. Technically the solution cab be applied anywhere, hence the word "body," and so the adaptable nature of the product creates really light and natural looking coverage that doesn't feel caked on. Because it's not a concealer, the color is much more even and provides a truer match to your skin tone.  The lightness of this foundation will not clog your pores or leave your skin looking shiny after a couple hours of wear. 

Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara

Mascara has always been an issue for me and for years I thought that my application methods were to blame until I realized that I was just using the wrong products. When I received Stila's HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara in one of my Birchbox subscriptions I was skeptical since mascaras had usually left my lashes looking clumpy and too black. The design of this wand makes applying mascara fool-proof and the regal golden tube is just a cute plus!

Sephora Micro Smooth Baked Luminizer in “Light Beam”

I really love the look of a subtle sparkle across the cheekbones, which I discovered can be easily achieved through using a luminizer. The soft rose gold color of the Sephora branded "Micro Smooth Baked" product delicately highlights and leaves your cheeks with an even glow. If you have freckles along the bridge of your nose, like me, I've found that a little sparkle across the cheeks can really compliment the small spots of sun. 

GEN NUDE Matte Liquid Lipcolor by bareMinearls in “Slay”

I remember when my mom bought me my first makeup kit in the ninth grade—it was a foundation set by Bare Minerals and I must say, I’ve been loyal to the brand ever since. In scoping out Sephora for a subtle shade of lipstick I found myself returning to the Bare Escentuals section because of the brand’s reputation as one that sells face, lip and eye makeup in the most "true to color" shades—giving a polished yet understated look. I’m not typically a fan of matte lipstick but I love the smooth application and the ease with which the color stays on my lips. No need for a liner or gloss with this one! 

Glossier Boy Brow

Maintaining a sense of symmetry between my eyebrows has always been a struggle. In middle school I plucked them into thin semi-circles above my eyelids because I thought that that's what I was supposed to be doing. Thanks to the "thick, bold brow" trend that has emerged in magazines and on Instagram in recent years I have since let my brows grow into bushier, less defined shapes. Glossier's "Boy Brow" helps me to darken my naturally light hairs and contribute to a stronger look all around. 

Revlon Cream Eyeshadow Palette in “Wild Orchids”

This cream based eyeshadow makes applying natural looking color extremely easy--there's no need for a special brush and, instead, your index finger serves as the most effective tool. The four color palette is so simple but I love combining the light pink and darker burgundy to create a subdued and soft sparkle along my lids. 

L'Oréal Paris Infallible Shadow in "Amber Rush"

However....if you're going for a more daring, noticeable eye look, this L'Oréal Paris product has got you covered. Each color is only $3.99, and so it's perfectly reasonable to treat yourself to multiple "statement shades" (i.e. "continuous cocoa" and "eternal black") in order to create a more dramatic look with a hint of sparkle.