Personally, I am one of those gals that goes to the gym without a stitch of makeup. But then again, I don't expect to have my picture taken or be tagged on Facebook! When I'm at an outdoor gathering, I do like to be slightly more groomed, whether it's a picnic, garden party, or cocktails and croquet. (No, seriously, I did just play croquet at my neighbor Janine’s house!)
I am often asked where to draw the line. This is one of those million-dollar questions that has a different answer for different women on different days. But here is what I believe the essentials are!
Sunscreen. No question, if you're going to be outside during the daylight hours, apply generously, and well before you walk out the door. This allows the sunscreen to absorb into the skin and to be more effective. Don't forget to blend into the hairline, neck, and ears. If you do nothing else, do this, even if your foundation has an SPF. Sunscreen is incredibly important. And don't underestimate additional protection of a hat. I've been quite fond of my straw hat collection which I've been wearing all summer, dressed up or down.
This is an area where spending a little time daily really pays off. If the brows are groomed, the entire face looks more polished. A well arched brow has a gradual curve from the inner to outer edge. Unless I’m at the gym or the beach, I like using brow gel to keep brows in place. If I want a little more polish, I use a light concealer or Benefit's High Brow just under my brows to highlight my brow bone and make my eyes look more finished.
What I like: mascara makes the eyes look finished without looking like you are wearing a lot of makeup. What I don't like: flaking, smearing, and smudging—making you look a bit like Courtney Love near the end of one of her concerts. If you need a little more definition around the eyes, consider a waterproof mascara, and don't forget a waterproof mascara remover or baby oil as well. My favorite is Dior Diorshow Iconic Extreme Waterproof. This is because most waterproof mascaras tend to look stiff, clumpy, and dry. This one is very conditioning, looks natural, and doesn't budge.
Unless you are endowed with a natural healthy glow, I suggest a cheek stain. You'll look youthful, healthy, and lovely in photos. One of the longest-lasting ones I have found is the Vincent Longo Lip & Cheek Gel Stains. There are a variety of colors; choose one that best matches your natural glow. You can use it on your lips as well.
Lip stains and balms.
They're a good idea so that if the balm wears off, you still have color. SPF is important, too. Try Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15. This non-greasy balm works wonderfully to comfort and protect the lips over the lip stain, and in the winter you can also use it to condition lips before you apply lipstick.
What are some of your favorites?