I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl.
Either I go to the gym every day, or I lie on the sofa like a slug. I eat a salad, or I opt for the cheese fries.
So it’s probably no surprise that you’ll find me either in a full face of makeup, or completely barefaced.
There’s rarely an in-between with me.
Sometimes, though, the situation calls for moderation. (Like, I really should find a happy place between the salad and the cheese fries.)
And when you’re faced with a long holiday weekend with lots of extended family, sometimes you want a happy medium between a full face of makeup (“Do we have plans I don’t know about?” Grandma asks) or a face devoid of any product (“Aunt Alison, you don’t look like yourself. You’re kind of scary!” a young relative says).
Here’s how to rock a “no makeup” makeup look.
(With this caveat: Everyone has her own bare minimum. You pick the products that work for you!)
A BB cream or tinted moisturizer will refresh tired skin (why is the guest bed so darn lumpy?), even out the skin tone, and hide minor imperfections. I use and love the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, $30 at Sephora, and the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream, $8.99 at drugstores. If you, like me, want to be a little bit extra, you can add concealer to really cover those undereye circles. My favorite remains the Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer, $27 at Ulta. I can’t recommend it enough.
A warm-toned bronzer will wake up the skin further and will do double-duty as blush, too. I use BareMinerals Warmth All Over Face Color, $21 at Ulta. If you want to be extra: Add some blush, anyway. (More is more, I always say!) Benefit Cosmetics Rockateur Box o’ Powder Blush, $29 at Sephora, is a rose-gold shade perfect for fall.
Mascara will open up the eyes and draw attention to them. Try the Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara, $24 at Sephora, which packs a double punch with length and volume. If you want to be extra: Add some liner to emphasize your eyes further. I’m loving the It Cosmetics Superhero Liner, $24 at Ulta, which goes on smoothly and quickly and lasts all day.
Lipgloss will make your lips look fuller and plumper. A “your lips but better” shade will be easy to apply and won’t be obvious as it wears off during the day. I love the BareMinerals Gen Nude Buttercream Lipgloss, $18 at Sephora, which comes in 15 nude shades to flatter a range of skin tones. (My shade is Sugar.) If you want to be extra: Choose a plumping formula, like the Buxom Full-On Lip Polish, $20 at Sephora.
Alison Smith will probably still wear a full face of makeup on Thanksgiving. Got a burning beauty question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.