Hello, I’m Claire, and I’m really not that good at makeup. Only in recent years have I even attempted to form an understanding of the facial art that is cosmetics. You can find me in front of my computer screen watching makeup tutorials trying to understand how the hell to blend eyeshadow and why my eyelids are incapable of being good for such a task.
Before my Grand Quest To Understand, I used to be an expert at Just Not Wearing Makeup Except For Mascara. Then I discovered lipstick and I was like hey, red lipstick, that’s classic. This is as far as it went.
Things started on an upswing when I realized that a really old Victoria’s Secret palette (remember when they sold makeup beyond lip gloss???) contained a blush and that perhaps I could wear it. I put it where you ought to put bronzer, right in the hollows of my cheeks. The idiocy…but I felt very beautiful with this touch on my face that day.
I was blessed with pretty nice skin that doesn’t break out and so concealer or foundation were never really essential for me. I am aware that many others are not so lucky—so hold your hatred towards me after that phrase!
Though there was a certain trip to Chicago for college visits that I discovered wearing insane amounts of foundation really gives you a clean slate. (I’m sure it was horrifying to witness on the L.)
But what about now, Claire? You’re an adult, you must have scurried around and gathered some form of a beauty routine.
Indeed I have—I did so when I realized perhaps I could attend a fashion week with actual makeup on my face. Paris was blessed with my laziness. Maybe that was the most pure anyway.
Without further ado, these are my Things That I Put On My Face, Or Enjoy Putting On My Face.
Concealer, because it makes me look like “hey! I’m awake!”
I use Maybelline’s Fit Me Concealer. It kind of reminds me of the one time I got to use that cult favorite Nars concealer or, at least, it looks similar. It’s not as heavy which I like because I actually prefer to wear nothing on my skin if possible.
Just some simple application under the eyes (for my incessant inability to go to bed on time) and any blemishes, blend, and yay I look like I’m actually ready for the day (I’m not.)
Blush, because it makes me look like “I’m just cute and blushing over here.”
I never thought I’d be into blush, mainly because it seems extraneous and I don’t wear full-coverage foundation and need to remind my face that it has blood vessels in it. But I like how it warms things up, so I usually use Lancôme’s Blush Subtil which is a nice thing my brother’s girlfriend gave me since she worked at the Lancôme counter. I am a drugstore girl for the most part.
Someday I hope to shop where the big kids shop. *starry eyes*
Mascara, because otherwise do I even have eyes?
Honestly this would probably be my must have. I need that long lash life. It’s who I am inside. And outside, especially outside.
I use L’Oréal’s Lash Paradise, which is a good mascara, but my actual favorite is Voluminous by L’Oréal. That stuff is amazing. My only issue is that they test on animals, so I’m trying to find a new favorite instead—please do let me know if you have suggestions.
Lipstick/gloss/liquid lip of some kind, because it’s my favorite makeup item.
Ziggie Lippie Stix from Colourpop
I will have to make multiple recommendations here because this is my bread and butter. I will go out in mascara and lipstick only and that is my natural state. I do not care what color it is, I will wear it.
First off, I love BITE Beauty—they’re eco-friendly, nicely pigmented, and all natural. Get on that train. They’re so nice to wear because they don’t suck all the life out of your lips.
I gotta hand it to Colourpop too, because I am on a budget and I get to try so many fun colors for not a lot of money and so I own A LOT of liquid lips and lippie stix from them. They stay on like nobody’s business, but I do hate their Ultra Mattes because they are SO DRY it’s miserable.
As for bold tones, I have worn MAC’s Diva shade for years and love it because it can be a stain or full-blown pigmented or just one layer of a nice wine-toned color. Fun fact: that’s Marilyn Manson’s shade. Twins.
I’m slowly, cautiously turning back towards the land of lip glosses. I remember the early 2000’s okay, even if I was young. My hair stuck to my lips, the intensity of the watermelon scent of my Lipsmackers gloss does not escape me even now. That being said, I’m a big fan of the indie brand Winky Lux—cruelty-free, vegan, and incredibly cute—and their Glossy Boss in Birthday Cake is shiny, comfortable, smells like vanilla, and has the teeniest, tiniest little sparkles so when you turn in the light it catches. Amazing. Inspiring.
Eyeshadow, because sometimes I am really going for it.
I’m lazy as hell with eyeshadow and also I’m bad at it. I also have oily eyelids that meet any shadow and say “lol nope!”
That being said, when I find the kind of eyeshadow that I can literally smack on my lid and pretend is chic, I am happy. Colourpop’s Super Shock Shadows are great for this; they’re like a creme and they’re very pigmented. You rub it around on your eyelid, whip around a blending brush and get to go outside and be like “oh yes I’m very chic.”
Oh also Winky Lux has nice shadows. Bonus: both Colourpop and Winky Lux are cruelty-free. You can sleep at night.
Highlighter, because it’s the only way to glow up !!!
I wear Colourpop’s Lunch Money because I’m lazy and all I need to apply is my own damn fingers. It makes me feel like a sunshine goddess, like a shiny and ancient queen, the mother of nations, and the bringer of light.
Glowy, dewy, and awesome as hell. Highlighter is fun to add to a fresh face with some gloss on. Very shiny. Very nice. Bonus: put it on your shoulders and collarbones in the summer and you’re like “ooh so shiny, check out my shiny body. I glow within.”
Skincare, because it feels good and is a way to love myself, all right?
I mean, the most important thing I do is wash my damn face. I use oils because I have dry skin that gets sad when I strip it of moisture. Also it is rude to me and gets oily in my t-zone. Oils are good to clean skin like this. The one I use has Vitamin C in it, which is good for when you want to look Not Dead.
I also use this Green Tea Cleanser from Innisfree, which is a Korean skincare brand. It’s nice and I use it at night.
Other than that I treat myself to masks because I feel luxurious using them and also I take baths, listen to podcasts on true crime, and wear them—do you know what that’s like? It’s amazing. Treat yourself like the king/queen you pretend to be. Pretend you have the right to take baths and wear masks.
There you go! The secret to the Claire Face, which is like I Am Doing My Best, Okay?
Let me know if you have some sweet-ass makeup to share or similar hilarious issues with finding a way to correctly apply this stuff and also just enough to scrape by because we don’t have time and we’re tired.