It’s here! For all of you who asked for a tutorial of my daily look – I’ve finally gotten around to shooting a step-by-step HOW-TO on creating my signature makeup that I wear almost every day. Be warned: It’s a bit of a longer post!
This step-by-step How-To consists of the following 11 steps, all of which are shown in one or more pictures followed by a short description below. You can also find my outfit details at the very bottom of the post.
9) Eye Liner
Alrighty, let’s begin! This is me sans-makeup (uh-oh). I used moisturizer from SebaMed Clear Face and Blistex lipbalm and I curled my hair with my Conair Infiniti set. It might have been a better idea to shoot this in summer with a bit more of a teint, but at least you’ll get to see my bronzer’s natural effect first-hand. I’m tagging all products to Sephora links so you can get them in one place online. FYI: They ship internationally now.
STEP 1: FOUNDATION
Right after using my moisturizer, when the skin is still slightly damp, I apply about a pea’s size of Clinique’s “Stay Matte” foundation (I use color “beige”) and blend it with my fingers. I think it’s the perfect foundation if you want a natural, slight coverage and a matte result. I have clear skin but it tends to get oily, so it’s exactly what I need. For more coverage, whenever I do get breakouts, I have my Clinique Acne Solutions foundation.
STEP 2: CONCEALER
Next, I use a light creamy concealer to cover dark under-eye circles as well as any redness around the nose. I have two favorites here: The Benefit Boi-ing Concealer (I use number 1 and 2) and the KIKO Milan “full coverage concealer” (they’re expanding to the US now). The latter I’ve recently discovered to be such a great bargain alternative. I honestly couldn’t say which one is better, so I’d decide depending on your budget and availability in your location.
STEP 3: MATTIFYING PRESSED POWDER
Here comes the first step to achieving a natural glow without excessive shine. I use another KIKO Milan product here, the “Soft Focus Compact Mineral Foundation” in “08 Universal Beige”. I use it only on my T-zone for a matte base. Using it on the whole face is okay for evenings, but I prefer a more natural look so I stick to front-head, nose and chin. I’m using a brush from Sephora for this step.
STEP 4: Bronzing Powder
Now it’s time to beautify your teint. It’s been a challenge finding the perfect bronzer!! My goal was a matte but glowy, natural darker hue without any orange or even red undertones. I think there are way too many bronzing powders out there that make you look like a shiny gold coin or like you’re channeling your inner Native American. Both of which does NOT look cool on me. I want to look sunkissed, natural, fresh, and the “Too Faced Soleil Matte Chocolate” Bronzer was finally everything I needed. For this step, I’m using the bronzer brush from my Zoeva brush set. It’s a new high-quality makeup brand, and their brushes are some of the best on the market but come at a reasonable price point compared to the big brands.
When applying bronzer, be sure to blend it and use a bit of contouring technique. I use it for accentuation below the cheek and jaw bones, as well as on the front-head, nose and chin (the places where the sun hits). Also, don’t forget your neck to achieve a soft transition.
Step 5: Blush
As a last step of the face makeup routine, I apply blush on my cheeks. Basically, I go slightly above and parallel to the bronzer contour that I did before, going ALONG the cheekbone this time (not above or below). I have two favorite blushes:
Firstly, I love the creamy Chanel “Le Blush” in “66 Fantastic”. While it is a cream blush, I also just apply it with my Clinique brush as I do with a pressed powder blush. Works like a charm, and I sometimes use it as a natural lip stain under my Blistex. The color seems quite intense when you see it in the box, but even my mom said it leaves such a natural result, especially on darker skin tones (in my case, in summer).
Secondly, my daily go-to blush is the Clinique cheek pop. I have it in two colors, the “o2 peach pop” and the “03 berry pop”. The first one is my favorite for every day, it’s a flattering apricot color that suits my teint perfectly and is great for daytime and the office. The latter is a fresh pinky tone that gives you instant dew. I choose between the two depending on what I’m wearing, but the peach pop is the all-round talent for the most natural result. In these pictures, I used the berry pop.
Step 6: Eyebrows
First of, I cannot stress enough how important I think eyebrows are for your whole look. They give you frame, make your eyes stand out more, and just make your face much more interesting.
I have recently gotten permanent makeup on my eyebrows, which was the best decision! I love how I now wake up with perfectly shaped, symmetrical eyebrows that just need a bit of colored gel to fix the hairs. More than ever, I look forward to summer vacation, when now all I need is sunscreen and a bit of waterproof mascara. I didn’t have horrible eyebrows before, but I have a childhood scar that goes into the left one, so I had to make them more symmetrical every morning and fill them up a bit for my preferred look. Now, it’s so much easier to pluck them and apply eyebrow pencil and gel for a bolder evening look, since the shape is already given. Permanent makeup works similar to a tattoo, only that you can choose the right shade of color and that it only lasts for up to 5 years. It’s around $600 for both eyebrows, which includes 2 sessions (you usually loose some of the color within the first 3-4 days after the first session, so you go over it again after about a month). Be sure to go to a professional that really takes time to listen to you and how you like them. I can highly recommend Ulrike Trump for those of you in or passing through the Cologne area in Germany; my mom, sister and myself have all had ours done there and she’s not only great at it but also such a sweet person. She also has a location on Ibiza in case that’s more convenient for you.
As for my make-up products, I use KIKO Milan “Precision Eyebrow Pencil” and BeYu colored eyebrow gel. I love the pencil because it’s extra-thin, not too hard and not too soft, and comes in many colors to find your perfect match. Both products are such a bargain and I literally couldn’t find anything better so far. If you can’t get a hold of the BeYu gel, I did love the one by Anastasia Beverly Hills when I lived in the US. Tipp: When I shape my eyebrows, I go for a flatter, less curved style. Also, I drag them outwards a little more than they grow and keep them thick to the end. I just think that this gives you a more modern look, slightly Cara Delevigne. Of course, everyone’s face is different and it really comes down to personal style and taste, but definitely give it a try. I see many many bloggers, models and celebs going for this natural style right now and I just find it very flattering on most people.
Here’s two pictures for you to see the intermediate result, before the eye makeup. You can see that my face looks more awake, a lot fresher, and that I have a slightly tanner but still natural skin-tone compared to before.
Step 7: Highlighter
For underneath the eyebrows, I use a slightly shimmery, ivory eyeshadow by Lancôme (the one I linked is in their new, updated design – color is “glowing light”). Eyeshadow is the one product group where I have experienced premium products to just work better compared to bargains. I guess it has something with pigmentation and the quality level of shimmer and glitter ingredients, as well as the long-lasting effectiveness. There probably are exceptions on both ends, but I have found my favorite brands to be Smashbox, Lancôme, Chanel and Benefit. Let me know if you have a great recommendation! The brush I’m using is from my Smashbox eyeshadow palette (see the following step 8).
Step 8: The Soft Brown Smoky Eye
Next comes my all-time favorite eyeshadow set by Smashbox, the “Full Exposure Palette”. I use it every day to create my signature soft smoky eye in brown or grey hues. For daytime, I stick to the matte colors (bottom row), while I like a darker, more shimmery look for night time (upper row).
I start by mixing the two matte brown colors in the bottom row on the very left (dark & medium brown), and applying it to the movable upper eyelid.
Step 8.1: The Banana
After filling out the movable eyelid, I use the slightly bigger brush included in the palette to draw a “banana” in the eyelid crease. Either I use the darker matte brown or I mix the two left shimmery browns in the upper row. This technique is used by pretty much all makeup artists and really makes your eyes pop! Depending on your eye shape, draw it more inwards or outwards, outwards if your eyes are close-standing. I like to shape a bit of a cat-eye, drawing it outwards but going slimmer and slimmer the more I go outwards. This will make your eyes seem wider and less round, giving you a sexier, more intense look.
Step 8.2: The Lower Lid
Lastly, I use a slim flat brush (also from my Zoeva brush set mentioned above) to accentuate the lower lid. You can skip that part or use highlighter if you want a different kind of look, but for a smoky eye be sure to also blend medium brown shadow on the lower lid. Don’t go all the way inwards, but definitely outwards until it “merges” with the banana of the upper lid (step 8.1). They’re meant to come together in a pointy shape, softly ending about a half-centimeter outside the corner of your actual eye, making your eyes seem wider and larger.
Step 9: Eye Liner
When you’re done with the eyeshadow, it’s time to apply the eyeliner just along your upper lash line. Words can’t express the affection I have for this Benefit “They’re Real” creamy eyeliner. It’s seriously THE best invention in makeup products lately. For starters, it’s extremely easy to apply (which cannot be said for many eyeliners per se), and it leaves the best liquid-eyeliner-but-matte result you could wish for. You can get it in a trial set with my favorite Benefit They’re Real Mascara. Also, it lasts for a long time, so it’s worth every penny.
For days when I don’t want the liquid eye liner look, I use a dark brown or black kohl liner and smudge it. I love this one by Clinique that has an integrated smudger. Whichever technique you use, be sure to go as closely as possible to your lashes, even blending the liner into the lash line. It will have an effect on your lashes, giving you a fuller look once you have applied mascara; and if you don’t do it, it will look really weird and unnatural if there’s a gap between your line and the lashes.
Step 10: Mascara
Every time my boyfriends comes to the bathroom or my makeup table to ask if I’m (“finally”) ready yet, and he sees I’m applying mascara, he knows I’m about done (trained him well, huh?) :-). It’s the last step in my eye makeup routine and the most important. I always start off with the lower lashes. This is essential if you have long lashes – if you start with the upper ones, you’ll smudge it all over your highlighted area underneath your eyebrows once you move on to the lower ones. So what I do is I start with the lower lashes, wait 20 seconds or so, and do another layer. The same technique is used for the upper ones. Apply, wait, apply. As often as needed depending on daytime or nighttime. Let them dry a little, but not fully, before applying the next layer. If you make them too wet all at once, they will end up looking like 60’s lashes, also referred to as “fly legs”. If you let them dry too much, they will crumble. Try it, you’ll figure it out.
I have two mascaras that I swear by, and it’s really a tie. I mentioned Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara in step 9 already, and it’s surely the best mascara there is. Nonetheless, I have to say I recently discovered another KIKO Milan product that comes very close and at a much lower price point, the “Luxurious Lashes Maxi Brush Mascara”. I must say that I use a LOT of mascara, applying one or two more layers throughout the day, and while the Benefit mascara leaves a perfect result, it also runs out pretty quickly (for me, at least). I need a new one every two weeks or so, and I’m not willing to spend that much on mascara if there is a bargain one that’ll do the trick. You can imagine my excitement when I finally found the one from Kiko! I tried Dior, Maybelline and everything in between, and those are the two best ones in my opinion. If you’re near a Kiko store, try this one, and otherwise definitely get the Benefit, you won’t regret it.
Step 11: Lipgloss / Balm
Before rushing out the door, I always put on a bit of lipgloss or balm (unless I’m going for full-on matte lipstick in pink or red, but that’s a different look). I have two every-day products that I always keep in every one of my handbags just to be safe. The first one was given to me as a five-piece travel set by a very dear friend, and it’s the Clinique Superbalm moisturizing gloss used here. I couldn’t find the travel set including the 5 mini sizes online, and Sephora only has the black honey color, but you can get my favorite color “Rootbeer” via Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus.
Another gloss-balm that I love was recommended by another friend of mine years ago, since when I have always possessed one. It’s the Clarins Natural Lip Perfecter set (also via Nordstrom) that comes in a set of three very natural colors. It’s not as shiny as the one by Clinique, so a little more natural even, and very very moisturizing. Perfect for daytime and the office when a super-glossy look leaves you feeling overdone. Get it online or look for it when passing through airports, which is where I usually get mine.
Lastly, when I go out at night, I like to put on one of two volumizing lipglosses by Soap & Glory: the “Pillow Plump” in “Coy Toy” or the “Sexy Mother Pucker” in “Yummy Plum”. The latter has a little more color to it, and it’s a great one, while the former has a bit more volumizing effect. If I had to choose between the two, I’d stick to the Yummy Plum.
And we’re finally through! 🙂 I hope this step by step guide to my daily makeup is helpful and easy to copy, but if you have any questions at all, be sure to leave them in the comments! I’ll try to reply as soon as possible. Also, let me know if you want to see more posts like this one – I love hearing your feedback and getting inspired by your ideas. Thanks for stopping by!
Note: I have purchased all of the products shown in this post myself and used them for at least several months. I am currently collaborating with none of the brands shown here, and this post has not been sponsored in any way. All opinions are entirely my own and based on personal experience.
What I’m Wearing:
Cable Knit Peplum Sweater: Chicwish
Ripped Jeans: Topshop
Earrings: Accessory Concierge
Nailpolish: Selly Hansen 565 “Aria Red-Y?”