My biggest makeup/beauty accomplishment was finally getting back into makeup after not being very interested in it throughout most of 2016, and also, with that, figuring out that I could do my makeup in a relatively short amount of time (it is possible!).
Because prior to last year, I’d always had it in my head that in order to do beautiful makeup — and I know that beautiful is a subjective term — but in order to do fantastic brows, eyes, base makeup and lips, it had to be this complicated, time-consuming process that required two hours at a minimum, because that’s how long it always took me.
But early last year I read something by Sir John (@sirjohnofficial), who’s one of my makeup heroes. He does these understated, elegantly natural but simultaneously glam looks that blow my mind, and he said that one of the things that helped his career early on was the fact that he was fast and could get makeup on the models very quickly.
So, basically, every time I put on makeup last year, I gave myself 15-20 min max to do whatever the look was, whether it was something basic to go to the library for story time, or glam with lashes and everything. I gave myself 20 minutes, and that was my cutoff.
I learned that I still have a lot to learn, but now I can do a lot of makeup in 20 minutes. Much more than I could before.
A few things really helped. The first thing, and I think it’s the biggest thing, is that I learned to look for opportunities to combine products, and to view products perhaps in a way that you don’t usually see them traditionally used in YouTube videos, where it’s all step by step, where you do foundation first, then you do concealer, then powder, and you put everything all over your face.
So now when I want to wear heavier coverage, sometimes I’ll mix my concealer into my foundation to save myself a step, instead of applying them both separately.
Also, I learned that bronzer is surprisingly flexible. I learned that I can just use bronzer on my cheeks to warm up my skin, add some structure, even though I’m not a big contouring person, and then I can skip the blush. Bronzer goes a long way, and I also embraced using bronzer as a crease color, which I know I’ve talked about before, and MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Give Me Sun! is my current fave and has been for a long time. They have a satin finish, so they reflect some light and don’t look flat, which also means that you don’t have to spend forever and a day blending them, and they don’t look super powdery or heavy. Plus, a pan will last you FOREVER. I’ve had my pan of Give Me Sun! for years, and I’ve barely put a dent in it.
Hourglass also makes one called Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Light that’s a tiny bit shinier than the MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes, so when I want to look extra glow-y and healthy, that’s the bronzer I use.
Also in the time-saving vein, but with a lot of complex looks, gradients are a big deal — the transitions from one color into the next, light to dark, that kind of thing. A lot of the time, you’ll see them done using a multi-step process, with lots of individual eyeshadows seamlessly blended into each other. One thing I learned last year and do all the time now is that you can use the same black pencil that you tightline with, and run it along the top of your lash line… I only do it halfway, from the outer corner to the midpoint. I’ll do a thin line — not too much, because if I do too much, it’s too much to contend with. Then I’ll smudge the edges with a brush. Then, I’ll take a cream shadow or a creamy pencil in a different color — something lighter, like a taupe, gold or bronze — and do a thick line all the way across the top lash line, from the inner corner to the outer corner, so it’s layered on top of that black. Then I’ll blend everything together with my finger, and I’ll have that look of that gradient without a lot of complicated doohickery.
Note: If you aren’t a neutrals person, you can also do this with colors. Like, you could do a darker purple for your liners, and then a lighter purple for your cream, so black doesn’t have to be in the picture. It’s more about the concept of using a darker liner with a lighter, creamier pencil or eyeshadow.
What are you biggest beauty goals for 2018?
I’m still nowhere close to being Sir John, but I would love to be able to do my own level of glam looks in the same amount of time he can do his.
Oh, gosh, I’ve tried it a few times… I can’t do it yet, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get there. I want to be able to do the looks he does on celebrities and posts on Instagram, but I want to do them on myself in 20 minutes, haha.
I don’t know if that’s possible. That’s a superhuman amount of time, but maybe 30 minutes? I want to be able to do looks like that in 30 minutes (!). That’s one of my goals for 2018.
I also want to learn how to do some different hairstyles, instead of always falling back on the same beachy waves, like maybe more things with braids… That’s all I have on that one so far.
Oh, and this one’s so minor, but I’ve never been able to work it out. I’d like to figure out how to apply individual false lashes (it’s really hard!), because I prefer the look. I think it looks more natural than doing a full strip. I’ve attempted it before (and I failed, LOL!). I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, so that’s one of the things I want to figure out.
How about you? What was your biggest makeup/beauty accomplishment of 2017, and what are your biggest beauty goals for 2018?
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,