I feel that two or three years ago, I would have been THE WORST person to ever write about makeup...ever. I had no clue about application and could've cared less. The truth was that I felt even with makeup I didn't look good. Turns out, that's because I didn't know how to put it on or what to do with my face, haha! When I lived in Sweden I really learned about self-care and makeup. Those Swedes always look so damned put together. Even a late-night cough syrup jaunt, and they were ready for the runway. Bitches! (I love you, beautiful Swedes.) Like my weird Swenglish lilt and walking several miles every day, I adapted and began to learn about makeup/beauty, and now while I'm by no means a "makeup guru" or even someone who considers herself a makeup hobbyist, I can damn sure tell other low maintenance girls how to fake looking glamorous.
So, if you're like me and prefer a more natural look, or, have low skills and no time or interest in going full magazine glam but still want to turn heads, here is my top advice.
1. Take care of your skin first. I barely need to use any foundation and it's because I take good care of my skin. The more maintenance you do, the less work you have when it comes application time...and what a great feeling! I can't stand layers and layers of gunk on my face, so this is important. Also, I think 'natural beauty' is more of a head turner than 'ten shades of drag.' I'm not knocking the whole 100 products or bust instagrammin' makeup lifestyle but the fact remains--those techniques (contouring, strobing, fleek arched brows....) have obvious origins in drag makeup. If it's you, go for it. But these are tips for the minimalists. So take care of your skin.
Skincare tips - Water is the most important thing for your skin! Try for a good 90 oz per day. Second comes chemical exfoliation and cleaning/moisturizing. My basic routine: one alpha-hydroxy pad per day (there are tons of options out there! The cream is too harsh for my pale little whitey skin) and at night, oil cleansing with mineral oil. Moisturizer before I put on makeup is Nivea cream. To get recommendations for your skin type, check /r/skincareaddition. Those guys are the internet skin wizards.
2. Consider eyelash extensions. They make a HUGE difference!!!!! I can't stand mascara. I have poor thin natural lashes and they're blondish-brown. So I need some contrast in the eye area if my eyes are going to pop, especially since I say no to heavy eyeshadow and eyeliner (that shit is too much work. I rub my eyes about every five minutes.) With mascara, no matter how much I scrub at my eyes at the end of the night, the mascara is still goo'ed up around my already dark under eye circles and I look like Hamburglar. No thanks. (Also I cry a lot, so non-waterproof isn't an option.) For someone who wants minimal effort and maximum effect, eyelash extensions are a game changer. They are a lazy/pretty girl's holy grail. Let me know if you have any questions about them!
3. Toss the lipstick and use a good balm + lip liner. I was ecstatic when I saw one of Lisa Eldridge's guest makeup artists do this--the fact that I unknowingly did something that professionals (who are paid thousands to do red carpet makeup) also do, made me feel unnecessarily smug and validated. If you're like me, you worry about reapplying lipstick all day (it dries out my lips and makes them flake) and there's always that chance I have a patient I need to be real close and personal with and boom, purple lipstick is on my tooth. Then I end up looking like a ratchet meth stripper. But if you just stick to a swipe of balm and afterward, lip liner to fill in your lips, it does the exact same thing as lipstick, except it stays in place and is waaaaaaaay less maintenance.
4. Focus makeup application on foundation. This goes back to the skin thing. Some people go crazy with eye makeup, others do bold lips or wings or cheekbones, but if we're going minimal and lazy, your focus needs to be on your skintone. A bright face does wonders for enhancing everything else--eyes, eyebrows, cheeks, lips. I always use medium coverage foundation and typically a damp beauty sponger to sheer it out even further. If you're lazy, less it better and faster. Then all you need to do is dust with setting powder and it won't budge for hours! ONWARD LAZINESS.
I hope some of these helped. I really can't say more because this is a lazy girl's guide, right? It's supposed to be easy and minimalist. If anyone is interested I'd be happy to post more about my own routines and junk like that. Again if you have questions, skincare, weight loss (which has helped my face SO MUCH!!!) eyelashes, or otherwise, please don't hesitate to ask. I will to my best to give a thorough answer.