**Updated everyday makeup video posted here**
This has nothing to do with being petite, but I believe a key part to looking polished and professional is a fresh, work-appropriate face. Although this may seem like a gimme, I've nevertheless seen so many extremes in the workplace.
In a business formal environment, I think it's safe to say: avoid bright blushes, bright lip color, thick eyeliner / mascara, heavy foundations, and any eyeshadow. A number of conservative professional industries are dominated by men, so I don't think it would behoove a woman to get all dolled up and look hot at work when she can prove her abilities in other ways. However, do not misinterpret this to mean no makeup! I think it's very important to use makeup to help look clean, healthy, refreshed, and of course, pretty. This means taking care of your skin, concealing blemishes, and adding a little bit of life to an overworked, tired face using bronzer and clear gloss.
I am far from being a makeup expert, so this isn't really a tutorial. There are some really helpful tutorials on YouTube made by talented and beautiful ladies who really know their makeup, my favorite being Michelle Phan. This, on the other hand, is just me sharing a routine using products that I love. For work, I try to use minimal products (only 5 makeup items). Here is a preview of the stuff I will be using:
Click "Read More" for the steps...
As mentioned previously, the goal of this face is to look blemish-free and awake, yet natural. This is achieved via lighter colored concealer around the eyes, a dusting of mineral makeup, moisturized lips, and neat brows. I'm not into all those "awakening" tips where you put white eyeliner in the corners and waterline of your eyes...it never looks natural when I see it on people. Here is a before-and-after:
Ahhaha, hopefully my friends won't see this : ) Forgive the poor quality of my built-in laptop camera...for some reason the before and after skin almost looks exactly the same. You'll just have to trust me that a few steps made a heck of a difference!
Again, an updated video has been posted here. Steps, in detail:1. Apply scent-free moisturizer to face and neck.
What I Use: Up&Up (Target brand) scent-free Original Moisturizing Lotion for dry, sensitive skin, $8, or Eucerin Original Moisturizing Lotion, $12, the true original.
Never skip moisturizer in the winter! I have both dry and sensitive skin so I'm big on scent-free products. Eucerin is a brand that makes a whole line of moisturizing and skin-healing products for sensitive skin, which I discovered via my dermatologist several years ago. I used it exclusively for years, then one day on a whim I tried the Target ("Up&Up" brand) knockoff. The knockoff well exceeded my expectations, and I have yet to go back to the real thing! I love the Original lotion for both face and body - it is very moisturizing yet not sticky at all.
2. Apply eye cream around the eye area to mediate morning puffiness and shadows.
What I Use: Clinique All About Eyes, $28.50 for .5 oz, winner of many reader's choice awards.
3. Dabble on liquid concealer in areas with shadows or uneven skin tone (ie: chin, both sides of nose, under the eyes).
What I Use: MAC Select Cover-Up concealer, $16.50, in shade NC42.
Liquid concealer works well for "everyday" work looks because it applies thinly and provides only light to medium coverage. Have a shade matched for both summer and winter skin tones, in a color slightly lighter than your foundation color. I consulted with 3 MAC makeup artists asking them for an independent assessment of my skin tone, and was surprised/discouraged that each one picked a different shade for me!
I like this MAC formula and use it for everything from dark circles to zits. Although it cost a little more than drugstore brands, you only need a few tiny dabbles each time. This little tube has lasted me nearly two years! I keep telling myself to replace it anyways for sanitation reasons, but have yet to do so. For work, I prefer this concealer to MAC Studio Finish concealer (a little more pigmented) and MAC Studio Stick concealer (too cakey for me).
4. Dust on a few coats of mineral foundation and bronzer.
What I Use: Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Foundation in Tan, $25, and BE bareMinerals Warmth bronzer, $18. Retractable foundation brush is also by BE, $30 (got it on eBay for less).
The BE instructions DVD shows the model using only a tiny bit of powder. For me, this is simply not enough to provide any coverage for my spotty and translucent skin. I use a more generous amount, yet a .07 oz container still lasts me a good 6 months. For foundation, I apply in a circular buffing motion starting under both eyes where the most coverage is required. I layer on Warmth at the top of and along my cheekbones, but use only a light dusting for the top of my nose bridge, forehead, and neck.
The $48 deal shown above is amazing! The "get started" kit is their classic kit which my friends and I each bought years ago. It comes with 2 foundation shades (you choose amongst fair, tan, dark, and more), Warmth bronzer, finishing powder, primer, brushes, plus more. This deal has always been offered for $60 online and in infomercials, but Nordstroms has it on sale for only $48. As a reference, foundation, bronzer, or powder by themselves are sold for $18-$25 each.
5. Curl lashes with a good curler.
What I Use: Shu Uemura eyelash curler, $19. Also available in limited edition gold for $24 : )
This is a must-have tool for all women. I used drugstore-brand curlers for years and always wondered why my eyelashes looked crimped and bent instead of curled. I don't know how, but this curler was made for Asian eyelid shapes. I can get right up against my eyelid for maximum curl and it really opens up the eyes.
6. Apply a thin line of eyeliner along the entire upper lid, and the outer corners of the lower lid. Use a smudger tip to soften the entire line (Asians can try tapering off the line in a small upwards tail at each corner).
What I Use: Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner with smudger tip in Black/Noir, $23.50.
I'm not loyal to eyeliner brands, but I do love this Lancome one with a built-in smudger tip. Smudging is key for a soft, natural look. Liquid eyeliner is great for precision, but it is opaque so I reserve that only for evening looks. $23.50 is steep for me for one pencil, so I sometimes use the $3 NYC drugstore automatic pencils and then use the Lancome tip to smudge. I've also purchased the Lancome pencils in bulk via eBay, but make sure it from a seller with high volume or else it may not be fresh.
7. Apply a coat or 2 of mascara.
What I Use: Lancome Definicils high definition mascara in Black/Noir, $24.50.
I buy these 3 at a time on eBay in trial sizes, usually for under $12 total. Trial size is .09 oz versus full size which is .23 oz, so three trial tubes well exceeds one full size tube. Buying in trial sizes not only provides cost savings, but I've found that the mascara stays fresher than in a full size tube. Mascara lasts me for a long time, so a full size tube would dry out on me long before it was used up. Also, trial sizes have a shorter wand, allowing your hand more control over the application process.
8. Finish off by moisturizing lips and taming brows.
What I Use: Aquaphor Healing Ointment for cracked or dry skin, from the makers of Eucerin lotions. $8.49 for a 3.5oz tub which will last for ages.
Annnd that's it! 5 minutes is up : )