Recently, I’ve had 2 friends approach me on separate occasions, asking me for makeup help. One just recently started wearing makeup again after returning from a motherhood timeout, and the other wanted to amp up her basic routine she’d been using for years.

Don’t shoot me for saying this, but I’m a firm believer that there are occasions when a woman should wear makeup.

The 2 that come to mind are work, (depending on your profession of course) and social functions.

That’s not to say I have anything against natural beauty; I go to they gym and run errands without makeup all the time. Work is an environment where you want to put your best foot forward. I believe in dressing for the job you want, and makeup is a part of that.

You want to look polished and put together.

Coming to work with wet hair in a top knot and no makeup gives the impression that you are scattered and pressed for time, or that you don’t care. Neither one is something you want to convey in the workplace.

It’s also important to look presentable at social functions. Think about it, they are optional, right? If you have the time to attend, you probably have 5-10 minutes to put on some makeup.

Showing up sans makeup says I don’t give a shit about this event, or my appearance.

You never know who you will meet, or what opportunities might arise, so it’s important to look presentable!

Back to my original thought, of helping my 2 friends with makeup basics. You don’t need a ton of products, or a ton of time for a basic makeup routine. Once you get the hang of that, you can build on it for different occasions should you want to.

I’ve listed my favorites below in each of the basic categories to help get you started.


Foundation or CC Cream:
this will even out skin tone and blur imperfections. You’ll want to choose one with your skin type in mind.
Normal to CombinationToo Faced Born this Way

Combination to OilyNars Velvet Matte Skin Tint

All skin types for a sheer finishChanel CC cream

Concealer: dab this on under eyes or on any blemishes needing more coverage.
Urban Decay Naked Concealer

If you’re oily, set skin with a powder after steps 1 and 2. Avoid your under eye area if you have fine lines or more mature skin. Powder can settle into lines accentuating what you are trying to conceal.
Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

A neutral eyeshadow: use a light, neutral tone for some subtle shimmer and a hint of color. Skip this step if you’re pressed for time.
Urban Decay Sin Eyeshadow

Mascara: Everyone looks better with mascara on! That’s why it’s my stranded on a desert island pick! For a basic routine, you’ll want a simple formula, nothing that requires multiple coats, or lash combing. My favorite is:
Benefit Roller Lash

Now you could stop here, but if you have more time, or just love cheek products, check out the final (optional) step.

Blush/bronzer: Now I’ve kept it simple with a 2 in 1 product. Feel free to dust some bronzer on the back or your cheeks and/or temples. If you want a pop of color (bronzer on its own can look muddy) sweep some blush onto the apples of your cheeks, blending it diagonally up and toward your ear. Take care not to get blush too close to your under eye area. If not, you’re bring your features too close together and this will give you a squished face appearance!
NARS Bronzer/Blush Duo

Lastly, you have the option of slicking on some lip gloss or tinted lip balm. One of my favorite everyday glosses is:
NARS Dolce Vita

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