Thursday, March 4, 2010

Readers' Corner: Looking Good in 5 Steps

**note from author : Not all products mentioned in this article have been personally tested by the author unless stated otherwise.  Some products are mentioned as examples for readers to be aware of the brands out there.  

Thursday!!! Sizzling hot!!! The weather is getting seriously hot these days and all I want to do is stay in an air conditioned room and just drink my favorite Sugarcane juice!

I have so many reader questions that I answer directly, but one question caught my attention!  I wanted to give this a special space as I know a lot of you have good tips to share too!  So don't be shy and click the comment button and fire away!


Question for the day:

I envy girls who have enough time in the morning to do their makeup!  I can't seem to have enough time in the morning.  I have to wake up early, rush for work!  Any tips or ideas on how to look good in less the time? Thanks.

AMW says ---

Wonderful question!  As you all know, aside from being a blogger, a make-up artist, a wife and a daugther, I do have a full time job!  And this full time job demands me to be on time!  Where I live, I have to travel approximately an hour (or more with traffic) to get to my work place.   So spending time right in front of the mirror early in the morning is never an option for me!  What to do when you're pressed for time?  There are 5 steps I think that works to look gorgeous for busy girls like us!  Read on....

1. Create your base
After your regular skincare routine.  Apply tinted moisturizer with your clean fingers, sponge or a foundation brush.  Tinted moisturizers are the best way to go as they can moisturize your skin, even out your skin tone and has SPF which works as sun protection as well.  

Some tinted moisturizers to try ---
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
Smashbox Sheer Focus Tinted Moisturizer

Stila Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer

Clinique's Moisture Sheer Tint

What AMW loves to use ---

L'Oreal UV Perfect Advanced Fluid Face Protector SPF 50
I've tried all 3 variants from L'Oreal, though this is meant to be a sunblock, I like the Even Complexion variant which has a bit of tint.  I use this when I'm in a rush as it does even out my complexion while giving me protection from the sun!  I love the light feel it gives on my skin with a healthy radiance.

2. Setting Powders

For oily skinned individuals, choose an oil free setting powder.  For dry skinned partners out there, you can skip this step.
You can choose either pressed or loose base on your preference.

Some setting powders to try ---
Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil
Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder
Guerlain Meteorites Powder for the Face

Lancome Ageless Minerale Perfecting and Setting Powder

What AMW loves to use ---
I actually prefer my setting powder to be really sheer and natural and pressed version.  In my case, it's the "baked" version.  I actually finished up (finally) my Mac Mineralized Skinfinish Natural and I use it as a setting powder and re-touching powder.  I love how I can layer it and it never cakes on me!  Great for all skin types!

3. Blush/Bronzer
Powder blush/bronzer is the easiest way to go.  Use a large fluffy brush for a natural flush.  Or use a medium-sized blush brush to sweep onto the apples of your cheeks for a healthy and more obvious "glow".

Some blushes to try ---
NYX Powder Blush

L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Blush

Clarins Powder Blush

Revlon Powder Blush

What AMW loves to use ---
I've been reaching for this palette for a quick blush every now and then.  I like how I can easily change the intensity of my cheek color.  I like using the light pink and bright pink shade on my cheeks!  If I've used too much, I can easily top it with the highlighting powder included in this palette.

Some bronzers to try ---
Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder
Nars Bronzing Powder
The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer

Elizabeth Arden Bronzing Powder

What AMW loves to use ---
This has never failed to be my ultimate favorite bronzer!  I like how it stays on my cheeks and how natural it looks on my cheeks!  With just a swipe or 2, my cheeks glow like I just hit the beach!

4. Pencil Eyeliner/Mascara
Whichever is more important for you, you can choose one or if you have time to spare, you can choose to apply both!  In my case, I can survive the day without mascara but I can never survive the day without an eyeliner to give my eyes the "depth" I want and the wide-eyed look that I've been trying to fake on sleepy days! 
tip: You can choose colored eyeliners or mascara if you're in a rush as it gives an instant color on your eye area!

Some eyeliners to try ---
The Face Shop Automatic Eyeliner

Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils

What AMW loves to use ---
I know I've said this a million times, if you're looking for no smudge, no mess, long wearing eyeliners!  You can always go for liquid or cream liners.  But if you're in a hurry, pencil liners are the easiest way to go. 

My least smudged pencil liner up to date is the MUFE aqua eyes, I use this everyday alternating brown and black!

Line the upper lashline with your favorite eyeliner making sure to stay close to it.  Pencil liners are easy for unsteady hands!  You can skip lining the waterline if you have watery eyes or if you want to make sure you won't end up with panda looking eyes!

Some mascaras to try ---
Maybelline Volum' Express Lift-Up Mascara

CoverGirl Lash Blast
Diorshow Mascara
Eyeko Mascara

What AMW loves to use ---
I haven't repurchased this, but looking back on all the mascaras I've used, this works really well in lengthening and volumizing my lashes and I don't need to spend too much! 

5. Lipgloss/Lipstick
Choose your favorite lipgloss that's not too sticky or a lipstick that's moisturizing.  I prefer using a tinted lipbalm as it moisturizes really well while giving me the natural pout!

Some lipsticks or lipglosses to try ---
Estee Lauder Kissable Lip Shine

Maybelline Moisture Extreme Lipstick

Becca Glossy Lip Tint

Mineraux Mulberry Lip Color

What AMW loves to use ---
I can never rave enough about these inexpensive lipsticks that performs!  The wide range of colors that's enough to make me want more!  I like the fact that these lipsticks aren't too drying as compared to other lipsticks I've tried.

My ultimate favorite on the go lip balm!  I love how moisturizing it is and it gives out a subtle hint of "just been kissed" lips!  

Now, doing this post is even longer than me putting on make-up early in the morning for 1 week! *laughs*  I hope you find this post useful!  I am sure there are more tips out there!  Do share!  This is an open space for all of us!

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!


  1. Wow! I like your post. I've tried some of the products featured. I agree with you on the tinted lipbalm. Just that natural pout :) I like Blistex lip tint which has spf15 too!

  2. Very cute post! I agree!! Everyone always says things like oh, I don't have time for this, I don't have time for that. Well, it only takes about 10-15 minutes for me to put on makeup in the morning and about half an hour to re-do my nails 1x a week - it just depends on if it's important enough to you to make the time for it.

  3. i agree! sunscreen is a must! whenever im in a hurry, i just put tinted moisturizer with spf, blush and curl my lashes. strawberry chapstick is my lifetime partner when it comes to lip balms. if i want more color, i use Bobbi Brown's rich color gloss which is love! :D

  4. i love the fact that you put in drugstore ranged product as well to accomadate those on budget

    great post nikki! :)

  5. for me if I am in a ultimate hurry, I would just apply powder foundation, blush and lip gloss and good to go ^_^

  6. Hi Nikki! I like your posts specially this one. Hope I can do this easy-to-follow tips of yours. As a working mom, morning is my busiest time of the day and most of time I leave the house without make-up. Loose powder and lip gloss are fine. I might try some of the product featured here. :)

    PS: you have a very nice blog! keep it up!


  7. I have another question for you: is tinted moisturizers the same as BB cream? I have using BB creams but I never tried any tinted moisturizers

  8. Bubbles, you are welcome!!! It's my pleasure!

    Simply Effortless, thanks! I'm glad you've tried some of the products I've featured! I love tinted lip balm, I haven't tried the tinted balm from Blistex, maybe I'll give it a try soon , I still have backups for my Nivea! hahaha

    Catherine, yes, we should find time to prettify ourselves, you're right, we can even shorten the steps to suit our time! :)

  9. Coffretgorge, thanks for sharing your tips! I love tinted moisturizers with sunscreen! I am seriously loving sunscreens now because of our super hot weather!

    LyNn, :) glad you like this!

    Xin, yay sister!!! I agree with you! But I should always add up my eyeliner on upper lashline! I just can't live without it! hahaha

    Wena, thank you so much! Thanks for the comment and its nice to meet you! Working mom is tough, so salute to you

    Anastacia, BB creams and Tinted Moisturizers or 2 different products. They may have "almost" the same function but BB cream has more! It has anti-aging properties, moisturizing, evening of skintone etc...if you are ok with your current BB cream, then you don't need a tinted moisturizer as most bb creams have good coverage already, sometimes even more coverage than tinted moisturizers! :) Hope this helps

  10. Great post! I love this type of post nikki :D thanks!

  11. ThanQ for the answer Nikki! That was helpful!

  12. Hana, glad you like this post :)

    Anastacia, I'm glad you found it helpful! It took me time to do this post but it's worth it :)

  13. great tips, Nikki! I love the MAC MSF Natural. It gives enough coverage and in no time at all!
    The one thing that I MUST do is fill in my brows. Once I have my brows on, the other makeup can take a back seat and I won't fret too much

  14. I really enjoyed this post. It's pretty much all the makeup I can manage to do in the morning before I rush to work.

  15. I really enjoyed this post. It's pretty much all the makeup I can manage to do in the morning before I rush to work.

  16. Connie, hhm...brow filling is important to me too! i'm used to doing that on a daily basis

    All Women Stalker, I'm gllad you enjoyed this post :) thanks

  17. hey dear~ I've been using the same L'oreal sunblock for years but I wonder if you have the same problem as mine. whenever I use this sunblock my skin tends to get oilier/shinier? I suspect its due to the al/Zn oxide content.. :(

  18. I second MUFE Aqua Eyes!!! Your tips are good! =)


I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to comment your questions, suggestions and just anything you may want to say! Keep smiling and stay happy!