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This happens every 4-5 years...


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I go on a makeup bender. A big one.


Last time, 5 years ago, it was because I was in a wedding and was responsible for doing my own makeup. This time, it's family portraits with extended family (which includes a gorgeous SIL who always looks so well put together).


Normally, I'm very basic (I wear a powder foundation daily, along with eyeshadow and blush) but my goal is color correction and oil control, not looking made up.


But I want more for our pictures (I've recently noticed I look washed out in photos). I've also gained a LOT of weight in the last few years, so I want to look like I've made an effort.


Here's what I've got covered:


Mascara (I usually don't wear)


Here's what I'd love recs for (tell me brands you love):

Eyeshadow (I'm generally a 1-shade-on-the-lid only, but that doesn't show up well in pics)

Blush - maybe a cream? (I use a powder but it doesn't really show)

Setting powder? Maybe? (New foundation is a cream and I do get a little oily)

Lip color (I'm usually a Burt's Bees kind of girl)


Throw it at me! :D I'm jumping in with both feet because this binge will satisfy the urge for the next 5 years. :p

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I not gonna be much help, but I did notice Burt' s Bees has a new actual tube lipstick product at Wal-Mart. I had never seen it before anyway. Maybe it would have more staying with power over the balm and shimmer products. I love BB too!



Edited by ifIonlyhadabrain
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Would you consider getting your makeup professionally done the day of the portraits? Another option is to go to Sephora and tell them exactly what you mentioned above. They will apply the makeup and try to sell some of it to you.

I stopped by Sephora today just to browse, but didn't have time to get made up. My kiddos were in full-blown meltdown mode by that point (long day) so I made it quick. Plus, I'm hoping I can fill in the rest of my list with cheaper products. My Clinique haul today nearly drained the budget... :p


Our pictures are in a town 2 hours away, so I'm considering doing my makeup while we ride...

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I really like clinique eye shadow. I tried to use other brands just recently, but they just aren't as smooth.

Have you tried the Chubby Stick eyeshadow? I was looking at it today when I picked up my foundation. I remember trying a freebie eyeshadow a few years ago from Clinique (duo called Strawberry Fudge, maybe). I don't remember much about it, though.

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I not gonna be much help, but I did notice Burt' s Bees has a new actual tube lipstick product at Wal-Mart. I had never seen it before anyway. Maybe it would have more staying with power over the balm and shimmer products. I love BB too!



I'll have to look into that. I currently wear the Shimmer in "Peony" as my "dressed-up" lip color, but it doesn't last long or show well in photos.

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Do you have colors in mind? What look are you going for? I know very little about make-up but am curious!

I don't really have a plan. :D


I prefer a natural look, but I want to look a little more pulled together than normal. I took a pic with two of my cousins recently, and they both looked like they were wearing makeup, and I looked absolutely naked-faced. (I was wearing foundation, blush, translucent blurring powder, eyeshadow, lip gloss). So, I think I'll just take it up a notch: add mascara, maybe more noticeable eyeshadow, more lip color. Nothing crazy.

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The way you put makeup on will have more of an effect than the brand. Youtube has tons of videos for techniques to get certain looks. If you are looking washed out in photos it could be technique or color selection or both. Another option is to find a Mary Kay consultant who can talk to you about how to put on makeup to hide or accentuate areas of your face.

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One hint I've heard of for pictures is to find a foundation without SPF. Evidently the SPF and flash don't work well together.

I have also come to really appreciate a primer. I use smash box, but I don't know that it really matters. It just really helps the foundation set and wear properly.

If possible, go to a department store makeup counter and get a makeover from a great brand like MAC, Laura mercier, or Chanel and tell them why you need it. They'll give you some great tips. I'd also suggest doing the teeth whitening strips for a week or so before. That can really make a big difference.

I hate pictures! So I always try really hard:)

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I think one thing that helps with the 'showing up in pictures' thing is the use of some accentuating items, like lip liner, eye liner, brow powder, etc. (and definitely mascara). I really like Clinique quickliner for eyes and quickliner for lips. If you wear light colors, or glossy sticks, maybe the Honeystick lip liner would work well??


My favorite eye shadow is Stila Kitten, but it might not help with the picture thing b/c it's light and shimmery.


I like Benefit brow gel and also their Stay, Don't Stray (which helps your shadow stay on well).


Have fun shopping! :)

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My only suggestion is to hit a makeup counter, whether at the mall or a stand alone store like Ulta. I'd probably not go on a weekend though, especially since it's prom season right now. It really helped me when I was sort of starting over with makeup. They should be able to help you figure out how to take your look up a notch.

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Good points re: 


NO SPF -- though we will be outdoors/natural light 


Teeth whitening....our pics are this coming Saturday, so I don't know if there's time for that to help (wish I'd thought of this earlier!)


Youtube -- I have been obsessively watching make-up reviews and tutorials this week, LOL.  I picked up a few things today, and I have a few more to get tomorrow (to do some experimenting this coming week).  My kids are going to wonder what in the world is going on, with mommy doing full-face makeup just for school, LOL.  (I have to practice sometime!) :D

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What's your coloring?  My tips are pasty-girl specific :-/ I have to wear stage make-up sometimes.  It's a bit much up close, but I'm usually pretty happy with any photos that are taken.  All of my profile pictures are me in "too much" make-up, only it doesn't look like too much in a picture.  My theory is that a flash, or even decent photo lighting washes you out much like stage lighting does.  


I do want to be one more voice that recommends Urban Decay eyeshadow.  The naked palette is a great, all-purpose one to own.  If you're red, a little green primer works miracles.  If you've never dealt with your eyebrows, definitely do that.  It can make a huge difference.  Look into concealer to brighten up your eyes.  Try volumizing mascara with a white end and a mascara end.  If you're blush isn't showing up, the powder isn't the problem.  You need a different color.  Try going just a smidge darker.  Don't be afraid.  If it's too dark, you can blend with what you have to get a shade that shows up without being garish.  Try standing across the room and looking into a mirror.  Does your face have features from a distance?  Go on youtube for tips to enhance your eye shape and resist the urge to put dark eyeliner ALL the way around your eyes.  If you have an "at risk" chin, a little bit of contouring powder can really help.


ETA:  You'll probably be happiest if you just kick everything up just one notch . . . keep your burts bees, but get the next shade darker, same for blush.  Eyelashes just a little thicker or darker.  Eyebrows just a tiny bit shaped or shaded.  Maybe 2-3 colors of eye shadow instead of one. The eensiest bit of contouring with a powder kit so you don't have to be a make-up artist to get it right.  If you go too drastic, you'll hate it and run and wash your face.  

Edited by KungFuPanda
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Urban Decay Naked 1 Palette (I don't like the colors of 2 & 3 as much):  http://www.sephora.com/naked-palette-P267200


Nars Blush/Bronzer Orgasm/Laguna combo:  http://www.sephora.com/blush-bronzer-duo-P104006?keyword=NARS%20Blush%2FBronzer%20Duo&skuId=832642&_requestid=105808


Both are great on all skin tones.  I can't help with setting powder because my skin tends towards dry, I'm usually adding shine, not removing it.


ETA:  I think lipstick is too skintone specific to recommend a shade.  I tend to like sheer pinks, and have found both the super cheap $3 walgreens brand that's near the Jordana crap and YSL (very pricey) to be my favorites.  I would do your makeup entirely, and go to a department store that sells YSL to try multiple shades on.  Tend toward pinks or red, so the makeup looks classic instead of dated.

Edited by Katy
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Let's hope DH never stumbles across this thread; he has no idea the money I've dropped on makeup this week. (This on top of the new clothes I've bought for our Disney trip -- 10 days to go! I mean, a gal has to be comfy in The Happiest Place on Earth, right?)


Anyway, lipstick...just, grrrrr. I've currently got about $30 worth of "oh-heck-no!" lip colors on my dresser. Bummer. I've decided to go with my normal gloss/balm since my eye shadow will be different.


Eye shadow: bought a really pretty palette (dupe for the Hard Candy nude palette) and found 1-2 colors that'll work nicely.


Foundation: tried Clinique's Chubby in the Nude stick (what a name) after some rave YouTube reviews, and it was AWFUL. (For me, at least...). At Walmart, randomly grabbed Cover Girl's Clean Matte BB Cream, and it looks awesome. So there's that...


Found some cream blush that works really well (NYX - yay for cheap!), as well as primer (Rimmel Stay Matte - tried it all this week and it hasn't broken me out, woo-hoo!)


So all in all, I'm feeling pretty good. Going to do full-face trial runs the next two days. Pictures are on Saturday, with projected temps in the low-90s. Might have to bring one of those hand-held, battery operated fans to keep it all from melting off my face....

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Well, picture day came and went.

It was an unseasonably warm 92 degrees, but my makeup held up like a champ (thanks, in part, to a primer AND a setting spray). FYI: I'd never heard of setting sprays until now; they've apparently risen in popularity since my last foray into makeup.

I didn't look especially "made up" but just polished up a bit. I was pleased with the final look.
(Please do not quote pic -- I'll delete in a day or so.). Thanks for all the help and suggestions!

Edited by alisoncooks
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I don't know your age so please don't think I'm being rude, but the best book to come out about make up is called Toss the Gloss: Make Up for Women Over 50. It's written by a former magazine editor and she's very upfront about what "works" and what is just marketing.


Believe me, I took careful notes. I'm sharing everything here (Keep in mind that I have pale skin and blue eyes):




SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic

Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Serum


Skin Whiteners/Age Spot Reducers:


Don't use ever: ingredient called Hydraquinone


Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector

Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Overnight Peel (have to use these for a while.)





Dove Beauty Bar


Under Eye Concealer:


Cle de Peau Corrector Concealer -- expensive but worth it

Maybelline New York Cover Stick

Almay Line Smoothing Under Eye Concealer


Primer is Spanx for the Face: (Goes on after sun block)


MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect, SPF 50

Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Buy this for trip to DC  in May!!!

Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer (can be worn alone).


Highlighter: (lighter than foundation)


e.l.f. Shimmering Facila Whip (BOUGHT FROM AMAZON PRIME ON 1/8/17.) Like a lot.

L'Oréal Studio Secrets Professional magic Lumi Highlighter

Smashbox halo highlighting wand




Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer spf 20

Estee Lauder Daywear BB (beauty balm)

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream (color corrector)


Foundation for radiant skin -- CoverGirl + Olay Tone Rehab 2 in 1 Foundation


Cream Foundations:


Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Ultra Hydrating Cream (use now and like)


Eye Shadow:


Maybelline Expert Wear Duo Eye Shadow in Browntones

CoverGirl Smokey Studio Blast in Onyx Smoke

Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo in Like Mink or Double Date




CoverGirl Lash Blast broke the L'Oréal winning streak (use and like)




CoverGirl Perfect Bend Eyeliner

L'Oreal Paris Le Kohl

MAC Kohl Liner


Eyebrow Color:


Lancome's Le Crayon Poudre Powder Pencil

Paula Dorf Brow Tint

TouchBack Brow Marker


Lip Liner:


MAC Cosmetics Lip Pencil in Spice or Stripdown (neutral and good for all)


Lipstick: (for pale skin tones)


Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Demure BOUGHT FROM AMAZON PRIME ON 1-8-17. It's okay/fine.

NARS Dolce Vita, Barbarella

Jemma Kidd's Peggy

CoverGirl LipPerfect Lipcolor in Darling, Delish, and Sultry

Maybelline New York Color Sensational Lip Color in Born With It, Nearly There, and Totally Toffee

N.Y.C. Ultra Moist Lipwear in Petal, Café, and Mocha


Long lasting all day lipstick:

E.l.f. Essential Luscious Liquid Lipstik in Bark

Revlong ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Perfect Peony


Tinted Lip Balm:


Maybelline New York Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm in Peach Kiss

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Caramel Daisy


Under eye concealer (need a creamy moisturizing one for under eyes)


Lancôme effacernes

Maybelline New York cover stick

Almay line smoothing under eye concealer


Concealer (dry one for dark spots, pimples)


Neutrogena healthy skin clearing blemis concealer


Primer is Spanx for the face:


MAC prep + prime face protect SPF 50

Sunday riley effortless breathable tinted primer -- can be worn alone

Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional


She highly recommends exfoliating gently w/ just warm water:




Washcloth (my note)





You don't want to strip color. Use a sulfate-free formula:

Pureology Hydrate Shapoo and Condition for dry hair at ulta.com.

Loreal paris EverPure sulfat free color care system at drug stores.


I use a sulfate-free shampoo that I bought at Costco.


Hope this helps!




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