low maintenance makeup

Tips for “the girls”

If you are a low-maintenance makeup kind-of-gal, or one that doesn’t wear much makeup at all, these are some great products to start with.

1. A bb cream is a great base for evening skin tone, adding a hint of color that is blendable and breathable, and providing smoothness and spf. It’s much lighter than traditional liquid foundation so it won’t leave a heavy finish on the face.
2. A light powder will provide a matte finish and even tone in top of the bb cream. This part isn’t necessary, but great for those who have oily prone skin, or prefer a matte finish.
3. this Almay eyeshadow compact comes with everything you need for a dimentional eyeshadow look. Plus it even tells you where to apply the product.
4. I can’t get enough of the Maybelline Color Whisper lip gloss/balms. One swipe gives you a hint of color, but a few layers will add enough depth for a full coverage color.
5. A blush with a few different tones will leave your cheeks with luminous color, highlight and dimension, all from one product. 
6. CoverGirl Lash Blast is the best mascara I’ve ever used. Once swipe is good, but three swipes is better.
7. Sephora’s waterproof eyeliner is bold and long-lasting. 

These are great base products to start a makeup collection with. You can build on it with new lip color, a brighter blush, or different eyeshadow colors–but having good quality products to start with will be easier to add to. 


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Carly says · 04.02.13

I’ve been meaning to try that lipgloss!


moderncommonplacebook says · 04.02.13

I LOVE BB creams! I will be writing about them soon because I can’t get enough :). Thanks!


Emily says · 04.02.13

I just use foundation, bronzer, blush, eye liner, mascara and my trusty Revlon lip butters! Less is more to me, unless I’m getting dolled up for a special occasion!


sb. says · 04.02.13

I’m really, really low maintenance with my makeup. I use the Rose Primer from Fresh, Dr. Jart’s Water Fuse BB Cream, a cream blush from Smashbox and no mascara – I just curl my lashes instead. If I’m going out I’ll use a tiny, tiny bit of eyeliner and mascara and a brow brush. I don’t like the feel of a lot of makeup and the low maintenance style feels much better. My skin looks healthier too wearing less makeup!

Heather Carson says · 04.02.13

ooo! love that blush, might have to try it!
but $28 to me is a splurge!! haha

xo – heather
This Life Is Yours Blog

dustyroadblog.com says · 04.02.13

Awesome, awesome, awesome! This was wrote just for me!!! I hardly EVER wear make-up but really should, thanks so much for these recommendations!
~ Kimberley

Heather says · 04.02.13

This is pretty much my make up routine every morning with similar products! You’re reading my mind lately on the lip products! I just bought the color whisper and love it. I feel like I could wear it all day and that it goes with everything!

Thanks so much for this post!

pretty little things says · 04.02.13

my makeup routine is pretty low maintenance all the time — thanks for sharing this! xo


Kara K says · 04.02.13

This is pretty similar to my beauty routine, except I add bronzer. Do you have a fav?

Candice @ Just Stay Lovely says · 04.02.13

yup I am totally hooked on the color whispers too!

Ashley says · 04.02.13

I love my bb creams not only for the spf but the light coverage is amazing!

Emily says · 04.02.13

Every time I read your blog I end up making a shopping list! 😀 I usually just do mascara and lip gloss and a little powder, but I’ve been wanting to branch out a little more, so this is perfect.

Lizzie says · 04.02.13

I love having a low-maintenance makeup routine, and mine is similar to this! The Whisper lip balm and covergirl mascara and two of my staples, as well. 🙂

Christine McCown says · 04.02.13

I agree with every single one of these. The Color Whisper lippies are the absolute best!

Blue Dog Belle says · 04.02.13

Thanks for this love! I really need to check out that nearly naked powder.

Nora Rose says · 04.02.13

Is Tarte BB ok for sensitive/acne prone skin? I find my Garnier BB and Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer drive my skin crazy. 🙁

Lylith Carraway says · 04.02.13

OK I am getting ready to go on a cruise & I am HIGH maintenance in the makeup department. We are going snorkeling & I have to wear something! Any tips on what I can use that won’t scare the dolphins away (we are swimming with the dolphins)??

Surf Momma says · 04.02.13

Love this! I paired down my makeup routine when I moved my workouts to my lunch hour. I didn’t like feeling like I was sweating off the makeup I invest in so now it’s taken a bit of a back seat to weekends and date nights. Great suggestions!

NannerBananer says · 04.02.13

I must be ultra low maintenance then because 7 products is alot to me!!! That seems like normal person, haha. I use bare minerals and get great coverage (as good as, if not better than, liquid foundations imo). I rarely use blush…maybe I should. A bit of eyeshadow in something neutral and mascara. Boom. Done.

Sequin Doll says · 04.02.13

I completely agree with the Cover Girl Lash Blast! I’ve tried a lot of different mascaras (including dior, buxom and such) and think that CG LB is just as good if not better than the high end brands. It’s also really awesome if you put a lash primer on first!


Cassandra Moskal says · 04.02.13

I also agree with the Cover Girl Lash Blast. It’s my favorite mascara and I have tried many other more expensive brands.

Kayley says · 04.02.13

Tarte BB cream is the BEST! I gives me the most flawless finish without being heavy. Just the right amount of coverage!


Kayla Gilbert says · 04.02.13

I have been wanting to try a BB cream! I’ve heard they are awesome. Thanks for all the suggestions Kate! : )


Laura says · 04.02.13

Low-maintenance is the name of my game. I was happy to see that my usual make-up routine involves most of these products. I don’t usually wear eye shadow, but I think I’ll have to try Allmay compact, it seems pretty fool-proof. Thanks!

Cat says · 04.02.13

Okay, how embarrassing is this…I am so low maintenance that I don’t even know what BB cream is. I use Olay’s Total Effects Tone Correcting Moisturizer. Is that like a BB cream? I’m a busy mom of 2 little girls and I have to look my best in the smallest amount of time possible. Thanks for giving me some tips to do that.

Amber King says · 04.02.13

Sometimes I wish I were a low-maintenance makeup kind of girl, but I tend to lean towards a more glam look. You are lucky if you can get away with just a little bit of blush, mascara, and lipgloss!

FACE IT Catalog

Jill says · 04.02.13

I love the Loreal “Balm” for lips and it sounds like I need to try the Maybelline product, too! 🙂

Alissa Kelly says · 04.02.13

I’m looking for a BB cream- and would love to try this one. Is it a good idea to shop online though? I’m not sure what shade I’d need.. I have pretty pale skin but I’m just not sure. Do you suggest going into the store?


Allison Clements says · 04.02.13

I’m a very simple make up girl and having this is going to be super helpful. Thank you so much!


Kristina says · 04.02.13

I’ve been loving the color whispers too! I looked in my purse the other day and realized I managed to buy two in the same color, whoops.

Kristina does the Internets

Valeska Mengert says · 04.02.13

Love the collage type image you created! What did you use to make it?
Have you tried that particular BB cream from tarte? I’ve been meaning to try some of their products and would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Also loving those color whispers!!

Making It Sparkle

Jess says · 04.02.13

Thanks for posting this! Would you believe that I don`t own mascara? I need to pick one up, and since you said this affordable one is your favorite, I`m sold!

Some Snapshots Blog

kristinwithani says · 04.02.13

Kate, you just listed so many of my all time favorites for ease and budget-friendly make up.

I’ve seen all the buzz about the Whisper so I got a tube this weekend. I don’t love it. I like it but find I have to reapply very often. Like, once every 30 minutes or so. Because you were the first to blog about Revlon butters, I got hooked on those last year and will continue with those. I even wrote a post about them last year (and YSL). No, I promise I’m not plugging my blog. Good grief, I am so not a beauty blogger. BUT this does give my opinion of different levels of lip product and I’m a total junkie. http://kristinwithani.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/stewardship-buyers-remorse-stupidity/

After Bobbi Brown gel liner, Sephora waterproof is my second fave.

Oh, and I got a sample of “They’re Real” last week from Sephora. It is so popular right now. It fell on my cheeks by mid-day. Back to the Lash Blast I go.

Such good stuff here! Thanks!

Louisa says · 04.02.13

thanks for your lovely post. somehow here in germany I never managed to get a bb creme light enough for my skin tone

Shasta says · 04.02.13

I love Lash Blast mascara! I’ve tried all sorts of expensive ones through Sephora and haven’t had as great results as I have with Cover Girl’s Lash Blast. I have very thin/fine lashes, and it amplifies them without clumping or looking spidery.

I need to look into the BB Cream you recommended. I cannot stand wearing foundation, but I’ve heard great things about BB creams.

sandie says · 04.02.13

based on one of you’re previous updates, i ended up getting the Dior Lip Glow and the Tarte LipSurgency Energy…both I think would fit nicely in this post too 🙂 I am IN LOVE with the Tarte product!!! thank you!
Also, I REALLY want to try the Whisper…but there’s another lip stainy-ish type balm-y type lip product on the market, and i can’t remember the MFGR name, but it’s AWESOME and lasts forever! i’ll try to remember and comment again…you should try it!!!

sandie says · 04.02.13

REVLON COLOR SUEDE!!!! so awesome!

spanishkitchenette says · 04.02.13

The BB cream has been the discovery of the year since I cannot use thick bases because of my atopic skin. I use Garnier’s one, the cheapest, but it’s oil free and free-parabens which is EXCELLENT!
For the rest of my basic lazy make up products I use a normal 9 euros mascara (Rimmel London) and where I spend the money is on the blush. I totally ove Bobbi Brown’s. They last forever!

Mags Pomichowski says · 04.02.13

I totally agree with you on the bb cream. Every girl should own some and I don’t know how I lived without it.


Annette says · 04.02.13

Thanks for the post! I loved watching your full makeup tutorial the other day, but these products seem more doable for me (a powder-blush-eyeliner-mascara-chapstick gal). I’m excited to give them a try!

Claire says · 04.02.13

Oh, I love this. I’ve been meaning to try Lash Blast for a while – thank you for the reminder!

Morgan Fleischauer says · 04.03.13

Great post! I like to use Maybelline Colossal Volume or Maybelline Volum’Express for mascara. I have very short/fine eye lashes and this stuff boosts the volume!

Lauren @Simply With A Smile says · 04.03.13

Sometimes simple is just better overall! Great post as always Kate!

Sara Overcash says · 04.03.13

What brand(s) of makeup brushes are your favorites to use?

Coffee mornings says · 04.03.13

‘Low-maintenance’ I like that term. wish more companies will come out with BB creams for darker skin types; it’s so hard to find one and I rarely wear foundation so a BB cream will be perfect for an everyday look


CldCruz says · 04.03.13

Love this post. I’m a blush, mascara and some eye shadow type of gal. I’ve tried to find lip color that will work with my skin tone and all the ones you post are great. Only problem is your skin is fair and I’m on the more of a medium (if that’s even a color). Any recommendations on lip color for medium skin tones.

Candace Rhea says · 04.03.13

While your hair tutorials are AMAZING & have significantly altered how I wear my hair these days…this may be my favorite post yet! Not wearing makeup isn’t an option for me, but I’m no makeup artist either. So this is perfect 🙂 Thanks!!

Carla says · 04.03.13

Thanks, I am a simple makeup girl, this will be fun.

Anna Black says · 04.03.13

Trying to ind the perfect BBcream, might give that one a go!


Tessa DAngelo says · 04.03.13

Oh yes please! I need all of this!

In Nature says · 04.03.13 Reply
Vicky says · 04.04.13

Please enlighten me: What on earth is BB cream?

I have 2 modes of makeup:
1. Everyday, which is shadow & eye liner only
2. Dance performance, which is a full slathering of everything I can find/afford

Kelsye Cassell says · 04.04.13

I literally wear nothing but lotion and clear mascara with a swipe of tinted lip gloss. This looks totally doable for Me. Thanks 🙂

Erin T says · 04.05.13

Why does my eyeliner smudge right beneath my eye? I cannot stand it! I don’t have oily skin which would cause it that I’ve read about. I use CG Perfect Point plus. I see girls with beautiful eyeliner that never smudges and I can’t figure out, for the life of me, why mine does! Help?!?!?!

Ashley says · 04.05.13

What shade of color whisper do you recommend for blonde medium complexion? I have pin up peach now, but was looking more for a pink nudish

Michigan says · 04.06.13

I tried the Tarte bb cream…it was cakey and powdery…are all bb creams like this? Any suggestions?

thepetitesewist says · 04.21.13

I use the mascara pictured above, but am having problems keeping flecks of it from falling into my contacts. Do you have any application tips or another product you’d recommend? Thanks!

Theresa says · 04.14.14

Just bought the mascara above… I love it!