My Go-To "I Tried" Look: The Face

While I like being adventurous with my makeup once in a while, I'm a lazy girl, as I've already said a bunch of times, so most of the time I just default to a variation of the same look. In this post, I'll be sharing my usual look for when I want to look like I actually tried - this would most likely be for when I know I'll be in pictures, or for a nicer dinner/outing. While I was writing this, I tried to include as many different products as I could to show that the same general look can be achieved with a variety of products :) Because of this, the post ended up being extremely long, so I decided I'd split it into two posts. This post will focus on face makeup, and the next installment will be on the eyes and lips!



  1. Primer: Currently, I'm using the YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer (1 oz, $52, sample depicted here). Personally I don't find that it gives me as much radiance as some other primers, but it does an amazing job of keeping my makeup in place and truly blurs imperfections like it claims. For lighter or no foundation days, I like using the Milk Makeup Blur Stick (1 oz, $36), which provides the same effect to a lesser degree. On days I want more radiance than staying powder, I like using the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance (1.7 oz, $38) mixed into a liquid foundation.

  2. Foundation: I'm not a fan of heavy coverage, so I tend to opt for liquid foundations with light coverage. My original favorite had been BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation in Beige (1 oz, $44), which gives the most beautiful, radiant glow, but when I brought it with me to a wedding, I shattered the glass bottle :( I'm currently using The Ordinary Serum Foundation in 2.1Y (30 ml, $6.70), which I enjoy using with the Laura Mercier Foundation I mentioned above. After hearing all the hype about Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick (0.25 oz, $46), I decided to give it a try, and it has changed what I think of foundation sticks. This is now the foundation that I bring when I travel, since it's shatterproof and one less liquid that I'd have to pack. Despite being an amazing foundation, it is more of a medium to full coverage formula, so I only use this for special occasions. My shade for this is Beige.

  3. Concealer: For the longest time, I had been using the Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer in Madeleine (0.14 oz, $14). I don't love this concealer, but out of the ones I had tried, it had worked the best for me, and wasn't too expensive either. I think I still have a new tube of this lying around somewhere, but I was getting tired of using a concealer that was just okay to me, so I started looking for new ones again. I'm currently using the Colourpop No Filter Concealer (0.14 oz, $6) in Medium 30. I love it so far. It feels lighter on my skin than the Sephora one, and blends pretty seamlessly into my under-eye area while giving decent coverage. Once, I even forgot to set this concealer with powder, and somehow, it didn't crease. It's even more affordable than the Sephora one, so I am likely to repurchase this one. I always blend out my concealer with a beauty sponge - EcoTools Total Perfecting Blender ($4.49) is my current one.

  4. Bronzer: I don't really contour my face because I don't know how to and don't really find it necessary on myself, though I've come to appreciate having some warmth on my face. My favorite is the NARS Laguna Bronzer, which I own as part of a duo (0.17 oz per pan, $42) with the highlighter shade Hot Sand, which is also one of my favorite highlighters ever. It's a very subtle bronzing shade on my skin tone, but I love that because I don't have to worry about accidentally using a heavy hand. I do want to find a good cream bronzer though, since I find that cream products suit my makeup style more.

  5. Blush: As with bronzer, I want to slowly shift away from powder products, but I have quite a few powder blushes in my collection that I do enjoy using. The one pictured above is a travel-sized NARS Blush (0.16 oz, $30, travel size pictured above) in the shade Goulue, a warm berry shade with gold shimmer. Some others I like include the Makeup Geek Blush in Romance (0.15 oz, $10), which is a great NARS Orgasm dupe, and the Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo ($17, currently on sale for $11) in Tea Rose Tickle.

  6. Highlighter: This is most definitely my favorite step for face makeup. Especially when I want to look put together, I can get pretty extra with highlighter. I like to use cream and powder highlighters together to get that extra glow. The W3LL PEOPLE Bio Brightener Stick (0.4 oz, $29) is a veteran in my collection - I've had it for a couple years now and probably should toss it soon.... but I love the natural glow it gives on no-makeup days, and since it's a colorless sheen on my skin, it goes well with any powder highlighter I choose to apply. For powder highlight, the peachy NARS Hot Sand (pictured above in duo) and the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder (0.26 oz, $42) in the golden-nude shade Highlight are two of my favorites, and the highlighter in the Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition Face Palette Pretty Cheeky (discontinued :( ) rounds out my current highlighters in use.

  7. Loose Powder: Now, gotta set everything in place! I'm currently using the sheer shade of bareMinerals Mineral Veil (0.3 oz, $23), though the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder (1 oz, $38) in Natural Finish has also been a long-time favorite.

  8. Setting Spray: The Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (4 oz, $32) has been a veteran of my collection as well, and for good reason - I never have any major issues with my makeup if I use this. If I'm feeling extra, I'll also use a setting spray like the Glossier Rosewater Face Spray (4 fl oz, $18) for added glow.

Stay tuned for the continuation of this post!

beautyCathy Liu