If you are anything like me, then you probably are not a fan of spending copious amounts of money just for the thrill of it. Recently I have been thinking about ways to update my look for the cooler weather without spending a ton of money. Here are some subtle things that anyone can do to make them stand out this season.
I keep my make up over the summer and during class fairly simple. Above you can see the casual look I typically wear and the products that I use to create it. I think most college-aged girls would agree that they don’t have the time to spend hours on their make up and tend to go for a fairly simple application. In the picture above, I use Maybelline Colossal Volum’ mascara on both my top and bottom lashes and a thin line of dark brown Maybelline Define-A-Line eyeliner on my upper lid. For my skin I use Covergirl TRUblend Minerals powder because it provides lightweight coverage while still covering any imperfections in my complexion. I usually add bronzer just to give my fairly light skin tone a pop of color. For my lips I used Covergirl Natureluxe lip balm in Hibiscus, with a coat of Covergirl Wetslicks in Pearled Peach over it for some shine.
I know it seems like I am a little partial to Covergirl cosmetics but I have always had good results with their lip and skin products. I am also quite partial to Maybelline for eye makeup. My eyelashes are so straight that they fall downward, and Maybelline mascara actually gives me the option to curl my lashes because their mascara doesn’t weigh down my lashes. I was raised by a mother who doesn’t wear makeup, so I was brought up with drug store brands because that was all I had exposure to. I do not find it necessary to purchase expensive brands of makeup, but if you want to use similar products of a more elite brand, feel free!
Step One: Fill in Your Eyebrows
This tip may be a little obsolete if you already have very thick eyebrows (I’m sorry!), but if not, it is a really simple way to update your appearance is by filling in your eyebrows. When purchasing an eyebrow pencil you have to be really careful to grab the right shade. If you go too light, it won’t really do anything, and people might be able to tell which parts are drawn on. If you go too dark, it’s really easy to go overboard and end up looking like a cartoon character. I selected a shade that was as close to my natural brow color as I could find but it ended up being a smidge darker. When applying the eyebrow pencil use small, short strokes in order to make it look like your natural brow hair so that they won’t appear drawn on.
Step Two: Apply Blush
Contouring your cheekbones is one of the easiest ways to really make you stand out in a crowd. I think a lot of women don’t know how to contour, so they shy away from it. In reality, it is one of the simplest things to do and you can do it without having to buy any special brushes. All you need to do is to take a large powder brush, like one you would use for applying mineral makeup or bronzer, squeeze the bristles together to make it skinnier, and apply the blush in a linear fashion right underneath your cheekbones. I used a medium pink for the contouring color and then I applied a lighter pink on top to blend in the blush with my skin and add a subtle glow.
Step Three: Try Out a Bold Lipstick
Lipstick can definitely be a scary thing; for the majority of my life I had never ventured past the lip gloss shelf of any cosmetics section. Recently I have been experimenting with trying new colors on my lips, and I am absolutely obsessed with wine-colored lipstick. CVS has a Wet ‘n’ Wild section in their cosmetics department, and they have decent quality lipstick for only 99 cents. I recommend buying these to see if you really like and would wear the color and then upgrade to higher quality brand (I’ve noticed that Wet ‘n’ Wild tends to dry out my lips sometimes). For fairer complexions I think going dark and bold is the way to go. If you have a deeper skin tone, try something really light, like a frosty pink because it will really pop out against your darker complexion. A strong lip oozes confidence and you will have all eyes on you as soon as you enter the room.
For this look I used a lot of the same products that I used in my first look. My eyes were the same, the same Maybelline mascara and eyeliner. I started this look with Revlon Photo Ready foundation, I prefer this foundation when I’m contouring because it provides an ideal canvas for the blush When I use this foundation I use a primer to ensure that my look lasts as long as possible, since I’m actually putting some time into it. My primer is the only make up that I own that I bought for over $10, I don’t mind investing in Smashbox primer because it has lasted me forever and keeps me foundation on all day. The blushes that I used are pictured so you can get a better idea of what shades I utilized. My eyebrow pencil is Wet ‘n’ Wild, purchased for 99 cents. Don’t make too much fun of me! I went for a cheaper brand because I was unsure about purchasing such a dark color, but I love it now! Next time I may opt for a different brand because this one appears a little harsh if not applied carefully.
Note: Not all three of these tips need to be used together; you can mix and match until you find a combination that you like.
Step Four: If Make Up Isn’t Your Thing… Switch Up Your Part
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had side bangs, but then I started longing from something a little different on my head. I didn’t want to dye my hair because of the constant upkeep required and the inevitable damage. A really cost effective way to switch up your look and update it for the season is to change how you part your hair. After showering, all I did was part my hair down the middle before I blow dried it. Personally, I think that a middle part adds a level of maturity and elegance to any woman and can take your style to a sophisticated new level.
All of these steps above are quick, easy, and most importantly cost effective. None of these changes will cost more than a couple bucks, and you can do most of them with items you probably already have. Stay tuned for most money saving style tips!
Photo Credit: Emily Nicholson