How Low (-Maintenance) Can You Go?

 In Basic Aesthetics
The core of Basic Aesthetics, as my beauty philosophy, believes that ‘beautiful is basic’
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While makeup plays a part in enhancing (physical) beauty, confidence anchors beauty more deeply. Confident beauty is empowered, innate and discerning. Confident beauty can afford to be low-maintenance because confidence is an end-all. Now whether you choose to be low-maintenance because you got lazy (don’t we all – hello Mondays!) or you just don’t have enough time on your hands, trust that being low maintenance can prove to be more high-impact than you think. Since I’m obsessed with embodying #BasicAesthetics, I’ve explored it by providing you ways and means you can be low-maintenance, depending on your mood, style or the occasion.

Bare-Skin Bella: Spoil your Skin Look

Out-the-door: …. by the time you finished dressing up. When you get out of the shower, start layering your skin care. If a product needs more time to settle in, don’t add another layer. Instead, deviate by either drying your hair or lathering some body butter all over. When the first few layers of skin care has sunk into your skin (how to tell: your skin is not tacky or sticky to touch), you can finish with the rest of the layers.

The Low ‘Key’: If you wear makeup every day, consider treating your skin to a makeup-free day every now and then. Your skin deserves to breathe and it craves for unadulterated care. I’m no dermatologist but my deep love for skin care (I had a skin care regimen down-pat when I was 8 y/o) has made me aware that it doesn’t matter your age, your spending capacity or your vanity level: you NEED to invest in your skin. Skin care has multiple benefits but the main ones are: repair, prevention, protection, improvement and enhancement. I know that if you’re used to wearing makeup, it will be daunting to go in-the-nude. But with this look, you have to just not give a f*ck and embrace your beauty 100%, flaws and all.

Beautiful Basics: It doesn’t matter if your skin care regimen is simple or intricate, as long as it works for your skin type/needs. This is my personal routine that has worked for me. In the morning, I use a gel-based cleanser since it’s best for combination/oily skin. I exfoliate using a mild scrub twice a week to get rid of dead skin cells. The next 2 products are optimal and I mainly use to prep for skin care: brightening toner and essence. The products that infuse all-day moisture and glow to my skin are my serum and day moisturizer. I also do not forget to give targeted care to my under-eye and lips. The step I will never skip is sunscreen: sun protection is mandatory. Lastly, I give my lashes a few squeeze and off the door I go!

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Cleanser: Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Gel cleanser; Exfoliant: Cure Natural Aqua Gel; Toner: NARS Multi-Action Hydrating toner; Essence: Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence treatment; Serum: NARS Optimal Brightening Concentrate; Moisturizer: Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base; Sunblock: Shiseido Perfect UV Protector SPF 50+; Eye Cream: Bobbi Brown EXTRA Eye Repair cream; Lip Care: Burts Bees Beeswax lip balm; Ooomph: Shu Uemura Eye Lash curler.

Bare Minimum Beauty: ‘No Makeup’ Makeup Look

Out-the-door: … in 5 minutes or less! I would highly recommend not skipping on skin care (see above). Opt to streamline your usual routine by using only the mandatory ones per your need: moisturizer and sunscreen are my ultimate must’s. The “No Makeup” (“NM”) makeup is best for your daily look. It is less dependent on the products you use and more impacted by your discernment in using them. Your NM makeup look can vary with the products you use but the effect remains the same: it shouldn’t look like you have any makeup on.

The Low ‘Key’: Two things to nail this look: (1) Choose a feature to enhance OR a flaw to minimize. Beyond this decision point, you’re going to pile makeup unnecessarily. (2) Embrace that this look is not to look perfect and flawless. The element that’s un-done (“imperfect”) is the very reason why this look is beautiful. Carrying this look is 100% about owning your beauty. The combination of a few (operative term!!) products should vary – that’s what makes this look never boring. The products you choose to use should depend on what feels right to use (mood) and what will you do for the day (situation). Be very discerning of the type of products you use and the way you apply them. I went to great detail about this topic in this blog

Beautiful Basics: For someone like me who can tend to go overboard (so much makeup, you want to use them all), my trick is to limit the products to less than 3. For good skin-days, I will opt to just use an illuminating primer and a tinted lip balm wake my face up. For PMS days (huhu), I will not skip on concealer (pesky blemishes) and mascara (flirty peepers). For days I need to be a little bit more put together, I will add lightly defining my brows to the steps.

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Primer: Becca Backlight Priming Filter; Tinted Lip balm: Laura Mercier Lip Parfait Creamy Colourbalm.

Put-Together and Pretty: Effortless but Chic Look

Out-the-door: …. in 15 minutes or less! Reserve this look for any time you just want a little something-something more than just skin care (hey don’t skip this altogether!). The common denominator with women of beauty and substance is that they look put-together but they never look like they tried too hard. When you see the makeup before the woman, that’s when you know you’ve tried too hard. Your makeup should never speak for you.

The Low ‘Key’: When I think effortless makeup look, these things come to mind: (1) Products you can use multiple ways: Not only will you save time, the monochromatic look (i.e. your cheek color tying with your lip color) is ultra-chic. (2) Use your fingers as the ultimate tool: Nothing melts and blends your makeup better than (clean) fingers. (3) Skipping high-coverage and going light: Light makeup bases give you a fresher and more carefree look over high-coverage foundations. (4) Have a focal point – be it your eyes, brows, or lips – and roll with it. The beauty in this look is its subtlety.

Beautiful Basics: I personally love to highlight clear glowing skin. I spend the most time perfecting my base with a pore-minimizing primer combined with a targeted concealer. I am highly partial to cream products because they look the most natural. Since I have combination skin, I have to lightly set my face with a dusting of powder. If I have extra time, I will groom my brows with a brow mascara to keep them in shape. This makeup routine takes me no more than 10 minutes tops!

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Double-duty product: Stila Lip & Cheek stain; Brows: Benefit Gimme Brow; Powder: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish powder; Primer: Makeup Forever Step 1 Smoothing primer; Concealer: Charlotte Tilbury ‘The Retoucher’ Conceal & Treat stick.

Every single one of us have to believe that we are beautiful – just because. If that’s enough, then we CAN go low (-maintenance). I curated this “Low-Maintenance Menu” to inspire Women to be liberated from the idea that you need a whole production crew to look and feel beautiful every day. Just let your beauty be —

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
  • Kars Magbanua

    I think this is my favorite post thus far! =)