Stress Chronicles: Makeup for the Makeup-phobe

11 Apr

I once mentioned in this blog that I conducted a talk in one of the universities about the corporate world and makeup. Yes, they do work together. Makeup is a dual-ended weapon: it can make the young look more mature, and in vice versa.

But more importantly, makeup shows effort. Carefully and tastefully applied makeup would make you look presentable and it’ll give people (colleagues and your boss, even) the impression that you don’t just get up in the morning, throw some clothes on and run to the nearest bus stop; it sends the message that you spend time and effort on yourself and, most likely, everything else that you do.

I just thought it was interesting because I was having lunch with a few ladies last weekend and one of them was advised that she might want to consider wearing makeup at work. Sadly, she’s a bit of a makeup-phobe and is pretty vocal about her aversion to makeup but with much coaxing from the others, she finally admitted that she’s not entirely close-minded about the whole thing; she just doesn’t know what products to get and how to use them.

And she (probably) once had an experience when her makeup was applied all wrong (or too gaudy/cakey/tacky), hence the trauma.

I applied makeup on her once (this was months ago) and she seemed to like it. In fact, she was all, “when I get married, you’re doing my makeup”. BIGGEST compliment I’ve ever received, really.

So the question remains: What products should she get?

Consider her profile:

  • Aversion to makeup (minimal knowledge about it too)
  • 25-35 years old
  • Petite frame
  • She looks young
  • Works in the corporate world and she’s required to mingle with all sorts of people

I’m not gonna go into skin care as I’m sure she has her routine, but here’s a list of the common things you’ll find in a typical woman’s makeup kit:

my own makeup kit

  • Foundation or Powder
  • Blush
  • Mascara (and eyelash curler)
  • Lipstick
  • Concealer
  • Eyeliner
  • Lip balm
  • Eyeshadow (single lid wash or a reliable mini palette)

I have a difficult client owing to the fact that she’s so averse to makeup so it boils down to what she needs and what she’s willing to work with. I came up with a fairly simple and low maintenance list:


This is the splurge version:

  • Foundation: MAC Studio Fix Powder + Foundation
  • Blush: NARS blushes
  • Mascara: Maybelline Great Lash
  • Eyelash Curler: Shu Uemura
  • Lipstick: Bobbi Brown New Lip Rich Color
  • Brow Powder: Benefit Brow Zings

You might be wondering where the concealer is. Well, I thought that, for my specific client, she would want to keep it as low maintenance as possible; she wouldn’t have the time and patience for spot concealing or for making sure it’s properly blended around the eye area (the same reason why I chose not to recommend liquid foundation). And, as per her insistence request, she still wants to look like herself.

In fact, I think the eyebrow product is pushing it, but I’m a strong believer that the brows can change the entire look.

These products are cult favorites. They’re tried and tested products, and over time they’ve proven to be one of the best (or most sought after). They’re effective and long lasting; the latter being particularly useful if you don’t like reapplying your makeup more often than you should. Sadly, they’re also pretty expensive so I came up with an alternative list as the save version:


  • Foundation: Revlon PhotoReady Foundation
  • Blush: Ever Bilena Blush
  • Mascara: Maybelline Magnum
  • Eyelash Curler: Fanny Serano
  • Lipstick: Covergirl Lip Perfection
  • Brow Powder: In2It brow powder

These products are as effective and they can hold their own against their pricier cousins.

So watchathink, folks? Agree? Disagree? Let’s help my friend in need, shall we? What products would you recommend for the makeup-wary?


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