Fresh Face Routine: Only The Essentials

Last year, 2020 – a year to remember, I found myself more often than not reaching for only the essentials to create a simple, natural, but put-together look.

Then when COVID-19 hit and everyone needed to mask up, I found myself finding a new and simpler beauty routine. Most days I wore nothing, but as time went on and mitigation efforts were lifted (slowly) and I went back to work, I desired a very natural easy look. In light of this, I’m going to share with you my top tips for creating that flushed, effortlessly beautiful look that we all love so much!

Rather than share super specific products (but please reach out if you need recommendations for those!), I am going to share the principles behind this style of look and what is important to remember when trying to achieve it.

1. Illuminating Primer

It goes without saying, but to look the most natural you need a primer or base layer that will reflect light. Skin naturally reflects light due to the moisture on the surface of the skin. As a result, to look the most natural but to heighten the experience a bit, I recommend an illuminating primer or moisturizer. Utilizing this step will add so much to that effortless vibe so many try to achieve.

A few base layers I love:

  • Paula’s Choice Essential Glow Moisturizer (all skin types)
  • Laura Mercier Illuminating Primer
  • Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Primer (great for combo-oily skin, but better for light skin)
  • BECCA Cosmetics Backlight Primer (suitable for light skin, but best for dark skin)

2. Tinted Moisturizer or Foundation

Depending on the level of coverage you need, a tinted form of coverage goes a long way in keeping a look natural and less “painted” on. To avoid the heavy makeup look, be sure to use as minimal product as possible to achieve an even complexion. It’s also important to consider your skin type here as combination to oily skin needs an oil-free formula, but normal to dry skin benefits from a more emollient and moisturizing mix.

A few favorites I recommend:

  • Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
  • Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation (also an oil-free version)
  • Tarte Cosmetics Maracuja Oil Tinted Moisturizer (very light coverage)

3. Illuminating Concealer

When using concealer for a fresh faced look be sure to only apply it where you need it. No excessive triangles of light or anything like that. Keep it simple, the point of this look is to do it quickly, so don’t overcomplicate your application. An illuminating concealer is perfect for covering those frustrating dark circles that we all dread and deal with. The light-diffusing particles help to brighten under the eyes creating a more youthful glow that lifts the under-eye area. This is essential in order to look more awake and effortless.

My favorite brightening concealers are:

  • NARS Creamy Concealer (all time favorite)
  • BECCA Under-Eye Brightening Corrector
  • Laura Mercier Camouflage Concealer Duo

4. Bronzer

A warm bronzer adds dimension back into your face after you apply your base layers and correctors. This is so important when creating an effortless look. When applying your bronzer make sure you hit all the points of your face that the sun would naturally “kiss”. By doing this, you create a natural soft and blended “tan” that enhances the shape of your face. You can also use bronzer to slightly contour your cheekbones by hitting right on top of and just underneath of them, closest to your ears, moving in a downward diagonal towards your upper lip crease. I use bronzer daily, it’s one of those “musts” in my book.

I prefer matte or slightly luminous bronzers, but avoid anything that has too large of a shimmer or glitter aspect. My favorite bronzers are:

  • NARS Laguna Bronzer
  • Too Faced Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate Bronzers
  • Physicians Formula Butter Bronzers (incredible bronzers for the price!)

5. Blush

It seems like people are either in the “I love blush!” camp or in the “I avoid blush” camp, but blush – when you have the right blush – can seriously elevate a look. It also creates a natural “flush” that mimics what happens in your own skin when you show emotion. I think blush helps people look happier and more lively. Since it imitates the blood vessels in your face, it truly can add so much to that effortless and fresh look we are all after. Just be sure to slowly build up your blush color and stick to a more natural shade. Remember, that the darker your skin the more bright of a blush color you will need vs. the lighter your skin the more muted of a blush color you will choose.

I prefer blushes with a slight red or rosy hue, but a few of my absolute favorites are:

  • MAC Sweet Enough Blush (perfect for light to medium skin, but works for all skin tones)
  • Tarte Cosmetics Blush in Exposed (better for fair to light skin)
  • Tarte Cosmetics Blush in Peaceful or Dazzled
  • NARS Orgasm Blush

6. Highlighter

Highlighter can be amazing when applied properly. It is still so popular right now and for good reason, but I think we can all agree that there should be limits to its use. We don’t want to look like a greasy disco ball. To avoid that make sure that you use a small fluffy brush to apply your highlighter so that your application is specific and not all over your face. Only apply highlighter to the highpoints of your face and put the greatest emphasis on the outer corners of your face where your brow bone meets your cheekbones. This c or v shaped arch is the most flattering place to highlight with other locations being the bridge and tip of the nose, the inner corner of the eyes, and the cupid’s bow of the lip.

TIPS: Use a dab or two of a liquid highlighter and blend it out before applying a subtle powder highlight overtop. Another excellent place to apply highlighter is the the center of the eyelid just above the lash-line, this helps to open, brighten, and lift the eyes. Again contributing to the lively fresh style we are after!

There are so many highlighters I adore using, but here are a few to get you started:

  • Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Highlighters + love the individual highlighter called “Strobe” (all of their highlighters are incredible, 100% worth the hype)
  • Make Up For Ever’s Liquid Soft Light Highlighters + their PRO Light Fusion Highlighters
  • Beauty Counter’s Highlighter palette and inidividuals
  • Tarte Cosmetics Highlighter in “Stunner”
  • BECCA Cosmetics Highlighter in “Champagne Pop”

7. Mascara with optional Liner

You cannot leave your look without a killer mascara application, but you can opt out of liner. In fact, there are many times where liner is not desirable for this kind of natural “in your own skin” vibe. Mascara is pretty straight forward with application, but don’t be afraid to build it up a little with a few layers because a simple look calls for statement lashes.

If you want to, feel free to do a minimal liner by using a tight-lining technique to enhance the eye shape without covering up too much of the lid space. You can also add a very slight wing, especially if you have more in-set or smaller eyes, this can help elongate them and balance the face. To keep the look natural, be sure not to use a liquid liner, but use a kohl, pencil, or dark powder instead for a softer finish.

Current favorite mascaras:

  • Tarte Cosmetics Man Eater Mascara
  • They’re Real by Benefit
  • Roller Lash by Benefit
  • Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara
  • L’Oreal Paris Lash Paradise OR Voluminous Original

8. Lipstick

In an effort to avoid a strong lip color, keep your lip application minimal. My favorite tip for this is to use a very pigmented lipstick, but only dab – lightly! – a few spots, then use your lips or your finger to smudge around the whole lip so that it mimics a very faint filter of color. In this way your application mimics that of a lip stain which is much more natural looking. You are able to give color to the lips, but without making them the focal point of your whole face, which when you want to look “fresh” focal lips is definitely something to avoid. As a bonus, you will not get lipstick all over your mask but when you get in your car to remove said mask, your lips will still look lively and “kissed” with color.

Rather than give a list of favorite lipsticks, any pigmented lip you have on hand will do nicely, but my favorites lean towards the bright spectrum in reds, roses, corals, and bright plums. When used minimally, these create lovely natural lip colors.

I hope you find this simplifies you routine this year – hello 2021! – while still giving you a complete look that covers all the essentials of an effortless, fresh everyday style. I love this routine and it makes life as a mompreneur much more enjoyable and realistic when I know my “getting ready” time is 5-10 minutes max.



6.3.18 – Brubaker Wedding

Caroline’s wedding day was so beautiful, her and her bridesmaids were such a fun crowd to be with all morning! I had the pleasure of doing Caroline’s wedding-day makeup as well as many of her bridesmaids’ hair.

The chosen venue was gorgeous! We set-up shop in a lovely farm house on the property of Lauxmont Gardens Weddings which had ample rooms for Caroline and her bridal party to relax in.

For makeup, I chose the upstairs blue room, since it had the largest amount of pretty natural light shining in!

While I was getting Caroline ready, her bridal party would meander in and out of the room, until eventually most of them were present, watching and supporting this bride as she was pampered!

As I mentioned before, this bride’s lovely heart and beaming joy shone out bright as she encouraged her dear lady sisters to sing worship songs with her. Truly…the most beautiful women are those who love Jesus, especially on their wedding day. I was so touched as I listened to these pretty women sing their hearts out to the Lord.

The pretty blue room had perfect acoustics and illuminated their voices wonderfully. Caroline & her bridal party were a perfectly fearfully & wonderfully made group of women! Definitely one of my favorite moments!

Naturally, Caroline is a gorgeous beauty who looked like a golden princess on her wedding day, but to enhance her natural sparkle we used some of the following gold-inspired products:

  • Make Up For Ever – gold eyeshadow
  • Make-Up Geek – shimmer shimmer
  • Tartelette in Bloom Palette – funny girl eyeshadow
  • BECCA Cosmetics Highlighter – champagne pop

To compliment her golden glam, we softened the look with hints of nude & natural pink using some of the following products:

  • MAC Blush – pink swoon
  • Make Up For Ever – custom mix (using a few of their nude & pink lipsticks)

Thanks to Jenna Mummau Photography for capturing this couple’s love and joy so seamlessly!

My hope for each and every bride I serve is that they will look back on their wedding day (& the pictures their chosen photographer captured) and be delighted with the look they chose for their wedding day, a look that highlights and emphasizes their radiant, inner beauty.

caroline 1

I think it’s obvious in the pictures above, that for Caroline, this hope of mine will be her reality…because she has such a loving, dear & beautiful soul!

Happiest of marriages to you, Caroline & Nick Brubaker!!

Fearfully & Wonderfully, 

2.24.18 – Hostetter Wedding

When Janelle’s wedding photos came back from the ever-talented Alyssa Christine Photography I was giddy with excitement!

Why? Because this bride’s wedding vision was a dream from her trendy choice of dusty blue lanterns in lieu of bridesmaid bouquets to her extension-styled updo with white floral accents…I was in artistic heaven.

Personally, I love some mood-like colors in images. I feel that it is more realistic and provides more depth and meaning to photographs, which again, is why I was so pumped to be working with Alyssa Christine for this bride’s day!

Alyssa selected the perfect settings for this couple’s portraits and I am so excited to share her captures here with all of you! Not only was Alyssa’s selection excellent for photos, but also her choice went perfectly with my new brand colors (double-win!).

The tan, sage, and gray hues in these photographs are incredibly complimentary, so naturally I did a little happy dance since I am not always so fortunate to have a photographer’s images line-up with my own brand goals!! (Thank you Alyssa!)

Without further adieu, I am going to share some of my favorites of these drool-worthy photos of Janelle’s bright and romantic look!

For details about Janelle’s chosen style & look, scroll past the images for a description of how everything came together.

Getting Ready Makeup:


Total Bridal Look (Makeup):


Total Bridal Look (Hair):


Here are the pretty little details about Janelle’s whimsical, yet classic, wedding day style:

First, a little secret…

Janelle was one step ahead when she came to me for her trial because she already knew that to achieve the full and beautiful upstyle she wanted, she would need to use hair extensions to help fill-in and bulk-up her pretty, but fine hair (P.S. – the best extensions are clip-in extensions, but a post on that later!).

Did you know ?

I offer extensions rental for your big day, at a low cost to you! The extensions I use retail at a $300 value and are the best bridal extensions on the market. BUT since I want you to have the hairstyle of your dreamsand since I realize that most brides – like myself when I was getting married – cannot afford to pay that additional cost – I mean you are already paying for your entire wedding, right?!

Who needs more large expenses?!

In light of this, I am able to offer high-quality extension rental starting at a much lower, more manageable number. If extension rental interests you, talk to me at your trial!!

More information coming about this in the future: STAY TUNED.

As to the rest of Janelle’s hairstyle, we did a low side-bun with big bunches of curls pinned together in the back to create a really romanticbig upstyle! For the sides we kept them simple and swept back in a way that flattered her natural beauty. Then, for the final touches, some greenery and white florals were added to really bring everything together!

For Janelle’s makeup, she wanted a bright and natural look (like almost all of my brides!), which is my specialty! We went with a bright white-pink-hued shimmer on her lids, with the slightest contour in the outer corner using a darker matte-brown shade, thin liner, false eyelashes (of course!), and waterproof mascara!

To complete her look we went with a complimentary long-wearing blush/lip duo based on her natural lip shade, but intensified a little so as to stand out more in her pictures!

Overall, Janelle’s look was flawless on her wedding day and a perfect representation of not only her natural beauty, but also her inner beauty!

Thank you Janelle for choosing me to be your Hair & Makeup Artist on such an important and special day in your life.

Cheers to your marriage!

Fearfully & Wonderfully,