Three Ways to Spice Up a Minimal Makeup Look

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On a day to day basis, I prefer a super minimal makeup look. It's just what's most practical for me at work, and it means I can stay in bed longer (because I have it down to a science where it only takes me 5 minutes). It's come to be my "signature look" in a way (more on that in a post soon), but sometimes when I want a little extra something-something, while still keeping it looking natural overall, I'll do at least one of three things.

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Dramatic Lashes

My normal mascara on a day-to-day basis gives me just a little bit of length and flutter. But if I want to amp up my look, I'll beef up and make my lashes look a little more dramatic. My favorite lately has been starting with the Givenchy Base Mascara Perfecto* (can we talk about that packaging though?!) and following with a layer of their Noir Couture Mascara.* I talked about the mascara in my Three Mascaras post, and it's a great one for everyday. One layer fans out the lashes and gives a little bit of volume, but layering it over the new primer takes it to the next level. I can see the primer adding so much length and volume to my lashes right away. It goes on smoothly and doesn't cause the mascara on top to flake - a problem I've had with any mascara primers in the past. Usually these are just too many steps for me, but I've been using this duo quite a lot.

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Bright Blush

This is my go-to. Since I'm so pale, I find adding a brighter blush on my cheeks helps me look healthier and more awake. For the longest time I avoided blush, thinking they made my redness even more pronounced. But now I've gotten my redness under control, and I've figured out the most flattering placement for my face (farther back than my apples, more along my cheekbones). For me, cooler-toned pinks and berries look most flattering, but if your skin is more warm toned, a pop of coral or peach would look lovely. My go-to's have been the Glossier Cloud Paints* in Puff and Haze and the Estee Lauder Genuine Glow Blushing Creme* in Sweet Cheeks. They all create a natural but noticeable flush that adds something nice to an otherwise minimal look.

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Sheer Flushed Lips

Along the same lines as the bright blush, a pop of a sheer bright color on the lips is a nice way to add a little something. It instantly makes the look more put-together, and like the blush, makes me feel like I look more awake and healthy. Again, my favorite kinds of shades for my skintone are cooler-toned pinks, purples, and berry-reds. The Glossier Generation G lip colors are perfect - my go-to for this kind of look is Jam, a lovely berry purple - as are the Nudestix Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balms* (review). They both give a sheer but buildable wash of color to the lips. If you want a matte stain effect, go for Glossier, but for more of a sheen, go with the Nudestix. Another great tinted balm is the Wander Beauty Beach Balm* - it comes in a lovely sheer berry red shade called Sangria that adds the perfect flush to the lips. Blending a bit of a more pigmented lipstick into a balm to sheer it out is also an option too - I love doing this with the MAC Lipstick in Craving for a lovely plummy pink, as well as the Rodin Olio Lusso Luxe Lipstick in Billie on the Bike.

Do you add a pop of anything when wearing more minimal makeup looks? What are your tips and favorite products? 

*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information.