All the makeup I put on my face

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Recently, I shocked a friend by telling her that I got up every day during even the darkest months of Covid quarantine and applied makeup, without fail. I might not have changed out of the sweatpants I’d worn the previous day (and maybe even slept in), but I did inevitably perform this beauty ritual daily. Why? Well, like everyone else I was Zooming a whole lot back then, and wanted to look good for others. That was part of the thinking. But also, I just thought about the fact that on an average day one catches oneself in the mirror countless times, and why wouldn’t I want to look good for myself? Here, in order of application, is everything I’m currently using, starting with this tinted face oil, which is a good substitute for foundation if you don’t want the heavy coverage of a foundation.

This MiracleBalm has been a straight-out-the-gate bestseller for Bobbi Brown’s new natural beauty line, and for good reason: it goes on super-sheer—much lighter than it appears here—and I apply it to my cheeks for a nice, natural-looking wash of color.

I have tried scores of brow products, but this pencil is my favorite yet. It fattens up my brows nicely, and doesn’t look fake.

Next, I apply this eyeshadow, which is super-subtle and tough to mess up.

If I’m in the mood for some additional drama, I’ll go for this eyeliner from Shiseido, which has a satisfyingly fine point, making application easy even for makeup clutzes like me.

My mascara regimen is a two-parter: first I apply this Mac mascara for volume.

And then I apply this one for length.

This has been my favorite lip color for over a year, which is some kind of record in my book. It’s just a nice, poppy, berry-ish shade and it goes on very matte, if that’s your thing.

If I’m in the mood to top that lip color off with a glossy shine, or if my lips are chapped, I’ll apply a light coat of this tinted lip balm.

Finally, I spritz this setting spray, and voila! All that makeup lasts literal hours longer than it would otherwise.

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56 Thoughts on All the makeup I put on my face
    Marie
    4 Nov 2022
    6:07pm

    Now I want to try the balm! However I have a ridiculous ( approaching hoarder ) amount of HBAs. It reminded me to pull out the Drunk Elephant Rosi glow drops to give that a go again
    (was underwhelmed but perhaps paler winter skin will be the trick) – what is it that I have such FOMO regarding products? Like this is fine , great even but what if this one is even better? For concealers , I have Kim’s coloring and find a smear of Benefit Boing ( no 1)easy and helpful to the whole area under my eyes under foundation as well as the pixi correction concentrate brightening peach which I use over last thing. (also on dark inner eye situation) Huge difference. The peach seems to enliven and not be so tricky.
    Ann Patchett’s latest has a couple essays that speak to this ( she didn’t buy any products for a year to use stuff up ) and one about getting rid of stuff. (These Precious Days) – great audiobook.
    I loved Benefit rollerball for decades but now , less so. Is it my old eyelashes or has anyone else noticed this?

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    Dawn E
    3 Nov 2022
    12:29pm

    I love and wear make-up most days…I have been known to zoom without however (only close friends and a couple of work friends)! Love Kosas Tinted Face Oil (thanks Kim for a previous rec) and curious to try MiracleBalm. Another fav is Thrive mascara (yes, the one with the crazy black “worms” in your bathroom sink lol) and I love their lip/cheek stick. But I am having squalms about the excessive packaging. Does anyone remember Stila? Loved that eco-conscious brand!

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      Heather
      4 Nov 2022
      10:37am

      Stila is still around! And I also like that Thrive mascara, including but not limited to the fact that it comes in brown.

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      liz
      3 Nov 2022
      12:48pm

      Love Stila. You can order thru Anthropologie or directly.

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        Dawn E
        3 Nov 2022
        8:44pm

        I know it was sold–the original line had refillable containers and the lipstick case was cardboard not plastic. Is anyone doing that kind of minimal plastic packaging now?

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    Bobby
    3 Nov 2022
    12:30pm

    Kim, may I gently suggest an SPF product? You must look so polished and professional all the time! I’m trying to get back into wearing make up — it made me feel good, but all of that went to hell during the pandemic, and I haven’t gotten back in the habit.

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      Kim France
      3 Nov 2022
      1:20pm

      I use sunscreen daily, just counted it as skincare, not makeup.

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        Bobby
        3 Nov 2022
        2:54pm

        Oh! Makes sense — I count it as makeup because I use a tinted spf moisturizer that provides serious coverage.

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    Stephanie O.
    3 Nov 2022
    12:59pm

    Yet another question on the balm! Kim, what do you apply it with? Your finger? A brush? Sponge? I think I’ll give the product a try, and would like to set myself up for success as best possible.

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      Kim France
      3 Nov 2022
      1:20pm

      I use my fingers, but I could see a sponge working too.

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    Darcy
    3 Nov 2022
    1:50pm

    Great list, Kim. Thx for that!
    Question for the rest: Anyone besides Kim have experience with a setting spritz to report?

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      Mamavalveeta03
      3 Nov 2022
      1:53pm

      I haven’t tried Urban Decay’s but I love MAC Fix Plus in the coconut scent. It moisturizes and sets. Also heard great things about Benefit Porefessional Setting Spray.

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      JB
      4 Nov 2022
      8:22am

      I use a setting spray – urban decay – in the beginning rather at the end. I dab on makeup or cc cream where I need it and then lightly spray the dabs and let it set for abt 30 -60 sec and then I go in with my brush or sponge as I would normally. I like the finish and holding power this technique offers.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    3 Nov 2022
    2:00pm

    I’m a big fan of Kosas lipstick – try “Undone” for a perfect pinky brown, and their brow groomer, which Kim turned me onto and has a wide range of shades. I might retry the tinted moisturizer since it’s been awhile. I’ve been loving the It mascara, too! It gives my wimpy lashes the length they need. I have to have a blush, and these days, I’m into Ilia’s multistick, which I use on lips and cheeks. Anyone know of a great undereye concealer for dry, crepey skin? I’m so sick of ordering and being disappointed!

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      Rae
      4 Nov 2022
      9:30am

      I have the driest of skin and I have good luck with RMS Uncoverup and the Kosas concealer. In both cases I use a rich moisturizer and sometimes a moisturizing primer under my eyes as part of my skincare routine and I use a light hand with the concealer. The key for me is to use a tiny bit of color corrector before the concealer. It allows me to use less product overall. I have very fair skin and very purple/blue circles and a peachy / orange color corrector such as the Jones Rd pencil #4 lets me use just a dab of concealer.

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        Mamavalveeta03
        4 Nov 2022
        9:36am

        Thanks, Rae! ❤️

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    Gemma
    3 Nov 2022
    3:02pm

    Woah, wait a minute. You use two mascaras at once? Kim France, you are blowing my mind! It never occurred to me that you could use two different mascaras rather than hunting for one unicorn perfect one that probably doesn’t exist.

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    Wendela
    3 Nov 2022
    4:07pm

    Ok, so I’m a limited make up wearer at this point (mostly lip & brow products) but I’m curious about that Laura Mercier eye shadow —do you just do a swipe along the crease at the back of your lids, or a swipe just along the edge near your lashes, or do you fill in that whole area of your lid, or something else? I feel so dumb asking what is probably obvious to you beauty experts, but I think I might like subtle eye shadow if I can get it right and I’m afraid to try without some guidance.I’d be grateful for some eye shadow advice for this GOACA (somehow I feel like there is less room for error in this than when I was in my teens/20’s). Can someone explain this to me like I’m 5?

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      liz
      3 Nov 2022
      4:10pm

      I have used the similar BB one as a liner on my lid. I’m also a minimalist but I love acquiring makeup and fragrance.

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      JB
      4 Nov 2022
      8:43am

      It totally depends on your eye shape and how exposed your lid is or if your dealing with droopy lids. I think an easy basic for an eye shadow stick is to use a light application in a medium shade on lid and crease and work it in with finger or brush … the heaviest application should be in the center and the blending out and in … careful not to go above crease or bring it too low or too far past outer corners and work in lightly in an upward direction at corners. You can also use lightly on lower lash line to visually connect to the rest. There are tons of how tos on you tube. Wayne Goss has great ones for women of a certain age.

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        Wendela
        5 Nov 2022
        1:40am

        thanks so much, jb, for taking the time to describe this for me! I’m putting the eye shadow in my cart and am going to try this! Thanks again ! (And thanks Liz for weighing in too).

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    anastasia Christou
    3 Nov 2022
    6:38pm

    i totally am the same way – makeup, even just a hint of colour on my face makes me feel SO much better! I’m so keen to try that MiracleBalm by Jones Road but they dont ship to Australia…so many mixed reviews but somedays I feel so pale that I need a sheer glow on my face LOL…

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    Susanna
    3 Nov 2022
    7:21pm

    I bought the Kosas oil awhile ago based on your rec, Kim, but the problem I have with it (other than not being able to find a perfect color match) is that it pills up horribly when applied over just about anything else. Apparently it’s the dimethicone, which I hadn’t been aware is in every moisturizer and sunscreen I use—the Goop sunscreen being my go-to. Do you just use it on its own? Otherwise, I’m not sure how to make it work.

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    cw
    4 Nov 2022
    9:08am

    All this makeup conversation reminds me of my grandmother who never went to town without “putting my face on.” She lived on a ranch in the middle of nowhere and “going to town” meant driving some distance to a town with a population of 94 so she could go to the post office to pick up the mail. But she always had her face on and wore her “everyday” pearls.

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      Heather
      4 Nov 2022
      10:40am

      I love this. There’s something to be said for being this put together. Did she get her hair set also?

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        cw
        5 Nov 2022
        8:49am

        She did, Heather, but not until much later in life when she lived part time in Arizona at a “retirement village” and that sort of thing was available to her. And her “everyday” pearls were fake, but “good fakes” as she and my mother used to say. My other grandmother was equally ladylike even though she ran a large ranch by herself from her mid-forties on––she always drove a Lincoln Continental because it was the only car heavy enough to pull a horse trailer and she didn’t think it was ladylike to drive a truck. I come from interesting female stock. 😉

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    maryse
    3 Nov 2022
    11:49am

    I really like Miracle Balm. I hadn’t been wearing make-up for the past few years — just didn’t have the energy, but Bobbi Brown’s new line peaked my interest. Another brand I discovered is Violette.fr especially her Boum boum milk. Most of the products in both lines are easy to use and I’ve noticed an improvement in my skin. Could be a just a coincidence (when I wear makeup i’m more conscientious with the skin care) but generally it just makes me feel better. Besides 16 year old me loved make-up and that hasn’t really changed.

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    Tally
    3 Nov 2022
    11:16am

    Is the Miracle Balm tacky? Seems like it must be judging by the videos?

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      Mamavalveeta03
      3 Nov 2022
      1:50pm

      I’m afraid I have to disagree with Kim on this one, and I’m one of the biggest Bobbi Brown fans on the planet! (Ask me her birthdate, her anniversary….just kidding…sort of – I used to work for her.). I found Miracle Balm quite sticky/tacky and it remains so on the skin. It’s one of the biggest complaints I see about the product, but it’s her hero product.

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        Meg
        3 Nov 2022
        3:19pm

        I went to her store in Montclair over the summer ( live nearby) and tried quite a few products. The Miracle balm and WTF foundation are both of a slightly rich consistency which doesn’t bother me cause they go on very smooth and spread out easily. I really like the WTF foundation as it is moisturizing and light for those days you don’t want a lot of coverage.

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      JB
      4 Nov 2022
      8:47am

      Yes it is … I’m never quite sure what to do with it but use it as a blush, highlight, bronzer all in one. I try to blend it in and it does settle in or else I forget about it …not sure which lol. I would not repurchase.

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      Kim France
      3 Nov 2022
      11:34am

      I wouldn’t describe the texture as tacky. It is closer to feeling like a lip balm than a blush.

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        anastasia Christou
        3 Nov 2022
        6:44pm

        would it be ok for combination skin? im still oily (probably dehydrated! LOL ) on the Tzone

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          Maryse
          4 Nov 2022
          2:24pm

          I’ve got combination skin and the balm works just fine. I just don’t apply moisturizer first.

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      Bria
      3 Nov 2022
      11:38am

      It is tacky! I drove me nuts at first and my long hair was sticking to it. Gross. But now I use less of it and I’m not bothered by it. A little does go a long way and I have to say that nothing gives my very dry skin such a boost of moisture and glow. It’s not sparkly but it imparts a bit of sheen which I love. It’s kinda magic and probably my fave beauty product ever now.

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        Robin
        3 Nov 2022
        11:52am

        Once I figured out the best way to use it (I watched a video with Bobbi applying it), it became a staple. I also use it as a lip balm. My only complaint is I wish the containers were smaller. I’d rather have smaller containers and be able to try more colors than have one large container. (I have Flushed and Tawny)

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          MARGARET
          3 Nov 2022
          12:12pm

          The thing with Miracle Balm is that you have to “break the seal” on it. I guess the product hardens after it is poured and if you just rub your finger on top, you hardly get any payoff. When it first came out, no mention of this was made (and I think that’s why a lot of people weren’t big fans) but now Bobbi’s videos show how to wreck the top surface by scraping with your fingernail to get to the good stuff underneath. Pay no attention to the color the thing looks like in the pan–I am pale AF and use that dark looking “Bronze” color as cheek, eye, and lip color. Also! If you are annoyed by the giant hockey puck size of it, buy a little container from the Container Store (or better yet reuse one of those half-empty sample containers you have rattling around your makeup bag) and decant a decent chunk of it to use on-the-go

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            Suzanne
            4 Nov 2022
            8:27am

            That’s what I did so I could have the balm in my purse for pick-me-ups…love it!
            Kim – I’m astounded there is no under eye concealer in your regime. I could not live without it.

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              Kim France
              4 Nov 2022
              11:18am

              I am terrible at applying under-eye concealer, Suzanne, so unless the dark circle situation is quite dire, I usually skip that step.

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              Bobby
              4 Nov 2022
              1:16pm

              I can’t leave the house without concealer — I consider it a public service for those around me

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    Lisa I
    3 Nov 2022
    11:26am

    I am the opposite in terms of makeup—barely use anything and am chemically sensitive to boot. My go-to is an all in one lip and cheek tint from a company called 100 percent pure. It is made of fruit pigments, super sheer and comfortable, and just makes you look like you are in a good mood.

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      Jeanne
      3 Nov 2022
      2:52pm

      Also sensitive here. Haven’t been able to wear lipstick in awhile. Thanks for the rec!!

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      Liz
      3 Nov 2022
      6:15pm

      I’m like you. I just can’t stand the feeling of foundation or powders. Up until this year, I basically wore no make up at all ever. Now when I go out, I find that I want to look more polished (but still natural), so I’ve started wearing the Milk Bronzer Kim recommended, along with some mascara and smudged eyeliner. And I just today ordered that Ilia Serum Tint that’s everywhere, so we’ll see how that works. Ideally, I’d just love to wear lipstick and nothing else, but I’m a chronic lip licker and have small lips, so it really doesn’t work for me.

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        anastasia Christou
        3 Nov 2022
        6:46pm

        i tend to eat my lipstick away – haha…bad bad habit!

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        Ashley
        4 Nov 2022
        8:02am

        Liz, I’m like you: I hate the feeling of makeup sitting on my face. The Ilia tinted serum was a game-changer for me. It gives you a glow and feels very natural. I’m sure you’ll love it!

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    Lisa
    3 Nov 2022
    9:54am

    Re: the eyeliner — does it stay put? My oily, hooded lids want to know! 🙂

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      Heather
      4 Nov 2022
      10:41am

      I use the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer; it’s great.

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      C.D.
      4 Nov 2022
      9:52am

      Eyelid primer is the only thing I’ve found to keep my eyeliner and shadow from disappearing on my oily lids. I tried several, but lately have been using Elizabeth Arden Advanced Eye-Fix Primer and it really helps and goes on easily. Then I use Stila liquid eyeliner, which stays put for most of the day.

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      Pauline
      4 Nov 2022
      12:23am

      Try wetting your black or dark brown eyeshadow with a very short bristled brush. I find this is the only eyeliner that doesn’t smudge. Also saves on having a different product.

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      Abby
      3 Nov 2022
      4:22pm

      the only eyeliner I have ever found to stay put on my oily lids is the Covergirl Ink It! eyeliner. This is among many expensive and highly recommended brands.

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      Kim France
      3 Nov 2022
      10:55am

      My lids are oily too, so nothing lasts as long as I wish it did, but you get a couple of good hours out of it.

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        Cynthia
        4 Nov 2022
        8:50am

        I have oily lids, also – I apply a layer of Bare Minerals Prime Time eyelid primer before anything else. Really helps eyeliner and shadow stay put.

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        kimberly
        3 Nov 2022
        11:54am

        Kim, do you find yourself “needing” to reapply the miracle balm, or is it a one-and-done exercise? Also, how much of your interest in applying makeup is from living w/ your SO (congrats!)? For me, I feel obligated to give people makeup-face if I see them frequently.

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    Stephanie O.
    6 Nov 2022
    2:12pm

    Kim—what color Laura Mercier caviar stick shadow do you use? The link opens to Nude Rose, but the color you posted on the blog looks like more of a taupe?

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      Kim France
      7 Nov 2022
      9:30am

      It’s Cobblestone.

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        Stephanie O.
        8 Nov 2022
        7:25am

        Thank you!

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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