Dear Ms. New Beauty,Never fear, Ms. New Beauty is here. Gift cards are a wonderful thing. But it's always so hard to know exactly what to do with them. Do you get the things that you need? Or do you blow the whole thing on something utterly fabulous that you'll hardly use? Both! Since you have wonderful friend who blessed you with a gift in an amount big enough to really enjoy it.
My girl gave me a $150 gift card for my birthday and on the back she wrote USE THIS ONLY TO buy M.A.C. I went online to do it but got immediately intimidated!!! I buy my makeup from Walmart - not M.A.C. But I saw the difference when I had my makeup done professionally last week - it transformed my face - not just added color. So, I want to do what she has instructed me to do - but I don't know where to start...
Signed,Need Help Getting My M.A.C. On
(Sidenote - I really consider gift cards for less than $50 a tad declasse. What am I really going to get with that? A book? A pair of socks? MNB Gift Giving Guide Lesson 204 - $50 may be all you can afford but it's not all you have to spend. Devote the time to picking out a lower priced gift that will really mean something to the recipient. A $20 gift card just says you don't care.) Enough of that, on to the products!!!!
If you've been buying everything from Wal-mart, you MUST make your first purchase a good foundation. Luckily, M.A.C. makes a bunch of different foundations in different formulas, textures and most importantly, colors. M.A.C. was one of the first lines to truly devote the same amount of counter space and shades to foundations for women of color. Take advantage of that. Head over to the counter and talk to one of the makeup artists to find the right formula for you. Liquid or cream formulas work well for dry skin, though you may want to try a matte or powder option if you are naturally oily. Don't let the artist do your whole face - instead, use two or three shades that look close to your complexion and swipe them along your jawline. Make a note of the one that disappears into your skin. Excuse yourself and go outside into natural light to make sure that it really appears natural on you.
Studio Fix is a pretty versatile liquid formula and comes in 23 shades. $25
If you have ever have to deal with dark circles or blemishes, you'll need to get yourself a concealer too. Actually, you'll need two of them. Dark circles need a creamy or liquid concealer in a shade slightly lighter than your skin. Using a perfectly matching shade will just make those undereye circles look darker. If blemishes or pimples get in the way of your perfect complexion, pick up a cakey concealer that matches your skin exactly. Precise application is key, otherwise, you'd be better off using a red Sharpie to draw an arrow pointing directly to your zit instead of wasting time and money with concealer. M.A.C. has made the application game much easier by putting a concealer in a very easy to use and precise pencil form. Once you find the right shade for your foundation, the makeup artist can pick the concealer shades that will work best with it - so don't worry if you forget which shade you need for which problem.
Studio Touch-Up Stick, $14.50
The last product you should really invest in is a great blush. Your blush should be the color that your skin is naturally when it's flushed. Give your cheeks a quick pinch or think about what you look like after you run up a flight of stairs or come in from the cold. That's the look you're going for. The makeup artist will be able to try a number of shades and formulas to find the one that will look most natural on you. They're well trained professionals so don't be afraid to ask the makeup artists for their expertise.
All M.A.C. Blushes are $17.50
That's it for the investment products. You have everything you need for your everyday makeup needs and can look effortlessly fabulous and flawless. Now, on to the fun stuff.
Most powder eyeshadows aren't really that different from each other. The things that truly differentiates good shadows from the cheap ones are the pigment and the formula. M.A.C. is know for their intensely pigmented shadows. For women of color, this is especially important because some colors can disappear on darker skin if there isn't enough pigment. Use your gift card to try some fun bright shadows here. The kinds of colors you can use to really make your eyes pop on a night out. For fall, blue eyeshadow is definitely on trend. Not that frosty blue hideousness or that Mimi clown shadow, but pretty blues in a range of shades that really stand out.
M.A.C.'s devoted a whole new collection to this trend. Blue Storm features five smoky blue and gray shadows that will all layer beautifully with either other and keep you on trend with the dark looks in store for fall. Even though this is definitely fall in line with the latest trend, smoky colors are always a great part of any New Beauty's makeup case. It would be worth your money to invest in all five shadows because you will be able to wear them for years to come.
All five Blue Storm Eyeshadows, $72.50
Grand total for foundation, concealer, blush, and eyeshadow = $129.50
That leaves you with $20 to pick up any lip gloss, lipstick or other treat that catches your eye.
Have fun at the makeup counter, pick up real investments alongside the fun stuff, and remember, all you have to do is ask and Ms. New Beauty will tell you!