A woman sits crossed legged on a porch with her makeup layed out before herPhotograph by Ash Carr

Even though I love to play dress up, I’ve never been a big daily makeup wearer. Mostly because I am two things: 1. lazy, and 2. a morning procrastinator. Do I really want to do makeup when there are Buzzfeed articles to be read and baby snuggles to be had? No, ma’am. Which is why, when I do want to look like I put in a little more effort, I typically opt for one or two products that pack a punch by themselves, like a bold lip, or bright eyeliner, or purple mascara, or whatever else I can find in the bottom of my purse on any given day.

But over the last few years, I’ve noticed a new breed of makeup cropping up over Instagram and making its way into the makeup bags of my fashion-y friends: a sort of skincare-makeup hybrid that’s all about minimum effort for maximum impact. Think one tube that acts as blush and lip tint. Or a highlighter that makes you look like you’re glowing.

And y’all, I’m obsessed. I feel like these are the wedding makeup products I’ve been waiting for. (Because let’s be real, the wedding industry usually considers two options for wedding makeup: full-face glamazon, or do you even care about your marriage?) And besides the fact that the wedding industry is awful, there’s got to be some middle ground, right? Like, maybe your ideal look exists somewhere between full face of makeup and your standard everyday Chapstick routine? If that’s you, then scroll onward. (P.S. For our most ringing endorsements, Meg swears by that Glossier lip and the Milk highlighter, whereas I am currently looking for a place to wear a full face of Milk holographic highlighter.)


An African American woman looks radiant and smiles back at the cameraMake Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation via Sephora ($43.00) | Image via Make Up For Ever

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Face & Body Foundation: Does the idea of thick foundation make your skin crawl? Would you prefer your face just kind of… glowed? Perfect, we’ve got you covered. Make Up For Ever is known for being super high quality (they were our top pick for wedding foundations when we did our SPF test). This formula is more lightweight than their HD foundation, and bonus, it’s waterproof (aka sweatproof. Yes, I see you with your summertime camp wedding).

A woman with pink hair wearing a leopard print jacket smiles to the left of frameBareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation via Sephora ($34.00) | Image by Leigh Dickson

bareMinerals BarePRO Performance Wear Liquid Foundation Broad Spectrum (SPF 20): If you want something even more lightweight, BareMinerals just rolled out their BarePro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation, and it has been praised by professionals and amateurs for good reason. It’s the kind of product that gives you really good results without a lot of work, and the color is non-transferable, which means you don’t have to worry about getting it all over your dress. #Win.


A woman with excellent bangs gazes deeply at the camera Milk Makeup Highlighter ($24.00) | Image via Milk Makeup Highlighter

Milk Makeup Highlighter: Want that “where did she get that glow” glow? This is the best highlighter product we’ve found, giving you that mystery it-girl boost, without feeling overly cakey and thick. It is vegan and cruelty-free, uses only natural ingredients, and basically makes you look like a luminescent goddess.


A woman with short hair looking at the camera wearing blushNARS Liquid Blush via Sephora ($30.00) | Image via NARS

NARS Liquid Blush: Sometimes I think the only makeup item you really need is a great blush. And liquid or cream blush is by far my favorite (because hi, the fewer brushes I have to deal with, the better). A little goes a long way with this formula, so one pump will get the job done. Bonus: To make the most of this product you can add a little color to your lips as well.

A woman confidently looks at the cameraModel pictured wearing Glossier Cloud Paint in Haze ($18.00) | Image via Glossier

Glossier Cloud Paint: This cream blush is so easy to use that Glossier says, “If you can finger paint, you can Cloud Paint.”  Cloud Paint comes in four different shades and was designed to compliment a multitude of skin tones. (This one is a staff favorite.)

A raven haired woman wearing a leather jacket glances at the cameraMilk Makeup Lip + Cheek ($24.00) | Image via Milk Makeup

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek: This product proves that cream blush beats powder blush every time. Takes about a second to put on, and looks natural all day long. Bonus tip: You can wear it as lip tint too!


A woman holds two makeup pens looking through them Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon via Sephora ($25.00) | Image by Mariam Mohammad via Marc Jacobs Beauty

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon: Speaking of low effort, a colorful eyeliner is a super easy way to look like you did a lot while actually doing very little. Plus this Marc Jacobs crayon comes with a built-in sharpener to keep that line crisp and clean. If colorful liner isn’t for you, don’t fret. There are options for classic black or brown liner too.

A woman confidently looks at the cameraEyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner via Nordstrom ($18.00) | Image via Eyeko

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner: Mess-free liquid eyeliner? No way! It’s almost impossible to achieve a..

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