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Concealer. I have such dark circles, that even with foundation on, I still look like a zombie without concealer under my eyes.

Funny…I always thought I was fine with just foundation, for years. Then 2 years ago, I started watching YouTube and started using concealer. Now if I skip it, I notice.

Concealer, always. I have VERy dark, large, raccoon eyes around my eyes, so when I dab on Boing (or similar, but at the moment that one works best) around my eyes in the dark areas, I immediately and almost magically looked transformed.

Depending on my look, either eyes or lips, usually eyes. Flattering defining eyeshadow makes the difference between my pale blue-grey eyes being pale/ insipid (against my dark brown hair) and being a striking feature. (and how blue/ grey/ occasionally slightly green they look)

I look splotchy and exhausted without foundation, but I look freaky without brows. I’m not sure which of those two steps makes the bigger transformation, so I guess it’s a tie.

Brows; mine are nearly non-existent, after falling victim to the “skinny brow” trend of the mid-90s… In spite of my Mediterranean background, and having absolutely no problem with hair growing back anywhere else on my being, my brows refuse to grow back…

Same for me! One day I was finishing up my morning routine and I kept looking in the mirror and thinking something was really really “off” with my makeup that day. I looked horrible. Turns out I had forgotten mascara, woops!

Although my first answer would be complexion (foundation/concealer) or brows (framing the face)… the truth it that for me eyes are the biggest transformation. I have an odd face structure, I look strange (to myself) without contouring or emphasizing the eyes; the biggest impact is when I line my upper lash line (either with a pencil and eyeliner), it simply transforms my whole face, puts emphasis on my eyes and I feel I look better… more like… me (?). I know it sounds odd, but without emphasizing them, my eyes get `lost` in my face and I feel like something is missing.

This is actually my answer too, except with lining my bottom waterline – my lids are hooded so nothing on the top really matters, which is a shame because I love eyeshadow. The only thing I absolutely have to do every single morning after sunblock is eyeliner, and everything else is just how much time I have and how sparkly I feel like being that day.

Doing up my puny lashes! Once I’ve tightlined them using a super-waterproof eye pencil (currently Smashbox Always On Fishnet), I then curl my lashes using the on Sephora makes for almond shaped eyes, then apply Lancome Cils Booster lash primer followed with Maybelline Full & Soft WP mascara. What a huge difference this makes! Opens up my eyes and gives them the appearance that they are larger and brighter.

I’m going to have to try your method because I also have puny lashes. Thank you for posting the products and tools that you use.

I agree with you, Christine. Foundation is also the biggest transformer for me. I tend to do my brows AND eyeshadow before foundation, so when I finally get to the point of doing my foundation, it sort of pulls everything together. Of course, concealer is a close second!

I have a hard time with this answer because each step of the application seems very transforming to me but overall I would have to say mascara. Mascara is that step that if it gets messed up or the product isn’t right, I hate the most. I can live if my eye brows are a little off, my e/s is a little bad or whatever but if my mascara doesn’t look right then it really ruins my whole makeup day.

Eyes — mascara, brows, at least a whisper of shadow. I am overall very fair and my eyes are a dominant feature. So I have to do something for my eyes or I look pretty much like, well, kind of bald but on my face; something like that.
I’ve had the good fortune lately to find complexion products that are working for me. A month or so ago I would’ve said concealer and foundation.

Definitely foundation – as someone who has struggled with adult acne and chloasma pigmentation patches for nearly 20 years, my skin is not the best. I have lingering acne scars and very uneven skin tone and I have finally mixed up my own foundation (from a variety of brands/finishes) to get the coverage, longevity and demi matte/satin finish that I like. I use a very small amount of concealer and on good days, I don’t need it at all once my base is on and buffed in.

I ran into a woman I work with in the supermarket over Christmas, I had my beach clothes on, a hat and no makeup and SHE. DID. NOT. RECOGNIZE. ME. We’re only worked together for 4 years, LOL.

As a card carrying member of the bad skin club, I definitely agree that it is foundation. I have red around my nose and on my upper cheeks, a yellow sallowness to the rest of my face, acne marks and uneven texture, and multiple broken capillaries. Foundation evens it all out and makes me appear years younger and with much better skin! Concealer is great for my raccoon eyes, but I can never use it on it’s own unless I apply it to my whole face, and then it’s pretty much like using a foundation. 😉

I really feel every step of the process is transformative but if I have to pick one it would be foundation. Foundation evens out my skin and helps conceal dark spots, acne and any residiual scars.

Foundation, agree there, but with hooded eyes. I feel I need at a minimum a matte transition shade, even if it is just a hit of bronzer or sculpting powder to create a bit of definition.

I also like the effect of a finishing spray. Big fan of the Kate Summerville sunscreen/soft focusing spray. Clean the nozzle after every use and the mist stays fine. The soft focus is welcome on this mature skin.

For me its always been blush. I didn’t start wearing makeup until I as in my 20’s – but when I went to a MAC store and they put Harmony blush on my face for the first time, it just transformed everything. On super busy days, I have my glasses on, lip balm and blush with hair back in a low ponytail. Just make me feel so polished!

Foundation does set the canvas, but I don’t see my face become alive until I do the sculpting/contour and blush.
Yet if nothing else, I rarely leave the house without mascara.

Foundation really makes the biggest difference in my appearance. Having said that, foundation leaves me looking incomplete, so I’m going to say eyeshadow, as that usually becomes the focus of my face after blank slating it.

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