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What step your makeup routine makes the most difference for you?

Brows or mascara! Sometimes I’m not feeling my makeup until I put mascara on, but if I don’t have a lot of eye makeup on, brows are very transformative.

— Christine


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Pearl Avatar

It’s a toss-up between blush and bronzer or finishing powder. I feel like I look really flat unless I use bronzer, and I have been placing my blush differently and I really like it. Those two really seem to add that special something to my face looks lately. Sometimes I can be too heavy-handed with the blush and bronzer though so using my MAC 187 with Meteorites to buff and diffuse everything really ties it all together.

Rinlovesmakeup Avatar

Eyes make all the difference for me…..If i don’t at least line my waterline, I always get bamboozled with questions like ‘Are you not feeling well today?’

Nancy T Avatar

Foundation! Then brows, liner and mascara, after that. My skin isn’t exactly the most even-toned or flawless in texture, so it has to be made *right* with at minimum a medium coverage foundation or bb/cc cream, otherwise I feel ugly. There’s dark areas of mild melasma, old acne scarring, red areas from lupus, large pores. Beyond that, my eyes tend to disappear without brows and some sort of definition!

Denise Avatar

I agree with Nancy!!!!!! Foundation, brows,concealer,then cover up. Oh can’t forget the bb/cc creme and primer. Then eyeshadow and some bronzer. I look dead without it. Some days I look so drawn and shallow.

Katherine T. Avatar

Putting the Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able Full Coverage foundation on– as the brush goes over my face, it’s like a magic eraser for probably 95% of my skin flaws – dark circles, uneven tone, sallowness, hyperpigmentation. And using the ABH Dibrow Pomade on my brows makes a huge difference, can’t live without it.

Tracey E. Avatar

Undereye concealer/corrector and foundation are needed basics. Most difference is lipstick, followed by brows. In my younger year, this WAS my makeup look.

Lulle Avatar

Foundation, because I have redness issues, recent acne scars and an overall uneven skin tone. And also mascara! I often reflect on how unfinished any eye look appears before I put on mascara. I’ve heard girls say that they sometimes forget mascara. I couldn’t ever forget it!

Lisa Avatar

A bit of base and concealer here and there. I find the right one (even though it’s sheer), can and a lot of luminosity to the skin and just liven up my complexion. If we’re talking past that, then mascara and brows for sure.

Erica Avatar

Brows set the face. Then mascara is a must. If anything, I’ll put on mascara. Also eye primer really makes eyeshadow last and stand out.

Holly Avatar

Brows and mascara. I look like a crazy person if I don’t fill in my brows, and I don’t have much for lashes so I have to wear mascara. I also have very dark circles under my eyes so concealer is a must, otherwise people ask me if I’m sick.

LMM Avatar

Mascara. It makes all the difference for me – even if I’m not wearing any other makeup, because my eyelashes are light and short and straight (I’ll add in a lash curler here, because it’s basically a single step for me at this point.)

And I agree with you Christine that if you’re otherwise barefaced, some eyebrow can really make you look polished in a few minutes (it makes a difference on a full or semi-full face too, but I try to at least run tinted gel through mine even if I wear nothing else).

Blue Avatar

Lips define my look, more often than not.

I feel unpolished without brows though. Mine are very asymmetrical with the left sitting lower, noticeably less arched, and waaay more sparse, probably because I plucked it heavily for years so that I could draw it on to match the right. I like the bushier, more natural look that’s in style right now, so it takes several steps and some tricks to fake a naturally well defined brow on my left side. lol

Fran Avatar

I wish it wasn’t true, but my BB cream/TM/foundation makes the most difference, covering up redness and evening out my skin tone. At this point in my life, if I put on color makeup without a base, it would look kind of ridiculous, sad to say.

The fun thing that makes the most difference for me is lip color. Adding some color to my lips really brightens my whole face and can even bring out certain colors in my eyes, depending on the lip color.

In my twenties, I would have said eyeshadow/mascara. No rosacea redness yet. No fading away leading to a need for lip color to brighten things up.

My brows are pretty decent on their own, I can get away with just swiping some brow gel through them to tame them and color the white hairs, but they do look stronger if I add some powder or pencil to that. If I do that in a way that emphasizes the upper peak of the arch, that even appears to lift my eyes on my face a bit. Which is really cool. But it doesn’t make the biggest difference for me.

Celesta Avatar

Mascara and blush! My eyes are pretty large, but my lashes are SUPER short, so mascara tends to help me look more awake. Blush at least gives me a bit of shape to my face and helps me feel fresh. And some sort of pinky nude lip balm (really anything that gives some sort of color), as my lips are not very pigmented.

LindaP Avatar

Gosh, it’s like a puzzle. It’s really not complete until the last piece is in place.

If I really had to pick, I could go without everything but lipstick. Blush is in a photo finish with lipstick for the win, but I guess I could always sneak the lippie on the cheeks when no one was looking. 🙂 But without something on my lips I do look ashy, tired, and nigh on lifeless.

Linda Avatar

Foundation. Honestly that is the one thing that makes or ruins my makeup day because if it’s not matching my skin tone, working with my skin texture or otherwise “behaving” nothing else matters. It’s like a good hair day. It can also ruin your week if it breaks you out!

Padma Avatar

Lipstick. And since I favour matte red lips 99% of the time, as soon as I apply lipstick I feel instantly glamourous. That feeling of glamour remains whether the rest of my face is done or not. I guess it also helps that I have decent enough brows that are not sparse or patchy that I can leave alone without problem. Otherwise I would consider well-groomed brows to be transformative

Laura Avatar

Curling my lashes and mascara!

I have puffy eyelids and a sort of drooped angle to my eyes, so they look very small and tired. However, I have really long lashes that are naturally straight and thin, but open my eyes up so much with some curling and several coats of mascara!
I spend the most time on this step, pumping the lash curler all the way from root to tip, and combing my lashes out after each coat of mascara so that they don’t get clumpy. I’m also picky about my products: a Shue Uemura curler, Sephora metal lash comb, and Almay waterproof mascara. It makes such an enormous difference, I suggest trying it!

Rachel Avatar

Mascara, no question. I don’t wear makeup to work 90% of the time, but I’ll slap on some mascara when I’m feeling fancy. Haha! It makes such a difference. Same holds true when I wear a full face of makeup, though.

Sarah Avatar

Concealer! I never really got into extreme highlighting the way many beauty gurus do. On my face, there’s really no point since it would disappear under the shadow of my glasses! However, I do have some pesky patches of discoloration on my face. A little peach-toned concealer under my eyes and around my mouth and some light dots of high-pigment product on my acne scarring? I look entirely awake and alive! No concealer? DIY zombie costume at its easiest lol.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

I had a big rosacea problem for years but it has now been under control for well over 10 yrs. I continue to have redness and spider veins without ‘breakouts” though and feel the need to use some degree of foundation and sometimes color correcting. My dermatologist was a godsend in dealing with all of that. Best of luck. It can be controlled..

WildDove Avatar

Layering moisturizer on face and neck, then foundation + moisturizer mixed together for the face, then a heavy-duty concealer under eyes for a dewy finish and a polished and more youthful look. Tinted brow gel.

lizalea Avatar

My brows are no existent so I have to fill them in, I also need foundation for my acne prone skin and blush or I feel one toned and pale.

Silvia Avatar

Máscara, Blush! Blush! Blush! Oh, so important to me with this ghostly pale face it does the instant magic and always lipstick but blush is most important to this ghost!
Brows make a nice impact too and a light overall bronzer but I skip if rushing g out the door but never blush.

Andy Avatar

Brows and lipstick. Even just a pinky nude lipstick. As you get older, your lips fade and shrink. So without brow makeup and lipstick I look like I don’t even have brows and lips! When I was younger and my brows and lips weren’t faded out, foundation was a must. I had terrible acne into my 20s. And I still prefer at least a light foundation, but brows and lips are a must. Funny how things change over time.

Cynthia Avatar

I used to be like you, Christine. Mascara makes a big difference. In fact, I eventually got lash extensions so I feel better all the time, even without makeup. Now I’d have to say lipstick, but I can’t imagine going outside without a little foundation and sunscreen too.

Maria Avatar

I would say Mascara if I want to feel more transformed. I have long dark lashes but my ends of my lashes are very light so when I use just a little mascara it really finishes the whole eye look.

Genevieve Avatar

Foundation, brows and lipstick make the most difference to me. As I wear glasses, mascara is not often seen. Lipstick makes my face brighter and my very light eyebrows need to be done too.
I need foundation to even out my skin tone and cover the slight redness on my cheeks.

Ros Avatar

It’s a throw up between eye brow pencil and concealer. I have dark circles and blonde invisible eyebrows and I couldn’t go without either.

Kim Avatar

Mascara for sure! I have long eyelashes, but they’re not dark. So mascara opens up my eyes big time and makes me look awake.

Concealer over acne and acne scars is a close second, though!

Karen Avatar

Either eyeliner or mascara. If I don’t have them outlined by something they just seem to disappear. I think having light lashes and grey-light blue eyes contributes to the problem. Even on no makeup days (pretty common when I was younger) I would smudge a slate or brown liner on my lash roots, it made a lot of difference.

Susan Dowman Nevling Avatar

I, would say prep. Moisturizer and primer. A good fine application of foundation, whatever type I choose. All of the rest is important too but I have so many spider veins that I feel I must start with the basics.

Anne Avatar

Probably mascara (though it’s my least favorite step for some reason) as it opens up my eyes a bit more, makes me look more awake, and polishes off pretty much any look from a bit of BB cream and lip balm to a full face of makeup. I’m lucky enough to have full enough brows (that are threaded regularly) so I can get away with leaving them bare most of the time.

Bonnie Avatar

There are 4…basically these are my no-makeup makeup. The most important for sure is brows. But if I don’t want to look like I’m wearing makeup, but need the boost of those few essential steps, it’s foundation, brows (I have almost none naturally), bronzer, and reverse lip liner (filled in all over the lips). These steps have been especially important to me these last 6 weeks or so as I have been suffering severe allergies and have had swollen, crepey eyes as a result. These steps call attention subtly to my bone structure, skim, and lips, and away from the problem area.

RMW(Rose) Avatar

Hi Christine & Temptalia!
~~~ Before I Answer This Question, I Just Really Wanted To Wish ALL Of You Who Will Be Impacted, Or Know Someone Who Will Be Impacted By Hurricane Matthew, Lot’s Of Luck, Prayers, Hope, Love & Strength!!!! May You & Your Loved Ones Be Safe! I Just Seen President Obama Speak About This Category 4 Hurricane. I Agree With What He Said About How Material Things Are Replaceable, Human Lives Are NOT! No Truer Words Can Ever Be Said! And I Do Believe That Nobody Should Go Through This All Alone. Whether It’s An Elderly Person Who Has No Family Left, Or A Family Pet! Every Single Life Matter’s, Human, Animal, Child, Man Or Woman! THIS Is The Time When People Pull Together And Help Each Other Out, The Best Way We Can! Stay Safe & God Bless!!!! Xoxo ~~
Wow, after all that, I feel a little selfish answering this question. It just puts things in a whole new perspective! … I have to say that I need my mascara on my eyes and some pink lipgloss on my lips and I am happy.

Tamara Avatar

I have to at least have mascara on bc my eyelashes are very light and they just don’t show up. I can’t get by without makeup on at work (not that I want to). I start to get aggravated by the 15th time someone asks if I’m sick or comments on how tired I look. I’m fine, y’all, I’m just 47 and I don’t have makeup on yet!

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