Sunday, 17 June 2012

Bare // Bare Minimum // Minimal

Pretty self-explanatory.

Here's my bare face (well, bare of makeup. There's about 5 layers of unguents and lotions and sunscreen.)

I'va actually done a similar post before, but skin changes and so do girly insecurities so I've switched up the routine since.

Current woesomes:

  • remanants of hormonal/stress cysts on cheeks, chin, and nose (I rarely break out but it's been a crazy year. Being pale and prone to hyperpigmentation, I'll be covering these scars for at least eight more months)
  • undereye circles (much improved -- more on that later) but still an issue
  • uneven patches of sallowness especially around mouth and eyes (what is this?! Some kind of vitamin deficiency? 'Scurvy' has already been suggested. Actually helpful ideas much welcomed -- please to leave comment)
  • sadly moulting left eyebrow (right in pic) -- why can't it be more like its sister, huh?! aigoo.
  • patchy mauvey lips -- see why I'm such a lipstick addict?

Bare Minimum Look
i.e. current security blanket routine, can be achieved in 2 minutes

Mainly focusing on eyes, in order of (psychological) importance:
curler: MAC // concealer: Burberry Sheer Touch 01 // brows: Shu Hard 9 pencil Stone grey
With remaining minute, dab Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01 over particularly egregious bits with a Hakuhodo 5531. 
o hai thurr
Pat concealer in with finger / Beautyblender sponge if easily locatable, slick on lipbalm (preferably tinted) while running out the door and done.

Minimal Look
Adds to my Beauty Base Zero face above: some kind of base (foundation or colour-correcting primer) a lip and cheek tint and EITHER a neutral eyeshadow smudged along the lashline for definition OR mascara OR tightlining. Takes an additional minute or two -- improves my mood exponentially. 
This time, it was Shu Uemura UV Underbase Brightening Mousse Pink/Purple, Becca Guava, and Rouge Bunny Rouge Trumpeter Koel.

Tomorrow: minimalism. And, blogsale.


  1. Simply stunning-- even without a drop of makeup! xo

  2. My first thought was "where? where?" but I am familiar with one's girly insecurities (although I cannot claim to be a girl anymore;). Your skin to me looks beautifully even - both before and after. I love the finished look and Watermelon is my next beach tint to try. Thankyou for this. I think at the moment my bare minimum is a paper bag!

    1. GUAVA! GUAVA!
      Sorry D: Distracted-by-my-own-insecurities-fail!
      I am quite fond of diving under the duvet myself :)

  3. I don't know what your sallowness around the eyes and lips might mean, but I have the same thing. However, you cover it very effectively, much more effectively than I do.

    I envy your skin and your face in general. I wish you didn't have the insecurities you have!

    PS. Plus, you can't have scurvy, you're not a sailor:)

    PPS. You can't even imagine how useful your posts are for my English vocab:)

    1. I find that if I take care of most of the localised worst bits of discolouration my skintone overall looks more even. Enough to pass from day-to-day and if I'm not wearing yellow-based shades, anyway :)

      I am a pirate! And a teacher, so thank you :*

  4. You look great in both your before and after pictures! My skin's the opposite of yours, but being Asian, I share your hyperpigmentation woes--I have acne scars from a year ago. :( Trying hydroquinone for a bit, and will be shopping for a dermatologist soon. Can't wait to hear about how you dealt with your undereye circles!

    1. Please report back, Jiayi! I actually saw a derm for the first time recently (unrelated matter), think I overwhelmed her a bit with all my geeky questions....

  5. You know what Kate, you look gorgeous even without a stitch of makeup. I also have hyper pigmentation issues because I am out in the sun a lot. Do you put any creams on it? I love to know what you use.

    That being said I think as women we have many insecurities, looks being one of them. We can be very critical about ourselves but somehow others see us in a different way. You are gorgeous in our eyes girl.

    1. I think having to spend a lot more time outdoors in a hot climate has definitely played a part in worsening mine... it's quite a new thing so I don't use anything right now. Would love to hear your recommendations :)

      Thank you for being such a sweetheart :)

  6. Your skin looks pretty flawless from here! I do sympathise with the insecurities though - everything always seems magnified in one's own face. I suffer the same problem with old blemish marks lasting months & months. I'd love to know what you use to help them fade. I've tried Heal Gel but haven't found it makes an enormous difference.

    I am also looking forward to hearing how you've improved your undereye circles. Mine need some major help! I can't really help on the sallow patches front - apart from I've had a similar problem, which seems to be the residual impact of a nasty outbreak of eczema/dermatitis around my eyes and mouth :(. I'm just hoping some of the millions of creams I've been given by my dermatologist help clear the discolouration!

    I love seeing what other people do for their 'bare minimum face'. I love complex and colourful make up, but on workdays I can only manage a very quick & simple face. I would like to do more, but I love sleep too much - I never manage to get up early to experiment! My essentials are concealer, brows & mascara. In an absolute squeeze & if I was allowed just one - I couldn't leave the house without filling in my pathetic eyebrows!

    1. Rosy, I'm with you on the sleep thing especially with Asian work culture!
      Since starting to blog I've gotten much faster at makeup but still need to get the old photography routine down to under 5 minutes.

      The eczema thing makes a lot of sense! Mine does seem to be concentrated around my nose/mouth/chin. Googling will be done (and will as always lead me to the wiki page for leprosy....)

      For blemish marks I try to work in a vitamin C serum (I like DHC's or The Body Shop capsules) which helps them fade a little quicker. Mainly patience as with my stupid skin trying to rush things inevitably lead to more problems and more scars.

  7. Want to swap??? I think you have a most beautiully formed, symetric face! BOTH of my eyebrows are mangy-looking due to childhood scars- too wild on my bike & the swings:)) Filling my brows is a must!
    If a crazy year = a stress filled one where your diet probably wasn't the best then I would suggest increasing your vitamin B intake ( B1, 2 , 6 & 12 ). I am not a nutritionist, but I know that sallowness is often a result of anemia and/or lack of vit B.

    1. Thank you so much, I will definitely look into a Vit B supplement. I am prone to anemia anyway so it's a likely culprit!

      All my life I've warred with my unruly were-brows, so having one mangy (lol) one is enough trauma.

  8. 1.) you're gorgeous.
    2.) everything else --
    re: sallow patches …
    this is probably the answer we *don't want* but I've definitely read that lots of people become more sallow as they get older. I think it may have something to do with circulation and/or oxygen, and I know it happens more if you are/have been a smoker.

    Do let us know if you try anything to help your brow(s) grow more … mine have seen big improvements in the 1.5 years or so I've been letting them grow back, but I still wouldn't mind a bit more to work with.

    Do you usually use your KA SSE SX-01 under whatever you're using for base, or over the top?

    1. 1) shush
      2) there's a Chinese proverb I recently learned to that effect XD
      I plan to spend some SpaceNK monies on Talika and we'll see....

      KA SSE is usually my last 'face' step, over everything (including blush -- a la Lisa Eldridge)

  9. Such a beautiful person you are- I wonder what your age is .... (I don't suppose you would care to let me in on that one.) Thanks for the post. I love the photos ... xoxo Beth in Pgh ;-)

    1. Dear Lizzy, I will be mean and ask you to guess :P

  10. hi kate, beautiful with or without makeup.
    do you use an powder whatsoever?
    x rena

    1. Hi Rena, thanks so much :)

      I don't really. Very rarely I will use Suqqu Nuancing Face Powder Loose, but more for its ultra-polished effect than for any oil-control or makeup-setting issues.

  11. Dear Kate, I am half-Asian (japanese) and having lived in Tokyo and now in Hong Kong I understand your concerns with hyper-pigmentation. I have tried everything under the sun, you name it. History of Whoo, Cle, Sulwhasoo (spa treatments), SK2, Cosme Decorte, Albion, Pola etc etc. My recent discovery is Skinceuticals ferulic. After two months of use I can finally, finally see some significant fading of my blemishes. It is pricey here, you have to keep in a fridge, but totally works.