There are bound to be days when you wake up from the circuit breaker slumber and decide that you kinda want a little something on your face. Not the full works, but perhaps just a dab of concealer, a hit of blusher, or a pretty lip gloss — simply because. That said, workdays are still workdays, and I have stories to churn out, deadlines to meet; so I’m looking for products that don’t need much “looking after” (I’m writing! I can’t always be looking out for smudgy mascara stains), and yet still do the most (ergo, take out big flaws). They should also require the least effort to apply (read: fingers); it defeats the purpose of minimal effort if I need to use a makeup brush that needs to be washed after. Not asking for much, eh, am I?
It’s as they say, the process of searching for truly fuss-free products starts with a finicky soul, so bless the irony of it anyway. After much makeup trial, I’ve narrowed down a selection of new-ish launches that actually fits my criteria. See, girls? If the men don’t fit the checklist, go for the makeup. Below, the standout low-maintenance, minimal effort beauty favourites:
Supergoop! Glowscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Primer SPF 40 PA+++, $55
When I saw makeup artist Nam Vo’s demonstration on how pearlescent the sunscreen-primer looked on the skin, I was instantly sold. It was giving her skin her signature #dewydumpling look, and I wanted in. Since trying it out myself, I’ve affirmed two things: the finish is beautifully glowy (no highlighter needed after); and that I can’t stop thinking about it. The texture is rather runny, so you can easily apply it with fingers. I wouldn’t recommend using this in place of your regular sunscreen, especially if you have oily or textured skin; instead, use it as a glow-from-within highlighter on the higher points of your face.
Related article: ELLE’s Beauty Desk: #WorkFromHome Beauty Favourites
d program Allerdefense BB Essence SPF 43 PA+++, $38.90
This BB Essence is the exact opposite of the Supergoop! one, in terms of finish. It sets to a pretty soft matte, air-brushed finish, and does a great job at evening out any light skin discolouration. Coverage is amazing too, for what feels like a watery essence — a pea-sized amount was all I need for the entire face. My favourite way is to blend the product “outside-in”; focus on the cheeks before spreading it out to the jawline. Bear in mind that this does leave behind a slightly tacky feel, while not at all a concern to me, is easily counteracted with a light dusting of powder. P.S. The brand is new to Singapore, and is formulated with Shiseido Laboratories.
Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Concealer, $58
I know, I’m a tad late on this one, but when I finally got to using it, it’s remained on the top shelf of my vanity since. On days when I just want to spot conceal blemishes, I’ll reach out for this lightweight concealer that does a great job at cancelling out dark eye circles, and red and grey acne scars. It’s easy to blend; heat from your fingers warms the product up and melts it seamlessly into the skin.
Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Rose Latte, $33
Specifically, this super flattering rosewood shade that just works on any skin tone. The muted colour adds a beautiful flush to the cheeks; it isn’t too bright, or too dull — and it’s a great colour that I now keep by my side to tone down blusher shades that can be a tad too out-there. The cream form also makes it quick to apply: dab and pat. My favourite makeup artist and beauty inspiration Katie Jane Hughes did mention that this shade has quickly become one of her favourites (ever), too.
Sisley Le Phyto-Gloss in Aurora, $64
Y’all, I’ve tried so, so, so many lip glosses in my line of work that I judge them rather harshly against my what-makes-a-great-lip-gloss list: it cannot be sticky, it has to last, it has to look shiny, not greasy, it needs to be moisturising. This Sisley one, albeit pricey for a lip gloss, checks every box. Silky smooth texture that isn’t tacky, has only the slightest, prettiest shimmer (for this shade), and feels so comfortable on the lips — touch-ups are required only after meals.
Jo Malone London Yuja Cologne, from $115
This is a zesty, lively yuzu scent that’s new to the English fragrance brand, and to my scent wardrobe. I found myself reaching out to it on groggy, drowsy days where I need a pick-me-up (and am already on my third cuppa). It’s the kind of fragrance that instantly snaps you awake in the freshest way possible; my favourite way to wear it is a spritz on the lowest point of your neck so the scent wafts around as you work.
Fraîcheur Ice Globes, $78
Admittedly, this is more of a beauty tool, but it’s so easy to use and great for the skin. The pair of “ice globes” are meant to be put in the freezer, then massaged onto the skin. The liquid in the globes never freezes, so it guides your movement in a rhythmic way. Apparently, cold is great at soothing sore eyes and angry pimples, deflating puffiness, alleviating redness, and improving blood circulation — I use it as and when my skin looks dull and it does bring a faint rosiness back to my cheeks. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll massage the globes on top of a sheet masks, as an extra shot of cold. Then, rinse and dry the pair, and pop it back into the freezer for your next use.