I love make-up. I always have and I probably always will. You can accomplish many different looks just by using a few simple supplies - the simple, everyday "girl next door" look or a more dramatic look for formal occasions. The possibilities are endless. That having been said, I've learned a few things in recent months.

I used to think that I needed to apply foundation, blush, lipstick, eye shadow, eye-liner, mascara, etc. daily. While I still like the finished product these supplies produce, they aren't practical as a stay-at-home mom. In fact, there is simply not much time in any given day to apply make-up with the precision I would like. Yet, I never know when the call of motherhood requires that I go out - to get baby motrin, diapers, etc - and I don't want to go out looking like I just rolled out of bed. So, what do I do?

There are four carefully chosen staples that meet my everyday make-up needs... moisturizer, concealer, blush and eye-liner.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body and it deserves careful attention.

Exposed skin - particularly your face, neck, and hands - need to be moisturized, especially in the winter months. I've found that using a decent, natural moisturizer helps my skin look healthier and I am less prone to break-outs. Also, if possible, find a way to naturally exfoliate your face once or twice a week and you will probably see healthier skin. That having been said, if your skin looks healthy, why cover it up?

Of course, uneven skin tone is common. Freckles, moles, darker spots, lighter spots... chances are, we all have them in some capacity. In the areas where you may have darker circles or spots, use a small amount of concealer - just enough to blend with your natural skin color and to minimize the unevenness in color. This doesn't mean you have to completely cover up the "flaw" - just minimize it.

Eye-liner is one of my cosmetic bag favorites. It can be used to draw attention to your eyes without using mascara - something I used to wear daily, but got tired of using regularly after Patrick was born. And, it washes off easily. Probably 90% of the time, I use eyeliner without mascara and the results aren't much different.

Powder blush is also a must-have. Apply to your cheeks, your chin and your forehead. This gives you that healthy glow without looking like someone smeared paint all over your face. If you put it on too heavily, grab a piece of toilet paper and gently rub off the excess.

Lipstick is one of those possible musts, but in the last few weeks, I learned that if your lips are properly moisturized, they will develop a natural healthy color. I've always had difficulty with dry lips year-round, so I use lip balm all the time. Since I found an all-natural one that works well, I've been wearing considerably less lipstick. But, this need will probably vary drastically from person to person.

Anyway, those are my tips regarding make-up. Following my own instructions, I can usually moisturize my face and have make-up applied in 5 minutes or less. Sometimes it takes longer, but that's only when I have time.

God gave us skin and He gave us things in nature to help take care of it. :) How does your skin look?

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