My Makeup: July 2011


You’re not going to believe it…

I don’t wear makeup.

Just kidding. Yes, yes, I do wear makeup, and I love makeup, and I (obviously) can’t get enough of it.

But what you really won’t believe is that all my makeup—and I’m talking about the makeup I really use, not the countless things I try—fits into this clear acrylic unit from The Container Store. An item gets serious consideration before earning real estate in this box. And then, I have my little perfectly edited, movable station. Since my bathroom is tiny, and the medicine cabinet has been overrun with skin care products, the makeup cube comes onto the countertop only when I need it. Which is kind of all the time.

If I’m running out the door and have five minutes for makeup, the first order of business is swiping on some Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in OC-1 & OC-2 (depending on the time of year, and most days I mix it). This foundation is heaven. It’s like “base for dummies”: it’s sheer, but a dab on the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin does wonders to even out my sometimes ruddy complexion, and never looks like a mask. It just sort of disappears. Part of this is because I swear by applying foundation only on very well-moisturized skin (at the moment I’m making a cocktail of Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream and Fabulous Face Oil). This way, the foundation blends more easily and you ultimately use less of it. If I have a major blemish to cover up I’ll use a tiny dot of Koh Gen Do’s Moisture Foundation (in 113), which is thicker and creamier than the Aqua. But honestly—I’m not that bothered with concealer. I actually don’t mind if there’s a pimple or a faint under eye circle; I think we notice those things way more than anyone else and I also think that a little under eye definition can look kind of sexy. It’s weird to me when a face looks too “done," especially in the daytime. That being said, nothing beats Clé de Peau’s concealer. All the girls at Vogue swear by it for events, and it is seriously good—and expensive, but that stick will last you years (well, at least one). I use the Beige.

The thing that kind of “sets” the foundation, etc, is my favorite powder—MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder. I don’t know where I got this jar, but it’s travel size, and then I helplessly try to fit my gigantic Beauty Is Life fan brush (heavenly for dusting) in there, or else I just sprinkle some onto the brush. Now, apparently there’s some controversy about this powder—that it shows up with a camera flash, which Google will quickly confirm with images of several unfortunate looking celebrities. I’ve never had this problem, and I’ve been using it on myself, and countless models, for months. I like that it’s colorless and really lightweight, so it doesn’t feel like you’re adding another layer to your skin. Whether or not I’m wearing foundation, a quick dusting of this makes my face look better. Then I’ll take that same Fan brush and go to town with my new bronzer discovery—Guerlain Terracotta Light (in Brunettes 02). You know, like the diet version of the real thing. I am loving this stuff—it just gives you a glow, not a full tan, or if you have a tan, well, you get the idea. Then comes the blush, and my longtime favorite is NARS’ Douceur. I won’t talk about it too much because it was one of the first reviews I posted on ITG, but it. Is. Amazing. So subtle, and great on a range of skin tones. I’m also a big fan of YSL’s Crème de Blush in #1—it’s a mousse formula in the coolest packaging, and the color is peach/pink. I’ll use this on the apples of my cheeks when I want to be less powdery and more dewy.

For eyes, I’ve been loyal to one shadow palette for the past few months: Clé de Peau in 203. I do the pink (which I’ve recently realized is close to NARS Orgasm, so if you have that blush, try it on your eyes) first, all the way around, and then smudge the black just in the outer corners, at an angle, in an attempt to look like Julia von Boehm. I use the Beauty Is Life standard shading brush, which is fluffy and angled and pretty great for any eye shadow application needs. Then, I’ll do a little eyeliner, again just from my pupil to the outer corners—lately I’ve loved an eggplant from Bobbi Brown, Brown Plum. I have brown eyes which for years I’d say were hazel, and the purple-y liner brings out whatever hint of green I’ve always searched for. Mascara—it’s constantly changing, so I have about five tubes in rotation at the moment. For the biggest, baddest lashes, I’m pretty sold on Maybelline The Falsies. It’s the first tube of mascara I’ve actually run out of, and that’s saying a lot. But lately, and for the first time, I’ve actually been into more feather-y lashes, and this is due in large part to Dolce & Gabbana’s new Secret Eyes mascara. I received the Coffee shade (cool brown), and have been sweeping it on over Shu Uemura-curled lashes this summer. It’s not out yet, but any day now! I’ve also been a longtime fan (about a year, which is like six Beauty Years) of Estée Lauder’s TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara. I honestly don’t know whether it’s the vibration, the brush, the formula, or all three, but this delivers clump-free, lightweight volume like no other.

Lips—the fun part! Come on, how fun is a bright color? I’ve been all about orange this summer. My ultimate favorite recent discovery is Dolce & Gabbana’s Venere. It’s a hot orange-y red that’s super pigmented, and I apply it almost like greasepaint…behold, picture at top. Thicker lipsticks also last longer on the mouth and this one is no exception. If I want a (much) more subtle lip, I reach for Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine in Fétiche. I recently dyed my hair a bit darker, and this sheer neutral shade perks up my complexion. I’ve tried several of the Rouge Coco Shines and the sheer formula is just what I need on a ninety-degree day…such as this!

—Emily Weiss

Photo courtesy of the lovely Natalie Joos.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • gorete sousa

    GREAT Post !!!



  • Melanie

    This is so helpful, thank you! I've been trying to decide on a new foundation (for the thirties, Clinique just isn't cutting it anymore) and can't decide. I've tried Clarins, I've heard Dior does well, and Chanel, but I think I'll need to add your suggestion to my 'try it' list. I've also been looking for makeup to create the 'dewy' look, this blush is going on the list as well.

  • Elizabeth

    I totally agree about concealer looking too 'done', a little darkness under the eyes is natural and sometimes concealers can make it look worse! I must try the foundation you use, your skin is always glowing!

  • Ivana

    Ah Emily this is fabulous! Running out to buy that super bright lipcolour straight away if it offsets my (nonexistent) tan like it does yours! Speaking of, yours is fabulous I must say. Is it from a bottle or just a perk of it being summer and fabulous in the northern hemisphere? X

  • Mia

    Thank you for not being afraid to admit you actually use foundation, and powder and eyeshadow which a lot of people (and some on this blog, I am afraid) just wouldn't admit to.. Thanks for sharing your favourite stuff, I don't know if I'd just as gladly share mine with the rest of the world. And yes, makeup done with the effort to look nice is much nicer than makeup that's done not to look like makeup.

  • fallgirl

    Emily, you rock!!!

  • The Procrastinator

    Great post! I usually use medium-full coverage foundations (I feel cheated buying a sheer coverage foundation) , but when I don't want to look too "done" I soak my Sonia Kashuk blending sponge in water, dip it in foundation and just lightly tap it all over my face. It gives such a fresh finish!

  • Maria

    I love your site! Thanks so much for taking the time to write about so many products. I found out about Makeup Forever's HD Powder here and have been using it ever since. Love it! And now I'm really curious about Aesop's products...

  • yvette

    Awesome! Can you tell me more about the fan brush... I've been wondering if I need one. Right now I use a pretty average shaped powder brush to apply blush, bronzer and powder - the same for all three. Why do I need a fan?!

    • Emily

      Hi Yvette--I LOVE the fan brush! I just love that it diffuses product...I use it for loose powder, blush, bronzer, you name it. The bigger the brush the better, for me, and this one is the biggest! It's intimidating at first but I got used to it. XE

      • yvette

        Thanks for the reply. I am definitely going to try one now!

  • the polka leopard

    ah Emily, i noticed that you have Elizabeth Arden's trusty eight hour creme in your day to day kit, i recently got badly sunburnt and that stuff worked a miracle on my skin! i used to never wear concealer, but now i'm addicted, i just think it makes the face look more awake!

  • Cary Randolph

    Great post, and having read it, I'm officially done with under-eye concealer and back on foundation. Grazie!

  • Lareen Bientot

    "Under-eye definition." Yes. :D Great post.

  • Ashley

    I've been hearing great things about the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation, you're the third person who has mentioned how effective this foundation is - I will definitely need to try it. And I absolutely love the Makeup Forever HD powder! It was definitely an investment, but well worth it.

    The I on Fashion

  • Lucija

    It looks clean and perfect!


  • dana

    I really love your posts.....I also picked up Douceur because of your post and I'm a caramel colored gal :) I really wished you would feature a black model or stylist....I want to be surprised so I won't drop any names :)

    • Emily

      Hi Dana--so happy you like the Douceur blush as much as I do! And thanks for your suggestion on featuring black girls--I'm always on the lookout for all kinds of beauty, everywhere. Here are some posts I've done already that you might be interested in checking out:

      • Diana

        Like Dana, I would also love to see a Top Shelf on a black girl. Shala Monroque comes to mind! xx

      • dana

        Thank you, so much! I have read both of those features - and keep up the great work! I love the product suggestions offered and helpful tips...I never stop learning about new products and techniques thanks to you. I had no idea some of these products existed outside of Sephora...I am broadening my horizons by attempting to order some of the luxe albiet budget friendly French moisturizers n such genuinely grateful I am.

  • Dain

    So many bloggers collect simply for the sake of collecting, but your stash is so well edited, down to the most beloved essentials.

  • Judit

    oh, finally!:) if i come to think of it the real staples i actually do use on a daily basis would also fit in a little box like yours. but it feels so great and exciting going home with a couple of new additions from time to time - even if i already know upon purchase that they rarely make it to the box. please tell us about the other beauty products you use too - and perfumes!

  • jessica

    what is the hourglass product you've got in there?

    • Emily

      Hi Jessica--it's Aura cheek stain from Hourglass. I use it from time to time; it's similar to Benefit Benetint but I like that it has a click-up sponge tip so you know exactly how much you're putting on each time. In fact, I only click when the sponge is practically dry, so there's never too much product on there. XE

  • erika

    beautiful makeup. i love the lips

  • sarah

    is oc-1 the lightest shade they have for the aqua foundation?

  • Julia

    Thank you for your beauty secrets! I will try out some of these products

    xo Julia

  • katie


    now we of course expect this every season....

  • chic noir

    Sephora sells the makeup forever HD powder in trial size. I placed it in the my shoping cart. I hope this gives me the what I'm looking for. Thanks Emily :)

  • Eden

    Emily! Love your post as usual!
    Just a random question though, can I please know where did you buy that clear box you put your make up in?

  • Laura

    Gorgeous look, particularly the lip colour!

    Unfortunately, orange-red lipsticks look horrendous on me. I have olive skin and look much better with plums and browns. The only problem is, plums and browns don't feel very summery to me, and are often too serious for daytime.

    Can you recommend a "fun", bright, summery colour that might suit?

    Thank you!

    • Diana

      Laura- what about a fuchsia color? To quote Julia Restoin's Top Shelf "Fuchsia is my new red". Try it!!

      • Laura

        Thanks for your suggestion Diana, I hadn't even considered fuschia! Going to Google it now... :)

  • Eden

    OH GOODNESS! Apologies. My bad for skipping the ...''at the Container Store'' bit. Aha!
    Was wayyy to excited to know the cosmetics part.

  • Laura j

    Lovely post thanks Emily. I'm impressed how edited your makeup routine is and the great emphasis on skincare. What I find very interesting is that most girls featured here who use very natural and/or apothecary products still use conventional make up despite some great natural make up artist lines out there, such as kjaer weis and rms (which I love and use daily). I think it shows that natural makeup lines still don't seem to address the needs of many women and may need some tweaking or is it just an awareness issue...? Who knows?!

    • Rena

      Hi Emily, I like how you mix your makeup up and they are not just from one brand. I do the same too.
      But I have a weakness for black packagings such as Nars, Chanel or white/clear packaging from Shu Uemuera. One of the best condenser that I have tried but won't make you look cakey nor looks dry on blemishes, is Stila's Perfecting Concealer.

      Korres does pretty decent natural based makeup, prices are affordable too. Their Wild Rose foundation is medium coverage but has dewy finish. They do really gorgeous smelling showergels and lotions.

      Will be in the States in September, Sephora and Barneys here I come!

    • Larou

      Hi laura great point raised here. I too wonder what it is! Anyone?!

  • Michelle

    I love your post! You're inspiring me to keep it simple. I think there's a lot to be said about choosing quality over quantity, especially when it comes to cosmetics.

    But...where do you keep the rest of your stash not in heavy rotation? :)

  • R

    Yes! I totally agree on the concealer-under-the-eyes thing, it makes it look like your face is 2D when all your skin is the same shade. The slight shadow under the eyes gives them depth, makes them look all lovely and seductive!

  • Chelsea

    Great post! I have to say the Top Shelf is one of my favorite things about your blog, I love finding out what everyone is really using! I've heard so much about the Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation, and I was wondering if it was comparable to Chanel's Vita Lumiere Aqua?

  • The Clean Beauty Blog

    Lovely post! You have such a beautiful look: fresh, glowing skin with makeup that never looks overdone, and I think your fantastic skincare regime and well-edited, high-quality cosmetics you use is a great lesson to learn!

    And I absolutely ADORE your lip colour in the photo!

  • Lareen Bientot

    Lovely post thanks Emily. I’m impressed how edited your makeup routine is and the great emphasis on skincare. What I find very interesting is that most girls featured here who use very natural and/or apothecary products still use conventional make up despite some great natural make up artist lines out there, such as kjaer weis and rms (which I love and use daily). I think it shows that natural makeup lines still don’t seem to address the needs of many women and may need some tweaking or is it just an awareness issue…? Who knows?!

    < This

  • Chloe

    Are Aesop products really worth the investment? They are very very expensive. What is so great about them as opposed to other products

    • Laura j

      I live in Australia where Aesop isn't very expensive. I guess they appeal to so many people because of the simplicity of the formulations. They use seed oils, nut oils, essential oils and vitamins plus preservatives and have mostly a herbal smell and nice packaging. They are simple but somehow really do work. They don't make outrageous anti aging claims and you wont find certain actives in there such as hylauronic acid or peptides; the range is mainly plant and vitamin based. Hope that helps.

  • kt

    lovely post. may i ask what you use to apply foundation? any foundation brush to recommend? many thanks!

  • Rachel

    Awesome post, Emily! I really want to try this Camilla Nut cream now =P

    Thanks again for sharing!

  • Joy

    I love that you don't wear a gazillion products and you look so good, with a simple red lip. Love it!

  • anita

    I love Koh Gen Do - everything from that line works! Love your lipstick Emily!

  • Alexis

    I love it! Thanks for posting your makeup for all the beauty voyeurs in us! I must find that D&G mascara.

  • Haley

    Your approach to makeup is so refreshing and weirdly down to earth (that's not the phrase one generally thinks of when cosmetics are involved). Also, you are absolutely gorgeous!

  • Jill

    Hi Emily,
    Your blog is awesome-thank you!

    Wanted to know who did your hair color-loving the darker color!

    Thank you so much!!

  • TheBeautyPhilosopher

    Gosh you are stunning! Are you wearing the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in this picture? Your skin looks divine.

  • Marcela

    Your skin looks great. Those bright colour lips looks amazing.
    Love the post and the picture.
    From the few pictures that I have seen of you you always have that fresh looking skin so I guess using very litle make-up is really paying off.
    Love the tips, as always love to know what you are using and most importantly why and it is always nice to hear from a pro why they believe that a product really works
    All the best

  • Victoria

    It's so much fun to see what other women love when it comes to makeup. I have to admit that I am far from natural when it comes to my eyes. I wear a smokey eye every day (even camping.) On my face I always wear a mineral foundation and never skip blush, it's amazing how a little color on the cheeks livens up the whole face. The foundation you use sounds really great though, possibly worth trying something new :)

  • Twelve52

    I really have to try this foundation, it looks amazing on you - just like fantastic skin frankly, which you clearly also have!

  • lara / the glossarie

    love this little insight into your daily beauty arsenal! i also pride myself on a very carefully edited collection (since i'm testing everything, all the time) and i too have a love affair with nars douceur! finally, taking your note on the bobbi eyeliner - us wannabe hazels gotta stick together :)

  • Cassy

    I've just discovered your blog into the french "GLAMOUR" magazine.
    I think I'm gonna loooooooooooooooove your blog !
    Sorry for my bad english,
    good continuation.

  • Jane

    Your Top Shelf, both makeup and skincare, have been my favorite thus far!
    I'm just do you change up your skincare routine in the winter? Do you trade in your cleanser and/or moisturizer for a thicker, richer formula?
    Thank you, and keep up the amazing blog!

    Jane x

  • Stephanie

    You are so gorgeous. x

    By the way, I thought I was the *only* one who oddly applied eyeliner to the outer 1/3 corners of the eye (because I'm tired of dealing with transferring eyeliners... and haven't found one that has yet to do that on my lids). So it's great to know that you do too ;)

  • Julie Dienes

    Love your look!
    Question: The YSL blush you mention I tried to find online but there is no #1 listed. Was that a special edition color that no longer is made. I'd like to check it out. Thks.

  • Janel

    I too, am devoted to MUFE HD Microperfecting Powder. I've never had it show in flash photography (but there aren't a lot -read: any- professionals taking my picture). It actually seems to diffuse a multitude of sins. I have relatively transparent skin, so it also seems to help prevent flash bulbs from shooting through my skin to the inner workings below. No one wants to look like a science project in pictures. I used it every day, and the travel size I purchased at Sephora has lasted about a year. I love it!

    I am so excited by the idea of the single box of every day products. Genius! I could free up a tremendous amount of space in my bathroom. 99% of my beauty products end up being just for play. So inspired!

  • Catherine

    Just bought the Maybelline mascara you suggested. It's amazing and it was only $15! I'm pretty sure that's at least 100% cheaper than any beauty product I've bought since I was about 15. I lost faith in some of the more inexpensive brands at about that age when I could never find anything of quality that didn't irritate my face or match my skin tone. I'm also upset that it's impossible to get Koh Den Go foundation in Australia.

  • Tall girl

    I LOVE the cube that holds all your makeup. Pure genious! I'll try and find something similar at Muji, since The container store probably won't ship to Norway.

  • Barbara

    Hi Emily,
    I just picked up the Makeup Forever HD microfinish powder today and I am wondering if I use it after I applied all my makeup or after I finish applying my foundation? Do I also apply a loose powder after my foundation or does the microfinish powder alone do the trick?

  • Tara

    LOVE this post - amazing suggestions - can I ask what hair color you dyed yours to? I'm trying to get that perfect dark brunette without having the look be too harsh... thanks!!

  • Haley

    If you could recommend one product (between the concealer and the foundation) for daily use, what would it be?

  • Chic Noir

    I brought the Makeup Forever HD Microfinish power, so far I really like the way it works. Gets rid of the shine without looking to pasty, powdery or ashy. For the record I'm a medium colored blk woman. About Jourdan Dunn's complection or 6.0-6.5 in Bobbi Brown's stick foundation. So this stuff is great, works for Emily and works for me on the other side of the spectrum.

    FYI, Ulta has 20% off coupons and it will work on Makeup Forever and the other upscale brands they carry.

  • Dain

    Boo... I'm going to end up getting the Koh Gen Do foundation because of you! It's as you say: seamlessly, superlatively naturalistic on the skin. (I've also picked a Tammy Fender moisturizer and Donna Karan deodorant, too.) I know everyone loves your Top Shelves---I do, too, don't get me wrong---but I love your product reviews as well. You've never chosen a product wrong.

  • b

    I find the same thing re: my daily makeup. I might have a cupboard packed with all sorts of makeup for work, but I can fit what I wear on a daily basis into a small-ish makeup bag. Granted, I rotate my makeup list mad so no two weeks are ever the same, but at any given time there are only a handful of things I need. Makes travel packing easier! Lovely post. Will check out Koh Gen Do. Am always on the lookout for a good foundation.

  • Ashleigh

    Emily where did you get your organizer? It's so perfect for my collection!

  • alexandria

    I'm gonna have to get myself one of those clear containers for my makeup!

  • Di

    Hi Emily. Nice post! Can I ask you which skintone you are in winter and summer? NC25? I'm trying to shade match myself for Koh gen do foundations, cannot come to a counter to try for myself. All the best!


Koh Gen Do
Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
Koh Gen Do
Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation
Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream
Aesop Fabulous Face Oil
Beauty Is Life
Beauty Is Life Fan Brush
Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent Creme de Blush
Beauty Is Life
Beauty Is Life Standard Shading Brush
Cle de Peau Beaute
Cle de Peau Beaute Eye Color Quad
Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil
Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana Secret Eyes Mascara
Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder Turbolash All Effects Motion Mascara
Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in Venere
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine