valentine's day makeup inspiration

In the responses to my blog survey, I received some incredible ideas from my amazing readers--you! So thank you! If you haven't filled out the survey yet, please stop by and share your thoughts on how I can improve, and what you'd like to see more of on my blog.

One of the ideas was to do a makeup tutorial for au naturel girls. I realized that I tend to focus on products that pack a lot of punch, colour-wise, as that's what I personally gravitate towards. Today, however, I'm sharing a post that will hopefully appeal equally to my natural beauties and bold beauties alike.

Since Valentine's Day is next week, I thought I'd come up with a simple yet multi-level look that would be great for a dinner date with your love, or a fun night out with friends. Although these photos culminate in one final look, each step is a wearable look on its own! You can start with one product to wear it at its most natural level, or add more products if you want to intensify it.

For my soap-and-water beauty readers, I think you'll really love the first step of this look, because (once you've applied your foundation of choice) it only requires one product!

Step 1: start by applying Stila's all over shimmer to the apples of your cheeks, blending outwards and upwards onto the cheekbones. Apply a small amount on each eye, from lashline to brow. To finish the look, buff a bit of the shimmer on your lips as well.

Step 2: to brighten up this look a bit, use a sheer, tinted lip balm such as Fresh's Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Coral.

Step 3: to define your eyes, choose a lash-defining mascara (less likely to clump than volumizing formulas) such as Joe Fresh Lash Define. Apply generously.

Step 4: to add more colour to this look, add blush! I like NARS blush in Amour, especially because the name is nicely appropriate for Valentine's Day.

Step 5: if you're comfortable with bold colour, swipe on a nice berry lipstick. I used Maybelline Moisture Renew Lipstick in Berry Queen.

Step 6: to kick things up a notch, apply a smudgy black liner. Here, I used Annabelle Studio Smudge Paint, but you can also use any black pencil, apply it as you normally would, and smudge it out with your finger.

The final look!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not a fan of selfies or modelling for my own tutorials. Once I find models here in Madison, you better believe I'll be disappearing from this series!