Have you ever watched a beauty tutorial video and wondered why your makeup regimen is so boring?
Apparently I’m not the only one who feels like this – when I mentioned my predicament at work, most of the Style girls agreed that their makeup feels the same day after day.
With a newfound desire to up the ante on my makeup routine and my first challenge of the year under my belt, I decided to embark on a seven-day makeup shake-up challenge.
Every day for an entire week, I would attempt to pull off a new makeup look. It may sound easy but trust me, when your idea of night-time makeup is putting on some red lipstick à la your flight attendant days, false lashes, glitter and highlighter are completely foreign territory.
A great product starts with a solid foundation so I kept the base of all seven makeup looks the same. For the challenge, I used a mineral foundation Australian-owned boutique makeup brand Issada. Issada specialises in skin treatment makeup and mineral makeup, with a total focus on skin health so it was perfect for my slightly fussy tastes.
To get the perfect coverage each day, I used a sponge to apply the Canvas Foundation Primer ($75) and followed up with the Mineral Velvet Cream ($69) foundation. I used the sponge again with a press and roll technique, which is surprisingly easy to pick up. I applied a dab of Mineral Liquid Light ($55) under each eye and let it sit for 30 seconds before blending it into the skin with my fingertip. The Ultra Luxe Kabuki ($58) brush helped to matte out my coverage with the Mineral Baked Foundation ($79).
Day 1: Vikings
Yes, you read that correctly. The first day of my makeup challenge coincided with my friend’s Vikings-themed 30th birthday party.
After spending hours trawling through Pinterest and IMDb, I decided that this look was all about braids, messy hair and big eyes. Thankfully, one of the girls at work messed up my hair and added in some braids for me. And then the rest was left up to me!
I built up a brown-based eyeshadow with a palette from Paula’s Choice, then used a black mineral eyeliner along the top lash line and under the bottom lash line. Feeling brave, I completed the look with a lick of mascara and some false lashes.
For my blush, I opted for darker, more natural shades to achieve the grungy-but-well-put-together Vikings look.
Although my friends were pretty impressed with my efforts, I don’t think this is a look I would wear again as it was a bit heavy and time consuming for my usual no-fuss-makeup preferences.
Day 2: Saturday Night Drinks
Feeling quite adventurous, I decided to swap my usual red lipstick for a dark and stormy look. They say to emphasise eyes OR lips so I kept my eyes simple. All I needed was a nude eyeshadow palette, a thin eyeliner and some velour false lashes. Apparently even Beyoncé has a pair of these lashes. Oh là là!
After obsessively watching a YouTube video to make sure I got it right, I added colour and depth to my face with a Poni Cosmetics contouring kit and brush. I was a bit wary at first because the colours looked a little shimmery and bright for me but after mixing the two blushes in the kit together and applying it, they were just right.
Finally, the exciting part! For my lips, I layered on a couple of coats of dark cherry lipstick for the perfect finish.
Although it was a little wild, this look is one I would definitely like to rock again for a night out.
Day 3: Simple Sunday
Who else knows that Sundays are not always the most relaxing day of the weekend? On Saturday you get caught catching up with friends, wining and dining, and come Sunday you have a to-do list that's outta control. This was one of those Sundays.
I wanted a look that would be perfect for my breakfast date, running some errands, visiting nana and heading to church – so basically something that looks pretty, will last and is not too OTT.
I decided to go with bronzed cheekbones, a swipe of highlighter with Gerard Cosmetics Marilyn Star Powder and some liquid lipstick in a rosy-brown colour. The highlighter is now one of my everyday essentials!
I received compliments all day long, which was awesome because this look was super easy to put together and something I would wear again and again.
Day 4: Howdy, Sailor
Monday. Monday is most definitely not my favourite day of the week. But it ain’t too shabby when the day finishes with a movie premiere, a glass of red and some pizza with one of the Style gals. Perks of the job, hey?!
Dressed in navy and white, I decided to stick to the nautical theme with some winged liquid and my favourite red lippy: Rouge Cream Lipstick in 04 The Red from Sephora Collection. I’ve tried a LOT of different red lipsticks over the years and this is a clear winner for me. With a touch of highlighter, I had a winning combination.
This looks didn’t stray too far from my comfort zone, and really is one of my favourites.
Day 5: Barely There
With no after-work plans on Tuesday, I wanted something a little subtler and dewier than I had done so far. To achieve this, I used concealer as a highlighter on top of my Issada Mineral Velvet Cream in my basic foundation routine.
I applied a generous amount under my eyes and along the tops of my cheek bones, in the middle of my forehead and along my nose. I used the sponge to dab it into my skin and finished my coverage with a light layer of my usual baked mineral powder.
I added some colour to my cheeks with a mineral blush and opted for a nude lip. I used a good coating of mascara and filled my brows in with a natural-looking brow pencil.
Although this look is simpler than the others, I would probably forgo the cream foundation the next time I try it – oh yes, there will be a next time!
Day 6: A Little Sparkle
With a night of volunteering at a young adults’ event ahead of me, I figured it was the perfect time to do something totally different and fun with my makeup. Full disclosure: I did enlist a colleague (Kiri) who is also a trained makeup artist to complete the eyes in this look and the next.
First, Kiri lined my top lids with a thicker-than-I-normally-wear winged liner and followed up with a silver shimmer underneath my bottom lashes, meeting the point of the black winged liner. We found that some of the glitter fell down my face but this was quickly fixed by lifting it with some trusty sticky tape.
Letting my eyes steal the spotlight, I kept everything else really simple with a subtle glow from perfecting powder, some lip liner and lip ointment.
My favourite thing about this look was that it sparked conversation. People I met throughout the night kept complimenting me and asking me about the glitter element. It’s probably not something I would wear again, though – I don’t think I could put it together without some help from Kiri!
Day 7: Peachy-Keen
Wanting to finish my makeup shake-up with a bang, I decided to try something I usually steer clear of: bright lipstick and eyeshadow at the same time.
Again, I had Kiri’s help with this look. She built up a warm eyeshadow using a few different shades from a Paula’s Choice palette and finished it with a touch of contour colour and the highlight colour on the top of my eye socket. To complete the eyes, she used a brunette brow liner on my water line.
Kiri finished off with a brow kit and some light contouring, and I took over for my lips, lining them with a peach colour and adding a coral colour for extra pop. Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat in Pink Venus is a godsend if, like me, you have smaller lips. It’s been designed to be used to add some volume and shape to your smackers.
This is such a nice look for a Friday after-work drinks or a Sunday session and it was the perfect way to end my makeup shake-up!
I had so much fun putting together all of the looks for this challenge and enjoyed discovering how to use new products. I also learnt how time-consuming it is to do a full face of makeup every day! Hats off to the girls who do, because that is some serious commitment. For the most part, I think I’ll be sticking to my low-key look with the addition of a few new favourite products.
If you liked this challenge, check out our other challenges: