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Summer Beauty Makeunder

When I posted my summer make-up suggestions, an anonymous reader with long curly lashes suggested that perhaps I could post something that a young mother could 1) afford and 2) find time to adhere to.

I try to please all my readers, so I told her I would give it a whirl.

1. Start with a tinted moisturizer. I recommend Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer ($12) which I've not used, but I have formerly used Neutrogena tinted moisturizer and this seems to have replaced it.

2. I stand by my argument that a good under-eye concealer is awfully hard to find. I've used soooo many different brands over the years. If black circles are your problem area, I would splurge on the Benefit Lyin' Eyes ($18 - which, come on, is still pretty reasonable for department store make up). Otherwise, you can try something from the drugstore.

3. Next, if you choose, dust all over with a light loose powder, such as Coty Airspun ($7). For a more natural look, you can skip this step. But if you want to look a little more "made up," use a large powder brush (you can get a Sonia Kashuk travel-size set with all the bare necessaries at Target for $12) and NOT the powder puff thingie that comes with the powder. In fact, just go ahead and throw that thing away as soon as you get home because it is nothing but a petri dish for bacteria growth.

4. Next, use your large powder brush to apply a bronzer. Brush lightly on forehead above each eyebrow, sweeping down over your temples and high on your cheekbones. I've not used any drugstore brands, so I can't recommend one but this list on drugstore.com, ranging in price from $7-12, is sorted according to popularity, so that might help key you to which are the best.

5. Apply a soft pencil eyeliner in chocolate brown across the upper lid only. Use the slanted make-up brush (or even a Q-tip) to blend into a smudgey line. Brush your eyebrows and tops of upper lashes with a dampened eyebrow brush (any soft children's toothbrush will do) to remove traces of powder. If God did not fortunately give you long curly lashes, use a curler before applying a layer of your favorite mascara in brown or soft black. There are lots of good mascaras available at the drugstore. I like Max Factor Stretch & Separate ($7). I recommend the Sonia Kashuk eyelash curler which is available at Target for about $7.

[***Extra Mascara Hint That I Forgot Last Time: Always blot the mascara wand on some toilet paper to avoid smears and smudges. If you do get mascara on your face, let it dry before trying to remove it. Mascara is formulated to stick to lashes, not skin, so if you let it dry first it should flick right off.***]

6. Finish with a tinted lip balm - there are also tons of them available - for a light wash of color. I like Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Rhubarb ($4).

So let's total that up and see if it comes in under a week's worth of groceries:

Tinted Moisturizer - $12
Concealer - $18
Powder - $7
Make-up brushes set - $12
Bronzer - $7-12
Eyeliner - $5-8
Child's toothbrush - $1
Eyelash curler - $7
Mascara - $7
Tinted Lip balm - $4

TOTAL COSTS: $80-88 (including the $18 concealer and the one-time expense of $20 for brushes and tools)

TOTAL APPLICATION TIME: UNDER 3 MINUTES

What d'ya think? Young moms struggling to budget your time and money - does this work for you?

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Well, I'm not a young mom, but I have no time and no money. But I do really like the Neutrogena tinted moisturizer - I use that with just some MAC on my eyes and some blush and mascara and I'm good to go.

Oh, and lipstick. But I think your list is spot on.

That's $80-88 and it will last for many applications before needing to be replenished. Sounds good to me. (I'm a university student).

Unfortunately, just before I started university 9 months ago, I developed "expensive"/department store make-up counter tastes. I haven't bought anything that isn't Lancome, Clinique or Mac since about June 2005. Except for eyeline and neutrogena facial cleanser type stuff which I get at the drugstore. Fortunately thus far I haven't encountered the scenario: "Should I buy this make-up or food for the next week?"

Being 6-7 months pregnant...my vote is for the food. Makeup, no matter how good, can't take the place of any icecream!

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