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Makeup Bag Makeover: Holiday Edition

Left: my everyday makeup essentials. Right: my brand new tools and products.

For years, my makeup bag has had the same lineup: a light mineral powder and bronzer, a concealer, a black liner, and a retro red lipstick. But with the holidays in full swing, I’ve been hankering after a little extra glamour.

Lucky me, I got the chance to sit down with Kimara Ahnert, celebrated makeup artist and founder of a fabulous new namesake cosmetics line. We convened at her chic Upper East Side studio to give my makeup bag a full makeover. According to Ahnert, women fall into one of two categories: beauty junkies who need their overflowing makeup bags edited down and minimalist ladies who could stand to add a few key products to their routine. Read on for Ahnert’s advice!

Face: First and foremost, Ahnert emphasizes the importance of having the right tools. I’ve been using the same powder brush to apply both my mineral powder and bronzer, which turns out is a big mistake. While the basic brush is fine for my foundation, Ahnert recommends using a fan brush to contour my cheeks.

  • Sweep the brush across your cheeks in a C-shaped curve, starting from your hairline and ending near the middle of your nose. 

Eyes: Most days I tend to stick with winged liner alone, but Ahnert says I should add a sweep of sheer, silvery grey shadow to add a touch of drama. “Choose a sheer formula so you can apply a single coat for day, then go back and layer it for an evening look,” she says.

  • Apply the shadow with a precision blending brush. First, keep your eyes open and tilt your head up. Sweep the shadow directly above the winged tips of your liner, pushing in towards the inner corners. Finally, use an eyeliner brush to sweep shadow across your bottom lash line. 

Lips: I never thought I could live without my signature red lipstick until Ahnert convinced me otherwise. “More and more women are going for a sheer lip color that doesn’t scream ‘made-up,’” she says. She suggested that I go with a berry tinted lip treatment, and sure enough the results were super pretty. 

  • Instead of your classic matte red, consider switching to a barely there pink tint for a fresh, modern take on holiday lips. 


Update your own makeup bag by picking up some goodies in the Birchbox Shop.

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