Answering Your Questions | A Beauty-Related Q & A


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I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.






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Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved asking and answering questions, so today I am so excited to be doing another beauty Q & A on my blog! I am beyond grateful to have all of you in my life and would like to send a big thank you to those of you who participated in this post by asking me questions! I truly appreciate it!

What is your must-have skincare product right now? I work as a preschool teacher over the Summer and spend a lot of time outside supervising children on the playground, so SPF has been a necessity. Out of everything I have tried, the Tarte Tarteguard SPF 30 is my favorite because it adds a non-greasy sheen that wears well under makeup.

What is the best face wash? I have been using the Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser morning and night for years, and I love how it makes my skin feel so fresh and clean without drying it out. This is a wonderful affordable option that I highly recommend trying, especially if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin like myself.

What was your first makeup product? Besides lip balm and lip gloss, I think my first real makeup product was the original L’Oreal True Match Foundation. This is the only foundation my mom uses so sometimes she would let me use it too if I needed to conceal a blemish. I also kept my very first eyeshadow palette — shimmery neutrals from Claire’s!

What is your ultimate must-have makeup product? As a makeup lover, questions like these are always so challenging, but I think I would have to say concealer! Adding a little Maybelline Fit Me on my discoloration instantly helps me feel ready to conquer anything!

If you could only use two products from now on, what would they be? I would honestly be so sad if this were reality, but if I had to choose, I would choose concealer, as I mentioned before, as well as a lip balm. An even complexion and hydrated, glossy lips are always a necessity for me, regardless of where I am going.

What is your biggest source of inspiration and how do you get out of creative ruts? My primary source of inspiration is definitely other beauty bloggers — the whole reason I started my blog to begin with is because I have always enjoyed hearing the passion in others’ voices when they talk about their favorite makeup products. Whenever I am experiencing writer’s block, scrolling through Pinterest, Bloglovin’, or YouTube always boosts my creativity; seeing a title or photo enables me to envision how I can make a certain idea uniquely my own!

What primer do you recommend that leaves your skin looking incredible? I actually still have not found a primer that I feel is completely necessary or life-changing, so most of the time I just prep my skin for makeup by applying a moisturizer. However, I used to use the Rimmel Fix and Perfect Pro Primer, and I really liked it.

Do you prefer drugstore or high-end makeup products? I do not have a straightforward answer to this question because in my experience, I have tried many amazing products and many disappointing products from both affordable and high-end brands. Usually, I do prefer to invest in more luxurious skin care and eyeshadow palettes and then save my money for products I know I go through quickly.

What makeup product do you go through the fastest? I know this is getting repetitive, but the makeup product I repurchase most frequently is by far concealer. What can I say? I am obsessed with upside down triangles to highlight the center of my face! I also go through mascara, face powder, and foundation fairly quickly, as well.

What makeup item do you find yourself buying the most of? My favorite type of makeup to purchase is eyeshadow palettes. The second I see a shimmery, neutral color story with pops of purple, pink, and peach, I am sold and there is nothing anyone can do to change my mind!

Do you usually gravitate toward natural or glamorous looks? I always prefer wearing neutral colors on my cheeks, eyes, and lips, but I am always careful of how I use the word “natural” because I know it can mean many different things to different people. Unless it is a formal evening event, I rarely like my makeup to look dramatic and I always opt for classy and timeless over cakey and tasteless. Overall, I gravitate toward natural-glam because I love defining and enhancing my features with soft, subtle colors and luminous finishes!

Have you tried any of the more natural (vegan or cruelty free) beauty products and do they work the same as regular makeup? I do try my best to use as much cruelty free makeup as I can and my favorite brands for this include Too Faced, Tarte, Becca, Urban Decay, Milani, and Wet n Wild, all of which have many vegan products; everything I have tried from their brands perform so well, so in my experience, quality is not affected.

What product would you recommend for cleaning your makeup brushes? There are so many amazing products on the market specifically designed for this purpose, but I’ve always used a gentle dish soap combined with a splash of extra light olive oil to clean my makeup brushes and beauty sponges. It is very effective without breaking the bank!

Do you wax or pluck your brows, and do you prefer using a brow pencil or powder? I used to get my brows waxed every month, but since I do have have sensitive, acne-prone skin, it always made me break out and the redness would take such a long time to dissipate. I finally decided that it wasn’t worth it anymore, so now I just pluck any stray hairs myself. I like to use the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo to fill in and define my brows because I find that it is easier, faster, and looks more natural, but it all comes down to trial and error and personal preference.

How do you minimize pores? In addition to using a pore-minimizing primer like the Benefit Porefessional, my top tip for minimizing pores is to rinse your face with cold water every morning. Unlike hot water, this will tighten your pores and help them look less visible.

How do you find the time to keep blogging while in school? In all honestly, I am still struggling to find a solution to this question. I will always be passionate about makeup and writing, so whenever I have free time, creating content is the first thing I do. Currently, creating a customized editorial calendar where I post on certain days of the week has been very helpful because it essentially forces me to meet a deadline. Makeup By Makena is my happy place and I hope it is yours too! If you have any tips for balancing blogging with work and school, please let me know!

If there are any other questions you would like me to answer, please leave them down below and I would be happy to help! Thanks so much for supporting my blog and I, and I love you!


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Hey, I'm Makena.

I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.

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