I am not the type of person who shies away from a 45-minute face. And, judge me if you must, but sometimes my favorite part of the day is the time spent putting on my makeup. There is something therapeutic about the prep and the self-care that goes into my daily ritual. Painting my face, while gratifying and enjoyable, does not supersede my love of sleep (my recent foray into insomina, aside). Plus, sometimes I think I look best when I put minimal effort forth and Kondo my look.
I decided to formalize this hasty regimen with details below. There are two parts: Part One includes the basics and Part Two includes the "add-ons" that aren't essential but certainly finish the look. Potency, pigmentation and double-duty are key attributes I look for when choosing products. When all is said and done, everything fits into a small canvas makeup bag, weigh very little and also make a pretty strong capsule travel makeup collection. When reading, remember it isn't about the exact products or brands I use but rather what function(s) they fulfill in the overall routine.
Part One - The Basics
- First rule of reclaiming my time? Foundation is replaceable by concealer. They key is to have two shades: one with undertones that cancel out redness or darkness (in my case, the first concealer is warm-toned and one shade darker than my skin color) and one that can lift and add light to your skin (in my case, the second concealer is highly pigmented and one shade lighter than my skin color). I apply the darker/color cancelling shade under my eyes, around my nose and on my chin - anywhere there is dark or ruddy skin or blemished. I lightly pat and the warmth from my fingers melds the product into my skin. I then apply the lighter shade in any area I've applied the first concealer and repeat the rapid, light patting process.
- If you're greasier than a Texas oil field, a translucent powder is a good idea. I prefer translucent to shade specific powder because you can pay less attention to application. Mine has a brush in the compact.
- Concealer set, I warm up my pink, sallow skin with bronzer. If you're skin tone is even and beautiful or warmth isn't something you're digging, skip it. You may then lose the travel brush, as well. Contouring is NOT a step when we are RECLAIMING OUR TIME but if you use a cool-toned, matte bronzer, it could double as a contour powder. It could also double as a brow powder in a pinch but note, this requires a small eyebrow brush for application.
- I've been wearing blush since the Regan Administration because blood flow to my cheeks isn't something with which I was naturally blessed. So, I can't skip it but I can use a product that doubles as a cream blush and lip balm. I pat the blush quite high on my cheek bones and not so much on the apples of my cheeks. I can't explain it but if you've seen the volume and circumference of my cheeks IRL, you'd just get it. I take the product left on my fingers and blot it into my lips. This leaves a hint of color and not a full-blown lip. If you want more, then dip in and add another layer. The world is yours for the taking!
- I curl my lashes and add mascara if I am going to work. On weekends I skip mascara.
Part Two - The Add-Ons
- Listen, I'm not saying you make bad decisions all the time but I am saying I can tell when you've made bad decisions. Your skin looks like sh!t; it's dry and thin like rice paper and it is flushed and pale all at once. On those days, you need coverage and a stick foundation works wonders. It's compact and can be applied to skin and blended with the warmth of your fingers. It can also be layered in direct proportion to how many glasses of wine were had the night before.
- My brows are aggressive and bare, you'll still cannot miss them. If you are not blessed/cursed with dark, defined brows, a brow pencil is your friend. I won't get into the importance of brows. Click here for more brow help from my brow idol, Kristie Streicher.
- If you can't reconcile your desire to streamline with your need to wear eyeshadow, pots and pencils are your friends. Eyeshadow pots tend to work better with normal to dry eyelids and pencils work best on oily eyelids. Both formulas involve little effort beyond the aforementioned tapping. You could get crazy and smudge in a brown or grey eyeliner (no black and no liquid or gel - all much too fussy).
- After this is done, step back and take a look at your work. If you truly feel you're missing something, you are allowed to lightly highlight. Don't abuse the priviledge. Pick a sheer formula in a human color (that means skip the holo, unicorn BS, okay?). Lightly dot some highlighter on the upper bridge of your nose (please - do not apply any lower. A highlighted tip of the nose is downmarket and elongates the overall shape), and on the high points of the cheeks.
Et, voila! Six to 10 products. Two tools. One blog post. Maxine Waters probably doesn't care, but I'd like to think she'd be proud. See below for product credits if you're interested in anything pictured above.
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Sand / NARS Soft Matte Concealer in Creme Brulee / Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer in Light/Medium / RMS Lip2Cheek in Smile / Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Pressed Finishing Powder / L'Oreal Columinous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara in Blackest Black / E.L.F. Studio Complexion Brush / Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick in 4.0 Fawn / Charlotte Tilbury Color Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil in Amber Haze / Tom Ford in Opale / Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil Ultra Fine Shape & Define in 4 - Medium /
Maxine Waters Pin purchased at Bulletin (NoLIta). If you want the exact pin, you can purchase it at the creator's Etsy shop, RhinoParade.